11 Best Adaptive Clothing Brands For People With Disabilities

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People with disabilities and the elderly benefit greatly from clothing designed with their specific needs in mind. Sometimes the accessible clothing options are shapeless rather than elegant. But today, more and more brands are embracing adaptive clothing with assistive technology, which allows people to wear the latest trends while still having access to an adjustable and functional design.

What is adapted clothing?

Adaptive clothing makes dressing and functioning in garments more accessible to people with a wide variety of needs. The disability community is diverse, so designers embrace a variety of adaptive clothing styles with one goal in mind: to create innovative clothing that makes life easier for the wearer. And, now, brands are also focusing on showcasing the personality of the wearer.

The Trail of Dreams is a non-profit organization that works with brands to create “a future of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities”. Mindy Scheier created Runway of Dreams after his son, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, wanted to wear jeans to school but couldn’t find styles without difficult buttons or zippers. She used her design background to create a pair of tailored jeans for him and saw his confidence soar. When the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab spoke with Mindy, she emphasized the importance of designers working collaboratively with people with disabilities when creating adaptive clothing. Her biggest hope for the future is that more and more brands offer adaptive clothing, as this not only helps customers, but also the companies themselves: “Almost 3 trillion dollars are left on the table by not including people with disabilities,” she said.

Examples of adapted clothing:

  • Pants, shirts, dresses or skirts that open at the sides with magnetic closures instead of buttons
  • Shoes that allow the wearer to enter them without forcing
  • Pants cut higher in the back and lower in the front, more comfortable for wheelchair users
  • Clothing with easy access points for medical equipment
  • sensory clothing
  • One-piece outfits

    There’s still a long way to go for the whole fashion industry to be more inclusive and produce more suitable clothing, but you can buy these brands that create fashionable options:

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    1

    Best Professional Adaptive Clothing Brand

    Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive

    Tommy Hilfiger has strived to create a line of professional and stylish adaptive clothing that stays true to the brand’s classic look. This men’s shirt has traditional sewn buttons, but there are hidden magnetic clasps behind the paw for easy donning and doffing. The brand also offers models with Velcro closures. We love that Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive also has options for men, women, and kids.

    • Magnets hidden behind sewn buttons
    • Options for men, women and children
    • Great styles for the office
    • Some styles are sold out in some sizes
    2

    Best Adaptive Underwear Brand

    Smooth chicks

    Slick Chicks does underwear with clasps on both sides for easy dressing for people in wheelchairs or with reduced mobility. The side fasteners allow the underwear to be put on while seated, standing or lying down. The nylon and spandex fabric has a cotton lining for a soft feel and moisture wicking capabilities. Available in neutral tones and plugged, brief and tall options.

    • Clasps on both sides
    • Moisture-wicking fabric with cotton lining
    • Can be stood up, laid down or seated
    3

    Best Adapted Denim Brand

    Seven7 Adaptive

    Jeans are generally designed to look their best when the wearer is standing, which can make them uncomfortable for wheelchair users. Seven7 Adaptive jeans Lower cut in the front with a higher back for a more flattering look and comfortable feel. This style of skinny jeans has Velcro openings on the bottom to accommodate braces and reinforced belt loops so keepers can help with dressing if needed. We particularly like the easily accessible front cargo pocket!

    • Designed for wheelchair users
    • Velcro closures make it easy to put on and take off
    • Variety of options for all tastes
    • Most styles only have one inseam length
    4

    Best Brand of Adaptive Accessories

    FFORA

    FFORA makes accessories that attach to most wheelchairs to serve as a bag, purse or cup holder. Full set features a mounting system for two different bag options and a cup holder with cup included. The brand’s website has a tool to determine if the set will work with your wheelchair model. Some examiners use this set on their rod instead!

    • Two bag options included
    • Attaches to your wheelchair
    • Cup holder and cup
    • Compatible with most wheelchair models, but not all
    5

    Best Kid Friendly Brand

    Target suitable for children

    Target has a great line of adaptive clothing that isn’t frumpy, with designs that won’t hold back playful kids. These Cat&Jack toddler shirts have openings designed for easy abdominal access for medical care. Parents love that they have no tags and are made from a super soft and smooth cotton/polyester fabric.

    • Great brand that offers a wide variety of options
    • Supports a wide range of needs
    • Fun colors, prints and patterns available
    6

    Best Adaptive Footwear Options

    Adaptive Zappos

    Zappos has worked diligently to increase its adaptive footwear offerings. The brand sells some styles individually, so if you need different sized shoes due to orthotics or just need one shoe, Zappos has you covered. Our experts haven’t seen this kind of innovation in any other brand.

    • Great retailer with tons of design options
    • Can buy shoes as a pair or individually
    • Zappos also offers adaptive clothing options
    • Has a variety of brands, so check the size charts carefully.
    7

    Best Adaptive Clothing for Seniors

    Buck and Buck

    Buck and Buck offers clothing specifically for seniors. The clothes are designed with accessibility for user and caretaker, with bright prints and comfortable styles. The brand’s tagline is “we make dressing easy,” and reviewers agree: many say these garments meet their needs while loving the brand’s responsive customer service.

    • The range includes dresses, sleepwear and shoes
    • Velcro closures and easy-to-close zippers
    • Checked and floral prints
    8

    Best Adaptive Medical Clothing

    Kickback wear

    Using athletic technical fabrics, Rebound Wear manufactures clothes that can hold or receive medical equipment. You can shop for your specific needs, including incontinence, surgical salvage, and port/IV access. Reviewers raved that not only did the clothes and accessories meet their needs, but they also loved the sleek look.

    • Ideal post-operative clothing
    • Options for women, men and children
    • Filter by specific medical need
    • Limited clothing size range
    9

    Best Fit Sneakers

    Billy shoes

    Billy Price founded Billy Footwear and designed these shoes when he was looking for an attractive and accessible pair of sneakers after an accident left him paralyzed. The sneakers zip all around the front, so you can put your foot in it without having to put them on. The brand offers a range of colors and styles for both men and women.

    • Unzips all around the front for easy on and off
    • Styles for Men, Women, Kids and Toddlers
    • Inclusive brand in all aspects of the business
    • Fewer color options than other brands
    ten

    The best clothes adapted to fashion

    IZ adaptive

    Designed specifically for wheelchair users, IZ Adaptive offers on-trend styles known for their excellent fit and longevity. Trousers and jeans are especially popular; they offer a size chart included and a seamless back with no back pockets. Reviewers rave that the price is worth the quality and fit, season after season.

    • Sleek and elegant designs
    • Gender-neutral options
    • Size chart included
    11

    The best sensory clothes for kids

    Children’s Special Company

    Made without tags or hidden fasteners, Special Kids Company garments are designed with sensory sensitivities in mind. They offer a wide range of styles for children of all ages, from babies to teenagers. In addition to sensory wearables, this brand offers great accessories like chewies, fidget devices, and bibs.

    • Styles without bulky tags or ties
    • Wide range of options
    • Some reviewers had delivery delays

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    Michael O. Stutler