View Full Version : Scoliosis and fashion design

helen w
10-31-2005, 03:41 PM
im a final year student studying fashion at uni in belfast
for my dissertation i am hoping to design and produce a range of designer wear for those of us suffering from scoliosis.i really want to produce some beautiful stylish clothes that can be worn with confidence, as i know from my own experience how difficult it can be to find great clothes that fit well on the high street
(i wore a boston brace from the age of about 2yrs until i was fifteen and had my op)
could anyone share the difficulties they have with me?or give me ideas/suggestions?
thanks so much!!

10-31-2005, 05:53 PM
I personally like dress's with an elastic waist. Tops that are on the "blousey" side so it doesn't show the rib hump as much. Also tunic tops that cover the "no waist" side.

11-01-2005, 09:52 AM

I seem to wear a lot of jackets, but in most cases they need to be a straight box cut, as the fitted do not fit properly through the shoulder blades. Because I have become very short waisted over time I tend to wear things that hit at hip level so it appears that your torso is longer. And of course...nothing clingy as it shows everything. :o


11-01-2005, 07:22 PM
:o what if someone has people that like her and maybe since she has to get a size bigger than they wont like her anymore. could that happen? im scared it will since im in middle school. i really need to know what its like. :cool: please help!

11-01-2005, 10:08 PM
Dear Scared,

It's been a long time since I wore the Milwaukee Brace but I do know that you will be fine. It is terribly scarey, but for the most part once you have it and go to school with it life goes on and most kids won't dwell on the fact that you have this brace. Getting a size bigger will be OK and you'll find out who your true friends are and you will also make new friends. Tell everyone that you are getting it so that everyone you are with knows and you don't have to tell the story the very first day you wear it. Good luck - there are plenty of people on here that understand right where you are!


11-05-2005, 06:02 AM
I like items that are currently in style...empire waist tops (mostly for the younger set) and short stright-cut cropped blazers/jackets (the type you might see in a Coldwater Creek catalog).


06-13-2006, 08:11 PM

Please see the abstract below for a study on clothing and scoliosis. Let me know if you want the article, and I will arrange to email it to you. You will notice, however that girls with scoliosis chose clothes to improve their self concept to a lesser degree than girls without scoliosis. Perhaps you could appeal to the individuality and unique beauty of scoliosis. I never felt empowered and moved by my condition until I saw Laura Ferguson's Visible Skeleton Series. Clothing that emphasises or draws attention to parts of the body unaffected by scoliosis such as the face, arms and legs might also be successful.

I wore a boston brace for 2 years as a teenager and as a result came to abhor current fashions (the midriff exposure thing was all the rage back then). My pet hate while wearing the brace was elastic waisted skirts and pants, which made me feel like an old lady (I was on 14, remember). My favourite types of clothes were woven (non stretch) shirts or dresses which were slightly fitted (I hated to appear shapeless), thick fitted jumpers (which reduced the appearance of the outline of the brace) and shirts with turtle neck or chinese type collars. Wrap skirts were also good, as I could adjust the buttons and ties easily when I learned to do the brace up tighter.

In short, I liked clothes that still had some semblance of a female shape (rather than baggy), and didn't make me feel like an old lady (floral patterns, thick elastic waists).

Good luck with this, it is cetainly something that needs to be done!

Title: Clothing importance and self-perception of female adolescents with and without scoliosis.
Author(s): Liskey-Fitzwater, Natalie, Virginia Polytechnic Inst & State U, Blacksburg, US
Moore, Carolyn L.
Gurel, Lois M.

Source: Clothing & Textiles Research Journal, Vol 11(3), Spr 1993. pp. 16-22.

Publisher: US: International Textile & Apparel Assn
Publisher URL: http://www.itaaonline.org

ISSN: 0887-302X (Print)
Language: English
Keywords: clothing importance & self perception, female 13-19 yr olds with vs without scoliosis
Abstract: Investigated differences in selected clothing importance factors and self-perception domains and the relationship between clothing importance and self-perception within and between 2 groups of 13-19 yr old adolescent girls, 35 with scoliosis and 35 without scoliosis. Clothing variables were operationally defined by scores on an instrument used to measure the following clothing factors: conformity in clothing, modesty in clothing, psychological awareness of clothing, clothing to enhance self-concept, and interest in clothing. The Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents measured social acceptance, athletic competence, romantic appeal, physical attractiveness, and global self-worth. The scoliosis Ss had significantly lower scores on clothing to enhance self-concept. Significant differences were found between groups on all self-perception variables with the scoliosis Ss having lower scores. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

08-28-2006, 09:56 AM
okay, i don't know if you will still look at this or care, but i was wondering if you could make a clothing line for people with braces. i have trouble finding clothes that fit and still look attractive, i know there are some solutions, but i wish there were clothes made for a back brace.

08-28-2006, 10:05 AM
ya i totally agree with her. sweatpants and stuff like that may fit over my brace but that doesn't mean it looks good. skirts look really good but i can't wear skirts this winter... :(

08-28-2006, 12:15 PM
I live in Hawaii and really struggle with a swimsuit! I always buy plain black with a high back, but fitted, so it hugs. I wish someone would design one that is a regular fit on bottom, stays fitted in to just below the waist, and then blouses out just a bit at the waist, front and back to the top. (without looking too old lady like!) I have a retail shop and design things for scoliosis in my head only! Let me know if you come up with a swimsuit!


08-28-2006, 01:24 PM
Hi Berta...

Check out the Lands End swimsuits:


They have something for everyone.


08-29-2006, 12:25 PM
Linda, I've checked out Land's End, but can't find one with a "blousy" back to it. Maybe I'm missing it, so if you know a style #, let me know!
Thanks! berta

08-29-2006, 01:08 PM
Hi Berta...

Well, it looks like they no longer carry the suit that I bought. :-( This is the closest I could come:

http://www.landsend.com/cd/fp/prod/0,,1_2_65582_67539_149795_127502_5:view=593,00.htm l?CM_MERCH=PAGE_67539&sid=2589197926288107910

However, I did find some at other sites. Just My Size, Lane Bryant, Chadwicks, QVC, and Metrostyle all had appropriate suits. e.g.:


A Google search on blouson swimsuit brought up a lot of possibilities:


Hope you find something that works for you.


08-30-2006, 05:53 AM
This is great that you want to design clothes for scoliosis patients. I had to wear a body cast (15 pounds of plaster going from my neck to hips) for 9 months after my surgery in 1975. The only clothes I could get to fit over my cast were maternity clothes. Not something you wanted to wear to school when you were 16. It wasn't fashionable to be pregnant in high school back then.

10-26-2006, 03:59 PM
mmmm....my scoli wasn't particularly cosmetically bad...just the insides ;)
but maybe some a-line type skirts would be nice... the biggest problem i had was pants: i wore boys jeans for a while :(

10-28-2006, 06:29 PM
In designing clothes for scoli patients, be they in a brace or a body cast my suggestion would be to take the current styles and "supersize" them.

Back in '75 when I was in a cast from my neck to bottom of my buttocks, I would buy clothes that were several sizes larger than my non-cast body would require.

What I found horrid though were the winter months when I couldn't wear clothes that hugged my body to maintain the warmth - I was always freezing! Maybe now a days a super duper oversized underarmour would do the trick - don't know.

Nice though to think of doing a line for the brace and cast folk! kudos to you! :cool:

04-28-2007, 01:25 AM
My daughter wanted to wear clothes over her brace until we went into GAP and bought the only pair of jeans that fit over the brace. She was appalled at how much larger they had to be, so she took them back and bought another pair of low slung slim fit jeans and just cinched that brace over the top. It could not have been comfortable, but it was mind over matter at that point.

That first day when we were shopping the girls in Victoria's Secret were incredibly mean to her, they refused to help her and would not let her go into the fitting room with her brace on. It was awful. In a way I think that made Moriah so angry she refused to hide her brace. She had been embarassed about the brace, then she got angry and decided looking flexible and shaping with an amazing plastic corset was great. She also chose to buy a cute bra in a department store, and we called and reported the girls to the regional office. They were really cruel.

My daughter got a bunch of tiny cotton camisoles to wear under the brace, then wore cool see-through embroidered things on top, or maybe an indian print, or cool sixties-ish tunic thing, or short leather jackets, anything with a lot of style. Usually the tops were A line, with ties that pulled them in to the brace and then flared out a little around the hips and the tops of the thighs. Before this she hated shopping, after this she would go every once in a while into cool areas, like Berkeley and San Francisco looking for items with a lot of style. She also picky about money and loves the fact that she can get stuff off the clearance rack, but we live in California and few people wear anything formal. She wore cool jewelry, hats if they worked, and always wore super slim jeans under the brace. She didn't want to buy stuff that went over the brace very much in a baggy way, because she thought the brace was made for her form, was super tight and held anything that was soft in, so clothes looked pretty good fitted. The more fitted the clothes, the more she felt people could see her instead of "her hiding the brace". She was pretty sold on avoiding surgery, so she wore it always (except when exercising, showering, or going to dances once every two months). The only thing she hated about the way she looked in the brace was how much higher one shoulder was than the other shoulder.

Unfortunately her curve is pretty committed to continuing, so she needs surgery now 18 months post-brace.

- Martha K