Being fashionable in any type of Scoliosis brace

Hi everyone.  We have had a very frantic, but amazing, couple of weeks at the Beauvais house.  Not only did the kids (and my husband) start school up again, but I was working to get a video submission done for the “America’s Favorite Small Business” competition, put on by Dell.  I will keep you posted on if we make the Top 10 – because, if we do – then the power is in the hands of the American voters. 

This week my daughter also turned the big 1 – 0.  Yes, she’s 10 now, and starting to care more about things like fashion and hairstyles.  Which brings me to my topic this week – dressing fashionably in a Scoliosis Brace.  I’ve been wanting to write on this topic for a while, but am not very fashion-savvy myself.  I have noticed that many of the styles out in stores are very brace-friendly – and I’ve been doing some research on the subject.  In fact, I was chatting with my professor for my textiles class (I mentioned in a previous post that I went back to school to work toward my Master’s in Apparel Design and Textiles) and we got on the subject of designing apparel for the disabled and the special needs body.  She  will be a great mentor to me in that area, as she literally wrote a book about the subject many years ago!  But, we also talked about simple things that girls can do to dress fashionably, while wearing a brace.  Some of her suggestions were to wear patterns on top (to trick the eye and keep it away from the lines of the brace or any unevenness between the shoulders) and to go for ruffles and details along the neckline (again, to detract and hide).  She also mentioned picking a sturdy enough fabric that it won’t wear holes from the brace or cling to closely to the brace and emphasize it, but that has a touch of stretch to help it flow over the brace and to cling tightly enough to flatter the figure.  Also, what seems to be in fashion now is the layered look with leggings, which is perfect for wearing a brace.  I’ve seen a lot of use of sequins (again, to detract the eye).  There are all sorts of long tanks under longer, flowing tunics – and belts are back to cinch at the waist.  Some nice leggings, with a long cami and tunic on top, with a wide-ish belt at the waist overtop of everything is slimming and the perfect cover for a brace – it’s also comfortable.  I’ve included a couple of my daughter’s recent looks – I want to log what she wears as time goes on and put some photos on here for ideas for your girls.  And, of course, she wears her bodysuit and brace under everything I post here…she and her best friend (also 10) pick out everything…I don’t get any credit for that! 🙂

Denim Queen
This outfit is a perfect example of the layering I was talking about - the leggings have a denim "jeggings" look, the stripes distract from the brace, and the belt overtop gives her a waistline, which many girls hide when dressing over their braces.
Daughter's "Preppy" Outfit
This is my daughter's "Preppy Look" - she has her brace on, but the layering and various distraction points divert the eye and she looks quite stylish. I think her Grandma got her this at Khols.

Old School

Well, the big deal around our house this week is that old MOM has gone back to school! I am taking a few pre-requisite classes at Central Michigan University so I can apply next year to the Master’s program in Apparel Design and Textiles. So, I’m starting off slowly with one 100-level class in “Introduction to Textiles”. I have to say I’m loving every minute of it! I guess college feels so different this time around that I’m enjoying the experience so much more. I have a bear of a commute (1.5 hours each way), but it won’t be forever and I am enjoying listening to the Bible on CD, the news on my XM radio, and my fun fiction books the rest of the way (not to mention it’s a great time to call family and friends to catch up – using my hands-free blutooth, of course) 🙂 Anyway, so I make the most of the commute and, after only a few classes, I’ve already learned so much that will make my decisions regarding my company so much more educated. But, the thing that is really strange is how OLD I feel. I’m not really that old (35, and proud of it), but compared to the 18-year-olds in my class, I’m ancient. In fact, they are closer to my 10-year-old daughter’s age than mine! I remember when I was in college, there would always be that one person who was much older, sitting in the front row, and grinning from ear to ear because they were having so much fun being there. As my recent-college-graduate brother put it to me – “So, you are THAT lady!” Yes, I’m “that” lady and loving every minute.

As for things at home, well they are still in the chaos of summertime. I’m getting ready to go work on a responsibility chart right now – my kids are not even taking care of brushing their teeth like they should, much less remembering their Scoliosis rehab exercises! Oh well, with school comes the discipline of a daily schedule and we’ll get back on track. It’s been a good summer, but I’m ready for the daily grind…just a little bit. I hope everyone has a great long weekend. Savor the warm temps while they last (except for you people who live in warm climates, like I used to in Miami, FL – for you, I say, “hang in there, cooler temps are coming!”) 🙂

Blessings to everyone for a great family weekend and a wonderful start to the school year.

Savoring the last bits of summer