Coming from a mastectomy procedure, you might feel obligated to simply wear medically-prescribed outfits that help with the recovery. Thankfully that is not necessarily a mandatory requirement and depending on what your doctor will have to say, you can have more options than just a loose shirt or blouse over you. Bras are still an option once your doctor can give you a green flag on wearing form-fitting outfits.
Why The Bralette?
Compared to a traditional bra, the bralette has less of the features like underwires, clasps and paddings that work on carrying the bust by distributing the weight throughout your torso. When you know you no longer need those features and you are looking for something more for style and comfort, then this is where the bralette comes into the picture.
Flexible and diverse design options are available for bralettes of all kinds. Recently after the pandemic, there has been a rise of the use of bralettes because of how it is so often used in a work-from-home environment. No longer are they used just for “starter bras”, they now are becoming more evident in adult women today.
However, we just want to clarify one thing, there is no medical evidence that proves bralettes are healthier options compared to bras. They are a choice made by anyone interested in it but it is not a guarantee that it replaces all other features of a traditional bra.
Finding the Right Fit
The first step in selecting a post-mastectomy bralette is finding the right fit.
- Band size: Measure your underbust, making sure the tape measure is snug but not too tight. This will give you your band size.
- Cup size: If you have had a single mastectomy, measure the remaining breast at its fullest part to determine your cup size. If you have had a double mastectomy, consult with your healthcare provider or a certified mastectomy fitter to determine the appropriate cup size.
- Prosthesis: If you plan to wear a prosthesis, ensure that the bralette has pockets to accommodate it.
Knowing that you’ve come from a surgery and undergoing healing, consider as well the fabric that the bralette is made of. Choose a bralette made from soft, breathable materials like cotton or bamboo to prevent irritation and promote healing. Look for bras with wide straps and seamless designs for added comfort and support. You will want material that comfortably wraps around your skin instead of compressing it tightly.
If it’s your first time buying a bralette, try not to buy too many. Just get two pairs for now which you can cycle through and get a feel of. Only when you feel comfortable with it and you are quite certain about the size that is right for you then you consider purchasing more.
Don’t Forget The Features
Not all mastectomies are the same and some breast cancer warriors will have different requirements when it comes to support. For a general list, here are some features that you might want to look out for when choosing a bralette:
- Adjustable straps – this is useful for those who want to make the bralette adjust slightly to a comfortable fit so that it does not feel off on your torso
- Stretchable material – because even with the right fit, having a bralette that holds on to you instead of loosely hanging, feels more functional.
- Prosthesis pockets – as mentioned above, these pockets are there for those who want to wear prosthesis to either balance the sizing of their bust or in cases of double mastectomy, to increase bust size for both cups.
- Comfortable straps – try to avoid straps that are too thin that dig in on your skin. A little wider is better for your skin.
Have Fun With Style
Remember, the bralette became popular again because of how many style variations it can come. You can have a plain looking bralette that almost looks like a sports bra. You can have a lacey version that is sexy and stylish. You will have fun choosing different styles that work for you and sometimes there are even bralettes that you can wear as a top instead of needing to wear something over it.
But What If I Can’t Find My Fit
Do not worry. First of all, this is not entirely uncommon. Some women may have body shapes that do not match the big box store sizes for bralettes. By consulting with a professional, you can have a bralette designed and fitted to your exact body shape so you don’t even have to worry about buying a few at a time to see if it works for you. Getting a custom fitting done is easy and you will even receive tips about how to care for your new set of bralettes.
Just remember, always consider your comfort and health when choosing the right bralette for you. Your doctor may have advised specific things like avoiding constricting garments or anything that may get in the way of your recovery, do keep those in mind while shopping so that you make the most out of your new fashion choice.