Outfit Selection

By Courtney Tabor-... on Jan 08, 2018

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.


  • Various clothing items, including tops, bottoms, and shoes. Clothing should range from very casual to formal.


  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


  • This activity can be adapted to meet a student’s particular needs. For example, students can work on selecting appropriate clothing items for different types of weather (i.e. winter coat vs. tank top).
  • This activity can be an opportunity to learn about clothing fabrics and to talk about colors and practice using color identification tools.
  • To learn about clothing and outfit selection in the community, instructors or family members can take a student to a store where the student can explore different types of shoes and clothing. Many students with vision impairments may be unaware of what types of clothing options are available, so this is an opportunity to learn about various fabrics, styles, and types of attire for different venues/activities.

Collage of outfit selection

Read more about: Transition

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.