Monday, 27 June 2011

The Big Bra Hunt

Yes, there may have been other things to consider pre and post mastectomy, but instead of dwelling on absent friend, bra hunting has basically occupied my time for the last two weeks. Aversive maybe, but effective, yes!

After an hour long session with the breast nurse talking counselling, relationships, comfies (these are temporary foam replacements for real boobs), and scars, I left clutching a pamphlet that would depress me almost as much as the op itself. Mastectomy Lingerie.

I have had a lifelong love affair with underwear - one of the advantages of wee boobs is pretty bras - so imagine my despair at the new necessities a prosthetic presents. Namely huge, non-wired, fuller than full cupped, fat-strapped monstrosities. Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but the catalogues cater for the majority of mastectomy customers: older ladies with massive bazookas. They don't sell a bra to a 31 year old c-cup so well.

The good news is smaller boob (I must start getting used to the singular), requires less support, and a smaller prosthetic, so I can get away with a 'normal' bra in theory, but I'd never usually go for the full, high cup that a stick-on boob requires, so this is a mission and a half. I went for the recommended pre- op fitting in Harvey Nicks, and discovered there is precisely one, non-specialist bra that fits my criteria. Thank goodness it is a blooming wondrous one. Wolford Mat De Luxe Skin Bra is plain, petite, pretty and perfect. It's so comfy, does every job it needs to do, and I'd wear it under happier circumstances anyway, so this is a find all women should know about. I have it in three colours.

I then went on a Figleaves rampage and bought the recommended Sloggi (have since discovered overhead is impossible), front fastening sports bra (waay too constrictive), two mastectomy bras that I deem acceptable (this is harsh, they're actually really pretty, it's just the ginormous-jangered models that do them a scary injustice), and a load of hopeful normal bras to try. I've also been sent some gorgeous Wolford-a likes from Boux Avenue, and am basically drowning in comfortable but good-looking undies. Problem is, just looking at them makes my stitches twitch, so I haven't tried out full benefits yet. I got Katie to trial them over her tshirt for me. Ineffective but hilarious.

You won't be suprised to hear that after waking in the ward at 5.30am after my op, I filled the time on - You just can't keep an Internet shopper down. Even though I was loony on anaesthetic I made a genius purchase, a discovery on a par with The Americas. As of that day, I am the Christopher Columbus of swimwear.
This Moulle bikini is asymmetrical, just like me, covers the majority of my left side (as major luck would have it), and has enough ruffles to distract and delight in equal measures. It is so post-op appropriate I 100% feel like I can look forward to a beach holiday before my reconstruction. Which is bloody lucky since I'm told that won't be for another one or two years. I'm ok with this - my fruitful bra hunt is another step closer to cheating normality, and with the bonus thrill of shopping thrown in.

I'm not sure how to explain away my new Opening Ceremony Fringe Jumper though. I'll say it was the drugs doing...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. hey soph,
    i have been following your blog (along with another Jenny Evans more tech savvy than my mum). I held off reading it for a while because I am so sooky after having Winter but I must say its so sweet and uplifting. I hope you are having a speedy recovery and a summer sojourn in Aus. Otherwise Im pretty sure I am going to win ln-cc comp- 2 tix to london so in that case I'll see you amanda

  2. So hard to find a decent bra! I finally found one which I love but is no longer manufactured (the usual story - this happened to me pre-BC too). I guess there just isn't a big enough market of us out there for bra manufacturers so make a nice range of options but gosh it is soooo frustrating! Thank goodness for internet shopping, eh!

  3. People hunt for clothes because they want to feel comfortable whenever they wear it! I guess this scenario usually happens among women, since they're the ones who wear assorted clothes. Congratulations on finding one that's right for you… The entire search was worth it!

    Jack Sebastian

  4. Hi Sophie! I'm glad you found the bra that suits you perfectly. How's the battle against the Big C? I hope you’re doing well. The Moulle bikini is cute. Does it come in hot pink? :)

    -Terry Bayer

  5. You should check out wonderful designs for huge bras online. There are a variety of choices so you don't have to worry for any identical designs.