Do you have a homecoming or prom to attend, yet haven't found your perfect outfit yet? If you are searching for that perfect homecoming dress that is flattering for a newly adapted wheelchair user, consider more than comfort. There are several ways to accentuate your radiance and make you feel special. To help you shine on your special day, consider the following "dos and don'ts" for choosing your first wheelchair-friendly dress suitable for your homecoming:
1. DO Consider the Perfect Length: Even the most gorgeous dress that complements your eyes, hair and skin tone won't be suitable if it is not the correct length. This aspect is especially important if you will be seated in a wheelchair for an extended period of time. If you've recently adapted to using a wheelchair, you may have overlooked this important aspect. If your dress is too short, it may tend to ride up and expose more leg than you prefer.
A dress that is cut just below the knee should work well. Shop around at a specialty adaptive clothing store that offers styles that are user-friendly and non-restrictive. You may find special lengths and cuts for wheelchair users. For instance, you might consider a dress that is cut slightly longer on the front side.
2. DON'T Choose a Dress With Sleeves Longer than Elbow Length: While a dress with long, flowing sleeves can be attractive, it is not the most practical choice for a wheelchair user. Loose and flowing material could become caught in the wheelchair arms. If the weather is appropriate, wear a sleeveless homecoming dress instead, or one with cute and airy cap sleeves.
3. DO Choose A Dress With Loose-Fitting Shoulders
Why is this important to a wheelchair user? If you plan on using a self-propelled wheelchair to manually transport yourself, you won't want extra snug fabric around the shoulders, as this may restrict your arm movement.
4. DON'T Opt for a Belted Dress
Instead of choosing a dress with a belted waist, consider a style with a fitted waistline, made with elastic. This option will provide more comfort when you're sitting for long periods.
5. DO Consider the Fabric
If you will be sitting in your chair for several hours, you need to choose comfortable material that "breathes." It's best to avoid polyester and other synthetic fabrics. For lightweight comfort, consider a cotton homecoming dress. If the weather is warm, you may find an adorable cotton sundress with just the right combination of comfort and elegance. To dress up the casual look of cotton, accessorize with jewelry or hair accessories. If you'll be outdoors much of the time, a pair of bold sunglasses will also complement a casual cotton dress.
6. DON'T Select a Poofy or Bulky Dress: It's best to forgo a homecoming dress with bulky or very full material. If you wear such a dress while seated for a long stretch of time, the fabric may bunch up and crease, as well as irritate the skin. Wheelchair users should instead opt for a dress with less bulk that is designed with one layer rather than multiple layers of fluff and fill.
7. DO Let Your True Colors Show
Although many formal homecoming dresses are made with dark colors, this may not be the ideal choice for a wheelchair user. Colors such as black, brown and dark gray tend to blend in with the dark color of a wheelchair. Choose a light color instead. Baby blue, pink or yellow will be flattering, as these colors provide contrast against the dark of the wheelchair.
8. DON'T Dismiss the Idea of a Two-Piece Dress
A two-piece dress can provide a classy and flattering look for a wheelchair user. When selecting your two-piece outfit, choose a top that is slightly longer than you're accustomed to. The longer-length top or jacket will accentuate your torso, making it appear longer while sitting. In addition, the two-piece dresses tend to be easier to put on and take off.
For more ideas on homecoming dresses, check out a company like Bridal Elegance.