There are many summer options available to women who have had a mastectomy, from mastectomy sports bras to mastectomy bathing suits, and even cover ups that can be worn as a dress. However, you may still worry about what to wear in hot weather in the months following your mastectomy.
You may be concerned about covering up while staying cool, or how to choose the right cuts and shapes. Above all, it can be a challenge to create a summer wardrobe that not only helps you look great but also boosts your self-confidence following surgery. With careful thought and consideration and a little guidance from an accredited and certified fitter, however, you can prepare the perfect summer wardrobe.
Start with the Basics
Get the right bra
The right bra is an essential item in your post-mastectomy wardrobe. A well-fitting bra gives you an advantage even before you start trying on clothes. An experienced certified fitter at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe can help you determine the perfect size and most suitable bra for your new body shape, and guide you on which type of bra to choose based on your stage of recovery.
Comfort is also important, particularly for summer. The fabric should be light and breathable to help regulate your temperature and feature moisture wicking technology to keep you dry.
Amoena bras, like the Amoena Ester Front Fastening Soft Bra, is the perfect post-surgical bra and an essential addition to your summer wardrobe. Designed with an aluxe sporty look and constructed from breathable microfiber, the Ester bra features mesh side and back panels to keep you cool and dry, and a front fastening closure for easy dressing.
Choose a variety of bra options
Post-surgical bra designs are not limited to function and form. There are plenty of fashionable options available. A colorful or lacy bra, such as the Jodee Molded Seamless mastectomy bra, is a bold addition to a summer outfit. And with its seamless design, you can wear it discreetly under t-shirts and tank tops.
There are many other bra styles available to add to your summer wardrobe. For added coverage when wearing spaghetti straps or strapless garments, try a camisole bra such as the Amoena Amber padded bra which features a delicate lace panel across the cups to add a touch of feminine style to your summer outfits.
Summer is also a great time to get back into the sports that you love. Include a supportive mastectomy sports bra such as the Amoena Performance sports bra, in your summer wardrobe to keep cool and comfortable during your workout.
Post mastectomy swimsuits
If you plan to swim, lounge poolside or participate in water sports during the summer, mastectomy bathing suits are designed specially to offer support and coverage where you want it most. Bilateral pockets sewn directly into the bathing suit allow you to add breast forms to give your silhouette curves and definition.
Buying a few different options can be a nice way to feel fashionable at the poolside. Some features to look for when choosing a post-mastectomy bathing suit include:
There are many post-mastectomy swimsuit styles available. Bikini and tankini tops such as the Amoena Cocos swim top can be paired with basic bottoms or swim skirts, while elegant one-piece suits offer more coverage and security.
If you are limited when it comes to shapes and styles, colors become extremely important. Find the colors that work best for you and look for items that have your favorite shades.
Mix and match items allow you to make more outfits from a limited number of garments. A good idea is to pick two or three favorite feature colors and build from there. Background or neutral colors can be purchased to match.
Patterns are a great way to get more color into your wardrobe and combine the colors in your palette. They can also help you get into the summer spirit. Botanical or floral prints like the Jodee Floral Sunrise Sarong can add a summery flare to even the most basic outfit. Bright geometric patterns could help you add a strong visual element to a limited silhouette.
Patterns are also very useful when it comes to camouflage for your chest. They can help disguise the shape beneath, allow you to hide any asymmetry that is making you uncomfortable.
If you have opted not to undergo reconstructive surgery, breast forms can be very helpful in achieving symmetry and boosting your confidence. There are many lightweight options available for use during the warmer months including the ABC Classic Air breast prosthesis, which is constructed from unique aerated silicone which is up to 40% lighter than standard silicone breast forms.
For splashing in the pool or at the beach, you will need a set of swim forms. Unlike standard silicone breast forms, swim forms are water and chlorine-resistant, so they will not be damaged through frequent use. They also feature a concave back with ribbed backing to allow for optimal airflow to prevent suction on the chest wall or skin irritation.
Swim forms come in a range of shapes and sizes to fit all body types and fit perfectly inside pocketed mastectomy bathing suits.
Summer cover up
This is a staple for any post-mastectomy wardrobe. A light loose cover up can be worn over a swimsuit, loungewear, or your normal clothing. It allows you to feel covered up and secure while still offering maximum comfort, whether you are spending the day at home or in bed during your recovery period.
Purchase a few in colors and patterns that you love. Penbrooke offers a range of chic lightweight cover ups in a variety of patterns and colors including on-trend details such as bell sleeves, ruffles and button down shirt style cover ups like the V Neck with Bell Sleeves.
Flowing, summery dresses can be the perfect staple for a summer post-mastectomy wardrobe. These can get you into the mood for summer and are a great way to start feeling feminine or flirty as the warm weather hits. Solid colors can streamline your look for a slimmer silhouette like the V Neck with Shirred Back Swimsuit Cover Up which doubles as a dress.
At the same time, flowing dresses allow a lot of concealment. A loose-fitting dress can be cinched at the waist to show off your curves, while still camouflaging your chest. Summer often means there will be bright colors and patterns available.
One of the best aspects of a summer dress is its comfort. They are easy to get on and off, which is important for those whose arm movement is still restricted following their mastectomies.
Shorts and skirts
A great way to start feeling sexy for the summer is to show off your lower half. If you miss the fun and flirty summer looks you have previously enjoyed, you can make up for higher necklines with shorter skirts and shorts.
Even if you do not want to be too revealing, summer often means there are many more types of bottom pieces available. Try adding a selection of colorful or patterned shorts and skirts to your wardrobe or solid bottoms with a colorful top for a boho look. The Penbrooke Swim Short with Tummy Control is a great go to piece all summer long.
Styling Your Post-Mastectomy Summer Wardrobe
Covering up is often important for those recovering from mastectomies. As well as covering the shape of the chest, you may want to cover scars from the surgery. It can be tricky to find summer outfits that offer adequate coverage. Use full-coverage intimate apparel or accessories to help provide the coverage you want.
Mastectomy camisoles and camisole bras are lightweight options that offer ample chest coverage without weighing you down. While pocketed tank tops allow you to forgo bras altogether due to interior pockets sewn directly into the tank top to hold breast forms. LuisaLuisa pocketed tank tops come in a variety of colors and patterns to match your wardrobe.
High necklines help to disguise surgical scars and provide coverage for breast forms. However, these do not need to be prudish or boring. Look for styles that use a high neckline as a chic addition to their style, such as asymmetrical necklines or halter style top.
Loose, classic cuts are back in fashion, and you can find garments designed to fit with a flowing or draped look, for a breezy summer aesthetic. Loose fitting garments not only keep you cool but can be a great way to achieve the coverage you want.
But, remember that loose does not necessarily mean shapeless. Simply buying oversized tops or dresses can mean you do not look or feel at your best. They may sit awkwardly on your shape or reduce the impact of your outfit.
Choosing the right accessories is a great way to add a bold statement to your outfit. A bright belt or scarf tied at the waist, for example, can add flair to a dress or tunic, while allowing the main piece to be loose and flowing. Jewelry or a hat can add fun to an outfit, while also drawing attention up from your chest.
Mastectomy chemo beanies and head scarves are another great way to accessorize in the summer, and also offer protection for women who have recently undergone chemotherapy. Chemo beanies come in a range of stylish colors and patterns and are constructed from lightweight, breathable material that keeps your head cool and provides protection from UV rays.
Liven up your summer wardrobe with the addition of a few pieces that feature some on-trend details than also function to disguise surgical scars and support breast forms.
Items with additional fabric at the neckline to form a drape, for example, can conceal one side of the chest. Large ruffles on a mastectomy bathing suit or top can act as a focal point to add interest to an outfit.
The right shoe can have a huge impact on your outfit. A plain cotton dress can look completely different when paired with a brightly colored pair of sneakers, glamorous metallic sandals, or a sleek loafer.
If you are concerned about reaching your style goals with a limited wardrobe, an expanded shoe collection could give you the opportunity for expression that you need.
Tips for Creating Your Summer Wardrobe
Consider trends carefully
Summer often sees trends become popular overnight. A certain fit or style of dress, a particular color, or an unusual accessory could suddenly be everywhere. These can be fun additions to a summer wardrobe. However, it is important to consider them carefully.
If a trend does not work for your style, appearance or comfort needs, set it aside. While entertaining, trends are short lived and are not worth the concern if you don’t really love them. This is particularly important when it comes to tops and dresses, which will be of primary concern for your shape.
Those who enjoy purchasing a few trendy items for the summer season should focus on accessories instead. Shoes, purses and jewelry can be added to your outfit while allowing you to be covered and comfortable.
Ask for help
Shopping for clothes can be difficult for any woman, but after a mastectomy, it can be a struggle to regain your confidence. Asking for help is very important. If you are having a bad day, you might feel unable to judge for yourself whether an article of clothing looks good. When shopping for clothes, bring a friend or relative whose judgement you trust to help you select the right pieces for your wardrobe.
For help finding the perfect items to add to your summer wardrobe, call A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe on (954)-978-8287 to talk to one of our certified professional fitters who can help you find the best fitting mastectomy bras and breast forms and other intimate apparel and accessories.