Nov 302011

A blue and white patterned shirt labelled accordingly

Shape buttons from the RNIB

This may not be the best title as blind people do not need special clothing.  What they require is a considered and organised wardrobe of garments which both suit and are functional.  As ever, knowing what you look good in is more than half the battle.

A key issue is colour.  For years, the RNIB have sold washable shape buttons to be stitched into garments to denote their colour.  Everyone has their own system, but generally they should be put in the same place on every item, usually at the bottom on the side facing the wardrobe door as they hang.  More than one button can be used for multicoloured garments.

Easy to wear

To be avoided

By and large, if someone has seen they are more confident with colour and style, providing it is within the aesthetic they know.  Those who are cautious will ensure all their clothes match maybe sticking to a safe palatte such as black, white, grey and blue.  Others will be bolder and welcome patterns and textures.  It is easier if you stick to patterns which are shades of a tone and therefore easier to pair with other garments.  The print shown here which is several blues on a white background is much easier to co-ordinate than the combination of 2 browns, 2 greens and red would be.

Security is really important.  Short hemlines, low tops and garments that barely meet in the middle are to be avoided.  Clothes should remain where placed as the visually impaired do not have that luxury of spotting an awry bra strap or a waywawrd fly in a shop window.  Fastenings should be secure, skirts and trousers sit fairly high on the waist, layers and overlaps should be generous, sizing should be correct rather than hopeful and dignity should be a priority.

Other organisational concerns may be conquered by deciding only to buy black socks or flesh coloured underwear.  Garments can be kept in groups according to a colour palette, eg. palette #1: navy/ cream/ black, palette #2:  red/ white/ blue.   Large print or braille labels can be attached to garments or hangers with clothes pegs to give additional information.