how to properly wear a bathing suit after mastectomy

How Do You Wear A Swimsuit After Mastectomy?

How should my mastectomy swimsuit fit?

A mastectomy swimsuit has different fit requirements than a regular swimsuit, it caters more to amputated bosoms.

A perfectly fit one shouldn’t just be flattering to the eyes but comfortable on the skin too. A well-tailored mastectomy swimsuit should be neither too baggy nor too snug. 

how should a mastectomy bathing suit fit
Who I Was Before Painting, Vicki DesJardins

If the swimsuit is too tight and body-hugging, it will constantly move up and pucker while you are doing water sports, it may also hurt the operated area.

If the swimsuit is too loose, it will not be able to hold the swim forms in place. Even if you choose to go flat, an excessively slouchy-fit one will feel clumsy and uneasy and make your figure look irregular. 

A mastectomy swimsuit with a good fit is a blend of tight and loose and feels super natural on a post-mastectomy body – both outside and inside.

It accentuates your physical features while seamlessly hiding scar marks and cuts. Most importantly, you feel comfortable in them.

Wearing swimsuits with a single mastectomy

Just like mastectomy bras, the options for swimsuits are somewhat limited too. You need to learn to improvise.

what is mastectomy swimsuit

Here’s how you should pick the correct swimsuits for your body and how you can style them;

The correct fit

Choose a swimsuit whose fit feels comfortable on your natural breast.

This will help you identify the most accurate size of swim form you need to pair it up with.

As a result, your bust area will not only look symmetrical but there will also be far fewer chances of your breast form or swimsuit riding up.

The right style

If you are those with single mastectomies that go with prostheses, one-piece swimsuits are a better option.

Not only do they come with sewn-in breast pockets for easy insertion of swim forms, one-piece swimsuits also offer better coverage, a more secure fit, and a comfortable experience. 

Related: How Should A One-Piece Swimsuit Fit >

The best prints

For women with single mastectomies, it’s necessary to go for the kind of swimsuit prints that establish a sense of uniformity across their bodies.

Prints like polka dots, geometric patterns, and horizontal and vertical stripes come in handy. 

Consider: A polka-dotted, one-piece mastectomy swimsuit in a dark shade paired with a scarf and minimal jewelry pieces. 

Wearing bathing suits with a double mastectomy

how to wear bathing suits with double mastectomy

After a double mastectomy, it’s either permanent breast reconstruction or temporary fixes like prostheses.

Here’s how you can pick and style swimwear with a double mastectomy, with or without breast reconstruction;

With reconstruction

The correct fit:

Choose a swimsuit that offers a light, baggy fit.

Do not go for swimwear that pins your skin. It will prolong the healing process and may even damage the new tissues.

Alternatively, you can also wear soft swim bras to ensure maximum comfort while swimming.

The right style

After reconstruction, you are free to flaunt any swimwear style.

However, if coverage is your concern, choose tankinis over one-piece swimsuits.

They seamlessly conceal scars and stitch marks while fitting your top half like a breeze. 

The best prints

Since the swimsuit will be more on the slouchy-fit side, choose big, bold prints and colors to complement that.

You can pick floral motifs, graphic patterns, animal prints, and tie-die designs. 

Consider: A zebra-printed tankini top with solid black bottoms paired with headgear and seashell jewelry.

Without reconstruction

how should a mastectomy swimsuit fit

The correct fit

Pick a one-piece swimsuit that flatters your artificial prostheses.

It should neither be too loose nor too snug. On the other hand, if you decide to go flat, wear any swimwear that makes you feel cozy and confident.

Your only concern should be picking the most comfortable bra to pair it with.

The right style

Whether you use prostheses or not, go for a one-piece swimsuit with breast pockets and high armhole and neckline cuts after a double mastectomy.

It not only ensures the inserts stay put but also offers modest coverage and sun protection.  

The best prints

A number of prints can help you make a statement in your new body (both with and without prostheses) after a double mastectomy, like paisley prints, abstract patterns, tropical designs, etc. 

Consider: A paisley printed one-piece swimsuit in a pastel hue paired with sunglasses and a sarong.

How to keep mastectomy swimsuits stay in place?

how much does mastectomy swimsuits cost

To prevent your mastectomy swimsuit from slipping or riding up while swimming, here are a few tips;

Go for one-piece styles

As they singularly stretch across the body, one-piece mastectomy swimsuits are much more secure than two-piece styles like bikinis and tankinis.

They also have high necklines and compact armholes, these features lend appropriate coverage and prevent the outfit from riding up.

Get the fitting right

Both extra tight and extra loose fittings pose the risk of the swimwear riding up.

So, after you’ve bought a swimsuit of your size, get it custom fit for additional safety, focus on landing the exact bust measurement.

Look for adjustable straps

If you want to ditch the hassle of getting your swimsuit tailor-fit, look for one with adjustable straps.

They allow you to adjust the bust size as per your choice, whether you use swim forms or choose to go natural.

Swimsuit tapes help 

Swimsuit tape gently pastes the swimwear fabric to your skin and enhances its grip.

If you’re not confident about the size of your swimsuit and are worried about your prostheses dislodging, stick a strip of the tape to your under-bust, and you’re done.

Use bikini glue for extra support

Bikini glue is a skin-friendly and non-toxic adhesive that is often used to hold swimwear in place, especially two-piece ones.

If you want to sport a bikini after a mastectomy, use bikini glue to secure your top and bottom from slipping away.

Luna Wilde covers the latest swimwear collections, designer collabs, tutorials and industry innovations. She brings over 5 years of digital journalism experience to crafting clever, conversational content about all swimwear-involved things.

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