It’s tempting to settle for nightgown-type dresses for women when self-dressing isn’t possible, or when buttons or zippers are difficult to manage. Seeking comfort is a laudable goal, but living in pajamas or nighties can be pretty demoralizing, unless you’re choosing to do so as a special treat.
Companies that carry clothes meant for people who have difficulty dressing typically offer sack-like gowns for women, but there really are some better choices. At Buck and Buck you can find muu-muus, if you must have them, but also quite a few more options, with and without adaptive features, that offer much the same comfort and convenience of nightwear, but with out the associated ‘I’m living in bed’ curse.
A few examples:
The snap-back dresses above left look like jumper-and-blouse sets, but are actually made in one piece, which simplifies dressing, and ensures that the coordinates come back from the laundry together. They have a nice contemporary look without sacrificing comfort or ease-of-wearing.
One of my great-grandmothers, a no-nonsense type, favored the fabled floral house-dresses of yore. For more modern women who also like that garden-party feeling, these Laura Ashley-esque sailor dresses might work well. The drop waist makes for lots of ease, and the collars are a little flirty. These, too, have a snap-back for easy dressing.
The appliques on these sleeker, and maybe a little more sophisticated, knit dresses give them a slightly ‘dressed-up’ feeling, but without the fuss. This model is a pull-over style.
Women who prefer a sportier look and the warmth or comfort of pants might prefer something like this velour pant-set. The top snaps down the back, and the pants have 22-inch-long side zippers extending from the waist down both sides.
Side openings like these can make pants a lot easier to put on than an elastic waist. Putting the zippers down the sides not only makes them easily reachable for the wearer or caregiver, but also means that there’s no zipper bunching across the stomach, and no uncomfortable back zipper to sit on.
Less successful, I think, are Buck and Buck’s one-piece jumpsuits. Jumpsuits are a particular challenge, even in the world of high fashion. They’re pretty uncomfortable to wear if they fit well, and if they don’t fit well, they tend to look like sacks. They’re an excellent choice, though, for people with Alzheimer’s or a similar illness who tend to undress themselves at inappropriate times. Buck and Buck’s back-zipped overalls are, I think the best of the lot and a very close likeness to a popular jumper and overalls style prevalent everywhere.
Buck and Buck have an exceptionally helpful website including a useful “Shop by Need” link, as well as a section called “Understanding our Products” along with several other carefully thought-out features. The site’s well worth a visit if you are wondering about adaptive clothing and uncertain about what might work for you or someone you care for.
A refreshing exception to the ‘stiff ‘em if you can’ rule, these garments all cost between $30 and $39 (USD) each.