Overhaul for the Long Haul | Felicia

Overhaul for the Long Haul | Felicia

Have you ever felt the urge to overhaul your wardrobe? Was it to change your style, or declutter? For Felicia, it was a necessary step towards regaining her independence.

Felicia became unable to move her left arm and left leg after experiencing two brain bleeds in 2017. While she has currently recovered some mobility after undergoing intensive rehabilitation, she still faces challenges in wearing most clothes independently. Desiring to regain her independence in dressing, she reached out to us earlier this year to help her in her mission to redesign her wardrobe. She knew exactly what she wanted, and worked closely with us to ideate solutions for her various blouses and dresses.


MagSnap

Buttons have always been a challenge for those with limited dexterity – imagine the obstacle posed by a string of them! Felicia had a few dresses with buttons all the way down the front, the top half of which we decided to replace with our MagSnap technology so she can effortlessly snap the magnetic buttons in place.

(above) Photo by Tania Gan / @theleaptoroam.
(above) Photo by Mindy Tan / @mindytanphoto.

For the bottom half of the dress, we kept the buttons as they were since she did not need to use them. They keep the dress in place and ensure that it does not accidentally open if it catches on something or when she sits down.

We applied MagSnap on her other buttoned dresses and blouses as well. She can now put them on quickly, and they still look exactly as she had brought!


Simple Restyling

Another place where buttons appeared on Felicia’s blouse was at the sleeve cuffs, which were very challenging for her to fasten. Hence, we restyled the blouse and folded the sleeves to be three-quarters long, tacking them down to prevent them from unfolding and becoming an inconvenience.

(above) Photo by Michael Sng.
(above) Photo by Mindy Tan / @mindytanphoto.

We similarly tagged the sleeves of her other shirts and dresses which required folding for a neat look. If not, the sleeves would unroll and become a messy inconvenience every time she wears those clothes. Sometimes, even simple things can help make dressing a little bit easier.


Improving Reach

One of Felicia’s blouses was so complex, it stumped us for a few weeks before we thankfully found a solution. It was a collared sleeveless blouse with a button at the back of the collar, which was extremely difficult for Felicia to wear. We eventually removed the collar and shifted it 90 degrees so that the collar opening is now at her shoulder, and replaced the button with a snap button. By improving the reach, she can now access the button much more easily and dress by looking in the mirror or by feel.

(above) Photo by Michael Sng.

The same blouse had arm holes that were too large for her, making it quite revealing. To make it more fitting and comfortable for her, we added an extension piece.


Who Says Zippers Should be Worn at the Back?

Funny story: we discovered the solution to one of Felicia’s dresses with a back zipper when she accidentally wore it back-to-front during our consultation! We decided to keep the zipper where it was but have Felicia wear it such that the zipper was in front. However, the original zipper was an invisible zipper that is hard to pull up as it tends to get stuck whenever it meets a seam. Hence, we changed the zipper to a regular one with a flap to cover the zip, making it look seamless and part of the dress style.


Thinking Sideways

Felicia had another dress with a back zipper. In this case, placing the zipper at the front did not work with the dress style. If back and front openings don’t work, how about sideways? We thus created a huge opening on both sides of the dress using MagSnap (from armpit to waist) and invisible zippers (from waist down). The MagSnap solution made the dress opening much broader, making it easier for Felicia to don and doff the dress. Moreover, since the solution is at the side, the look and style of the dress was not compromised.

(above) Photo by Mindy Tan / @mindytanphoto.

Working Towards Independence

With the clothing solutions, Felicia no longer needs to depend on her family members to help her with dressing and can now dress herself independently.

(above) Photo by Michael Sng.

One thing that stood out to us was Felicia’s efforts to overhaul almost her entire wardrobe for her long-term independence. With each consultation, she brought additional pieces of clothing for us to alter and we saw that to Felicia, independence was not just a want but a need. We’re grateful that we could play a part in her journey to independence, and are rooting for Felicia that she will eventually be able to dress in more clothes by herself even with her physical disability!

Need customised solutions for yourself or a loved one?

Write in to us or find out more about our customisation service here!

Images featured in this blog post were taken for the Photography For Good Exhibition organised by raiSE Singapore and the Photographic Society of Singapore.

 All photo credits belong to the respective photographers as mentioned in the blog post above. Cover image by Mindy Tan / @mindytanphoto.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

  • Our Design Approach | KC

    Our Design Approach | KC

    For this story, let’s start with the solution we ended up with: a wooden board. Yup, it's not the kind of ending we expected either. Nonetheless, we managed to solve...

    Our Design Approach | KC

    For this story, let’s start with the solution we ended up with: a wooden board. Yup, it's not the kind of ending we expected either. Nonetheless, we managed to solve...

  • Overhaul for the Long Haul | Felicia

    Overhaul for the Long Haul | Felicia

    Have you ever felt the urge to overhaul your wardrobe? Was it to change your style, or declutter? For Felicia, it was a necessary step towards regaining her independence.

    Overhaul for the Long Haul | Felicia

    Have you ever felt the urge to overhaul your wardrobe? Was it to change your style, or declutter? For Felicia, it was a necessary step towards regaining her independence.

  • What are inclusive undergarments to you? | Good Design Research

    What are inclusive undergarments to you? | Good...

    This research aims to study the physical, mental, and emotional factors that affect the donning and doffing of undergarments by persons with disabilities and their caregivers. Through understanding such factors,...

    What are inclusive undergarments to you? | Good...

    This research aims to study the physical, mental, and emotional factors that affect the donning and doffing of undergarments by persons with disabilities and their caregivers. Through understanding such factors,...

1 of 3