View Full Version : How do you dress up?

03-03-2004, 01:03 PM
I've had scoliosis since I was !3, but never received follow up till I was 43(last year). I never knew my once 13 degree curvature could develop into a 65 degree curvature probably due to having 6 babies. I am told my curvature is "balanced" and any pain I have in my back is due to arthritic changes in my spine. I have lost weight and feel pretty good. How can dressing up be made to look "normal" when so many clothes today are tight fitting?
It does discourage me that I am self conscious about my back.
I don't want to scare people or have them think me a freak.
I think of myself as a crooked person. That is bad I know, but it will never get better. Yes, there are much worse things than this. I suppose I am venting. It amazes me how much I notice straight backs (and envy them). People take so much for granted. Well, I've rambled enough. I mention clothes as this is always an issue for me, and I saw nothing like that in the postings that I saw

03-03-2004, 04:17 PM

We all can relate to you. Dressing can be such a challenge. For me, with 53 degrees curvature, I never wear tight fitting clothes. All my clothes are loose. I especially like dressing up in winter when clothes are thick and bulky. Jackets and sweaters are good at concealing the curve. Good posture plays an important role too. Last Saturday, I was carrying my granddaughter and a cousin said, "what is that hump on your back?" I said, "I have scoliosis." And she kept insisting that I didn't have the hump yesterday. I said I did and I had scoliosis since I was a teen. She was so surprised. What's so good is that my husband joined the conversation and said he doesn't even notice it. He didn't know I had scoliosis until I told him a few years ago and it was already pretty bad when we got married 33 years ago. That's probaby because he loves me, with all the hump and curves. LOL. I'm sure It was my posture and my not too loose clothes that diplayed it that day. Other people won't even notice it although we are all so very self conscious about our back. Sometimes people who notice my scoliosis ask about it and I tell them it is scoliosis. Others probably know about it and don't say anything. Still others, like my cousin don't even know about it for a long time. Keep smiling. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


03-03-2004, 04:22 PM
Wow! Your curve certainly moved a lot! My curve is about half of yours, but I still have trouble with clothes. I went shopping yesterday and was trying on shirts and dresses in a dressing room with a two-way mirror. I couldn't believe how big my rib hump was. Dresses do not fit me right at all. I mainly wear skirts to dress up. I still wear form fitting shirts. I know that people can see my crooked back, but I don't really care. Everyone has physical flaws. Ours may be more so than others but I don't want to hide in big clothes. Maybe I shouldn't think like this. People at school probably think I'm a freak, but it doesn't really matter to me. I have a husband that loves me and a great group of friends who don't seem to mind my crooked spine (except my brother. He thinks it's so digusting).

Anyway, don't worry what other people think.

03-12-2004, 09:28 PM
I think the best invention I have found in clothing are the shirts with the uneven hem line. I love these things so much. Also the dress shirts that have one scrunched side. Any piece of clothing that is not symetrical 'hides' the curve better or so I have found.

03-15-2004, 04:17 PM
You are so right. All the dresses that you described are so good at concealing our unevenness. Shopping for clothes is always a challenge. We will be okay, everyone. We will be okay. We will overcome. Have a positive attitude.

03-17-2004, 12:08 PM
I am so glad I have found this site.....I have had scoliosis since I was 7. I am now 29. I have an S curve which makes my sholders and hips pretty much even. My top curve is 60 degrees and my bottom curve is 49 degrees. I used to have long hair to cover my back but I cut it several years back and most people don't realize I have scoliosis. I have always worked on having good posture. I rarely ever slouch. I am a dancer so that has helped me alot. I also go to the chiropractor regularly. Foe clothes shopping I have found that I have to get one size larger then I would normally wear because half my body is bigger then the other half. Its kind of a pain especially trying to get dresses or tank tops. The dresses always have to be altered and the tank tops never fit properly. I don't have alot of back pain anymore. I have lost some weight and started dancing and working out more. This has helped tremendously. I havn't checked out this site thoroughly but are there support groups or something that I can join? Also are there scoliosis conventions or newsletters that I can get?

Erin Potter

03-17-2004, 12:26 PM
That was nice to hear from you, Erin. You know what, I also wear clothes that are 1 size bigger. I want my clothes loose to hide the scoliosis. Exercise helps a lot for me and plus of course, good posture. I'm sure dance is very good. The more flexible we are, the better. More power to you.


03-29-2004, 08:57 PM
It is so nice to know there are people out there w/ the same types of problems! Clothes shopping can be a real hassle. I too buy things a size larger. Jackets and vests do help. Dresses are difficult. I find that skirts and tops work better. I stay away from white blouses without something over them.
Good posture and being tall seems to help, too. I love to wear t-shirts but am not always sure if I can get away w/ it. I think it really depends on what makes you comfortable and confident.

04-04-2004, 11:03 PM
I just joined and never knew so many people have the same problem as me. I usually wear bigger close and my hair is long. It is psychological but the longer hair covers up the back. My back is 42 degrees and I am in the army. It is hard to stay in shape. How do you do it? Are there any excersises that don't hurt? Keep up the hard work.

04-05-2004, 11:49 AM
I have found that swimming is the best excersize for scoliosis. There is no stress on your back from your feet hitting the ground or pressure being put on your back. Its also good because it works both sides equally. I was told that with scoliosis you should not do one sided things like baseball or bowling. I do go bowling I just have learned to bowl both sides. My scores not too great but at least my back doesn't get worse!;)

04-05-2004, 08:08 PM
Exercises that involve warming up and stretching afterwards really seem to help. I really love to do a full spinal type twist.
It sures seems to help the flexibility.
My curves are pretty well- balanced 47/48. I'm holding off on surgery as long as possible.

04-06-2004, 11:37 AM

How do you do a full spinal type twist? I think I have an idea as I do a lot of stretching too. I'm interested in learning new ones.


04-06-2004, 11:37 AM

How do you do a full spinal type twist? I think I have an idea as I do a lot of stretching too. I'm interested in learning new ones.


04-18-2004, 04:12 PM
Hi Lily,
I've been using Karen Voight fitness cds since the first of the year. In it there is a lot of stretching especially w/ your side muscles in your waist.
It really seems to help. I just love the stretching at the beg. and end.

05-05-2004, 11:04 PM
I am also having problems in wearing dress. So when buying clothes I have to get 1 size bigger. I have to wear printed or dark clothes but here in the Philippines, our climate requires light colored shirts andI got a hard time wearing light clothes because my scoliosis can be seen in light clothes esp. white color. And when I go out I have to carry a bag on my left arm so that my shoulder will lift up because my left side is where my tight muscle is so I have to bring it forward so I carry my shoulder bag on my left to control my shoulder. Although its really depressing that I cannot wear latest fashions in clothes oftentimes I just had to breath and accept the fact that I have scoliosis. Lately my doctor told me that even if I undergo surgery there is no way that it can straighten my back because of my age, I am 35 years old and my bone is already matured and it hurts to hear that.

05-06-2004, 06:37 PM

Try not to worry about if your scoliosis is seen or not. That is the way that you were made. Be proud of being different! You were made different for a reason. Wear the trendy clothes, talk to people about scoliosis so they are better educated about what it is and why people have it. I opted not to get the surgery because I am not in pain and I don't care what people think of me. My family and friends like me for who I am not what I look like. The people that really matter most won't care that your back is crooked.

05-06-2004, 06:49 PM
One idea if you have an important function to dress for is to buy a dress you like, 1 size larger, and then get it tailored to suit your frame. There are sewing tricks that can be done to make outfits look like they fit better! Also, trendy fasions include asymetrical hemlines. I'd take advantage of that! It'll look cute on you and be in style at the same time. As for colors, try lighter prints. A rule of thumb is smaller prints for smaller frames and larger prints for larger frames. You could also try diagonal strips. As long as the diagonal goes with you shoulder slant it shouldn't look odd or be noticible! Of course the very best idea is to admit that God made you perfect and ignore what other people "might" think. You are wonderful the way you are!!

09-02-2004, 04:47 PM
I know how you feel. I have a severe case of scoliosis. I can't wear anything tight and I can't stand for anyone to touch my back. I notice normal backs. I am always grateful that it is not worse but I do envy those people with straight backs.

09-14-2004, 10:29 PM
It's amazing that I've noticed straight backs also. When I'm out and I'm always noticing other people's back, especially other women. Always wishing that I could be straight. Its a hard pill to swallow knowing that this is the way we're going to be for the rest of our lives. You would not believe how alone I feel because no one other than my mother, has scoliosis so I never share my feelings with anyone. I know I shouldn't envy anyone but I do envy my friends that have straight backs and can wear the form fitting clothes that I would love to wear. I just don't have the confidence to just wear them anyway because I am so embarrassed about my condition. Sometimes I get disgusted with just being me and looking the way I do. I have even let this keep me from enjoying being around other people at times because I'm afraid someone will notice. Even though I love the spring and summer months, I always look forward to fall and unfortunately the winter months....only so I can wear the big sweaters and jackets. As I've said before in another post, this has even started to affect the way I walk, putting more strain on what seems like my slightly shorter leg, my right leg. This started happening within the past year or so and keeps me from going out even more so. I feel like people notice that I'm walking funny and that something is not quite right with me. I can't believe I feel so free to say these things to all of you 'cause I could never say them to anyone else. You know...just pour out heart and soul about the way I really feel and why I'm not as outgoing as I would like to be.

09-15-2004, 11:21 AM

I am familiar with all of those feelings. You are not alone. I am so glad that we found this group because only someone with scoliosis would understand what we are going through. We understand each other because we have similar symptoms and feelings. I am scheduled to have surgery in November and will depend on this group for emotional support.

09-15-2004, 08:31 PM
I'm really glad I found this website as well Lexy. Good luck with your surgery in November, I will be praying for you.

09-24-2004, 07:57 PM
Felt like I was reading something I wrote. Have a severe curvature, have lived with it as long as I can remember. Had 2 children, good marriage, lost my strong support man 7 years ago. Also worry about what I wear & how am perceived by others. Always feel that if I had a limb gone, would be accepted more. Also look at straight backs, would love to have a day with one. Since I am now older, 67, find I have lots of pain in the lower back, left. My girls & grandchildren are my life, work part-time where I can either stand or sit. Always base everything I do on the weather,{can I wear something that will hide the back} & if it is a sit down or a buffet. Also am venting, but a good place to do it. Would love to talk to others via e-mail.

10-14-2004, 09:26 AM
Hi everyone, I know that the issue of cloths is a big deal for people who have scoliosis. It was the same for me! I posted an issue similar to this one almost a year ago, and from that I have learned a few things that I would like to pass on to others. The first thing that I learned, was that you have to be confident with your body more so than worry about it. Things happen I was unfortunate to grow up and learn that I have scoliosis, I was diognosed when I was 10 or 11 years old. I never wanted people to see my back, nor touch my back. I had to deal with this issue because my life took me into sports which my doc told me not to quit cause it might make my back muscles stronger. I played sports through out my high school years, but one thing that I had a big deal was changing in the locker room and stretching before practices. Having the other girls see my curve which was noticable when I bent over, scared me.
After hearing what others had to say and to hear that they were going through the same things it took my mind off it a little> I can honestly say that I will always be a little paranoied of what others think, but I feel as long as I am confident than there is nothing to worry about! The thing that I am going through now is pregnancy, I'm trying to get preganant now but scared that something might change with my back! Listen to what others have to say on the posts you'll be surprised you might learn somthing new! Thanks Gina

10-14-2004, 02:17 PM
What degree is your curvature? I have heard that during pregnancy, some curves will progress because of changing hormone levels. The ligaments in your pelvis also expand in preperation for the baby and this is believed to have an effect on your back.