Personal Experience

Fashion Tips 2014

By: Imani S. Graham

Just because you are disabled or visually impaired does not mean your clothes must be less attractive.  My name is Imani Graham and I am blind. However, I take pride in my clothes and my overall appearance.   This does not mean I spend a lot of money on my clothes.  In fact, you can find very nice things at affordable places, such as: the thrift store; Ross; Marshall’s; or Wal-Mart.  It bothers me when people say they cannot match their clothes or no one is there to help them dress.  According to these individuals, this is why they look the way they do. There are all types of devices and gadgets that can assist with identifying colors on clothes. Such as: color identifiers, which is a device that will say the color of a piece of clothing. There are also free applications for smart phones that are color identifiers as well.

As a rule of thumb, it is 2014 and there is no such thing as mismatching, as long as you accessorize. What do I mean? If you are wearing a red top and a black and white skirt, as long as you wear red shoes or a red bracelet you are good to go. Three colors is the max now for dressing—meaning you can wear a gray shirt, some black pants, and silver shoes.  Or, you can wear a pink top, brown pants, and gold shoes. When in doubt, accessorize—match your shoes or jewelry with a piece of your clothing.

There is no reason why you cannot be as fly as you want to be or look as good as you want  with a disability—if I can do it, so can you.  My co-worker, who is in a wheelchair, always makes it a point to wear nice shoes.  Joe likes to whip out his wheelchair humor (which is usually really boring) by saying his soles are saved because they’ll last forever!  You can catch him on any day coordinating his dress shoes with his outfit.   It should come as no surprise that he is cooler than the Fonze!  The question you must ask yourself is: “What kind of image do I want to portray?”  You want people to look at you and say “Wow, this person has all of these challenges, but they make sure they look nice!”  Let’s be honest, you do not want people to look at you and say “Oh, they are disabled—they can’t help it.”  The choice is yours.  Appearance is what you make it; and, just because you are disabled does not mean you shouldn’t care about the way you look.  First impressions are typically based on appearance, so when you are looking for a partner or a job, remember that!

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