Sunday, 31 May 2015

Shoes for style AND comfort?

I recently received a query from an occupational therapist on behalf of a patient she is working with. 
Being an ongoing battle of my own also, this query regarding shoes was particularly appropriate!  

The lady in question was having difficulty finding stylish shoes with the practical elements she now requires. 

Having recently started walking again during her rehabilitation, she now naturally requires shoes with adequate support, an issue I’m all too familiar with myself. 
Factors including mid heel heights, stability, secure fastening, strong supportive materials and comfort, are difficult to find in a stylish fashionable shoe.
For everyday wear, sports shoes can be the most comfortable and practical, but for attending a special occasion or event, we obviously need a shoe in the right style and colour for the outfit.  (I’ve often found myself planning an outfit from the bottom up, starting with the shoes, to eliminate some of the stress).

Given the circumstances, we can immediately rule out the usual go-to occasion wear – high heels - along with some of other regulars such as sandals or wedges or even ballerina pumps. 
Sounds like I’m being fussy, I know.  From a personal perspective, I’ve often felt I’m putting the store assistants through their paces as a difficult customer. 
I may sound like a picky, hard to please shopper, but this is the way it has to be I’m afraid. No point any of us risking injury and further restriction for the sake of heel height, is there?

So, given the limitations, these are some of my preferred options when shoe shopping.  Have to say I’m loving the trend for brogues at the moment, as it makes life easier and still allows for some stylish options.  One pair in every colour please..

I think it is always a good idea to go for quality in shoes if support is an issue.  Cheaper brands can be ideal for a once-off event or a holiday, but won’t last beyond the season (or be approved by the physios).  

When choosing shoes for an occasion, I try to buy with other outfits in mind as well, to make sure I get value for money.  Neutral colours such as black, navy, nude and white are obviously a wise choice, and generally easier to find in the most suitable style.

These are some on my spring/summer wish list at the moment – 





Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Ladies' Styling Day May 15th 2015

I recently had the pleasure of attending a ladies’ day event for ladies with spinal cord injury in a rehabilitation setting. 

We all love a bit of pampering now and then whether we admit it or not, and no disability should get in the way of that. 

The event was very well attended, with guest speakers and workshops in the morning, followed by health and beauty sessions in the afternoon. 

Experts in the health and beauty field gave their time to provide hair styling, make up applications and manicures.  Other options available included massages, clothes stalls and advice from occupational therapists on gadgets to make everyday life a little easier.  Products on display included clothing from Marks and Spencer, tools for applying fake tan, hair styling gadgets and dressing aids. 

My role as a stylist at the event involved chatting to both staff and patients on all things fashion and style related.
Some very interesting queries came up, regarding ideas for easy dressing with jackets or underwear, and my own personal challenge of choosing practical but stylish footwear. 

I really enjoyed the afternoon, providing colour consultations and sharing common experiences of all things fashion related. What better way to spend an afternoon, and in a hospital environment too!

One piece of advice which particularly stood out for me was an excellent tip shared by one of the ladies at the event. An ingenious invention which she devised for her daughter who has some mobility difficulties and finds dressing can be a challenge.  This is a relatively easy alteration which could be used on many items to make life a little easier in the mornings, or when getting ready for a night out.  Pictured here is a jacket, with extra matching zips inserted along the side seams and underneath the arms.  These zips can be opened fully to allow the wearer to easily insert both arms with minimal stretching or movement, and then discreetly closed back up to blend in with the garment.
This trick could also be used for other items such as blazers or cardigans etc.
Thank you to this lovely, ingenious lady for sharing her tip with us and allowing us to pass her ideas on.

Check out some links below to items we viewed on the day, and some handy gadgets we discovered.

Thank you so much to the ladies at the National Rehabilitation Hospital and Spinal Injuries Ireland, looking forward to the next event already, with lots of ideas to work on in the meantime!

Lotion and tan applicator

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