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If you’ve ever tried to shop for adaptive clothing, or disability-friendly options, you might’ve noticed that style isn’t typically high on the list of design priorities.
Fashion is an important form of self-expression, and it can be frustrating to see style options being limited when it’s possible to achieve something that is both practical and stylish.
What is Adaptive Clothing?
Adaptive clothing is designed to cater to those with a wide variety of needs, including those with disabilities or mobility challenges.
Adaptive clothing offers a unique blend of comfort, functionality, and style. For young adults who want to wear the latest trends, adaptive clothing can provide a solution that allows them to express themselves without sacrificing essential comfort.
The Style- Comfort Dilemma For Young Adults
For those with specific mobility or comfort needs, finding stylish yet practical clothing can be a challenge.
Young adults often find themselves torn between embracing the latest fashion trends and prioritizing comfort. It's not uncommon for traditional clothing to be restrictive or uncomfortable, whilst mobility-first clothing isn’t often described as stylish and is rarely targeted at younger shoppers.
We’ve picked some options that help to bridge this gap.
What To Look For In Adaptive Clothing
Not every piece of clothing needs to be designed specifically as adaptive clothing. There are a few key features you can look for that will make the dressing experience easier and can make clothes more comfortable if you have additional needs to consider.
Loose Fitting Options
Loose fitting doesn’t necessarily mean oversized or shapeless. There are plenty of styles that will allow for more comfort and mobility without sacrificing aesthetic appeal.
Loose-fitting clothes can be a great option to promote better circulation and reduce the risk of sensory irritation. They’re also often easier to put on if mobility is a particular concern.
It may sound obvious, but Velcro fastenings can really simplify dressing and help to avoid strains and discomfort.
Velcro offers a secure hold while being exceptionally easy to manipulate, making it ideal for those with limited dexterity or mobility or for those trying to fasten with one hand or a dressing aid.
There are plenty of options when it comes to Velcro, with bras, jeans and shirts opening up a world of style opportunities.
Wide Legs or Elasticated Waists
Bottoms with wider legs or elasticated waists can be much more accessible than those with traditional fastens.
They provide a relaxed fit without compromising on fashion, allowing you to stay up-to-date with the latest trends while enjoying unrestricted movement.
Bottoms with wide legs or elasticated waists can be much easier to put on and take off offering a greater sense of independence and a comfortable way to buy fashionable styles.
Larger Arm and Neck Openings
Seek out clothing with larger arm and neck openings. These features simplify the process of dressing, particularly when accommodating mobility aids or medical equipment.
While these styles may not be explicitly labeled as "adaptive," they are designed with convenience and ease of use in mind, making them a valuable addition to any wardrobe.
Our Favorite Adaptive Clothing For Young Adults
Of course, we do have a few favorite items when it comes to building an adaptive outfit for young adults.
#1: The Springrose Adaptive Bra
Our top recommendation for young adults seeking adaptive clothing that combines style and practicality is the Springrose adaptive bra.
This innovative piece of lingerie revolutionizes adaptive underwear, and is designed with both fashion and function in mind. There’s no need for unflattering or bulky adaptive bras with this in your wardrobe.
Here's why it's a must-have:
- Fashionable Design: The Springrose Adaptive Bra is both stylish and contemporary in its functional design and this makes it an everyday staple. There are a couple of colors to choose from so that you can really feel confident about the look and feel of the bra.
- Easy Fastening: Dressing should be hassle-free and the adaptive velcro front closure in the bra is flexible to different mobility needs.
- Thoughtful Details: Every part of the adaptive bra has been thoughtfully designed for maximum comfort, from the front adjusting shoulder straps to the padded back closure. As they say, the devil is in the details.
#2: The MagnaReady Velcro Wrap Dress
Dresses can be a valuable staple to any adaptive wardrobe, but finding cuts and styles that are easy to fasten can be slightly more difficult.
Shirt dresses are a good option for an easy fit but buttons can make them difficult for some.
We really like wrap dresses when choosing styles that are easy to fasten and adjust to suit needs. Even better, there are some brilliant Velcro-fasten wrap dresses, like this lovely dress from MagnaReady, which is perfect if you need to be able to fasten your dress one-handed.
#3 Lightweight Zippered Pants
We’ve already spoken on how much of a game changer adaptive pants can be, and they come in such a wide range of trendy styles.
We like these zippered adaptive pants from Joe & Bella combination of comfort and style.
#4 Tommy Hilfiger’s Adaptive Range
Tommy Hilfiger has a brilliant adaptive range that covers almost all of your wardrobe staples. Most of the collection is more widely available in Europe but there are some great buys still to be had.
This magnetic fastened dress is a stylish addition to any adaptive clothing collection.
One thing to be aware of with magnetic fasten clothing is that it can interfere with some medical devices so you should double check if you have a pacemaker or another device that can be impacted by magnets.
Overalls can fasten with a button or with a cord rather than a button, which does make them easier to do with one hand or to just pull on. They come in a wide range of sizes and colors.
If you want oversized, comfortable options that don’t interfere with equipment or restrict movement, these are a brilliant option.
#6 Zappos Shoes
Shoes can be a particularly difficult thing to get right when it comes to adaptive clothing. Zappos have helped out by categorizing their shoes by adaption to make picking a suitable pair more simple.
You can buy easy on and off options, shoes designed especially for comfort and even single shoes.