The Ultimate Adaptive Clothing Shopping Guide
Not just people with disabilities but the elderly as well benefit significantly from adaptive clothing designed with specific needs in mind.
As such, adaptive garments are designed for people with diverse needs in a wide range of styles and functionalities.
In the past, adaptive clothing brands focused on creating innovative garments that made life easier for the wearer.
In recent years, adaptive clothing designers have started to focus on styles, seeking to match the wearers’ personalities.
Nowadays, adaptive clothing with assistive technology enables people to wear the latest trends while enjoying the benefits of functional design.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 17 best adaptive clothing brands on the market and the stores where you can order them right now.
Adaptive Clothing Examples
Adaptive garments are designed with users’ needs and convenience in mind.
Here are some great examples of adaptive clothing available right now:
- Skirts, pants, shirts, dresses, with magnetic closures instead of buttons.
- Self-lacing shoes, and even shoes with Velcro closures.
- Pants with back support and lower cut at the front provide support and comfort to wheelchair users.
- Orthotic-ready shoes, Pica clothing.
- Easy access apparel, dedicated to users connected to medical equipment such as G-tubes and oxygen lines.
- Smart clothes and smart-sensors clothing items.
- Reversible clothes: frontward to backward, inside and out.
17 Best Places To Buy Adaptive Clothing From
It’ll take some time for the fashion industry to become fully inclusive and see all designers creating adaptive clothing.
Yet, some fantastic online stores are creating and stocking trendy adaptive clothing options right now.
These designers and stores create adaptive clothing for a wide range of needs, from adaptive pants and footwear to shirts and adaptive clothing for wheelchair users.
Without further ado, these are the 17 best adaptive clothing brands in 2021-2022.
Kohl’s Adaptive Clothing
Best Affordable Adaptive Clothing
People with disabilities have long endured the struggle to zip, button, tie and snap apparel so that they can start the day.
Kohl’s adaptive clothing holds some of the finest innovations in assistive technology, allowing disabled people with special needs to sport the latest fashion styles.
Best Stylish & Fashionable Adaptive Clothing
For a long time, the fashion industry left people with disabilities behind.
The few clothing options available were shapeless, drab, and closer to hospital garb than anything that could come off the London runway.
“There’s always been this stereotype that we can’t take care of ourselves so can’t be fashionable,”
says Chelsie Hill, a 28-year-old dancer, and model who’s using a wheelchair after suffering a spinal cord injury that left her paraplegic at the age of 17.
One of the first designer labels to create fashionable clothes for people with special needs was Tomy Hilfiger.
The brand’s adjustable hem, featured in the Tommy Adaptive Straight Fit Jean, can be raised to four inches to accommodate someone in a wheelchair or donning prosthetic limbs.
Tommy Hilfiger continues to push for more mainstream brands to tap into the $490 billion that people with disabilities report having in disposable income every year.
Best Senior’s Adaptive Clothing
Silverts has a professional and stylish line of adaptive clothing that stays true to the brand’s innovative look.
The traditional sewn-on buttons are replaced by hidden magnetic clasps behind the placket for easy on and off.
Silvert’s adaptive clothing line is for individuals who need struggle-free and pain-free dressing options- available in various styles with magnets and Velcro closures.
Above all, Silvert’s adaptive clothing line includes several options for seniors, men, women, and children alike.
Best Plus Size Adaptive Clothing
JCPenney was founded in 1902 with one simple rule – to treat others as we would like to be treated.
As one of the U.S.’ most prominent apparel, home, jewelry, and beauty merchandise retailers, JCPenney has a portfolio of quality and premium value brands.
Many JCPenny brands like Liz Claiborne, Stafford, okie dokie, and Worthington are so well known that customers don’t realize they are exclusive to JCPenney!
Best Adaptive Clothing For Kids
Jumping Beans sells adaptive clothing for kids and babies as well as juniors and young men.
The clothing brand is available as part of a trio of private labels providing clothing for people as part of Kohl: Jumping Beans, SO, and Urban Pipeline.
From kids winter coats to underwear, Jumping Beans has the best adaptive clothing collection for girls and boys.
The brand has put together a team of experts in adaptive design for the disability community to ensure clothing meets the challenges and needs of both wearers and caregivers.
Best Women’s Adaptive Clothing
Yarrow‘s clothing style is minimal in nature and designed for people interested in building their own adaptive clothing capsule wardrobe.
Yarrow’s graceful draping is perfect for layering, made for all body types.
Also, the brand’s patented magnetic technology is durable and easy to use on an everyday basis.
Best Adaptive Underwear
Slick Chicks is a personal care line of women’s underwear designed by American Eagle, after the brand expanded its offerings (in early 2020) to include clothing for people with disabilities.
The brand is stylish and innovative; Slick Chick has a patented hook and eye fastener for undergarments easy to take on or offer, whether sitting, standing, or laying down.
Slick Chicks pieces come with side fasteners that allow easier access for people who spend lots of time seated and those who rely on someone for assistance.
Lands End Adaptive
Best Adaptive Clothing Men
Being comfortable is a just-right fit that makes you feel great with your look.
Comfortable is in every winter coat, pair of boots, or turtleneck, keeping you warm and dry in the worst elements.
Being comfortable is U.P.F. 50 protection that keeps you safe from the sun’s harmful rays and planning more beach days.
Being comfortable exists at Lands’ End for everyone, everywhere, and with every wear.
Best Adaptive Activewear
Specializing in designs for post-operative care, Reboundwear’s line of adaptive clothing enables easy dressing despite post-surgery discomfort and pain.
Whether you’re looking for super functional leggings, short sleeve tops, non-skid ankle socks, or a hoodie, Reboundwear combines both style and quality.
Buck & Buck
Best Adaptive Clothing For Elderly
Buck & Buck sells adaptive clothing and adaptive footwear for women and men at home and in care centers.
The site allows customers to shop by needs, according to their motor skills or as directed by their healthcare professionals.
The brand’s slogan is “we make dressing easier,” and reviewers agree; most customers say that these clothes suit their needs while loving the brand’s responsive customer service.
Most items are manufactured in the U.S. Custom alterations, free labeling, and free hemming are available.
Best Adaptive Clothing for Wheelchair
Izzy Camilleri, the brand founder, creates popular products such as high-fashion tops, bottoms, and coats for both seated and standing frames.
I.Z. Adaptive seeks input for their designs from individuals with disabilities and features them as models in their campaigns, including The Perfect Fit.
Best Adaptive Jeans
Stylish pants are some of the most challenging clothing items to find for people with mobility-related disabilities.
Designed with lower pockets and fewer seams to not bunch up while the person stays seated, Seven7 adaptive pants come in formless shapes and colors that satisfy any taste.
Women’s styles include:
- High-risk slim ankle jeans for women.
- Adaptive tummy-less seated jeans.
- Pull-on seated pants with zippers.
Men’s options include medical care seated jogger jeans and jeans with cargo pockets in various styles.
Best Adaptive Clothing Accessories
Six years ago, retailer Aerie committed to stopping airbrushing its models.
Since then, the brand has worked to make its roster of models inclusive, showing different body types, different races, skin “imperfections,” models in wheelchairs, and women with chronic illness and who use an ostomy and arm crutches
But now, Aerie has gone a step further and is offering adaptive clothing and accessories that support all kinds of medical devices.
Part of American Eagle, Aerie Adaptive line including sleeves, waistbands, ostomy covers, insulin pump belts, and cath clips.
Best Adaptive Shoes
BILLY Footwear sells adaptive shoes for toddlers, kids, women, and men.
The brand was launched after co-founder Billy Price had an accidental fall that resulted in paralysis from the chest down.
Vested in finding ways to get dressed more easily, Billy joined forces with friend Darin Donaldson and developed a unique FlipTop Technology for zipper shoes.
The brand has a wide range of colors and styles for men, women, and children with disabilities.
Best Adaptive Sneakers
FlyEase shoes include at least two of three features: accessible open and easy close, step in the heel, and adjustability for different foot shapes and sizes.
The lace-free, FlyEase closure system has an easy wraparound zipper with a hook-and-loop strap which allows a secure fit with one motion.
Best Adaptive Clothing For Special Needs
Zappos is a giant online store that stocks adaptive clothing for kids, women, and men.
The store features fashionable and functional clothing from various adaptive clothing brands.
Zappos sells certain styles and adaptive options individually, so if you require different sized shoes because of orthotics or you need only one shoe, Zappos has you covered.
Best Sensory Friendly Adaptive Clothing
Made without tags and hidden fasteners, the articles of clothing from the SpecialKids Company are designed with sensory sensitivities in mind.
In addition to sensory-friendly clothing items, this brand has excellent accessories like chewies, fidget devices, and bibs.
An excellent brand for distinctive smart adaptive clothing for kids with sensory sensitivity requiring (Velcro-like) closures, adjustable pant hems, snap pants, and similar adaptive apparel options.
The Future Of Adaptive Clothing
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than one in four adults in the U.S. (26 percent) live with “some disability, discussions around inclusivity in fashion continue to heat up.
According to fashion platform Lyst, searches for adaptive clothing increased by 86 percent in 2020.
Major clothing brands like American Eagle, Target, UGG, and Tommy Hilfiger have reacted by launching dedicated adaptive clothing lines.
Adaptive clothing combines adjustable, accessible, and functional apparel for people with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities.
However, the last years of developments showcase more brands’ desire to give adaptive clothing a stylish edge.
People with disabilities are increasingly showcased at significant events and red carpets.
Similarly, a non-profit organization that works to create “a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities, such as Runway of Dreams, is on the rise.
Mindy Scheier created Runway of Dreams after her son, who has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, wanted to wear jeans to school but couldn’t find styles without challenging buttons or zippers.
Mindy used her background in design to create a pair of adaptive jeans for him and saw his confidence skyrocket.
Mindy emphasizes the importance of designers working with disabled people and creating adaptive clothing.
According to her, adaptive clothing helps not only customers but the companies as well:
“Nearly $3 trillion is left on the table by not including people with disabilities,” she explains.
Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these adaptive clothing brands is your favorite and why?
Are there any other adaptive clothing brands you’ve tried and want to add to this list?
Comments below, please!