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Tips for stylish travel
By Tarryn Tomlinson

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Being a person with a disability does not mean that you cannot look stylish when you travel! Whether or not you are a wheelchair user like me, maintaining that chic, sophisticated look while travelling at home or abroad is possible.

Embarking on a journey is not just about discovering new places—it’s also an opportunity to express oneself through personal style while on your journeys. Now, although I am no fashionista, I do wear clothing and accessories that enhance my comfort, confidence, and accessibility when travelling.

Here are some essential fashion tips and some of my favourite fashion pieces to make your travel experience both stylish and accommodating.

Comfort is Key

Prioritize comfort when selecting your travel wardrobe, there is nothing worse than being stuck in tight and uncomfortable clothing in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, can’t find a loo and don’t have access to your favourite stores.

Opt for soft, breathable fabrics that allow for ease of movement. Consider adaptive clothing options with features like magnetic closures, elastic waistbands, and adjustable closures, ensuring comfort throughout your journey. Liberare has a range of underwear and sleepwear that provide extra accessibility, perfectly suited for travel.

Be Bold and Beautiful

Just because you need to be conscious of comfort does not mean that you need to look like a wallflower, you can be comfortable and stylish too. Something I learned about fashion when living in Italy, is that looking elegant is all about the tailoring of the fabric and not being afraid to be bold.

Make sure that your clothing fits your body type. Find a local seamstress if you cannot find clothing in the store that suits your body. Are you an amputee? Check out No Limbits for stylish, comfortable jeans. They’ve got adaptive clothing as well.

Also do not be afraid of colour! Colour used correctly can make you people turn their heads for all the right reasons when you walk or roll into a room. Be the blossom Babe, not the wallflower!

I am blessed to have some of my dresses made for special events by my friend, international award-winning luxury designer, Jacques Le Grange.

Accessible Accessories

Accessories are not just for style; they can also serve a functional purpose. Invest in stylish but practical accessories like crossbody bags for easy accessibility and hats or scarves for sun protection.

Now, you may not think of your makeup brushes as accessories, but they are. I keep one with me always just in case I need a touch up. When touring a new destination I am often out for hours, sometimes sweating in the hot sun, so a touch up from time to time is much needed. My treasured accessories for these are from the inclusive beauty brand, Khol Kreatives. They ship internationally.

A woman with pink curly hair is dressed in a traditional blue Chinese cheongsam with floral embroidery. She holds an adaptive makeup brush in her right hand and is positioned against a pink backdrop. To her right, a branch with white blossoms and small red lantern decorations extends into the frame. Above her is a traditional red Chinese lantern, and in front of her, there is a patch of moss with several small black objects that appear to be microphone stands with labels. The scene has a whimsical and stylized feel, combining elements of traditional Chinese culture with a modern, colorful aesthetic.

Adaptable Footwear

Comfortable and supportive footwear is crucial for travellers with disabilities, although in many cases, barefoot works perfectly fine too! When wearing shoes, opt for those that provide stability, and consider slip-on or adjustable styles to make the shoe-changing process more manageable. Even if you have no mobility and must use your wheelchair to get around, who says you can’t wear stylish shoes? I need my wheelchair, but I am addicted to Coast and Koi’s pumps, as well as sandals, espadrilles and brogues. They are unashamedly bold and luxurious and every bit as comfortable. I wear them with jeans, dresses, formal pants and sometimes in my birthday suit (wink, wink )!  Though handmade in South Africa, you can purchase them in various other countries.

 

A pair of vibrant red traditional pointed shoes with decorative gold pom-poms and embellishments. The shoes have a detailed floral pattern on the heel section. They are worn with red socks and rest on a mustard-colored pillow or cushion with a subtle leopard print in the background, suggesting a cozy and stylish indoor setting.

Accessorize with confidence

Express your personal style through accessories like statement jewellery, sunglasses or a stylish hat. These small details can elevate your entire look while being easy to incorporate into your travel attire.

South Africa is home to The Cullinan Diamond, one of the biggest diamonds ever found. We are also home to The Diamond Works Institute, the first diamond workshop and showroom to include the blind in their tours by creating braille tactile signage.

Choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics

Select fabrics that resist wrinkles, ensuring your outfits maintain a polished appearance throughout your journey. This eliminates the need for extensive ironing and allows you to focus more on your travel experiences.

Remember, fashion is a means of self-expression, and it should adapt to your needs and preferences. By incorporating these tips into your travel wardrobe, you can confidently embark on your adventures with style and in comfort. And do not allow your disability to be a deterrent!

Safe and stylish travels! 

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