How to Distract from Asymmetrical Features


I was recently having a conversation with a bespoke tailor friend and colleague, and she mentioned that she has a friend with scoliosis who has difficulty buying clothes that camouflage her scapula, which sticks out her back at an odd angle. My friend mentioned she’d done some web searching and could find nothing on how to dress a body that has any sort of asymmetry such as scoliosis. So I gave her these tips and I thought they may be of interest to some of you too.

How to Distract from Asymmetrical Facial or Body Features

If you have asymmetrical facial features, such as a broken nose or one that is bent to one side, or one eye significantly higher or different from the other. Or other asymmetry in your body caused by such things as scoliosis, if you wish to distract from this, look for asymmetry in your clothing design.


Think about how the eye will divide the body in half simply and easily when the clothing you wear makes this easy – such as a button up shirt or a blazer.    If you have one shoulder higher than the other or other body asymmetry or some facial asymmetry, then think about looking for garments that also include asymmetry in their design or add it in (see example above) where none exists.  In my examples above:

  • Top left – diagonal wrap
  • Top middle – embellishment and detail on one side only
  • Top right – a feature brooch on one lapel that creates asymmetry in a symmetrical garment
  • Bottom left – bow on one side
  • Bottom right – asymmetrical construction

Look for asymmetrical hemlines or other detail on only one side of clothes to distract from your natural asymmetry and create more harmony.  Above you’ll see a range of different ways asymmetry is used in jackets and some of the details you may think about looking for when purchasing your next wardrobe item.


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  • A great post – my physio tells me I am a bit lopsided!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog but at 5ft and half an inch am I a little too small for ballet flats?

  • What good advice. My cousin is suffering from scoliosis and she always has problems to find decent clothes, expecially tops. I will pass on to her your post. Thanks. Ciao. Antonella

  • Really interesting. I had never heard of this before. My lopsidedness is more internal than external. Sadly no broach will fix that.;-)

  • Jane: you can wear ballet flats, just with shorter (knee length or above the knee) skirts, rather than anythng longer. Sure, you won’t look as tall, but it’s comfy!

    Lunarossa: Glad I can help. Hope your cousin finds this useful.

    La Belette: you are perfect as you are!

  • I’ve had surgery for my scoliolis, but still have some asymmetry in my shoulders and hips. It’s minor, but I still correct for it in garments I sew (yet another reason to do so!), which helps a lot. I used to be more asymmetrical in my bra cup sizes as well until I had a breast lift several years ago and had that “tweaked” a bit. Before that, I could only buy bras that had stretch cups, or I had to pad the smaller side to even things out. (Ugh.)

    Karen, another way to think about it is when you see something that is *mostly* symmetrical, the brain wants to believe it is *all* symmetrical. Anything that isn’t, makes the brain work harder to resolve the conflict (thus ultimately drawing more attention to the non-symmetrical feature).

  • I love asymmetry…I use it in decorating all the time…never thought of it in dressing! It adds such interest and detail.
    I have added you to my favorites on my blog!

    When I was younger and much skinnier and cuter :>) I had no problem dressing…now that I am older (52), while in shape, don't have the lean easy to fit bod…so frustrating!

    You are beautiful and I look forward to reading you regularly!


  • ChristineB – Thanks for your honesty and also explanation – that’s a great way of thinking about it.

    Renae – thanks for your link – I really do appreciate it. Also for your incredibly kind words. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  • Christine, Imogen, I think I get it now. What you are doing is de-emphasizing the DIFFERENCE between asymmetries and clothing symmetry by sort of “watering them down.” To do this, you add some slight assymetry back IN so that the brain doesn’t work so hard at seeing the “difference.” Is that right?

  • And for people that tend to inwardly roll one foot more than the other. Not only does this give the impression that one leg is longer than the other, also makes your calves stick out. This can be solved in most cases by avoiding flats and wearing at least a bit of a heel…… try it, it works wonders 🙂

  • Marvelous! This is all I can think pertaining to a blog post like this valuable. This is honestly a very beneficial posting. You will have to know a lot about this important

  • I love Asymmetrical, which goes perfectly with my asymmetrical features LOL. I have an asymmetrical vest and it gest worn A LOT. I think I also own the skirt pictured (or something very similar). Fabulous tips Imogen!

  • Great post! So with an asymmetrical bust/rib cage – which side should you add the detail to? The larger/protruding side or to the smaller side?

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