This is a sobering truth. At some point in life, you will either assist someone with dressing or be assisted with dressing. That is to say, every one of us will someday face a dressing challenge, or we will assist someone else with a dressing challenge. Many of us assume our “someday” won’t come until we’re in our senior years, but life can often bring an unexpected turn.
Meet Paul. In the blink of an eye, an accident while riding a three-wheel ATV left him with high-level paralysis at T3 through T5 vertebrae. Over the course of the ensuing three decades, Paul has become an expert at re-thinking the norm and adapting to new ways of doing nearly everything in his day-to-day life. This includes how he gets dressed each morning. This includes his personal hygiene routine. This includes even how he feels about the clothes he wears.
Paul showed us the jeans he was trying to wear, saying, "I just can't make these work."
We don’t think much about clothing choices until a life-changing event, such as Paul’s, forces us into a limiting and exasperating daily battle. Paul has learned by trial and error that typical clothing often does not meet his needs now. Even the task of simply putting on ordinary clothing when dealing with a dressing challenge can be an overwhelming obstacle. The result can be pain and frustration for both the wearer and the care provider.
When Authored.®, a brand of Narrative Apparel, met Paul a few years ago, we knew he could provide key feedback on our clothing designs based on his own life experience. Paul performed personal testing for us, and his evaluation helped guide modification of the pieces in our men’s line to address common issues where conventional clothing simply doesn’t cut it.
We are grateful for the encouragement Paul has given us over the years to get these clothes to market and into the hands of those who need them. Thank you, Paul. We will keep working hard for you and the many others facing challenges similar to yours so that your life can be just a little bit simpler. A little more independent. A little bit better.