Advice about fashion for stoma patients
Having a stoma doesn’t mean that you have to change your personal style. You may feel like wearing big baggy clothes straight after surgery - but that doesn’t mean that you will want to hide yourself away after you're fully healed. Nowadays, stoma bag manufacturers have created a whole range of more body conscious products, designed to provide a better, more discrete fit for added privacy.
You should be able to continue wearing your own clothing as usual so don't feel that you will need to change the way you dress or rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe. However, if you do fancy a spot of retail therapy as a confidence boosting treat, there are many stoma clothing designers specialising in all types of clothing, from swimwear and underwear to casual clothing and accessories.
The way other people view us is based on how we look and feel. Once you feel confident about your stoma in private, you can show this confidence in public.
Here are some general tips on clothing for ostomates, given to us by other stoma patients. We hope that these may help you in the early days whilst you are getting comfortable with your stoma and getting to know what suits you.
- If you are particularly self-conscious to begin with, you could try wearing clothes that distract the gaze away from the abdomen. For example, you could wear a bright or patterned top with a plain pair of trousers or a skirt
- Some people find that dark colours make them feel safer while they are getting to grips with their new stoma care products and regime, in case of any leaks
- Front fastening trousers or skirts generally make it much easier to care for your stoma
- Pleated trousers or skirts tend to provide room for added movement (plus having some extra "give" for those times when your bag starts to fill up). Hipsters or very tight 'skinny' style trousers and jeans may be more restrictive
- You might find belts or cummerbunds a little tight around your abdomen, though this is of course a matter of personal taste