I’m used to making it work when it comes to clothing and shoes, and I think there’s a lot to be said for that ability to adjust for your environment. That said, living in a world intended for people with 2 biological legs & feet sometimes leads to a little bit of frustration.
For example, I search high and low for cute work-appropriate shoes that I can wear, which can be tough because I need them to have very little heel, no strapless backs, and preferably made of something that won’t permanently stain my foot shell.
Another area of frustration/sadness is having to chop the leg off my running tights because the way my running blade is attached to my socket means that it is a lot thicker than a regular thigh and running tights can’t stretch enough to fit over that part of my leg. This means that in order to wear running tights, I have to cut the leg off at the thigh on the left side of my pants, which is fine unless I want to wear them in my walking leg because then I just look silly with one pant leg chopped off above the knee for no apparent reason.
This works, functionally speaking, but it isn’t ideal and I cry a little every time I have to amputate a new pair of pants and I can’t wear them for any purpose other than running.
This whole making it work thing is what I’m used to doing, and I never really gave it a whole lot of thought as to how it might be different until I started talking to my friend Alexandra Connell, who I met through another mutual friend (thanks, Jess!). Alex is the founder of PATTI + RICKY, which is “an online shopping experience that offers stylish and functional designer products for individuals with disAbilities.” From fidget jewelry to jeans for people who use wheelchairs to stylish cochlear implants, PATTI + RICKY is bringing brands and products together so people with and without disabilities can access beautiful and inclusive clothing and accessories.
Although Alex hasn’t yet solved my shoe and running tights dillemas because I just told her about these issues this week, she is already on the hunt for companies who may fill this gap. I so appreciate Alex’s passion for this business and her desire to provide this amazing and inclusive shopping experience.