From cramps and leakage to mood swings and breakouts, Miss Flo is rarely a welcome guest. Besides the uncomfortable and often downright debilitating symptoms, one of the worst parts of being on your period is deciding what to wear.
Most of my Grinch (“that’s it, I’m not going”) moments have happened when menstruating, anyway. While you’re probably desperate to stay at home curled up on the sofa in your PJs, life must go on — and different events call for different dress codes. That’s why it can be useful to have a few staple period-friendly outfits waiting for you in your wardrobe for every time the monthlies creep up on you unexpectedly.
There are a few obvious fashion faux pas to avoid during your time of the month (e.g. no white trousers), but did you know that specific types of clothing could also help to lessen your symptoms? Well, sort of.
“Some people might find that changing what they wear around that time of the month makes them feel more comfortable,” says Dr. Claudia Pastides, MBBS, General practitioner, Medical Director at Flo Health. “Up to two thirds deal with breast pain during their period, so it can help to wear a well-fitting bra that offers more support. Bloating is another common symptom, and while wearing tight clothes doesn’t cause bloating, you may be making your discomfort even greater by wearing tight-fitting clothing.”
So, now we’re armed with the facts, here’s what you should wear for all occasions when you’re on your period.
Chilling at home
If you’re having a duvet day, why not keep your outfit as close to your PJs as possible? Use Wuka’s heavy flow period knickers, stick on your most supportive bra, and slip into some cosy loungewear (Stripe and Stare’s super soft loungewear is the GOAT).
If you’re WFH, just brush your hair and add some jewellery before you jump on that Zoom call.
And if you’ve got nothing to do but binge your favourite Netflix series, layer up with a dressing gown and treat your cramps with a water bottle (you can literally tie the YuYu hot water bottle around your body, genius).
Going to work
Wear them with loose T-Shirts and shirts and chunky trainers or sandals.
Stick your hair up in a claw clip, and you’re ready to face the day. Not only is this the most polished and professional Scandi look ever, it’s really comfy and period-friendly too.
Formal evening event
If you don’t own a slip dress, where have you been? They’re the ultimate chameleon and can take you from day to night just by changing your accessories. More importantly, they’re a great shout for any formal evening event (e.g. work do’s, weddings and formal dinners) when you’re on your period.
This All Saints slip dress is loose and won’t cling to your tummy, but still has a flattering cowl neckline and sultry slit to show off your curves. The length will keep all worries of an accidental flash at bay, too.
Amp up the drama with brightly coloured accessories (this Stone and Mason bag is a real showstopper, and big enough to store a few tampons) and don’t forget to go hard on the jewellery.
Girls night out
For parties, girls nights and hitting the town, don’t let your period stop you from wearing a daring mini dress. Just make sure you choose one that isn’t too fitted (like this playful black taffeta number) and pair it with some statement tights in the winter or anti-chaffing shorts in the summer for an extra layer of protection.
Finish the look off with some sparkly accessories, and some *very* on-trend but still sturdy and practical (ish) Mary Janes.
Working out is the last thing most of us want to do when we’re riding the crimson wave — partly because of changes in energy levels, and partly because most gym wear is super tight and restrictive. If bloating is your major concern, switch your regular leggings for TALA’s super flattering flares.
If you’re more worried about leakage than anything else, opt for the ModiBodi X Puma period shorts (they can hold up to three tampons worth of blood).
Wear either of these with a supportive sports bra, baggy tee and some proper sports trainers, and get ready to beat your PB.
Got a romantic evening ahead? Don’t skimp on sexiness just because it’s that TOTM. Leather trousers are pretty much the most alluring piece of clothing out there (unless you’re Ross Geller from Friends in *that* scene), but their tight and sweaty nature is off-putting when you’re on your period. That’s why you should go for a pair with an elastic waist and a jogger cut instead.
Rock Mango’s offering with a slinky little top (this one from Reformation is so flirtatious), some sophisticated heels, a cutesy bag, and stack up the jewellery for best results.
Who said jeans were a no-go on your period? This paper bag pair has a stretchy elasticated waist and is the perfect base for a ‘jeans and a nice top’ outfit, which is exactly what you want if you’re going to brunch or meeting your friends for a coffee.
Style them with a loose top that highlights your waist (this one from Reformation is a great example) some dainty flat shoes, and a smart handbag that is big enough to fit the essentials.
And if you’re feeling extra cute, add a hair bow.
It can be tempting to head out to the post office or launderette in your tracksuit when you’re bleeding, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But, if you want to change it up, go for some baggy dungarees (ideal if your lower tummy is swollen), a white tee, a bucket hat (I’m obsessed with this sassy slogan one from Stone and Mason) trainers, and a trusty tote bag instead.