Bra Shopping Part I

August 21, 2018

In a way, I’ve been looking forward to going bra shopping since I had my surgery. I had asked my surgeon to do a significant reduction in my breast size, so none of my old bras were supposed to fit anymore. It was a rude awakening to find out that I wasn’t the size I wanted to be when I woke up from surgery.

After surgery, I came home with a couple of Masthead surgical bras with Velcro straps and front closures. They were pretty comfortable. After a while the Velcro straps getting caught on all of my shirts was getting pretty annoying, so I also ordered what they called a recovery bra. I hated this bra. It has 7 hooks in the front. What the hell were they thinking? They were hard to close and keep closed when I was still putting gauze on my incisions.

I went to the mall in search of sports bras the day I had my drain removed during my post-op follow-up. I made the mistake of starting at Victoria’s Secret. Mistake because (a) I wasn’t supposed to be wearing a bra with an underwire, and (b) their idea of measuring is different from everyone else, and (c) I was still pretty swollen, so whatever size they thought I’d be was supposed to change anyway. As I wrote before, when they told me I was still a “D” cup, I almost cried in the store. I bought a few of their sports bras and ended up looking for something else soon after because the sports bras from VS were just too tight, which made them too hot, which made them uncomfortable. I ended up scrapping them pretty quickly and going back to the Masthead bras til I could find something comfortable and supportive.

There were a couple of bras that I had before that fit decently enough and I pulled them back out of the donation pile. I wore them sparingly in the past couple of months because they’re underwire bras. The area on the sides of my breasts under my arms is still sensitive to pressure, and with radiation, that skin is also more tender and susceptible to injury, so I needed something that won’t pinch.

Eventually, I found some simple sports bras from Jockey that fit, didn’t hurt and zipped up the front because I couldn’t (and wasn’t supposed to) pull my arms behind my back for about 6 weeks after surgery. I’d made up my mind when I bought them that they would be temporary, and that when I finished radiation, I’d go get some new “real” bras.

This week I happened into Kohl’s to look at towels. As I was heading toward the front of the store, I was passing the bra section and thought I’d take a look around. There are a lot of new styles that don’t include underwires. Woohoo! Realizing that I am just past 3 months post-op, I decided to take a look around.

Warner’s was one of my favorite brands before my surgery. I bought a couple of new ones right around a year ago. They always felt good, had nice styles and fit decently for how I was built. They are also one of the few brands that have come out with a line of bras without underwires. I found a couple of styles and went to the dressing room to try them on. Apparently bras and how they fit has changes significantly in the last year. Once in the dressing room, I found I could barely clip the first set of hooks, and not one of them fit in the cups at all. I was more disappointed than anything because this now means that bra shopping is going to take a lot of time and work to find something that fits and feels good. It also means I’m going to have to go somewhere like Nordstrom’s that has a dedicated fitting person who can help me figure out what size and style are going to work best for me. Why not just get Jockey bras? Because they have a completely different and custom system from everyone else. The last thing I want is to have to buy special bras from a special place every time I need to replace one.

I’ve still got a month from the end of radiation to wear the Jockey sports bras because I’ll need to continue putting the burn cream on where I got radiation. So there’s plenty of time to go look for bras. By then I should have some of my energy back, too.

About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
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