Adaptive Clothes for Back to School

School girl in wheelchair doing school work

It’s almost time for students to go back to school, which usually means there’s last minute shopping to be done. One of the most exciting things for kids can be to get great new clothes for the upcoming year. However, it can be challenging for many people to find clothes that are easy to get on, comfortable to wear all day, and that match their style. Luckily, there are many features that make clothing easier  to use. Velcro makes closures easier to use than buttons and makes shoes easier to secure than with shoelaces. Adding a slit to the sides of pants or the back of shirts with Velcro, snaps, or zipper fasteners can make it easier to get clothing on and keep it in place while remaining seated. Zippers fitted with pull tabs can make them much easier to pull up or down to use.  There are more and more companies now offering lines of adaptive clothing to meet people’s needs. Here are a few that will offer great choices for fashionable back-to-school clothing.

Kohl’s now has extensions to three of their clothing lines, offering options for everyone aged from 3 months old to young adult. Their clothing features a variety of adaptations including flat seams, 2-way zippers, hook and loop closures, longer lengths, wide necks and hems, and easy abdominal or diaper access. They even have Disney clothing featuring popular characters!

Target’s Cat & Jack clothing line has grown so much over the last three years that it is now one of the company’s largest brands ever. Because of its popularity, designers added in pieces that are wheelchair and sensory friendly. They have outerwear featuring zip-off sleeves, footless pajamas, leggings and body suits with access to the abdomen and diapers, side and back snap or zipper closures, and all pieces are in a super soft fabric comfortable for even sensitive skin. Outside of this line, Target has also introduced adaptive Halloween Costumes this year, including princess carriages and pirate ships.

Zappos is home to 4ward Clothing, created for people who have difficulties with putting on or wearing certain clothes. Their name is representative of their clothing and their mission as it: creates independence and inclusion so you can move 4ward in life, was designed to be fashion 4ward, and is 4ward reversable, meaning they can be turned inside out and backwards. They also have a variety of shoes that are slip-on, easy on/off, and orthotic friendly.

Lands’ End
Land’s End has made adjustments to many popular pieces from their permanent line to make getting dressed easier. They’ve replaced zippers and buttons with magnets that will hold all day and withstand getting washed. They also offer Velcro closures, sensory-friendly shirts and materials, as well as seams at the base of pant legs to easily fit over braces.

Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger was one of the first mainstream brands to offer an adaptive clothing line. They offer clothes for adults and children, with options of many different pieces. There are styles made specifically for wheelchair users, those with prosthetics, or people who benefit from easy-to-open closures.

While these are all offerings in more traditional storefronts, there are many more options available online or in smaller retailers. Some companies also offer one or two adaptive designs, such as Nike’s FlyEase line, which applies a unique zipper system to the back of many of their shoe designs. Wherever you go to get your clothes for the upcoming year, there are many options to fit your needs and style!