Welcome to part three of the lady’s guide to dressing with an ostomy!
In this part, I’ll be covering undergarments, intimacy wear, swimwear, and more!
Miss something or want to skip ahead?
Both men and women tend to be more self-conscious about their bodies after surgery.
We often become ashamed of our scars or the appliance we now have to wear, but this isn’t something you need to burden yourself with!
As these next few sections will show you, an ostomy doesn’t have to dampen your sexiness or comfort!
Intimacy / Lingerie / Undergarments
From sexy time to sexy all the time, there are a lot of ways to feel comfortable with next to no clothes on!
While you can find ostomy undergarments and lingerie made for ostomates, there’s no harm in improvising.
Intimacy can be tough with your new sidekick, but some lingerie and an understanding partner can go a long way in bringing back your self-confidence.Marcie F.
These blue Women’s Brief ostomy underwear from the company Awestomy aren’t available anymore, but they do offer other colors and patterns. The Front Butt YouTuber is wearing them in this photo.
“I am wearing a thong, garter belt, and a bra (all generic brands) I rolled my bag up and tucked it into the thong. Another a trick I do for lower-cut bottoms is to trim an inch off the top of my wafer so I can fold down the top as well. This is probably something most will not be comfortable to do. However, I have never had a leakage by doing this. I pretty much do this all summer long for bikini season or when I am doing a shoot with lower-cut bottoms.” – Beth Belle Aire
Credit: Beth Belle Aire
Amy is wearing cotton panties by OstomySecrets. OstomySecrets has several styles and colors of panties available. This style has an inner pocket to secure your pouch.
“I had to replace the thongs with a fuller cut panty by Fruit of the Loom! My bag is rolled up and tucked in. Because I was just trying this out I didn’t trim off the top of my wafer. A high-waisted bottom can be used if scars are a bother.” – Beth Belle Aire
Beth Belle Aire is wearing lingerie by Rampage Intimates
PHOTO CREDIT: William Dyer (Used with permission)
“The purple lingerie gown does not have a brand on it either. But I think it makes a good example of something sexy with more coverage. Because the gown is see-through I chose to wear another pair of the Heavenly Shapewear high-waisted panties underneath.” – Beth Belle Aire
Amy is wearing panties by OstomySecrets. These also have an inner pocket to secure your pouch.
Credit: Beth Belle Aire
TomboyX’s Bobbie Boxer Briefs are a lifesaver! They prevent chafing and let you be more active. With women’s underwear, chaffing was always a big problem until I discovered these.
Great everyday wear, super comfy, and unlike pouch cover belts, they won’t slip off the mark. Can even cycle comfortably in them!Allison Oskin (Instagram @postmark.owl)
Anything goes for sleepwear! From shorts to nightgowns, as long as you feel comfortable, go for it!
“I always wear 2 piece with soft elastic waistband in pants or shorts.” – Amy
“My nightwear stayed the same although I found wearing ‘Nighties’ or Night Gowns after surgery much more comfortable on my wounds.” – Bethany Purnell
You can (and should) have fun at the beach or pool, so have a look at what these beautiful ladies wear, and see if something catches your eyes.
Harriet is wearing ASOS Animal Print Skinny Crop Bikini Top and ASOS Crinkle High Leg Hipster Bikini Bottoms
Harriet is wearing ASOS Mix and Match Crinkle Crop Bikini top and bottoms
“Ruching also helps conceal wrinkles and tummy pooching. This one is my favorite out of all my swimwear.” – Beth Belle Aire, wearing a swimsuit by Bisou Bisou.
Harriet is wearing ASOS Knot Minimal High Leg Hipster Bikini Bottoms with an ASOS Crochet Bandeau Bikini Top with Bunny Ties
“The biggest wardrobe change for me was buying a one-piece bathing suit instead of my pre-ostomy regular bikini. I still have my 2 piece ready to rock, and I’m hoping I will feel comfortable and confident enough to don it on an upcoming trip to Thailand.” – Laura Zappulla
Keely Wells is wearing a bikini by Asos.
“From a recent trip to Jamaica. I just said the hell with it and wore a bikini. No need to wear anything high-waisted. Some people looked but most didn’t even notice.” – Marcie F.
“Sometimes you can buy the bottoms in a larger size than what you normally wear to be able to fit the entire appliance underneath.” – Beth Belle Aire
“Don’t forget there is always a cover-up. It helps to have a cover-up in case the bag balloons up from the stoma being active and you can’t get to a bathroom right away.” – Beth Belle Aire
“I myself prefer bikinis. My scar doesn’t bother me as much as the actual bag or even my tummy pooch. The best option for those is to find one with a skirt, like the cherry one.” – Beth Belle Aire
“Of course one-pieces are one of the best options for ostomates because it covers the entire bag, no matter where your stoma sits, and all the scars. Prints also help conceal the wrinkles from the bag.” – Beth Belle Aire
“Regular bikinis can also be worn for those with stomas below the navel. I look for bikinis with bottoms that are not itsy bitsy and can be pulled over my appliance and the bag rolled and tucked inside.” – Beth Belle Aire, wearing swimwear by Spirit Beach.
“This bathing suit is a one piece with high-waisted shorts.” – Karin Miller, wearing a bathing suit by Old Navy.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Kahn of f-64.com
“The pink polka dot suit has ruffles along the top that helps hide the appliance a bit. I do trim down my wafer for this suit, as well for the next ones.” – Beth Belle Aire, wearing swimwear by Arizona Jeans Co.
One-piece: These can conceal your entire appliance while offering support at the same time. Amazon.com has quite a few one-piece swimsuits on sale.
High Cut: More revealing than a one-piece, high cut bottoms can also offer some concealment and pouch support. You can also find these on Amazon.com.
Bikini bottoms: These don’t allow for concealment, but don’t let that stop you from wearing them! I’ve seen some ladies wear pouch covers, while others choose to let their bag hang out.
Just because you have a stoma, doesn’t mean you can’t be active! I’ve seen so many lady ostomates achieve some pretty amazing physical feats; from running marathons to body building, they aren’t slowed down by their appliance (and neither should you!).
Here are some examples of athletic wear, but keep in mind that if you play contact sports or expect strikes to your stoma, you may want to consider wearing a stoma guard under your clothes.
The most common options tend to be high waisted gym pants or yoga pants, which can be found nearly anywhere
Keely Wells is wearing gym pants by Man.Up Gymwear.
“For hiking, I had on an Ostomysecrets wrap under my pants, and they were kind of like yoga pants, but not quite as tight.” – Karin Miller
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Kahn of f-64.com
“High gym pants from Lululemon.(Have got 3 pairs all different patterns and colors) they are literally one of the best investments I ever made with my ileostomy.” – Keely Wells
“One piece running shorts (by Athletica) with built In longer shorts which hold things in place.” – Amy
“Lovvee these pants!” – Keely Wells
I wore a lot of leggings with oversized shirts/sweaters because I was pregnant in the fall and winter. Maternity clothes were awesome at hiding my ostomy because they have a lot of prints and the attention is drawn away from the ostomy and more towards your belly. I think my biggest concern was random strangers touching my stomach but I wore a lot of open cardigans on top of my clothes and kept my hands on my stomach in public so other people wouldn’t.Colleen Zavodny
If you’d like to contribute photos or tips to this section, please contact me.
Feeling Good Yet?
Not much needs to be said here! There are so many confident, beautiful women who won’t let their appliance get in the way of feeling sexy!
While it can be hard at first to bare more skin after surgery, but know that you can do it!
In part four you’ll hear what these ladies have to say about their appliance as they share more tips and advice to dressing up (or down) with an ostomy!