IZ tailors clothes especially for wheelchair users. Instead of bunching up in all the wrong places, these pants, shirts, blouses, blazers, and dresses are cut to fall elegantly while seated. The prices compare to those in a regular store, and the designs are pretty sweet.
The clothes, designed by Izzy Camilleri, look a little odd out of context, but look completely normal when in use, unlike “normal” clothes, which not only bunch into uncomfortable tangle, but can get in the way of wheelchair operation. For instance, the menswear collection has a blazer with a cutout at the back. This lets the sides of the jacket hang properly, and the wearer never has the fabric rucking up behind his back.
Other designs are adapted to the body’s position while seated. For instance, the pants (and shorts) have an extended waist at the back. You know how when you sit down the back of your pants gapes open, and if you lean forward it’s even worse? Not with these trousers. They’re cut to fit legs at 90% to the body.
Other features include wrap-around waists for skirts, easy-zip backs on dresses (to make them easier to get into when you can’t stand), no back pockets on pants, and elastic at the back of the waist. One blazer design even zips in two for easier donning and removal.
The IZ brand started back in 2004, when Camilleri got commissioned by a wheelchair user to design “functional clothing that was also fashionable.” The store went online in 2009, and as well as making adaptive fashion, it supports wheelchair users through the Access10 scheme. Ten percent of every sale goes towards building wheelchair ramps in the U.S.
And it’s not just regular designs adapted to fit wheelchair users. Some of the pieces are unique takes on traditional forms that anyone might like to wear. For instance, this denim cape adds a clever twist to the industry-standard jean jacket.
The collection might remind you of other specialist clothing–like how jackets for cyclists are cut longer at the back, for instance. The biggest difference here, though, is that these “technical” clothes don’t look like dorky sportswear. They look like clothes you’d actually want to wear.