Tag Archive for: dressing tips

By Lynn Wolfson

It is amazing what a boost one can get from dressing to feel and look good, especially those of us with ostomies. I know that when my hair is cut into an easy style that I can maintain, my nails are done and my clothes fit, I feel beautiful. When I feel beautiful, I am happy and share it with the world.

As an ostomy support group leader, I often hear from new ostomates struggling with what to wear after surgery. Many people may have their own style and should explore options to keep wearing the clothing they love. Too many others seem to lose confidence and motivation to dress in the more presentable ways they once did. Overall, I stress to dress so that you feel confident, comfortable, and good about yourself.

So, let us start with the pants. Depending on where the ostomy is located, this will determine whether one would be comfortable with zipper and button pants such as jeans. For me, I find that too restrictive, especially since I have two ostomies. Instead, I prefer either maternity pants, so I have belly room and my legs are not baggy or high elastic-waisted pants. I buy a variety of solid colors of the pants that I find most comfortable.

Unfortunately, men do not have the same choices as women. They should find a brand of pants that are comfortable for them and get them in an array of colors. Stretchable waists can be found on various pants and shorts designs, so don’t feel like you have to resort to athletic wear if you don’t want to.

The tops for women are fun to shop.  I usually get a loose shirt or blouse that goes over the pants. I get multiple tops for each pair of pants so I can mix and match.

Men may still have to tuck their shirts in for business. However casually, they can wear a shirt outside their pants or shorts.

It helps to be beautiful on the outside, especially when I am not physically feeling great.

Since I live in Florida, I only wear pants when it is chilly or when I travel to colder climates.  Personally, I prefer wearing dresses that do not have a waist.  I find them very comfortable and cooler in our hot climate. However, these dresses are not appropriate for business. I do have more tailored dresses without a waistline to wear for business occasions. I generally prefer wearing dresses just below the knee as one of my ostomy bags hangs low.

Shoes should be comfortable. Wear sneakers whenever possible if that’s what you want to do. In Florida, I wear sandals with rubber soles. Up north, boots are a necessity.

Lastly, I get my hair colored and shaped once every six weeks to keep it looking fresh and easy for me to maintain. I also get my nails done every three weeks.

It helps to be beautiful on the outside, especially when I am not physically feeling great. It helps me to get myself going and not have that get back into bed feeling. It is all a matter of attitude!  When I dress for success, I feel good about myself and am successful in getting things done.