This post is the first in my ‘Fit Series’ to help you understand what makes a mastectomy bra the best one for YOU! Bear with me today, as some of this information is rather technical but it’s necessary to have a good base of knowledge before we dig deeper into bra styles and good fitting checkpoints.
The BRA CUPS are the part of the bra that hold and shape the breasts as well as provide support. Depending on the styling of the bra, bra cups can be:
– Seamed (as in the drawing) which provides the best possible support
– Seamless, for a flawless look, or
– Seamless with a foam cup liner to provide shaping and nipple coverage
The BRIDGE or CENTRE FRONT is a stabilized piece of fabric at the middle front of the bra that separates the breasts from one another. It should ideally sit against the skin and will help with shaping and definition of your breasts.
The BACK is always made of stretch material (called “powernet” in the industry) for comfort and to provide support around the body. The back also connects with the straps and the hook & eye attachment. A well-fitting and supporting back can be a great help to achieve a smooth look under your garments.
Some bra styles have a SIDE BAND to provide support needed under the arm. This is the most overlooked feature! It can also help to achieve an exceptionally smooth shape by supporting the skin under the arm, as well as giving added comfort by eliminating skin chafing.
HOOK & EYE
The HOOK & EYE is attached to the back piece, and because it is adjustable it allows for individualized fit. The adjustability here allows you to maintain a comfortable fit if you experience frequent weight and body shape fluctuations.
The BRA STRAPS go over the shoulders and connect the bra cups to the back band. They can either be made of elastic or rigid material and should be adjustable to fit you better. Wide or padded straps can help distribute pressure on the shoulders and add comfort to your day. Don’t forget to re-adjust the bra straps after each wash so they continue to provide you with a proper fit.
The NECKLINE on mastectomy bras holds the breast prosthesis close to the chest wall and is styled higher to offer additional coverage. An elastic trim is often used at the neckline for an added feeling of security.
The UNDERARM is typically elasticized to provide a comfortable and secure fit.
The BOTTOM BAND is also elasticized. It should be level and hugging your body snug, but not tight as you need to be able to breathe!
The POCKETS are an essential part of a mastectomy bra; they hold the breast prosthesis securely in place. They are made from a fabric that feels comfortable against the skin and can feature a wicking material to keep you dry and cool. Some pockets are extended on the sides (like in this diagram) and work well with asymmetrical prosthesis to reduce chafing.
All of Trulife’s mastectomy bras have pockets on both sides. If only needed on one side, the pocket on the remaining side can be removed if preferred.
That is my introduction to bra components! Leave a comment or question below on any of the technical jargon I just shared; I’m looking forward to starting a conversation with you. And stay tuned for my next blog post as I will explore different bra styles and more of their features and benefits.
One more piece of the puzzle to help you choose the best mastectomy bra for YOU!
Trulife Bra Designer