People who have Down Syndrome have certain body features and characteristics in common. They tend to be a bit shorter than typical and have a wider build. Also, short arms, higher knees and a rounded tummy. As you can imagine finding clothes to fit “just right” proves to be a bit of a challenge.
I personally have heard older men and women with down syndrome complain about having to shop in the kids section, forced to look for “husky” clothes that are often too long and don’t fit right. No teen wants to shop in the kids section!
The truth is, finding clothes to fit perfectly will probably always be a challenge. With Down Syndrome affecting only about 400,000 people in the United States it’s far from lucrative for the fashion industry, so where does this leave us?
Ashley by Design was started by Ashley DaRamus (a former Special Olympian!) and her mother and they design very fashionable clothing that not only fit proportionately but they have ruffles and patterns to hid that rounded torso. Ashley’s goal is for everyone to be able to choose clothing that they look good and are comfortable in.
Proceeds from clothing sales go to The Ashely DaRemus Foundation – which, from their description “was founded for and dedicated to the education, advancement and quality life-style of children and adults with Down syndrome. Through the work of Ashley and the foundation, our goal is to increase the awareness and enlighten others about the rewards and positive contributions we make.”
Her clothing really is very stylish and pretty, you can find more information on her FaceBook page.
Down’s Designs was started by a grandmother as she watched her daughter struggle to find clothing to fit her granddaughter.
The clothing from Down’s Designs is made from soft stretchy fabric and they can all be hemmed to fit the individuals limb length. Knowing that many people with Down Syndrome have lower motor function, Down’s Designs have great jeans that look like that have buttons and zippers but they don’t! This is so great for children to gain confidence knowing they can dress and undress themselves, and they look good doing it!
More information about Down’s Designs can be found at this Huffington Post article. And on their website, there are oodles of media references there. AWESOME! Down’s Designs has a larger following, here is their FaceBook page.