Former television reporter and radio personality Stephanie Thomas is a disability fashion stylist. She is also the founder of Luvwhatuwear.com, a blog dedicated to providing styling tips & tools for women with physical disabilities. Her involvement in this field dates back 21 years; however she’s lived with physical impairments all of her life. Born with congenital disabilities on her right hand and feet, Stephanie has experienced the frustration of shopping for accessible shoes and clothing. In 2004, she developed a three step styling system that serves as a litmus test for dressing people with physical disabilities. The styling system is based on the acronym APOSH (pronounced EYposh). A is for accessible, and POSH literally means smart and fashionable. Accessible refers to ease of dressing, smart describes medical functionality, and fashionable is stylish clothing preferred by the wearer that compliments their body type. But it wasn’t until 2007 that she became a full time advocate. During the 2006 holiday shopping season, Stephanie stumbled upon an adorable London Fog -like trench; complete with pockets and a belt. This adorable fully functional trench coat was for a dog. As a pet lover she understood the idea of clothing for pets and pet clothing wasn’t new, but seeing that coat sparked a question that still resonates today: Why is there clothing for pets but not for people with physical disabilities, such as wheelchair users? If we can design and retail clothing for pets, why can’t we design and retail clothing for people with physical disabilities? In 2007,while working as a morning drive radio personality, Stephanie packed away all of her clothing and wore pajamas monogrammed The PJ Deejay for 365 days straight. During that year she passed out flyers, delivered keynote speeches, and discussed the PJ Deejay campaign daily on her radio show. The PJ Deejay campaign changed the trajectory of her career, it motivated her to leave the radio and television industry, go back to school for a second graduate degree and become a disability fashion stylist.
Today, Stephanie shares her unique perspective with over 7,000 viewers as a disability fashion contributor for the nationally acclaimed disability news and media site Abledbody.com. Founded by Suzanne Robitaille in March 2009, Abledbody.com has quickly become a trusted voice on disability issues. The site has been covered by many news outlets such as USA Today, The Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. She is also a contributor to Think Beyond The Label; a disability employment advocacy organization.