Clothing hanging in closet

Outfit selection

Selecting clothing to wear each day requires problem solving skills and planning, which are an essential part of living independently.

When all of us get up each day, we must decide what we are going to wear. Some of us throw on an outfit in less than 5 minutes; others lay out options and spend an hour trying things on before they decide. Most of us know not to show up to work in our sweatpants, much as we would like to, and we don’t typically go to a barbecue with friends in a suit and tie. We make decisions based on what we will be doing and what is appropriate in that setting.

Although outfit selection can be more challenging for an individual with vision impairment or blindness, it is not less important. Students preparing to transition to adult life will need this skill to present for interviews, to engage in leisure activities, and to look presentable in all realms of social situations.

  1. Lay clothing items out on a table or other flat surface. It may be helpful to organize clothing by putting all pants in one area, all shoes in another, etc.
  2. Allow student to explore each clothing item thoroughly. For students with little to no usable vision, instructors can describe colors, patterns, or graphics on the clothing items. Encourage the student to verbalize what s/he perceives about each item of clothing (i.e this is a high-heeled shoe, or this shirt has a collar).
  3. Ask student to put together an outfit (top, bottom, and shoes) for 3 different occasions. For example: an outfit appropriate for a job interview; an outfit to wear when out for pizza with friends;  an outfit to wear when lounging around the house; an outfit to wear when exercising

By Courtney Tabor-Abbott