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“My stomach is so bloated I look pregnant. What can I wear?!” | Low FODMAP Diet by FODMAP Life

“My stomach is so bloated I look pregnant.  What can I wear?!”  Was this you today, yesterday, last week or sometime recently?  If you want to conceal your bloated self, I have a couple ideas (below) and a special discount off a pair of magical pants I found in Thailand that help when you feel bloated.  Read on!

When you have bloating from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sometimes finding something to wear is impossible.  I was just looking through my closet the other day for clothes to give away.  I looked up and was reminded of my days before the low-FODMAP diet when I was bloated for days and weeks on end. There in my closet I saw two tunics that I wore very often as they helped cover my bloated belly.  These tunics allowed me to let my belly out without worrying about how I looked.  By letting my belly out I was also in less pain.  When you’re so bloated and feel you look six months pregnant, it can be pretty painful to just “suck it in.”

The other painful side of having a bloated belly from IBS is the anxiety of not knowing what to wear, or not having any clothes at all.  You want to go out and enjoy but you’re either worried because:

a) you’re not bloated yet but could become bloated and need something that will hide everything or b) you’re already bloated like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon and nothing you have looks or feels good.

Maybe those jeans suck everything in but the button across your belly, shoving into your abdomen? No thanks!

So what can you wear when you’re bloated or expecting to be bloated?

Your Go-To List – Clothing Options for Bloating

If you feel self-conscious about being bloated and don’t want to draw attention to your midsection, take a look at the comfy suggestions below.

  • Do wear: comfy leggings or pants with light elastic bands like these pants I found in Thailand two years ago (read more below)
  • Don’t wear: jeans unless they have an elastic waist (or you don’t mind that button torturing you all day and night)
  • Do wear: long elastic waist or drawstring maxi skirts
  • Don’t wear: short or tight skirts – unless they have an elastic band or drawstring and you can easily pair with the right long, flowy or loose top
  • Do wear: a flowy top that won’t hug your belly.  Patterns like stripes, polka dots or small flowers or other graphics can draw attention away from your belly.
  • Don’t wear: a tight shirt
  • Do wear: a chunky or colorful necklace
  • Don’t wear: a belt
  • Do wear: breathable fabrics like cotton, loose-fitting gauze or chiffon layer (cotton, synthetic or silk), ponte knit pants in a relaxed cut
  • Don’t wear: fabrics that cling like polyester, leather, wool and “stretch jersey”-type lightweight synthetic materials

The Magical Pants from Thailand

Two years ago my husband and I went to Thailand for an entrepreneurial conference called “A-Fest.”  We soaked up a few days of training, profound mind shifts, deep connections and incredible adventures in Phuket and then made our way to Chiang Mai.  One night while walking through the outdoor markets I found pants just like these:

pants for bloated stomach


I began to think “where have these pants been all of my life?!!?”  They are light and airy.  The elastic band does not pull across my abdomen.  Paired with the right top, they look stylish with sandals or are great after a session of yoga.  Or they can just become your new hanging around pants.  You can get them in patterns or solids and they are very affordable.

Get your magical pants here! Use code FODMAPLife at checkout

Back to my closet – while I was looking through my closet recently and thinking of how tunics, dresses and leggings were my only solutions to covering my bloatedness (yes I am aware that’s not a real word) I began to think of my magical pants from Thailand.  I wanted to find a way for my fans of FODMAPLife could enjoy the same relaxation and ease as I did, so I contacted HaremPants.com.  Located in Chiang Mai (so cool!), Harem Pants has been in business for over eight years. They produce everything they sell and “ensure the highest quality on all of our items.”  They were sweet to make me a Brand Ambassador so that I could pass along a 10% discount to you!

My husband and I in Thailand, June 2014. Wish I could have taken those elephants home!

My husband and I in Thailand, June 2014. I wish I could have taken those elephants home and wish they were out in the wild instead.

At checkout, just use the code FODMAPLife to receive 10% off your order!  Shop here

I highly suggest getting a couple of pairs of these pants for yourself and for your friends even if they don’t have IBS.  They make great birthday and Christmas gifts and are great for your preggo and new momma friends.  Harem Pants are the best stylish secret to hiding a bloated belly and keeping you chill and relaxed as you go about your day.


Sources: How to Dress for Weight Fluctuations

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Be good to yourself and your gut!

Colleen Francioli

Certified Nutritionist Consultant

Founder FODMAP Life & BonCalme