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My Clothes Don’t Fit–Thanks UC!

My Clothes Don’t Fit–Thanks UC!

We all know that inflammatory bowel disease comes with a multitude of problems (it isn’t just about bowel issues!). Many experience skin issues, abscesses, dental issues, hair loss, eye problems, fistulas, fissures, hemorrhoids…and the list goes on and on. One thing that seems trivial, but is important and often gets overlooked is the wardrobe problem.

I Don’t Have Anything to Wear!

‘Fess up ladies! How many of you have uttered this phrase? I definitely have. Before my diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, the phrase could be translated into, “I need a wardrobe update.” After diagnosis, it took on a whole new meaning!

Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and indeterminate colitis can cause rapid weight loss. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself shopping for “skinnier jeans” so that I could have something to wear out in public other than pajamas. I have nothing against wearing pajamas in public–heck! I’ve don’t it myself. But it’s generally frowned upon when you come to work wearing your pajamas.

Do These Steroids Make Me Look Fat?

There are a couple of obvious problems with updating your wardrobe while you’re underweight. One problem is that you have clothes that don’t fit when you finally get your disease under control. Another problem is that the steroids, along with other medications can make you gain weight or retain water weight.

Who the heck has the kind of money to afford an incurable disease, plus multiple wardrobe updates? Not many patients, that’s for sure. And don’t get me started on the self-esteem aspect of weight fluctuations.

Rude Comments

It’s unfortunate that people think they can comment on another person’s weight. Not cool. I’ve been on both edges of the sword. If you’re underweight, people will mock you and make snide comments about you being “so skinny.” Um, I’m sorry, I have a disease. I also hated the comments about my obvious weight gain during the course of my disease. “Oh, you needed to plump up… you were far too skinny.” NOT HELPFUL, YA’LL.

So, How Do We Solve the Problem?

This is a problem that is not easily solvable. And it may take some effort, but you can do it. There are a few things you might consider looking into when dealing with the wardrobe aspect of IBD.

Clothing Rental Services

I was very surprised to learn that there are actually clothing rental services out there!!! It’s true. Type “clothes rental” into google and you’ll get over 2 million results. While I’ve never used it myself, it is definitely a viable option.

Let’s Go Thrifting!

Another option is thrifting. It’s actually more common than you might think. It can be fun to go out with friends and thrift together. You would be surprised at the nice things you can find in a thrift shop.

Yard Sales

Keep your eyes peeled for Yard Sales or Estate Sales. Where I live there’s an Estate or Yard Sale just about every weekend and you can really find some nice things for a good price if you’re diligent.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Niko86
    1 year ago

    Up down up down up down… and around and around we go! A few things I’ve learned: people always have an opinion. Too fat, too skinny, that doesn’t match, blah blah blah. If you’re comfortable, that’s all that matters! And when it comes to comfort and practicality, I’ve learned to go with things like sundresses or overalls instead of shorts. Elastic waistbands are totally underrated and can still be classy when done right. That way if and when your weight changes again (yippee…) your clothes will still fit. And, if you want to jam around in your jammies at Walmart once in a while, let your freak flag fly! You only live once. And believe me, there will always be someone wearing something much weirder lol Have fun! 🙂

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator
    1 year ago

    Love these creative ideas. I wish I could afford a clothing service – but do they really have monthly services for sweatpants?! HAHA.

    Very great insight! Thanks Amber!
    Happy Holidays!

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    I can so relate to this! I dropped so much weight that none of my clothes fit and I kept thinking to myself, I’ll gain it back soon so I won’t buy new clothes.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • 1 year ago

    Leggings and tunics … luckily they’re in style right now.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator
    1 year ago

    I cannot do leggings. I am just far too self-conscious. I wish we had more alternatives.
    Kelly, Team Member

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