As we get older, a lot of things change: We develop stiff muscles, chronic pain, and tremors, which make day-to-day tasks like getting dressed a real challenge. One of the ways to make these changes a bit easier to handle is by wearing adaptive clothing. These easy-wear apparel options feature comfortable, easy-access designs that make getting ready a whole lot easier. In fact, many were designed to help people with physical limitations get dressed and lead more independent lives, so they’re truly a great option for those of us looking to simplify and speed up dressing.
What is adaptive clothing? In essence, it’s a type of apparel that features easy-to-manipulate closures—for example, VELCRO® Brand fasteners magnetic buttons—that don’t require as much physical strength or range of motion to fasten. Though these clothing options have been a popular option for those with disabilities for decades, they’re also fantastic for seniors who struggle with self-dressing or caregivers who want simpler ways to handle day-to-day challenges. If you’re looking to overhaul your wardrobe or the wardrobe of the senior in your life, start with the following staples.
The Best Adaptive Clothing Items to Buy or Make
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sink thousands into a whole new wardrobe in order to make your clothing more adaptive. In fact, sometimes all it takes is a bit of craftiness, some sew-on hook-and-loop tape or an appointment with the seamstress to turn clothes you already own into brilliantly adaptive pieces.
On the other hand, buying a few foundational items can revolutionize your wardrobe at a reasonable price, too. No matter if you buy new or retrofit if you want to choose a few easy-wear wardrobe staples to enhance and simplify your day-to-day outfits, start with the following options:
A Pair of VELCRO® Brand Closure Pants – For many, the toughest part about getting dressed is steadying the hands long enough and exerting enough force required to fasten zippers. Selecting a pair of VELCRO® Brand fly pants can help you get dressed quicker without the stress, effort, and focus required of regular zip flies. Some options we love include the Buck & Buck Dress Slacks featuring VELCRO® Brand fasteners at the fly ($53). You can transform any pair of pants into adaptive pants by replacing the zipper with a strip of hook-and-loop tape.
A Magnetic Button Blouse – Both ladies and gents will love this option! We all know that getting those tiny, little buttons fastened can take ages when you’re dealing with stiff hands, pain, trembling, or arthritis. A magnetic button blouse is the perfect solution to the problem and can seriously speed up top-half dressing. The best part about this is that it’s extremely easy to DIY. Simply swap out your typical buttons in favor of magnetic ones to make any top adaptive. If you prefer to buy, consider shopping for tops from the Tommy Adaptive Magnetic Buttons collection.
A Pair of Adaptive Shoes – Trust us, it’s worth the extra money to buy a pair of comfortable adaptive sneakers or dress shoes. After all, shoes are one of the most crucial components of your wardrobe, and they also happen to be fitted with some of the most frustrating fasteners around. Tying your shoes becomes a real challenge when you have difficulty steadying or exerting strength in your hands, let alone bending over. Some of the most popular adaptive shoes out there are found at Zappos Adaptive. There are on-off, easy-closure shoes in a huge selection of styles, options, and adaptive features at Zappos, ranging in price from $20 to over $200.
A Pair of Adaptive Open Seat Pants – Open seat pants are especially useful for seniors who struggle with incontinence, but they can also be used by older adults who just want to make going to the bathroom less of a challenge. They were originally designed for caregivers and are a wonderful option for those who need assistance dressing or going to the bathroom. You may be surprised to discover how many stylish options are on the market in this niche, so don’t be afraid to go exploring!
A Versatile Adaptive Denim Jacket – The key to overhauling any wardrobe is to select super-versatile, multipurpose pieces that you can wear with many outfits through many seasons—and what better option than a denim jacket? Like many other items of apparel in this category, denim jackets can be retrofitted into adaptive wear relatively easily by swapping out the buttons for easy-access ones or VELCRO® Brand strips. If you prefer to buy one brand-new, Tommy Adaptive does offer some great-looking denim jackets that are perfect for style-focused older adults.
A Pair of Adaptive Jeans – Like a denim jacket, a pair of comfy jeans is a staple in any smart wardrobe. You will be delighted to see how many trendy, comfortable, and brilliantly adaptive denim options are on the market. Just take a look at the options in Target’s adaptive collection to see what we mean. These jeans are made with soft, flexible denim so they’re great for those of us with sensitive skin and limited range of motion. Bonus points for the fact that Target’s denim is quite affordable, with some styles ringing up for less than $30.
Embracing How Adaptive Apparel Can Change Your Life
As you can see, there are so many different ways you can integrate adaptive items into your everyday wardrobe. By adding a couple of key pieces, you can make dressing easier and quicker than ever before, even if you feel that your physical limitations are becoming more and more difficult to overcome. These brilliant wardrobe enhancers make you feel more independent and help you focus on what’s most important in your life.
Author Bio: Halle Summers is a Marketing Coordinator for FASTENation Inc., a premier global manufacturer, technical converter, distributor, and designer of adhesive based fasteners and tapes. Halle enjoys sharing her unique perspective and knowledge through her blog writing. When she isn’t writing articles, she enjoys spending time in downtown Charleston, South Carolina and all the amazing food her hometown has to offer.