For the past few months we've been talking on the blog and everywhere Intimately-related about the new adaptive bras we've spent a year working on and developing! The design process has been so interesting and we've gotten a lot of questions about just what makes something 'adaptive'. So, for those that aren't as familiar with adaptive bras or adaptive underwear this is the post for you! Here is your beginner crash course on all things adaptive.
What is adaptive clothing?
Adaptive clothing is clothing specifically created for people with disabilities; this could be a physical disability or invisible disability such as chronic illnesses, but in general adaptive clothing is designed for anyone who has trouble dressing.
Who needs adaptive clothing?
This difficulty in dressing may present itself in a person having trouble with closures (buttons, hook and eyes, and zippers) because of limited hand dexterity, trouble with “over-the-head” dresses, blouses and shirts because of limited shoulder mobility, or inability to wear pants because of uncomfortable seam and rivet placements on the butt for wheelchair users.
There are a lot more nuanced and specific examples and it’s good to keep in mind that the word “adaptive clothing” doesn’t refer to just one type of disability or body function and type, but rather is a general term to indicate that a clothing item is made for people who do not fit the conventions of the clothing industry
How is adaptive clothing created?
Adaptive clothing can be purposefully designed for people with disabilities, such as a button down shirt with magnetic buttons, which was designed with the intent to solve the problems of people who cannot use regular buttons. Other clothing items are “adaptive” for disabled people perhaps without the seller even knowing. “Super soft,” “prewashed,” and “tagless” shirts are great for people with sensory sensitivity and it adapted to their needs. Often sellers do not even use keywords like “sensory friendly” or “adaptive” to market their products, so it can be hard to find.
For example, certain brands have bras that are not adaptive bras but have easy to use closures such as velcro or easy snap buttons. Although they're not designed to be adaptive, they're great for those with dexterity issues. The problem with these is that the company has no idea that they can be so useful for disabled people because there is a lack of awareness surrounding adaptive clothing.
Along the same line, period panties (sold on our site, just got to panties) are not traditionally marketed to disabled women; but period panties are excellent for women who have a hard time changing sanitary products. Many clothing items are “adaptive” in their own right, but aren’t marketed as so. So the term “adaptive clothing” really refers to garments designed to ease the dressing needs of disabled people.