Shopping for clothes, getting dressed, and wandering around all day in clothes are all things that many people take for granted, but for those living with an impairment or disability, it’s not quite such a walk in the park. Much like many other industries, fashion isn’t as accessible as it should be, but increasing numbers of mainstream brands are finally tapping into adaptive styles to cater to a wider audience that have been neglected for so long. Finding adaptive clothing is far from the ease that others have merely being able to walk down the high street or buying from top online retailers, so we’ve put together a list of brands who offer adaptive styles and who, hopefully, inspire the next wave of retailers to follow suit.
Last year, Target announced that it was releasing its adaptive line, Universal Thread, a denim-inspired brand that offered versatile pieces and accessories in sizes 00 to 26. Universal Thread includes adaptive styles and sensory friendly fabrics to offer plenty of choice to everyone. Denim sometimes is a cause for concern people who are looking for adaptive styles, but with their flat seams, higher back rises, wider legs and no back pockets, there’s no need to worry. Target also offers adaptive dresses and jackets in their A New Day line.
Zappos is a go-to online shopping destination for adaptive clothing. Offering an impressive number of brands with adaptive styles, it’s a great place to look if you’re looking for reversible clothing, post-surgical pieces and sensory friendly fabrics.
Now technically, Under Armour doesn’t brand itself as one that offers adaptive clothing, but it does offer adaptive styles and tagless pieces using sensory friendly fabrics, making it a perfect option for people who are looking for activewear that fits all of their criteria. You can find a selection of Under Armour’s adaptive range here.
Tommy Hilfiger has undoubtedly led the charge in the luxury fashion market. The designer had originally launched an adaptive collection for kids back in 2016, but expanded to adult lines last year, going by the name of Tommy Adaptive. The collection offers adjustable hems, easy open necklines, magnetic closures, one-handed zippers and more, making for perfect investment pieces for people of all abilities. The women’s line offers loads of options, ranging from shirts and dresses to puffer jackets and crop tops.
Rebirth Garments are something special. Describing themselves as ‘gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability’, if you want bright and brilliant, then you’ve found it. Designed and handmade by its founder, Sky Cubacub, Rebirth Garments came to be based on her experience when she was younger, struggling to find somewhere to buy a binder and not having credit card access to order one online. Sky’s vision is to have Rebirth Garments be ‘accessible to QueerCrip youth’, and all items are completely customisable, tagless, and can be made with seams on the outside. In addition to Rebirth Garment’s website, you can check out their Etsy shop for more styles.
It probably comes as no surprise that Etsy is a great place to go when looking for adaptive clothing, showcasing dozens of amazing indie brands that might just have the perfect piece to add to your wardrobe. You can find all of Etsy’s adaptive clothing here.
Based on some of Nike’s most popular styles amongst their athletes, the Nike FlyEase is Nike’s answer to high performance and easy access. Designed with an easy on-off style, the FlyEase comes with an adjustable velcro strap that attaches to a wrap around zipper, meaning that you can get in or out in one quick zip. The FlyEase uses the same technology that non-FlyEase shoes have, meaning that you can be confident wearing them in sport. Wide size versions of the FlyEase are also available for those who wear a brace or ankle-foot orthotic. Nike UK’s latest FlyEase launch is coming soon, and you can sign up to be notified when they drop, but there are plenty of options available now.