How to Dress for Summer with Endometriosis

How to Dress for Summer with Endometriosis

I’ve probably mentioned this a gazillion times already, but endometriosis killed my career. What career, you may ask? The one I had in fashion.

In a past life I worked as a stylist and a visual merchandiser — which means that apart from humans, I also styled mannequins, spending a lot of time with my butt facing the outside of shop windows. Occasionally, I got extra cash by being a personal shopper. While that career is gone, my thirst for all things #fashun has become a personality trait. Truthfully, my illness hardly encourages me to wear anything other than my pj’s, and it gets especially tricky in the summer. 

Summer, yay or nay? (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

Heat is not a friend of anyone with a period, and it’s a season that can be packed with social engagements. During a heat wave, just heading out to the shops can induce a minor meltdown. What does one wear to buy ice cream when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and scream? And don’t get me started on wearing makeup or doing my hair when my arms feel as heavy as lead and my lower back is yelling at me.

Dressing for summer may be tricky, but an impossible task it is not. Here’s what one can do: 

When you don’t fancy wearing shorts 

Many endometriosis patients bruise easily, due to blood loss and on/off conditions such as anemia. Personally, and quoting Ross from “Friends,” I bruise like a peach. So, while I appreciate shorts in the summer, I don’t feel like wearing them that often. I’m not ashamed of my bruises; I just don’t fancy seeing them every day. 

A few years ago, I discovered culottes and haven’t looked back since. Contrary to popular opinion, they are very flattering and go with almost everything. They are long enough that they offer good coverage, yet they’re so wide they feel as airy and light as regular shorts.

In the summer, Jarvis turns into a growling footrest. (Photo by Jessie Madrigal)

When you have a case of the endo belly

High-waisted clothing (skirts, shorts, trousers) can bring heaps of relief when dealing with the dreaded endo belly. If they cinch at the waist, there is no pressure on your swollen tummy. However, if you do mind being asked whether you’re pregnant for the sixth time in a week, light-weight kimonos or silk gowns work great as cover-ups. They also look seriously cool. 

When you want to hide under your duvet but it’s too hot

If summer is good for one thing, it’s floaty clothes. Anything light, especially a midi or maxi dress, will keep you refreshed — hello, random hot flashes! If you’re unsure about the undefined silhouette certain looser garments give, a loose belt will add some shape. 

When I talk about fashion, it’s just one of the things that makes me feel good, whether I’m going out or staying indoors. It is not a case of following trends or looking good for others, but of wearing what will lift my mood. Seeing myself constantly wearing yoga pants or having messy hair tends to affect my mental health.

I don’t beat myself up if all I fancy wearing is yoga attire, pj’s, or whatever feels comfy. Duvet days are still valid during the summer. However, making a small effort to look good for myself has become the truest form of self-care. 


Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.