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Fashion for people with a physical disability

L12345 Member Posts: 3 Listener

Hi, I'm currently designing a fashion collection for people with a physical disability. I had a few questions as part of my research and would be very grateful for any response! 

  1. Where do you currently shop for clothes and are you happy with the choices you have in terms of shops and brands?
  2. What are the biggest issues you have when you dress yourself?
  3. What types of clothing would you like to wear in terms of aesthetic?
  4. In terms of function, what aspects in clothing would you like to see in a garment? (e.g. pockets at the front of trousers rather than back, magnetic fasteners rather than zips, etc.)
  5. Would you have issues wearing tops with long or big sleeves and maxi skirts?
  6. To what extent does clothing have on your self-esteem and confidence? 

Thanks in advance for your help!


  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @L12345

    Good Evening & Welcome to our online community!!!!

    I will try to answer your questions as well as I can!!!!!

    Hopefully other members will be able to chip in for you shortly!!!!!!!

    1. I shop on line”
    “Due to accessing in & around the shops”
    “I am also house bound” at present.

    2. I currently have big problems with zips & buttons due to my dexterity on my right hand side.

    3. I tend to only wear sports type clothes as shirts gust pull on & off. Tracksuit bottoms are the same as well.

    4. I would love to have no buttons or zips. So better placing or no  pockets. The similar thing with zips please.

    5. I would prefer short sleeve as my right arm is very uncontrollable.
    I had better give skirts a miss as they are a “no no” as they don’t do nothing for the “male population”

    6. Personally I think that the better I dress the better I feel.

    Please please let me know if I can help you further????
  • L12345
    L12345 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi @steve51, thanks so much for the response, I really appreciate it! Yes, I just had a few follow up questions in response to your answers. 

    1. Which online brands do you shop at?

    2. What specifically about accessing clothing stores is difficult? (e.g. space between the rails to move around in, placement of clothing, height, changing rooms, etc.?) 

    3. Have you tried clothing with magnetic buttons or a magnetic/one handed zip? 

    4. Do you think if there were more openings in the garment i.e. at the shoulder (to increase the neckline), or at the back and front, it would be easier to put clothing on? 

    5. It's great to hear that the better you dress the better you feel, that's the aim of my collection. I was also wondering, are you able to wear the clothing you like, or do you find because of your disability, it is not an option to wear your preferred choice of clothing? 

    Thanks again! 
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @L12345

    No probs it’s my “Pleasure”

    1. I tend to stay at the sports shops as the clothing is both easy to wear & very stylish.

    2.Yes space in and around the rails is the biggest problem as I am in an electric wheelchair.

    3. No I haven’t tried either to date.

    4.Yes the more openings the better to be honest.

    5. I have to stay with sport clothing due to “need more than want”

    I do hope that these answers are ok???

    Please please let me know if I can help you further????
  • L12345
    L12345 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi @steve51
    Thanks so much, you've been very helpful! 
  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @L12345

    Many thanks ???

    Please please let me know if I can help you further????
  • Wondermum54
    Wondermum54 Member Posts: 12 Connected

    Survey answers:- I have CRPS in my right keg - toes to thigh, with allodynia.

    1. I use a lot of online options - anything from Next to Amazon - experimenting with styles, fabrics etc.  Due to the appearance of my leg I tend not to wear skirts/dresses - unless they are maxi - but they can be an issue with crutches.   I have been experimenting with wide leg jumpsuits - and some of them have worked out.  Also have to usually go up a size and I need fabrics to be very soft and as natural as possible.  Anything too tight is an issue with  my allodynia.

    2.  Accessing Shops - getting a parking near enough..otherwise energy is wasted just getting to a shop.  Some shop assistants are fab, help with items of clothing and have an accessible changing room/ give honest advice if something looks 'off'.  Others - look past me - to my carer and I find my wheelchair socially isolating.  Reaching products too high or too low, or too heavy can be an issue too.  Narrow aisles and shops with no lift facilities are also difficult, as I cannot use escalators.

    3.  I tend to use clothes with elastic waistbands - or partially elasticated.  I cannot use magnets as I have a spinal cord stimulator.  I do find front fastening bras easier to use.

    4.  Re openings in garments - yes, I think different openings could be useful.  Also my arm muscles have increased since being disabled, so a wider fit arm wise would be helpful as tops often fit everywhere else but are tight across the biceps.

    5.  Maxi skirts - if too full can be an issue with crutches and wheel chair wheels.
         I like a longer sleeve - or 3/4 sleeve - more flattering and 3/4 sleeves are good for not getting hooked up in crutches etc. The looser the sleeve the better to fit my muscles.  Shoe options are a real issue due to fit and sensitivity - so depressing.

    6. I would love to have attractive options to wear - and shops that could cater for us on a whole.  Why does disability have to equal ugly in regard to clothing/shop options - it's as though being disabled means you are not entitled to style.  And this does affect my confidence and self esteem - just one more area in which I feel my disability has robbed me of my independence and 'self identity'.  I used to love shopping for clothes and in particular shoes. Now it is a miserable, usually depressing experience.

    Shoes are a particular bug bear - I am presently trying to get the NHS to make me a pair.  Other than that I have ended up buying two pairs of shoes as my feet no longer match and trying to adapt them myself.  Cobblers will not adapt them - e.g. put in extra zips etc (I cannot bend/push my foot into a shoe and need fluffy liners - socks/stockings are impossible to wear - so winter is a nightmare!), as they say it would 'ruin' the shoe - despite me explaining at length that yes, in any one else eyes maybe - but I need the adaptions so that I can get the shoe on. A so we go round in circles....


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