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Vanilla Blush – Ostomy underwear that makes you feel awesome

I met Nicola at the recent Get Your Belly Out Ball who is the owner of Vanilla Blush and we got talking about the brilliant work she has done in the field of Ostomy Underwear.  As an ostomate herself, Nicola has created a range of beautiful underwear specifically designed for people with an ostomy bag.  Nicola kindly sent me some of her products to try and I am so impressed!

There are ranges for both men and women and they go from hernia support wear to swimwear to beautiful but practical underwear.  They look like any other high waisted underwear from the outside but have an internal pouch that houses your ostomy bag, keeping it off your skin and close to your body.

sam cleasby Nicola dames Vanilla Blush ostomy underwear

I tried them out and I can’t believe how great they feel, I have never worn specific ostomy underwear before, always choosing everyday pants but now I have tried these, I am a bit in love.  I think originally I felt that they were trying to hide the ostomy bag away and I wasn’t comfortable with that, but having tried them, they are so practical and cleverly designed and make me feel awesome.

What I love most about them is they are not medical, they don’t look any different to beautiful lingerie, the website doesn’t scream “SICK PANTS FOR SALE HERE!”  Buying and wearing these knickers just felt like a great experience.  I don’t want reminders of my illness, especially not when Im trying to wear something to feel good and Vanilla Blush get it so right.

Going from a UK size 6-8 up to a 20-22, there is a good range of sizes so most people should be able to find something for them.

I wore the hernia support vest and I felt really held in and like my hernia was well supported, and it looks like any other vest.  This allowed me to do some gardening and housework, something I had been struggling with before. (Although after taking this photo, I realised I had it on backwards!!!)

vanilla blush ostomy underwear hernia support vest

I love that all the models on the website are real people with real ostomies.

I also tried the other knickers and just fell in love with them, I felt in control, beautiful and awesome. My sister saw them and wanted a pair for herself and she doesn’t have an ostomy! They feel very well made, as good as any high end underwear I have bought before and wash well.  I have to admit that I put them through the washing machine before reading the website which advices hand washing, but they did survive a 40 degree wash with no ill effects.

vanilla blush ostomy underwear

 

Warning… If you are my mother or child or don’t want to read about sex, step away from this post now!

Still here? OK, so Vanilla Blush do some crotchless knickers.  I loathe to use that term as it sounds so tacky and creepy.  The underwear is the same shape as the other pants but has a split gusset that looks like normal knickers when together or when separated it is open.  I wasn’t sure about these, we got them out and had a giggle and talked about the connotations of crotchless knickers.  Then I tried them on out of curiosity more than anything.

As you know, I don’t like talking about my sex life on here, but I have to say, they are a very clever design.  It’s not that I want to hide my ostomy bag or that it shouldn’t be seen, it’s more that the presence of it can sometimes be off putting, the rustle of it is a subtle reminder that it is there and so these pants mean you can be intimate whilst your bag is safely in the pouch and flat to your body.  The pants looked classy and like beautiful lingerie, it didn’t feel seedy or weird but just that someone had actually thought about the sex life of people with an ostomy, which is something hospitals and doctors simply aren’t doing.

OK, enough sexy talk!

vanilla blush

These knickers rock, I adore them! Go take a look at the website and if you are in the UK, take a look at the prescriptions page, you can apply for:

  • UNDERWEAR: 6 pairs per-year (these have an internal Stoma-support pocket).
  • SUPPORTWEAR: 3 items per-year (Level 2/3 flexible Hernia Prevention Support inbuilt).

 

If buying yourself, prices for underwear go from £13 -£20.  Not cheap I know, but they are of such a great quality and certainly compare positively to more expensive lingerie, I think it is well worth the money and will certainly be buying more.

 

Sam xx

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, but I was sent the underwear for free from Vanilla Blush.  From time to time, I work with companies who sponsor me in some way, either though payment or products.  I will only work with companies that I believe have something positive to offer my lovely readers.

 

"Feminist" underwear

I saw this post last week about ‘feminist underwear’ and was immediately intrigued.  “Feminist lingerie is the body positive underwear we’ve been waiting for” screamed the headline, now as you know I am both a proud feminist and also a big champion of women being body positive and so I clicked on the link, unsure as to what I was about to see.  Neon Moon is a kickstarter fund to create a feminist lingerie brand that does not sexualise or objectify girls.  All good so far, right?

“By taking the time to support Neon Moon’s campaign you are making a statement to the world that you want change, and your voice will be heard!” – Hayat Rachi, CEO and Founder of Neon Moon… Ok, fab, tell me more!

Using ‘real’ models these bra and knickers are supposedly promoted with an ethos of empowerment, body confidence and the non-objectification of women.  Models were asked not to shave and were chosen for their average sizing and there is no photoshopping in the adverts.

Neon Moon lingerie feminist underwear

Photograph – Via Pinterest Neon Moon

The premise of the bras sounds great, yet I have a few issues with the actual products.  They have no underwires and use soft cup bamboo fabrics and disturbingly the size Large is just a UK 12-14.

As a size 16 myself I am upset and to be honest, appalled, that this ‘feminist brand’ is not including women who are at the UK average size.  I think part of the issue with body issues and fashion is feeling that you are not catered for.  This brand can’t profess to be about body confidence whilst telling their audience that being a size 12 is large and if you are a 16 or over that you cannot buy this product.

The collection “does not incorporate any padding, push-up, or wired attributes, the Bamboo fabric and shape is designed to work around the body, instead of the other way around.”

I have a huge issue with the idea that underwired and more supportive underwear is in some way against feminism? I have massive boobs, these puppies need support.  Not to make me attractive to other people, not to present my breasts in a certain way, but because the flesh in my breasts feels better when it is in a supportive, underwired bra.

When we come to the idea of advertising in a way that doesn’t sexualise women, I feel a little confused.  Who is decided what is sexualised these days? If you are showing items of clothes that fit around genitals and breasts then you are probably going to get someone who finds any image a bit sexy.  Asking the models not to shave seems a bit patronising to me, as if hairy pits are the epitome of what a feminist is.  I am a huge fan of using models of all different sizes and shapes but it feels awkward for this company to have used women who aren’t a typical model 6 but then not cater to the larger women out there.

My other issue is that I feel the brand is suggesting that if you wear lacy or silky undies, that you are in some way not a feminist.  I can assure you that the style of my knickers does not affect my beliefs that men and women should be treated equally.  Women’s rights are about choice, and if I choose to wear a black satin bra or a ruffled lace knickers and stockings, it is not because I want to perform sexually for men.  I wear them because I want to, because they make me feel beautiful.  The idea that I have to wear bamboo, ugly, ill fitted underwear to be a strong woman is laughable!

This feels like a company using the idea of feminism to sell a product and that kind of sucks.  The company have reached their goal on the kickstarted page and so perhaps they will develop their ideas and sizing further, but I am afraid currently Neon Moon is not for me, not only because I can’t fit my ass in their pants and that I would knock out small children if I attempted to wear their bras but because I just don’t like the product.

I am ALL about the body confidence, but that means choice.  I can choose to wear the sexiest underwear out there, it is not a reason for others to make a judgement on me.

Size wise, all companies need to realise that they can’t refuse to cater for a large section of society without pissing those people off!

What do you think?

 

Sam xx

 

And sometimes you need to wear sequinned knickers…

Today I wore clothes for the first time in almost three weeks!

Three weeks of jamas!!!!

And to make me feel better I just had to wear the sequinned knickers…

20130917-030349.jpg

You can see the top of my scar here now the staples are out. It’s pretty big but scars are cool, right?!

My bag is HUGE, they give you the biggest easiest ones to learn how to deal with them in the early days. I’ve seen the ones I could move onto and they look tons better, easier to disguise, easier to fit under clothes.

And sometimes you just need to wear sequinned knickers…

Love Sam xx