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What Clothes To Wear After Shoulder Surgery With A Sling

Springrose makes adaptive intimates for unstoppable women. Learn more >
11 Aug 2023

Clothes To Wear After Shoulder Surgery With A Sling: a rack of women's clothing

Wearing a sling can present a number of unique challenges, even more so if you’re dealing with a lack of mobility and that uncomfortable recovery pain after shoulder surgery. Getting dressed, and being comfortable in your clothing, can feel like a huge hurdle to overcome.

Finding comfortable, practical, and supportive clothing becomes essential to the healing process and helps to maintain independence. 

What To Wear After Shoulder Surgery With A Sling

When you’re recovering from surgery, you need to find a balance between style, convenience and comfort.

Too much pressure on your shoulder or overstretching to dress can cause problems for long-term recovery so it’s crucial to make some changes to best aid the process.

It’s also important to remember that whilst independence is nice, you might need some help from those around you immediately after your surgery. Everyday activities put pressure on your shoulder so be sure to accept help where you need it.

Our Top Recommendation: Adaptive Bras

One handed bra demonstration by a woman with one hand

After shoulder surgery, an adaptive bra is our number one recommendation for women. These specially designed bras have front closures and easy-fastening mechanisms that make it simple to fasten the bra with one hand.

When you’re wearing a sling after shoulder surgery, it can be difficult to maintain your independence. Adaptive one handed bras can be the small change that completely alters how much you need to rely on those around you.

When shopping for front closure bras after shoulder surgery, look for soft and supportive materials that offer gentle compression without compromising comfort. An adaptive bra ensures you can effortlessly put on and take off your bra without straining your recovering shoulder, making it a must-have foundation piece during the healing process.

So, what’s the easiest bra to wear after shoulder surgery? 

We’d recommend the one-handed front closure bra. This bra was created in collaboration with over 500 women with limited mobility, so it’s the perfect bra for someone with a sling following shoulder surgery.

Shop adaptive bras from Springrose.

Magnetic or Velcro “Button”- Downs

Alternative button-down shirts are a blessing for both men and women recovering from shoulder surgery. Opt for loose-fitting, comfortable styles made from soft, breathable fabrics. These allow for easy dressing without lifting your arm over head height, thanks to the front closure.

They also provide plenty of room for your injured shoulder and sling, making dressing and undressing a breeze while maintaining your sense of style.

Change Your Shoes

Slip-on shoes or velcro fastening shoes can be the perfect choice if you have limited arm mobility due to shoulder surgery. Try to choose supportive and comfortable slip-on shoes with cushioned soles to help with posture and stability during your recovery. 

With no need to bend or tie laces, slip-on shoes enable you to effortlessly slip them on and off with one hand, providing comfort and convenience as you heal.

Another option might be magnetic laces. Sometimes it’s not practical to wear slip-on shoes, but you might be able to make laces easier to fasten with one hand. 


Neutral overalls for getting dressed post shoulder surgery with a sling

Overalls are a great clothing option for individuals recovering from shoulder surgery with a sling. They provide easy access to the affected shoulder while still providing support and stability. Look for overalls with adjustable straps and easy-to-use fasteners to ensure a comfortable fit.

Additionally, choose overalls made from soft and breathable materials, such as linen, to prevent irritation and promote healing. Overall, overalls are a practical and stylish choice for post-surgery attire.

Soft, Breathable Sleepwear

Plenty of rest is crucial for the healing process, so it’s important to make sure this time is as comfortable as it can be. Choose soft, breathable sleepwear made from gentle materials like cotton to ensure a comfortable night's rest. 

Look for designs that easily slide over your sling, such as tank tops, allowing you to rest without added discomfort or irritation. Larger arm holes, sleeveless designs and front fastening sleepwear can all be great ways to adapt. Alternatively, you can always sleep in your birthday suit if it’s comfortable.

Avoid Tight Collars and Restrictive Materials

As you navigate your shoulder surgery recovery with a sling, one crucial aspect of dressing is to steer clear of tight collars and restrictive materials. Comfort and mobility are paramount during this healing period, and wearing clothing that hinders your range of motion or puts pressure on your healing shoulder can impede the recovery process.

Spaghetti Strap or Strapless Dresses

Spaghetti strap dress in beige for getting dressed post shoulder surgery with a sling

Try spaghetti strap dresses and strapless dresses since they’re easier to put on one-handed and they won’t restrict your mobility. These dresses will often have bigger arm and neck holes than alternatives, so it can relieve pressure on your shoulder and make sure you aren’t moving too much when dressing.

Wide-Leg Trousers With An Elasticated Waist

It might sound odd to suggest adapting clothing for an area unrelated to the shoulder injury, but when it comes to dressing following shoulder surgery, the more simple you can make it, the easier it will be. Avoiding fastens and tight fit clothing like jeans makes it more simple to dress with one hand without  risking a slip or fall that could set back recovery time.

Make The Most Of Scarves and Simple Accessories

During your shoulder surgery recovery with a sling, you might find yourself needing to adapt your style or make adjustments that aren't necessarily part of your usual wardrobe. While comfort and practicality are top priorities, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your personal style completely. One versatile solution is to make the most of scarves and simple accessories.

Scarves can be a game-changer in your post-surgery wardrobe. Not only do they add a touch of flair to your outfits, but they also serve a practical purpose by providing extra coverage and concealing your sling. Consider draping a scarf strategically over your shoulder to draw attention away from the sling and add an elegant touch to your overall look. Infinity scarves, in particular, are easy to wear and can be effortlessly adjusted with one hand, making them a great choice during your recovery period.

Knitted Ponchos

Stack of knitted sweaters

Knitted ponchos can be the perfect option if your shoulder surgery recovery is happening in less than favorable weather conditions. If you choose a knitted poncho, it’s easy to pull over your head to cover the sling. You also don’t want to restrict your arm and shoulder too much with form-fitting options, so you should choose a size that’s loose and comfortable where possible. 

V-Neck Tops

V-neck tops are not only flattering but also functional if you’re looking for what to wear after shoulder surgery with a sling. The V-neck design is more open and allows for easy dressing without straining the operated shoulder.

Remember to choose clothing made from soft, breathable, and stretchy materials to ensure maximum comfort during your shoulder surgery recovery. Prioritize convenience and comfort, and enjoy dressing with ease and confidence as you heal.

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