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Helpful Tips for Post-Mastectomy Customers

First thank you for coming to About the Girl. Having been frustrated by the bolster holders on offer to me after my mastectomy in 2015, I have been on a mission to find fantastic, well structured bikinis that work with a prosthetic boob. So here is About the Girl. We stock some products from the specific post-mastectomy brands like Amonea and Royce, that already have pockets fitted. But in addition I have found other non-mastectomy, (“normal’ for want of a better word), brands that I know will work well, with a little alteration, with a prosthetic boob.

I found the Australian brand Seafolly to be the best. Their ranges are incredible, bright colours, great fit, well structured and so many styles to choose from. Some of their bikinis could even be worn without prosthetic if you didn’t want to, or perhaps if you have neuropathy and its more comfortable not to have a prosthetic. Seafolly have given About the Girl permission to sew pockets into their bikinis to fit post mastectomy ladies, so I am so excited to be bringing these ranges to you.

So in this guide I want to help you to choose the right bikini, or swimsuit, for you. About the Girl stock bikinis that work for both non-mastectomy ladies and those that have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy. I often choose styles that will work for both sets of customers. At the end of the guide, I have given a list of the most common Seafolly styles and describe how they work with a prosthetic boob. Obviously each of us is individual and I’m more than happy for you to try on several bikinis and send back the ones that don’t quite work. Also having had a mastectomy myself, I often try things on for customers and report back on the fit to help!

So with this guide:

  1. Choose the style you like on the website.
  2. Check whether factory pockets are already fitted, or you need to ask for ATG pockets to be fitted. Remember to check the correct box in the pocket box when choosing the bikini. See below for description of the different types of pockets.
  3. Choose your size beanie (see beanie guide).

Pockets are divided into two main types;

Factory Fitted (FF) Just as it says on the tin, these are manufactured with pockets
ATG Fitted (ATG) Pockets are carefully sewn in by us. We try to ensure that the pockets are colour matched to the top of the garment to disguise any possible pocket showing when its being worn. And all stitching is hidden. Pockets are sewn into both sides…so you can feel confident even when its hung on the washing line to dry…no one will notice the pocket!

And then there are different shapes of pockets;

Factory Fitted Side Triangle FF Side Triangle These are pockets that have been included by the manufacturer but not necessarily for post surgery wear. So the pockets are usually slightly less deep and with smaller openings (these can often be cut open a bit). These pockets are great for those of us with a smallish cup size A & B (although I’m a C and I find they work but I usually buy a band size bigger to give more room) and work best with our swim beanies.
Factory Fitted Full Cup FF Full Cup Fully manufactured pockets that fit into a full cup garment. A generous style of pocket that fits most prosthesis and usually has good support with a back clasp fastening
Factory Fitted Full Cup with Under Band FF Full Cup with Under Band Factory fitted pockets that fit the entirety of the cup but less defined cup than the FF Full Cup. Cups are supported by an elasticated under band and this style is usually found in swimwear and vest tops . Again a generous pocket style that fits most prosthesis.
ATG U Shape Envelope ATG U Shape Envelope Our own design of pocket that fits our beanies. These pockets are fitted by us and allow you to slot in the appropriate size beanie into the envelope opening and the garment moulds around the beanie. Suitable for A-C cup swimwear (and possibly D if purchased in a band size one size bigger than your usual size). When the beanie is inserted in the pocket it may seem like it will never work as the beanie is sticking out the back of the cup, but give it a try as the swimwear will mould around it when it is on the body. Pocket is only suitable for beanies.
ATG Side Triangle A side triangle shaped pocket that is added by our lovely sewing ladies. Probably only deep enough for A & B cups (or C in a larger band size) Suitable for beanies but unlikely to work for other prosthesis.
Seafolly Bandeau – a classic Seafolly shape. Brilliant for post-mastectomy ladies, gripper tape keeps it secure and the soft cups could be useful if you do not want to wear a prosthesis. This would fit a ATG U shape envelope pocket.
This one shoulder style is absolutely stunning. It already has a FF full cup with underband that fits a beanie or prosthesis. If you go for this style you would still need to check the pocket box, to say NO pocket as FF pocket.
Seafolly Twist Soft Cup Halter – stunning, flattering shape for all bust sizes. It can be quite plunging and so you have to ensure the straps are securely fastened to avoid gaping. Lovely soft cups for extra support and the straps are wide and soft for comfort. This would fit the ATG full pocket envelope.
Seafolly Bandeau Bustier – this is probably the best shape for anyone that has lost a boob. I have even worn it without a prosthetic inside, and no one could tell. Fantastic bikini. This would have an ATG U shape envelope pocket.
Seafolly Soft Cup Halter – this is similar to the Twist Soft Cup Halter. A stunning shape with lovely soft straps to tie round neck and back. We would remove the additional padding if adding pockets. This would be an ATG full envelope pocket.
Seafolly DD Cup Bustier – soft cups for shape and support, boning under the bust, however the boning is flat shaped and so offers greater comfort that standard boning. Straps offer good support. This would be an ATG full cup envelope pocket.
Seafolly Bandeau Bustier – same as the earlier bandeau, and thus amazing for post-mastectomy ladies. Could be worn without a prosthetic boob as so well structured. Well structured cups and gripper tape to keep in place. This would have an ATG U shape envelope pocket.
Seafolly Quilted Bralette – this will work for some post-mastectomy ladies but will depend individually on scarring and how the lower cut would work for you. This would have an ATG full cup envelope pocket.
Seafolly wrap front booster – this has underwiring but again softer wiring is used than standard wiring. It also has an additional wrap front section that could wrap tighter for a more secure fit and less plunge. It would have an ATG full cup envelope pocket.
Florina swimsuit – this is an example of a specialist mastectomy swimsuit with FF pockets already inserted.
Seafolly Maillot – typical Seafolly swimsuit that already has moulded cups that you would attach an ATG U shape envelope pocket.