As a breast cancer survivor, you deserve to live your best life — unrestricted. With the warmth of summer just around the corner, going to the swimming pool or beach is a great way to spend a day. A mastectomy should not hold you back. For many survivors, the idea of wearing a swimming suit seems gut-wrenching, but there are things you can do to look great and, most importantly, feel great in your swimsuit post-mastectomy.
Set Aside the Psychological Element
Wearing a swimsuit after a mastectomy is more of a psychological feat than anything. In the back of your mind, you're worried about how other people will view you. If you can get past this mental block, you'll be fine.
Think back to the moment you found out you were cancer-free or when you vowed to live life to the fullest going forward. Tap into that inspiration and remember that you look just as great as you feel on the inside.
Favor Style, Not Trends
A woman looks and feels her best when she focuses on style instead of trends. When it comes to fashion, always remember that every trend or fad is not for every person. When you try to put yourself in a box simply because you want to stay trendy, you're more likely to feel uncomfortable. Look for swimming selections that match your style and personality perfectly.
Tap Into Your Tailoring Skills
Don't be afraid to make alterations to your bathing suit. While there are mastectomy swimming suits, you don't necessarily have to choose one of these options. You can select a standard style, remove the cups already inside, and place a pair of prosthesis inside the suit. Just make sure they're silicone. Silicone can withstand exposure to the sun, salt water, and pool water without damage; just make sure you wash them after each swim.
Focus on High Cut Tops
Try to look for swimming suits that have high cut tops. Every woman heals differently post-mastectomy, and if your scars have not healed to a point at which you're comfortable, a high cut top can mask any insecurities you have. Swimsuits with high cut tops typically have a higher neckline and rest higher under the underarm than traditional styles, which will conceal any scaring you may still have.
Rely on Adjustable Straps
If you had a lumpectomy performed, look for a bathing suit that has adjustable straps. Adjustable straps give you greater control and will add more symmetry to the appearance of your breast.
Although a custom-fit prosthesis is designed to mimic the shape and size of your natural breast perfectly, the tight fit of swimming suits is unforgiving and make even the slightest difference noticeable. Adjustable straps give you the option of controlling how snugly or loosely the suit fits to mask any differences.
Learn How to Control the Eyes
In fashion, you have the power to control where people focus their attention, so keep this in mind when swimsuit shopping. Look for suits that accentuate the lower half of your body.
Take a tankini with a plain black top and bottom designed with geometric shapes in bright colors, for instance. The busy pattern of the bottom of the suit will naturally draw the eyes and deter people from looking at your top, which might make you feel more comfortable.
Looking and feeling great in your swimsuit is all about comfort and a little trial and error. Take your time to try on different style options until you find something you like. At The Next Step, we're happy to help you along on this journey. Stop by our shop or visit our website to view our vast array of post-mastectomy products.