Clothing Tips for Pectus Excavatum in 2022, What to Avoid & More

Evidence Based This post has medical citations

Sometimes t-shirts, sweatshirts, or hoodies can’t hide your pectus excavatum deformity and flared ribs. My deformity could be seen through my clothing when I was very skinny. To make matters worse, I was a massive fan of wearing extra tight clothing.

I wrote this article to help you feel comfortable in your skin no matter what type of clothes you wear and whether the deformity is visible through the clothing or not.

WHY I LOVED TIGHT T-SHIRTS

The funny thing is that pectus excavatum sometimes makes the chest muscles appear much bigger and more developed than they are. I loved this so much and always believed having a solid chest was a sign of a strong man.

I was a hard gainer and extremely skinny, and I thought that wearing tight shirts would make me look more built when in reality, my ribs were poking out of the shirt. I made it a habit to pull down my shirt to hide this.

After realizing that I loved tight t-shirts for douchey reasons, I started to feel self-conscious about not being able to hide my flared ribs and chest deformity with clothing. Maybe this was why I liked wearing jackets even when it wasn’t that cold outside.

I CONTINUED BEING ANXIOUS

The moment I stopped caring about my deformity and when I didn’t make it much of a big deal was the moment when people didn’t recognize my abnormality at all.

Even though my ribs were poking out of my shirt and had a moderate indentation in my chest, nobody ever pointed it out. Interestingly, I was still anxious about that. Luckily, nobody made fun of me at that point because it would worsen matters.

PEOPLE DON’T CARE

Nobody looks at your chest through clothing, thinking there is something wrong with your chest. It is all mind games. You may probably assume that the deformity is apparent even through your t-shirt, but actually, people don’t even notice it, and they don’t care about that.

I LOVE OVERSIZED CLOTHING

Nowadays, I love wearing thick and oversized t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts. My love for comfortable fitting and oversized clothing is probably developed because I hated looking at my flaring ribs through my clothing every time I looked down or in the mirror.

I love heavy cotton clothing as they hold the shape very well. Also, this gives a nice boxy look that I like. On top of that, this helps conceal flared ribs and pectus excavatum while providing a broad shoulders appearance.

MY HONEST TIPS FOR YOU

Stop trying to hide your sunken chest deformity. Go to the point where you take off your shirt on purpose and show the chest to the world. You’ll feel very uncomfortable initially, but that helped me become very comfortable with my physique.

You can use all the tricks in the book to conceal the deformity, but the root of the problem will still be there, and you still won’t be comfortable in yourself. Stop caring about how it looks too much, and start caring more about whether it causes you lung or heart problems.

BUILD CHEST MUSCLE

When I started going to the weight room religiously, I noticed how much bigger chest muscles hide the pectus excavatum deformity through the clothing. They hold the shirt over the chest cavity, making it unnoticeable.

WEAR TANK TOP BELOW YOUR T-SHIRT

If you’re self-conscious about your deformity being visible through your clothing, I recommend you wear a tank top under it. This will conceal and flatten any problem you have with your chest.

WEAR WHATEVER CLOTHES MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD

Always wear the clothes you like and make you confident. If you look good, you’ll have a lot of confidence, which is the most important thing. Always remember that confidence is critical. I don’t care whether clothes make your rib flare or pectus excavatum obvious.

PECTUS POT BELLY AND T-SHIRTS

Some people with pectus excavatum and poor posture don’t like how they look in t-shirts because of the pectus pot belly appearance. The first thing is to correct the poor pectus posture and pot belly appearance. After they do this, their deformity won’t be noticeable through t-shirts, and they will look much better in any clothes they wear.

BEST TYPE OF CLOTHING TO WEAR

All that matters is the cut of the t-shirt. Stay away from t-shirts with printing on the front because they can collapse and fall into the chest cavity. I wouldn’t say I like wearing polos because they make my pecs appear much bigger than they are, making me look funny.

Button-down shirts look good on me, but I am not a massive fan of them. Some people even go to the point where they wear bandages around their chest so their clothes won’t fall in the cavity.

If you are one of these people, please don’t make yourself uncomfortable and wear a simple tank top under your clothing. This is a more straightforward way to fix this problem.

WHEN YOU CAN TELL

Some people worry about having wrinkles on the center of a t-shirt. They fear that that can suggest a cavity in the chest. This can be true, but only if the person has a pectus pot belly. However, I believe that a t-shirt crease doesn’t say anything at all.

TRAINED EYE

It would be best to have a trained eye to notice the deformity through a t-shirt. However, what a trained eye sees doesn’t matter in everyday relevance. What only matters is what people will see in everyday life.

Put yourself in the shoes of people who never heard of pectus excavatum in their lives. Or people that have seen something like that but don’t think of it all the time. They won’t think about pectus excavatum at all in a short interaction.

THINK POSITIVELY AND STOP WORRYING

As a person with pectus excavatum, it is best to think positively and convince yourself that nobody sees your deformity through your clothing, even though you fear this a lot.

People with pectus excavatum with mild to moderate deformity cases think they are looked at sideways by people around them. Even if this is true, you shouldn’t care about the opinion of people who don’t even know you personally.

Don’t worry because you can only see what kind of a physique a person has under a t-shirt by knowing who that person is. You can only do that by looking at shirtless pictures of the person on the internet or if you know him in person.

BEST CASE SCENARIO

Knowing that you have pectus excavatum and fearing that others will become aware that you have this deformity can feel unpleasant.

It would be best to forget about your pectus excavatum and flared ribs completely. Then there would be no question of whether others would notice your abnormality or not. That would be the ideal case.

But if this ideal case doesn’t happen, the question can become whether and how others will become aware that you have a sunken chest. Like most things, most people sooner or later will notice this. Body language always speaks louder than words.

For example, if you have a bad or a good day, you don’t have to tell others about it. Others will notice this message consciously or unconsciously. For example, look at celebrities with pectus excavatum.

See how severely their chest is indented. Then, google the same actors fully clothed. Can you tell whether they have pectus excavatum or not? Probably you can’t.

Article by:

Mihail Veleski

My name is Mihail Veleski. I used to suffer from the pectus excavatum deformity during my teenage years.

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