Everything changes with time -- and that's certainly true if you have bone loss from osteoporosis. Little compression fractures can affect the way you sit, stand, walk -- and look. You may be a bit shorter now, your posture a little different.
"These changes alter how a woman's clothes fit," says Susan Randall, RN, senior director of education for the National Osteoporosis Foundation. "Clothes don't seem to drape as they should. The length of a dress doesn't seem right -- it's down in front, pulling up in back, or the hem doesn't seem even."
Did you know that eight out of every 10 people who get osteoporosis are women? While a woman's risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age -- and menopause is a key risk factor for osteoporosis -- premenopausal osteoporosis or bone loss that happens before menopause is not uncommon and can result in painful, debilitating fractures.
So you tug here, tug there, then give up in frustration. "What's more -- it's difficult to find new clothes that fit any better," Randall tells WebMD. "The worst part is, you end up staying home when you'd rather be out having fun."
So Randall offers these tips to women about finding clothes that hide problem areas. "We want people to feel good about how they look. Then they can participate fully in life... get the most joy out of life," she says.
Fashion Tips to Disguise Posture, Bone Loss Problems
When you shop for new clothing, don't hesitate to utilize a personal shopper, Randall advises.
"Many department stores have personal shoppers today," she tells WebMD. "There is greater awareness among fashion industry and retail stores of special needs that women have. They can help you find clothing and accessories that help solve your problems."
Another option: Find a good seamstress to tailor clothing to your body -- or go to a dressmaker, and have clothing made just for you, she suggests.
Ready to forge ahead for fashion? Here are a few tips:
Select the right silhouette. It's best to wear clothing that is loose fitting, straight-lined, or slightly fitted -- nothing too closely-cut. Dress shapes that work best: A-line, tent, empire waist, dropped waist, princess (with vertical lines), tunics.
Find necklines that flatter. Jeweled, rounded, slight V, soft cowl necklines work best.
Revisit shoulder pads. "Judicious use of shoulder pads can help jackets, shirts, and dresses fit better," says Randall. Fabric stores sell shoulder pads in several sizes.
Look for softly styled sleeves. Raglan, dropped or dolman sleeves adapt easily to any shape.