The best accessible clothing for wheelchair users

The challenges you may face as a new wheelchair user can feel difficult to adapt to, particularly if the news has come following an unexpected injury or illness. You may feel like you’ve been given a new body, one that can’t achieve daily tasks as easily as it could before, even the little things like getting dressed in the morning.

A lot of wheelchair users find they don’t need assistance with their clothing, but if you or a carer feels you do then there are plenty of accessible clothing options out there to give you back your independence and autonomy. At Karma Mobility, we have created a list of some of the best accessible clothing for wheelchair users to give you the choices you need without having to look far.

Adaptive clothes

Elasticated waist trousers

Elasticated waist trousers are one of the most obvious but easy to find items of adaptive clothing. They aren’t fiddly to get on, you can adjust them to your waist size and they are sold in high street shops.

Many brands already sell elasticated waist trousers like sweatpants, smart trousers and shorts. These can be great options for wheelchair users because of their comfort and ability to adapt to changing body shapes, however in some cases they might not have a high back to them so can be uncomfortable.

Wide shoes and boots

Wide shoes and boots

Certain wheelchair users can struggle with swollen or sensitive feet (known medically as oedema) as well as medical conditions like varicose veins, bunions and contractions that make wearing shoes uncomfortable.

This is why it’s so important to find wide-fit shoes and boots that aren’t tight around your feet. You can find wide fit shoes at regular footwear retailers, but there are companies that design them specifically for your needs.

Take a look at the adaptive footwear range from Able 2 Wear.

Zip Front Wheelchair Jeans

Zip front wheelchair jeans are fantastic for those who love the denim look. They have a high back for comfort as well as a long front fastening zip.

Certain wheelchair jeans will also come with:

  • Longer, stronger belt loops to help pull them on
  • Hook and loop fastening instead of buttons
  • Larger zip
  • Longer leg length so the material covers your full leg when sitting
  • Pockets that are secure when seated

Able 2 Wear have a great range of smart, denim and corduroy Zip Front Wheelchair Trousers

Easy fastening belts

Easy fastening-belts are designed to be fastened using one hand. Created for independent dressing, simply snap the end around your front belt loop and pull to tighten. You’ll be able to secure it using the velcro tabs, and then adjust as you need to throughout the day with ease.

Instead of having a functioning buckle, easy fastening belts come with a decorative buckle that can be moved to the centre, which means they’re great for day-to-day and formal occasions.

Front fastening bras

If you have limited mobility then bras can be one of the most fiddly items of clothing to try and put on in the morning. That’s why plenty of brands like Bra Easy are determined to make life easier for disabled people by designing their bras with accessibility in mind.

From front closure bras and wireless bras to seamless designs and senior bras, their collection is developed to be comfortable, beautiful, easy to put on and free from fiddly clasps.

Velcro skirts and wrap dresses

Velcro skirts and wrap dresses

Velcro is one of the best ways to create adaptive clothing that is easy to fasten and unfasten independently and with limited mobility in your hands. This makes it great if you only have the use of one arm, suffer from arthritis or have another condition that impacts the mobility of your hands.

This is why it has been used by adaptive clothing companies to create skirts and wrap dresses that fasten at the back. The Able Label for example have a wide range of skirts and dresses that are designed for assisted dressing.

Wheelchair waterproofs

Most waterproof clothing doesn’t take those who use wheelchairs into account, which is why finding waterproof ponchos, macs and aprons that cover your legs are essential.

Complete Care Shop stock wheelchair waterproofs that allow you to go where you want in all weathers.

Adaptive clothing in fashion

One of the biggest complaints of adaptive clothing from wheelchair users has been that while it is functional and comfortable, it isn’t always fashionable. Which is why it is so important for adaptive clothing brands and fashion brands to create clothing for people with disabilities that keeps up with the ever changing fashion industry.

Brands like Tommy Hilfiger have taken this on board with their adaptive collection that allows people with disabilities to wear their branded clothing, with small modifications that make the clothes easier to put on.

For example:

  • Adaptive oversized sweatshirts: A traditional oversized sweatshirt with a velcro back.
  • Button up midi shirt dresses: Shirt dresses with trendy patterns that have magnetic closures disguised to look like buttons.
  • T-shirts and jumpers: Crew neck tops come with velcro clasps from the collar to the shoulder that are designed to look like sewn seams.
  • Drawstring trousers: Drawstring trousers, jeans and joggers simply take their original designs and create a drawstring waist. Some designs come with a higher back for wheelchair users.

Shop their adaptive collection below:

For more advice and guidance on how to find adaptive clothing that you love, join the Karma Community by following Karma Mobility on social media.