Date July 14, 2020
When some people hear the words “adaptive clothing,” their minds may instantly jump to images of sweatsuits and velcro closures. But, in actuality, adaptive clothing—a term used to describe clothing for people with disabilities and medical conditions that make getting dressed challenging—is super chic and stylish thanks to a handful of designers who are raising the bar. Because why should using a wheelchair or medical device mean you have to sacrifice style? (For the record: Sweatsuits are totally cute and comfy, but sometimes we all want to dress up a little).
For people with disabilities, it can be challenging to find the right fit that makes you feel good when both online and IRL stores aren’t exactly packed with inclusive styles; but shopping doesn’t—and shouldn’t—have to be difficult. Slowly, more and more designers are emerging with accessible lines. That includes clothing for wheelchair users, but it can also mean accommodating sensory needs for people with autism, hidden openings for insulin pumps and so much more.
It’s imperative that designers think about accessibility when creating their products in order for everyone to feel good in their fave brands *and* be able to show off their sense of style. Here, a round-up of designers you can turn to for the next time you’re looking for a cute ensemble that fits your needs.
Marta Elena, Abilitee
Marta Elena is the co-founder of Abilitee, a collection with pieces featured by Aerie. Tired of seeing practical yet unattractive adaptive designs, Elena decided to make a brand that is fun and fashionable. Abilitee has cheeky ostomy bag covers emblazoned with “hot shit,” brightly colored catheter clips, and insulin pump belts that look like running belts. She and co-founder Dr. Julie Sanchez made their first design for a young boy who needed an adaptive shirt for his feeding tube. With their medical and fashion backgrounds, the pair decided to expand their designs for diverse medical needs.
Read more at Fashion Magazine.