Hemiparesis, or partial paralysis on one side of the body, can be a result of stroke. Persons with hemiparesis often have difficulties with significant movements in their limbs, which restrict their clothing choices. The selections available to this population are limited to either ready to wear (RTW) clothing, adaptive clothing, or custom-made, locally designed apparel. Although there is currently a dearth commercially in fashionable and stylish adaptive clothing, the area has been analyzed only through the lens of functional and symbolic values while omitting the affordability criteria.
This paper aims to map the current challenges and explores the need for readily available, stylish and aesthetically pleasing and reasonably priced adaptive garments in the mass market that can contribute to improving the customers’ social experience and their self-esteem.
Thirteen female stroke survivor participants were recruited using advertisements through community agencies and support networks. The study used a mixed methods research design consisting of a quantitative questionnaire rating the ease of donning and doffing the garment and semi-structured interviews and qualitative questionnaires. All sessions were video and audio recorded for post-analysis.
The authors suggest that there is an urgent need for the unique lines (or capsule collections) to be designed, manufactured, and marketed by the mainstream retailers specifically for the person with a disability on a fixed income.