As a wheelchair user who is cold all year round, winter is the season that I dread the most. Throughout the years, I have discovered various articles of clothing and products that make those cold winter months a little more bearable. This “from the waist up” guide is sure to keep you a little warmer this winter.
Hats and Scarves
Approximately ten percent of your body heat escapes through your head. There are so many cute hats and toboggans on the market that it is not hard to find something that matches your style. You will be amazed at how much warmer you are when you wear a hat.
If you have short hair that leaves your neck exposed, there are a variety of scarves that you can use to cover that skin up. Scarves are also a great way to add a little flair to your outfit.
Different Types of Sleeves
Bell sleeves, three-quarter-length sleeves and ruffle sleeves on dresses and shirts are sometimes too cute to pass up even on a cold day. The extra material on bell and ruffle sleeves will cause a bunched-up look under the sleeve of a cardigan or jacket. Three-quarter length sleeves create skin exposure on your forearm. What’s a girl to do?! Well, don’t forego that cute outfit because of the sleeves. Just add a pair of fingerless arm warmers! They are like cute socks but for your arms instead of your feet. These can be found in a wide variety of lengths, fabrics and colors.
Try a Poncho
Coats and jackets are great to keep your upper body warm, however, I always feel like the range of motion in my arms is restricted when wearing a coat or jacket. Instead, I have transitioned to wearing ponchos and wraps. These can be found in various colors, fabrics and styles.
Layers are another great way to keep warm but can also restrict movement. To keep my clothing from being too bulky, I pair a sleeveless dress with a cardigan. If I must go outdoors, I add a poncho and still maintain good range of motion in my arms.
Gloves and Hand Warmers
If you are going to be out in the cold for a long period of time, then consider a pair of gloves. Just like many of the items mentioned above, gloves come in a variety of colors, lengths and fabrics. Many gloves now come with several touch screen fingers so your gloves don’t have to come off to use your cell phone. And the best news is that some gloves are heated with a USB plug! So, I don’t ever have to worry about my hands getting cold, thanks to the standard USB charger on my Stretto Power Wheelchair!
Several years ago, I discovered rechargeable hand warmers. The hand warmers are lightweight with an oval design that fits in the palm of your hand. These small hand warmers have several heat settings and double as a charger. Be careful though! Some hand warmers can get as hot as 130 degrees on the highest setting.
About Bliss Welch: Bliss is a Quantum® brand ambassador and Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2013. Bliss is actively involved in the disability community. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her daughter. Click here to learn more about Bliss.
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