8 Fashionable Adaptive Clothing Items You Need to Know About
Finding adaptive clothing, which is fashionable as well as functional, when you have a physical disability can be tough. We explore some accessible garments in this article..
In Great Britain, around 18 percent of people have some form of disability - a figure which translates to over 10 million people. Whether disabled from birth or through medical negligence, a disability can make simple, everyday tasks a challenge and, for many people, results in a loss of independence.
Making a claim can go some way to boosting this independence, through providing money for rehabilitation and accessible equipment. This can help to afford the adaptations to everyday housing, equipment and fashion required. But what exactly do we mean by adaptive fashion?
Advances in adaptive clothing items, which provide more choice in terms of fashion to offer disabled people, are growing. However, despite the common misconception that functionality is all that matters, fashion brands are taking it upon themselves to change this narrative. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the more fashionable adaptive clothing items you need to know about in 2022.
Adaptive Fashion for Disabled Individuals
Adaptive clothing items are those which are specifically designed to make life easier for those with a disability. They can include practical features, such as one-handed zippers and magnetic closings, and garments which can be put on whilst seated.
While adaptive clothing has been around for a while, there’s often the complaint that, while functional, these garments lack style and the fashion factor. Thankfully, clothing manufacturers are beginning to wake up to this issue, and many are now committed to creating more stylish adaptive clothing items. Here are eight of our favourites:
The Wrap Top
Ideal for discreet tube access and for those using wheelchairs, the wrap top is fun and stylish, as well as allowing for easy dressing by providing long ties which can be tied at the front or the back for extra flexibility. The wrap top is a great example of fashionable clothing which is also practical for disabled people.
Fashion design house, Tommy Hilfiger, introduced an adaptive clothing line in 2016 for children, and has since expanded this to its range of adult clothing. The range focuses on clothing which has practical features to help disabled people dress, while looking like a regular, fashionable item - such as Hilfiger’s stretch polo which features magnetic closings disguised as buttons.
For most people, jeans are a wardrobe staple, however, the hard seams on regular denims can be incredibly uncomfortable for wheelchair users. Forward thinking brands, like Bombini Tribe, have unpicked this problem by creating seamless jeans which have a lower crotch and sit more comfortably at the waist for everyday wear.
For a lot of people, stylish and pretty underwear is essential for making an outfit feel complete. However, for the mobility impaired and those who use a wheelchair, putting on underwear can be exhausting - but not anymore.
Slick Chicks’ range of stylish underwear includes innovative features such as underwear with clasps on both sides to make putting them on and taking them off a breeze, whether standing, sitting, or lying down. A game changer for those with disabilities, the range includes a number of different colours and styles.
The Sensory Hug T-Shirt
As we know, not all disabilities are visible. Conditions such as autism mean that many life situations make the sufferer feel uncomfortable and insecure.
The sensory hug T-shirt contains no labels or flat seams, and provides deep pressure support which promotes proprioceptive input and calmness - like wearing a hug all day long. These shirts work on a similar principle to a compression blanket, and can significantly help make those with ASD feel more secure.
For those with a disability, the putting on and taking off of shoes can be time consuming and frustrating and, in the past, adaptive footwear has tended to be clunky and unattractive. Brands like Voyage have changed all that by offering ranges of funky trainers, which feature a zip which runs down the entire side of the shoe for super easy access.
The Open Side Trouser
Many people who have a disability complain that they find it difficult to find fashionable trousers which are adaptive, both for workwear and for socialising. The open side trouser provides a solution by featuring poppers all the way down the leg which are disguised by a fake seam or placket. Making for easy dressing for wheelchair users, brands such as Etsy offer these in a wide range of styles, colours, and prints to help perfect that outfit every time.
The Magnetic Jacket
Living in the UK, jackets and coats are an integral part of our lives - and one which can be a nuisance for those with disabilities and motor impairments. A number of UK brands such as So Yes are helping those with disabilities to stay warm while looking cool by supplying adaptive jackets and coats. Featuring magnetic zips which can be operated with one hand, many of these items are also available in a choice of right handed or left handed options for complete convenience.
Adaptive Clothing Doesn’t Have to be Ugly…
Whether you’re a fashionista, or simply somebody who doesn’t want to sacrifice style for practicality, the increasing availability of stylish and adaptive clothing is most certainly good news. From sharp suits to loungewear, it’s incredibly important that people with disabilities are able to enjoy the same kind of choice as anybody else. There’s no doubt that the new brands set to emerge in 2022 will be very much welcomed.
2 – 2Goldi, https://pixabay.com/photos/jaffa-jeans-bazaar-store-breech-1608610/
3 – Polina Tankilevich, https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-with-prosthetic-hand-tying-her-shoelaces-5386247/