Karen Bowersox, founder of Downs Designs, created a line of clothing tailored to fit the body structure of people with Down syndrome at her daughter’s request. Bowersox’s granddaughter, Maggie, inspired the tailored fit Bowersox calls, “Down Sizing.” She noticed Maggie’s clothing didn’t fit her frame properly, she told KPTV. Karen searched the market for clothing that was made especially for the unique build of people with Down syndrome, but said that she didn’t find anything.
“The femur [of those with Down syndrome] is so short, so when you have a pair of pants, a standard size pair of pants, they don’t taper at their knee. They can roll up a shirt sleeve four or five times. So many times they look like they’re wearing someone else’s clothes because they can’t find clothes that fit,” Karen explained.
“My daughter said ‘Hey mom, why don’t you make clothes for someone with Down syndrome?’ That was a wake-up call,” Karen told KPTV. “I couldn’t get it out of my head.”
Downs Designs produces shirts, capris, and jeans designed with the body shape and special needs of people with Down syndrome. The company’s Facebook page now has over 72,000 likes. The company’s slogan is, “Special Clothes for Special People!”
The clothing line also features jeans with elastic waists that look nice, she said, because if someone has to struggle with buttons and zippers, “their independence is taken away.” According to Parents, the clothing even features tags sewn inside of pockets to address the sensory concerns about the itchy tag found in most clothes.
“So you see a lot of [people with Down syndrome] wearing sweat pants, so our jeans are not just a pair of pants, they literally can change their life,” she said.
Bowersox recalled a customer who once struggled with getting dressed every morning. The little child fought every morning with her mother over the ordeal. Now, it takes less than five minutes to get dressed without a fight.
The clothing line, which was born from a grandma’s inspiration in 2009, now features a wide variety of clothes for men, women, children, and youth, according to information on Downs Designs’ Facebook page.
This weekend on the Downs Designs’ page, recognition is being given to contributors who helped back the growth of the clothing line. Thursday, Downs Designs mentioned there are plans in the future to create dress pants that can function as school uniforms tailored specifically for people with Down syndrome.
[Image via Facebook]