View Full Version : Clothes & Scoliosis Question

06-25-2011, 02:29 PM
One big, really big question, really big problem is wearing clothes. I know you have a section called Dressing Your CurvesTips about clothing choices for adolescents with scoliosis. I wish there was a section for dressing your curves for ADULTS.

Buying clothes, finding clothes, wearing clothes is just torture. Nothing fits! Are there any stores that make clothes for people with scoliosis and kyphosis?

The standard shirt sizes of small, medium, large, extra large don't apply when the space between your neck and your waist require a little bit of each because everything is out of proportion.

Are there stores that sell clothes (or companies that make clothes) for people with our conditions? It's simply torture trying to wear clothes!

I'm adding here to what I originally wrote above:

I'm editing this to be more specific and I'll probably edit again some time in the future as I try to make clear what seems so hard to explain. So this is just one aspect regarding clothes I'm going to address. (There are others but I'll start with this one. Emotionally, I feel overwhelmed, it's so hard to address the different aspects of this one particular issue -- CLOTHES). I tend to repeat things when I get nervous so please bare with me.

So here goes with this first of what will be other aspects regarding the CLOTHES ISSUES.

OK, aspect number one is necklines. It's easier to cover up my condition during the winter when I get to wear coats, jackets, hooded shirts. But during the summer and spring it becomes almost torture.

Men's Tee-shirts simply "hug" my back. I wonder if that makes sense to you. Men's necklines on tee shirts go right up to the neck with no space. (see the pic of the man's shirt below). Whereas women's necklines are so varied, as shown in the pic below. Some neclkines on women's shirts go all the way out to the shoulders, some three-quarters, some half way, well you get the idea. And from the back, when the neckline is wider, more skin shows, I mean, more of the back is seen, so the shirt doesn't ride high, doesn't ride up, and so you look less hunched over. It helps distract from the roundness when the shirt neckline is wider.

(in this PICTURE below -- see the link -- the first two show women's shirts, the third shows the traditional men's tee-shirt ... again, notice how much space around the neck the women's shirts offer, yet there's NO space in the men's ... it's right up to the neckline, no space, just "choking" the neckline)


I wish men's shirts, tee shirts, had those differing neckline widths. I can't go out and buy women's shirts. That's why I was hoping someone out there might have taken this into consideration and created men's tee shirts with women's neckline widths, particulary the wider ones. It just seems like a wider neckline, exposing more of the back, and the more loose or baggy the upper part of the shirt, would help distract attention away, create the illusion that I'm not as hunched over as I am.

Please tell me if this is making any sense. I can see in my head what I'm saying but I'm so afraid typing this now I wonder if it's coming out as jusy crazy talk to those reading this.

So that's my first clothes question. Can anyone help. (I so wish I had the choices women have in clothes and I keep thinking someone else out there must have stumbled on this as a way to help guys with scoliois/kyphosis. If only I could go into a store and find such tee-shirts with wider necklines. If only there were a brand of such shirts made for people with my/our conditions).

I apologize if I've babbled. I am very sad writing this. Feeling guilty.

06-25-2011, 10:35 PM
Hello So Shy. I can't help with any stores, but have you considered looking around for a good tailor? Someone who really knows what they are doing and who is used to making clothing to fit a shape, and to hide certain flaws. We all have flaws, even those who don't have scoliosis.

Good luck!

06-26-2011, 11:27 PM
i edited the post I started to try to be more specific

06-27-2011, 04:30 PM
SoShy, I'm assuming from your post that you are male.

What you need is a tailor. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a custom tailor who can make bespoke shirts for you that will fit you personally at a reasonable price.

Also, if you are near a large city and have the means (I don't know if you wear suits to work or if you're a college kid or what), call ahead to an upper end store and invest in a brief trip with a personal shopper at a Barneys, Nordstrom, or even a smaller men's store will help you (skip Men's Wearhouse, think Jos A Banks or Brooks Bros). You need to try on different things and see what fits best for you. I suspect that for casual men's shirts you would be better served in a V-neck vice a crewneck. For casual weekend shirts, try a polo in a solid color that can be tailored on one side. Button downs by nature are structure and therefore they will give *you* structure, so it may be that you change your "casual going out look" from t-shirts and jeans, to a button down with rolled up sleeves and jeans and a black or brown shoe. An "athletic fit" or "fitted" dress shirt will be wider in the shoulders and thinner at the waist and may be what you need. Again, depending on the severity of your curvature, you may still need a tailor.

You mentioned wearing baggy shirts. Avoid this. It doesn't make you look less hunched, but it will make you look more rounded forward in fact. It reduces definition in the rest of your body and if you are reasonably in shape, you will look heavier than you are. It's a rookie mistake that a lot of men (and women) make.

Hope this helps. If you need more info let me know.

06-27-2011, 11:48 PM

yes I'm a male

thank you so much for offering possible solutions, but I must admit, I don't understand a lot of the clothing/fashion terms you use. I simply don't know much about the names of things that apply to clothes. For me, Target and K-Mart have been the places I've looked all my life, and the brands are usually hanes or fruit-of-the-loom and other simple basic shirts.

But you're right about wearing oversized shirts. I've tried wearing baggy shirts, that is shirts larger size then what "should" be my natural size, and they just make me look awful, heavier. I mean it's obvious wearing an extra large with my smaller frame shows I'm trying to hide something.

So perhaps I didn't do a good job explaining what I'm looking for and here I think I can do a better job. What I've done is I tried just now putting together another image, two shirts, one male and one female, side by side, to express my point. Maybe this picture below will explain it better:

Click on this link and you will see what I'm talking about.

The picture on the LEFT is a male wearing the typical male Tee shirt, with the shirt goes right up the back to the neckline.

The picture on the RIGHT is of a woman's shirt, and notice how much more SPACE it provides, how much more leeway it gives around the neck in the back. What I'm saying is I wish I could wear a men's t-shirt like the one on the left but with neck space closer to the kind the shirt worn by the girl on the right. (If you see, I draw an arrow pointing from the girls neckline space to the man's neckline space.)


If only they made men's shirts like that. With more circumference. And that's what I was hoping, that there are some brands out there that have that feature. a man's short-sleeve t shirt with a woman's wider neclkine circumference. hope that made sense. I fear I'm coming across as a real loon when I'm just a very pained, deeply saddened, self-loathing nice person, really.

06-30-2011, 11:21 PM
Maybe I'm just too longwinded. Perhaps I should delete all I wrote above in all my posts and just say:








07-01-2011, 09:07 AM
Hi so_shy,

I am gad to see you posting. We all feel your pain and want to help you.

Have you tried wearing hoodies (I have even seen light-weight hoodies made out of t-shirt material)? These at least take the focus off your upper back.

Are button-down shirts (casual ones even) any better?

I am a 44 y/o female, but I have always been self-conscious about my (formerly) crooked back. I tend to wear loose t-shirts, never any type of form-fitting shirt.

Good luck, and I hope you find some comfort being among others who share your situation.


07-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Hi so_shy,

I am gad to see you posting. We all feel your pain and want to help you.

Have you tried wearing hoodies (I have even seen light-weight hoodies made out of t-shirt material)? These at least take the focus off your upper back.

Are button-down shirts (casual ones even) any better?

I am a 44 y/o female, but I have always been self-conscious about my (formerly) crooked back. I tend to wear loose t-shirts, never any type of form-fitting shirt.

Good luck, and I hope you find some comfort being among others who share your situation.


Thank you Gayle for responding, it means so much to me. Took me years before I had the guts to even join this message forum.

Yes, during the winter months, hooded shirts, hooded jackets, and off course jackets and coats in general make it easier to conceal. And yes button down shirts I find better too.

It's the summer clothes where I run into trouble. I simply DREAD summer and spring. When it's 80 degrees, like everyone else, I want to be able to wear a simple T shirt. But I can't. In addition to scoliosis I have kyphosis and my shoulders are very rounded.

Believe me, I've looked and looked and all men's T-shirts, from Hanes to Fruit-of-the-loom to other brand named brand t-shirts, they're all so tight around the neck. (Whereas women's T shirts have different widths when it comes to the neckline. I posted a couple of pictues I put together to show the difference I'm talking about in case my words aren't making it clear what I'm referring to when I talk about width of necklines. see links below).



I see woman's t-shirts have so many various neckline widths but men's t shirts are all the same, they go right up to the base of the neck. I need space around my neck, space around the back of my neck so the shirt doesn't ride up my back.

I wish had the choices women had. I'm trying to find out if someone knows of any brand of a man's t shirt that has the wider neckline, that would give me that space I need in the back so I look less hunched over.

Again, thank you Gayle for responding. Just that someone would take the time to address what I'm going thru really helps emotionally.

loves to skate
07-01-2011, 12:36 PM

You might try LLBean's website and look at women's T shirts that have a lower neckline. They have T shirts that are very basic and some in colors that a man might like. Just a thought. Clothing manufacturers definitely do not cater to fringe sizes or anything that is not popular. I hope you can find something that works for you.


07-01-2011, 11:19 PM

You might try LLBean's website and look at women's T shirts that have a lower neckline. They have T shirts that are very basic and some in colors that a man might like. Just a thought. Clothing manufacturers definitely do not cater to fringe sizes or anything that is not popular. I hope you can find something that works for you.


Sally, thank you. I went to that site and looked at the men's Tees, then the women's tees and ...

Wow, what a difference, there it is, exactly what I've been talking about.

Here are the men's Tees: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/504193?page=t-shirts

Here are the women's Tees: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/504209?page=tees-knit-tops

BUT to buy women's shirts? I want the wider neckline but I don't want the other female attributes (breasts, curves, etc.) that those shirts obviously have, being that they are made for women. In other words, I don't think I could get away with wearing women's tee shirts. Is that what you think is my only choice at this point?

07-02-2011, 02:22 AM
I was so happy when I read you'd found some t shirts that might be suitable and though you are concerned about them being made strictly to the female form, I still think you might be on to something here. Some women's t-shirts are not shaped in to the waist or have darts for the bust. I know this because I was just looking for some shirts to have printed with my business logo and was disappointed to find the shirts are straight up and down, the mens' and women's the same. But this is Australia. I wonder if you keep searching for plain shirts, if you might not find what you're after. Perhaps try a t-shirt printer, someone who prints logos onto t-shirts. That's where I found the t-shirts that were the same for men and women. Best of luck with your search.

07-02-2011, 02:47 AM

Now you've got me looking! I never realised that men's t-shirts are so high-necked. Anyway, the links I've given, I suspect the first few might not be open enough at the neck, but perhaps the last few might be. Look forward to hearing what you think!

07-02-2011, 07:21 AM
Thanks Jennifer. Thats so thoughtful of you to research that info for me.

Most of the shirts were muscle shirts/tank tops. "Muscle shirts" are the only men's shirt that actually does have a wide neck but they have no sleeves.

But THIS ONE SHIRT you posted: http://www.surfstitch.com/product/billabong-bilge-ls-tee-black

... that one is exactly like the kind I've been trying to find ... the neckline is much wider than normal and would probably give me room to breathe in the back.

That does give me hope, really. It's a rarity, but if there's one shirt like that out there there could be more, its just a matter of tracking them down, kind of like finding a needle in a haystack.

I have to see if that shirt or ones like it are available in America. Perhaps I could print out a picture of that shirt and go to stores and ask if they know of any brands like that here.

I really appreciate all that you and the others are doing to help me, from the kind encouraging words to actual recommendations and all the info for me to further explore.

Thank you SO much!

07-02-2011, 09:38 AM
Here's one I found on Amazon, available from Gap:


If the link doesn't work, I typed in "Men's wide neck t shirt" in the Amazon search window and that came up.

I remember shopping for a friend who wanted to bring some Abercrombie T's to her grandkids in France a couple years ago, and they had a whole line of wide-neck T's for men. You might want to make some calls!

I think you will find what you are looking for. I actually think those types of t's look better on men. They show the neck and clavicle. You could single-handedly bring this style into the forefront. Please do!

07-02-2011, 03:53 PM
Good morning So Shy (it's 5.50am Sunday here!) I am glad that my links have given you hope that you'll likely be able to find what you're looking for. That particular site sells an expensive brand but I am sure you can get that same style in the States at a more reasonable price. Best of luck!

I just checked Amy's link and it looks like she's found something similar at a far more reasonable price!

07-02-2011, 11:25 PM

Thank you both.

I think the key phrase that just might open the door for me is

Men's wide neck t shirt

I actually did a google search using the phrase "Men's Wide Neck T-Shirt" and what I got, what I came up with was simply, well, I was overjoyed with HOPE.

For example, these are just two of several that came up:




Now if I could just find STORES that sell them, I can go there, try them on, and if they "work", if they do the job of helping to make me look less freaky/hunched over, I'll actually have a solution to this one aspect -- a MAJOR ASPECT -- of the scoliosis/kyphosis nightmare that has marred my life since it was first detected at age 14, and when all the teasing and total plunge of self-esteem began, what has been almost three decades of daily emotional anguish and self-loathing.

I know I have a lot more work to do, in locating where I can find stores or outlets that carry them, but it's one step closer to some emotional sanity for perhaps the first time in 30 years.

Again, any more info anyone comes up with, I'm all ears.

And thank you for giving me hope. Maybe one day I can come back on here and tell you how that hope panned out, but that's getting ahead of myself. First things first.

Again, bless you all. Thank you. If I sound overly emotional, it's just I've had decades of DEEP scarring emotional pain from the disfiguring conditions I developed just as my teen years were beginning.

And today the simple phrase ... MEN'S WIDE-NECK T-SHIRT -- may have just given me a life back in the form of some sense of comfort. I really hate feeling hideous-looking. I would so love to have some comfort again in my own skin.

07-03-2011, 02:07 AM
Isn't Google wonderful? We were all browsing through men's t-shirt catalogues when all we had to do was type in Wide necked T-shirt!

I hope you can find a shop that stocks them and they do the job you are hoping for.

Let us know how you go!

09-12-2011, 10:58 PM
This doesn't specifically address your questions about wider necks on t-shirts, but my son also has really disliked the way clothes hug his kyphosis (which, because of his scoliosis, is asymmetric - one should blade is raised while everything else looks symmetric.)

We made an appointment with a personal shopper at Nordstroms (free service) and she was really terrific and found him clothing that he feels much more comfortable in.

First point: re "personal shopper at Nordstroms?"

Is this something I can request, something I can do in private, without other shoppers/people observing. My self-esteem is so shot, I'd just crumble if I had to stand around with someone trying to help me with finding clothes for this condition as other shoppers were staring. I would hate for it to be a spectacle, as in, hey, what's going on with that guy ... I just don't want to draw attention to what I'm doing, that's how embarrassed I am about feeling horrible about my condition.

Second point: in my research for wide-neck men's shirts/tee-shirts, I'm running into a lot of trouble now. It seems most of the wide-neck shirts I found have to be ordered online, and I can't do that (it's a long story). My situation is such, that right now, I can only buy clothes if I go OUT, to a store, an purchase them. I cannot order things online.

And I tried looking online at Sears, Macys, Kmart, Target, and others for any collections they have and I can't find wide-neck tee shirts. I so need to have the name brands of wide-neck shirts and what particular department stores have them so I can simply go down to that store, find that shirt, and try it on in a dressing room. For example, let's say there's a exact brand name, Blah-Blah's Wide Neck Men's Tees being sold at K-mart. (The thought of going to a department store, and searching out, looking all over, trying to find wide-necks would just overwhelm me ... anxiety in trying to find them would consume me ... literally make me panic-stricken.)

I'm not the most computer literate and my google searches have failed to provide many any SPECIFIC named wide-neck men's tees, and SPECIFIC clothing stores I could go to. I just want names so I can simply GO, try them on. I need to go with shirt name and store name already solved. I can't being going on a search mission, again, because panic would set in. I'm just an easily panicky person.

I don't know if I should be requesting this, but could someone with time, and more computer know-how than I, find SPECIFIC BRAND NAMES of wide-neck tee shirts and SPECIFIC STORE/DEPARMENT names that carry them so I can just shoot in, try them on ...I mean just go directly to these stores, instead of some crazy search for "a needle in a haystack" so to speak.

(Sorry if I repeated myself a lot ... I just really have so many emotional hang-ups and fears over all this, and they really and literally hold me down ... as in so panic-stricken I freeze up, get all anxious.) I used to go years ago to stores looking ... and without specific names -- the mad search among all the different clothes, any clothes, that might "fit" left my totally wiped out emotionally, especially after a long frantic search produced no findings.

I don't know if I'm making this clear, I'm writing rather frantically. But maybe this analogy would help. If someone said there's a wide-neck men's shirt called Zoldies, and it's available at K-mart. Or there's a wide-neck men's tee shirt called Labadoo, it's sold at JC Pennys. And with such info, I could just go to K-Mart and JC Penny's and simply go in and find (or ask where it's located) Zoldies or Labadoo shirts.

(I hope this post hasn't given anyone a headache and I sincerely apologize if it has. I'm just tired of feeling so horrible and I really want to solve this one particular aspect of my struggle with having scoliosis ... an kyphosis and lordosis).

09-17-2011, 11:18 PM
Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.

Thank you so much, hdugger.

I had tried V-necks years ago but found the back of the shirts still hugged close around the neck.

This one you found http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/j-c-rags-stripe-sleeve-t-shirt/3172616?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=4074 is very much what I"ve been looking for.

I did a search for "scoop neck" men's shirts and found:



I hope I can find these in stores. (I want to be able to try them on, see what I look like in the mirror.)

Thank you again for all the information. I'll let you know how I make out as I continue the search.