Adaptive apparel has made great strides over the last few years, and we’re starting to see the fashion industry taking notice of the gap for young disabled folks. Adaptive clothing is apparel that is designed with the disabled person in mind. In other words, it’s designed to facilitate the process of getting dressed for those with varying disabilities and chronic illnesses.
The biggest issue with adaptive apparel is that it is often viewed as being outdated and unattractive because it’s commonly designed for the aging population. However, statistically, one in four women have a disability according to a 2016 report. Of the US population with disabilities, over half (51.0%) were people in the working ages of 18-64! That means that focusing adaptive apparel on the 65 and older population misses the mark for all the younger disabled people who yearn for both functional and fashionable adaptive clothing.
Adaptive clothing examples
Some examples of adaptive clothing include:
- Side, back, and front-opening clothing
- Magnetic and velcro closures, and loop grips for accessibility
- Clothing that is designed for medical equipment such as PICC lines, insulin pumps, stomas, G-tubes, and oxygen lines
- Sensory-friendly clothing with soft fabrics, minimal seams, and tagless
- Adaptive cuts such as high cuts for wheelchair users in pants and skirts
Now that you know the basics of adaptive apparel, here are our favorite places to shop adaptive (and fashionable) apparel in 2022.
Places to shop
- Liberare - Yes, us! Our intimates were created with the disabled babe in mind. Out to change the landscape of adaptive undergarments, Liberare’s adaptive collection was created to help disabled women feel both confident and sexy, without sacrificing function. All the pieces are designed for adaptive use, with magnetic 3-way lock front-opening magnets, side opening underwear, and grip loops for people with limited dexterity. After reading this post, come peruse our shop here!
- Target - Target’s adaptive apparel line is designed for not only fashion but functionality. Taking into account sensory-friendly materials and easy-to-use designs, Target’s adaptive apparel clothing is designed for children, women, and men!
- Tommy Hilfiger - Tommy Hilfiger’s adaptive clothing line is one word: beautiful. Designed to be inclusive for all disabled people, their adaptive apparel is top of the line made with easy closures, fits for prosthetics, and requires minimal effort to get dressed. Their designers have disabled women’s fashion in mind when creating these pieces and there are great everyday options when you want to be both stylish and independent.
- IZ Adaptive - IZ’s adaptive clothing line is centered around clothing for wheelchair users. Their adaptive clothing is designed for both standing and seated frames. Seated framed clothing is an important piece of adaptive apparel because often wheelchair users find that clothing doesn’t quite look or feel right for disabled people who have to remain seated. Their designs are both accessible and stylish.
- Seven7 Jeans - Honestly good jeans are hard to find whether you’re disabled or not, and Seven7 jeans are great quality jeansBonus points: their adaptive line is created for both standing and sitting. Their wheelchair-friendly jeans are designed with minimal seams, velcro closures, and soft material to maximize comfort.
There you have it! The fashion industry is just getting started (um, finally), and we’re ready to shake things up. For more content about adaptive apparel and disabled babes changing the world, follow us on Instagram!