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How we dress is a means of showing our personality and staying positive. For those living with Parkinson's, the struggle of daily dressing can leave many feeling frustrated, isolated and a loss of independence. 

Adaptive clothing can help to manage and overcome a variety of dressing difficulties including cognitive ability, balance and strength. Discrete adaptations to clothes can transform lives, give back confidence, provide dignity and help to maintain independence

The Able Label clothing was created after Founder Katie, saw her own grandmother who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, begin to struggle with independent dressing. The Parkinson's clothing range for both women and men has been designed to provide style without the struggle for either self or assisted dressing and to improve overall daily living. 

Here are some of our top tips for easier dressing;

*click on images to enlarge

Easy Fastenings

Poppers, hook and eye and Velcro can all help to overcome fiddly fastenings like buttons and zips. We find that Velcro fastenings require the least amount of coordination and strength to use, making them ideal for anyone who struggles with fine motor skills

There are many types of Velcro out there, so make sure you look for clothing options that use a high grade Velcro. The Able Label has sourced a premium Velcro that proves easy to open and close, whilst staying firmly fastened when wearing and washes well too. 

TOP TIP* To make your clothes last even longer, ensure you close all of the fastenings when washing to prevent damage caused to clothes or fastenings.

Suggested Products:

WomenswearTabatha Pure Cotton Velcro Short Sleeve Tees

Menswear - James Brushed Cotton Velcro Shirt

Comfortable Fabrics

Super stretch fabrics including jerseys, and viscose with elastane, help make getting into and out of clothes easier as the garment moves with, rather than against you. Stretchy fabrics also give greater ease and comfort of movement all day. 

To keep feet happy and to avoid swelling, choose gentle fabric socks such as bamboo for a soft comfortable fit.

Suggested Products:

Womenswear- Molly Jersey Waterfall Cardigan   Imogen Jersey Velcro Shirts

Menswear - Pete Short Sleeve Velcro Polo Top     Bamboo Gentle Grip Mens Socks

Easy Shapes

Raglan sleeves provide a wider surface area making it easier to get arms into armholes. Wide leg trousers are similar, in making it easier to dress legs into. If you feel the cold, sleeveless capes and ponchos have no armholes making them easier to pop on and off.

Suggested Products:

Womenswear - Blanche Cable Knit Poncho  Palazzo Spot Print Jersey Pull On Wide Leg Trousers

Front Opening Designs

To avoid uncomfortable overhead dressing, fully front opening options, such as shirts and nightwear provide a perfect solution. There are front opening designs, with easier adaptive fastenings.

For women, bras can prove particularly tricky, as they traditionally fasten at the back. Front opening options make it a lot easier to reach and to see how to align the fastenings.

Suggested Products:

Womenswear - Front Velcro Fastening 1020 Comfi Bra    Jenny Floral Front Opening Velcro Nightdress

Menswear - Mark Cotton Long Sleeve Velcro Nightshirt

Fully Opening Wrap Styles

For dressing with reduced movement and balance, wrap styles can make dressing quicker, safer and easier. Fully opening wrap skirts mean that you don’t need to bend down to pull them up and down - simply wrap around, fasten and go! Wrap skirts can also make toileting easier too by spinning the opening round to the back. Fully opening wrap tops and dresses avoid awkward back fastenings.

Suggested Products:

Womenswear - Delia A Line Linen Look Velcro Wrap Skirt   Su Jersey Long Sleeve Velcro Wrap Dress

Colour Coordinated Trims

Cognitive difficulties can make the process of dressing into clothing the right way round complicated. The Able Label has worked with Occupational Therapists to find a solution. There are several items within the range that incorporate colour coordinated internal trims - lime for left and red for right, which help with dressing the right way round.

Suggested Products:

Womenswear - Debbie Jersey Wrap Velcro Skirt

Assisted Dressing

For those who may require assistance with dressing, wrap and back opening styles are best making it easier for care givers to assist more quickly, easily and safely.

For those who spend long periods in a seated position and have very limited movement, a simple opening at the back concealed with overlapping fabric for dignity are best, as they also make toileting easier. Search for seam-free styles such as capes to help prevent bed sores.

Suggested Products:

Jade Floral Open Back Short Sleeve Nightdress   Lilly Luxury Velcro Cape

Extra Tips For Easy Dressing >

  • Dress in a seated position or with the support of a rail or handle, in front of a mirror if possible.
  • Choose comfortable and well fitting clothing.
  • Use dressing aids for extra help e.g. long handled shoe horns
  • Welcome help from a carer or loved one if needed, even if just to lay clothes out ready the night before.
  • Wash Velcro adapted garments with fastenings closed to maintain strength and to avoid Velcro damage.
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    Shop All Parkinson's Recommended Clothing >

    Shop Parkinson's Womenswear Recommended Range >

    Shop Parkinson's Menswear Recommended Range >

    April 13, 2021 by The Able Label Team

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