For people with disabilities, everyday clothing can be a struggle. Some wheelchair users have dressing challenges, such as uncooperative limbs, stiffness, or circulation problems. Additionally, staying in a seated position can create issues like pressure problems and sensitivity to seams. For people with sensory processing issues or autism, seams, certain fabrics, and tags can make typical clothing a nightmare as they may find this clothing irritating and uncomfortable. Buttons, zippers, laces, and snaps can make dressing difficult or even impossible for people with limited mobility. For those who struggle with standard clothing, there are brands and stores that carry adaptive clothing and shoes.
Adaptive clothing is designed with the unique needs of individuals who may not have full range of motion, the ability to dress themselves, or who have sensitive sensory systems.
Types of adaptive clothing include:
- Shoes that velcro
- Garments with closures on the back rather than the front
- Front closure bras
- Side closure pants
- Clothing made with special fabrics
- Seamless socks and clothing
- Tagless shirts
- Weighted vests
- Compression clothing
- Zippers and other fasteners that are easier to manage
- Zip-off sleeves
- Footless sleepwear
- Diaper-friendly clothing
- Hidden openings for abdominal access
- Magnet and velcro closures
Brands of Special Needs Adaptive Clothing
- Tommy Hilfiger has a huge line of adaptive clothing. Tommy Adaptive is a classic, American cool collection with innovative design solutions that make getting dressed easier for people with disabilities. Magnetic closures, one-handed zippers, extended openings and seated solutions make style available for everyone. They carry adaptive lines for men, women, girls, and boys.
- Target carries a new adaptive clothing collection design-engineered to fit the needs of more men, women, and kids. They currently carry jeans, shorts, jackets, shirts, and more that are sensory friendly and adaptive.
- Able2Wear is a leading supplier of wheelchair and adaptive clothing based in the UK. They work closely with wheelchairs users, carers and professionals to develop a range of disabled clothing to meet special needs. Every item in their collection is designed to bring confidence, style, and comfort to the wearer.
- Adaptions by Adrian customizes individually made adaptive clothing for special needs. They strive to ease dressing challenges of those working within physical limits, to help make daily lives more convenient and easier.
- Adaptawear designs and manufacturers a range of open back and drop front trousers, open back shirts and blouses, dresses, skirts, open back nighties and front fastening bras. Adaptawear clothes are ideal for arthritis, stroke, parkinson, incontinence and dementia sufferers as well as people of all ages who struggle with buttons and zips. The easy fit clothes are made from quality and natural fabrics to provide maximum comfort.
- Adaptive Clothing Showroom provides clothing and accessories for men, women and children in need of regular or adaptive clothing to help ease the task of independent or aided dressing. Their adaptive clothing has been designed especially for those who are bedridden, a wheelchair user, or with some limited mobility.
- Buck & Buck carries a wide range of adaptive clothing for both men and women, from shoulder snap clothes, rear closure and snap back clothing to adaptive slippers and wheelchair clothing.
- Care Apparel has an innovative line featuring adaptive clothing, senior clothing, garments designed for incontinence, diabetic footwear, nursing home and healthcare apparel, and more.
- Comfort Clothing carries elastic waist pants, jeans and shorts for men to help make getting dressed easier for individuals who have limited movement or dexterity.
- Designed to Care’s adaptive clothing makes dressing easier and more dignified with thoughtfully designed disabled clothing for men and women living with limited mobility.
- Easy Access Clothing can be customized to meet the special needs of men, women, children, and the elderly. Modifications in the clothes support the needs of caregivers and makes life easier for all.
- Independence Day Clothing is a women-and-minority run company drawing from the resources of the fashion, design, special education, media and finance sectors of New York City. They carry adaptive clothing for kids, tweens, teens, and young adults.
- Professional Fit Clothing provides adaptive clothing and accessories for people with special needs and autism. They specialize in adaptive products such as adult bibs, non rip-tear resistant rip stop clothing, elastic waist pants, and more.
- Rackety’s carries a range of disabled clothing and adaptive clothing for children and adults.
- Silverts sells comfortable, affordable adaptive clothing for seniors, easy access clothing, wheelchair clothing, and men’s & women’s specialty shoes, socks and slippers.
- Wheelchair Apparel makes custom apparel for persons in wheelchairs, including jeans, slacks, dress pants, pull-up pants, shorts, sweatpants, camouflage pants, under garments and other related clothing.
- Wardrobe Wagon supplies adaptive clothing for seniors and the disabled, specially designed for wearers who are unable to move freely and who dress with the aid of a caregiver. Wardrobe Wagon’s special needs clothing has back openings with snaps down the full length so arms need only be raised a minimal amount to slip on the garment.
- Zappos carries a wide range of adaptive clothing including easy on/off shoes, sensory friendly clothing, reversible clothing, magnetic closures, and more.