Clothes/ Bras after mastectomy

Hi all

I have my Mx next Friday.

Last night i gathered up all my bras, ready to take to Oxfam, but i guess someone will benefit from my loss, but it was really sad. My sister called me and said can i not still wear them with my softie or my future prosthesis, but they are underwired and im under the impression underwired are not advised, Is that correct?

Im just looking at some of my summer wardrobe, i have quite alot of strapless dressess, maxi dresses and strapless tops. Will these still be ok to wear? Has anyone found a “fix” for wearing strapless tops etc. are there any strapless mastectomy bras out there? My sis says we can go shopping at the weekend and buy every spaghetti type strap vest top in every colour, i know H & M always have a huge selection as i gather these are quite useful under lower cut tops.

Any tips or advice on dressing with an mx id be so grateful as im working myself up into a frenzy.

Thanks ladies


Hi Lisa

How funny! I did exactly the same as you, gathered them all up for the oxfam shop, but then couldnt bear to part with some of them. I kept back about 4, which I used to wear every day and which were always really comfy. I have taken out the wire form the surgery side (I too was told no underwired bra’s!) and have sewn the cup on that side flat. I have worn it without my prosthesis as a lop- sided lady! I do wear my prosthesis, but it and my post surgery bra and a bit uncomfy after a few hours. So, I just thought I would go with one boob sometimes, which is actually really fine. No idea if people notice, I suspect some would (although I am only 36D), but no-one is going to say anything and I am entirely comfy going out like it.

Could you maybe keep a couple back and see if you could use them in the future (take the wire out!)? Some of mine werwe just not going to be any good at all so I did still take about 10 to Oxfam!
Good luck with it

Joan xx

ps, I haven’t even started on the summer wardrobe problems yet, so am not able to offer advice on that front, sorry!

Joan x

Hi. I bought some tops in primark they are strappy vest tops the straps adjust so you can wear then higher. They have assorted colours and are about £3 each they also go under existing tops. It’s a pain but I have loads of these.

Good luck with your shopping

hi there libralady,

first all sending you lots of hugs for your mx next friday. you will be fine.

onto the bra issue. like patchit i have bagged up my bras for oxfam, but kept a couple back - think because there were my best 2 bras hardly worn really pretty and cant part with them yet. there underwired though. i think generally most mx bras are not underwired so that the prosthesis does get damaged by the wire digging into it. but i think it depends on the shape of your prosthesis you get as some are shaped slightly different at the bottom so you can wear an underwired one. there are some underwired mx bras as well. you can have your own bras pocketed but i think it depends on the cup style/shape if they are suitable. my old bras are not full cups so cant really be pocketed. i like to wear prosthesis in a pocket and not inside bra against chest. firstly cos its only 7/8 weeks since my op and my chest is very sensitive, and plus i am not confident enough yet and want to know that my prosthesis isnt going to escape!

as for your wardrobe wait while after your op and you have your prosthesis and bra and you are happy with the fit etc. i say this because i nearly went through wardrobe thinking might as well get shut of stuff i wont be able to wear any more, thinking that polos necks are the future. well in the last few weeks i have been surprised how much of my wardrobe is fine. ( i dont wear really revealing things though but scoop neck tops and dresses just normal stuff). anyway i have worked through wardrobe and i got rid of more things cos i have gone off them as appose to not being able to wear them anymore. vest tops that have scoop necks are fine especially if they are tighter fit against your chest.
so i would say wait you might be surprised at whats still ok. there always a little camisole top that you could put under things as well.

now then strapless dresses. i have just this week tried mine on thinking these will be a difinite no-no.
well with my normal pocketed bra, where the top of the bra joins the strap do tend to show quite a bit (cos they tend to be full cups so go higher up chest). but i have found this bra in debenhams that is great for me. if you look on website, its nude multi way strap bra, i think its about £14.00 but i got it when they had blue cross sale on so was a bit cheaper. it also comes with set of clear straps as well. the cups are cut a bit lower so dont show with bandau style tops/dresses. i have some dresses that elasticated bandau style tops either with no straps or little show string straps. i can wear them all now.
also if you have any existing multi way bras in other colours than nude save the straps cos then you can use these on your new multi way bra if needed. you wont see colour of bra so it doesnt matter what colour straps you use or you can use the clear ones. personally i feel better to have clear straps on than none at all to keep prosthesis securely against my chest. i hope all my ramblings makes sense. i was so pleased with myself last week when i found this bra and thought of using it with different straps! - how sad ha ha!! i would say as well when trying prosthesis bras make sure you try the different hook settings and adjust the straps up and down. cos the prosthesis is heavy you tend to have to have the bra strap set at different point to your other side. takes a bit faffing and adjusting to get them right. i did go to nicola jane for my first bra and got measured properly, they were very helpful and showed my how to go on.

hope some of this waffle helps and feel free to message me about anything.

lots of hug to you.

TTM xxx

forgot to mention company called womanzone actually do a black strapless bra - dont do it my size (32c) but they might make it your size. its a bit expensive though but might be worth investment if its really good fit.


Echo what’s been said above about Primark strappy tops. I have loads. They come in a fantastic range of colours, have adjustable straps and don’t gape when I lean forward so I wear them under lower cut tops/ blouses and have confidence that people can’t see anything I don’t want them to see.

I was told that if my silicone prosthesis was damaged by an underwired bra it would invalidate the warranty so I gave up underwired bras too.

I occasionally use ‘Flash Tape’ (made by Braza), bought it off the internet. It’s like double sided sticky tape which can be used to secure revealing clothing to itself or to the skin.

I’m also a big fan of multi-way bras and interchangeable straps (nude, clear, patterned, jewelled etc.).

Very best of luck with you surgery and recovery and shopping.

Oh you ladies are a great help…seriously - I’ve taken in everything you’ve said.

I won’t throw away a couple of my bras as they may be able to be pocketed (wondering whom I can get to do that as I’m crap with a needle and thread).

Funnily enough, I have quite a few clear straps for my multiway bras and I kept these - I don’t know why - I was probably thinking one of my sisters may use them - so I will defo keep hold of it.

Im gonna go into Rackhams & M & S and get properly measured - not done it in a while, plus I’ve gained a whopping load of weight since last year so its time.

I have bought some genie bras which I’ve been using for a few weeks now and they are very comfy under normal tops,jumpers etc, not really practical for summer dresses as they have thick shoulder straps. Plus they are pocketed - so perfect for normal days.

I guess its going to be a case of trial and experiment with my summer wear to see how noticeable things are. I will also visit Primark (or Primarni as we call it here) loool, for those strappy tops, i will get them more fitted too.

I too dread the thought of an escaping prosthesis - ooohhh the horror that would cause! OMG!!!

another thing - does anyone know if a high impact sports bra exists for mastectomy ladies?

I was at one of the Moving Forward courses on Wednesday, when we had a nurse who runs a lymphoedema clinic to tell us about that. She said specifically that if you are really large-breasted it is better to wear an underwired bra, if that is what you are used to, to get a good level of support, but you need to be fitted when things settle down after surgery and after any reconstruction.

Do see the fitters at Rackhams and M&S, or see if BCC has a lingerie night any time soon, but don’t rush it before you’ve healed. You need something to wear in the meantime, probably, so think about something like a soft sports bra or a vest with built-in support for a while. After that, see whether any favourites still fit comfortably.

Your sis sounds great!

BTW, I’m a Brummie by adoption. A few of us meet for coffee about once a month (usually 2nd Tuesday), and we’d be glad to see you when you are up to it. Feel free to send me a PM.