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Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

24 Apr 2017 13:30


I work for a company and we have stores located across the country, we currently dont stock mastectomy bras and ive had a lot of ladies come in asking for these or a non-wired bra. (we have two, neither were suitable). I was deeply affected by this especially as my mother in law has had a mastectomy and has to order bras online and cant try them on in a local store! my manager has agreed that if i can gather some information together to show head office then i can present it to them to show that we should stock bras for women to come and try on. If anyone could help by just saying what they look for in a post surgery bra then it would be much appreciated! I just want to be able to help all women that come into store to be fitted.

Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

26 Apr 2017 14:20 in response to May22

Hello May22,

I just wanted to pop by and wish you the best of luck with your project!

Best wishes,

Renata, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

4 Jun 2017 00:30 in response to May22


Hi May,

 Considering the number of ladies who have breast surgery these days, I was absolutely astounded to find that I couldn’t source post-surgery bras locally. Thank you for investigating this. I have had a double mastectomy and am finding it increasingly difficult to find post-surgery bras anywhere except on line. This is not ideal, because as with most bras they fit much better when you can try them on.

M & S and Asda used to supply them in store, but now they are only available on line. Even then for the past dozen or so times I’ve tried to get one from M & S they haven’t had anything in my size. When I cannot source a decent bra I have to revert to buying a good supportive bra and getting two pockets inserted – this adds an extra £16.00 or more on to the price for this service.

I had a good selection of bras before my surgery and would still like to be able to ring the changes. Unfortunately, unless I go to some of the specialist suppliers (also mail order), I have a choice of black, beige or white.

I had a 44C bust and I like to keep my prosthesis about the same size as I have always been. I like something with wide straps for every day, but with narrower straps for evening wear. I look for good support, non-wired, made of a soft but firm material, comfortable below breast and with two pockets on either side. Some of the pockets tend to have a hole which is too small to be able to get my prosthesis in with ease. I prefer the hole to be at the side of the bra towards the underarm. The larger hole in the middle doesn’t hold the prosthesis in place very well. It would be nice to see some more feminine bras on the market that come in different colours and patterns.

I do often have problems with my bra showing underneath various tops and dresses. This is because they all come up quite high, whereas the cleavage in most clothes is quite low at the moment. The addition of a modesty panel in the same colour helps to conceal any scar tissue or unnecessary cleavage. This attaches to the bra strap by means of a suspender type fastening.

It would also be good to have a choice between fastening at front and back. Front is more useful after surgery.

Finally, if at all possible make them at a reasonable price so that all people with breast cancer can afford them.

I think that this would be my remit for a post-surgery bra. What about anyone else – have I missed out on any requirements which you would like to see in a post-mastectomy bra?

Jolamine xx


Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

4 Jun 2017 15:54 in response to May22

Hi May22, great idea, thank you. I live in Msnchester and we have a wonderful local shop where they fit you expertly and offer all types of prostheses. You can get swimming ones too which are tougher and withstand chlorine and seawater. These are also less expensive.  I go along with everything Jolamine said, and would like to emphasise--bras in funky colours please, would not be seen dead in beige or white! 

Unfortunately it seems that the manufacturers favour boring colours, though the online shop does have some better ones. Even though you can send them back if they don't fit you really need someone to measure you.

The shop did supply a strapless bra without pockets but the fit was such that you could use the 'comfy' cloth prosthesis supplied immediately postop, and with a bit if toupee tape it was perfectly secure. I was able to wear strapless evening dresses again!

It is so good you are doing this. I remembered feeling so insecure and a bit lost trying to get bras to fit,nun till I found the local shop. The attitude of some of the store assistants was deplorable.

Good luck, seaspirit x

Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

4 Jun 2017 16:31 in response to Moderator Renata


Hi May,

Another thought popped into my head when I read Seaspirit’s reply to you.

If the bras go well, would you consider promoting post-surgery swimwear too? Last year I bought six mail order, all of which had to be returned because the bust was down at my waist or they were too low cut and showed my scarring.

I eventually persuaded a specialist shop to order one in my size sight unseen. It cost me £175 and I had to wait 6 weeks for delivery, but when it arrived I still had to take it up on the shoulder. Again it was black with the teeniest bit of colour down the front. All we are looking for is something that doesn’t look out of the ordinary. We want to blend in with others. I personally want to avoid black, beige or white at all costs. The criteria for swimsuits is even simpler than for bras. – just a comfortable swimsuit the same as anyone else would wear and in a choice of colours and styles. .

Many of us have scars which come up quite high on the chest and we do not like to have them on show. It therefore helps if the front is either rounded or comes up a little higher than the usual ones – but we don’t need it to come up to our necks. The addition of a double pocket which is not too deep and therefore won’t make us look as if our busts are at our waists and the jobs a good ‘un.

Thanks again for taking up the cudgel on behalf of so many women.

Kind regards,



Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

4 Jun 2017 16:52 in response to May22

Hi May, Jolsmine's post has clarified my thoughts. I'm a bit puddled at the moment from medication! If course I meant to mention swimsuits. My local shop does them, and they fit well, but colours are boring. The online company do really great ones, bikinis, tankinis, and ordinary swimsuits, but again the fit is the problem. I have tankinis and bikinis as it is easier to change on a beach discreetly in a 2 piece. I don't like people to see my scars or prosthesis. I have a horrible irrational fear that a dog will run off with it!!!!! Seaspirit x

Re: Trying to get mastectomy bras into store

12 Sep 2017 12:18 in response to May22


Hi May,

I just wondered whether or not you had made the case for post-surgery bras to your head office yet? If so, how did it go?

Kind regards,