A Trend Worth Watching: Accessible and Adaptive Fashion

A shirt, thread, buttons and other sewing materials against a bright blue backdropIs it just me, or have you noticed a trend in “adaptive fashion” lately? It seems more and more stylish apparel is being designed for a variety of audiences:

  • People with disabilities
  • People who have suffered an injury
  • Patients undergoing various medical treatments
  • People with sensory issues who need clothing made of extra-soft materials
  • Older adults.

After hosting a Thrive disability and fashion chat in 2016 about what it means to be a fashionista in a society that doesn’t always consider the accessibility of clothing and style, Erin Hawley posted a blog here urging designers to consider accessibility as an integral part of their design process, and you know what? The designers listened.

I wrote a post here last year when Tommy Hilfiger made fashion history by launching Tommy Adaptive, the first mainstream adaptive collection of clothing. Since then I’ve read stories in print and social media about retail stores like Target and Macy’s offering adaptive clothing, and just this past weekend, A Place For Mom published a blog post called New Family Caregivers Guide to Adaptive Clothingit’s stock full of information about designers specializing in adaptive clothing, what’s available off the rack (everything from magnetic closure button-down shirts to soft jeans with pockets easy for wheelchair users to reach), how to find patterns to sew at home, resources for altering the clothes on hand to make them more adaptive and what kinds of tools can make dressing easier. Being blind, my only major problem with dressing is confirming that the clothes I am wearing match. After reading this guide, though, I’m thinking of investing in a jean jacket with magnetic closures. That just sounds cool!


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  1. Alexander Says:

    Hey! I have honestly not heard much about fashion being designed specifically for injured or disabled people, but more so riot shields and the like, haha!


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