Steph Aiello, a quadriplegic with limited hand function, is a beauty icon with thousands of followers on social media. She shares some of her own fashion tips on how she manages to get dressed independently while still looking fierce in the new fashion trends.
Bodysuits are one of the latest must-have fashion trends. Steph says that she always picks her bodysuits that have the snaps at the bottom. She does not snap the bottom, but instead she just tucks the suit into whatever bottoms she is wearing. Steph caths through her belly button, and not snapping her bodysuits gives her easy access to her stomach.
Using Plaid To Hide ‘Quad Belly’
A common question that Steph gets asks is, “How do you hide your quad belly?” Steph admits on the days where she feels bloated, her go to pattern to wear is flannel. She ties the shirt or sweater around her waist in a tight knot. She jokes that it’s like wearing a fashionable girdle. Steph throws the shirt over her head making sure that the arms are on the outside. She then wraps the arms of the shirt around her waist playing with them until they are successfully in a knot.
Steph says that rompers or jumpsuits are her go to look, especially on lazy days. She likes having to put on one piece of clothing as opposed to the usual two or more. Steph states that rompers and jumpsuits are the most easy and convenient because she can just pull it on and go.
Steph recommends finding shorts that are extra stretchy. She usually buys her bottoms a little big so she does not have to worry about buttons and zippers. Steph prefers her shorts to be big because she can usually just pull the shorts right up. Steph buys shorts that are longer and do not have holes in the cuff so she does not have to worry about pulling the shorts down.
Having rips in the jean material of the shorts helps when Steph does feel like wearing shorts that are a little bit shorter with a button and zipper. She is able to hook her thumb in the rip to pull the shorts down while sitting.
For intimates, Steph suggests sticky bras which she says are easy to put on. Sticky bras give the effect of wearing a bra without having to put one on. For regular bras, Steph latches the bra first on the furthest loop out to have extra width. She then throws the bra over her head. Steph says she pulls the bra almost down to her waist and then pulls the bra up by the straps. This stops the material from raveling up in the back. Steph loves looking for strappy bralettes so that she can tuck her thumbs into the material to adjust it.
Steph believes medium length shirts are most flattering for wheelchair users. She always goes for baggy shirts as they are easiest to put on. To pull down tighter shirts, Steph folds her shirts over her hands, and moves her arms back and forth until the shirt moves to where she wants it.
Steph usually gets picked on because all of her jeans have holes in them. But, what do not realize is that the holes in her jeans help her get them on independently. Some might think that holes in jeans would be difficult because your feet could get stuck in them. However, Steph has learned a technique that works for her. The holes in her jeans give her something to pull on to maneuver the material up her body.
If Steph does not wear jeans with rips in them, she prefers to wear Endless Ability jeans which are made for wheelchair users. She gets them a size bigger for the ease of getting them on. Steph has modified a crochet hook that she uses to pull up the zipper of her jeans.
It was difficult for Steph to wear heels until she figured out where her feet needed to be positioned on her footplate. So if you are just starting to wear heels, she advises to find a pair that come up higher on the ankle.
Finding a wardrobe that works for you is all a learning process. Go out and be confident!
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