I started Flatter Fashion three years ago now, with the aim of dispelling the myth that if you have had a mastectomy and are living without reconstruction you should dress to disguise your lack of two breasts. I am always asked if we need clothing designers to create specialist clothing for women living flat, and we absolutely do not. What we need is the confidence to shop for our new body shapes – something which can be incredibly daunting at the beginning. I hope that this blog gives women the tips and advice they need to get them into the changing rooms; but if you are still anxious about finding new items for your wardrobe post-mastectomy you could try a personal shopper experience at your local department store.
Tamsin had a great experience at Debenhams in Basildon (other department stores are available!). Tamsin says, “My personal shopper had planned my whole afternoon. First stop bra fitting as I had told her about how uncomfortable it was to wear a bra and prosthesis for long periods. Well guess what… I was in the wrong bra size! I bought lots of gorgeous clothes including a spotty shirt dress, checked shirt, and floaty tops. It was amazing!”
Do you have a favourite V-neck jumper you do not wear because it gapes when you lean forward? Jan spotted these in River Island which are perfect for filling the gap of a low cut top, and are only £12 each.
Or you could try wearing a vest top underneath in a contrasting colour. However, if your having hot flushes a vest would be the last thing you would want to put on! Susan has found the ideal bra substitute when a vest would be too warm- Crop tops with adjustable straps by F&F at Tesco.
Our incredible Rachel had a successful value for money shopping trip to Matalan. Rachel says, “Great sports vests not really cupped so great for flat. Also small access hole if you do want to stuff in a softie or a shower scrunchie or two. Lovely frilled tops and off the shoulder tops in patterns that are good for disguising Buddha bellies and flattering flat. I’m wearing this bargain £8 black top today for my 35th Chemo. It gives easy access to my port, extra bonus (!)”
…yes, you read that right, 35th chemo! Huge congrats on your NEDness Rachel, long may it continue xxx
Thinking of holidays and sunshine Claire purchased this bikini top with moulded cups from Tesco. Claire says, “It’s not a mastectomy one, but I am really pleased with it. I’m a uniboober with an A-Cup and you can’t tell! My scars and differences are all covered.”
(I love this gorgeous colour!)
And Nicky found this swimming costume in Primark yesterday for the bargain price of £12.00. Nicky says, “It has a frill along the top which seems to help disguise the fact I’m lopsided, and no need for a prosthesis.”
If this is your first year trying on swimwear without both breasts don’t panic if last years tankini doesn’t suit you anymore. Lesley’s partner did a great job finding these at Asda so Lesley is now looking forward to their first post-mastectomy holiday. Two are post-surgery and the other 3 are in the standard range. The dearest one was £14, proving you don’t need to spend lots of money on specialist post-surgery brands.
So many cheerful spring colours! Jenefer spotted some lovely floaty tops in Tesco that work flat. Jenefer says, “The pattern disguises the chest area pretty well.”
If you look closely you can see that there are darts on the bust, but don’t let this put you off because as long as the fabric is floaty these won’t affect how it hangs on you.
And here is Sandra modelling one of them to prove it!
Keen eyed Jan has spotted so many items which would flatter us. As single and double flatties the girl and ruffle are our friends. They add volume, movement and balance out asymmetry.
These tops are from Debenhams:
This dress is from Primark:
These are all from the clothes section in Poundland:
Frills on bikini tops do the same job:
Or, if you have bikini bottoms from last year that you want to wear again try buying a coordinating frill top like these from Primark:
Jo wore this stunning outfit from Phase Eight to a ball this week. Jo says, “I wore my foob for the first time in months but it works uniboob too.”
Founder of Flat Friends UK, Gilly has filled her spring wardrobe with some stylish classics. Gilly says, “Its learning what suits your new shape. I couldn’t have worn any of these with my huge boobs”. First from Matalan: a white top with broderie anglaise allover pattern and scalloped hem which will draw the eye, a cold shoulder top to create width across the chest, and a Breton stripe with embroidery section across the top of the chest which adds decoration.
And from Asda: a smart shift dress with a bold all-over pattern, a top with a pretty all-over pattern and pin tucks to add decoration down the chest, a top with perfectly placed pattern across the chest and a cut out design to show some back cleavage (Gilly is double-flat but this would work really well too if you are single-flat), and our all-time favourite the Bardot top with gathered neck line, off the shoulder and floaty hem which suits everyone without fail!
The ever stylish Sally Anne sends her photos in from a recent holiday. Sally says, “This cotton dress from Next has darts but hangs really well & they have it in lots of colours. So comfortable I’m going to get one in Black.”
“This Bardot top is from H&M with a skirt from Next.”
This maxi dress with a gathered halterneck:
And here is a pic of Sally Anne in her beloved Liverpool in a pinafore dress from Toast. Pinafore styles are great as they add depth and detail on the chest.
Jan has found frilled dresses and a playsuit in Peacocks:
And these frilled swimsuits.
This classic embroidered chambray frilled top/dress is from Primark:
We all need a best friend like Sandra’s who bought her this gorgeous navy Bardot top from Fat Face…
I love eBay for finding designer bargains; just adding the word ‘frill’ or ‘ruffle’ to your search for a vest, top, blouse, or dress will find you some items which will Flatter you. Lou won this stunning ASOS dress on eBay for £6! Lou says, ‘ Who says you can’t wear a deep v-neck if you have no boobs! Plus no problems with a bra showing at the back!’
Another myth is that you can’t wear vest tops without two breasts as these tops are often low at the front or gape. Jane says, “I was struggling to find something in the hot weather. I tried on loads but they were all too low until I remembered that someone on the Flat Friends Facebook group had suggested wearing tops back to front. This top is from Primark and was a bargain at £6. And I have a lovely sun kissed back too 😎”