what to wear when your bloated

What to wear when you’re bloated and still want to look and feel awsome

I’m in a love hate relationship with my body thanks to bloating. If you ask me what size I am, it depends on what day it is. This sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’m not even sure what my real body size and shape is most of the time.

I’m 5ft. Some days I’m a size 10, others a 12/14 and I even have days where I’m a size 16+. Most of the time I don’t know which size body I’m going to wake up with, or how long its going to last for. The differences in bloating makes what to wear hard. I can’t just turn to my wardrobe and know that the outfit I wore a couple of days ago will fit me today.

Due to this I make the most of the days I’m not bloated (which are few and far between). The mum jeans come out! Showing off that waist….as I don’t know when I will ever see it again!

vintage mum jeans

mum jeans

fabulous blouse sleeves

My natural body shape without any bloat, is the size I see the least. This is why I am trying to figure out with diet which foods are making my body bloated.

If I get contaminated with gluten I know within 15 minutes and this happens. I follow a strict gluten, grain and dairy free diet to avoid being ill and bloated. I don’t understand why I’m still bloated and sluggish most of the time? Is it due to other foods? Is it still the effects weeks and months on from accidentally ingesting gluten?

The photos below show the same outfit photographed just days apart.  On the left my ‘natural’ size with no discomfort. On the right I am bloated and there is no way those jeans are going to do up. The shoes felt tight and my face is slightly swollen. On days like that it’s hard to believe I ever fitted into them.

bloated gluten tummy

bloated coeliac stomach

When you feel rubbish, and your body does things you can’t control, there are consequences mentally as well as physically. Body confidence can really effect your mood.  Feeling and looking bloated really gets me down.

I love vintage clothes and feel at home in bright colours and patterns. This is my style and over the years I have realized, this is how I need to dress to feel happy. When I used to get bloated I would hide away in plain clothes so as not to draw attention to myself, but this just made me feel even worse.

The pain from having your skin stretched, every part of you swelling up, along with rashes and fatigue, is no fun. There are times when all you can do is put a onesie on and stay in bed…But  there are days I have to go to work, do the shopping, function like a normal person, so why should I give in and look like crap?

Keeping my style and finding ways to hide that bloated stomach while being comfortable has become my specialty! Improvise, adapt and overcome that’s my motto!

Here are my tips for what to wear when your bloated and still want to look and feel awesome!



what to wear when bloated

All over prints are your friend when you are bloated as they mask all the lumps and bumps breaking up the silhouette.

This all in one creates a large section of colour and pattern so it makes the body look more unified and slimmer. It is made from a comfy jersey material and fits loosely skimmingthe body.

what to wear when your bloated

I even felt brave enough to put a belt on (not tight) to give some sense of a waist as the pattern hides the tummy bulge so well.

Wearing a long sleeve top underneath in a contrasting colour adds cover for any bloated blotchy arms and re-inforces that flattering central long shape of pattern.



what to wear when bloated

Jeans are uncomfortable, they cut into your waist – that’s if you can even get then up there over your swollen thighs and ankles. I find trousers in general really uncomfortable and restricting when my tummy and legs are bloated.

No-one feels comfortable with a muffin top. All jeans are going to do is cut your sore belly in half. Instead go for leggings or dress/jumper dress and tights.

what to wear when bloated

If you can’t live without your jeans choose ones with a high waist. They need to sit over your bloated tummy. Go for ones with Lycra in them for comfort. Be sure to wear them with a long loose top.



flattering outfit for a bloated stomach

Wear something over sized to make you look smaller! I don’t mean a big shapeless hoody. Think structured shapes like balloon or kimono sleeves that draw the eye. Or a full skirt. These make the torso area look smaller.

Using texture can help, as you can’t tell what is fabric and what is you. A long fluffy waistcoat covers the worst bloated areas. Teaming with black  leggings and a stretchy long sleeve top. Making arms and legs look slim in contrast.


flattering outfits for bloated stomach

Large accessories also add to the illusion of a smaller body parts. In winter I have a massive fluffy hat which I wear when I’m bloated. Because it is so large, it makes the my body look really small. It’s all about playing around with proportions.

Accessories draw the eye. Use this to divert away from areas you are uncomfortable with. Try a colourful scarf or large statement earrings. This little touch will also make you feel better bringing a splash of your own style to any outfit.


Please let me know if you would like to see more fashion tips on how to beat the bloat! I’m thinking of doing a post on what to wear on a night out/special occasion when bloated. Would this be something of interest to any of you?






Follow by Email

2 thoughts on “What to wear when you’re bloated and still want to look and feel awsome”

  1. you can’t imagine how comforting it was to read this post. I have a stomach that produces too much acid and nothing controls the bloating. I can relieve it a bit with the right food and no coffee alcohol etc but it is still always there. Better in the summer but the worst in soggy foggy weather. It causes me immense stress and really affects my self-esteem. I am naturally very slim but I have been asked offered a seat on the bus cos I literally look pregnant after every meal and sometimes even without eating anything. Clothes are a massive concern – finding something that is comfy. I have a pile of clothes that I have bought with a “flat belly” and can wear maybe once a month. The photo with the jeans that didn’t fit although they DO fit actually is exactly what I experience all the time. Thank you for writing this post and giving out the tips. My own go-to are loose tunic dresses with dr martens.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks so much for your comments. It’s good to know I’m not the only one. Some days I just have no idea why my stomach bloats up as I am so careful with what I eat. It is so upsetting when you have a wardrobe full of beautiful clothes that only fit you occasionally, especially when you know they fit the real you. It really knocks your confidence. Hang in there and just find a way to still dress like you on those bloated days when you need comfort, it doesn’t have to mean frumpy. Thanks again for sharing, it also make me feel less alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *