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If you have just had ostomy surgery, you may be worried about what to wear or how your wardrobe may change. However, just because you’ve had ostomy surgery, it doesn't mean you can’t wear the clothes you loved prior to surgery. Your wardrobe can be functional and still reflect your personal style.

But, don’t just take our word for it. We asked members of our me+ community for some fashion tips and tricks for people living with an ostomy. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Try shirts or tops that come to the hip, offering enough length to conceal your pouch as it fills.
  • If you want to wear shorter tops that may reveal your pouch, pair with jackets, sport coats or cardigans that can be used as additional coverage if you start to feel self-conscious after leaving the house.
  • For ladies, longer tunics or dresses pared with leggings or slip shorts, may be more comfortable following surgery.
  • For men, untucked shirts with softer material pants may be more comfortable in the weeks following surgery.
  • Look for jeans made with 1 or 2 % Spandex.  A little bit of stretch helps accommodate your pouch as it fills without restriction.
  • Patterned bottoms (pants, skirts, or dresses)  can trick the eye and camouflage any potential visible pouch outlines.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear something more form fitting. More frequent pouch emptying can help to keep a flatter pouch profile giving you more confidence.
  • Make sure your clothes are not too tight around the bag. Your ostomy needs to be able to drain easily, and you should allow for your pouch to expand as it fills. You may need to be careful that waistbands do not rest below the ostomy restricting ability to drain into your pouch.
  • Depending on ostomy placement, you may feel more comfortable with high- or low-rise waistband items, like underwear, jeans, or activewear. Don’t be afraid to try different waist heights to find the rise that works best for your body.
  • Comfort + Security = Confidence. If you are comfortable in what you are wearing and your pouch feels secure, you are more likely to feel confident in your wardrobe choices.  Confidence is the best thing you can wear following ostomy surgery!  Wear items that make you feel good and reflect your personality.