Gotta Love the Cycle of Fashion Trends - Uncover Ostomy
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Gotta Love the Cycle of Fashion Trends

… Let’s just hope the disaster that was the 90’s fashion craze of belly tops and MC Hammer pants never returns.

As you all know, I was back in Toronto last week to get myself checked out for various medical issues I was having.

Surprise- nothing’s wrong with me according to my test results

Not a surprise- my body is clearly acting like something is wrong.

As with most medical issues in my life, I will have to suck it up and deal with the symptoms as they come. Wonderful.

Anyways, that’s not the point of this blog post. I am back in NYC, finishing up my 1st semester here at NYU (eeeee), and getting ready to have a wonderful winter vacation.

The point of this blog post, however, is to let you ladies in on some recent ostomy friendly and, of course, super stylish fashion trends I came across while I was back home. (Sorry, guys!)

While I was home, the wonderful woman that is my mother generously offered to take me to my local mall for some Canadian black Friday shopping to lift my spirits after my week of visiting doctors and awaiting my (eventually unhelpful) medical results. Thankfully, black Friday shopping in Canada was basically the same as everyday shopping in Canada, so I actually had some time to spend to seek out essential articles of clothing that I was in desperate need for.

Yes- I was in desperate need for some new clothes.

I swear.

Having moved out to NYC and participating in a more professional life setting, I quickly realized that my everyday undergrad sweatpant-dawning-sorority-tshirt-sporting-and-ugg wearing style wouldn’t cut it out here. Over the past few months I had made some essential wardrobe purchases including new shoes and new shirts.

But those were the easy things for me.

As you all know, I am a lucky individual as I have my ostomy quite low on my body. I have no issue buying shirts because the ostomy is not near that part of my body. Unfortunately, this makes pants quite the challenge.

Over the past few years, I’ve very successfully built my wardrobe around wearing, as I said, sweatpants, as well as lululemon pants, leggings, and my very scarce set of jeans that took me a lot of digging and trying on to find (eventually, I found stretchy jeans, kind of like jeggings, but actually made of denim- they work well.) My closet does include some other pairs of pants that do not fall under any of those categories, but the selection is slim.

My mission for that black Friday shopping excursion was to find real pants. Not leggings, lululemons, or jeans. Pants I could wear that said, “Hey, she looks like she knows what she’s doing.” Aka pants that don’t make me look like I’m heading to campus.

Not having a clue what exactly I was looking for, I ventured in and out of my regular store choices in hopes of finding something that would jump out at me. From one to the next I left empty handed.

Ok, not empty handed-I just didn’t have any pants in my hands.

Eventually I came across one of my most frequented stores called Aritzia.

It took all of about 30 seconds for me to realize I was in ostomy pant city.

…And by that I mean, stylish-sophisticated-but-hides-my-ostomy-perfectly-city.

Apparently, fashion trends have cycled back from the 50s and Aritzia has taken notice. I found a few pairs of pants that resemble the types of pants women wore back then; pants that were straight legged, with a bit of a tulip effect at the top of hip. Oh, yes: pants no longer hug hips!

I was in heaven.

I think I must have tried on about 7 pairs of pants- all which hid the ostomy absolutely perfectly. Don’t worry, I didn’t purchase all 7, just 3! These are one of the pairs I bought (click for more info):

These pants not only made me look as if I wasn’t missing 6+ of intestine, but they made me look as if I was ready to start a real career.

It’s amazing what clothing can do.

I have to say that I am unbelievably thankful that I had my ostomy surgery when I did. If I had been forced to live with it through the 90s with belly tops that flaunted the midsection and pants the hugged the hips, I would have either been showing my bag to everyone (more than normal..), or would have just been a very unfashionable individual..But really, who decided those clothing choices were stylish, anyways?

So fellow female ostomates-and ladies in general- Now is definitely the right time for a little wardrobe update, no?

Jessica Grossman
  • Caitlin Mcginnis
    Posted at 22:23h, 03 December Reply

    This post is very helpful. I have had my ileostomy since February and it’s still temporary (as of now) even though I’ve had so many complications.

    Anyway, I can’t wear any of my jeans because the bag gets in the way or shows through the jeans when it gets full. I’ve been buying pants from Old Navy that have a drawstring waist and look like jogging pants. Not very flattering at all. I’ve looked at a lot of places to find comfortable pants for me and my bag but I haven’t had much luck.

    Now I see that there is still hope!

  • Lori Moore
    Posted at 23:08h, 03 December Reply

    I have found that pants at Reitmans work well for people with Ostomies. The ones that don’t have the zippers and buttons but the stretch top and the material is stretchy as well but they look like dress pants. I also like the jeans there with the same kind of stretch top and they have spandex in the jean material so it stretches some. Plus the stretch top is flater and thicker and doesn’t look like the old lady stretch top pants.

    • Mystique
      Posted at 23:50h, 03 December Reply

      Hi Lori,
      I recently made the same discovery as you. I just bought these pants you are talking about from Reitmans! They are awesome for ostomates. I want to go back and get all the different colours they have.

  • Mystique
    Posted at 00:00h, 04 December Reply

    I have also found that maternity pants are great too. They have a really nice wide elastic band at the top which isn’t too tight. There are also many different styles to choose from. The elastic part can go under your clothes so no one would even know that you are wearing them.

  • Sam
    Posted at 05:48h, 04 December Reply

    I recently graduated from uni, and now have a teaching job for next year! Finding professional yet stylish clothing can be hard, so my wardrobe is full of skirts. I would love to find a pair of work pants here in Aus…I’m on a mission!

  • Trianna
    Posted at 08:27h, 04 December Reply

    For people (like me!) who can’t afford this store, Smart Set also carries a line of pants with yoga-top-ish waists that come in jeans as well as dressy pants. I think they’re called easy fit? Also lovely for non-ostomates like me with chubby tummies 🙂

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