Mastectomy swimwear is a demand we are sadly having on a more and more frequent basis from a younger and younger customer. After the terrifying trauma of breast cancer, treatment and surgery, women are then left with very limited choices in swimwear particularly if they have not had re-construction surgery.
(If you have had breast re-construction surgery and are looking for swimwear recommendations, you may find this article ‘Choosing Post-Mastectomy Swimwear‘ helpful.)
There seems to be very few stylish Mastectomy bikinis on the market that are able to accommodate prosthesis. The mastectomy swimwear that does exist often seems to compromise style for function. One of the comments we get most from customers in need of mastectomy swimwear is “I just want to feel normal and don’t want to be shopping from limited specialist ranges”. In most cases the rest of body is completely unchanged by the surgery so why shouldn’t they have access to all the mix-and-match collections that everyone else has?
We are determined to put this right and are working with our suppliers to achieve this. We have also teamed up some friends who have had mastectomy surgery and have also really struggled to find fashionable mastectomy swimwear. Together, we have been on a mission to identify styles from our normal bikini ranges, that with the addition of a sewn in pocket for the breast prosthesis, can work really well as mastectomy swimwear. Hopefully their stories will bring huge inspiration to lots of women in the same predicament. If you are looking for help please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 5263070. We will hopefully be able to put forward some suggestions as to what will be suitable for you.
The struggles of finding fashionable mastectomy swimwear: Kate’s Story
“I have just returned from a glorious beach holiday and I can honestly say that, thanks to Coco Bay swimwear, I had a far happier experience than previous holidays. This was due to feeling not only great but confident, secure and in fashion thanks to their bikinis.
Since I had my mastectomy and after a failed reconstruction 6 years ago, (meaning I now use a breast prosthesis), I have had an ongoing struggle to find suitable swimwear that is on trend whilst making me feel safe with good coverage and flattering the natural body shape …..all this without sacrificing style.
Thanks to the wonderful team at Coco Bay, they have given me the opportunity to try on a broad selection of bikini tops that haven’t been specially designed for mastectomy, but can have a pocket sewn in. These are easy to buy through mastectomy websites and you can sew them in or like myself take them to a seamstress who does a better job than I can do!
Coco Bay were able to advise me on what styles they thought would be suitable for my situation. From there we worked together and their knowledge and time was invaluable.
The main criteria for me is for the swimwear to give me confidence. The feeling of safety with enough support for the prosthetic which enables me to have a care free beach life… not an easy task but Coco Bay have been amazing and, with their support, this was achieved.
I hope that this will help other women facing the same hurdles and ease the stress and frustration surrounding finding beautiful swimwear.”
Kate’s Mastectomy Bikini Choices:
1. Seafolly Bandeu Bikini
This Seafolly Bandeau style was Kate’s favourite as the shape and support work perfectly as a mastectomy bikini top due to its versatility. This is a non-mastectomy top but the straps are convertible so can criss cross at the front to cover the cleavage area if required. Kate found this bandeau incredibly versatile for working with beach life. She could move the straps to suit whatever she was doing – swimming, boating or just lazing about in the sun. The pocket can easily be sown in and there is enough room and support for the prosthetic. This style comes in all our Seafolly plains and has numerous pant choices.
2. Seafolly One Shoulder Bikini
This beautiful on trend Seafolly Shine On One Shoulder Bikini worked perfectly for Kate as a mastectomy bikini. The asymmetric straps offer good coverage and the cups support well. A pocket can easily be sewn in and has plenty of room for a prosthetic breast. This One Shoulder bikini top also comes in ‘Eden’ Blue.
3. Moontide Bandeau Bikini
Kate’s third choice was this Moontide Bandeau bikini style. This supportive bandeau bikini was wide enough to offer good coverage and room for the prosthetic. Whilst this bikini supported well and looked amazing, Kate felt this was slightly less secure than the others. (She could swim in it with it tightly done up and it stayed in place but needed to hold on a bit when climbing onto the pontoon!)
Finding Swimwear after a Single Mastectomy – Antonia’s Story
“We decided, as a family, to have a dreamy holiday to Dubai to celebrate the end of a very difficult year of cancer treatment which included chemo, mastectomy and radiotherapy.
Having had a single mastectomy I was really worried about how I was going to look in a swimsuit by the pool. In fact, all I wanted to do was buy a gorgeous bikini and get a brown tummy! I scrolled through mastectomy swimwear websites and felt depressed at the styles/patterns and shapes. It all seemed so frumpy and definitely not glamorous. I contacted Coco Bay because I had always dreamed of their swimwear anyway as it is all so gorgeous but I really was worried because I didn’t think I would be able to wear any of their bikini styles. How wrong I was. Coco Bay were so kind, helpful and reassuring. Together we looked at different styles to see what would work, giving me enough coverage over my scar area but also enough support for my existing breast (being an F cup!). It was like a dream, Coco Bay suggested I tried the Seafolly bikini and get a sew-in pocket, which even I (not a good sewer!) was able to sew in, with ease. I then put the prothesis in the pocket.
I tried it on – and it WORKED! I felt normal, I felt glamorous and above all, I felt like I could sit by that pool and not feel like a cancer patient. I have so much to thank Coco Bay for, for giving me the confidence to be back in swimwear.”
Antonia’s Mastectomy Choice:
This Seafolly Bandeau style was also a winner for Antonia. The bikini itself offered enough support for her existing F Cup breast and the sew-in pocket fitted in perfectly for her prosthetic. The bikini gave enough coverage over the scar area and Antonia found that wearing the straps criss-crossed balanced the cleavage area. This style comes in all our Seafolly plains and has numerous pant choices.
Mastectomy Bikinis, More Choices:
Based on these choices and our incredibly helpful feedback from Antonia and Kate, we have put together below a choice of bikinis from our regular non-mastectomy bikini collections that are suitable for women who have had a mastectomy but not had re-construction. These do not have pockets but can be easily converted with a quick insertion of a prosthesis pocket.
If you have had a re-construction, we have some advice on finding post surgery swimwear here.
We do realise that everyone has different requirements so please do contact us for help on email@example.com or on 0207 5263070.