Join the Largest Ostomy Community
Next >

Ostomy Memories of Wardrobe


ONE OF THE UNSUNG GREAT THINGS about retirement is the simplification of one's wardrobe.  Not having to report to work every day means you are no longer bound by job requirements or social dress codes.  You don't even have to get out of bed, let alone put on clothing.  There are disadvantages to that sort of layaboutism, of course.  “Clothes make the man,” Mark Twain told us.  “Naked people have little or no influence in society.”  I wouldn't even want to try to calculate how much I spent over the years for suits and ties and shoes that I took off as soon as I got home.  Now I favor sweat pants and kaftans.  Shorts and tee shirts.  Flip flops and mocs.  It's what you might call post-professional casual.  I've got no norms to abide by and no one to impress with my impeccable sartorial taste.  My spouse stopped being impressed a few months after our honeymoon.  My children were more concerned with their own peer pressures.  But even with all this now long since past, I still have maintained a few holdover items “just in case.”  I've noticed that my once acceptable ties are now at least twice the width of what's being worn these days.  I'm afraid to try to get into the suit pants.  So I'm hoping that nobody close to me dies any time soon.  I suspect even a conservative black kaftan might raise eyebrows at the funeral.  

MeetAnOstoMate - 30,199 members
Join a supportive community of individuals who understand your journey and can provide valuable insights, guidance, and companionship throughout your ostomy experience.

You never know Henry they might request a simple burial/ cremation and ask people to wear their birthday suits 😁 xx


Hello HenryM.

What a great post! It got me thinking about my own choices of wardrobe, both when I was working and when I moved into semi-retirement.

My working attire was always a smart suit and tie. These were obtained via the local charity shops for next to nothing as people were giving them away due to a range of reasons, like outgrowing them or carelessly burning cigarette holes in the front of them. Some of these suits would have cost many hundreds of pounds when new and would have been way out of my financial means. However, at that time, the charity shops had a glut of suits that they couldn't get rid of so none of them cost me more than 5. The interesting thing was that these shops were not allowed to sell suits without them being cleaned first. This meant that my suits cost me less to buy than it would have cost me to have them cleaned.  What I used to do was take them back to the shop when they needed cleaning and re-purchase the best of them when they came up for sale again.

However, when I had my stoma, all that changed and I began wearing a different type of ‘suit'. This was the changeover to a ‘boilersuit'.  When people asked me about the change or commented about it, my reposte would be that I always viewed my ‘work-suits' as ‘overalls' and so the boiler suits were no different to the dress-suits in that regard. If they continued the conversation, I would be quite happy and confident to share with them that I had now acquired a stoma and that a boilersuit (with its openable front) was much more efficient at managing the stoma than a two-piece suit with trousers and jacket.

For me, one of the greatest advantages of having a stoma is that I now do not have to dress-up for anything, and the boilersuits make it look as if I am doing ‘proper' work for a living, whereas a dress suit simply made me look as if I was yet another middle-class parasite who did nothing useful other than collect their wages.

One of the advantages of being old is that there is really no expectation from anyone that we should adhere to any conventional dress sense or fashion.

Even my wife has become used to my new outfits and no longer scolds me for not looking as ‘smart' as she would like.

Best wishes



I've been told my fashion needs help. 🤷‍♂️😁

Reply to Bill

Winston Churchill liked to wear boilersuits.  


Long as I got my nine pair of dungarees hanging in the closet I'm good to go!

Reply to Happytostillbehere

As long as I have my leggings and blouses, I'm good to go. I had to really smile at all these comments about new wardrobe's after stomas and retirement. I came out of retirement to help my tax accountant, but I insisted I had to wear leggings, blouse, and sweater.. She doesn't complain because I am darn good at my job.!  Funny stuff, guys!


Oh my gosh! There is no apostrophe in wardrobes.


Hello jeanneskindle.

Thank you so much for your post and the motivation to respond at this time in the morning.

Best wishes



In this life, where would we be
without our friend ‘apostrophe'?
You'll find one here, another there,
apostrophes just do not care.

Sometimes appearing out of place,
apostrophes may take up space
that otherwise just would not be
if not for an apostrophe.

These commas hanging in the air,
may sometimes make pedantics care
if they are deemed to be misplaced 
and somehow make writing defaced.

There're many could not give a jot
and see it like a tadpole blot,
so are not prone to be prescript
about another's manuscript.

As long as they can understand
what's typed or written down by hand,
does it really matter what
appears to be a short-tailed spot?

For those who like to see this sign
here's some apostrophes of mine
for you to browse and then eschew
and view them in the way you do.


                                B. Withers 2023

Reply to jeanneskindle

I love that you re-read your posts and spot grammatical errors, too!

Reply to AlexT

You and my husband could have a chat about this!


As a senior fitness instructor, I'm lucky that my work clothes are incredibly comfortable and easy on my stoma.😁🧘

Reply to eefyjig

I showed a picture of what I was wearing to someone the other day. She said she could help me. 😂 

Reply to AlexT


Reply to Bill

I loved your poem!  Ain't life grand?   Thank you 🙏 


Reply to jeanneskindle

Hello Jeanne.

Thanks for your appreciative comment about the rhyme. these little bits of feedback (especially when positive) are what makes a writer's efforts seem worthwhile.
P.S. I also appreciate the simple ticks on the 'like' icon!

Best wishes


Reply to HenryM

What's a boilersuit?

* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours