Parties, prom, and pumps

Prom season is almost here! If you’re a teen (or a parent to a teen) planning for prom, you’re making a checklist of everything you want on that special night: hair, makeup, corsage, limo, photos… and, of course, THE DRESS. Juniors and seniors are already on the hunt for the perfect prom outfit. There are already “prom dress dibs” Facebook groups popping up where students post their outfits to make sure no one else buys the same outfit!

When you have diabetes, you have a few more things to think about than color-coordinating outfits with your date. Where do I stash my supplies? What if I go low and people think I’m drunk? What if my pump makes my dress bulge out? Guys can carry their insulin pumps in their suit pockets, but wearing a pump with a formal dress can be tricky. So we’ve gathered a few tips on how to wear your pump with a formal dress. Whether you’re going to prom or to the opera, to a wedding or to a bar mitzvah, these suggestions will help you dress for the occasion and not for diabetes:

Wear your pump on your dress

  • Pros: Go loud and proud! Many party-goers like to clip their pumps onto the backs or sides of their dress. If your dress has a waistband, you can clip it there. You can camouflage your pump if you want to by wearing a wrap or cardigan. Ribbons and flowers on dresses also make good camouflage elements!
  • Cons: You may not be in the mood to answer questions about your pump, or you might not want it to distract from your dress. Not everyone wants to wear their pump out for everyone to see, and that’s okay.

Tuck your pump into your bodice

  • Pros: Many people like to tuck their pumps into their bras because it’s convenient and easily accessible.
  • Cons: This approach probably won’t work for dresses with a tight bodice or low cleavage.

Secure your pump on your body

  • Pros: There are many companies that sell thigh garters, waist bands, and shorts with pockets for your pump (see the end of this article for our top picks). Your pump is out of sight and, thanks to the wonders of spandex, you don’t need to worry about it falling out.
  • Cons: Belly bands, shorts, and garters may add too much bulk to wear underneath form-fitting dresses. Also, if you are wearing a long dress, you probably don’t want to hike your skirt up at the table to get to your pump! Fortunately, going to the bathroom with a group of girls to powder your nose is a time-honored prom tradition.

Wear a dress with pockets

  • Pros: Pockets are practical! Why do only guys get to have pockets on formal occasions? Fortunately, many designers are adding pockets to evening dresses.  The pocket is built into the dress so you won’t be ruining the lines of the dress, but you can still get to your pump easily. Just cut a small slit for your tubing and you’re good to go.
  • Cons: It may be difficult to find a dress with pockets in your preferred style. You can add pockets to a dress, but that requires sewing know-how, or extra cost to hire a seamstress or tailor.

Take a break from pumping

  • Pros: You can wear whatever you want! You don’t need to stress about how to wear your pump with your dress.
  • Cons: This approach requires more diligent monitoring and carrying more supplies.


Do you have any tips for wearing a pump with formal dresses? Leave a comment below!


Here are some online sites to help you shine on prom night!

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