Differently Abled, not Disabled

Dear SF Tailor,

Photo credit SharingTheLionCity.com

Some might label me disabled. The truth is I am differently-abled. I use a wheelchair, but it doesn’t keep me from playing basketball or driving. I’m graduating soon but nervous about job interviews. I can’t stand up to greet interviewers, and eye contact can be awkward if interviewers aren’t at my eye level.

My goal: make a GREAT first impression and LOOK as confident as I feel inside.

Mizzou Mechanical Engineering Major

Dear Mizzou Mechanical Engineering Major,

Photo credit brazencareerist.com

First, celebrate your upcoming graduation! Most grads and working professionals feel anxious about interviews. You know you have both determination and self-respect needed to be successful. Thanks for letting us help you exhibit that!

You also know off-the-rack clothing is unlikely to flatter you. Measurements should be taken in your chair, not lying down. They are are important to customizing your jacket and tailor-made pants on our site. A two-piece bespoke suit starts at $260, better value than buying the blazer and trousers separately. Please note we don’t specialize in adaptive clothing.

Here are 4 strategies to draw eyes to your face, so people focus on what you have to say

    • Wear a solid monochromatic suit to add bulk to your torso, if your legs narrower than the rest of your frame. For a less athletic / active person who uses a wheelchair, a jacket with vertical patterns may lessen the appearance of that midsection. We have a large fabric selection. We also recommend peaked lapels.
    • Trousers with broad cuffs demonstrate your attention to detail.
      Overlooking your ankles suggests you’re sloppy and inattentive. If you haven’t always used a wheelchair, note that sitting trousers are 3-4 inches longer than standard trousers. You may want to add 3 inches to a previous length of up to 31 inches, 4 inches for a previous length of 33 inches or longer.
    • A vest can hide your waistline, focusing on your strong shoulders and chest. These physical assets project strength and confidence according to MensHealth.com.

You indeed may use a wheelchair but all job applicants should focus on their strengths, skills, and job related assets. By law interviewers cannot ask you about your disability. Impress them by doing your homework; prepare a functional disability statement. Here are tips from the American Foundation for the Blind.

Again we appreciate the privilege to dress you. Comfort with your character and clothes is significant, so interviewers show you the dignity you deserve. Best wishes during your job hunting!

— The SF Tailor

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