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Dressing confidently with scoliosis
By Kathryn Dunnill
Fashion doesn’t end when scoliosis begins. I was diagnosed when I was 14, a time where you start experimenting with clothes and developing your individual sense of style which really knocked my confidence at the time, but I eventually learnt how to dress in a way that made me feel confident, but taking the attention away from my curve itself.
- Comfort is important, I have tried too many times to wear clothes that dug into my curve, making for very unpleasant outings.
- Comfy shoes are very important. Shoes that jolt your spine could leave you in pain!
- Heels are still possible, I recommend wedge heels as they put a lot less stress on your spine and balance!
- If jeans are just not comfortable for you (I used to have major problems with jeans), invest in a good thick pair of leggings or ‘treggings’. They are a lot more forgiving, a lot comfier and also a good option for those with braces!
The peplum style of top has been on the high street for years now and it really lends itself well to those who have lumbar spinal curves in particular. I loved the way that the peplum waist started just above my spinal curve which created the illusion of having a waist (something I lacked due to my curve) whilst looking great at the same time!
High waisted jeans are another amazing invention. I used to feel really self-conscious in jeans as my curve used to hang out the top of my jeans. The discovery of high waisted jeans took away my fear of wearing jeans and again, made me feel a lot more confident to wear fitted clothes. For those who are post-op, they also feel really comfortable and compliment your posture.
Skater style dresses/ skirts
Everyone feels comfortable/ uncomfortable in different things and for me, skater style dresses and skirts were a bit of a love/hate relationship, I felt that the clingy, thinner materials almost accentuated my curve but the more structured, thicker styles worked really well as they sat well on my curve. They also work well for those with thoracic curves as I had many friends with scoliosis that wore them and looked fabulous!
For me, this was my favourite style of dress. They are not fitted like skater dresses and fitted in a way that didn’t cling onto my spinal curve. This style is always in fashion.
Those important dresses…
You may feel anxious about attending special events with scoliosis but the right dress can make you feel amazing. I attended my high school prom with my spinal curve and my sixth form formal around 3 months after my surgery. I was concerned about finding a dress I would feel great in but found a style that complimented me well. I even received many compliments about my dress!
If you want to draw attention away from your curve, dresses with embellishments or eye catching features at the top draw the focus away from your torso and more towards your face and carefully constructed hairstyle.
Above all, my general advice is to stick to clothes you feel comfortable in. When you feel comfortable in your clothes, the confidence just radiates out of you! Of course you’ll have days where you feel that everything looks wrong but when you start developing your own signature scoli-style, you’ll have less of those days and more confident days! Good Luck!