Ball Dress + Mastectomy

Help, I have been invited to a ball next weekend and need a dress. my problem is all the posh frocks I like need a clevage. This isn’t really an option as I had a mastectomy last July and to me they don’t look right with a silicone prosthesis. I have tried Debenhams, Karen Millen etc. Any one got any ideas? What should have been a fun shopping trip turned into a nightmare for me!!!

Various ideas: stick on prosthesis (or a sock), strapless bra and lots of body tape and in theory I’m told you can wear a strapless number; stick on prosthesis and clear strap bra or replace clear straps with glamorous brastraps (diamante) - point of stick on prosthesis being I find the glam brastraps not strong enough to hold up silicone prosthesis on their own; l managed a strapless affair with a black thinstrap M & S bra with diamante straps sewn to its straps and the top securely pinned to the bra; or lots of bling and scarves; or glittery or lacy camisole with straps adjusted so camisole covers the area of unwanted exposure - I know, I hate wearing another layer, especially when it’s hot; or camisole bra; Conturabelle do lace inserts in the same lace as their bras but sold separately in white, ivory or black (welcome to whiteivoryorblack land) which just might be stitchable into some gown or camisole or bra; or if you can find a dress with a gauzy layer over the top that blurs the bits you don’t want the spotlight to shine on; or, yards of tulle or georgette or silk scarfy shawly drapeyness around the neck and shoulders like a stoley thing; a delicate filmy bolero or jacket pinned or ribboned together or otherwise covering enough to feel confident; stick on prosthesis with strapless bra and halterneck dress… I’m getting carried away here, my trouble is I only ever start thinking about what I’m going to wear the night before by which time it’s far too late to do anything about it but have had some minor successes… nothing entirely satisfactory because what we really want is the cleavage… or could just hang it all and wear a boiler suit, or hang it all and wear a dress you love anyway - I’ve been meaning to try body tape to see if it widens my options…

I’ll be really interested to see what everyone else says…

Just remember Gok, and that you are a beautiful person - don’t know if the How to look good naked website offers ideas for posh frocks…

Hi Chris

I went to a ball last Sat night, which was 17 days after surgery so underarm still too sore to wear anything tight. I wore an African style dress that I bought on holiday in Africa years ago, and it really fitted the bill as it was really brightly coloured and so comfortable that I had the most fab night out I’ve had for ages. Something like this might work for you too, but have a great time whatever you wear!


Just been looking at Monsoon’s web site, they have some nice occasion dresses with all types of neckline.
Good luck enjoy the ball you’ll look fantastic.
Caz x

Hi Chris

Have you talked to the bra fitters in your local department store. Was getting quite despondent before the christmas night out about cleavage. lovely lady in M and S worked wonders with a multiway bra (putting it on with the halter neck strap then putting the dress on and a kind friend putting a couple of discreet stitches between top of bra and ballgown then removing the halter neck strap). The secret I have found is to have a really good fitting dress with a slightly flounced neckline (mine had a layer of ruched chiffon). Both the dresses I have like that came from Monsoon (not this season though).

The other thought is have you tried bridal shops (don’t laugh I’ve bought bridesmaid dresses as ball gowns in the past and they don’t all require a cleavage)

Hope you find the dress


I went to a big posh work do last year before my recon, used a dress I already had but had to wear strapless bra, which no way with silicon prosth, so used the original soft comfi one and stitched it into the bra then put a couple of little stiches to the bra and dress - no gapes and no worries if bending over of if anyone came to talk to me while sitting at the table.

also had to go to quite a few 40th birthday parties, I bought a lovely dress from monsoon, quite high necked but real classy cut and looked fantastic, I bought the original in black but they have now brought it out in other colours.


Hi 1Chris,

I have a burgandy beaded dress(top half) dress in a size 10 - I can almost zip it up and Im now a 14 - its never been worn from Monsoon. I’m happy to send you a photo of it and post it down if it would do. I’m quite small so as long as your no smaller than 5’ then it would be ankle length on you.

PM me if you are interested

Kate xx

(emaesK) Kate:

Sure would love to see that dress. I’m about in tears trying to find a dress for my niece’s wedding. I’m a size 10. Please pm me and I will let you have my email so you can send me a pic. How do I get to this Monsoon site?



I would recommend asking a seamstress to sew in either a pocket or form where appropriate. That’s what I do.

Hi, Last year I organised a Dinner and Ball and doing the same again for Breast Cancer Care. A dress!! I am two and a half years post-mastectomy non reconstruction. I did find a dress it was strapless and I did use the softie. The dress had to be taken in at the top. It was perfect the only trouble was the zip went as I was due to leave home!!! It is ok to wear a strapless or thin straps but what if you are big busted? I ended up wearing black trousers and a pretty black top and my pale pink Pashmina. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable. I raised £3,460 that night as for the dress, I still haven’t looked at the zip. After all what is a dress when you can shout out I’m ALIVE