As someone with IBS, summer style makes me nervous. Gone are the slouchy sweaters of winter — now, it’s time to usher in a season of crop tops, short shorts and itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka dot bikinis. Yikes!
When bloated from the delicious spoils of a summer vacation (or birthday celebration, if you’re a Cancer like me!), putting on a skimpy summer outfit feels nerve-wracking. And while I’m all for #FreeingTheBelly, sometimes, you just don’t want to fight the negative self-talk. It’s okay to take a break from challenging diet culture now and then — it’s okay if you just want to put on a bathing suit and get on with your damn life!
That chic summer outfit can also feel downright restrictive when dealing with a bloated belly. Summer trends definitely weren’t designed with IBS-sufferers in mind — or even for the average girl! It may be alarmingly easy to compare yourself to size-zero models subsisting solely on air, water and laxative tea, but at the end of the day, how many people do you know who really look like that? And would you beat your BFF up the same way for not being able to squeeze into that teeny bikini? Cue Cher from Clueless voice: I don’t think so!
Say hello to a more realistic wardrobe for summer. High-waisted bottoms and swingy dresses are the name of the game — and they’re still just as adorable, and 10,000 times more comfortable, than whatever Taylor Swift or Hailee Seinfeld was wearing on the last cover of Vogue.
High-Waisted Skinny Jeans
High-waisted doesn’t automatically equal “Mom jeans” — watch literally any Zooey Deschanel movie or show, and you’ll confirm that pretty quickly. Your booty will still pop in the right pair. But, they’ll also let your bloated belly breathe after one too many high-FODMAP margaritas sipped under the sun.
Lace Babydoll Dress
$88, Free People
The babydoll dress calls back to a more carefree era, when the Beatles were writing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and even your Catholic grandmother was tripping on drugs. Bring trendy back with a bohemian empire waist and enormous, flowing skirt that’s perfect for hiding a briefcase of money, the Seven Dwarves….even the world’s biggest food baby.
Boxy Pocket Tee
Gone are the days when women required a different T-shirt silhouette than men. Nowadays, gender fluidity can run free — and unisex cuts like the boxy tee are hipper than ever. Not to mention, the boxy cut falls in favor of the bloated belly, meaning someone other than the heroin-chic Kate Moss can finally fit into the trendiest tops of the moment.
Button-Front Maxi Skirt
For years, I thought maxi skirts were off limits to those of us under 5’4.” As sizing becomes more inclusive, however, even trends seemingly designed for the tall people of the world are becoming accessible to us shorties! The billowing maxi skirt pulls any outfit together, while disguising any belly bulges caused by the onion rings you enjoyed last night. #NoRegrets — am I right, ladies?
In my childhood, bikinis appeared to be the height of womanhood (maybe because I was barred from wearing one until age 13). Now that I’m older, I understand that sex appeal stems from a certain je ne sais quoi. In other words, it’s okay to leave some skin to the imagination. You can still feel sexy and confident in a one-piece swimsuit! You’re never too old to wear a one-piece, just like you’re never too big or too fat to wear a bikini.
And besides, you know what’s never sexy? Skin cancer. I’m just saying…..