IBS is fucking shit for a whole plethora of reasons.
I’ve written about this numerous times before, (I’ve popped links to those blog posts below), but one of the things that I have never talked about before is DRESSING when you have IBS.
Although I will preach body confidence until the cows come home and am lucky enough, normally, to have an abundance of it, I would be lying if I said that my confidence didn’t take a battering during my flare ups.
When my stomach is swollen, I often struggle to see beyond it.
To everyone else it might not be that noticeable; people are all too quick to tell me that I’m “still so slim” if I so much as try and bring it up, but to me, when it happens, I find it nearly impossible to retain any body positivity at all.
My clothes stop fitting. I get mistaken for being pregnant. And I have to deal with all that whilst I’m in pain.
Over half of my wardrobe is put out of action when I’m like this.
Tight tops can do one. Dresses won’t do up. I was waring a high waisted skirt the other ay and I do not exaggerate when I say that it literally popped off me when I breathed out, leaving me in nothing but my pants on a cold December’s day.
IBS is the fucking pits.
And yet I am stuck with it, so I’ve had to work something out, else face spending an eternity in the nude.
So I’ve spent a lot of time recently working out what best works for me; not just diet and symptom wise, but in a way that allows me to cope AFTEER the event…
Hence: “dressing” when you have IBS. It’s a thing.
The temptation to invest in maternity trousers has been strong but thus far, I have resisted.
Instead I’ve chosen to work with what I’ve got; finding styles that accentuate certain body parts (boobs, normally) and hide others (by ‘others’, I mean: stomach).
I know that since all of our bodies are different, this might not be totally helpful to everyone, but I hope, at the very least, that it will help you to realise that if you are struggling with feelings of self consciousness surrounding IBS symptoms, you’re not on your own
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Dressing when you have IBS or, as I like to call it, LEARNING TO GLOAT THE BLOAT. Dealing with stomach issues like mine is a constant fucking mission. Not only do I have to monitor my symptoms really closely, but I have to spend a lot of time dealing with the repercussions if I haven’t been successful in preventing a flare up (impossible to prevent them all!!). One thing that really starts to depress me after a while is trying to find clothes to wear that hide my stomach, but don’t make me look like a total potato. I CAN’T BE ON MY OWN WITH THIS. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together six of my fail-safe best pals that I turn to when my stomach’s on the rise. I’ve put all links and more info in a full blog post, the link for which is in my bio and in my stories. Enjoyyyyy. Before I go, I want to say that since all of our bodies are different, this style of video might not be totally helpful to everyone, but I hope that at the very least, it might help you to realise that if you are struggling with feelings of self consciousness surrounding IBS symptoms, you’re soooo not on your own. If it WAS helpful, let me know, and maybe I can work on some moreeeeeee. BIG LOVE FROM ME AND MY BIG TUM ❤️
- ACTIVE WEAR
It’s cliched and potentially boring but the best thing about active wear is without a doubt the high waisted stretchy ass qualities of legging. I LIVE in them when I’m not feeling great.
I am however allergic to tight vests when I’m flaring. That’s why I love love running tops.
This whole outfit is SKINS and linked below (heads up, they’ve got a sale on at the mo).
2) COMFY WEAR
If I’m honest with you, it took me a long time to get to here. I would never have been comfortable enough in the past to float out with my bloat out, but I’ve gotta be honest, comfort trumped shame at some point and I know live in this outfit.
When I’m really big, underwired bras really hurt and if I’m honest, this changed my life. It’s a tenner. It’s from IBS and it’s heaven. As too are these cashmere tracksuit bottoms.
Bury me in them.
3) SMARTY PANTS
I ADORE this dress, it’s my go to outfit when I’m bloated but need to get on with my normal life (urgh, life, whyyyy?).
I have found that anything that ties underneath the boobs is perfect as it flows out enough to pretty much hide the stomach-situation.
It’s from Dancing Leopard and to be honest, I’d recommend having a look at all that they stock as the cuts are incredibly flattering for those people feeling a bit self conscious about their tummies.
These are my stretchiest high-waisted jeans (all hail the stretchy high-waisted jean) from Levis and this top, like the dress is a little slice of heaven by virtue of the tie-under-boob situation.
It’s busy enough that the focus is not on my tummy, it’s low enough cut that people will go to boobs before stomach andddd it’s hella fun.
I wear this outfit more than I care to admit.
5) OFFICE SLOUCH
For when ya need a cuddle from your clothes.
This Allsaints baby is a couple of years old but jumper dresses are everywhere. (I’ve attached the link to a similar one).
I’ll be honest, I always thought that they were a bit ‘meh’, that they were for old people or something but since owning one, my perception has totally changed.
It’s really nice to be smart and snuggly AND able to breathe out in total comfort under my clothes so for those reasons alone I’d say they’re so so very worth the investment.
6) TRENDY WENDY
Because even IBS sufferers have to out sometimes too.
I love jumpers tucked into skirts. I also sometimes do this with leather trousers (stretchy, obviously).
The best thing about a MASSIVE oversized jumper like this is that if you can’t do up your skirt comfortably (this was not done up at all), then you can hide it.
This jumper is sensational for hiding in. It’s from Topshop and it’s soft as hell whilst still being wild enough that I don’t just look like I’m hiding my illness under my jumper.
So there ya have ittttt.
If this was helpful, let me know and I might be able to make more with specific things in mind.
Dressing for dates, dressing for weddings, dressing for doctor’s appointments when you need them to take your symptoms seriously. You get the gist.
In the mean time, don’t let your stomach prevent you from having fashion fun and loving your beautiful body, bloating and all.