So Natalie over at The Spoonie Mummy inspired this post and the topic for this weeks episode of The IBD and Ostomy Support Show by doing a week long series about dressing with an ostomy. So I thought I should talk about the way I dress as I haven’t really done it properly.
I have had my ileostomy since April 2016 and thankfully haven’t changed the way I dress too much. My ileostomy sits pretty in line with my belly button so is quite high compared to a lot of people I have spoken too in groups this can cause issues with dressing. This has it’s ups and downs but I feel that 99% of the time I am comfortable with the way I look with my stoma, it is just other things I have issues with that aren’t IBD or ostomy related!! But these things can be worked on in time and that’s the way I try to look at most things since my mental health isn’t great at the moment but I am still pretty damn positive!
There are two groups I want to highlight on Facebook before we go any further and they are OstoMY Fashion (women only) and Male Ostomy and IBD (men only) in both of these groups you can talk about issues that are specific to your gender (if you are transgender I suggest Making Ostomies Cool as the original creator wanted a safe place for people regardless of their preference or what they feel aligned too).
I remember when I was first looking into stuff do with with ostomies before my surgery I was shocked to read you can’t wear tight clothing. The one thing I thought that would be perfect with a stoma is tighter clothing and I was right. I love a good bodycon dress (even though my tummy makes me feel like a sack of potatoes on occasion damn society) and I still wear these dresses I just think every good outfit starts with a good a base regardless of whether you have a stoma or not!
You can wear high street underwear if you want and feel comfortable with it but there are other options out there such as Comfizz if you want support wear, Vanilla Blush for pretty underwear with a pocket, Jasmine Stacey Collection for sexy lingerie with ostomies in mind and Stoma Style does bag covers. These are all useful depending on what you want to wear or an activity, I use all of these products and will always recommend at least for the purpose I use them for.
I know a LOT of people swear by high waisted trousers but it isn’t something I can get away with more because it accentuates the swell of the lower part of my tummy BUT high waisted skirts yep give me them all please!! I do wear leggings up and over my bag and belly though my favourites are the extra long ones in Primark as a few of my stateside friends call me “stems” so for my long legs I need the extra length!
When I am wearing trousers I wear low waisted ones (can’t right now due to my section scar I learnt the hard way this week) I then place my bag OUTSIDE my trousers and pop a Comfizz vest over the top, then whatever shirt I’m wearing. I also tried having my bag cover hanging out the bottom and I felt very self conscious doing this however I haven’t done it before so maybe it is a confidence thing.
When it comes to dresses or skirts the Comfizz briefs and boxers work well as does the Vanilla Blush underwear. They both hide the outline of the bag which makes it less visible once my outfit is on. I do prefer to wear skirts or dresses over any other outfit as I feel nicer in them and that is always a good thing.
A few people have told me over the past year that long scarves or a cardigan can help hide a bag that’s filling up and prints can hide the outline of a bag under clothes, some people like to layer up like me. Depending on where your stoma is sited may have a big difference on your clothes but I do believe that in time if you find dressing with an ostomy hard it does become easier as you find what makes you comfortable. I did a short poll on Twitter where I asked if people found it hard dressing with an ostomy. I got 12 votes and they were 6 for yes and 6 for no.
I am pretty lucky in that having my ostomy hasn’t made dressing with it harder or changed the way I dress. Sure some days I can moan about my bag poking out the top as that truly drives me nuts! But on the whole I have played around with my clothes now that thinking about what to wear doesn’t phase me and if it phases you I hope that in time it won’t.