• Embracing fashion as a blind/VI person
  • Embracing fashion as a blind/VI person

    Fashion is often considered to be a visual concept, something that can’t be appreciated if you can’t see but in all honesty, it’s so much more than that.

    To me, fashion is all about the fabrics, the textures and how I feel when wearing a specific item or outfit.

    I haven’t always been interested in fashion. In fact, I used to hate shopping for clothes (oh how times change) but I finally decided to branch out of living in hoodies and straight leg jeans when I was about 14 years old and from then, my love for fashion has increased dramatically and I’m now battling with a wardrobe that is bursting at the seams.

    A photo of Elin leaning on a bridge, wearing a white t-shirt with red embroidered flowers on the neckline, a paperbag skirt and small red handbag with gold ring detail and white slip on shoes

    Embracing fashion as a blind/VI person: Two photos of Elin wearing a white top with red embroidered flowers on it, a paperbag skirt and red bag

    How can I love fashion when I can’t see?

    When I first started gaining an interest in fashion, I never thought that I couldn’t express that interest because of my vision impairment, I just knew that I had to do things such as shopping a little bit differently to how a fully sighted person would.

    Of course, I always have someone with me to say ‘that’s a nice top’, ‘that colour suits you’, or even just to say ‘well actually, you know what Els, I’d leave that if I was you’. Sighted people could see and determine these things for themselves but even those who can need a second opinion from time to time, right?

    A question I often get asked is ‘how can you be fashionable or pick out an outfit if you’re visually impaired?’ and people are also curious to know how I determine if an outfit looks presentable or not.

    As I said, I normally have to ask for a second opinion but I know of so many fully sighted people who feel skeptical about walking out the door in some outfits without someone else reassuring them, telling them if it looks right or not so in my eyes, me needing a second opinion isn’t any different to that.

    I feel like everyone needs someone else’s input sometimes, visually impaired or not.

    A photo of Elin wearing a black denim skirt and striped top

    I can’t do the things that some sighted people might take for granted, things such as opening the wardrobe doors and being able to see what you’re looking for straight away. I have to go by the sense of touch, remember what my clothes feel like and this is how I normally locate them in my ever-growing wardrobe.

    I love the aspect of picking out an outfit, matching pieces together and taking elements of the latest fashion and trends and incorporating them into my own personal style. To me, there’s something really exciting and rewarding about that.

    Being visually impaired and not fully knowing how an item of clothing looks on me definitely doesn’t stop me from spending £££ at my favourite shops…

    People don’t expect me to have a range of clothes that some consider to be stylish or ‘on trend’ but I love challenging this misconception and proving to people that fashion can be appreciated by anyone, even those who are blind/VI.

    I’m quite a creative person and to me, fashion is merely just another form of expressing that creativity.

    It’s a way of expressing individuality.

    Fashion gives me the opportunity to express myself and the kind of person I am through what I choose to wear.

    As I said, it’s a creative outlet, something that can always change and improve, your style doesn’t always have to stay the same and I love that aspect of it.

    To me, fashion is a way of expressing one’s personality, it’s a way of giving people who can see an idea of who you are without having to say anything. It gives people a glimpse into who you are. I don’t want that way of expression to be taken away from me just because of the fact I’m visually impaired.

    Elin wearing light blue denim jeans, a white high neck top, black leather jacket and white trainers

    Elin wearing light blue denim jeans, a white high neck top, black leather jacket and white trainersI find so much enjoyment in shopping for clothes, putting outfits together and walking out in an outfit that makes me feel comfortable and confident within myself.

    I believe that fashion can be made accessible for everyone and I know of so many bloggers and individuals who are passionate about advocating this message.

    I talked a little more in-depth about how I make fashion accessible to me as a visually impaired person in this post if you fancy giving that a read.

    I believe that- fashion goes far beyond sight. It’s a creative outlet, a way for everyone to express their uniqueness, a form of expression and innovation, something that I think everyone deserves to embrace, disability or not.

    Do you have an interest in fashion? If so, what does it mean to you and how do you embrace your love for it? I’d love to hear from you.

    Elin x

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    10 Comments

    1. July 29, 2018 / 9:48 pm

      Great post hun! I’m exactly the same as you, I think fashion is for everyone, we just have to adapt certain aspects of it so that it works for us and we can enjoy it xxx

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        July 30, 2018 / 5:57 pm

        Thank you lovely! I completely agree xxx

    2. Jennifer
      July 30, 2018 / 12:52 am

      Fashion is not my strong suit, but I like the feeling when I know I’m going out looking good. I stick to simple American classics for business occasions, usually a suit and blouse with a fun necklace. The rest of the time it’s khaki pants and a cute t-shirt. One of my blind friends use to tell her sister’s friends that she can smell colors, when the truth is that color is one of the only things she can see! She’s a great fashonista.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        July 30, 2018 / 5:59 pm

        That still sounds like a great style! Ahh it’s so fun to catch people out like that sometimes haha! Thank you for reading.

    3. Lynne Nicholson UK
      July 30, 2018 / 10:09 am

      I didn’t get into fashion until I became legally blind so at 55 I started buying clothes I liked the feel and colour (as I have sight enough to see colour as a blur at a distance but pattern close up, for instance the top I’m currently wearing I can see the pattern (of the leaves drawn in black and white on a bright pink background) clearly at my chest level while looking down but six inches lower at waist level I see a pink background with random black and white fuzzy lines.

      I have found I like bright colours, or bold patterns mostly. I choose natural fibres (cotton, linen) over man made mostly though there are a couple of exceptions. For instance my favourite cardigan is a thin acrylic fibre as it doesn’t make me feel too warm and it is a dark almost wine red; my favourite outfit is khaki self printed cotton chinos (a small floral print) with a cotton t-shirt with bold stylised large round creamish green flowers and I love it as I feel so confident wearing it. I want to get some more tops to go with what I have so I can get more variation in my outfits.

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        July 30, 2018 / 6:03 pm

        They sound like great pieces! I love hearing about everyone’s style and how they express that despite of their vision impairment. Thank you so much for reading.

    4. July 30, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      Beautifully written, Elin! You’re sense of fashion is on point, I love all the outfits you show us on your blog posts. I’ve never actually been into fashion since high school, simply because I had a work uniform I had to wear for work everyday, and felt as if I lived in it. I honestly didn’t spend my money on nice clothes because there wasn’t enough time to wear them. (Sad, I know) however! I recently got a new job working at the bank, and I’ll be able to wear a beautiful wardrobe! I think my sense of fashion will grow tremendously through this job and I’m really excited to wear all the nice clothes!

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        July 31, 2018 / 10:23 am

        Aww thank you so much Kayla! It’s great that you’ll be able to express your sense of style in your new job, so exciting! Congratulations again and thank you for reading x

    5. July 31, 2018 / 11:48 am

      i loved reading this, its so awesome you that you have still embraced fashion and able to show yourself through your clothes! you look really aweosme in all your photos too!

      such a great post

      • myblurredworld@gmail.com
        Author
        July 31, 2018 / 2:48 pm

        Thank you so much Lauren! I’m glad you enjoyed reading 🙂

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