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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.‚Äč

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