What is accessible fashion?

Fashion has always been a massive struggle to me, especially when it comes to accessibility. For me, as someone that lives with cerebral palsy. I struggle with fine motor skills. I'm not able to tie up shoelaces, and I struggle with getting buttons done up, as a result to this I continuously adapt and make changes to the clothes I wear to make it accessible for my needs. Accessible clothing can also be trendy, just because it is different than the 'norm' this doesn't mean it has to be boring.

Buttons

Over the years I've always struggled with getting my buttons up on t-shirts and on zippers. As a result of this I try to avoid buttons on pants and on t-shirts all together, but this often doesn't work.

Some of the things you can try is:

  • Going to the tailor and getting clip on or other types of buttons on your shirts and pants if you struggle getting the button through the small whole.

Image description: The same flowery colourful dress is laid on the black blanket, there is a piece of string above the dress with a clip attached to it and the dress zip.⁣
  • You can find material from Spotlight (Australian store) to adjust clothes, this is if you want to adapt clothing yourself. (For people outside of Australia there are similar stores like this, that are crafty, and you can get the tools you need from there.)

  • Purchase your clothes from stores that are specifically for adaptable clothing. This can come to be $$$ (expensive) depending on the product you purchase, there are stores out them purely for adaptable clothes.

  • Look around in clothing stores to find adaptable clothing. This might take a while, but I have personally found it cheaper buying something and then getting it adapted, rather than purchasing pieces of clothing from clothing brands, and clothing outlets that specialise in adaptive clothing.

Shoes

One of the biggest barriers for me when it comes to fashion is shoes. As someone that lives with ataxic CP, I'm not able to tie up shoelaces, and when it comes to nights out, I have to wear either short heels or flats due to my balance. These two things have been a massive struggle to me, particularly because there is a very few clothing brands and outlet stores that sell accessible clothes, whether it's shoes, t-shirts, pants, dresses, etc.

Here are some brands/clothing outlets that I would suggest for accessible shoes:

Image description: Layne has opened up the shoe (looks like an open book). Underneath this is a grey rug, and Layne is wearing pink track suite pants.
  • Billy Footwear – shoes that are modified/re-designed for people with a disability. Around the shoe is a zip, and instead of tying up shoelaces you unzip the shoe to put your foot in. People did say that it was only for people that wear AFO's (ankle foot orthotics) – splints that go up to your legs, but once I got my pair, I found out that it can be used for people with both AFO's as well as the 'normal' orthotics – casting to support the foot, you can't see it as it is tucked into the shoe. If your based in Australia or New Zeland you can purchase these shoes from here. Anywhere else (global store), you can purchase these types of shoes from here.

Image description: Black shoes with strings of pink in them, and purple shoelaces which are coming out. The shoes are on a black rug. ⁣
  • Shoelaces from Millitary 1st – For years and years, I have been looking for shoelaces that I can undo and do up easily. There are specific ones from Military 1st that I used for my sneakers. As an athlete with a disability, I have found it difficult to find Velcro sneakers, and now, thanks to my mum with finding these, I can now wear shoes but with different types of shoelaces on them. You can check out their full range here.


  • Shoes from Every Human – an Australian clothing outlet for people with disabilities. These folks try and supply the best adaptable clothing throughout the world for disabled people. You can check out their online store here to see the full range of accessible shoes and other piece of clothing.


I believe that one day accessible fashion will be more available in stores across the world, but also, accessible clothing will be taught to future and current fashion designers at TAFE and at university.


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, if you like this blog please subscribe to my blog for the latest updates.

Disability             Stories             Reviews             Sport             Cerebral Palsy             My Journey