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Fashion and style tips for the blind and low vision community

01 August 2017

Vision Australia’s recent Dress with Style webinar was a big success, with a large number of people tuning in to receive advice on all things fashion and style from a blindness and low vision perspective.

The webinar covered a range of topics including advice for people who are blind or have low vision can better arrange their wardrobe, strategies to make shopping a more pleasant experience and much more what’s currently in style for both men and women.

You can re-watch the webinar here or access an audio version here, but below are some of the top tips shared by our fashion experts Kate and Vildana.

Developing your own style:

  • For people who still retain some sight, find celebrities or regular people whose style you like and examine how they put together their outfits.
  • For people who are blind, take notice of the people around you who often receive compliments on their outfits and consider asking them about how they go about choosing what to wear.
  • Take note of fashion trends, but don’t let them dictate what you wear. Just because something is “in” it doesn’t mean you have to incorporate it in to your wardrobe if you’re not comfortable wearing it.

Image shows a display of men's clothes in a store

Strategies to help with shopping:

After developing your style, going out and shopping for your new wardrobe can still present some challenges,

  • Having a family member or friend accompany you can be an easy way to receive support when shopping. The important thing to do beforehand is to have an honest conversation with them about the style you’re going for so that you end up with the clothes you want.
  • Personal shoppers can be expensive, but using one occasionally can be a great way to find the clothes that suit you.
  • For people with low vision, everyday technology like a smart phone can be a great shopping aid. Use the phone to take a picture of yourself as you’re trying on clothes and then magnify the image to see if you’ve made the right choice.
  • Take notice of how displays are set up in-store. Stores will often arrange displays so that pieces of clothing that match are on the same rack or close by. While the combinations may not be exactly what you’re after, it can be a good place to start.
Image shows a rack of women's clothes in a shop window

Keeping your wardrobe arranged:

Once you’ve got your new clothes home keeping them arranged is the next challenge, but there are a number of different strategies that can be used to make keeping track of what is where easier.

  • Attaching a safety pin, clip or similar to your clothes is a simple way of adding a tactile feature to help you identify particular garments. Use different tactile objects to signify different pieces of clothing.
  • For smaller items of clothing, use containers or partition draws and cupboards to help you keep track of what goes where.
  • Consider organising your clothes by something such as colour, garment type or season to make it easier to pick out what you need for any occasion.
  • Label readers can also help identify pieces of clothing and even include information such as what to wear it with.

For more great fashion and style tips you can re-watch the Dress with Style Webinar here or listen to an audio version here.

If you want to discuss anything else about fashion and style with others from the blind and low vision community, then our Participate platform is for you.
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