The words “medical” and “fashion” typically aren’t words you would tie together. However, more and more people who are in hospital beds are starting to want something a little more fashionable than the hospital gown. The alternative solution to the hospital gown is what is called “adaptive fashion”. Adaptive fashion is clothing that is tailored towards people with disabilities and medical conditions, so that they can have an easier time dressing themselves.
Adaptive fashion is a growing industry in the disability world. Many people who have disabilities feel like they have been often-ignored by the clothing and fashion industry. While the adaptive fashion market for disabilities is starting to boom, there is another subcategory of adaptive fashion to pay attention to, which is medical fashion.
Think about it this way, if you are in the hospital after just receiving chemotherapy treatment, you are probably going to have a lot of friends and family visiting you in the hospital, deservedly so. While its hard to be in high spirits during this very unfortunate process, you’ll probably still want to have some dignity during this phase of life. Wouldn’t wearing something that you like make you feel just a tad bit better, especially with people visiting you in the hospital? That is the idea behind adaptive fashion in the medical industry, which is to provide fashionable and tailored clothing coupled with functional snaps, zippers, and velcro, for people who are in these medical situations.
Mindy Scheier put it best, “I bet you have a favorite T-shirt or a pair of jeans that transforms you — makes you feel good, makes you feel confident, makes you feel like you… Clothing can affect your mood, your health and your self-esteem”. Adaptive fashion for people with medical conditions is imperative because every little uplifting detail, even if its just an adaptable blouse or sweater, can improve someone’s health.
See Mindy Scheier’s TED Talk on Adaptive Clothing
Adaptive fashion has to be clothing tailored and designed with taste towards people with disabilities or medical conditions. The two questions to ask yourself if you are someone looking to buy adaptive clothing are:
- Is the clothing actually functional to my condition?
- Is this a clothing product that I would want to wear whether it was adaptive or not?
Before making a purchase, it’s imperative to know that the clothing product is going to make your life easier through functionality, and that it was some style that will make you feel more confident as a person.
To read more on adaptive clothing, read the article: The Complete Breakdown of Adaptive Clothing
Izzy Camilleri, who is a fashion designer based out of Toronto, decided to embark upon the challenge of designing adaptive clothing that has a fashion taste to it. She said it was new territory for her. In the Samaritanmag article she said:
“I can honestly say there is nobody doing what I am doing, the way I am doing it,” Camilleri tells Samaritanmag.com. “There are other companies making adaptive clothing, but 98 percent of them are geared to the elderly and those in long-term care. The clothes look like they were designed in 1972.”
The challenge with adaptive fashion is that there is a limited selection of products. There simply aren’t many fashion-oriented brands that are in this space filling the needs of people’s taste. This is a true niche that has a lot of potential. Stitches Medical is an online clothing store that will be launching a whole collection of items in the Fall 2018 that is geared for people with all kinds of medical conditions.
To see some of the products, or to find out more, visit stitchesmedical.com