Trends in Adaptive Apparel for Older Adults

It’s that time of year when we’re all digging through our closets for those warm clothes we haven’t seen in a while, and finding that we need some wardrobe updating.

Many older adults’ closets haven’t been updated in some time, and many might have new physical challenges that make their current clothing options far from the right fit. For those older adults who experience difficulty getting dressed, adaptive apparel can make life a lot easier. Adaptive clothes have been modified in some way to make them easier to put on, take off, and wear (For example, an adaptive shirt for women might have velcro fasteners instead of buttons.)  

A fashionable piece of adaptive apparel is the perfect gift for the older adult in your life. So, here are Joe & Bella’s four big trends in adaptive apparel for older adults in 2021. 

Adaptive Athleisure 

Athleisure has become the favorite type of clothes for younger generations over the last several years. For a while, older adults resisted this trend, but many have finally come to embrace a style that emphasizes comfort without sacrificing functionality. Athleisure can just be for leisure! As many older adults have already discovered, Adaptive Athleisure (yep, a little alliteration) can be a fashion and lifestyle game changer.

Athleisure fabric is much softer on the skin than denim and other traditional fabrics, which is one big reason why Joe & Bella carries so many options for Adaptive Athleisure. Gone are the days of overly stiff and fussy clothes. Elastic waistlines, internal loops, and zippers (near ankles and hips) are essential features that make Adaptive Athleisure all the rage among older adults. Check out the mens magnetic button down with a magnetic buttons so you can dress with just one hand.

Another great thing about Adaptive Athleisure for older adults is that the fabric is breathable, providing moisture-wicking properties. And many of the Adaptive Athleisure options on Joe & Bella are antimicrobial, ensuring that a spill or accident won’t lead to an infection. (Best yet, they’re durable, stain-resistant and easy to wash.)

And what guy out there doesn’t love wearing a hoodie!?

Holiday Spirit

Yes, Grandma can still join your family’s “ugly” sweater contest this year! While many of her old sweaters might inadvertently qualify for the contest, try an updated version this season. Joe & Bella carries two wonderful options that are, dare I say, almost too beautiful!  Both sweaters open in the back, so they’re perfect for older adults with limited upper-arm mobility and need help getting dressed. Cats or Gifts, the choice is yours!


Are you digging through your loved one’s closet to make sure they have enough warm stuff? It can be tricky finding the right winter clothes for older adults who spend a lot of time indoors. Layering is the way to go to make sure they’re not too hot while indoors, yet are fully protected and cozy when the temps dip low.

Adaptive vests are a great layering option, as they’re easy to wear and put on, without adding too much bulk. Joe & Bella carries adaptive cardigans and denim jackets that are perfect for this season. 

And for those who spend time in a wheelchair, finding a jacket that’s easy to put on and wear, isn’t that easy. That’s why we recommend this beautiful wheelchair cape (pictured below), which provides all the warmth and comfort you need, without any of the challenges of putting it on. Pair this with a lap blanket, and your loved one will be ready for a chilly winter!


Sure, maybe the older adult in your life doesn’t need a new pair of PJs to wear while unwrapping their holiday presents like they used to. But, odds are they could always use a new pair of pajamas. For those who need assistance when dressing, try out a Johnny Shirt for men or a No-Peek Nightgown for women! They open in the back, ensuring dress ease. It’s a one-piece top that hangs below the knees, like a robe. Older adults love this design. It's simple to wear and never gets tangled or uncomfortable at night, even for restless sleepers.

Dress It Up

Is your loved one going to a holiday or family gathering and wants to show off their fabulous sense of style? There are some great options for adaptive formalwear. Joe & Bella carries beautiful dresses. Whether modern with a chic print or colorful and bold, these adaptive dresses will help her look good and feel good. Joe & Bella blouses come in a variety of patterns, colors and embellishments.

Find the older man in your life a traditional (adaptive) oxford shirt or a simple polo so he can stand out without standing out.)

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