What to wear when you have IBS

Girls… How To Dress When You Have IBS!

Sorry guys, this one is just for the girls! Living with IBS isn’t great. It can really take over your life and get you really thinking about things which never really crossed your mind before. Before I had IBS I would throw some clothes on and walk out the door, with no worries and it’d never really matter if I’d forgotten something.

Since having IBS, leaving the house is a whole different ball game! I’ll go to the toilet at least twice ‘just to be sure’. I’ll always make sure I pack tissues in my bag, and sometimes even some extra clothes (if I am going out all day) My car is like my second wardrobe with options for whatever happens! Even getting dressed has changed… I now have to carefully consider how I am feeling, as well as how I might feel later on!!


When you leave the house, make sure you are wearing something comfortable... believe me, you'll be glad you did later on!


In the Winter it’s not so bad… everyone has big thick baggy jumpers, large coats etc, so it’s quite easy to do the same. However, as soon as it starts getting a bit warmer, or even pretty hot like recently, it’s not quite so easy to disguise a big bloated tummy!

In Spring and Summer I tend to turn to floaty tops and shorts (not tight fitting!) or floaty dresses (not waisted ones) and maybe a pair of leggings underneath. Occasionally I will brave a pair of skinny jeans, and I am just super careful what I eat that day – just to try to be sure my tummy doesn’t expand and they become super uncomfortable! However, I learnt the hard way that I can’t always control this so I usually have a backup pair of trousers with me!

When I am being more sensible, I forget the skinny jeans and the tight waisted dresses and the clingy tops and go for other styles of clothing which are comfortable and don’t make you look 6 months pregnant if you do have a flare up!

My wardrobe has changed a bit since having IBS, and now a few of my staple items are:

  • Floaty tops

    I have these in a variety of colours. They’re really flattering, but also great for hiding a bloated tummy! Loose blouses/shirts are also great for the same reason and you can get some really nice checked shirts… just avoid the fitted ones!

  • Leggings

    These are a must-have! I have a few pairs which are much thicker… more like ‘jeggings’ and so are fine to wear with shorter tops! Normal leggings are great for putting under dresses, skirts, shorts and long jumpers to keep comfy… I love elasticated waist bands!!

  • Loose-fit jumpers

    I also have a mixture of these in different colours and styles! Luckily these have been in fashion of the past few years, so it’s easy to pick up a couple of nice ones!

  • Lightweight Jackets & Cardigans

    These go perfectly with the floaty tops! I have a couple of long lightweaigh jackets which are really smart for meetings or going out in the evening. They help cover your tummy from the side and are very comfy.

I have to admit, I sometimes feel I look a little too casual or to ‘samey’ and perhaps not completely on trend… but if I am comfortable then I am happy and smiling… and that’s way more important than squeezing into that tight-waisted top!

Accessories like jewellery and scarves have become my best friends! I can stick to my basic items listed above and then add accessories to look more ‘dressy’ or just to look different from yesterday!

So, wear your most comfortable items and let your tummy be happy!

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