Everyone has their sense of style. Adaptive clothing can mean almost anything. What works for one person may not work for another. My clothes are uniquely me. When it comes to shirts, I like to wear polos, t-shirts or jerseys. What I wear for the day depends on where I’m going.
As a triple amputee, I wear certain clothes that work better for my body. For example, I wear shorts all year round. It makes no sense to wear pants because the legs would just drag around.
More and more clothing brands are offering adaptive choices. This is great because in the past, most adaptive clothing came from medical supply stores and they were more for function as opposed to style. Tommy Hilfiger has adaptive designs such as hidden Velcro and magnet closures to replace zippers. Larger chains, like Target, have created sensory and adaptive clothing, featuring designs without tags, zippers and buttons. Zippers and buttons may be difficult for individuals who do not have strength in their fingers. Tagless shirts are great for people who have sensitivity to tags.
Because I live a very active lifestyle, I needed a pair of shorts adapted when I go skateboarding. I found mesh softball padded shorts and brought them to a seamstress. They helped me create a heavily padded and skid proof pair of shorts. If I fall while doing 30-40 mph on my skateboard, I won’t tear up my stumps. I’m very happy to say they have saved my stumps on many occasions! Job well done!
When it comes to adaptive clothing, you can create anything. It’s all about making things work for you. And no worries if there is a little trial and error. That’s okay! It’s how we figure out what works best for us.
About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.