The IBS Wardrobe: My Clothes Are Several Different Sizes
Last updated: June 2023
I keep several different sizes of clothing. With IBS, it is necessary for comfort. If you experience bloating, you know what I am talking about. Your size fluctuates frequently, and you can jump up a size during the day.
While I prefer my comfortable pajama pants, I have to leave the house sometimes. When I do, I need something that is going to be comfortable. I pick what size is most comfortable at the moment. I am sure some of you do, too.
Changing sizes with changing flares
Bloating is not the only thing that causes a change in size. I also gain and lose weight depending on the frequency and length of flares. This creates the need for larger and smaller size clothing. If I go down a size, my larger sizes are more comfortable. If I go up a size, I need a size above that for comfort.
A lengthy flare might cause me to drop a decent bit of weight. I can lose up to 20 pounds during a bad IBS-D flare. This is problematic for me because I am a smaller person. It seems like every time I reach a healthy weight, I end up dropping a lot of weight and fall back into the underweight category. If I am flare-free or dealing with a lengthy bout of IBS-C, I can gain 20 pounds.
A closet with sizes for multiple people
If someone looked in my closet, they would assume my wardrobe belonged to two or three people. I have pants ranging from a size 4 to a size 10. I refuse to throw any of it out because I never know what size I will be in a few months.
Even though I could fit in a size smaller than 4, it would never feel comfortable when the bloating starts. I do have a pair or two that are size 3 for times when I have extreme weight loss, but they are rarely ever worn. I tend to wear pants that are a size above what I should be wearing because of bloating.
Tees and tunics are my favorite shirts
Shirts are another thing. I keep two sizes of shirts because I tend to wear my shirts baggy. I never wear a size that looks like it fits well. Any shirt that fits well makes me look pregnant when the bloating begins. It’s all right in the middle, and I am very self-conscious about it.
Because I wear a size up anyway, I can usually get away with just two sizes of shirts. I keep medium and large in my closet. Unlike my pants, all of my shirts get a fair amount of wear. I can change shirt sizes in a day, so they are all in rotation at all times. Loose tees and tunics are my favorites. I rarely buy anything else.
Formal attire is lacking in my closet
Special occasions are hard. I am a very casual dresser, and constantly changing size means I do not have something dressy in all sizes I need. I rarely have a need for something more formal than jeans and a tee. That is problematic when a need for more formal attire suddenly arises.
Shopping for a special occasion in advance is hard because I never know what size I will be when the event occurs. What fits me very well the day I try it on might be too small or too large when the big day arrives. A sudden need for formal wear causes a scramble.
Dealing with wardrobe malfunctions
IBS is a real pain, and clothing is one of the many issues we do not discuss when we talk about the side effects. If you see me at a wedding wearing something that looks more appropriate for a funeral or vice versa, please forgive me. If you see me wearing something that looks like it does not quite fit, please ignore it. It is one of the many problems associated with IBS.
How many sizes do you keep in your closet? Have you ever had to attend an event in something you did not feel was appropriate?
Have you ever tried acupuncture to relieve IBS symptoms?