How To Combine Fashion With Your Gut’s Need For Comfort
Last updated: December 2019
I didn’t know if I should write about this topic because firstly, fashion is not that important and secondly, not everyone cares about it. But for me, having to sacrifice my love for fashion because of my IBS did make me feel like I was missing out on life. Maybe I’m not the only one who feels that way.
I dressed the same every day for 2 years
Before I got IBS, I used to love experimenting with clothes. Then, IBS happened.
For some reason, I stopped feeling comfortable in dresses due to my IBS. There’s something about having that extra layer of clothing to protect you from the world when having a flare-up.
I wasn’t able to wear high-waisted bottoms anymore because they hurt my stomach. And since I was always bloated, I opted for loose shirts to cover that up. For 2 years straight, I wore skinny jeans and oversized sweaters in the winter and skinny jeans and oversized tops in the summer.
Living in Paris, I constantly regretted not being able to wear the cute clothes I saw my coworkers in. And I spent so much money on shopping as well, because wearing the same outfit every day made me want to change up my jeans and tops all the time.
When I started working from home and didn’t have to deal with flare-ups at work anymore, I slowly got back into fashion. I did no shopping at that time but rediscovered pieced I hadn’t touched in years. And with time, I found ways to make fashion work with my IBS and the comfort it requires.
How to wear high-waisted bottoms
If you’re into fashion at all, you probably know that high-waisted bottoms are really popular right now. But having the waist sit on your stomach can feel really constricting and cause pain and discomfort for your gut.
To avoid that, there are a couple of possibilities.
The first one is to find bottoms with a drawstring or tie at the waist and size up. That way, you can adjust the waist to the level of comfort you need at the given time. I have tons of soft pants and shorts with a tie at the waist, and whenever I start feeling constricted, I just loosen it to feel comfortable again. Since I bought them a size bigger, the fit itself is super loose and doesn’t cause any discomfort.
The second possibility is to find clothes with a wide, soft elastic at the waist that will not feel uncomfortable, even when it extends. I love trying on clothes at home after eating, just to make sure that the waistband is comfortable enough.
Lastly, you can always just size up, even without a tie to adjust the waist, and tuck in your shirts to prevent the pants from falling down. You can always add a belt as well and adjust that as you would a tie or drawstring.
How to find comfortable jeans
First of all, let’s acknowledge that the jeans aren’t actually that comfortable. But if you love them, as I do, there are still ways to find ones that work.
If you don’t care about tucking in your shirts, mid-rise jeans are honestly the most comfortable since they don’t hurt your belly, even when you get bloated.
However, if you want high-waisted jeans, it gets a little trickier. I have jeans that are so uncomfortable that I can only wear them before meals, and other ones that are okay to wear for a whole day.
My tip is to go for a slightly larger waist than you would normally need to accommodate any bloating and opt for a bit of stretch. And, most importantly, try them on while sitting, preferably after eating.
Dresses or skirts with tights: the most comfortable outfit
After not wearing dresses for so long, I’m now realizing that they’re actually the most comfortable outfit there is. Especially ones that do not accentuate your belly.
When it comes to tights, I love wearing ones with a stretched-out waistband and just tuck it under my skirt’s waistband to keep it in place. When I wear a dress though, I often go for those ridiculous tights that go up to your bra (so the waistband doesn’t squeeze my belly).
For the actual dresses or skirts, make sure that they are structured enough to not make you look pregnant when you get bloated, but loose enough to not cause any discomfort.
Trends to avoid
All that being said, there are two trends that would never work for me: bodysuits and jumpsuits. Both prevent you from going to the bathroom easily, and that’s just not something I can work with.
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?