Dressing with an Ostomy: A Clothing Guide for Women

a lady's guide to dressing with an ostomy
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You are lucky to be a lady! Smart, strong, beautiful, and you’ve got a heck of a lot of clothing options!

This four part guide will give you ideas on how to dress with an ostomy. It will also inspire you!


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Intro

This guide has been made possible by the generosity of over a dozen women, who not only sent in their photos, but provided tips as well.

I have listed contributors at the end of this guide (part four), along with their contact links.

To those ladies who have helped me on this project – this post is dedicated to you!Lots of love, Eric
My men’s guide to dressing with an ostomy can be found HERE.

Disclaimer: I’ll be mentioning many brands in this guide, but they have only been included for your convenience. NONE have been added because of sponsorship or paid endorsement.

While many ladies can certainly wear their favorite clothes without too much trouble, there are a few useful options that can come in handy in certain situations. None of these are necessary for an ostomate, but they can improve your quality of life.

Stoma Guards

If you have a stoma that’s at or near your belt line, you might find that a stoma guard can come in handy with certain outfits.

In addition, they are extremely useful for protecting your stoma during sport, seat belts or unexpected impact (like from kids or pets).

Because stoma guards come in many shapes and sizes, not all will be suitable for wearing under light clothing, so it’s important to do some research and ask questions before ordering one. I’ve put together many reviews, including ones for stoma guards, which you can find HERE.

StomaShield_StomaDome_OstomyResolutions guard
Left: StomaShield; Top: Ostomy Resolutions Guard; Bottom: StomaDome

Support Garments

Offering more support than wraps or bands, support garments are often custom made to each ostomate’s requirement.

These can include products like the Stealth Belt or the “Eh-Ok” products, both of which I’ve reviewed. There are other products available, but they may only be sold in certain countries.

Ostomy garment EH OK front
EH OK garment by Joeies

Ostomy Support Wraps and Bands

I’m a big fan of ostomy wraps, not only because of their simplicity but because they do a great job supporting and concealing an ostomy appliance.

One of the things that was really good for me as an ostomate was the OstomySecrets wraps. The first one I got was the Intimacy Wrap. I loved that it kept my bag close to me. It was so comfortable, that I bought 3 regular wraps (black, white and beige). Not only do they keep your bag secure and close to you, but they also have pockets on the inside for you to tuck your bag into them! Also, they are way more comfortable than those dinky little belts the hospital gives you.Colitis Ninja
Ostomy Wrap - Colitis Ninja
Ostomy Wrap – Colitis Ninja
Details
Maternity trousers w/ wrap
Maternity trousers w/ wrap.
Details
Ostomy intimacy wrap Colitis Ninja (Medium)
Colitis Ninja wearing an intimacy wrap.
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Ostomy Wrap - Amy
Ostomy Wrap – Amy
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Maternity Band under Skirt – Karin
Maternity Band under Skirt – Karin
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Along with wraps come support garments, and Comfizz is one company that has a lot to offer. You can see below just how awesome a few of their products are.

Ostomy Support Vest – Black
Ostomy Support Vest – Black
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Ostomy Wrap – Beige
Ostomy Wrap – Beige
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Ostomy Briefs
Ostomy Briefs
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Ostomy Boxers
Ostomy Boxers
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These 4 are all from Comfizz. I prefer the knickers over the boxer shorts because you’re able to see the short ‘lines’ under your clothes. And I also prefer the knickers over the wrap because I find that the wrap can rise whilst you’re walking and come out-of-place and be uncomfortable. I love the vest although it is a little tight. These 4 products are amazing for wearing under your clothes to hide your ostomy. They help you feel supported and secure. Bethany Purnell: Instagram @ bethanypurnell

Sue is another fan of Comfizz:

I wear a Comfizz waist band to help support a full bag, and give me a smooth line underneath my clothing.Sue Hill
Hide N Sleek Ostomy garment by Joeies
Hide ‘N Sleek by Joeies

If you prefer, you can even use maternity bands (like the Bellaband) to achieve similar cover and support.  Maternity bands tend to be less expensive, but don’t have an inner pocket to hold your pouch.

Pouch Covers

Mostly used for fun or to hide the contents of a clear pouch, pouch covers are most often made by individuals who have an ostomy, although commercial pouch covers are available.

As Bethany states below, they can also be useful in helping to disguise a dangling pouch.

Bethany Purnell ostomy pouches
“These are my absolute favorite thing to wear! There are lace material ones which can be good for intimate times and there are also fun designs! If your pouch is visible hanging out under your shirt then a pouch cover can be a perfect way to disguise your pouch.”

If you’re the crafty type, you can even design and make your own pouch covers, just as my friend Meg has done below!

Homemade ostomy pouch cover Front Butt Youtuber
Meg, The Front Butt YouTuber, decided to make her own pouch cover!
I’ve reviewed several pouch covers, which you can see HERE.

Seat Belt Covers

While not a necessity for driving, these can be useful if you have a stoma that gets squished by your seat belt (like mine does).

While I haven’t seen many brands of seat belt covers being sold for ostomates, they are around if you look hard enough. I reviewed one called the Comfee Drive, and it’s an accessory I use every time I’m in the car; although when I’m wearing a stoma guard, I don’t have to one.

Comfee Drive product shot
This Velcro’s to your seat belt, and provides a channel where your stoma can rest under.

But there’s more!

While these accessories can be incredibly helpful, you’re still going to want to wear clothes during the day, right? Great, because I’ll be covering clothing options in part two and three, as well as more tips in part four, so I’ll see you there!

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10 thoughts on “Dressing with an Ostomy: A Clothing Guide for Women

  1. Janis,
    Check out a fashionable maternity store. I am sure that u can talk with a dry cleaning place that does fittings. But ask around first.. Unfortunately this is EXTRA expensive-but when it comes to alterations ? Got to do it. Even the bad places are expensive. So ask around.. A dress maker also. Try before hand a pattern of your choice. Just talk with someone and it is a show and tell trip first, but worth it. Try a cheap material first. I go with plaza pants. Also I shop the maternity store for jeans.. Be fashionable with your hair and make-up.. And don’t forget your smile!!
    My best to you! Marcie/usa/ct.

  2. Ladies, Can u wear tights, panty hose? If I do sometimes I feel like they will flatten my pouch-and possible leak so, I don’t go to far.. Kinda scared… Thanks! Marcie/usa/ct/.

  3. Hi, I’m hoping someone can help me. I have fistular on my left side of my stomach. along with that I have a hernia which is growing in leaps and bounds for lack of support. I am trying to take a panty girdle and make a hole to fit the ostomy bag through. I’m not sure how to do it being the panty is elastic. Cant find an old fashioned clothing taylor anywhere. Can anyone please help me?

  4. Terrific article!! Most comprehensive article on the subject of fashion I’ve seen. Congratulations on all of the hard work and hours it takes to put together this article. I’m looking forward to exploring the many clothing and ostomy accessories suggestions. Thank you

  5. Awesome article!!! Been waiting for the women’s guide for a while now! Well worth the wait.
    My tip is the same as most of the ladies, Comfort first, stretchy camis, high waisted undies and high waisted pants. I’ve used spanx under dresses which helped keep things tucked in. However that was only after several weeks post surgery. I discovered the clothes I could tolerate after surgery was different than several weeks later. I avoided anything tight and high waisted. I favoured low waisted and very loose tops. As a colostomate I can irrigate and not have any activity for the rest of the day so I could use a stoma cap – which I do on occasion. But I find they stick out more than a 2 piece. So if I am wearing something tight and want to keep a lower profile I tend to use the 2 piece. Keep in mind I’m 43 and gave birth to 9lb and 11lb babies so my belly sticks out which doesn’t help! :)

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