There is so much to consider when it comes to clothing after your surgery. Common advice and doctors will insist that you wear comfortable clothes- but style, look and functionality are important, too- especially as your body heals with time. Without any prior knowledge, looking for post-mastectomy fashion might leave you feeling lost, but Front Room is here to tell you what you need to know to look good on the outside and feel good inside!
Comfort really is key
First and foremost, immediately after your mastectomy, your entire chest is going to be sore and tender. It is absolutely crucial that you don’t wear anything tight and that you stick to natural fabrics, like bamboo. Other fabrics that are easy on the skin are regular cotton, modal and jersey. Any chaffing that results from clingy clothes can irritate the skin and contribute to more scarring.
Surgical drains can remain in place for two to seven days or more so that excess lymphatic fluid and blood can drain out. This also means you might want to find tops that can hold your drains and keep it hidden. Staying home in this robe during those first few days of recovery can keep all your drains in place. This blouse might just become your best friend for those days you’ll need to leave the house with your surgical drains. Anything with interior pockets can keep everything organized, as well as versatile mastectomy belts like this one, which can widen your clothing options. Luckily, this beginning part of your recovery usually doesn’t last long.
As your body heals, it may be surprising that you’ll still feel some pain. Long, dropped sleeves can prevent chaffing around your armpit area. Keep in mind that you won’t want to move your arms around a lot, so choose clothing that is going to require minimal effort to put on. This means sweaters with zippers, comfy slip-on shoes, and loose pants that you won’t have to wrestle with to put on.
Fashion and Style
Now with the basics in mind, you might be thinking of what kind of outfits to arrange. Looser tops with modest necklines are sure to give you a look of natural symmetry without relying on breast cleavage. Other fashionable choices are tops with ruffles, knots, or drapes so that there is a focal point to your outfit. If you like dresses, pay careful attention to where the “dart” of the dress sits so that you can have an idea of how it will fit around your breast.
Another tip is to use belts around your waist (rather than your hips) to emphasize your natural shape at the center of your body. Statement, bold patterns on skirts, shorts or shoes will highlight the lower half of your body and could be a great option if that’s your style. Other accessories like scarves, bold earrings and necklaces can totally amp up your confidence.
Though we’re here to help you feel like yourself, it’s vital that you remember that recovery is a work in progress- mentally, emotionally and physically. Finding clothes that you feel good in is just one example of self-care that can keep you emotionally strong and healthy!