These Adaptive Apparel Lines Are Making Fashion More Inclusive

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Photo credit: Tommy Hilfiger

“Fashion for all” is becoming a buzzy statement in the industry and key players, including Tommy Hilfiger and Target, are making garments more accessible for those with disabilities.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, nearly one in five people have a disability in the U.S. That’s more than 50 million individuals who may have difficulty with daily activities—including getting dressed. The apparel industry hasn’t really embraced this demographic yet, since most clothing products aren’t disability friendly.

Tommy Hilfiger and Target, however, have felt the need to address this lack, and each has recently debuted adaptive clothing lines for men, women and children. Apparel pieces are designed to change lengths and some have hidden openings.

Tommy Hilfiger introduces Tommy Adaptive

Tommy Hilfiger is leveraging his designer expertise to create adaptable clothing for men and women.

The designer, who previously collaborated with non-profit Runway of Dreams Foundation on an adaptive clothing line for children, debuted a new range of adaptive apparel for adults—Tommy Adaptive.

The line—which includes 54 versatile pieces—channels Tommy’s classic American aesthetic and contains innovative details. These functional components, like hems that open, magnetic buttons and one-handed zippers, enable people to seamlessly dress—without having to worry about complicated closures or restricting layers. Additionally, the collection’s garments retail from $30 to $129—making designer-quality adaptive apparel affordable for many consumers.

“Inclusivity and the democratization of fashion have always been at the core of my brand’s DNA,” Tommy Hilfiger said in a statement to The Mighty. “These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves for fashion.”

[Read more on how companies are making fashion more accessible: Van Heusen Launches Adaptive Magnetic Clothing Solution for Retailers]

Target expands adaptive apparel offering

Cat & Jack, Target’s in-house children’s brand, is creating apparel for toddlers and children living with disabilities.

Target debuted Cat & Jack adaptive apparel on Target.com Sunday. Created by Target’s design team, the 40-item assortment possesses functional features—including side and back snap and zip closures, and hidden openings for abdominal access—to help children easily get dressed. Key pieces include outerwear with zip-off sleeves, diaper-friendly bodysuits and footless sleepwear. Each garment is also made from durable cotton knits for comfortable body temperature and free range of movement. Cat & Jack apparel pieces are available from sizes 2T to XXL and retail from $4.50 to $39.99 on Target.com.

Cat & Jack’s adaptive apparel follows another accessible clothing milestone for Target. In August, the retailer launched a limited selection of Cat & Jack sensory-friendly pieces. Unlike conventional clothing, the assortment’s garments contained heat-transferred labels in place of uncomfortable tags, flat seams and one-dimensional graphic tees. The new sensory-friendly pieces minimized body discomfort when in contact with the skin.

“We heard from our guests—and members of our own team—that there’s a need for adaptive clothing for kids that is both fashionable and affordable, so we set out to create exactly that,” said Julie Guggemos, Target’s SVP of product design and development. “Since launching sensory-friendly apparel and receiving such positive guest feedback, we’re focused on continuing to evolve and expand Cat & Jack to meet the needs of even more of our guests.”

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