Fashion Tips For Wheelchair Users

By Tiffiny Carlson

Over the years I have gleaned simple fashion tips for wheelchair users that can lift even the dowdiest dresser out of her puddle of misery. To see more photos of these wheelchair fashion tips in action, follow “The Wheelchair Mommy” Priscilla Hedlin’s Stylish Gimp blog and her Pinterest board. (all photos feature Priscilla Hedlin)

1. Highlight Your Waist

Adding a belt to a loose shirt or dress often adds a tailored touch, making your outfit seem polished and you look better. And don’t be afraid to have fun with belts. From thin barely-noticeable ones to the wider versions that are reminiscent of a corset, accentuating your waist with a belt adds pizazz.

Priscilla Hedlin’s wide black belt accentuates her waist.

2. Show Off Your Shoulders

Shoulders can be surprisingly sexy, so why not invest in some shoulder-baring tops? Whether it’s a tank top, a one-strapped shoulder top or a top where the shoulders peek out, exposing your shoulders adds sex appeal to your ensemble.

.Shoulders are sexy.

3. Elongate the Torso

Our wheelchairs can make our torsos look shorter than they really are. This worsens throughout the day because of gravity, and the resultant slump can kibosh our look. To counteract this, buy a top that is a couple of inches longer than you need. This creates the illusion that your torso is longer than it actually is.

.An extra-long shirt can counter-act how sitting can make our torsos appear shorter than they are.


4. Avoid Fabric Bulk

If you do buy a top that’s longer than needed, make sure it’s not too loose on you. In other words, don’t go overboard as very rarely do heaps of fabric look good on a wheelchair user. Especially avoid oversized jackets, tops or dresses.

All that fabric is designed to hang. Unfortunately, when sitting down, that extra fabric pools around your body making you look bigger than you really are. Darn wheelchair. Instead, stick with more form-fitting clothing.

Priscilla pulls off this fabric-rich dress because it’s form-fitting, thus preventing the head-in-a-pile-of-clothing fashion crime.

5. When in Doubt, Accessorize

Sometimes clothing, no matter how smartly chosen, doesn’t look right when you use a wheelchair. When this happens, it’s time to call in the accessories cavalry. Jewelry, footwear, purses, makeup, sunglasses, eyewear, even hair accessories — all of these can easily and quite effectively amp up your style

.This casual outfit is transformed by a simple string of beads and fun, bright yellow footwear.


6. Play Up Your Legs with Printed Leggings

Printed tights and leggings look fantastic on wheelchair users. Just because you’re not using your legs to walk doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draw attention to them. A pair of interesting printed tights can infuse your entire look with incredible style, bringing your outfit together and highlighting your sex appeal. And don’t be afraid of bold prints. Wheelchair-users can pull them off.

This whole outfit is smashing, made more so by those bold leggings.


Nothing makes me sadder than a wheelchair-user who has completely given up on how she looks. Make no mistake, it can be difficult using a wheelchair some days, but there’s no need to give up on how you dress. By following these few style tips, you can celebrate your fashion sense.


Article originally appeared on  August 1st, 2014


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