Lauren Thierry never thought she’d be dressing her son Liam into his teen years. Liam, who is now 17, was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. Getting dressed requires fine motor skills to snap, zip and button things and follow a process from one step to the next. Liam would spend half an hour getting dressed every morning and still pants and shirts would be backwards or inside out.
So Thierry invented clothes that couldn’t be worn backward or inside out because any way you put them on would be correct. They also don’t have any zippers, buttons or snaps. The fabrics have four-way stretch and snap back into place so it won’t matter if one time that area covers the rear and the next time it covers the front. Carefully planned stitching means that the seams are hidden to avoid an obvious outside versus inside. Fabrics also were chosen to appeal to kids who have sensory sensitivities.
Her Independence Day Clothing launched last year and now includes 14 items, from tunics and skirted leggings for girls to collarless rugby shirts and cargo pants for boys. Some of the items have space for a GPS tracker.
There are more items planned, including skirts, underwear and bras, and more sizes planned, including smaller children’s sizes and double extra-large.
Thierry doesn’t just see this as a line for people with autism. Anyone who has difficulty getting dressed or sensory sensitivities would benefit, she says. Her two typical kids also wear them because they are so easy. “We want everyone to like us,” Thierry says. “We want to be the answer to every mom’s dreams.”
Prices range from $85 for a dress to $34 for a tunic. You can find them online at independencedayclothing.com.