As I mentioned when I first started this blog, while I am a fashion design major, my main source of income at this moment is working with a set of ten year old twins. I got this job two summers ago, when I first moved out here with an unpaid internship & needed a job that didn’t require me to pull a five day workweek. I got this job in particular because I’ve spent a lot of time working with special needs children.
The internship ended; I kept the job.
One thing I’ve learned in the past two years is that there is an utter lack of fashionable clothing for children with sensory issues. I mean, scratch that. There’s a significant lack of clothing for children with sensory issues period. That is, children who can’t handle things like a fly front or zipper against their skin. Or fabric that’s too stiff, doesn’t breath right. Too tight, too loose. The complaints are endless. And it’s not just special needs children that have these issues.
Of the few companies that do target this interest, their clothing lines stop at size 7, or 8-10.
This is pretty typical of any company. It’s rare that a company makes clothing for a child’s entire growth into adulthood. There’s a variety of reasons behind that, but it’s usually separated by three or four categories:
• infancy - toddler
• toddler - child
• pre-teen (sometimes)
I haven’t been intensely researching for a very long time, but I have been searching for clothing that is BOTH fashionable AS WELL AS comfortable for A (Robin) and there is really not much out there, especially because A is on the cusp of leaving “child” targeted clothes, and entering the next size up - pre-teen.
What would you do if your child couldn’t wear jeans? Forget about itchy wool, what if your kid couldn’t deal with cotton? You send him to school in sweat pants and a nylon top and it doesn’t match, but it’s okay because it’s the only thing he wears without a fit. Let’s not even get into what you do in the winter, when every coat on the planet is too restricting. that’s fine when they’re little (except it’s not), but what about when they are old enough for their peers to notice this? call them out on it?
how is that okay?
Oh my god. At a time when appearance couldn’t be considered any more important to a child, I’ve found that there’s a significant LACK of clothing options AT ALL for these kids.
I think I’m going to do something about it. Or at least, try to. This is precise the worst time for project ideas to begin to develop, with Halloween and costume commissions, but it is a project I feel strongly about and think will take a lot of time to develop. More time than Halloween ideas. It’s something that is probably more important than Halloween ideas, but I do get caught up in that holiday…. hah.
So…. here we go.
If any of you know any parents with kids they have to fight into clothing, you should get a hold of me. message my ask box or submit, with their email included; also facebook or, if you already have my email, that way works as well. I have a questionnaire for them; soon I will set up an email solely for this, but I’m still working the kinks out on it, however.