Hi Inga, I too would be interested in knowing more about the project and your shop. Did you get a reply from buble and can you tell me where your shop will be? Thank you Josi
I have only just seen this post so I may be talking to myself but can you tell me if you got anywhere with this project. If you did can I hear more please. Thank you Josi
I'm not sure you will even still be on this email address as it's such an old conversation I have found but I was wondering if this is still a project you're working on. I'm working on building a store that will sell clothes and accessories that would help women in hospital or undergoing treatment and would be really interested to hear if you managed to develop some solutions to the problems these ladies were having. I am starting the business having faced many such challenges in finding things for my mother who fought breast cancer twice, the second time for three very long years of treatment, so I understand many of the frustrations talked about here. Please do let me know of any outcomes that came from this.
Thank you so much.
Chinook, this is a big issue isn't it, you often find you are just looking at things for comfort more than anything else. I've never had lymphodoema problems (touch wood), but my left arm is always slightly thicker than the right. I have a cupboard full of stretchy lycra tops. Last summer I bought a lovely drop shoulder Breton type top, very nautical, but I can't wear it as the dropped sleeve is just slightly too tight. Thankfully, my underarm scar was very neat and it's difficult to see.
Hi Libby and all
I only had lumpectomy and full node clearance so cleavage isn't an issue. I never thought about difficulty of finding clothes till I had photo taken the other day in a cap sleeve top. Everyone was saying wow fab picture when all I saw was the scar under my arm. When I pointed it out my friends hadn't seen it but I am now aware and I've checked other tops I have for low arm holes.
My main issue is lymphadema in my arm. Tops are often too small just round the top of the affected arm and I've realised that I now don't even look at anything that isn't made out a jersey or t shirt type fabric. There has to be enough stretch to accomadate the changing size of my arm as the day progresses.
Good luck with research
Well done Libby and all,
Wearing my M&S bra quite pretty,problem is i have 2 cleavage now quite high up as i was D cup, what i have come across is modesty panel,which clip across bra straps, in different colours and fabric which match my clothes found on ebay,
Take care Pat
Practical idea Seeker. I have 2 crinkle cotton, long sleeved short kaftan style tops that I wear to death in the summer. They are both really old as I got them pre BC for holidays back in about 2003
I am another person who would like long-sleeved, thin, light, cool tops to wear in summer (or in overheated offices!) over a compression sleeve. I think crinkle cotton is perfect with wide enough sleeve opening. It not only would fit each arm but is good at disguising any difference in breast size.
Good luck with your project Libby
What a fantastic and long overdue idea.
I have lymphoedema, wear a full sleeve/gauntlet all day and have some tremendous hot flushes! I would love to be able find clothes that aren't too expensive, are made of natural materials to help with the temperature control, with plenty of room in the arms and that look reasonably trendy!
I feel like I have been wearing the same boring clothes forever as I can't find a shirt that will fit my arm, cardigans are usually too tight and jackets are totally out of the question! And coats are a problem too!
I live in sleevless t-shirts and baggy cardi's! Gok Wan would have a field day! I can't wear things that I have to put on over my head in case I need to get them off quick when I have a flush.
It seems so simple, doesn't it. Clothes with a bit of room in them that don't make you hotter than you already are.
Good on you Libby, for being involved in this. You have my support and if you need any more people involved, you can count me in.
For some reason, I've not seen this thread before - anyways, I'd really love to be a small part in Libby's project, if she still needs more input. I've had a single mastectomy and have a high cavity. I dont want a reconstruction, so am happy to wear a prosthesis. But, like a lot of you other people, I'd love prettier bras - Im a 34B - and I'm a youngish 50yr old.
What I'd really love is reasonably priced nightwear with pockets in it, so that I could wear a softie inside nightie or pj's when I go away with friends. There IS nightwear available, but it's ever so expensive.
When I buy tops, I often elasticate them a little bit round the neckline, and I find by doing this, I have much more choice of clothes in the shops.
Blouses infuriate me in the shops - the styles available are nearly all those where the buttons only come up to just above the cleavage line - so they're a no-no for me with having such a high cavity. If ony they'd put buttons right up to the top of the blouse, then I could just fasten another button n still have it open-necked at the top.
So Bubbletrouble, please could you pm me with Libby's email if she's still wanting more people for her project.
Thanks ever so much, n love to everyone!
Hehe Revcat... its hard to stay away isnt it!....
Good luck Libby and do us proud!... Perhaps you could do me a sexy fashionable compression glove for my fat hand!!!
Just sneaking back here (I did say on my 'moving on' post I *may* pop back now and then) to let folk know that Libby now has this project underway and I will be taking part in a small way. It sounds an exciting and well-grounded project, so let's get behind it if we can!
I've also e-mailed Libby - what a wonderful thing to do. thanks, Elinda x
Things to bear in mind:
The design process starts with a design brief which is quite narrow. In this case, it was to design clothes for ladies with BC.
Then comes the research - that's what we are helping with. Good research is very wide. Our input is only one small part; the designer will also need to look at existing solutions, fabrics, manufacturing etc etc.
All that research will then need to be analysed, not just annotated, but conclusions will need to be synthesised.
So designing "clothes for all women of all shapes, sizes and ages" would be impossible. A possible project may be (e.g.) "design suitable clothing for the top half of a woman with a unilateral mastectomy".
The next stage is the specification - that needs to be very detailed and precise.
Only then, can designing take place.
Me too! Working on a longer reply to her now.
I emailed Libby and have had a very nice reply indeed back from her.
Ninja - I don't watch Dragons Den but I am horrifed at that comment. Did the sleeve idea look good to you?
Bras - you know hadn't thought about that. I have a bit of fold of skin on the scar on the side of my axillary clearance. I need bras that come fairly high up under the arm to cover the scar and so far I've only found one - otherwise they rub the scar and are really uncomfortable.
Hello everyone - just been reading through all these posts with great interest. I am English but live in Spain and was diagnosed with bc in both breasts this time last year and had to undergo a bi-lateral mastectomy and will have re-construction soon (I hope!). Since the op I have found it extremely hard to get suitable clothes and can now only wear a quarter of the clothes I already had. I have added lace to necklines and worn camisoles underneath but it is far too hot for that now. I used to wear a bikini top and shorts in the summer but can no longer do that as I don't feel confident enough in the one very large bikini top I now have and even that shows off all my lumps and bumps and scars when I bend down. Unless I wear something with a high neck I am very aware of my chest area and I am very self consious now. Mastectomy bras are almost impossible to buy here and there is no choice atall and so expensive. For me the high cost of mastectomy bras and swimwear is a big issue and being a small size doesn't help!
Will be very interested to see what happens.
Just picked up on the bit about DD - I have a business and I really can't stand that programme. They can be really cruel to people with great ideas and I'm always pleased if I read about somebody who got turned down and then made a lot of money on their own with their product.
Sleeves can be a bit of an issue with me. I do a lot of arm stuff at the gym and my right arm is trimming down and becoming quite toned. However, as I had WLE / ANC on the left side, that arm is about 1 1/2 inches bigger in circumference. I tried on some lovely Breton style nautical tops for the summer which had a dropped shoulderline, but they were all too tight for my left arm. Shame as I really like that style with jeans and because I live by the sea!
Another bugbear for me is bras. Underwiring is a no-no as the wiring tends to sit where my scar tissue is. I have to either wear sports bras or resort to Triumph Doreen's. The latter give me a nice shape and I can understand why they are the World's biggest selling bra, but they don't exactly make you feel sexy. They are the bra equivalent of Bridget Jones' big elastic pants! Bras seem a very big issue for a lot of the ladies on this site, along with the necklines on tops and sleeves.
We might have had BC, but it shouldn't mean we can't wear nice clothes that make us feel confident again.
Brilliant! We'll see about that...
I've pm'd you all with Libby's email, anyone else who'd like to be involved please pm me and I'll forward the address to you.
There was a lady lymphoedema sufferer on Dragon's Den last night, trying to get DD funding for lympho over-sleeves for clothing. They told her that it was "too niche".
Hi again everyone. Thanks so much for all your comments. Libby is delighted having read your posts and is looking to talk to you. Not sure I can legally put her email on here, but trying anyway since she's not related to the site:
(edited by Moderator)
If you could all contact her by email, she will let you know what she's looking for. If this doesn't work I'll pm you all with the address.
Part of the plan is getting help from a retailer with 'styling' tips, and another part will be thinking about designing clothing where there are gaps in the market - the really big one I can see is the lymphoedema requirement. It's also a very good point about affordability. Interesting too that not everyone's needs are being met by the current bras on offer, so this might be another area to look at.
Thanks again, BT x
Forgot to say, Elinda I know what you mean! I feel like ET on bad days!
Lady Sue, You made me smile!
If only it were that straightforward though! I have had a terrible time on hot days trying to cope with a compression sleeve for lymphodema and hot flushes and the thought of wearing something else under a top or dress is too much to bear!
Also not a lot I can do about my shape. I could go for much bigger prostheses but as I'm experiencing terrible shoulder pain that's out of the question. I need clothes that will help me with that too.
It's a good idea though Angie to look at what we can adapt. I need to be more creative! Elinda x
I think its wonderful that someone is prepared to design things that we want to buy .. especially underwear .. but I have to agree .. it must be affordable. I guess I've been lucky. Although I have only one boob, I wear a prosthesis and have managed to adapt or get my clothes altered without having to go out and buy new things. Except Bras!! So maybe we all need to take a look in our existing wardrobes and see if we can adapt anything we love ... I have a drawer full of strappy vest tops in every colour, which I wear under clothes constantly (very cheap in Primark).
Lavender Lassie- stop putting yourself down. You, like each and every one of us, are very special and important. Whatever our shapes or bits missing we deserve to be able to find and afford comfortable pretty clothes. Well done to the lady who is trying to design special clothes for us. As for me I am very overweight and had a job finding comfortable bras for post surgery. I found one in the end and had a couple of old comfy bras in my cupboard.I have just managed to get some soft tops with a bit of support for rads.
Yes, the affordability is important as suddenly there is a whole lot in the wardrobe that is unwearable- I hadn't thought I had that many low cut things. They're not even that low cut, just with a mastectomy and no recon it is fairly obvious with a lot of stuff that there is nothing there. Latest mastectomy bras and prosthesis make me look unremarkable if necklines are high enough.
What sartorial ambition- to want to look unremarkable, officially a sad old lady.
Yes, affordable too!
And forgot to say, not to tight under the arm for those us with lymphodema or at risk of. Elinda xx
forgot to say we need to be able to afford clothes!.... there are tops out there but cost so much!
I'm 37 and had MX this year.... last year over the summer I lived in strapless bras and thin strap tops.... not anymore. So I would love to find more bras with clear straps or none!...
Tops well just having them cut so that my bra doesnt show would be great.... i didnt display it b4 BC and dont want to now! But without being ageist I find that tops that cover it all are the type my mum wears, shes 64 but dreasses about 100!
So please help us..we are normal after all!
My main problem at the moment is my lymphodema and lack of mobility in my shoulder/arm following a LD immediate recon. I have to buy sleevless tops and dresses as I struggle to get clothes with sleeves off if they don't have a back zip or front buttons. (my days as a strip tease artist are well and trully over ha, ha) As I wear a compression sleeve every day I usually wear a cardi, coupled with hot flushes I tend to always be too warm. So tops/dresses with deeper armholes and looser sleeves would be a help to me.
Clothes that make us feel good about ourselves and also make us look good!
I've had a double mx and now also have mild lymphodema. These are my thoughts:
1. With the loss of so much tissue on the chest wall, I have a bit of a caved in look at the top of my chest (even with prostheses) so anything that is cut wide or low is absolutely useless for me. So many tops and dresses are cut like this now.
2. I'd love something to balance out my shape which is now wider from the waist down and thin around the bust (I used to be 38 FF). As my tummy isn't flat if I'm not careful that looks the curviest part of me! So something to accentuate and draw the eye to top half of the body without emphasising it's thinness there - a big ask!
3. With regards to lymphodema, this summer I wanted to have some nice long sleeve cotton shirts - not something dull but really unusual/pretty/stylish. I tan incredibly quickly so if I have one arm in a compression sleeve and one arm in the sun I'm going to look very odd very fast.
Trying to find anything that had a full length sleeve was very difficult almost impossible this year. Finding something nice was even harder.
I got one from a shop called East last year which is white cotton and is so pretty and I've had lots of people say how much they like it - more of that kind of thing please!
3. As above, the same in the winter. I want cardigans, jumpers etc that are stylish but with a full length sleeve. The other issue is that often the sleeves are quite tight and it's impossible to wear it with the compression sleeve as well (clothes tend to cling to the compression sleeve).
4. Also very light cardigans for days or places where it is warmer. I did get a lovely one from M&S this summer which is white and floaty. Often these more summery types of cardigan have three quarter length sleeves.
Ladies, don't get rid of any low cut tops .. just wear a camisole or vest underneath .. works a treat. Or buy one of those bras with a lacey insert so it shows under your top. And I have just had clothes altered and pockets put in for the prosthesis at a specialist mastectomy shop.
Im happy to be involved. Im 51 , had WLE on both sides so have quite a "odd" shape. I hate the heavily padded bras and find the wirde bras so uncomfortable. I find myself wearing cropped tops ..comfy but not flattering. Also quite conscious of my scars when wearing tops , swimsuits etc.
Super blog - thanks for the link.
Clothes that make us feel confident sounds good - I'm just a boringly practical kind of a girl when it comes to clothes, but even so good colours and good cut makes a difference to how I feel. Maybe I'm in after all?! 🙂
Libby, we need you, and I am not just talking about those of us who are mono boobed, you will appeal to women of all shapes ages and sizes.
Great blog, wishing you every success.
And thanks to Bubble Trouble for letting us know about you
wow that response on its own justifies the project I think. Thank you all for your replies, that's exactly the kind of information we need.
I would like to point out that my idea of 'fashionable clothes' means clothes for all women, of whatever shape, size and age, who would like to look good and feel confident about themselves. I wasn't meaning only the younger women among us. I myself am 50, tall and formerly athletic-looking, but now a stone or 3 overweight and breastless after the trials of the last year. I like nice clothes, and also functional clothes that don't make me feel like a flat-chested blob.
Libby is interested in how clothes make women feel, and doesn't do fashion just because it's fashionable. She's written a book to raise money for BCC already (at the ripe old age of 16!) called 'Love Pink'.
This is her blog if you're interested to know something about her.
So we're interested in all of your views, and all of your clothing needs and desires. We'd really like to try to address some of the issues around clothing for women like us - there are lots of us after all!
Thanks again for your time, I'll be in touch very soon
My biggest problem is I'm very tall and struggle with clothes anyway, now with single mx (delayed recon) I think I'm going to struggle to find mx bras / swimwear to fit (I haven't tried any on even after 5 months and still not got around to getting my prosthesis) bra straps are never long enough and swimsuits will inevitably cut me in half, so to speak, tankinis/bikinis will be my only real option (apart from not swimming). I'm sure I will have same issues over the next few months with clothing issues re: neckline / shape etc as I know most of my wardrobe will need replacing / adapting also.
I'm happy to be involved too.
It's the necklines that are the biggest problem for me ( single mastectomy and no recon) but being an overweight blob post chemo doesn't help. I was an overweight blob from steroids before BC and had just exercised my way down a stone and a half when that mammogram showed a problem. This lot is proving very hard to shift.
Currently looking for a wedding guest outfit and confidence is quite low. I have only shopped online so far or where I can pick something up without trying it on in the shop. Dread someone saying "Oh, if you've got it, flaunt it" because I haven't got half of it anymore.
And of course everyone says "You look so well" and "Isn't your hair nice and curly".
PM me if your friend wants a blob to experiment on. But we have lots of gorgeous younger ladies who would probably showcase her effots better and they are truly worth it.
Happy to be involved. Aged 64 with a bilateral MX and no recon. I can't be bothered to wear a prothesis and struggle to find clothes with enough fabric that hangs to disguise my new flat shape. Pm me if I can be of any help
Bumping up, I'll think about this and respond over the weekend. Thanks, Elinda x
Hi Bubble, what a great idea. I'm 46 and have had WLE and SNB on 16th Aug, and realised that all of my clothes had to go over my head, so would have loved tops made from cooling material that buttoned up the front. Went searching for more clothes and the only thing I could find were work shirts or hoodies!!! I am 36G and size 10 bottom half, so I tend to stay away from anything fitted as I look ridiculous! Would love to see somebody design some fashionable tops, not just hoodies, that look good.
I'm happy to get involved.
Single Mx, unable to have recon for at least 2 years, generously endowed on one side and half my current clothing is no bliddy good now as the necklines are too low.
I'd be quite happy to get involved too. One of the major problems I've encountered is getting suitable clothing and bras for those of us who are very small. Purpose made things all seem to start at a UK 10 and I've found it nigh on impossible to get bras that fit.
PM me if needed!
I'm not really a fashion girl, but just to note that pretty post-surgery bras would be a good thing - some are better than others it has to be said, but most as very "functional". I've had mx and immeidate LD recon so have a big (8") scar on my back which is not hidden by the bra-strap despite best efforts and claims of my surgeon; low back/backless things aren't my 'thing' but obviously swimsuits show the scar which extends from spine to underarm.
Whilst I'm not really the right kind of girl for your friend's project, I think it's a really importsnt and valauble piece of work and wish them well.
I think bras are the main issue here .. why do they always look so ugly? Why cant we have sexy underwear .. ?? I'm more than happy to have any input .. just message me. I am 51 with an MX.
I would like to be involved with this, I'm a young 52 had a WLE, now have mild lymphoedema and hot flushes. My biggest issues are bra's (36DD) V necklines that don't show said humungus bra's and nice tops generally that hide the top/most of my pressure sleeve but are not clingy so I don't overheat too much!
Looking forward to seeing what your friend comes up with, I am sure there is a market for nice clothes that can accommodate our needs and many younger women who must find buying nice clothes a nightmare.
Hi, I would be happy to help with this. I have had a single mx - no recon as yet. Please pm me if you wish.