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Clothes for ostomates – our advice for feeling more confident

You may find yourself asking what do I wear now that I have a stoma? Well try not to worry too much as there is no need to change your personal stye or wardrobe just yet, give yourself a little recovery time and you will hopefully be wearing some of your old clothes again. Having a stoma shouldn’t affect the clothes you wear, but you may find you may have to adapt some items a little. Comfort is the most important factor in the weeks straight after surgery, so you may find that keeping things loose with baggy waistlines is more relaxed. Your stomach will feel quite tender and swollen, so avoiding anything tight will give you the chance to rest and feel cosy rather than feeling restricted and uncomfortable.

Spend the first few weeks after your surgery getting to grips with your stoma, get to know how it works before putting any tighter or restrictive clothes to the test. Gaining confidence with your stoma and how it looks is a big step and once you start to regain your confidence with everything at home, you will be able to step out feeling much more confident too.

We’ve put together some advice to help feel more confident when dressing with a stoma, so hopefully this will help guide you with what to wear.

What should I wear a with a stoma?

We all have different taste and styles when it comes to clothes. Clothing is important and makes us feel good about ourselves. So, hang onto your clothes and style preferences, don’t feel you have to rush out to the shop to buy a “new you!”. Give your clothes a go and see what works for you.

The most important issue you may find with clothing and your stoma is waistbands and belts. We would guide you to making sure these aren’t worn over your stoma or are restricting your stoma pouch too much. But other than that, there are no rules – wear whatever you like!


  • Leggings and jeggings are soft around the waistline
  • Long floaty skirts can work well with a stoma
  • Denim can still be worn and stretch denim gives a lot of movement
  • Long shirts/jumpers over jeggings
  • Vest tops, camisoles



  • Trousers with waistband pleats may provide more room across the stoma and pouch area.
  • If your stoma sits on your belt line, a belt can sometimes cause a problem. Try braces, there are some very trendy ones out there
  • Stretchable jeans are comfortable


Wearing layers:

Wearing layers of clothing can help to minimise the visibility of your stoma pouch. Or try wearing a wrap which you can use as layering beneath clothing, these can be coupled with or without leggings or tights. Not only do wraps keep your pouch slim to your body, but they also offer a little bit of support too.


Wearing dark colours:

Wearing dark colours are slimming for us all, often ostomates find wearing dark coloured clothing helps to make them feel safer whilst they are gaining confidence in their stoma care, in case of any leaks. But if you prefer lighter colours, then go for it!


Patterned colours:

If you feel conscious that your stoma pouch is visible beneath your clothing, try wearing patterned colours, which can distract the eye and act like camouflage.


Can I wear tight fitting clothing?

Absolutely! Once you have fully recovered from your surgery, wear whatever you like.


What to wear when swimming?

Don’t be put off swimming now that you have a stoma. Try patterned swimwear or tankini’s and sarongs which are popular on holidays. For men, swimming boxers with a sun shirt helps to keep your condition discreet.

If you don’t like your current swimming costume or bathers, then try Vanilla blush or The White Rose company as they have a range of costumes designed especially for ostomates.



Underwear is so important in making us feel nice…. It’s the first thing we put on and last thing we remove. So, it is important it feels comfortable and supports your ostomy appliance. They also offer concealment from your ostomy. There is a lovely range which can be ordered online via Vanilla Blush or The White Rose company.



The best way of protecting your stoma is by wearing a guard or belt beneath your clothing. Light support garments can be bought from high street shops, but support belts need to be specifically measured for you and can offer support and help prevent hernias. Guards can protect your ostomy from impact during sport activities.

Speak to your stoma nurse who can guide you where to obtain both.


Being confident and comfortable extends to your choice of bag too!

Why not try our Primo range of closed and drainable bags FREE? Designed by patients and Healthcare Professionals with a unique shape, soft fabric cover and secure hydrocolloid wafer.

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