By Annette Sultana
For me, living with a physical disability and having to rely on others as
much as I do, involves “compromise. lots of compromise.” I like fashion and while I have always done my best to look good, at times I have had to sacrifice style for convenience and practicality. Thanks to Izzy Camilleri
and IZ Adaptive Clothing, compromise is now a thing of the past!
I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a progressive neuromuscular disorder. I cannot stand/walk and have limited use of my arms and hands. Because I use a wheelchair, buying clothes off the rack is very difficult. Although
I’m able to get some tops off the rack, pants are a whole other matter.
The trouble with the conventional design of pants is that when the person sits, the pants go down at the back and tighten around the waist, and the pant legs shorten. The tightening around the waist of standard, store-bought pants rendered me almost non-functional – my already compromised breathing was affected; and I was unable to sit up, which meant
that I couldn’t write, use the phone, etc. without struggling. As for the “short pant legs. well, that’s just wrong!” To make matters worse, I was always big for my age and as a young girl had no choice but to wear conventional stretch pants for ladies.
Growing up, I felt very self-conscious, and struggled with self-esteem and body image issues. To some extent, I still do. As a typical teen, I wanted to fit in. But how could I looking the way I did? Special occasions were a nightmare. My mom did her best to find stylish, age-appropriate clothing for me, but I was always disappointed and angry that I couldn’t wear what my peers were wearing.
In my late teens, I found a seamstress who was able to create a design for pants that worked for me. Finding the right fabric and then having to find a complementary top from a retail store was sometimes a challenge, but I was able to get through university and enter the professional world, looking fairly good.
My seamstress was (and still is) a lovely woman, but after several years, it became clear that she didn’t really want to continue making my pants. She had grown tired of sewing, and despite her reassurances that I wasn’t a bother I felt that she had continued making my pants only because she felt sorry for me. I didn’t like that. I tried many other seamstresses/tailors,
but they usually made a mess and I’d have to go back to my seamstress.
About two years ago, I heard about Izzy Camilleri, a fashion designer who’d started making adaptive clothing for seated people. I was interested, but skeptical that her clothes would work for me. I put off going to the store, but when I finally met with Izzy and saw her designs firsthand, I was impressed and cautiously hopeful. I ordered a pair of pants and when I put them on for the first time, I was astonished. They fit beautifully! I was comfortable and I felt great.
IZ Adaptable Clothing is a line unlike any other. Izzy Camilleri has put a lot of time and thought into her designs. She understands the needs of seated people and their caregivers, and this is reflected in the details.
IZ Adaptable Clothing offers a wide range of apparel including tops, skirts, dresses, yoga pants, jackets, coats, and so much more.
Izzy Camilleri is genuinely interested in making a difference and through IZ Adaptable Clothing, she is.
For more information about IZ Adaptable Clothing, go to: www.izadaptive.com