Yes, I’m thinking of that Saturday Night Live skit from way back when! Why? Well, I was thinking of embellishments on clothing and somehow ended up thinking about the embellishments with the cowbell. At any rate, I was musing over how some of my favorite clothing items are actually classic-leaning trends. These trends often include embellishments on shirts and dresses — ruffles, layers, embroidery, ruching, wild prints or other fun elements that can be our friends.
Now of course there are a ton of trends that are foes as opposed to friends. We don’t need to review all of those since the list would be too extensive. But at least it is a double-edged sword. Along with the bad can come the good!
So, what trends are we seeing now in the stores that could be friends to those of us in the ostomy chic party?
- Peplums — Peplums often have a higher waist and are loose around the midsection. Huzzah!
- Fit and Flare — I love that things are being labeled as “Fit and Flare.” Stores don’t want to call it an A-line? No idea why, but “Fit and Flare” is descriptive. Again, another option that is figure flattering and then usually not tight around the midriff.
- Structured Lace — Lace adds dimension and layers to an outfit. The pattern in lace can help distract the eye. Plus it lends a softer edge when coupled with stiffer, more structured material.
That’s just a few. I’ll let you know if I think of more (and feel free to do the same). In the meantime, more cowbell!
It seems like the only way I am able to get any clothes is via mail order, usually placed at 11:00 in the evening. With that said, I can often glance at something and tell if there is a good chance that it could work well for me or not. I have a number of rules in my mind, and 9 times out of 10, they really are a help. Of course those rules apply to me and my above-the-waist ileostomy, so mileage may vary!
Here are my rules:
- Fabric — Structured fabrics are usually best! Clingy fabrics will usually reveal more of an outline of my ilesotomy than I would be comfortable with. But, it is possible for me to find something in a jersey knit or other clingy fabric if it appears that it will be looser around my waist, or the fabric is criss-crossed, wrapped or behaves in a way that gives some structure and weight. Patterns are a plus, particularly on any thing closer cut; they provide a visual distraction and make any outline of my ileostomy less obvious. Flowy materials are great with a-line skirts or dresses, as long as they aren’t see through and don’t cling too much.
- Fit — For pants, I prefer a fit that sits just below or at my natural waistline. As I’ve mentioned before, ultra-low rise usually do not work well on me. You know how stores come up with cute names for the different cuts of their pants? Anything with “modern” in the name, and I need to run the opposite direction since they are inevitably tight and oh so low! In addition, I find that pants with belt-loops work better on me, and ones that are shaped with an almost half-moon shape (I think they are called contour waistline) are not my friend.
- Flair — With dresses, A-line or non-body hugging sheaths are my go-to options. I do a love a high-waisted pencil skirt. Was I born in the wrong decade (or century)?
- Color — I find dark colors or vibrant patterns seem to work well. As much as I would like to get over my fear of wearing white pants, I doubt that will happen any time soon! I love color though, so often find that I add a pop of color through scarves, jewelry or a top layer (shrugs, sweaters, jackets).
- Layers — I tend to layer a tank top under whatever I am wearing since it helps compress everything and makes me feel more confident that I will not flash the world if my shirt rides up when I am picking up one of my children. I often think about layers, and would consider wearing something tight if it could be balanced out with a bulkier layer. For example, I would wear leggings with a cute, clingy tunic/short dress as long as I could also wear a sweater on top.
That’s my list for now! What do you look for when shopping for clothes?
So, hello! Despite writing many blog posts in my mind over this embarrassingly long absence, I never actually wrote those posts. Yeah…lame, I know! At any rate, here I am. Lots has happened since my last post which was, golly, almost exactly a year ago. Being a working mommy to three is challenging! It is great, but challenging. Also, I received a promotion at work that is very exciting, but it really has me jumping.
On top of all of that, I’ve been dealing with some health issues. Although my Crohn’s has been very calm for quite a long time, like over 15+ year, I’ve had some serious respiratory problems for the last five years. After bouncing from doctor to doctor, I am finally seeing some doctors who are trying to get to the bottom of it. Guess what they have found? It looks like Crohn’s disease in my lungs. Yes, you heard me right. I had no idea that was possible.
So, those are my excuses for not staying in touch with this blog. But, I’m back and hope to be better about it. I really like Ostomy Chic and appreciate knowing that there are some people out there interested in the same things as me!
One thing I have done over the past year was pin items I think are “ostomy friendly” on Pinterest. I should say that these are items that I think would work on me. I’m not trying to be prescriptive or anything! Just thought it would be fun to track items in this way. Feel free to visit my Pinterest boards if you are interested.
Ok, bye for now, my fellow friends in the blogosphere! See you soon, I hope.
This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding, and got the chance to wear the dress I previously posted about. You might recall that I wrote about how the persuasive sales lady encouraged me to wear a dress in a smaller size than I am used to. I mused how I probably wear clothes that are too big, and how I need to be aware of my body size and not be afraid to wear the ‘right’ size.
Well, the dress did indeed make me feel like a princess. However, it was very tight across my abdomen. It didn’t pull, but I found myself incredibly self-conscious of if anyone could see the outline of my ileostomy. I kept dashing to the ladies room to empty my appliance. Admittedly, this could have been caused by any number of things. Do you ever feel like your body changes from day to day? Maybe the day I bought this was one of those “skinny” days where everything looks good, and the day of the wedding was one of those “bloated” days where everything feels a bit off.
Even so, I think I learned a few lessons from this. Yes, it is important to not be afraid of wearing properly fitting clothes! But, it is also important to feel comfortable in the outfit. And in my case, that means not worrying that people can or cannot see the appliance. I just cannot relax if I am worried about it. Is it too much to ask to look good AND feel good (physically and mentally that is)? All part of the continuing clothing hunt…
Yes, it’s summertime, and the living is……hot. I’ve always found it challenging to find a bathing suit that I feel confident and comfortable in, and that doesn’t look totally frumpilicious. I’ve heard stories of people with ileostomies wearing bikinis, but that is just not an option for me. As I’ve mentioned before, my ileostomy is placed fairly high up. My scar runs from below my breast bone all the way down. So, I’m absolutely a one-piece bathing suit gal. But, as you know, that is not so easy.
I’ve tried the cute little skirts, which work really well until you actually try to swim and then if you are standing in the pool they float up and look like they are doing underwater ballet. I’ve also tried to wear a plain old one-piece bathing suit, and have success with that until I feel self-conscious when my appliance begins to fill up. So, when I wear that I seem to want to use the restroom every ten minutes!
Perhaps my greatest success was discovering some swim shorts from Lands End. I found this worked well when worn over the one-piece, or combined with a long tankini top. At least, I felt comfortable in it and wasn’t as worried about my appliance.
I am thinking about ordering this high-waisted bottom from Land’s End. Looks like it has some potential!! We’ll see. And I’m also eyeing some suits at ModCloth. They have a fun, retro feel. Haven’t dived in (no pun intended). My goal is eventually to find something I feel comfortable enough in that I can happily take my preschooler to swim lessons!
So, my hosiery experiment was not exactly a success. Here are the results….
- Hanes Silk Reflections Non-Control Top in Little Color. Ok…..umm…soo…the color was not ‘little’ enough. They had that horrible orange, suntan look. My husband, who never offers fashion advice unless it is an extreme situation, suggested that I swap them for a different pair. They were that bad.
- Hue So Silky Sheer in Natural. The color was great, and these seemed sturdy enough to hold up to some decent wear. The only problem, and it was pretty significant, was that the crotch seemed to fall unusually low. Even though the waistband was pretty high on my abdomen, the crotch was saggy. All day at work I felt like I needed to do odd contortions to make sure it did not fall down! Maybe I had a defective pair or something. I will have to give them another try. But, based on my saggy crotch experience, this brand isn’t for me.
- Calvin Klein Chiffon Sheer – sheer to waist. Gorgeous color. Perfect fit, though the waistband felt a bit low but still was workable. The only problem was that in one day I managed to run two pairs of these! I mean, come on. Both times it happened when I gave the waistband a tug to try to pull it above my ileostomy. I wasn’t pulling it *that* hard. Honest. But these things seemed to run if you look at them the wrong way.
So, bottom line is that I’m still searching. Perfect pair of pantyhose, where-for-art-thou? In a pinch, I would go with the Calvin Klein’s, though I would be terrified of the plague of a million runs.
Ok…I have an important event coming up this week and pantyhose will certainly be a part of it. However, which type? This weekend I loaded up on some different types of non-control top sheer pantyhose. They are:
1) Hanes Silk Reflections Non-Control Top in Little Color
2) Hue So Silky Sheer in Natural
3) Calvin Klein Chiffon Sheer – sheer to waist
I’m hoping to test out which is the most comfortable (particularly with my ileostomy) AND which actually looks the best. I have pretty pale skin, so it’s tricky to find a ‘natural’ looking shade that isn’t too yellow, too tan, or too white. By the way, a 6 year old cousin once said “you are the whitest person I’ve ever seen”….umm…er…ok. She is from California and all so I guess I’m not like the bronzed beach babes she is so used to.
I’ll let you know what the verdict is!
So, is anyone else thankful that we seem to be over the hump of the ultra low-rise pants? I mean, the type that are so low that you see butt cleavage and that you wonder how the pants are actually staying up at all. It is incredibly annoying that the most fashionable pants options are relegated to low-rise. I don’t think we are out of the woods yet, but at least it is now possible to get pants that are ‘mid-rise’ or sit at the ‘natural waist.’ What would really work best for me is true ‘high-waisted’ pants. My ileostomy is placed fairly high, and for comfort as well as a slim look, I love a high-waisted pant. Since this is usually not possible, I am content if I can find a mid-rise pant that is still not super tight at the waist, so as to give me a bit of breathing room with the ileostomy.
Anyways, I haven’t found the magical pair of pants. I usually need something mid-rise or higher, with belt loops. The contoured waist doesn’t work well on me. Jones of New York dress pants have a fairly high waist, and seem to work well on me. But my ongoing struggle is to find pants for work that aren’t frumpilicious and that fit well. I welcome any and all suggestions!