I find this so fascinating and inspiring….It is not a surprise when we talk about it, but a detail most of us never consider. People with Down syndrome can’t comfortably wear a lot of the same clothes as those without the congenital disorder. The creator of Downs Designs was sick and tired of not being able to buy clothes for her granddaughter who has Down syndrome—not only were off-the-rack clothes uncomfortable, they could even be dangerous with pants dragging on the ground. You see, people with Down syndrome tend to have shorter and thicker limbs, a shorter neck, and shorter stature than those without the condition. Under-active thyroid can cause weight gain and some muscle slackness, and many have a particular discomfort and aversion to restrictive clothing. Add to the physical issues of clothes that don’t fit the slam to self-esteem from feeling perpetually awkward because of what you are wearing, and it takes a larger toll than you might imagine.
Downs Designs has created jeans for men and women that taper at the knee of a person with Down syndrome (typically with a shorter femur, so the knee is higher up the leg) and expandable waist, and different styles for specific body types. They also carry a full-figure, long-sleeve t-shirt for women with raglan sleeves for a better shoulder fit, and what they call “Down Sizing” with a scoop hem, V-neck, and ribbed cuffs. They have had to create sizes and cuts that never existed before, and the result has been rewarding for the company founders as well as customers who finally have someone addressing their fit issues from a place of understanding.
Their mission: Our goal is for people with Down syndrome to have proper fitting clothes that fit their unique body shapes and have style as well. Our clothes are more than just shortening a sleeve or taking up a hem. They fit at the elbows and knees appropriately. Fasteners will be simple to open and close. These clothes are made to fit! We promise that rolling up sleeves and hems will no longer be a problem and settling for uncomfortable clothing because there are no other options will become a thing of the past.