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No Fashion Statement

I have had my high-output ileostomy since late 2010. Since that time I have deserted my wardrobe. I have two pairs of sweat pants and 4-5 baggy t-shirts. I would love so much to wear slacks, or a button-down shirt! I would love to hear from any ladies about their clothing options. Jeans are OUT; can't have anything tight at my waist. I feel like blouses/button-shirts are too short, because my 'bulge' shows below them. I do wear an ostomy belt, but the pouch is large and "crinkly". Any ideas would be helpful, thanks.

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I always wore pants/jeans that sat low on my mid section, under the bag and tucked the end of the bag into the pants so it doesn't hang out at the bottom. I also wore a lot of shirts that were tapered at the bottom and there are a lot of these that are fashionable; a shirt that's kind of loose and tapers at the bottom so has a little poof around the mid section. I found that these covered the bag well and sometimes I would wear a tighter tank top under to hold the bag down a bit. I hope you find something that works for you. I also stuck to sweat pants and baggy t-shirts but eventually had to wear more formal clothes due to my job. And when I found tapered shirts, i was hooked!

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A man's perspective from me, Shawn :-). My ileostomy stoma is above my belt line, so any pants I wear naturally ride below the top of my pouch. I also find jeans are rather restrictive. I do wear button down shirts and slacks with a belt, but I have gravitated towards a little larger than I would normally wear waist size. Sometimes as the pouch fills I get a little pillow effect above the belt, and I gently press it down to allow the output to flow down. I also like to wear a larger size waist jeans and an untucked polo shirt.
Good luck to you.

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Where is your stoma? Above, at, or below your belly button? This summer I am pretty much living in several pairs of capris and cargo pants that are loose and have a draw string top that can be adjusted according to what is going on with my pouch. The waist of the pants is forgiving because of the drawstring, so they can be worn high above the waist or low around the hips. Available in all kinds of fabrics and prints, you can go from dressy to casual. Top them off with tank tops that flair at the bottom or a longer tapered top as shh24 mentioned. I have worn jeans successfully, but not without fussing about it all the time, and if I were not getting a reversal, I would invest in a stoma guard in order to wear tighter fitting slacks and jeans. Flowing mid length skirts work too, ones that flair at the bottom.
I find it most troublesome while driving, with my pants bunched around the top of my pouch along with the danged seatbelt that insists on creeping right over the pouch opening!

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I wear shorts all the time, living in South Florida - I found two great tops in, of all places, Motherhood Maternity Shops. I have a large abdominal hernia since my muscles were severed during life-saving surgery for a perforated colon in December of 2011 - look like I am 8 months pregnant - at age 80! My husband of 9 years still tells everyone he had to marry me because I told him I was pregnant at 70 - now I really look it. After discussion with the surgeon and my husband we agreed not to have surgery to deal with the diverticulitis and extensive scar tissue that caused the perforation - surgeon said I could live with the ileostomy and bulging abdomen with no problem - and at my age I don't need another life-threatening surgery that would leave me with a colostomy as well as retaining the ileostomy. I can just imagine the young salesgirl in the maternity shop telling everyone that she sold a maternity top to an 80-year old! LOL God bless - Marge

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Hi; I purchase maternity pants since they are not tight around my stomach and are very stylish. You can also purchase a line of pants called travel elements from Steinmart (much cheaper) that are very light weight and comfortable. Hope this helps. I had my surgery in Oct 10 and today I still wear these types of clothing due to comfort and no one can tell that i have an ileostomy on the right side.

Keep us posted and good luck

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Hey, Marge!
When do you go off line?

Another post from a man. I wear jeans with elastic waist and my pouch is outside the jeans. I wear my shirts out to cover the pouch.
When I dress in a suit, I wear suspenders under my jacket and the pouch inside my pants. The waist of my suit pants is larger than I usually wore so there is enough room.
Blessings,
Alan

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I wear th elastic waist dress slacks and jeans and dresses I work in the state capitol so have to dress semi professional I just buy a size bigger for Hazel expansion and I use to have the nephrostomy tubes also so for the past 2 weeks I feel like I lost weight LOL as far as shirt I can still go to wal mart and Kmart both for dress and casual but I have to make sure I buy in the ladies and no the juniors I left them a long time ago LOL may want to try second hand stuff until you find some style you like just a suggestion. the hard thing is once you get use to sweats it is hard to change.

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I have no problems around the waist as long as I buy jeans or slacks with elastic all around the waist which gives you sort of a 'poofiness' around the waist. I wear my bag inside my cotton briefs....no thongs anymore......I never tuck in my blouse. There are a million of tops out there that you can wear loose outside.

I still like sweats on a cold, snowy day....curled up with a good book!

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My stoma sits just below my belly button so I look for pants/jeans/shorts that come above or below and usually try for some kind of stretchy material. Elastic, drawstring, maternity wear are all great. Skirts/dresses are very comfy too and will hide an ostomy bag nicely. Also, flow-y, A-cut, tunic style shirts are comfy and will hide bulging. Pattern is your friend! It tends to mask the outline in more fitted clothing. Best of luck!

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I so appreciate all your responses! My stoma is above my belly button, on the left side. When I am active, I empty pouch approx every two hours (my drainage is always liquid). I will look for some "poofy" tapered shirts, check out Steinmart and maternity clothing. Thanks to the brave men who responded as well! Others will benefit from your answers. And, Dimpy, I won't miss the thongs, as they have never been on this body! Okay, it's time to get out of this slump and go shopping.

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Thanks to all of you for replying! This is such a help. I too am still uncomfortable wearing regular slacks and jeans. So wearing adidas stretch exercise pants with drawstring at the waist from Costco! Now might have a slight beginning hernia. This aditional bulge really concerns me!
My ostomy nurse just told me that a tube top gives just the right type of support so now I am trying an inexpensive tube top for added support from Amazon .....5.98 I think . One reviewer on the site said they work for men and women with ostomys! Thank you for all of the advice. I will check out Steinmart too! I try to wear my regular jeans but they just feel too snug!!!

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Dear monnie, Is your real name Stacy London, from "What Not to Wear?" I had a flashback of her when I read 'pattern is my friend'! That makes perfect sense, it's like camouflage. Thanks.

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@amt52 ~I could sure use one of those "What Not To Wear" visas! Another tip-- i wear bicycle shorts (without padding in the bum) under skirts to keep the bag close and thigh friction to a minimum. ;)

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Hi amt52. My stoma is exactly where yours is. Above belly button on left side. My colostomy was 2 1/2 years ago. I have found that I am most comfortable with wearing my pants below my waist with the bag outside the pants. Land's End has some fantastic knit pants that are as comfortable as sweats but much dressier. They are pricey but well worth it. I also buy tops by Alfred Dunner. They are longer and fuller and do the trick. I also tuck my pouch into a Ostomysecrets wrap. The inner pocket supports the pouch when full and the wrap keeps the pouch close to the body but allows for expansion. I work in an office and no one knows about my ostomy except the few close friends that I have told.

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Thanks, cab. Never heard of the 'Ostomy secrets', I am interested. Also will check out Lands End. Yes, they are not cheap but good quality.

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So one of the main things for me after my surgery was to figure out what I could and couldn't wear. I threw out a lot of my clothes during a post-op hissy fit and now I wish I would have given them a chance. Anyway-there is a place online that sells belly wraps that they advertise cover "muffin-tops" but I find give me extra support around "Kalliope" my stoma. Here is the website link http://www.myhip-t.com/. Also, I have taken to buying spaghetti strapped tank tops one size too small to help Kalliope feel snug under my clothes. A lot of black clothing works for me but I was always a little on the gothic side and empire waistlines work wonders for hiding Kalliope as well. Hope this helps! Go out there and have fun shopping, you deserve it!

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I found something similar to those Hip-T & its Trendy Top. I got a pk of 2 at Walgreen's but seen online & Walmart. They're comfy over the stoma & hides bulges, makes regular shirts seem longer. I also wear alot of longer tank tops (I got from Old Navy & Target) under shirts to keep things 'secure'. Another thing I learned is Jockey has Skimmies Slipshorts (can find online at jockey.com) & I love them for under my dresses/skirts & even jeans. Their soft & comfy plus help keep the pouches discreet.

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Does anyone have any experience with the stealthbelt and stomaplex products?

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I am so excited it has been a bit over a month since my colostomy and I am beginning to go out. My stoma is on the left at the same height as my navel. I am doing really well with jeggings (elastic all around) or yoga pants with tunic tops. I love the ostomy secrets underwear though they are a bit on the granny pants style than I like, though I dont want a thong. Black has always been a favorite of mine and I bet it will still be. I love reading everyone's ideas and solutions. Please keep it up I know illneed more help
Amy

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