I’ve decided to do this post as a lot of swimwear is now being advertised on clothing sites and in the shops, and also it’s that time of year where (if you’re lucky!) you’re jetting off somewhere warm on holiday in the Summer months!
Choosing swimwear with an ostomy can be overwhelming at first, especially if you’re quite soon after surgery and all of a sudden the panic hits you of “what am I going to wear?” and “what can I wear if I don’t want others to see my bag?”. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and I’ve come up with ways round still being able to wear on-trend swimwear and/or the swimwear you personally love without having to majorly change your own style and taste just because you have an ostomy bag. Of course, there are people who have had ostomy surgery who are quite happy to have their bag on show; a big thumbs up to them I say and it’s a really courageous thing to do! However, it is completely okay to want to keep your bag to yourself and/or scars. Having ostomy surgery is a major thing after all, and it’s important that you listen to your own feelings and only do what you feel comfortable with anything, even besides choosing what to wear.
Today, I’ve been browsing the internet at different clothes sites in general and came across ASOS and their fantastic range of swimwear. Currently, they have up to 60% off, whilst stocks last. I have put together some collages of suitable swimwear I have found to give you all some ideas of picking swimwear with an ostomy. All of the picture credit is to ASOS.com.
There are a lot of swimsuit styles out there at the moment, and ASOS certainly shows the diverse range of styles available. Here are a few that I selected which would work great with having an ostomy bag.
The Playful Promises Swimsuit (left) is one of my favourites of the garments I have seen. It is very feminine and gives a striking, yet not over the top, burst of colour with the intricate lace panel overlay on the cups and down the middle; perfect for detracting attention away from any bag lines underneath. I chose the other three swimsuits as they all have patterns; from simple with the black and white spot swimsuit to more complex and colourful with the Mexicali swimsuit and floral design as well. Busy patterns are a great way of minimising attention being drawn to any possibly bag bulges or lines you may worry about. As you can also see with the Mexicali Swimsuit (second from the right), there are some gorgeous cut-out style pieces that can be worn if you want to show off your figure more. Cut-out designs are differentiated in where abouts the cut-out actually is; some being cut out at the sides with side ties to secure the bottom half of the swim suit and back cut-outs for example. Also, a good thing about having side cut-outs as well is that they come in varying degrees of to what extent the cut-out piece is, with front panels being thin to quite wide depending on the coverage the garment offers. This is great for having an ostomy bag but still wanting to feel confident.
Next, I had a look at the bikini range that ASOS have on offer. There are some lovely pieces and different styles as well, ranging from your normal bikini, to low-rise bottoms, tankinis and some really feminine high-waisted pieces. Floral print is definitely on trend and one of my favourite prints to wear and there is an endless range of really pretty floral swimwear pieces throughout the internet itself. River Island and Topshop at the moment have a few of my personal favourites that I have seen when I’ve been shopping. Here are a select few I found on ASOS.
As you can see above, ASOS also do an ASOS Curve range, which is fantastic for ladies who are bigger sizes and have fuller figures. I think it’s great to see women with curves and those who do need bigger sizes embracing their bodies and wearing such lovely pieces. It’s really refreshing to see and reassuring for people who need bigger sizes in general that they too have the right to feel confident and embrace what they have. This is the same for people who have ostomy bags; yes, you sure do have the right to feel body confident and proud whatever shape or size you may be!
High-waisted garments in general I adore so these high-waisted bikinis above were sure to catch my eye. High-waisted bikinis make me feel confident and give me that confident edge that I wouldn’t necessarily have in a standard bikini. I love the Tumbling Clowns bikini pictured, and have also spotted some gorgeous ones in River Island and Marks & Spencer. They are perfect for keeping an ostomy bag and scars tucked safely away whether plain or patterned bikini.
Beach dresses are a great extra that give you that bit more coverage. For example, if you want to wear a normal bikini or your swimwear but feel a bit chilly or simply don’t want to strip down to your swimwear, then a pretty beach dress number is a must. Here are a few I found on ASOS.
The Fishnet Insert panels on the first dress (left) are definitely on trend and catch the eye. Despite it’s plain colour and no pattern, the fact that you can wear swimwear underneath or stomawear garments, alongside the eye-catching panels of the dress, mean that attention on your ostomy bag will be kept to a minimum. My favourite of these beach dresses is on the second left; very feminine and floaty for running around and having fun on the beach, or lying back and reading a book.
I have seen a few men voice their concerns about wearing swim shorts with an ostomy, usually their main concern being that some swim shorts can be too plain or not high waisted enough. Admittedly, when I have been looking around, there is a more limited range for men, but fear not, as I have come up with some ways around this and some good fashion steals. Here are some I found on the ASOS website.
Again, a tip I swear by is going for the patterns to take attention away from bag lines etc. Above are some on-trend designs and prints that will do this. I also picked the longer River Island shorts with the white panel of colour along the bottom as the eye-catching bit of the shorts to take attention away from the abdominal and waist area. Also, with all the shorts being elasticated, this is ideal for having the right level of security and comfort you need with your stoma bag without feeling too restricted or the opposite. Also, a vest could be added or t-shirt over the shorts if you feel more comfortable and there is high-waisted stomawear on offer if the shorts do not quite cut it!
I can’t finish this post without mentioning some examples of amazing stomawear. Stomawear consists of things such as stoma waistbands, vests and briefs in different levels of support depending on the needs of the individual. Comfizz garments (www.comfizz.com) I have sworn by since soon after my surgery! Their waistbands, vests and briefs are all suitable to wear under swimwear garments and to get wet if you want that little bit of extra security. For example, ladies may wish to wear normal bikinis and wear a stoma waistband over their ostomy bag, whereas men may wish to wear the high waisted briefs under their swim shorts if the waist sits normal and is not high-waisted. I have a number of Comfizz products and have never been let down.
Other companies such as Vanilla Blush (www.vblush.com) have a gorgeous range of stomawear, ranging from feminine and sexy high waisted knickers to swimsuits and high-waisted bikinis, to stomawear for men.
Get shopping everyone! 🙂 & remember that just because you have an ostomy bag, this does not take away your right to feel confident and love the skin that you’re in! In fact, if anything, having an ostomy bag gives you more of that right to feel empowered and confident because of the battles you have overcome! 🙂
Until next time,