Navigate Up
Skip Navigation Links.
Collapse Patient Education MaterialsPatient Education Materials
Expand Back SurgeryBack Surgery
Expand Behavioral HealthBehavioral Health
Expand Breathing DisordersBreathing Disorders
Expand Cancer: MiscellaneousCancer: Miscellaneous
Expand CardiologyCardiology
Expand Cardiology DrugsCardiology Drugs
Expand Catheters, Drains, and PortsCatheters, Drains, and Ports
Expand ContraceptionContraception
Expand DiabetesDiabetes
Expand Eye CareEye Care
Expand FluFlu
Expand GastrointestinalGastrointestinal
Expand Infection ControlInfection Control
Expand Infectious DiseasesInfectious Diseases
Expand LiverLiver
Expand Men's HealthMen's Health
Expand MiscellaneousMiscellaneous
Expand Neurology/NeurosurgeryNeurology/Neurosurgery
Expand Nutrition and DietNutrition and Diet
Expand Older Adults & CaregiversOlder Adults & Caregivers
Expand OrthopaedicsOrthopaedics
Expand Ostomy CareOstomy Care
Expand OtolaryngologyOtolaryngology
Expand Pain ControlPain Control
Expand Pregnancy and ChildbirthPregnancy and Childbirth
Collapse RehabilitationRehabilitation
Expand Safety TipsSafety Tips
Expand Sexually Transmitted DiseasesSexually Transmitted Diseases
Expand SkinSkin
Expand SmokingSmoking
Expand SurgerySurgery
Expand Women's HealthWomen's Health

Lower Body Dressing: Skirt, Pants, and Underwear

It may be hard to dress and undress after you are injured or have surgery. This sheet tells you how to put clothes on and take clothes off your lower body. Follow these guidelines to put on and take off skirts, pants, and underwear.


  • Gather your clothes, dressing aids, and walker. Place them within easy reach.
  • Choose clothes that fit loosely.
  • Put on your socks and shoes before you stand to pull clothing over your hips. Also have your clothing pulled above your knees before you stand.
  • Total hip replacement: When you stand to adjust your clothing, put only as much weight as your doctor allows on your affected (weaker) leg. Keep to your weight-bearing status as instructed.
  • Total hip replacement: Always follow your hip precautions as instructed.

How to put clothes on

  1. Lay out your skirt, pants, or underwear as you normally would.
  2. Sit down. Use the reacher to pinch the waist of the garment.
  3. Lower the garment to the floor. First, slip it over the affected (weaker) leg. Then slip it over the other (stronger) leg.
  4. Use the reacher to pull the garment up and over your knees (see figure at right).
  5. Stand up, with your walker in front of you. Be sure to keep your balance.
  6. Pull the garment over your hips.
  7. Sit down to button or zip the garment.

How to take clothes off

  1. Sit down to unbutton or unzip your garment.
  2. Stand up, with your walker in front of you. Be sure to keep your balance (see figure at right).
  3. Pull the garment down over your hips.
  4. Then push the garment down and over your knees.
  5. Sit down.
  6. Lower the garment to the floor. Slip it over the weaker leg first. Then slip it over your stronger leg.
  7. Use the reacher to pinch the waist of the garment. Then remove it completely.

Note: Your therapist may tell you other ways to dress and undress, based on your needs.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA