We asked people what they thought of a range of easywear clothes designed for people living with dementia.
We visited Hayes Café in west London, a friendly and relaxed Alzheimer’s Society group that meets fortnightly, so they could try out specially designed clothing.
The clothes – all from The Able Label and available through our online shop – are intended to be easier to put on and take off, while still being attractive and comfortable.
Katie from The Able Label showed the group a range of their women’s and men’s clothes, including new items from their spring/summer collection.
Katie explained how she’d seen the impact of Parkinson’s on her grandmother’s ability to dress herself, but found there was a lack of stylish easywear options.
A fashion buyer at the time, Katie set up The Able Label to create attractive clothes that are easier to get into and fasten, whether you have physical or cognitive problems, or you need help getting dressed.
The group saw two styles of men’s trousers.
‘Aubrey’ has an elasticated waistband that means you can simply pull them on, as well as an optional zip fly with a velcro top button.
‘Blake’ is a smarter look, with a full velcro fly and hidden adjustable waistband.
Both trousers have belt loops to help when pulling them up or down, which Lorraine said was ‘very clever’.
Rosemary noted that ‘Aubrey’s’ back pockets still have buttons that her husband Keith would find difficult to fasten.
Meanwhile, Keith said ‘Blake’s’ all-velcro fly was ‘very good – easy to use’.
Group members liked the look and feel of the ‘Douglas’ checked short-sleeve shirt. With velcro hidden behind its decorative buttons, Rosie said, ‘That’s a good idea!’
You need to do up all the fasteners for the velcro pads beneath not to be visible, though the top button can be left open. Natalie said you’d do them up anyway, and that ‘for the purpose, it’s good.’
The ‘Hugo’ shirt is smarter and long-sleeved, with velcro fasteners all the way to the top. Group members agreed that pairing it with the ‘Clive’ clip-on tie worked well.
The group liked the ‘Maxwell’ pyjamas as well, with a velcro fastening shirt and pull-up bottoms with a velcro fly.
Katie had also brought samples of three lightweight jackets that they’re considering for their autumn/winter range.
Dinesh found the quilted jacket very comfortable, saying, ‘It’s easy to wear and looks good. Nice fitting as well.’
As with the men’s shirts, the pink floral ‘Becky’ blouse has velcro hidden behind decorative buttons.
Katie added that its elasticated cuffs mean ‘you don’t have to battle with buttons’.
Group members loved the look of both ‘Becky’ and the floral ‘Tabatha’ short-sleeve top.
‘Tabatha’ also opens at the front, so you don’t have to pull it over your head.
'I’d wear that!’ said Lorraine. Julia agreed, adding that the styles are ‘not just for my grandma!’
The two cardigans were also popular – ‘Myra’ cardi with no fastenings at all, and the ‘Moira’ with velcro ‘buttons’ up its front.
People especially liked details such as ‘Myra’s’ split cuffs.
The ‘Deborah’ pull-on trousers are made with stretch fabric and an elasticated waistband.
The ‘Delia’ wrap skirt is also easy to put on without having to balance or see very well, which Kulwant said was ‘very good’.
The group liked the floral ‘Jenny’ nightdress too. It has velcro fastening down its front, once again so that you don’t need to raise your arms to dress.
Value and use
Everyone agreed the clothes look well made, and Brenda thought the prices were ‘good value if they last’.
Katie said they would last so long as you fasten any velcro while they’re being washed.
Rosemary was pleased to hear that there’s free delivery on orders over £75 (excluding VAT)
Rasila said the clothes were great for anyone who struggles with any aspect of dressing, and Eddie agreed because you don’t have to deal ‘with all the fiddly bits’.
Prices (correct at May 2023)
- Blake trousers and Becky blouse – each £49.17 plus VAT.
- Aubrey trousers, Douglas short-sleeved shirt and Maxwell PJs – each £39.17 plus VAT.
- Hugo long-sleeved shirt and Deborah trousers – each £40.83 plus VAT.
- Calvin clip-on tie £15 (no VAT).
- Tabatha top £32.50 plus VAT.
- Myra cardi and Moira cardi – each £47.50 plus VAT.
- Delia skirt £45.83 plus VAT.
- Jenny nightdress £37.50 plus VAT.
As with some other specially designed products, you don’t have to pay VAT on these if they’re for use by a person with dementia – tick the box stating that you’re eligible for VAT relief at checkout.
Visit our competition page for a chance to win your choice of an Able Label nightdress or pyjamas plus non-slip bed socks.
Helpful everyday products
We have a great range of products designed to help people with dementia and their carers to be more comfortable in their homes, while supporting independence and safety.