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Hoping to make a change to disability clothing within the high street, any help would be appreciated

SophieBrockhouse Community member Posts: 3 Listener

I am a fashion design student at Nottingham trent university, I am currently doing a project where I have been asked to design a clothing range for people with physical disability. There is unfortunately a real shortage of clothes for people with disabilities in high street stores and we are aiming to encourage a change, I want to gather as much first hand research as I can to ensure the clothes I design will be trendy as well as convenient and comfortable.
I would appreciate any information you may have about the struggles of finding clothing to suit your needs and also what aspects and functions you would desire to have if you were able to create your own clothing. 

Thank you so much for your time, 

Sophie Brockhouse 


  • salsa66
    salsa66 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
    WOW!!! This would be AMAZING!! I have a 16 yr old who wear mens size small. He is semi-able bodied but has to wear inco pads. It is impossible to buy trousers the right size which will accommodate the bulk of a nappy. The only thing we can buy for him to wear are tracksuit trousers (and often a size big) as they tend to be more roomy and have a drawstring. Sports Direct also sell jeans with a knitted top and drawstring which are also suitable. Apart from that there is nothing unless we want to send him to school in specialist made trousers, which are available over the net, but cost upwards of £65 per pair! Not at all practical for a young man who still 'wears' his dinner etc and participates in painting etc at school!
    Good luck!
  • FeistyFerret
    FeistyFerret Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Sophie,
    I've had real trouble getting clothing to fit my wheelchair body, I was really sporty before my EDS crippled me and my whole body just changed shape.
    I ended up altering my own clothes and now make disability adjustments for many friends and by word of mouth on line.
    There just isn't affordable alternatives out there- especially if your disability means you're unable to work.

    The main changes I make are as follows-
    Cutting the seat out of jeans and replacing with an elasticated  jogging bottom seat. This is for folks like me or para/tetraplegics who have skin tissue viability issues- the creases/pocket/buttons/decorations on standard trousers can cause pressure sores.  Replacing what you sit on makes a huge difference and you can still look good in jeans or smart trousers!

    Adjusting seams for shape changes-
     -widening sleeves and arms for developing wheelchair pushing muscles
    -widening leg seams to allow for a Cath bag to be attached more subtley
    -altering neck,bust and waist to allow for muscle loss and/or weight gain
    -changing buttons/zips for velcro
    -altering dresses so they're still long at the front but you're not sitting on lots of fabric folds.

    If you want me to post photos or you want to chat more I'll check back tomorrow. 

    Good luck with your project, it really seems interesting and worthwhile!
  • SophieBrockhouse
    SophieBrockhouse Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    edited April 2017

    Thank you so much that information is really helpful, especially as I am focussing mainly on wheelchair users! 

    I would love to see any photos you have, or if you'd be able to let me know any other discomforts that can be caused by wearing unaltered clothing so I can work to make changes to designs without having to sacrifice still being able to look good as well as being comfortable.

    Thank you!
  • SophieBrockhouse
    SophieBrockhouse Community member Posts: 3 Listener

    Thank you so much for the reply, thats really useful information that I will definitly take into account! 
    I understand that price can be a massive downfall to specialised clothing and is something this project is really looking to help. 

  • Nystagmite
    Nystagmite Community member Posts: 596 Pioneering
    As a visually impaired person, my main problem is fastenings. Bit bored of wearing t-shirts all the time. But can't wear shirts / blouses because the buttons are too small. Something like a velcro fastening or popper would do. But I've never seen anything like it.
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