Can fashion and comfort combine for ostomates?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been quite brave with dresses since getting Tomas but I am always checking and patting that area. I suppose I feel blessed with having an ” outie” for a stoma in that my peristomal skin is reasonably good, but the downside is that you can see the telltale lump under my clothes ( or maybe I can but others can’t, but I think they can)

There are many people asking what they can wear that is not just baggy trousers and saggy tops, so I am going to find out. I already have a page about the subject  HOW TO FEEL GOOD IN CLOTHES

But this is how I feel, and not necessarily how everyone feels.  I now think I need to look into this subject a bit more. Many ostomates feel self conscious when going out for a posh night out in their glad rags, and we check ourselves in the mirror at every angle, but of course we all know that our silhouette can change during the night, so a flimsy wispy dress is a no no for many but the very daring.

There are some wonderful lingerie and underwear now for ostomates, some are very well known now and do well, for example VANILLA BLUSH 

(I have noticed that Vanilla Flush do a lovely lounge wear bottoms and I am a bit tempted to get them, and they are also available for men)

But I would love to see more clothing lines. I know that a lot of high street clothing can be worn by us but it would be nice to see things such as body con dresses and jumpsuits that are made with us in mind. Most jumpsuits show the outline of the bag or if you wear a band, you can see that through the material. The materiel needs to be thicker but still lightweight . Same for tight ish dresses. I wear high waisted jeans that are as soft as possible but must admit that the band can still drag my bag downwards, which is uncomfortable and leads to itching. I usually end up with leggings because they are the most comfortable thing I own. Crossover tops/ dresses, belts and patterns all help to hide lumps and bumps that we don’t want on show.

The good news is that the ideas are starting. I went to the Purple Wings charity ball and conference this year and there was a new product there, that was exciting.

I AM DENIM is the new jean for ostomates. They are low cut but have a waistband that hides everything else, wonderful. Just the fact that there are people out there that care and are willing to design and try warms my heart. They are dearer that the average pair of jeans but the way they are made and the added benefits mean that the production costs , I expect, are more.

But that can’t be it can it? well I have been scanning the world wide web and found some fairly obscure companies that seem to think we all want high  waisted  elastic polyester trousers and old fashioned knitted tops, or underwear ( not knitted underwear ) and we are all over 70yrs old ,hmmmm it all seems like hard work. As a rule I think we can wear most things but I have definitely tried on a few things and been very disappointed. Not sure what the answer is, just to find what works for us all I suppose. We all assume our bags can be seen, but in reality is it just our insecurities ?

We need more designers so if any of the clothing companies are reading this, you have a niche market waiting…………….

If anyone has any useful information regarding clothing, not necessarily made for ostomates, but maybe an item of clothing that has made them feel fabulous, let me know and I will add it to my page. Does it camouflage the outline? Is it comfortable? Is it patterned or plain?

Does my bag look big in this? What about the rest of me?

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I thought I would chat about body image. We all worry, me too.

It has come to my attention that we all spend too much time worrying about the way we are perceived by others, and that includes how we look. Now, I am a born worrier about everything so I speak from experience in the subject.

When I was younger right up until I hit 40, I would say I was pretty skinny. So did everyone else. But, although a lot of people said they wished they looked like me, there were some who were downright rude.

One friend said she wished she was thinner, ” Not quite as thin as you though Clare” hmmm nice. How would they like me to say ” I wish I was fatter, not quite as fat as you though” that would go down very well.

I went to see a comedian in Blackpool years ago, and we were a loud table so he picked on us, actually he picked on me. He invited me onto the stage, big mistake.

” lets move the mike stand so they can all see you”

“I am going to tell a joke, you’ll laugh your tits off, oh you’ve already heard it” Yes I know, its funny, but can you imagine a teenager with hangups on that stage? I was distraught.

Ulcerative colitis then appeared, and my body image changed again. Skinny legs and fat belly, lovely. Bloating with inflammatory bowel disease is not nice, I had a few people ask if I was pregnant on many  occasions. This pot belly look lasted until surgery really when I was 49, but I also got more meat on me elsewhere. I liked the fact that my boobs grew, but not my arse or hips.

I have also been “blessed” with pale skin and freckles and moles. I would love to be a nice tan colour but it takes 2 weeks in Corfu laid out all day to go a great shade of pink. Fake tan is better nowadays but I do worry that I have damaged my skin over the years. I have jealousy when I see the perfect bod.

I have crooked teeth, ( I bet you are dying to meet me, I sound gorgeous), I haven’t smiled on a photo with my mouth open and teeth showing for years,except when drunk and I don’t care, so now I am doing something about it. My top brace is going on in a few weeks.

I was about 10 stone 10 pounds before surgery, which is reasonable as I am 5ft 7.5 inches, when I became poorly I went down to under 8 stone and ended up with saggy skin and old persons hands. We can’t win, there will always be something . I started to put weight back on after surgery and got to about 9 stone, I liked 9 stone, I felt ok, my skin fitted again and because my large bowel was removed my belly was quite flat, I thought ( wrongly I might add) that because the bowel was gone, my pot belly would be forever gone. But alas , something else has moved in. I can’t stop eating and am now 11 Stone !!!!???? and my belly is returning. Whats that about???

I turned 50 last year, and about 2 days after, received a flyer for Saga over 50’s. I felt older than old. How could I be fifty? I was in the OAP bracket for SAGA flyers.

I have fine hairs above my top lip, I am not sure whether to have a top lip wax, but I might end up with a red rash, do I keep the moustache or opt for a sign saying ” I had my lip waxed, look here”

Not only am I looking to see if my stoma bag is showing through my clothes, what about all the rest of my baggage?