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As a Woman, How Do You Dress with an Ileostomy?

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Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:54 pm

I'm 5'0 Ft. and about 90LBs and am having a hard time trying to figure out how to dress since having my surgery.  Because of my small frame, any little bulge shows. . . I wear oversized tops in order to hide it, but sometimes that doesn't even help.  I used to wear jeans, but now yoga pants are my jam. . . but not by choice.

I'd like to be able to wear whatever I want.

How do you dress with an ileostomy?

Do you wear a belt, wrap, or pouch to cover up?

 

Gemini

Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:57 pm

Hi, Gemini!

If you search the site using the word "pants", you'll find numerous posts on the subject.

Here's one of the most recent for ladies:

https://www.meetanostomate.org/discussion-forum/viewtopic.php?t=10699

Be Well~

Lily17

Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:13 pm
Lily17 wrote:

Hi, Gemini!

If you search the site using the word "pants", you'll find numerous posts on the subject.

Here's one of the most recent for ladies:

https://www.meetanostomate.org/discussion-forum/viewtopic.php?t=10699

Be Well~

Lily17


Lily, I started that discussion on the perfect pants, and I got so many good responses from people. It's so great to have this community of people who share their knowledge and experience. Gemini, you just have to try out some different things to find what works best for you. In the beginning it seems overwhelming, but things get easier. Definitely read all the suggestions in that thread, and you will get lots of good info! 
Lucy

Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:46 am

Hi Gemini, 

I am not slight of frame but still have the desire to hide any bulge the pouch creates. It really depends on where your stoma is located. Mine is below my waist so I am able to wear any pants without problems. I do wear tops that come down to my hips. Not the really long ones! It is crazy that the larger the size of shirt, the longer they are. I don't get that!  I am tall but those long shirts DO make your butt look big! Lol I usually buy petites in a larger size than normal to get the right length to just go over the pouch in case it blows up like a balloon with gas or poo. I also tend to buy the layered look. Something poofy or ruffled that hides everything. With your small frame, you can pull off any style! 
Hope you find the perfect fit for you! Just keep trying! Amazon prime a wonderful thing! Lol

Puppyluv

Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:59 am
Puppyluv56 wrote:

Hi Gemini, 

I am not slight of frame but still have the desire to hide any bulge the pouch creates. It really depends on where your stoma is located. Mine is below my waist so I am able to wear any pants without problems. I do wear tops that come down to my hips. Not the really long ones! It is crazy that the larger the size of shirt, the longer they are. I don't get that!  I am tall but those long shirts DO make your butt look big! Lol I usually buy petites in a larger size than normal to get the right length to just go over the pouch in case it blows up like a balloon with gas or poo. I also tend to buy the layered look. Something poofy or ruffled that hides everything. With your small frame, you can pull off any style! 
Hope you find the perfect fit for you! Just keep trying! Amazon prime a wonderful thing! Lol

Puppyluv


PuppyLuv, Thanks You so much for your response!

As to your comment about being small and petite and being able to wear whatever I want - so not true (unfortunately)!  I have a short torso, so it makes it difficult. . . my pouch is below my waist as well, but hangs pretty low.  I bought a wrap and it's soo uncomfortable.  So I bought a pouch to wear over the bag, and I hated having my bag hanging out of me pants.  I tried buying a horizontal belt, but they don't make them small enough for my waist size (Bummer).  Have you tried a wrap, pouch or belt?  or just tuck it in your pants and be done with it?

Gemini 

Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:00 pm
Little Lulu wrote:


Lily, I started that discussion on the perfect pants, and I got so many good responses from people. It's so great to have this community of people who share their knowledge and experience. Gemini, you just have to try out some different things to find what works best for you. In the beginning it seems overwhelming, but things get easier. Definitely read all the suggestions in that thread, and you will get lots of good info! 
Lucy


Little Lulu, 

I hope things get easier soon!  

Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:02 pm
Lily17 wrote:

Hi, Gemini!

If you search the site using the word "pants", you'll find numerous posts on the subject.

Here's one of the most recent for ladies:

https://www.meetanostomate.org/discussion-forum/viewtopic.php?t=10699

Be Well~

Lily17


Lily17, 

Thanks for the Link!  I need all the help I can get. =)

Gemini

Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:23 pm
Gemini16 wrote:


PuppyLuv, Thanks You so much for your response!

As to your comment about being small and petite and being able to wear whatever I want - so not true (unfortunately)!  I have a short torso, so it makes it difficult. . . my pouch is below my waist as well, but hangs pretty low.  I bought a wrap and it's soo uncomfortable.  So I bought a pouch to wear over the bag, and I hated having my bag hanging out of me pants.  I tried buying a horizontal belt, but they don't make them small enough for my waist size (Bummer).  Have you tried a wrap, pouch or belt?  or just tuck it in your pants and be done with it?

Gemini 


Isn't it funny what our perception of different size people are! Lol Sorry for your troubles and I completely understand all of that. I am the shortest person in my family at 5'9". My sister is 6'1! Poor girl! Lol All of my friends say how lucky I am to be so tall, that I can wear anything. That is so far from the truth as well. I tell them or at least those that are short, that they can always hem anything to the peffect length but I cannot add to the length of my pants. It is very difficult to find a 36 length pant. You cannot even find a Long. Always medium or short. I hate wearing short pants. In the spring and fall if I wear jeans that come just around my ankle with flip-flops and that's OK but that doesn't last very long.

I do not wear a belt or any other type of apparel to hide my pouch. I just wear my regular panties with my shorts or pants over that. I even wear a two piece pouch that is a little more bulky than a one piece. It doesn't show through my clothes. Even when I just wear a T-shirt that really doesn't hide much. I just don't wear tight skirts. My shirts do cover most of the area of the pouch.  I have heard of people turning their pouch sideways. If you use a two piece pouch system, that is very easy to do. A one piece, not so much, especially if it's a drainable pouch. Little tough to drain it from the side. I guess that can be done though. 
No harm in trying all kinds of stuff to find what works for you! 
Puppyluv

 

Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:19 pm

Hi Gemini

 

I am also a female with a small build.

 

I wear pretty much whatever I want , the only thing I find you need to avoid is pants that sit right on or just under your stoma. 

 

If you get pants or skirts that sit on your waist,above your stoma then you don't see any bulge.

 

If you want to wear a dress pick something with pleats  around the middle, hides everything!. Otherwise if it's a night out and you want to wear something really nice and feel nervous about anything showing, just wear some spanks underneath.

 

Although just be sure to empty your pouch regularly as this can cause some pancaking if you don't.

 

It took me a few years to realise only you are aware of any "bulge".

 

If it is getting to the point where you can see a slight bulge, usually means you went too long wthout emptying or you ate something that caused gas. But it's no big deal, just go to the toilet like all females do many times on a night out and no one is the wiser.

 

Have fund with your clothes, be confident and that's all anyone will see :) 

 

Best of luck.

 

DD

 

 

 

 

Sun Oct 25, 2020 11:38 pm

Hi,I too am small,only 2" taller than you and 100 pounds. I wear jeans still but make sure they are higher than my stoma. In summer I wear skirts with longer singlet tops etc or dresses that skim loosely over my tummy,no tight fitting things...heck,I am 63 after all!! I wear tankinis when swimming....I must admit though,the days I can wear my black exercise leggings I am in heaven ! Really hope your, non of my clothes have changed except can no longer wear a waisted dress or sleek evening gown....never have worn one anyhoo ! Hope this helps

Bron ( Sydney, Australia )

Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:23 am

Gemini, one thing that no one has mentioned is ostomy panties. You can order them from Ostomy Secrets. They have a pocket for your bag to rest in. They are kind of expensive for what you get, quality is not great or consistent, but our options are limited here. I don't wear them every day, but they give me a level of support when I need it. The panties don't hide anything, but if you are in a situation where you feel your bag may fill up quickly before you can deal with it, the support from the panties might make you feel more confident. I think the panties run small, so keep that in mind. I would suggest ordering only one pair to see how they fit, and how they work for you. I especially like them during hot weather to keep my bag off of my skin. 
Lucy

Mon Oct 26, 2020 2:24 pm

I'm a 5 ft 10in male and here is how I handle my bag:

I wear an Nu-Way support belt nearly 24/7 due to a hernia that cannot be repaired. The good this does for me is it keeps my looking trim and fit at the waistline! :) I'm only 177 pounds so its not a huge issue to begine with but at age 55 there is a bit of muffin top. Its life. 

Next I wear an Ostomoy Secrets wrap. This has a pouch for the bag ot fit into and holds it secure against my body. I've come to find this combo reasonably comfortable, but way better than not using one or the other. 

I also wear an Ostomy Armor support/protection belt at times(with the Ostomy Secrets wrap. It works great for protecting my stoma when I participate in my main hobby, racing cars.

I tried the clip on plastic belt and found it just sucked, frankly. 

I too have found as others have said the only person that notices your buldging pouch is you. I wear t-shirts, shorts, jeans, dress slacks, button downs tucked in, you name it no problems. 

Here is a tip: You can turn your bag 90 degrees so it "hangs" horizontal, then use a wrap designed for that kind of wearing the bag. I am sorry I can't recall the name of the company that manes those wrap for that bag wearing method. It seems to work for active people as well. I do not use this method as doing so places the bag partly in the way of the seat and seat belts in my race car!

Hope this is of help, good luck and get out there!

bryan

Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:12 pm
bryancohnracing wrote:

I'm a 5 ft 10in male and here is how I handle my bag:

I wear an Nu-Way support belt nearly 24/7 due to a hernia that cannot be repaired. The good this does for me is it keeps my looking trim and fit at the waistline! :) I'm only 177 pounds so its not a huge issue to begine with but at age 55 there is a bit of muffin top. Its life. 

Next I wear an Ostomoy Secrets wrap. This has a pouch for the bag ot fit into and holds it secure against my body. I've come to find this combo reasonably comfortable, but way better than not using one or the other. 

I also wear an Ostomy Armor support/protection belt at times(with the Ostomy Secrets wrap. It works great for protecting my stoma when I participate in my main hobby, racing cars.

I tried the clip on plastic belt and found it just sucked, frankly. 

I too have found as others have said the only person that notices your buldging pouch is you. I wear t-shirts, shorts, jeans, dress slacks, button downs tucked in, you name it no problems. 

Here is a tip: You can turn your bag 90 degrees so it "hangs" horizontal, then use a wrap designed for that kind of wearing the bag. I am sorry I can't recall the name of the company that manes those wrap for that bag wearing method. It seems to work for active people as well. I do not use this method as doing so places the bag partly in the way of the seat and seat belts in my race car!

Hope this is of help, good luck and get out there!

bryan

Bryan,

Thanks so much for all the tips!  As far as hanging the bag horizontally, you maybe thinking of the belt from Stelthbelt?  I ordered from them and another company I can't recall, but the belts were way too big in the waist and they didn't make a smaller size - had to send them back. . . 

 

Gemini

Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:17 pm
Donz14 wrote:

Hi Gemini

 

I am also a female with a small build.

 

I wear pretty much whatever I want , the only thing I find you need to avoid is pants that sit right on or just under your stoma. 

 

If you get pants or skirts that sit on your waist,above your stoma then you don't see any bulge.

 

If you want to wear a dress pick something with pleats  around the middle, hides everything!. Otherwise if it's a night out and you want to wear something really nice and feel nervous about anything showing, just wear some spanks underneath.

 

Although just be sure to empty your pouch regularly as this can cause some pancaking if you don't.

 

It took me a few years to realise only you are aware of any "bulge".

 

If it is getting to the point where you can see a slight bulge, usually means you went too long wthout emptying or you ate something that caused gas. But it's no big deal, just go to the toilet like all females do many times on a night out and no one is the wiser.

 

Have fund with your clothes, be confident and that's all anyone will see :) 

 

Best of luck.

 

DD,

 

 

 

 

 


DD,

Thanks for your Positivity.  When you say "It took me a few years to realize only you are aware of any "bulge", I wish I was confident enough to just not care, but I am very self concious of it.  I hope as time goes on, things will get easier, and I'll finally except it.

Gemini

Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:20 pm

Hi,

After surgery, (I've had 4), I wear loose clothes like dresses.  Once its healed and can handle the pressure, I'm back in jeans. I did have to switch from regular jeans to relaxed fit or stretchy. Lane Bryant T3 is my go-to brand.  At home I relax with cotton shorts, leggings, yoga pants or sweats. I wear cotton shorts under my dresses for extra support.  

As for hiding the bulge, loose shirts or dresses work. I usually go with tie-dye, flowers or patterns. They help because of their 3D camouflage vs solids that seem to magnify every bump.  This is especially important with swim suits. Lands End makes nice separates to pair up. I like solid swim shorts with a floral/print tankini dress top.  If I'm kayaking, I wear a bikini brief & top under loose rash guard board shorts & top.  Sometimes I use a swimsuit cover up as a loose top.

If your tummy doesn't like jeans yet, you can layer for the cold. I liked to layer cute "long johns" sets under cotton maxi dresses, worn with cute boots. 

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