Many people do not know what adaptive clothing is and why it exists. This lack of awareness can be traced to a society in which the disabled remain largely invisible. For example, if you aren’t a part of this community, it would never occur to you that adaptive clothing is something vital for the people who wear it.
Although adaptive clothing is not a necessity to everyone, it may be necessary for people who face difficulties when it comes to dressing independently. Although there’s still work that needs doing in order to include this community more fully into mainstream fashion, some brands have made moves toward including these customers.
Keep reading to discover the best adaptive clothing brands for adults and children. Click on a link below to shop that particular retailer directly.
What is adaptive clothing?
Adaptive clothing is made for people with disabilities who have difficulty dressing independently. This can be because of age, wheelchair usage, level of motor skills—or any other condition that makes it difficult to get dressed by oneself.
Because of this, adaptive clothing is designed with elements that make getting dressed easier. You’ll often find velcro closures, magnetic buttons and sensory-friendly materials in these garments.
If you or someone you know could benefit from adaptive clothing, browse the links for ideas.
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Retail mogul Target has partnered with Cat & Jack to create clothing for kids that makes them feel comfortable, playful and like superstars. The adaptive line includes magnetic buttons, side zippers, abdominal access—and other features so kids can more easily try for independence or to make clothing easier for caretakers to put clothing on or off a child.
Tommy Hilfiger's Adaptive was created with one goal in mind: “to deliver classic, American cool style with innovative design twists that make getting dressed easier for everyone.” The brand offers styles for men, women and children.
You can shop by user or solution—for example, easy closures for seated wear.
BILLY Footwear was founded by Billy Price, and he created the company after breaking his neck from a three-story fall. As a result of this injury, he became paralyzed from the chest down; however this did not stop him from innovating ways to successfully get dressed every day.
But shoes presented a special challenge for Billy, couldn't find any that were both fashionable and comfortable. So now many of the styles featured have Velcro straps, wide sizes and zippers with loops—all designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to put their foot into them.
Seven7 jeans are stylish and adaptive, with features such as faux front zippers, minimal seaming in addition to velcro fastenings. Each pair offers something different for example soft stretch denim or no back pockets.
Zappos.com's Adaptive line helps people with disabilities get the shoes they need—by allowing shoppers to purchase one single shoe that fits either foot, or create their own pair of differently sized shoes.
Slick Chicks undergarments are designed with women's comfort in mind, as they feature side fasteners that allow for easy entry and exit of clothing. The Slick Chicks undies even use a special material to ensure softness and stretchiness—as well as antimicrobial properties.
“We recognize that a little ease goes a long way,” states the Kohl’s website. “That’s why we’re happy to offer adaptive designs from a few of your favorite brands.” Kohl’s Adaptive line can be browsed by gender, age or need—for example, abdominal access (does the item have a hole in it for an ostomy bag?), diaper-friendly (can one use this product with infant diapers?), seated comfort (“feels good when sitting”), easy dressing or sensory friendly.
By offering adaptive clothing for all members of the family, JCPenney makes it possible to shop easily. Their items are made with sensory friendly materials and include easy on/off options as well as adjustable features and hidden access openings.
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