The subject of clothing for wheelchair users


Posted by able2wear:

Generally speaking, specialist clothing has been designed to suit every occupation or pastime when everyday clothing doesn’t suit, but no sector of the community has been so comprehensively ignored as that of people with disabilities of all kinds, for whom ordinary clothes – and for wheelchair users it’s mainly trousers – are quite simply not suitable.

The major retailers apparently haven’t noticed but don’t worry – a small UK manufacturer has, and well-designed clothes are now available online.

It is a fact that clothing cut to be worn standing and walking just does not fit properly when sitting. Trousers are too low at the back, too high at the front, zips are too short for ease of personal care and, invariably, legs are much too short. The fact that standard clothing is not suited to wheelchair wear is confirmed in reverse, when a non-wheelchair user puts on wheelchair trousers and discovers that they are too baggy in the seat, the back is much too high and the legs are far too long. For years patients leaving hospital have been told to wear tracksuit trousers as they are loose fitting. But even they are not cut properly – and how demoralising never to be able to get dressed up and feel smart and look good like everyone else, especially on family occasions such as weddings.Fortunately this is a thing of the past as suits cut for wheelchair wear are now readily available.

Having established that the clothes are cut properly, the next essential is to ensure that fabrics are comfortable to wear while sitting all day long. 100% synthetic fabrics are out. Pure polyester and similar man-made fabrics are non-absorbent and tend not to breathe and therefore become clammy and uncomfortable, especially in warm weather. However, a mix of man-made and natural fibres like wool and cotton offer the best of both worlds – comfort and washability.

One thing wheelchair users must beware of is looking to dress in specially designed clothes from head to toe, as this really is not necessary. The clever wheelchair user cherry-picks wheelchair denims, cargo pants, smart tailored trousers, casual leisures or wrapover skirts – and then goes to the local high street, shopping mall or online – just like everyone else – and buys the latest top-half fashions from the vast range available there. A bit of judicious garment selection – biker jackets, designer T shirts, the latest tops in colours that flatter – and you get the best of both worlds – fashion and fit.

But it’s not all about wheelchair clothes. There are also garments available for people who can stand and walk, but have difficulty in managing things like zips and buttons. A range of essentials such as trousers, shirts, belts and ties that can be managed with one hand means that the wearer can dress and manage personal care completely independently. And people with dementia and their carers appreciate a range of elasticated waist trousers which make dressing and personal care so much easier than struggling with zips and fastenings.

For further information, please see able2wear. or email

Company Profile:
able2wear is the UK’s leading supplier of disability clothing for all ages