The clocks have ‘sprung forward’ to British Summer Time, the bulbs are flowering, and we are wondering we put out sunglasses last October…so it must be time for this year’s Spring/Summer blog brought to you by the amazing women in the Flat Friends Private Facebook!
Special thanks to Carolyn who shared a photo of her breast forms/prosthesis (while she was deciding which to pack to take to Glastonbury!). Lots of women living flat choose to dress their flatness with breast forms – maybe every day, maybe for work, exercise, or a special occasion. Carolyn’s photo includes some of the most popular styles (and as always this is not a sponsored blog and I am not recommending any brand in particular!):
At the top of the photo is a Boost breast form (they come in a range of colours.
On the Right is what’s commonly called a ‘softie’ or ‘comfie’ available from your breast care nurse, GP, or online from a range of retailers.
On the Left is a silicone breast form – also available from your breast care nurse, GP, or online from a range of retailers.
At the bottom of the photo is a Knitted breast form. Usually knitted (or crocheted) from cotton wool/yarn. They are stuffed with standard toy/pillow stuffing, but there are also ‘Aqua Knockers’ which you can stuff with a shower scrunchie so they are suitable for swimming in as they dry quickly. Available free of charge from the wonderful charity Knitted Knockers.
First up for this season’s fashion blog is Louise who says, “My new purchase from Next – I’ve wanted dungarees for a while but didn’t think I’d suit them. Now I love them!!
Teamed with a contrasting colour or bold print, dungaree looks great on Flat.
Claire teamed this fab dress with chunky boots and looks amazing! Claire says, “First night out getting dressed up after my mastectomy, going to a Rugby Club dinner. I searched for ‘ruffle wriggle dress’ and found this by Wallis.”
Ruffles decorate flat perfectly, and smaller ones like this are perfect if you don’t like the deeper Bardot style ruffles.
Another stunning black evening dress, this one is modelled by Isla who was performing in a concert with her choir for the first time in 2 years – and her first since her mastectomy. Isla says, “I had to get rid of all my concert dresses because they weren’t suitable cuts for either with or without a mastectomy bra filled with Boost breast forms. One of my fellow sopranos had a few cast offs – this one by Alex & Co is perfect for Flat. It has a gentle cowl neck under the embellished lacy bit, so no-one would ever know (not that I really care anyway, I just want things to fit).”
Time for some colour…thanks to Caroline for sharing this jacket she found in a little shop in Brighton. Caroline says “this would not have suited the 32L boobs I used to have!” – it’s amazing when you start experimenting and realise that you now suit styles you never would have worn before, and this lush patchwork jacket is a great example!
Jessie looks stunning in this fuchsia pink top from Next. Jessie says, “I’m so pleased with my top. It’s perfect for flatties and it hides tummies too! It comes in white, and blue as well.” The broderie anglais and gathered yoke create depth, texture and movement – and the cotton fabric means its hang loosely over the tummy area.
I started a new job at the start of April – which involves leaving the house! I found these two ‘new to me’ items in my local charity shop which still had their tags on.
A tiered dress (also called a Buffet dress) by Dorothy Perkins which hangs perfectly on my chest thanks to floaty fabric and no darts. I also love the v-neck which isn’t too deep.
Anyone like me who bloats after lunch, or has a waist larger than their chest will love tiered items! This light cotton top is by New Look and would look great teamed with chinos, black trousers, or pencil skirt.
Wedding Season is here…
For Isla’s Civil Partnership she wore this stunning outfit from La Redoute. The broderie anglais overlay on the shift dress adds a delicate all-over pattern, and it has no darts so hangs perfectly. The jacket has a clean classic shape – again with no darts – to create a chic silhouette. The addition of gingham slingbacks adds some fun detailing!
Sue has a wonderful time at her grandson’s wedding in this pretty outfit from LightintheBox. This layered embroidery and chiffon dress hangs and moves beautifully – and the lilac blue colour suits Sue perfectly!
Ann celebrated her Granddaughter’s 21st birthday party in this stylish layered shawl sweater she found in a small boutique. If you feel most comfortable wearing a scarf to decorate your flatness then this style would be perfect if you are looking for a change. I also love the addition of the statement silver necklace to accessorise Ann’s outfit.
Have you booked your holidays yet? Here are some great tips if you are worrying about what to wear in warm weather when layering isn’t an option.
Michele found this denim boiler suit in Matalan – a bargain at only £25! Michele says, “I think it works well for Flatties and not too bad on the belly!”
Mary went away at the start of April and had packed cold weather clothes…cue sudden spell of hot weather! Mary went to Marks and Spencer and found this lovely cheesecloth dress. Mary says, “Perfect for Flatties, downside is no pockets! That’s me sorted for the summer.”
Since going double flat last autumn Amanda has been hunting for a swimsuit. She says, “I think this works as the ruching distracts the eye.” Amanda’s swimsuit is from John Lewis and is available in black, and orange/pink.
Natasha found a range of swimwear by Hunza G. Natasha says, “Not cheap unfortunately, but super comfortable and I actually feel quite nice wearing it so it’s worth the extra spend for me. I’m wearing mine with my prosthesis but it would just as well without. This bikini is the Helena style.”
Don’t worry if you don’t have spare money for a brand new outfit this season; Kerry found this dress by Sainsbury’s ‘from some years ago’ amongst her pre-mastectomy clothes. Kerry says, “my Grecian style dress looks as fab as before – with no bra and no breast form at all! Left side flat, right side C/D cup.”
Or, how about making your own clothes?! Catherine (who is clearly very talented!) knitted this cardigan which she teamed with a top she already owned – designed to flatter her uniboob. Catherine says, “Cotton Merion mix is so comfortable – not too warm and not prickly. The free pattern is available from www.garnstudio.com”
For anyone like Kerry who is flat after a single mastectomy and looking for a comfy bralette for those ‘no foob’ days then Kerry recommends this pretty non-wired comfort bra from George at Asda. Kerry says, “The band underneath is not too wide, so doesn’t roll up when I sit down. The lace panel over the top is low enough not to sit above teeshirts, and doesn’t gape when I lean forward. The lace is really soft, it’s reasonable on the cut around the arms, and it sits completely flat on my flat side while not pulling a funny shape with my remaining side! I’ve taken the padding out as the fabric is thick enough on it’s own. I wear a 40C/D and a size 16 and the Large fits really nicely – not too tight on my ribs, but doesn’t drift up if I stretch up!”
Susan found this gorgeous bra/bralette by Anaono from the Nicola Jane website. Susan says, “It’s just so nice and really delicate fabric with a stretchy band. It lies completely flat if you have either one boob or none with no padding, which when you have a smaller breast always comes up too big and sticks out – especially as my middle is broad. I also think it’s a bit more young and sexy.”
If you are looking for some ‘everyday bra’ then you may like these from Asda. Rachel says, “These gorgeous and super comfy bras are in sets of three. Not labelled as mastectomy, simply non-wired. They have pockets and deep side panels that are soft and stretchy – if anyone has dog ears like me. £21 for set of 3 available in different colour groups.”
Louise found this bikini in Matalan. Louise says, “It’s perfect as I have a right-sided single mastectomy and scarring pretty high up, so I couldn’t resist it.”
Emma said there are a lot of nice tunics in Next at the moment. Emma says, “No foob in either picture, just lopsided but I don’t think you can tell.”
And while you’re in Next, try out this pretty tiered dress. Melanie says it falls really nicely – it also has a shallow V-neck that won’t gape when you lean forward and we all know how big a fan I am of a floaty buffet dress!
Another dress modelled by Melanie is this long sleeve maxi dress from Boden. Melanie says, “This dress is so comfortable. I’m wearing my boost as well.”
(For anyone who hasn’t heard of Boost, they are colourful, lightweight breast forms)
In Helen’s words she “came up trumps” with this bold pink and red dress she found in TK Maxx. It’s looks made to measure with the sculpted silhouette of the bodice, panelling, and lacework!
Michaela is modelling this dress by New Look – even more proof that bold prints are a flatties best friend! The gentles gathers around the high neck line will add a hint of depth and movement too.
Helen is sharing her new top from Sainsbury’s – a style and colour Helens says she wouldn’t normally have chosen. I love the gathered puff ball sleeves!
Another great supermarket find, from another Helen…Helen says, “Just bought this lovely navy and white dress from Tesco (£19). It’s not too low and doesn’t gape when you lean forward so covers my scar. I’m a uniboober so I have taken a few photos, some of them with my foob in and one of them without.”
Sue went out to the theatre for the first time since her double mastectomy. Sue said “I wanted to wear something nice, and didn’t want to wear my falsies.” Hopefully Sue’s photo will inspire you to always be comfortable with who you are and what you wear – and get out and enjoy life!
Wendy spent an amazing afternoon at The Queen’s Garden Party; Wendy says “What a trial finding a traditional tea dress that would accommodate a flat chest a size 10 and hip size 14. I had to wear my knitted knockers in the end (I usually go without) and they were so comfortable.”
Elizabeth shared holiday snaps from her recent holiday, “Having a lovely time, no prosthesis, and content to walk around without.”
More inspiring holiday shots from Michaela who says, “A couple of Asda bikinis – these have pockets in. I wear an Amoena prosthesis on my left side for a single mastectomy.”
The amazing Suzanne shared her holiday wardrobe with daily posts! An inspiring mix of new, pre-loved, with prosthesis and without…
Katy bought this pretty batwing sleeveless top in New Look. Katy says, “Great shape for flatties and the panel in the side covers scars and any lumps.”
Angie bought this fab apron from Etsy. Angie says, “There is no way I would consider wearing a prosthetic on my allotment so I bought this nice Japanese apron. It’s nice and stiff, and evens out my lopsided ness – and it has excellent handy pockets!”.
Bex has been going through her Pre-Mastectomy clothes. Bex says, “I haven’t actually worn my Goth clothes for 8+ years. There’s plenty of stuff with cups or bodices that needs to go, but I was surprised by these! I’m almost entirely flat on both sides, I don’t wear prostheses and these are skin tight – I’m properly happy with this!”
Jo’s face says it all, when you find ‘an old dress’ still looks amazing on you! Gathered waistband and bold pattern is always going to be a winner. Add in some Knitted Knockers and Jo had a winning outfit!
Possibly as exciting as discovering your pre-mastectomy clothes still suit you, is realising you can find amazing bargains that flatter you in your local charity shop! Below is Wendy’s fab haul. A classic chambray shirt with no darts, and a flattering buttoned open neck to allow you to choose the depth of v-neck to suit you. Second is a batwing top – batwing sleeves create the illusion of width across the chest, and the excess fabric creates movement and depth. I also love the slightly sheer fabric on top with the shape of the vest underneath visible which also created the illusion of depth. Wendy’s third photo is of a snake skin print wrap front blouse; wrap fronts suit both those who are double and single flat as this style will naturally fit to your contours – I love this unusual animal print too!
And another fabulous charity shop find below modelled by Sam – a floral dress with crossover yoke, with additional pleats running the length of the neckline purchased for £2!. As Sam says, “Nice dress moment… Be brave, nobody really notices anything!”
And another… May says, “I’m pleased with my charity shop putfit, really cool in this hot weather. It’s very obvious I’m flat, not that I care, but the flowers distract the eye. Comfy to move around in too.”
I love this sundress from Primark modelled below by Helen – the gentle gathering along the neckline, and the tiered shape means this style creates effortless movement. The extra volume in a tiered/buffet dress means it’s also a great fit for those whose hips are wider than their top half.
And here’s Helen in a ruffle Bardot-style swimsuit by Floozie. Helen says, “It’s lightly padded, but the frill covers that.” Perfect, if you have had a single mastectomy or double!
Rachel wore these three bikinis from Shein on her recent holiday. Rachel says, “I’m a 34DD uniboober and I never once felt uncomfortable, and wasn’t doing what I normally do: tugging and positioning my softie!”
And here’s Gill on the beach in a bold gathered halterneck tankini.
Rosemary teamed this tankini from Nicola Jane with a Boost prosthesis on her holiday.
Still need beachwear inspiration? Ok, next up is Andrea who bought this bikini in M&S in Cyprus! Andrea says, “I bought it out there as I finally felt confident! No padding or cups so easy for me to wear being flat on one side.”
And Sonia, sharing this tankini she found on Shein Curve for £3! Sonia says, “It didn’t come out of place once, not even when I was on the water slide with the kids lol. As a bonus the bottoms are high-waisted to fit well on my tummy.”
For more information on Flat Friends, and how to join the private group, check out their website