What To Look for When Buying Adaptive Clothing
With limb loss or limb difference, small daily tasks like putting on and removing clothing tend to become challenging. For prosthetic users, it's vital to have easy access to their prosthetic limbs for quick prosthetic adjustments anytime, anywhere. It's good that there are more options for adaptive clothing and footwear.
What is adaptive clothing?
Adaptive clothing is designed for people with a disability or body difference. These options allow individuals to wear and remove their clothing with minimal or no difficulty, helping them achieve independence, better mobility, and comfort without sacrificing style.
Adaptive clothing for people with limb loss comes with various features, including reinforced fabric to avoid the wear and tear of a prosthetic limb, an extra room around the joint, and zipper access to the prosthetic limb. There are also specially designed clothes that conform to a seated position in a wheelchair.
Below, let's take a look at some of the options available.
Adaptive shoes are typically easy to put on and remove. Some can accommodate orthotics, while other brands offer singles for individuals with lower limb loss.
Anodyne Diabetic Footwear is designed for individuals with diabetes who typically lack sensation in the feet. This can make it harder to notice a pebble in the shoe or friction, leading to an open wound. These shoes are designed with features that ensure the utmost comfort and materials to avoid chafing. The shoes also have extra room to allow for foot swelling.
Nike FlyEase is a line of adaptive shoes that lets users enjoy daily life as well as sport. The Nike Go FlyEase provides a hands-free way to wear and remove the shoe. The brand also has a line of hands-free, easy-on-and-off-shoes for kids—the Nike Dynamo Go Lil Fruits.
Zappos Adaptive has various products that help make life easier, such as easy-on-and-off shoes, orthotic-friendly shoes, and single shoes for unilateral leg amputees.
Adaptive clothing for prosthetic limb users
People who use prosthetic limbs may not only need clothing adaptations that aid with getting dressed, but they also have to consider clothing options that accommodate fluctuations in residual limb size. They also need to consider wear and tear in areas the prosthetic joint rubs on the clothing.
Buck & Buck caters to the various needs of people with limb loss. For example, they can modify the sleeve length of shirts and dresses, as well as the leg length of pants. They can also insert zippers into pant legs to give the user easy access to a prosthetic leg.
No Limbits offers pants designed for comfort. Some notable features include extra space to accommodate a prosthetic limb and hidden zippers allowing users to access their prostheses easily. The brand also sells pants made with reinforced fabric to withstand the wear and tear caused by wearing a prosthetic leg.
Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive line makes dressing easier for people with limb loss. Men who use upper-limb prostheses may find ease and comfort with Tommy Hilfiger's Regular Fit Colorblock Shirt with Removable Sleeves. And for women who use leg prostheses or braces, the brand has the Colorblock Denim Jogger, featuring an elastic waistband and zippers along the lower legs.
Adaptive clothing for wheelchair users
Non-adaptive clothing is typically designed for wearing when standing rather than during prolonged seating. This explains why most pants bunch up in the groin area when the user is seated.
Clothing designed for sitting is more comfortable for wheelchair users. For example, pants for wheelchair users typically have a shorter rise in the front to reduce fabric bunching and a higher rise in the back for full coverage. Wheelchair-specific clothing also generally doesn't have lumpy back seams or back pockets for increased comfort.
Alter UR Ego has jeans with pockets on the pant leg thigh, loops to help pull the jeans on, and elasticized back waistbands for added comfort.
IZ Adaptive offers comfortable yet fashion-forward adaptive clothing. They have a wide range of clothing styles, from sweats, leggings, jeans, and chinos to suit jackets, dresses, stylish tops, coats, and capes.
Ministry of Supply has a fashionable line of adaptive men's and women's suit pants designed with the wheelchair user in mind.
Rollimoden is a German brand specializing in seated men's business wear, jeans, and underwear. They also have accessories like hand protectors and wheelchair gloves.
Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive also has a range of seated wear, like the Seated Fit Stripe Signature T-Shirt, which features a Velcro closure along the back length of the shirt. For wheelchair-friendly jacket pockets, the Seated Fit Flag Regatta Jacket might be perfect.
Which of these brands have you already tried? Is there a clothing brand that you swear by but isn't on this list? Do let us know in the comments section!