Dressing with an Ostomy: A Guide for Ladies (Part 4)

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Hey, you made it to part four of my lady’s guide to dressing with an ostomy!

This is the last part in the series, but it includes loads of tips and advice from women like you!


Miss something or Want to skip ahead?


Intro

If you’ve been through the other parts of this series, I’m sure that by now you can see that dressing with an ostomy shouldn’t be something to worry about.

Below you’ll find some additional tips to make life easier.

Bonus Clothing Tips

  • Use patterns help to distract the eye from any bumps caused by your bag.
  • Ruched clothing also helps to hide your appliance.
  • Layering clothing can help make your pouch less noticeable.
  • Scarves are a great fashion accessory that can double up as a way to conceal your pouch.
  • A one-piece appliance (or two-piece with an adhesive coupling) will have a lower profile compared to two-piece systems, and that can make it less noticeable under your clothing.
  • Consider smaller bags if you don’t empty your pouch very often or irrigate your ostomy (i.e. colostomates); there’s no reason to wear a maxi-sized bag when all you need is a mini!
Well fitting camisoles with slight stretch & high-waisted panties and pants have become my go to items under any outfit. And I always bring a sweater or jacket, even if you don’t need it, it could come in handy for hiding a bulge while going to the bathroom or in the unfortunate case of a leak.Breia
Whilst there is no reason not to wear tighter fitting tops, my personal preference is to wear longer length looser fitting tops (for work and casual) over pants or skirts. It makes me feel more at ease that my bag isn’t hanging out and less obvious when it starts to fill up.Laura Zappulla
Singlets and leggings are a must-have in my wardrobe! I wear fitted singlets under just about everything. They are cheap, comfortable alternative to a support belt or wrap, and help keep everything snugly in place, plus you don’t even notice the singlet under most other tops. The leggings are great too especially in the colder months under a dress or skirt.Laura Zappulla

In Your Words

Here are quotes that I hope you will find inspiring.

My husband was more ok with the bag than I was. In other words, I was always worried about what he would think, but honestly, he told me he loved me for me and he likes my scars because it shows what I’ve been through and that I survived an evil colon.Colitis Ninja
Just because you can see the bag outline doesn’t mean everyone else can. I ask my friends all the time if they can see the bag or not and 90% of the time they say can’t.Marcie Felner
Having an ostomy really hasn’t made any major difference to my wardrobe or clothing choices. In fact, my weight fluctuations due to IBD as well as having an ostomy have encouraged me to get out and expand my clothing repertoire. What girl doesn’t love an excuse for a shopping spree!?Laura Zappulla
There’s no reason at all an ostomy should limit your clothing or jeopardise style. Mix and match and use it as a reason to be adventurous and play around with different styles and options so you look and feel great! Stomas can be sharp, sleek and sassy too! Laura Zappulla
I’m by no means a ‘fashionista’, and my fashion motto has always been COMFORT over EVERYTHING! If I am comfortable in what I am wearing, that helps me feel cool, calm, cute and confident! I’m sure I am way more conscious of my bag than anyone else around me is. My husband often tells me how beautiful I look (both with clothes or just donning my birthday suit and bag!), and that helps with my confidence too :) For me though, comfort is definitely the key!Laura Zappulla

Conclusion

I hope that this guide has at least given you some ideas on what you can wear when you’ve got an ostomy. From interacting with the women who participated in this series, it seems that nearly all of them were able to wear their pre-surgery wardrobe without having to throw anything away!

There are some things you can do to help you feel more secure, or to help support your pouch better, but that’s mostly a matter of preference.

Additional Resources

  • A list of ostomy clothing manufacturers can be found HERE.
  • For various ostomy accessory reviews on products that work for both men and women, check out THIS page.

Special Thanks / Credits

There are so many amazing women to thank, not only for their photos, but their feedback, patience and support.

Karin MillerProvided photos.
Karin runs the website NewbieOstomy.com and has been an online penpal of mine since early 2014.
MeganProvided photos.
Megan is YOUR Front Butt YouTuber! She’s been an online friend of mine since the beginning of my blog, and not only does she have some awesome YouTube videos, but we’ve even collaborated in a few!
Laura ZappullaProvided photos and tips.
“Laura is new to the blogging world starting her blog Stoma-licious in May 2015. After having ileostomy surgery for Crohn’s disease in 2013, she has since travelled the world with ostomy in tow. She started her blog Stoma-licious to raise awareness of IBD and ostomies in her home country of Australia, and share her stories of travelling with an ostomy, showing there is life after surgery and much, much more”!
Stephanie HughesAllowed me to use her swimsuit video.
Stephanie is the brains and beauty behind one of my favorite blogs, The Stolen Colon. She’s a fellow advocate and one of my personal heroes.
Colitis NinjaProvided photos.
Amber (a.k.a. Colitis Ninja) has been a friend and fellow advocate for a while now. She’s a talented artist who has put some amazing IBD information out there on her blog Colitis Ninja.
Thaila SkyeProvided photos and links.
Thaila is one of my ostomy heroes, and she’s a prolific YouTuber with many ostomy-related videos on her CHANNEL.
Alison R.Provided photos.
Alison is a friend an incredible advocate. We’ve laughed over GIFs, even while discussing the most serious topics. She’s the force behind Empowering Patients LLC
Keely WellsProvided photos.
I’ve been following Keely on Instagram for a while, and she helped so much by providing a bunch of great photos!
AmyProvided photos.
Amy has helped with photos and has given some great tips! If you’d like to get in touch with her, she can be reached at amy4572002@yahoo.com
Bethany PurnellProvided photos.
Bethany was one of the first ladies to send in photos, and I’m grateful for all the helpful images she supplied.
Neonerinn (Erin Laura)Provided photos.
Erin has provided some great photos, and is open to giving advice about living with an ostomy, so feel free to connect with her.
Beth Belle AireProvided photos.
Beth Belle Aire has provided quite a few very useful photos, and she invites women to check out her pinup page on Facebook.
KatrinaProvided photos.
Katrina is a new ileostomate who sent in some great photos for this guide!
Tracy J RossProvided photos.
Tracy provided some great photos of her modified trousers, and I’m glad that she’s been able to adapt well to her ostomy!
Michael KhanPhotographer for several of Karin Miller's photos.
Mike has been the photographer in several of the photos provided by Karin Miller of NewbieOstomy.com
BreiaProvided tips.
Thanks for the tips, Breia!
Allison OskinProvided tips.
Thanks for the tip, Allison!
Marcie FelnerProvided photos.
Marcie has been a great help, and I thank her for sending in a few photos for this guide!
Amanda AndrewProvided photos.
Amanda sent some great photos! Thank you!
Sue HillProvided photos.
Sue has been a great help providing photos with detailed info.
Colleen ZavodnyProvided tips.
Colleen offered up several tips for the maternity section!
Question: Do you have any fashion tips to share with other ladies?
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