18 December 2012

Fashion-Able: A Lolita's Resource to Fabulous Assistive Devices

Me with my crutches and zebra-printed crutch covers from CastCoverZ.com!


As I've discussed in a couple of previous entries, I have a few medical issues. One of them in particular makes walking and standing difficult and/or painful. About two years ago, I decided to get a cane so that I could move with more ease. It was a bummer, to say the least, not being able to do things I used to do or having to frequently take breaks because my body would not let me continue. Some days, this could be an activity as simple as getting around my own home.

My main issue in this was my vanity. I worried about what other people would think and the potential fashion sacrifice it would entail. Then, I started thinking that there had to be other people like me out there; there was no way I was the only fashion-conscious disabled person in the world. In fact, there had to be loads of us. With just a little bit of Googling, I discovered I was very correct!

After buying my first cane and being satisfied with it, I didn't do much more searching around. However, since my condition with my leg worsened, I started looking for crutches. People are often astounded that exciting canes and crutches exist and want to know where I get them. Well, folks, I finally got around to compiling a list; now you can be fasiona-able as well!


1. FashionableCanes.com




This is my cane from FashionableCanes.com!

I love FashionableCanes.com because they have a very wide selection. You can find all sorts of canes--elegant, dignified, cute, novel, adjustable, folding, canes to hide your alcohol, and even canes with swords inside! You would be hard-pressed not find one that you like. I ordered my cane from here, and I was very pleased with the product and the service. (It was a while ago; I don't remember the details of the shipping and the ordering process.) 

Do properly size yourself to get the best use of your cane possible. Better yet, have a doctor assist you. My cane is adjustable, and that is something I suggest for anyone wearing heeled shoes of varying heights. I am such a person, and the height of the shoe directly affects the height my cane should be.



Price: You can find canes from affordable to very expensive as they carry many brands.




2. CastCoverZ.com / Color Crutches by LemonAid





Crutches became a good next step in my quest for mobility; sometimes my cane is not enough help. Boring silver ones were not going to do it for me. Luckily, CastCoverZ.com carries colourful crutches in addition to their line of covers for casts. Their mission is to "provide fun and functional products that comfort orthopedic patients." If you scroll back up to the beginning of this entry and look at the picture of the crutches I just received, you can clearly see that their products truly reflect that mission.

Their customer service was absolutely top-notch as well. My parents were kind enough to purchase these as a sort of early Christmas gift, and my mother sent me the receipt via email to let me know she had ordered them. I'm glad I didn't pass over that email---she ordered them in a size "Tall" instead of "Small." I panicked because I am nowhere near the Tall range of 5'11"-6'6" at 5'1". (I also had to laugh because I imagine those crutches have to be taller than I am!) 

She was able to reach them by phone, and they changed the order straightway. Receiving them took about a week, and they included a hand written card inside the package. What lovely people! I'll definitely be back to order more covers for my crutches.


Price: Crutches with standard shipping are $75, and crutches with priority shipping are $95. A four-piece covers set is $35, the five piece set (four piece + bag) is $55, and the bag by itself is $25.


I have not ordered anything from the next three companies yet, but they are all way too cool not to mention.




3. Cool Cane Graphix



At Cool Cane Graphix, you can customize a cane! You choose one of six metal colours, a pattern, and a pattern colour; all of the canes are adjustable. (I really want a black one with pink cats!) The owner of the company is an artist and uses a cane every day which I think would make for a perfect combination of style and knowing the needs of other cane-users. 



Price: $65 - $75 per cane




4. ClearCanes




This website is somewhat difficult to navigate, but I do like their range of products. ClearCanes produces Lucite ("acrylic glass"- a transparent, shatter-resistant, thermoplastic according to Google,) walking canes in many bright colours. They also carry a twisted version that looks very fancy. If you are someone who wants to show your LGBT pride, there is a rainbow version of the twisted cane. (Although, as a strong supporter of LGBT rights, I am a little irked that they felt the need to display the text they did below it, or maybe it's how they phrased it that bothers me. I'd like to think they meant no harm and are supporters of LGBT rights themselves.)

The only product you shouldn't buy if you need a cane for your disability is the empty tube one. While it's neat that you can fill it with whatever you like, it does not bear weight and is only for fashion.


Price: For walking canes, it ranges from approximately $40 - $75.




5. My 3rd Leg





The designer of this cane, Bob Parrow, has to be one of the coolest older gentlemen around. Just look at the picture above; it's a leg, guys. I have no words. Gothic Lolitas and those who wear creepy cute, even if you don't need a cane, I think you need one of these because with it, you will be totally bad-ass. Here's a little bit of his story from the About section of his website:

"Bob and his wife Sharon live in a region of upstate New York known as The Mohawk Valley. In 1999 Bob needed a total hip replacement. He felt that the ordinary cane portrayed old age and weakness and he wanted a cane that was fun. Having woodworking skills and a good sense of humor, Bob designed and carved a cane patterned after leg bones. This proved to be a life changing experience. His cane was unique but he never expected all the attention he received from friends and strangers."

The My 3rd Leg cane can now be ordered in wood or polycarbonate. For an additional cost, you can get it custom painted, and if you also have a good sense of humour, you can purchase a miniature Croc-type shoe to attach to the bottom of it. Bob Parrow, I think you might be one of my heroes. To see more pictures than what is on the website, check out the Facebook page.


Price: The polycarbonate version starts at $79.95, and the wooden version starts at $189.00.



Thanks to these companies and others like them, we have options! Being differently abled and using an assistive device should not ever be cause of embarrassment or shame. What people will notice is how awesome you look. I'll continue my search and update this list periodically, so if you have any specific requests of things to look for, let me know in the comments!

4 comments