Flip through the pages of any fashion magazine and your eyes glaze over trying to keep track of the latest trends in sports wear, casual dress, and evening glamour. Those style choices impact more than just a woman’s wardrobe; fashion influences plastic surgery.
By Dawn Tongish
Fashion Sense And Surgery
The bikini tells the story of how fashion has played a role in plastic surgery. Remember the days when the ‘french cut’ bikini was popular? It seemed every woman hitting the beach or pool was wearing a thigh-high bikini. That was the ‘in’ look.
Dr. Kevin Smith recalls his early years in practice, when that look was all the rave. “It was really popular to have the high-cut, french bikini that went up about to the hip bones,” says Smith. Dr. Smith, who is a plastic surgeon in Charlotte, North Carolina says times have changed and so has the bikini. “Women now want the low rise in their swimsuit.” With a change in fashion comes a shift in how cosmetic surgery procedures are performed. “Our scars have really changed position from 30 years ago to now,” says Smith.
Changing Trends and Times
Fashion trends come and go, and many times, cosmetic procedures need to change with them. Dr. Smith says he pays attention to shifts in fashion to ensure a good outcome for each of his patients. “Patients are always asking, ‘Where is the scar going to be and what is going to show?'” Smith says many of his patients who have concerns are often tummy tuck or breast augmentation or lift patients who want to feel comfortable wearing a swim suit after the procedure. Their questions are often about whether their scars will be visible, with today’s attire.
“They want to know what am I going to be able to wear or not wear. If I am going to have a breast lift, are those scars going to be covered by a small bikini top?” Smith feels confident in assuring all of this patients that their concerns can be laid to rest. Today’s procedures allow for most scars to be placed in areas that are covered by most swim wear. “That’s why we pay attention to fashion, to make the patient happy.”
You! Never Go Out of Style
Fashion does influence plastic surgery: take the low-rise jean. The popularity of this jean has lowered the scar in the tummy tuck procedure. The scar is now placed much lower on the abdomen, to accommodate this particular cut, which is a very popular purchase for women. The pictures we see in magazines and the images we scroll through on the internet tend to sway our opinions of what we perceive as beautiful ‘at the moment’. But we all know that fashion, like the wind, shifts.
Trends and opinions can change swiftly, something that Dr. Brad Calobrace is well aware of. “You’ll see the media and what we see in magazines driving a look, but just like fashion it can be fleeting,” he shares. Dr. Calobrace, who practices in Louisville, Kentucky, explains that it is wise to be cautious about letting fashion drive your desire for plastic surgery. He says surgeons must be aware of fashion to properly adapt their procedures to changing trends, but he says trends should never push someone to a cosmetic procedure. “Surgery is permanent, so you want to make sure that you are making a reasonable decision that is not trendy, but will serve well over the changes in fashion or looks or what is en vogue.” Calobrace points out that fashion changes, but surgery should be about looking natural, not trendy. Always seek to be your best ‘you’, as that will never go out of style.