The Injured Woman’s Guide to Fashion

In recent weeks, my work world and my wardrobe were turned upside down. I had a bicycle accident and broke my right wrist; of course, that is my dominant hand.

Fortunately, I work from home, which meant I didn’t have to dress up when I went to my office. Nonetheless, I did re-calibrate my attire. I burrowed deep inside my closet for items that I rarely wore, but now would rely on as staples.

I’ve compiled a list so that, in the event you or a woman of your acquaintance should become similarly constrained in movement of the arm and wrist, it still will be possible to dress appropriately for meetings with colleagues and clients.

To begin, buttons, snaps and hooks, plus most zippers, are out of the question, because they require two hands to open and close. Plus, your left hand may not be used to taking the lead on such activity, now that your right hand is severely limited.

Therefore, starting from the top, I recommend camisoles, especially with a shelf bra. A sports bra may be adequate, but it may have less stretch and be harder to maneuver.

Next, knit tops and T-shirts, especially if they are short sleeves. Initially my arm rested on a splint that extended above my elbow; this made donning long sleeve items impossible.

Moving down the torso, consider leggings and gym shorts; their elastic waist bands make them easy to pull on and off. Do not underestimate this feature; it can be most helpful when lowering pants with your lesser-used left hand, such as when using the toilet.

I was thrilled to re-discover two skirts with elastic waist bands that had not seen the light of day in ages. One was black and the other was gray; they were lifesavers when I had to dress up for meetings, because all my slacks had zippers and buttons at the waistband.

The sleeves of a zippered cardigan slid over the arm brace; fortunately, the sweater was an all-purpose black, so it matched the skirts. When it was chilly, I topped it with a zippered down vest. It was too difficult to negotiate the sleeves of a winter coat.

Slip-on flat shoes, plus sandals and sneakers with a Velcro close, were easy to put on and take off. Forget shoes with laces and be wary of high heeled pumps.

Finally, I used a fanny pack to stow my wallet, keys and phone. When safeguarding my arm in a sling, the last thing I needed was a shoulder bag or clutch handbag; who cared if I looked like a tourist.

Done: the injured woman’s guide to fashion. I do hope you’ll never need to refer to it.

If you have to wear an arm brace, you might as well customize it with color.

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