Adaptive Clothing 101 Part 2: Best Places to Shop Sensory-Friendly
Now that you know all the basics about the world of adaptive apparel from Adaptive Clothing 101 Part I, we’re going to dive into the category of Sensory-Friendly Clothing, and introduce some wonderful companies that can provide it.
If you need a quick refresher on adaptive and sensory-friendly clothing, please refer to the summary in the infographic below! Then, when you’re ready, keep reading to discover several notable sensory-friendly companies, some popular brands/retailers that you may not know have sensory-friendly collections, and also highlight some smaller companies and startups that specialize in providing amazing products to suit all sensory needs.
Notable Sensory Friendly Companies
Here are a few companies that specialize in creating a special product that is either deliberately sensory-friendly, or that align perfectly with many of the criteria of uniquely sensitive individuals.
- A Canadian jeans company that refuses to sacrifice fashion for comfort. Jeans are notorious for not being the most comfortable pants; however, this company proves that you’ll never have to feel a stiff seam, a suffocating denim, or a restrictive waistband in your jeans experiences ever again, no matter which style you choose!
- Primary is an exceptionally innovative sensory-friendly company that mostly serves kids, but has recently launched options for "grown-ups”. The company uniquely uses an “OEKO-TEX” Standard 100 certified fabric, has been extensively tested to ensure that it retains a particularly suitable pH level for the skin. Although the selection for adults is currently limited, they offer wonderfully versatile basics and extremely comfortable pajamas.
- This company's mission is to introduce, quite literally, “soft surroundings” into your life, whether that be via clothing, accessories, swimwear, bedding, or other home necessities. They differentiate on softness and comfort, by choosing the top materials and fabrics in these categories, and special attention is paid to every “thread, stitch, and seam”. At the same time, though, they also pay considerable attention to design, style, and the feeling of luxury you will feel when interacting with their products. This is definitely a unique company that can help fulfill sensory friendly needs in all aspects of your life.
Places/brands you didn't know had sensory friendly lines
There are some popular companies that are increasingly understanding the importance of inclusivity, and are putting out clothes and styles that make a conscious effort to suit a greater variety of needs.
- This popular clothing retailer also has a line of very sensory-friendly jeans. For example, their Ne(X)t Level Stretch denim prioritizes comfort and durable stretch; not to mention, they’re super stylish. American Eagle boasts the branding of a well-respected clothing company, and an incredibly diverse jean selection to suit any variety of needs. Aerie also has a lot of seamless options for bras and panties to look into!
- This popular activewear brand also has something to offer for those with uniquely sensitive needs. They have a huge selection of seamless options that range from sports bras to tanks and long sleeves, which is incredibly important for ensuring that an active lifestyle is accessible and comfortable!
- While Uniqlo does not have specific “sensory-friendly” lines, it has many comfort and function oriented and exceptionally comfortable clothing. The fabrics used in a lot of their collections are often very soft, stretchy, and layerable (can be worn under less comfortable clothing!). For example, their AIRISM and HEATTECH collections are particularly tailored to be layerable, functional, and assist in comfort and thermoregulation, which may be priorities for those with particular sensitivities. A lot of the collection is also tagless and seamless.
Other companies that do not have specific sensory friendly collections but tend to still have lots of clothing that fit the criteria (comfortable, accessible, tagless, minimal seams, compact, durable, etc) include: Athleta, Lululemon, Patagonia, Garnet Hill, and Universal Standard.
Sensory Friendly Startups/Small Companies
- 4Ward designs the ultimate selection of sensory friendly basics such as short sleeves, long sleeves, skirts, and pants that are not only amazingly soft, but also completely reversible. Seams, tags, and textures won’t be a point of concern with their apparel, and they are a small company that sells through third party sellers such as Zappos or Amazon.
Bayou Blend Apparel
- Not only does this online shop create bold and modern apparel and graphic tees (that are very trendy right now), but they’ve also created a brand driven by visibility, inclusivity, and awareness for the disabled community (and autism, in particular). With a focus like this, they’ve been careful to design their clothing with gentle fabrics, special inks, no tags, and conscious seams.
- Here at Liberare, we are dedicated to providing intimates that reflect both style and high functionality. The bras and panties all have fully removable tags, and the most comfortable and reputable fabrics. For example, the Liberare Bra has a soft casing and provides perfect support and flexibility without an underwire, while the Cheeky Tanga Panty has no harsh seams or edges that can dig into your skin, and antimicrobial, moisture-wicking fabric that’s also incredibly comfortable.
As you can see, there are so many resources available for any range of sensory needs, and the number is only growing! There are dozens more than just the ones on this list, and there are an increasing number of companies and brands that are seeing the importance of inclusion of diverse needs and accessibility of fashion for all people.
If you liked this collection, read more ob Adaptive Clothing 101 in Part 3 and Part 4, covering places you can shop for the other types of adaptive apparel! Let us know which of these sites you’re most interested in checking out, or your favorite sensory-friendly brand!