Most garments are designed to be worn standing rather than for prolonged sitting. For a wheelchair user, clothing designed for seated use can be much more comfortable and functional in everyday life. For example, pants designed for seated use tend to have a shorter waist in the front, which reduces fabric puckering in the groin area, and a higher waist in the back to full coverage. They also typically do away with back pockets and lumpy back seams – or any back seams – for added comfort.
Tops designed for wheelchair use often include snap or hook and loop closures at the back of the neck to make them easier to put on and take off over the head, or they may have hook and loop closures and buckle all over the back, to make it easier. for caregivers to put on and take off the wearer’s shirt.
Here are some examples and brands that have designed wheelchair friendly clothing.
- Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive offers a range of seated clothing, including a Seated Fit Jegging, which is aesthetically pleasing, as well as several options of shorts. The Seated Fit Flag Regatta Jacket has front pockets at the correct height for wheelchair users, and the Seated Fit Stripe Signature T-Shirt has a Velcro closure along the back of the shirt.
- JC Penny Adaptive offers the Mutual Weave Adaptive Seated Denim straight fit jeans for men, which features stretch fabric, hook-and-loop closures on either side of the abdomen, a higher rise in the back with an elasticated back waistband and buckles to help put the jeans on.
- Alter UR Ego sells “jeans for everyone” that feature pockets on the thighs of the trouser legs rather than at the hips, an elastic waistband at the back, and buckles to help get the jeans on.
- IZ Adaptive is a truly forward-thinking line of disability-friendly clothing. You’ll find jeans, sweatshirts, chinos and leggings, as well as fashionable tops, capes, coats, dresses and suit jackets.
- Ministry of Supply offers a stylish range of men’s and women’s adaptive suit trousers designed for wheelchair users.
- Rollimoden is a German company specializing in sitting jeans, men’s business clothing and underwear, and accessories such as wheelchair gloves and hand guards.
Clothing for amputations and prostheses
People who use prostheses may not only need some of the adaptations of clothing that aid in dressing and undressing, but they also have the added challenge of the prosthesis changing the size of the limb at the joint ( especially the knee), as well as significant wear where the prosthetic joint rubs on clothing.
Here are some options to consider for people who use prosthetics or have amputations:
- No Limbits men’s and women’s pants are designed for comfort with soft fabrics, extra room where needed for prostheses, and hidden zippers that allow access to prostheses during the day as needed. They are also strategically reinforced to resist wear and tear caused by mechanical parts.
- Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive offers items that can make it easier for amputees and prosthetics to dress, such as the Men’s Regular Fit Colorblock Shirt with Removable Sleeves and the Men’s Seated Fit Classic Chino, which has internal pull loops for easy access. and Velcro closures for easier access. In womenswear, the Colorblock Denim Jogger has an elastic waistband and zippers along the legs to accommodate braces and prostheses.
- Buck & Buck sells adaptive clothing for men and women for a variety of needs. For amputees, they can modify clothing as needed. For example, the company will alter the sleeve length of shirts and dresses, alter the leg length of pants, or insert zippers or snaps into the pants legs for easy leg access.
Easy access for medical devices
If you use a medical device such as an orifice or feeding tube, garments that have openings to allow access to these devices are much more practical than conventionally designed garments. Here are just a few of the many examples of garments designed to facilitate access to medical devices.
Underwear and intimates
Finding bras, underwear, and other undergarments that have adaptive features while being aesthetically appealing has always been nearly impossible. Over the past two decades, however, various options have appeared on the market that are both stylish and functional for a variety of needs, including difficulties with closures and fasteners, weakness, and other potential barriers to putting on and taking off underwear.
- JC Penny Adaptive offers a variety of adaptive underwear, including the Slick Chicks Front Fastening Adaptive Bra, which fastens with hook-and-loop tape, and the Slick Chicks Adaptive Hipster Panties, which opens at the side.
- AnaOno specializes in bras and other underwear for women who have had a mastectomy or other breast surgeries. They have a variety of bras designed for mastectomy, lumpectomy, flap reconstruction, and other needs. For example, the Molly one-sided plunge bra has non-molded cups, which are designed to ensure the bra sits smoothly on the mastectomy side, while providing support for the other side. It can also be used with a breast prosthesis insert.
- Intimately offers a collection of bras and underwear for women with features such as magnetic and front closures for bras, side openings for panties and grip loops for people with dexterity limitations manual.
- Zappos Adaptive offers a variety of sensory seamless bras, including the Under Armor Seamless Low Long Bra. It also offers bras specific to breast surgery, such as the Anita Lynn Mastectomy Bra, which has removable foam cups and breast prosthesis pockets on both sides.
- Patti + Ricky offers adapted underwear for men as well as underwear for women. To put on men’s briefs or boxers, the belt is first wrapped around the waist and secured in front with a piece of velcro, then the front panel is pulled through the legs and secured at the sides with velcro.
Sensory Clothing for Texture Sensitivities
People with chronic pain and those who identify as neurodiverse are often highly sensitive to sensory input, especially the textures of clothing. Labels, seams and rough fabrics can be very irritating or impossible for some people to tolerate. Over the past decade, however, more and more brands are offering ‘sensory’ clothing, made from soft, tag-free materials and designed to fit comfortably. Here are some examples :