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alternating between a high-waisted skirt, sweatpants, and overalls

Shopping for Comfortable Clothing with IBD

There are not many options for people to purchase or attain clothing that is always comfortable as a person living with IBD. Sweatpants are not always an option if you work in a corporate office, though if you ask me, there should be a “Sweatpants Friday” at every employer, everywhere.

Weight fluctuations

Over the years, I’ve tried to balance out my wardrobe to be a little bit more Crohn’s friendly. Because of this, I ended up with pants ranging from sizes 0-12. Did I mention it’s extremely hard to gauge how much weight I lose/gain in one day? Typically, I fluctuate at least +/- 10 pounds per day.

I buy men’s sweatpants & pajamas because I find that most of them are cheaper and longer in length. I usually find them to be better quality as well; less shrinking in the wash, the fabric stays intact longer than women’s clothing that shrinks up right away.

Things I find helpful when searching for new, comfortable, forgiving clothing:

  • Loose-fitting band with a string to secure.
  • Easy to wash cotton
  • Items that can be washed in both hot and cold water
  • When I find something I really like, I usually buy multiple of them. (So if you see me wearing the same outfit twice a week, I swear I’ve laundered my clothing – I just know what works for me!)

Higher waisted things

I like higher waisted/fitting underwear, so I’ve searched the internet thoroughly to find some I feel comfortable in. I also buy “waterproof” panties that are usually used for women’s cycles, just in case I don’t feel fully confident in my bodies ability to control my bowels. Usually, these are not cotton, so be aware of how long you wear each pair for as to make sure that area can “breathe”.

I buy high waisted pants and jeans as well. I don’t have an ostomy, but I still find higher waisted clothing more comfortable on my abdomen. I have been known to buy maternity clothes every now and then…because who doesn’t like stretchy pants!? There is so much room for forgiveness when you are struggling with distention and all types of bloating.

Effective detergent

Not that you need to, but there is a detergent product on store shelves that you can add in Lysol with your regular detergent. I usually throw this in with most of my loads of laundry & feel as though some of you may do the same!

What are some hot tips that you would provide others with when shopping for clothes? Do you have an ostomy? Does that impact the ways you purchase clothing?

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

Comments

  • poonicorn
    5 months ago

    I have some men’s sweatpants, lots of leggings, and yoga pants. I recently found some really comfy pants with an elastic band that look and fit the leg just like jeans but are soft and have a nice loose ribbon tie in the front. I tried them on in the dressing room and they were so comfy I bought three pairs. I also tend to make my s.o.’s big hoodies disappear on really bloated days and buy a size up on shirts as what fits one day may not fit for the next couple days.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator author
    5 months ago

    My favorite male clothing comes from Target, to be honest! I do love wearing my boyfriend’s pants for sure. He notices when they’ve gone missing and is pretty understanding and laughs when I show up in his stolen clothes! I’m glad I’m not the only one who buys multiples of things.
    Best,
    Kelly

  • Sweston
    5 months ago

    Such a timely article! I’ve recently found myself in a flare-up after many years of remission and realized that I threw away all my skinny clothes, so I’ve been doing a lot of shopping lately so I can find things that make me feel comfortable and not depressed when I get dressed in the morning and am reminded of the amount of weight I’ve lost. Thanks for posting this. It really resonated with me and I’m sure so many others.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thank you for your comment, @sweston! I feel like so many of us struggle with how to find ways to feel comfortable that are socially acceptable as well – and that is hard! Kelly

  • MegA
    5 months ago

    I have a permanent ileostomy. There is a big impact on what I buy, due to my ostomy.
    I like high waisted pants too. I find it more comfortable and secure. Leggings can be beneficial on not feeling well days, or if my stoma is being a little crazy and idk if I may have a leak or not. I normally wear tank tops under all my shirts to keep things secure and discreet.
    I’m 26 and I got my ostomy at the age of 9. I have learned what is best for me through the years, it can still be a pain though lol.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thanks so much for popping on and sharing what works for you, @mega! Love the advice that ostomates can share here with others to help them be as comfortable as possible as well!
    Kelly

  • Gypsycowgirl71
    5 months ago

    Hello – thank you for this article it helps letting me know I am not alone. I too have varying sizes of clothes. It took a long time for my husband to understand why I had those sizes.

    As far as underwear, I just changed the type and don’t know why I waited so long. I don’t own white.
    Maidenform Women’s Dream Cotton with Lace Boyshort; Ruxia Women’s Seamless Boyshort
    It made a big difference and so comfortable. I kept a couple other kinds for dresses or other pants.
    thank you again. Be well & Raise that toilet paper flag high.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator author
    5 months ago

    Awesome comment. & awesome salute! Thanks for the laugh. But also, thank you for the recommendations on comfortable clothing. We love the comments on this thread!!
    Kelly
    (flying my TP flag high in your honor)

  • hamster
    5 months ago

    I use suspenders to keep my loose pants up and to keep the pressure off my waist and tummy area.
    Anyone know where to get the card stating the importance of needing to use the facilities at places that don’t have public use?
    Has one , lost it, dont remember where I got it.

  • Gypsycowgirl71
    5 months ago

    Hello-
    Girls with Guts has the cards:
    https://www.girlswithguts.org/resources
    https://www.crohnsandcolitis.com/sign-up
    I haven’t tried these but here are a couple others for you too:
    https://www.bladderandbowel.org/help-information/just-cant-wait-card/
    Be well & raise that toilet paper flag high.

  • Kelly C (#purpleproject) moderator author
    5 months ago

    Thanks for the reply, @gypsycowgirl71! Awesome resources to keep handy.
    Kelly

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