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Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

16 REPLIES 16
bud932
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

hi there

I'm from Ayr and was diagnosedwith triple negative breast cancer in July last year. I am just about to start radiotherapy. I love nice coloured fancy bras and I get so down by the choice of balck or white bras and hee haw else!!!! Its now that we need to feel feminine and the choices are poor to help us do this. I would be interested in any service that was available in helping me find lovely good fitting bras

gail xxx

Jackson2
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

I have found Nicola Jane have a good range of mastectomy bras and swimwear. Their latest range has some pretty feminine designs (hooray) as well as some for sports and under t-shirts. They have shops in London, West Sussex and Leeds. They provide a good fitting service if you're lucky enough to get to one of their shops or they give guidance online. Their mail order catalogue has good advice for measuring yourself and a 'trouble shooting' page for the perfect fit! I have found all of their staff very helpful and they are always willing to hear about requests for new designs.

There is also a company on-line who sell pretty bra straps with jewelled bit, beads and coloured ribbons etc. Lovely to wear under a more revealing top. Sorry, can't remember their name but I heard about them from Amoena.

sarahc09
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi missmandy

Just been reading through your post and I can understand how frustrated you feel about your mum. Like a lot of people have said on here, I shop a lot at M and S, boring but they have what I need! I also sometimes customise like some of the ladies have written. A few buttons here and there, but my sewing skills end there I am afraid!

I have my anniversary coming up in a few months, 5 years!!!, so I wanted some special lingerie for it, fed up of nude coloured sacks! So I had a quick search on Google and found http://www.dimurini.com. They don't stock any plain bras but just really luxurious stuff. It's a bit more expensive than I would normally pay, but well worth it - satin, lace, matching knickers - I'm going to feel like a princess :-). I thought you could let your mum know just in case she wants to treat herself, as it's the prettiest mastectomy lingerie I have found in years.

Best wishes
Sarah x

aroma
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

hello puppydog so nice to see you on here again ,weve missed your valuble imput re bras ,ive just bought myself a few of the asda cheap ones and am going to attach ribbons etc to pretty them up. do hope they have your symphtoms under control for you iknow you so wanted to do a lot to help others looking for nice undies . take care lynn x

puppydog
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

hi all,
I havent been on here for ages, (I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and ME, so not had the energy to sit and type. Fibromyalgia is like having constant toothache from head to toe in all your areas in your body, not nice. ) They think my FM was triggered by a severe infection in my implants (bilateral), as a virus or accident is a common factor to triggering FM.

Anyway, I am on painkillers and to do light exercises, which is all well and good, but some days I have no energy to even lift my head off the pillow without being in pain.

Anyways, sorry to divert away from subject.

I usually get Royce bras, as they are in my size 32DD/E, and fit my two prosthesis well. Womanzone has a great multiway bra, really secure and well fitted. At least I can wear strappy tops and dresses now.

However, the other thing that I usually do, is I bought two pockets from Amoena, (just the pockets, they are about £5 each), and I searched our local habidashery and bought a load of coloured material (the ends of their rolls, for about 50p each), then when I saw a nice bra (non mastectomy, as the ones that are pocketed are still not very sexy and feminine colours, ), so I get a full cup bra, in say Jade Green, then I use the pockets I bought as a template pattern, and cut a pocket with the material in Jade colours, and sew it on, it is a bit tricky, but if you have a good seamstress that you know or your local hospital offers the service of pocketing your bras, then take it to them.

But at least you get a nice sexy colourful bra, and matching pocket in same colour. for a fraction of the price you would be for a pocketed bra in shops or online.

I have now got a range of colourful bras in my drawer that match the summer colourful tops I can wear.

I often use a hair slide (the ones with the diamontees on them, and the narrow slide), and slide it down the centre of the bra so that it will give you a bit of bling and sparkle on your bra. These you can get from Clares or Primark for 50p each).

You could also tie thin ribbons around the straps, to co-ordinate your bra to your top. again cheap alternative.

Until the pocketed bra specialist companies start giving us bras that are the same selection of colours and styles as non pocketed then we will have to make do with limited ranges, but why do we have to do this for a bra, ?

hope this helps,
gentle hugs to you all
xxx

dawnflower
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

This has been a big headache for me as I have found (like others have already said) that if you are big, then forget it.

I am a typical pear shape and added to that, I have narrow sloping shoulders and after a bilateral am having little joy with getting pocketed bras in an F or G cup. I know that having had a bilateral, "I can be any size" but when you have a sizeable bottom half, it needs balancing and I'm wearing size 12 prostheses which seem to equate to a G cup. I wouldn't look right in a C or D cup!

I have resorted to buying more pockets for my prostheses so I can get ordinary bras. I have been very disappointed with M and S and they do not appear to do non wired pocketed bras and I have just bought a couple of ordinary ones. I can't be the only gal in this position.

I have found the Royce sports bra particularly good but it doesn't come under the heading of 'pretty' and it is not cheap either.

M and S do some bras with silicone along the straps which has been brilliant, if this became more common that would be a step in the right direction.

Just because we have had surgery doesn't mean we don't want to be feminine any more.

mandy2310
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Now I have my prosthesis I am finding it very difficult in finding bras that a 30 year old "like" would wear!... I have been re measured as a 36 E and tried a not very nice bra on, but it fitted amazingly! Having had no luck finding something I actualy liked, I went ahead and bought it a none of my existing ones fitted anymore and I was in a position where I didn't own one!! I now find I NEED to try them on each time, and even the proper mastectomy bra cups are too small the fully conceal the prosthesis, something that used to be an easy thing to do is now a complete nightmare. Also having looked at various websites and even in the shops not many mastectomy bras go up to an E - not the pretty ones anyway!

gill23
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Eloise, Nicola Jane and Ameona
All on line and with proper bras with pockets or not.

I gave up with shops and feel I need a bra with pockets.

harding29
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

My friend recently used bras4all in the North West. They run an online shop, but also do a home fitting service, which she found really helpful as she found the bra fitter really knew her stuff. She'd previously been upset by her experiences in M&S and Debenhams soon after her surgery. They charge for the service, but she found it really worthwhile, and would certainly use them again.

Good luck with your plans - we all know it's desperately needed! Nicola

carmel
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi mandy, I am still wearing the bra given to me by my BCN, which is very nice and fits well but is certainly getting some wear. I have a few other options that i am less satisfied with and am still on the hunt for new bras. I tried to order on-line from M&S but they didn't have anything in my size which is an A/B cup. So it seems the ladies in the middle may have more luck than those of us with small or big boobs. Good luck with what you are trying to do. x carmel

janew5
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi Mandy
I havent had cancer, but am a BRCA2 person, and have had bilateral mast. I have found buying bras a nightmare since my op. My local shops dont stock any postmast lingerie - except my local M&S. I had a lovely appt with one of their fitters, but couldnt find anything to fit and be comfy - I am a 38A now, and they stock very little in that size. I ended up buying a maternity padded bra ( the most comfy one i tried on by far), but its padding after two washes squashes inwards as I dont fill it.
I have recently discovered Nicola Jane online (they also have a shop in the South). They have been fantastic as they do free returns, and offer lots of advise. I will now buy any lingerie or swimwear from them in the future.
Jane

lyndu
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Asda does have inexpensive (£8) post surgery bras - only up to cup size E though, and only in white. I bought one and the cup is a bit flat for my shape - I've only worn it for one day, comfortable but not really supportive enough for me at 36E (and I've have taken an F if they'd had one) as I was hoping to wear it at the gym. It will do, but I wouldn't get another - but if you have a smaller cup size it would probably be a good low cost option.
You can see them on their website if you look for post surgery bras.

Lyn
PS the website says £6 - but it was £8 in the store in Swansea.

missmandy
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Thanks so much for the replies so far, ladies!

Well one of my main concerns is that I know there are a lot of online retailers who specialise in mastectomy bras, which is great as there are very few decent retailers out there that provide a vast range, but I feel that it's so impersonal and considering what you women have been through and the uniqueness of each person's situation, I feel women deserve a much more personal service.

Even buying a normal bra online can be difficult enough at times unless you know the specific brand and the size that you would be in that brand as sizes can vary so much! So I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it would be trying to find a bra to fit you and your prosthesis without being able to try it on. x

lizcat
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi Mandy,

Brill idea and I'm sure lots of us will appreciate it.

I'm 44 (42 at diagnosis), had chemo then mx and full anc and rads finishing in March this year. I have a prosthesis as a) reconstruction wasn't offered I think due to the amount they had to remove and b) I didn't want reconstruction anyway ! My scar is really good and parts are almost gone now but it is still almost 9 inches long. I was a 34B but when measured afterwards it's increased to anything from 36C, 36D or 38C depending on where I browse. I can't have underwired as it would put too much pressure on my ribs and may aggravate the lymphoedema I have on that side.

I've looked in M&S and had a couple of their sports bras but only in white. I did buy a Triumph one from a local specialists but wasn't impressed with their measuring service and their choice was virtually this one or the same one ! I also bought a proper mastectomy bra from Ebay in flesh colour as that's the colour I was after. It's ok but seems to slide towards the middle of my ribs so I look a bit lop-sided (no-one else seems to notice but I'm aware of it) Plus the prothsesis seems not to lie flat in any of them but a bigger cup is too big !

I'm going to go to a bigger M&S in Jan - probably in Manchester - and spend a while taking half their stock into the changing rooms to get some new ones ! My Mum swears by their cheaper mastectomy bras but they didn't fit me right. I know there is a firm called Amoena who do mail order and did think about trying them but they aren't cheap and as I've been off work for almost 18 months since diagnosis and only get incapacity benefit at 90 quid a week I do have to look for a bargain !!! I've stuck with flesh & white ones so far but may look at colours so the straps look more fashionable when worn with camisoles/vest tops in summer.
Swimwear - not that I swim - I bought a couple of bikinis this year with padding, took the padding out, slit the side a bit more & put my prosthesis in and it was fine. The bikinis were only about 8 pounds a go at Primark & Peacocks.

To Mandy2310 (and others) - our local health authority will sew free pockets into 3 bras and 1 swimsuit/bikini a year which is great.

If you want someone to try on by post, I'll volunteer !!! I'm in Morecambe but never been to Glasgow .....

Thanks again for your post - glad your mum is so well. Mine is too and she is 6 years down the line so fingers crossed I'll be the same !

Liz x

mandy2310
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi Mandy, and can I say what a great name you have!!!! And yay to your mum for getting through this horrible thing. I am 30 and just had a mastectomy following removal of my grade 3 aggressive cancer. I too will survive. I am undergoing chemo at present but this is the last "thing" on this journey. As I am healing and due to get my first prosthesis tomorrow I have been searching for bras, basically starting my underwear collection again, due to being quite young, apearance is everything, but A not many stores a sell them or B have very nice ones. So far I have 1 bra! The only place that does them on the high street where I live is M&S but they only have limited stock and if they don't have your size they can order them. They are good in that they take off the VAT, but you have to ask to see them (in the changing rooms), which can be a bit embarrassing especially this time of year when there are loads of people about men and women!, would prefer to get off the shelf like everyone else! I recently went to a local outlet where I know there are 3 underwear shops, and not one sold post surgery bras. M&S in Peterborough where I live is in town, not in the shopping centre, and it was raining. I did not want to go outside because I was wearing my wig, the only other place that does them are John Lewis, but they were not very attractive and quite expensive, but for £6.50 extra they will put pockets in any bra for you - again having to ask someone to help! I am a 40 B/C at my last measure post surgery (although have been wearing 38 D for years). I found that Figleaves and Simply Yours online have a good choice of post surgery bras, and have ordered a couple today. I also came across a lady on ebay who had a mastectomy bra business, who is clearing out her stock very cheaply, if anyone is interested.

Mum2Two
Member

Re: Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi Mandy

Great news about your Mum, and Yay you for getting involved.

I'm not local .... but here's my experinece.

I had an agressive tumour, so had chemo, then mastectomy, and finally rads. I find getting a mast bra IMPOSSIBLE!

I used to wear a 32 (or sometimes 34) G, by mast bras seem only to go upto DD cup ... big boobs obviously don't get cancer then!?

My local John Lewis can offer me unwired bras (think Doreen ... lol), but without pockets, Bravissimo can offer me wired bras, but without pockets. Neither are ideal. I'd like wired for some lift, but the cups don't hold my prosthesis, I'd like coloured as not everyone with BC is 80! I'd like them to follow the trend of maternity bras, which is finally getting to grips with women wanting pretty, yet comfortable & functional lingerie ... oh, and I'd like matching knickers too.

HTH, Rebecca

I'd like "proper" bras, in "proper" sizes. Both JL & Bravissimo have great fitters, and are tactful and thoughtful, but without bras that fit, that's pretty useless.

missmandy
Member

Purchasing mastectomy bras/experiences

Hi there, I've recently joined this website as I thought it would be a good way of discussing thoughts and ideas with regards to womens' experiences of purchasing post-surgery bras, clothing, swimwear, etc.

The background to my story is that my mum is a breast cancer survivor, and was diagnosed 6 years ago when I was 13. She is now in full remission and is in great health 🙂

I've always had a passion for lingerie and after many difficult and frustrating experiences of helping my mum trying to find suitable post-mastectomy bras, it has been my ambition ever since to be able to provide for my mum and women alike who have suffered from the disease, with a service tailored to them, something which I, and most likely many other women, feel that many large and well known stores are currently lacking. I'm currently just trying to gauge the general consensus on womens' previous shopping experiences and what they feel is lacking in the market.

I would like to hear from women who have battled this disease and and what THEY would like to gain and experience from such a service. Anything from variety of bra sizes, styles, fitting experiences prices, previous experiences of shopping for such lingerie and anything else that you feel is relevant, would be of great help.

Just a note to say that this isn't research for any companies and am simply trying to better my understanding of the experiences that women have to go through!

Thanks!

P.S. I'm from Glasgow, so it'd be great to hear from anyone local on what your experiences are of this, especially with regards to the services available in Glasgow.

Mandy x