Buying a bra is hard for most women but particularly hard when you’ve had a mastectomy and reconstruction means that you are a different shape and size on both sides. Most of the brands for post mastectomy are made for older women and whilst they might be supportive, they are often not that attractive and certainly not sexy! Now that most women do opt for some sort of reconstruction, the traditional post mastectomy bras which are non-wired and have a pocket to slip in a prosthesis are not ubiquitous.
As a younger woman, I prefer to wear a normal bra that is fitted to avoid my scars and helps to balance my different breasts. Sadly, John Lewis are not at all helpful and every time I go in there, I find nothing, feel like a freak and leave crying. On the other hand, Rigby and Peller always have something which will fit perfectly but will set you back at least £100! The nude bra that I bought earlier in the year is pretty rather than sexy, non-wired and perfect for day to day wear. It’s a shame that the matching pants are always in tiny french sizes and make you feel like an elephant (along with the tiny French fitters!)
I accompanied a friend from overseas to House of Fraser in Oxford St over Easter and was surprised to find a great selection of bras suitable for people who’ve had surgery like me. The fitters were kind, compassionate and brilliant - I ended up with a daily nude bra from Triumph using their magic wire technology - cups should fully cover your breasts and any wires shouldn’t be on your scars. Victoria’s Secret and some of their floating wires and invisible wires have been great in the past - unfortunately they change their styles constantly and my favourites styles have disappeared or are not stocked in London. So thankful for family and friends in USA and Canada who always pop in and try to find me something!
So I have bras to wear day to day but occasion wear is harder to find! The only brand that manages to fit and make me feel sexy throughout my cancer journey is Chantelle - from halfway through the reconstruction when I was v slim to now with a few more curves. Lacy pretty things without the price making your eyes pop out, it’s been a saviour to me. Now the hardest part is finding a man good enough to share the lingerie with…..