Atlanta, GA,
08:44 AM

Fashion for All

As NYFW takes place, we take a look at the adaptive fashion industry and tips for living stylishly in a wheelchair.

I adapt clothing to go with my style by trying different things out and following influencers on social media for inspiration.
Megan Collins, office manager at Shepherd Center
Through the years, I’ve learned how to style clothes to suit my needs. For me, it’s more about finding the type of clothes I feel best in instead of finding a particular brand.
Curran Brown, peer liaison at Shepherd Center
You don’t need to spend a lot on tailored options to still look put together in a wheelchair.
Colby Higgins, former Shepherd Center patient and current member of the Shepherd Center Spinners wheelchair racing team
If you feel good about yourself, you’ll feel inspired to do more and be more active. 
Robert Antonisse, disability specialist at Shepherd Center

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is underway, and it’s a good time to reflect on fashion and its impact. Fashion may seem like a trivial subject on the surface, but it can mean so much more than how someone looks in an outfit.

Fashion can be a form of self-expression. It can be a way to conform, rebel, make a statement or boost confidence.

For many people, there are a vast array of stores, brands and price ranges to select from when choosing what to wear. But for the one in five Americans living with a disability, fashion options can be elusive. While specific categories like plus sizes have become mainstream, adaptive clothing has not yet been integrated into most major clothing brands. In fact, it was not until as recently as 2014 that NYFW featured its first-ever model to work the runway in a wheelchair.

We spoke with Megan Collins, Curran Brown, Colby Higgins and Robert Antonisse, four people who use wheelchairs. They shared their first-hand perspective and fashion tips. The key takeaway: while adaptive clothing is still relatively new, there are plenty of ways to tweak and style any clothing to look and feel your best.

Visit the downloads section on the left side of this page to check out Megan, Curran, Robert and Colby’s fashion advice. Have your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!


Written and compiled by Damjana Alverson

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again. 

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