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Upper Body Dressing Tips

Simple actions like dressing may be more difficult following injury or surgery. Follow the tips below when you dress and undress your upper body.

  • Gather all your clothes and dressing equipment. Be sure to put them in easy reach.
  • If you have trouble with buttons or zippers on your clothes, use a button hook or a zipper pull.
  • It’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • For safety and to conserve energy, sit while you dress and undress.
  • Be sure to follow any surgical or medical precautions from your doctor or therapist when you dress or undress.
  • Always dress your affected (weaker) arm first.
  • If both arms are affected, put your arms into the garment first, and then pull it over your head.
  • Before you put on a shirt, blouse, sweater, or jacket with buttons, pre-button the bottom of the garment. Then pull the garment over your head.
  • If you must button a shirt or blouse while you have it on, button from the bottom and move up.
  • Always undress your unaffected (stronger) arm first.
  • When you undress, grasp clothing at the neckline, and then pull it over your head.

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