Shopping on Saturday we both were intrigued by the pictured mannequin in a wheelchair, so I’ll give KOHL’S a plug. I have no idea what percentage of shoppers are in wheelchairs but obviously we will be back. Somebody in KOHL'S marketing department is thinking.
Shopping for opposite sex clothing is probably a caregiver necessity for many. Accompanying the opposite sex on such outings once was comparable to enduring fingernails on chalk boards. However through two decades of caregiving and parenting, I have had to increasingly shop 'with' and then 'for' Patti. While parenting our daughter has dragged me through the clothing and fashions of a cute little girl to a teenager. It’s been a fast track of evolution from male Neanderthal mentality.
Shopping for clothing is also an excellent outing for Patti. Public interaction is minimized while still being in public. Believe me NO salesperson ever bothers with a person in a wheelchair. <grin> Patti can see, touch, and feel everything close up. She is at eye level with “SALE” signs and enjoys going through racks. She rarely tires shopping; after all she has a chair. <grin>
Decision making brings multiple mental processes into use. Patti is challenged creatively and with real life to consider color combinations, seasons of the year, price, style, and other factors that are both simple and complex. Shopping as therapy – now there would be a medical revolution. <grin>
We have to add another filter level because Patti cannot dress herself. Stretchable waists, larger sizes, minimal buttons, etc. become important. Care instructions are critical, no dry cleaning, no hand wash, no special dry, etc. If it can’t be tossed in a washer and dryer it is of no use.
Trying on is obviously impossible, but that can always be done later and exchanged. I even carry my own tape measure <grin> to minimize exchanges.
Checking out the mannequin from our perspective it was interesting to note the pants legs. The decorator consciously used over sized long pants on the mannequin which were bunched and tucked in the back of the waist, the handiwork was creatively concealed by the short jacket. In real life pants ride up several inches when you spend all day in a wheel chair. Patti needs to buy “long” length even though she is only 5’ 4” because she dresses for sitting not standing. It was interesting to see that a store fashion decorator encountering the same problem resolved it much the same way. Otherwise a person sitting in a wheelchair always looks like their pants are too short.
The confused look on Patti’s face always happens when I point my cell phone at her to take a picture. <grin> I don’t think it has anything to do with MS. Camera phones boggle many people.