We listened to the comments by the parents; we heard what they had to say about the challenges of finding clothes. We listened to what they didn’t like about our jeans, too. The one thing we noticed a lot was how some of our volunteers pushed the waistbands down under their bellies when they put on the jeans and their parents told us that they wore all their pants like that.
Seeing how often this happened, we thought this might be a sensory issue, that some of these people didn’t like having anything around their waists. So Jillian and I decided to try to create a style just for them. We decided to call them our “Dip Downs”. We thought we could design a pair of jeans with a full elastic waistband that would cover the hips in the back but come done slightly under the belly in the front. When we got home, we would have to see how we could create this style.
The other major change we decided to make was the waistband itself. The ribbed band that we originally used just didn’t make the jeans look like jeans. It made them appear more childish. Even though they were comfortable, we wanted our jeans to look like every other pair of jeans you buy in the store, accept that ours would fit a person with Down syndrome.
The next changes we would have to make were some adjustments to the T shirts. We decided we couldn’t have a man’s and woman’s shirt. We saw a need to create a shirt just for the ladies with a fuller figure and make a unisex shirt for men of all sizes and for smaller ladies who did not need the extra width across the bottom. Other small changes also needed to be made as well.
After three days of spending time with so many wonderful people, it was time to pack up and head home. We knew we had more work to do on our adult sizes once we got back but we even found a little time to relax by the pool.