Chronic illness is no fun. If you're here, you already know that.

I’m Julia, and I've been living with chronic illness for more than a decade. My doctors are fantastic, my husband is beyond supportive, my friends are helpful and delightful, and it is still a struggle to get through every single day. This site is here to share the rants, resources, reviews, and ruminations I've created in my time as an angry invalid.

Accessible and Adaptive Clothing (And Where To Find It)

Accessible and Adaptive Clothing (And Where To Find It)

It’s the time of year (here in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) when we’re all thinking about coats. Finding a coat that’s warm and comfortable and attractive isn’t easy; for people using wheelchairs and other assistive devices, the difficulty level goes way up.

The good news is that there’s a lot of innovation going on in the accessible and adaptive clothing industry, and options are wider and more interesting than they were even a few years ago.

An excellent article in a recent Smithsonian Magazine highlights some of the new designs and philosophies in adaptive clothing. Target and Tommy Hilfiger were among the large retailers cited. Zappo’s, the online shoe and clothing retailer, has a broad selection of adaptive and accessible shoes and clothing as well.

A discussion this week on the Reddit group r/femalefashionadvice generated quite a few recommendations for other places to buy adaptive and accessible clothing; the links below are included for readers’ convenience, and this blog will receive no commission, credit, or compensation from any of these retailers.

Kinetic Balance—Based in the Netherlands, this manufacturer focuses on rugged, high-quality clothing for wheelchair users. Jeans, pullovers, and sturdy coats are the line’s core.

IZ Adaptive—This Canadian company offers a broad range of adaptive clothing products, including men’s business wear. Customers praise the clothes’ fit and durability.

Chairmelotte—”Wheelchair couture” is on offer from this Netherlands-based designer. Some very dressy possibilities here, including adaptive and accessible evening wear.

Rollitex—English-language site of a German company with an emphasis on stylish, outdoorsy looks. High-end jeans and jackets would fit right in in Aspen or Gstaad, or at any tech startup.

Silvert’s—Popular with older customers for decades, Silvert’s is worth a look for adaptive and accessible basics for people with manual dexterity challenges as well as those with mobility issues.

Patti + Ricky—A US-based company that curates offerings from many small businesses to create an enormous range of clothes and accessories from classic to funky. Lots of fun options: jeweled cuffs for cochlear implants, snazzy insulin pump belts, tactile jewelry for people who stim, and festive compression garments are among the finds here.

Rebirth Garments—Serving “people on the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability,” this small US maker focuses on fun items that play with the concept of gender norms in a very serious way.

A new brand, Kintsugi Clothing, is scheduled to launch in early 2019, and looks like an intriguing possibility.

Let me know if there are new businesses or sellers I have overlooked!

Photos from; used with permission.

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