Undergarments can potentially present a lot of issues for folks with a variety of disabilities. Traditional bra clasps require fine motor dexterity to hook, plus shoulder mobility to back-fasten. Even shimmying into a pull-over bralette or stepping into a pair of panties requires a certain amount of physical strength and coordination. Undies can also be a sensory nightmare, which is a significant topic that we’ll unpack in another post. How is one to manage?
The Grail team is constantly assessing our operations and product offerings to make sure that we continue to maximize our accessibly to all. Unfortunately, the disabled community is underserved by the lingerie market, and promising adaptive undergarments are few and far between. For example, although front-closure bras may be the best option available to individuals with reduced shoulder range-of-motion or limited manual dexterity, many higher-end brands don’t like to produce these styles. It’s true that front-fastening bras may not last as long as bras with a traditional back clasp; since they lack the multiple sets of hooks, they can’t be tightened to offset the band stretching over time. Nevertheless, back-closure bras are simply not an option for everyone, and front-fastening bras can allow those folks greater independence.
The majority of the brands that DO design front-close styles tend to stick with a pretty narrow size range. We’ve turned over tons of stones to track down durable styles in the most inclusive size range possible. Our current selections work well for some individuals, but they’re a quirky fit. We’ve got our eyes peeled for additional options. Like everything we stock, we want to love our products so that you hopefully will as well, whatever your unique set of needs! Pictured above on the left is the Cotton Luxe Wireless Front-Close Back-Close Bra from Curvy Couture, which actually has closures at both the front and the back, solving the reduced-bra-lifespan problem. On the right is Montelle’s Lace Racerback bra, a great foam-molded option. Grail also stocks adaptive side-fastening panties from Slick Chicks.
I suspect, and wholeheartedly hope, that we’ll see more variety in adaptive undergarments going forward in the same way that the lingerie industry has slowly embraced other types of body diversity. We’re ready, and we’ll be watching closely for anything new that emerges.