What is Adaptive Fashion?

This is why you should care.

Last Updated on September 27, 2021

After years of people with disabilities struggling to find comfortable clothing, adaptive fashion is finally on the rise.

The growth should’ve come sooner of course, but it’s great we’re seeing a bit of progress.

READ MORE: Introducing Unhidden: a sustainable, adaptive and stylish fashion brand for people with Disabilities

So what is adaptive fashion about and why should you care? Read on for everything you need to know about the section of the fashion industry that’s gone under the radar for too long.

Here's what you need to know about adaptive fashion.
Unhidden Clothing

What is adaptive clothing?

To put it simply, adaptive fashion consists of clothing that’s designed to cater to the needs of differently abled people.

These pieces help people who may be wheelchair-bound, hard of seeing, have sensory issues and many more disabilities to be able to dress themselves easily.

Why do we need adaptive clothing?

It’s no secret that we live in an ableist world, where systems in place have little to no regard for the welfare of disabled people, so it goes without saying that we need adaptive fashion.

While many people may not notice the lack of adaptive fashion in the shops because they don’t have a need for them, the simple details in these clothing items help those who are differently abled immensely in living their day-to-day lives.

What is an example of adaptive clothing?

You may be wondering what adaptive clothing looks like, but there’s no standard ‘look’ to each garment.

Each piece is created specifically so that a person who has difficulty with accessibility can dress more easily. 

Some of the pieces might have velcro closures, or have easy-entry fastenings on the garment’s shoulders, trousers or waists in the form of magnets.

Pyjamas that offer access to medical equipment such as feeding tubes and more are also an example of adaptive clothing.

Nike recently introduced the Flyease sneakers, which were made for people with disabilities. You only need to slide your toes in the gap and press down the heel without the need for shoelaces.

READ MORE: London Lingerie Brand Celebrates #HotDisabledSummer in New Campaign

What is an adaptive shirt?

An adaptive shirt is a shirt that has accessibility features such as an opening at the back or the side, velcro or magnetic closures instead of traditional buttons.

It can also be something that’s made for those with sensory issues; it could be a shirt made with soft fabrics, doesn’t have a tag, or has flat seams.