Menstrual Cycle Mayhem

I don’t know about you all, but sometimes my menstrual cycle determines what clothes I am going to wear. Yes, I am going into this unspeakable realm of the female menses! When the flow starts and the misery sets in, all sorts of things make me crazy! At this perimenopausal stage of life that I am in, I have raging mood swings. Actually I shouldn’t even call them mood swings because there’s not too much swinging going on…it’s mostly all just rage. And it’s awful. I apologize to all who have to deal with me at this time of month…my husband, my children, my friends, even my pets fall victim to the hormonal rage that sets in. Believe me, I don’t like it either. And while I understand what is causing it, I still can not control it. It has a mind of its own and it takes over for a miserable 5-8 days.



I also bloat up to what feels about 3 times my normal size. I even look 3 times my normal size when I stare at my reflection in the mirror. And waistbands on pants are just about the most dreadful thing I can imagine during the entire week of disgusting bloat. Some days, I don’t even want to get out of my pajamas. But this goes against my daily therapy of making myself look good in an effort to feel good….making it even more important on these days to make myself get dressed. So, to lessen the agony, I often go for elastic waist pants or leggings or sometimes loose fitting boyfriend jeans that are a size too big.



Another concern of mine…that fear of leakage! Yep. There, I said it! And I know I can’t possibly be the only woman who fears this…I don’t care how much tampon and maxi pad commercials preach their promise that no leakage will occur and you can fearlessly wear white…I’m not taking the chance! So I steer clear of white and pastels and reach for black or dark print bottoms…or a really long tunic in a dark color or print. The perfect camouflage for any possible deception from my body!



This is where pajama dressing enters. And I have these pants. These fabulous pants. They feel like pajamas with their loose fit, wide legs, lightweight fabric, and elastic waistband with drawstring. They are black and white print that is perfect for masking any stains. And I can pair them with a loose fitting tunic or tee which is a requirement to avoid any hugging of my bloated midsection. Add a cute necklace and some comfortable flat sandals because let’s face it, my ankles and feet bloat all up by the end of the day, too. I feel like I’m in my pajamas but look like I actually got dressed.



Outfit details:
Pants: Old Navy (from last year) Similar here.
Shirt: Old Navy Swing Tee in River of Dreams (Teal). Currently $14 online, but I bought 4 different colors in this tee in my local ON when they were on sale for $8.
Shoes: B.O.C. from Famous Footwear (from last year). Similar here.
Necklace: Cato Fashions (from last year). Many beautiful options on their website.

What are your go-to outfits for those bloated days? Or just those days when clothes seem like the worst idea ever?

Just keeping it real on the edge,


Linking up with: These Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

40 Responses

  1. Arggh – sorry you’re experiencing these unpleasant (to say the least!) symptoms! I had them too during peri and early menopause. they do go away, mercifully. Loose trousers and a swingy top are a great solution! xox


    • Thanks, Patti! I seriously cannot wait for it all to pass and be done with it so I can enjoy my non-childbearing years! Then I will be able to enjoy an empty nest, too! Hahaha! I have a long way to go before an empty nest.


  2. Don’t you just love pajama-like pants? Perfect for bloaty period days. Loose fitting and/or leggings was always the way I went when I was feeling like that. Here’s some rather crappy news for you…I haven’t had a period since last November, but apparently my body thinks it should be having one. As we speak I’m wearing a sports bra that I actually slept in. Yes, slept in. And if you know me, it’s unheard of for me to be wearing a bra of any kind at home because I absolutely abhor them. My girls are so swollen and painful, I’ve got two huge “period zits” on my face and I’m bloated to gargantuan proportions. WTH?? Apparently for a year or more after the last period you have you can still experience period symptoms. How freakin’ unfair is that??!!
    In any case, you look fabulous. And the beauty of a loose-fitting outfit is you’re the only one who knows that you’re bloated!

    • ACK! Debbie, that sounds perfectly horrid! I wish it would all just end, I am so miserable from ovulation until after the bleeding stops…so like 3 weeks out of 4, I am a miserable wretch! This femaleness is sometimes so unfair! But then being a woman also rocks. Plus the clothes are way cuter than those for the non-menstruating gender! Thanks for sharing your miserable monthly experience! Here is case where misery really does love company!


  3. You are too funny! Love your pants! I wear those type when I travel. They are so comfy.

  4. I think these pants are super cute, no matter what time of month it is πŸ™‚ Love the print!


  5. YEP ! for me its stretchy things, nothing form fitting and no heels.

  6. I love that you wrote about this! The world wants us to like not talk about it, or something. I find that I definitely dress different during that time. Although your outfit just looks great either way!


    • Thank you, Nina! I do like to break the barriers of what is considered appropriate to talk/write about. I think we find comfort in knowing we are not alone in our misery and what better way to offer that comfort than by being open about it? PMS and periods are the worst! Blah! Thanks for reading.


  7. I so relate to this post! The mood swings that swing more towards rage than happiness and joy! My poor boyfriend, I know he wishes he could disappear around that time of the month to avoid it. Finding comfortable clothes is definitely key!

  8. Alexis Grant

    Eck! Sorry, girl! I find I wear flowy outfits a lot of the time; that way when it is that time of the month, I’m not drawing any attention by the shift in my wardrobe to hide feeling bloated. They said, you look great! I wouldn’t have known if you hadn’t said anything that this was a bloat day pick. It is seriously fab! I’d definitely wear it (and am pretty sure I have several near variant pieces of my own)


    • Thanks, Alexis! I do wear flowy clothes on non-bloat days, too! Especially when it’s super hot outside. I can’t stand sticking to myself so flowy pants are the way to go when it’s humid! Thanks for stopping by!


  9. Simply beautiful! nice photos!

  10. Girl! That title. I just couldn’t pass it up. πŸ˜‰ Because you know what? I feel your bloated, hormone raging and leakage fear pain, all the while applauding your brave and honest post. It’s not easy being a woman. I’m loving the flowy, oversized trend in tops and pants. Let’s keep wearing them, that they may live on. Nicely said and nicely done.


    • Thank you so much, Chrissy! I’m glad to know I’m not alone in this misery! And I agree, let’s keep the loose fitting trend going! I was so excited when leggings with tunics came back in style!!!

      Thanks for reading!


  11. It’s so frustrating when you can’t even control your own body, huh? So there’s another great advantage to getting older—it all stops!!
    Love the pants—I’m on a print pants kick lately!!

  12. Times like this call for comfort! πŸ™‚ Love the swingy tee!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  13. love this comfy look and great necklace!

    cute & little

  14. You are too funny. I nearly died at the title of this post. Strangely my period determines how I dress too. Usually it isn’t cute as your outfit πŸ™‚

  15. I love how you don’t mince words and just get out there and tell it how it is! All I can add to this is the wise saying “This too will pass” which did indeed serve me well while I was traversing this bumpy terrain of the peri and menopausal stages of life. Yet another great post x

    • Thanks so much, Anna! I really cannot wait for this all to pass! And now I’m needing physical therapy for back pain, too! When asked by his mother why I had a therapy appointment, my husband so lovingly replied, “She’s getting old, mom, she’s getting old.” Thanks, my young thirty-something husband! You’re not that far behind! I do think that men age easier than women, though. We just do it more gracefully! Thanks for reading my unminced words!


  16. Awww, I think we all feel like that and have certain outfits to accommodate! This is super cute:)


  17. Hi Shelbee
    I have gone the route of stopping mine with BC. Primarily because of my EDS, I wont go into it, but I had super painful ones and because of the laxity surrounding my joints, my pelvis would dislocate. So with me controlling it, it doesnt happen often now. I know what you mean though! I love the cool and comfy pants and casual look. One has to dress comfortable for this time! Have a great weekend and feel good!
    Thank you for linking up with turning heads tuesday!
    jess xx

    • Jess, that sounds like an awful experience as if the menstrual side effects on their own aren’t bad enough! I wish I could take the BC but I have high blood pressure so it’s not an option for me. I am waiting to get an appointment for cervical ablation which should stop it all together and it helps with the moods a bit, too. But, surprise, the Army medical clinic as messed up my referral (actually just plain forgot to put in a referral)! Grrr…so more phone calls need to be made before I can even make the appointment! Thanks for stopping by and reading my crazy rants!


  18. OH, that wretched Mother Nature!! And no matter how much you plan for her “arrival”, you are never fully prepared! It’s great to be a woman! πŸ™‚

    wanted to drop in and say Thanks for linking up with me this week!!
    xx, Chanda | latest post: STRIPED TOP + RIPPED JEANS | LINK UP

  19. You outfit looks lovely and perfect for these days πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  20. I am so sorry to hear this! Hopefully it will go away soon! πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for linking up with us. Don’t forget to come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to link up with me again!
    Take care and keep in touch! πŸ™‚