Finding Confidence In Your Clothes

by Lynne Richardson

Lynn In Garden

Once again, I find myself in wedding planning mode as my youngest son is getting married in July. The big question is, “what am I going to wear?” and it’s now being asked with increasing concern… Time is going far too quickly!

Looking for my wedding outfit has given me the opportunity to reflect on how my attitude to what I wear has changed since I first had my urostomy. After my first round of surgery I was eternally grateful that leggings were very much in vogue. I found them comfortable and accommodating - and have continued to go back to them each time I have undergone further surgery.

I despaired of ever being able to wear my beloved jeans again

When I initially had my Ileal Conduit formed I was very self-conscious of my stoma and especially my urostomy bag. I was sure that everyone could see it. However, leggings teamed up with a baggy top or jumper seemed to be the answer, allowing me to hide my bag away. I despaired of ever being able to wear my beloved jeans again.

As time went on I began to be a bit more adventurous in my choice of clothes. I went shopping with a close friend who encouraged me to try on some different styles of clothes. I moved away from the very loose tops and tried on some which were a little more fitted but longer in length and covered my bag. One top has become an absolute favourite and boosted my confidence. It is long enough to cover my bag but is fitted where it needs to be – and is my favourite colour!

I now have the confidence to wear jeans again, choosing those with a lycra mix. This allows for a bit of give as my urostomy bag fills. I even wear them with an ordinary t-shirt now, although usually with a longline cardigan to allow me discretion when I need it.

I now feel confident enough to go shopping by myself

When my oldest son got married 5 years ago I made an appointment with a personal stylist at a well-known department store who listened to my concerns and helped me to find a beautiful outfit. This time I feel confident enough to go shopping by myself but perhaps with just a bit of input from my friend. Here’s hoping! 

About the author

I have had a urostomy since 2012 and will be sharing some of my personal experiences and thoughts as an ostomate. 

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