I’ve spent so many hours/weeks/probably even months crying on the floor of my poured-out wardrobe because nothing fits my poor little bloated belly. I’ve left so many parties early because I’ve been too uncomfortable or self conscious of the bloat trying to escape my high-waisted Joni jeans. And I’ve stormed out of way too many changing rooms because I can’t face the fact that my belly sticks out in THAT bodycon dress that everybody’s wearing.
If you follow me on Instagram or are a regular visitor of this blog, you’ll know that I created the hashtag #mybloatedwardrobe to share some of my favourite outfit ideas that will help you feel confident AND comfortable, even during an IBS flare-up. And to make it extra-easy, here are some of my absolute must-haves for a capsule #mybloatedwardrobe…
1. The elasticated midi-skirt
Pretty much what I live in. Up until the point I valued my internal organs, I was never a fan of elasticated skirts as thought they looked cheap without the plush-sitting-flat-band, however I’m now a no.1 supporter. I’ve found the perfect way around them is to style them either with a chunky belt to pull in your waist and hide the elastication, whilst also giving you the option to loosen the notches throughout the day; style with a t-shirt or jumper pulled out so it bags over slightly and looks cute; or, go for one of those fabulous inventions that has a flat-banded front but elasticated back. I find New Look and ASOS to be the best for these bad-boys.
2. The pair of “outside leggings”
These are the kind that aren’t so thin you can see the colour of your Primark g-string, or the ones that attract awkward glances at the camel toe. These are thick, high-waisted, well seamed, snuggy leggings that you can wear with an oversized shirt, jumper, peplum top or t shirt and a cardi. Perfect for a casual office or popping out at the weekend. My personal fave for these types of leggings are the high-waisted ankle grazers from Marks and Spencers, or I find most from River Island to be pretty fab.
3. The smock dress
I would say if these ever go out of fashion I will retire, however I’m pretty sure “that Zara dress” has given them a whole new lease of life. I’d say at least 40% of my wardrobe is made up of smock dresses; short ones for summer that I team with sandals or converse, and midis for winter that I team wear boots or dark Converse. They suit pretty much every person on the planet and are the ideal outfit to give you all the room your bloat could ever need, whilst also taking you from day time slob to out-out with the girls. Pretty much everywhere is selling the perfect smock at the moment, with my faves being ASOS, Nobody’s Child, New Look and Zara.
These things are magic, and for me, are a big must for our semi-casual office. I still go for the high-waisted versions as don’t want my bloated belly hanging out a pair of low-rise. My favourite jeggings are Matalan’s or F&F (found in Tesco’s or Next). I’ve also been known to buy a pair of maternity jeggings however I hate the jersey band poking out and find the regular fit of the above stated brands to be just as bloat-friendly!
5. The wire-free bra
For me, my bloat doesn’t just stay in my tummy – oh no, it rises right up to my boobs to form a delightful little mono-third-boob! So underwired bras have become my worst enemy on the super bloated days, and as a rule I NEVER wear them on a weekend (treat yo’self). I’m a big fan of Monki and Neon Moon bras, or if you’re looking for more support, again Matalan has our backs in this department.
5. Mom jeans
“What!? Un-elasticated jeans” I hear you cry. Honestly, if you find the right pair, they can be life changing. I’ve tried on so many Mom jeans over the past year or so, and the only ones I’ve found that are actually comfortable AND flattering are the Primark and F&F ones. Which handily, happen to be under £25 a pair. I have a couple of pairs in each colour from each brand and I am obsessed; they have a nice fit on the bum but also enough room below the waist to allow for bloat – magic!
So there it is, my bloat-friendly capsule wardrobe. Of course, with most being bottoms, you might want a few tops and jumpers to maintain your modesty, but most tops are pretty bloat-friendly so we’re kinda safe there. Let me know how many of the above you own or what’s next on your shopping list!
Lots of love, Lottie x