Dressing with an Ostomy: A Clothing Guide for Women

a lady's guide to dressing with an ostomy

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!


Want to skip ahead?

PART 1 (You are here): Intro, clothing accessories.

PART 2: Clothing options for everyday wear.

PART 3: Clothing for intimacy, swimming, and more.

PART 4: Bonus tips, credit


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

** Hey guys, 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

An alternative to guards, which has been designed specifically to help wear your appliance under clothing, is the StomaTuck.  The StomaTuck clips onto your waistband and helps to give space for your appliance. My review can be found HERE.

StomaTuck Front w appliance Veganostomy
The StomaTuck attaches to your waistband.

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.

Coliltis Ninja
Ostomy Wrap - Colitis Ninja

Wearing a wrap by OstomySecrets.


“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

Maternity trousers w/ wrap.Sue Hill is wearing Comfizz wrap underneath the built-in band for extra support.

Maternity trousers w/ wrap.

Sue Hill is wearing Comfizz wrap underneath the built-in band for extra support.

Ostomy intimacy wrap Colitis Ninja (Medium)

Colitis Ninja wearing an Intimacy Wrap by OstomySecrets.

Note: This photo was taken after an ostomy reversal, but the concealment would be the same if you put this wrap on after emptying your pouch.

Ostomy Wrap - Amy

Amy wearing a wrap by OstomySecrets

Maternity Band under Skirt – Karin

Close up of how Karin wears the maternity band under her skirt and shirt.
PHOTO CREDIT: @F-64.COM

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

Bethany Purnell wearing a wrap by Comfizz.

Ostomy Wrap – Beige

Bethany Purnell wearing a wrap by Comfizz.

Ostomy Briefs

Bethany Purnell wearing a wrap by Comfizz

Ostomy Boxers

Bethany Purnell wearing support boxers by Comfizz.

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!

Info: 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 (which, unfortunately, is no longer available), 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.

An alternative to the Comfee Drive is the Ostomy Protector (review HERE) or stoma guards.

ostomy-protector-installation
Installing and removing the Ostomy Protector only takes a few seconds.

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!

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

  1. Hello
    I have developed a huge hernia under my ostomy. I am a small person and this makes doing everything uncomfortable and I worry about it getting bigger. It will be a few months before I have a reversal. What products would you recommend, how do I avoid pressure on the opening forcing prolapse and how do I get Medicare to over the cost? Thank you !!

    Reply
    • Hi Jane,

      I’m sorry that you’re going through that. I would strongly recommend working with a stoma nurse, since hernias can require special care and fitting to get the right support product. They could also address your concerns about the prolapse.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Can you tell me if compression compromises the seal of the bag? I’m new to an ostomy and worn compression shorts, but I’m wondering if it used some of the bag contents under the seal because that’s what happened. You seem to know a lot so I thought I’d ask.

    Reply
    • Hi Tammy,

      Yes, I find that compression gives output little room to fill the bag, so it will often push it back towards the wafer and cause a leak, like you’ve experienced.

      Some people can get away with compression clothing, especially with loose or infrequent bowel movements, but I’d suggest loose or expandable fabric.

      Reply
  3. Does anyone know of a company that make cloths for someone with a colostomy. We had someone here in Ontario but they closed shop..

    Reply

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