How to Shop your Closet during a Pandemic

By Molly Farrell

You've watched all the shows on Netflix, you've baked all the loaves of banana bread you care to, you've even taken up a new hobby during quarantine. Now what?! Have you shopped your closet yet? Even as the quarantine hopefully comes to an end, shopping your closet is a great life skill. Let me show you how!

First, let me introduce myself, my name is Molly Farrell and I have a passion for fashion. Since a young age, I have always loved to shop! I remember spending the whole day at the mall and not wanting to leave. However, seventeen years ago, I suffered a spinal cord injury, which me left paralyzed from my neck down and suddenly, that passion for fashion shifted and I had to learn how to make my clothes accessible and fashionable to my new reality.

Over the last seventeen years, I have learned different tricks and "life hacks" to adapt the clothes I love so that they will work for me and my abilities. The fashion industry has also finally started to realize that every customer is important and that each person's needs are unique. It's exciting to see how fashion is becoming more inclusive and available for all.

During this pandemic, like all of you, I have not been able to spend the day at the mall or visit my favorite shops. Instead, I have had to learn to "shop my closet" and I want to show you how! I have put together four fun looks with items you probably already have in your closet!

Back to basics with a classic white shirt

Basic white shirt FTW (For The Win)! Honestly, is there anything more classic than a white button-down shirt? You can dress it up or down, wear it all year long, and it never goes out of style! I love my Smart Adaptive white long sleeve blouse because it has all the classic features of a button-down shirt but has Velcro closures making it easy to fasten and even easier to wear! Here, I have styled it with a pair of embroidered jean capris and comfy sneakers. My Smart Adaptive shirt is available on www.pattiandricky.com.

Perfect adaptive style whether working our or rocking a Zoom meeting

The "athleisure" trend isn't going away, and we in the disability community can be happy for that as you can look good and be comfortable. Sweatpants can be tidy-looking in the right new fabrics. The jeans are soft; the pant fabrics should have a nice hand feel and not be restrictive. If you have a disability, make sure they don't have harsh seams and have the type of fit you are looking for. Have a look at ABL Denim for the most functional fashion jeans for men, women and kids. Women have seen a revival of the big flare jean but it could be tricky if you're a wheelchair user. Wear the new trend of big earrings or other big jewelry instead if you want drama! 

Athleisure Wear for the Pandemic

These Nike FlyEase shoes available from Zappos Adaptive are lace-free with a wraparound zipper that lets you open and close the shoe easily without having to worry about tying the laces. Check out www.zappos.com to see their entire Adaptive Fashion department.

It's a staple of every girl's wardrobe

LBD: Little Black Dress. Everyone has that plain black dress in the back of their closet. It might be a strapless dress, it might be a maxi dress, or it might be a cocktail dress—go ahead grab it and put it on!

Little Black Dress that's Accessible

We may not be able to go out anywhere but putting on your favorite dress will instantly improve your mood, trust me! While you're at it, grab your favorite necklace and put that on too! I love this bright colored necklace and it's so easy to put on because of the magnetic clasp. However, this necklace did not come with a magnetic clasp, I added it so that I could put the necklace on all by myself. These magnetic clasps have been a game-changer for my independence and are available on www.amazon.com. They allow me to wear any piece of jewelry I want and still be able to put it on and take it off independently.

We call it 'Quarantine Chic'

Finally, it's not a pandemic without a pair of "pandemic pants!" What are "pandemic pants" you ask? Well, it's easy, anything that is stretchy, soft, and has an elastic waist! I found mine at Aerie, which is part of the store, American Eagle Outfitters. Aerie has clothes that support women of all ages and abilities. They believe in positive self-image and body positivity. Head on over to www.ae.com to see all that Aerie has to offer, you will not be disappointed!

Little Black Dress that's Accessible

For more outfit ideas and great tips on how to adapt clothing to your body and needs, follow my accessible fashion Instagram account @all.fashion.able.

Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!

Sign up for the Abilities Buzz

Stay in the know on disability news and info.