Welcome to Summer 2017! Here are this seasons’ top tips brought to you by a few of the 700+ members of the Flat Friends UK closed Facebook Support group. If you are a woman living with, or facing, mastectomy without reconstruction, and you’re from the UK, please join us!
First up, is regular contributor Kim 🙂
Kim bought this gorgeous tankini from Primark. Kim said, “It is stomach hugging, and is slightly padded so looks like I have a small chest. Can even wear it strapless too.”
Jo is a uniboober. She bought this tankini from Debenhams, but it is actually by Lands End and is part of their post-surgery range.
I love the polka dots!
Kim tried Bardot style tops for the first time during a trip to Tesco, and said she wished she had tried them before as they are “perfect for flatties”. Kim found the yellow one slightly see through so wears a vest top underneath so that her scars aren’t visible. Bardot tops are perfect as they either a gathered neckline, or a ruffle which both add volume and movement across a single or double flat chest.
Flat Friends UK founder, trustee, and Parkrun Queen, Gilly is looking fantastic and has found lots of tops to flatter her. Each of these were also under £20!
The Broderick Anglais neckline of this white Falmer blouse adds gorgeous detail across Gilly’s chest, and the wide sleeves also make this a lovely summer top for those with lymphoedema.
Gilly shows with this shirt how fab breast pockets are for us, particularly when they slightly contrast like these with a staggered pattern.
These next three tops show that you don’t have to find tops that are baggy or frilly to flatter a flat chest. Here Gilly uses pattern to decorate hers.
Like the look of Bardot tops but don’t want to wear ‘off the shoulder’? Try wearing them as a t-shirt to get the same effect. Floral patterns also add the illusion of movement and volume.
Karen always looks incredible (and always causes me hair envy!). Here are her holiday pics showing her latest buys.
I love these as they really show how to try different necklines to make the most of not wearing a bra!
This next top is Italian and from a small boutique, however it shows that the perfect V-neck top is out there! One which accentuates your neck but isn’t so low that you feel it gapes. This one is lovely as it also has gathering along the neckline to add volume.
And here are a few more from Karen’s wardrobe:
This pink top is from Next, and I love the key-hole detail on the back of this as this is a nice way to show some flesh.
And two classic Bardot tops from Mango; I really like the navy floral, chiffon fabric and vest straps which would make this easy to dress up.
Maureen spotted these ruffles and overlays in Marks and Spencer and thought they would be perfect for us. (I definitely agree!)
Julie found this striking Bardot top in Debenhams, and shows how versatile they are as they can also be worn on the shoulder (when you’re feeling less risqué!) which creates even more frills!
FFUK Trustee Sue has been shopping for a ‘wedding in the woods’ in June. The dilemma of what to wear was solved by a trip to Monsoon (and a sale on). Sue says, “I’m loving these and won’t be bothering with bra or foobs.”
I love this jumpsuit!
I love how Sue uses a bold skirt, and statement necklace (+/- a belt) with a plain black top to flatter her flat chest.
Sharon bought this beautiful dress for £15 from Apricot in Beales. Sharon says, “I bought it 5 weeks ago pre 2nd mastectomy, so was unsure how it would look. Wish I’d bought more now!”
I like how you can cinch your waist in with a belt to create an hourglass figure, or go For the floaty option to accentuate the movement of a light fabric.
Next up is Flat Friend sea swimmer Alison. Alison says, “My inner mermaid is back! I have a new swimsuit from Brave Ladies. A small independent company set up by someone who couldn’t find any swimwear that she liked after surgery for breast cancer.”
And here is Caroline in a swimsuit from Debenhams. Caroline says, “I bought this last year from Debenhams when I was a uniboober, but not used it yet. Hospital put pockets in for me but rather than order another knitted aqua knocker now that I’m flat, I took the shower crunchie stuff out, cut it in half and put it in the pockets as it was.”
Brilliant idea, and I love the patterned bodice.
Caroline bought this top (£16) and dress (£18) from Tesco, which go to show that whether you go for plain or patterned, Bardot frills look great on us!
Georgina is wearing this moulded bikini from Next with a ‘softy’ breast form on her flat side, and says that the bikini top holds up without straps.
Claire solved the problem of finding a bra to wear under her v-neck purple dress. “This M&S bra is a normal bralet with my softie sewn in – all mastectomy bras were far too big and didn’t go low enough.”
Karen found bargain Bardot tops in Peacock, available in lots of colours and only £8 each! 48 hours post-mastectomy, and Jane looks amazing in her ‘first public outfit’ flat. This White Stuff top shows how to decorate your chest with patterns and pin tuck pleats.
As the sales begin, there are lots of frill and ruffle tops about which are perfect for us. I have bought these two tops from River Island. The beige one has ruffles down either side which add width and movement. I absolutely love my new gingham top as it has no darts and skims away from the chest almost in an A-line style to a ruffle around the tummy area.
Spotted in M&Co: pleated and gathered necklines, and Bardot frills, which all add volume across the chest. Plus a lovely top with a pretty design across the bib which adds decoration to a flat chest. Brenda is wearing a clever butterfly print v-neck top with a pleat at the base of the neckline which adds gentle volume across the bust from Asda; and a bold, ruffled tunic dress From Simply Be. Here is Charlie just two weeks post-op, showing effortless style with double breast pocket denim jacket and bold scarf, and looking amazing!
Next up, some holiday snaps! Firstly from Amanda.
I love shirred Maxi dresses, especially this rainbow coloured sunflower one.
Here is Penny in a Nicola Jane swimsuit with a Knitted Knocker on her flat side.Karen says, “I’m loving this jumpsuit from Primark and dress from Select. As a uniboober I’m always a little bit conscious about my flat side, but the frills work really well”.
We are in the middle of Wedding Season, so here are two ideas whether you are mother of the groom or wedding guest:
Debbie was Mother of the Groom and chose this stretchy lace dress from M&S. Debbie chose to swap the navy lining for a skin tone one. I love how the dress picks out Debbie’s gorgeous hair colour, and the use of a contrasting shrug to add width and shape across the shoulders.
Viv paired bold trousers with floaty floral top for a wedding she went to last week. Perfect for embracing your flat chest, and adding interest to draw the eye around your whole outfit.
To be continued…