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Clothing Selection for Elderly

Clothing Selection for Elderly

Nigar Sultana
Head of the Department
Department of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: nigar.kccwc@gmail.com




Being elderly is often not dependent on age, but more on state of mind. When you want to select comfortable clothing/apparel for elderly women and men, then you should consider some requirements of clothing. Select fabrics that are comfortable for the elderly to wear with patterns, designs and colors that are appropriate. We choose fabrics that are easy to launder and wear without the need for ironing. There are men and women in their eighties who is would not consider themselves elderly.

Clothing for elder
Clothing for elder

A esthetically, clothing can serve three functions for the older person,

  1. Call attention to one’s good features
  2. Camouflage poor features
  3. Give a psychologist lift

 Clothing requirements for elder women:

  • Older women may have a sagged bust line, increased waist and hip measurements, and rounded
    shoulders. Therefore, camouflage is necessary; less extreme lines and styles and looser dresses are generally pleasing.
  • Due to change in color of hair and skin, different colors may now be flattering. Designs, which emphasize the waist, are generally not becoming.
  • Knowing the body shape is essential for dressing appropriately for the age. Get in front of a full length mirror and try on all the clothes in the closet. Get rid of anything that is too tight and too
  • In the western country elderly women wear t-shirt, knit tops, matching trouser or culottes, pants, sweat suits, pajamas.
  • For the sleep time elder women use tailor made maxi, sometimes use open front night gown.
  • Follow trends in small doses, do it with accessories such as jewellery and scarves. Wearing a few accessories show that one is still fashion forward but not a slave to clothing trends.

 Clothing requirements for elder men:

  • Choose clothing that fits the body. Buy button- down shirts that fit both the neck and arm measurements, get the pants tailored and don’t wear anything that is too tight or too loose. Avoid double-breasted suits, use sweater, cardigan in winter.
  • Wear appropriate casual clothing. Choose jeans and khakis with straight-cut leg and collared cotton polo shirts, t-shirts.
  • For the seeping time select sleeping dress like trouser and lose shirt, night wear.
  • Great for casual wear, therapy or just lounging.

Some other basic requirements for both elder men and women:

  • Many elderly people have less money, and they may be living on a state pension only so have less to spend on clothing. Clothing will have to last for a long time, therefore.
  • Because of limited income many do not heat their home adequately, so extra clothing will be required.
  • Older people often find it difficult to generate their own inner heat, and so use clothing will be required.
  • Warm clothing is required for going out in colder weather, e.g. wool, hats, gloves, and warm footwear should be worn, as poor circulation can make them cold.
  • Fabric should be easy to care for as elderly do not want to spend a lot of time washing.
  • Clothing should be comfortable.
  • Consider your elderly clothing fits well to the body with waistbands, cuffs and necklines that are comfortable.
  • Choose fabrics that are easy to launder and wear without the need for ironing.
  • Many elderly people have difficulty in dressing because of medical conditions. This can be made easier with the use of elasticated waists, use zipper pulls, snaps and buttons that are easy to grasp, Velcro fastening and the avoidance of fastenings down the back of a garment. Many elderly people rely on clothing made from stretchy fabrics that allow for easy dressing.



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