What to Wear When You Have Urinary Incontinence

The best clothing options if you have urinary incontinence.

When it comes to incontinence and your clothing, you’ve got to consider both fabrics and colors. For instance, personal stylist Lindsay Burns of Las Vegas suggests that women choose polyester, as it doesn’t absorb liquid like natural fabrics do. 

She also suggests thicker fabrics, particularly when it comes to pants, like denim. “A dark denim is chic and yet compresses the bulge of a padded panty,” Burns says. If jeans aren’t in your comfort zone, however, she suggests any pants that drape to avoid clinging. Anything that isn’t too tight will better while you’re managing your urinary incontinence. 

San Diego-based wardrobe stylist Vanessa Valiente also likes thicker fabrics for women dealing with this issue, including Ponte. Ponte, Valiente explains, is a knit that combines rayon, polyester, and spandex or elastin. “The thicker fabrics also ensures any leakage takes time to show on the other side of the fabric, if at all.” 

When it comes to dresses and skirts, Burns says to “look for A-line, fit and flare, and pleated or peasant skirts which fan out from the waist.” Pieces like maxi dresses and accordion pleats are modern without being too revealing of underwear, she notes. 

If you’re a tights or pantyhose wearer, Burns suggests switching to thigh highs if you’re worried about what urinary incontinence may do. “They stop high enough on the thigh to wear under [skirts], without interfering with an incontinence garment,” she says. 

Valiente notes that when it comes to pants or skirts, prints are great, as “stains and leakage can easily be hidden by a fabulous print or the right pattern.” Both stylists suggest darker colors to hide leakage, particularly blue, green, brown, and black. They also point out that while you may have to go thicker and darker with your bottoms, you still have the freedom to wear tops that in lighter colors and fabrics. 

If you have urinary incontinence, which may be circumstantial or lifelong, depending on your circumstances, Valiente suggests shopping for a new wardrobe (between 15-30 outfits) that make you feel good and that you can wear again and again. As she puts it, “Life is too short to not be comfortable and feel sexy.