Clothing Ideas For Scoliosis

Clothing: The big dilemma!!!

For those of us with scoliosis, dressing nicely is more often than not, a nightmare.

Quite honestly, I can not pretend to be an expert on clothing for scoliosis, because I most certainly am not. We all love different styles, and remember, I am 45 so what is good for me, won't be good for someone in their twenties.

I can however merely make suggestions and one thing I do want to say is Dont let it stop you wearing what you want

You may say "yes, but I don't have the self confidence"

My answer? Neither do I. I have zilch in the way of self confidence regarding my 76 degree curvature. The mirror is my enemy and I wish with all my heart that I did not have it.

Now, I do have it, so I have to make the best of it and think positively. Please, don't let it rule supreme, horrible though it is. Don't let it drag you down or stop you standing out for being the lovely person you are underneath.

We all have other attributes, lovely face, hair, eyes, long legs or nice figure....yes nice figure, in spite of scoliosis. Scoliosis sufferers are often very slim. However larger ladies can carry it off well because they are not as bony and clothes hang better on them when they have scoliosis.

I bluff it all the time, and hide it with different things such as big bags and rucksacks, silk shawls from Monsoon, Cardigans, Jackets, hooded tops, coats, Kaftans, Hair extensions, you name it, I will have tried it.

So can you.

I tend to dress prettily and also sophisticated and my favourite clothing shops are: Next, Wallis, Principles, Boden, H and M, Zara...etc. Just to give you an idea of the type of things I like. Autumn and winter is my favourite seasons for obvious reasons.

My size in clothes? Size 12 on the top and 8 to 10 on the bottom (meaning size 8 in Next but probably 10 in other shops.

My special advice? Don't go too tight with fitted tops....unless you are wearing something like a jacket or cardigan over it.

I once wore a white fitted shirt, which is fine ordinarily under a jacket, but I wore it out and not only felt very self concious, but the tightness on one side added to this and made me feel worse and also gave me a back ache!! I had a small bag with me, so couldn't cover it up. On holiday in Spain this year, I wore vest tops and strappy dresses but just slung a bag jacket or light cardigan over my right shoulder or wore a rucksack on one shoulder or both sometimes. It was a neat pretty white floral rucksack, not a huge sport canvas one, but it gave me confidence to walk around the shops and no one took a blind bit of notice. (believe me, I have become expert at people watching, and spotting people looking at my back.) Even people walking behind me did not notice.

For evening in a restaurant I wore strappy dresses and brought a pretty silk shawl. If we got a seat where I could sit with my back to the wall, great! I just put the shawl on to go to the loo or when leaving. I also took a pretty bag with me in case I needed the extra confidence boost. You soon get used to gauging this and to pre planning the situation, What if this, What if that?

I am soon uploading some pictures to show you what I mean with the bags and shawls and that will be this week, so watch this space.

Remember, although I understand I can only tell you what I do myself. These ideas could also be adapted for teenage styles.

Experiment with different clothing and big bags, shawls, rucksacks, slinging jackets over your shoulder etc.

The best idea? Long hair or hair extensions (if you can afford £500 plus upkeep) I did this for my wedding to Mike in 2003. They were brilliant but I could not afford to keep getting them replaced and since I also had the thyroid problem, my hair kept falling out. When they were removed, I did not have a lot of hair left, so decided against doing them again, but wish I could. They can be hard to maintain though with loads of knots all the time.

They were waist length and really did the trick. The wavier or curlier the better. Mine were too straight but brought me a lot of self confidence on the day as wedding dresses are very fitted.

However, I have now come across these clip in hair extensions 20 inches to 24 inches for £69.99 to £89.99. They last up to a year at under a fifth of the price!!! They look great and dead easy to put in too.

Books can help give you style ideas about dressing for your shape, although of course, they don't mention scoliosis!!

They offer valuable information however that you can adapt to your needs and I have found that some suggestions work well.

Another way, as my daughter and I have just discovered, is to make clothes yourself. This compensates for our more unorthadox dress sizes. By making them yourself, you can make up for an uneven waist.

We are have made simple A-line summer skirts this summer in pretty feminine fabrics and our next project is a simple summer cotton shift dress. Neither of us has ever made clothes before and are not gifted at sewing. We are starting off small and simple.

One of the best websites for a range of affordable (and some not so affordable) clothes is ASOS.Com and this winter (2008) there are some great shapeless things like cardigans with bat wings sleeves and baggier shirts and tops which are ideal. We can after all wear some of the tight stuff too and cover it with a jacket or cardigan. Black is a good colour for disguising too but we don't always want to have to wear it although it can be jazzed up with other colourful accessories like hats, scarves, long necklaces.

Nomads clothing do Fair Trade and Ethical clothing which is very pretty so have a look at their website here

Take a look at some pictures of Sarah Michelle Geller below who obviously cared not a hoot about her scoliosis in these pictures. She has since been treated (2004) I believe, so she obviously cared quite a bit!! (Just like the rest of us)

To read books about clothing and dressing well click here

Please Click here to go to the Scoliosis page

Please click Here to go to Clare's story

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