For the last 4 years I have been in the unique position of finding a bathing suit that works with my reconstructed breasts. Several things become an issue once you have a mastectomy with reconstruction. Along with the normal crisis that confronts all of us who look for a new bathing suit we have added issues. First of all I have scars that run horizontally across my breasts. They are long enough that I have to make sure the tops cover the scars. If you lost your nipples in the surgery there is a lack of tissue on the front of your breast which affects fit and makes you look like you are wearing a bra or suit that is too big. The other issue I have is that my breasts are still in need of a touch up surgery to fix the divots at the top. One we all share is the fact that, unlike a breast augmentation, we have breast implants covered by only skin and muscle which leads to a ripple look on occasion. Enough!
In the last four years I have found what works but there is such a lack of information out there I thought I would write it all down with examples.
First in either a bra or a suit you need padding--not for size but to cover the ripples. A molded bikini top or bra is a must. Those pretty lacy bras are a thing of the past until someone gets that those of us without nipples would love to wear them and makes a line for those without nipples. You would be amazed at how much room those take up--or maybe you wouldn't if you are reading this far.
The other thing you need is a large enough cup so that the scars don't show. I don't need support anymore but I do need coverage and for me the idea of a mastectomy suit is depressing. I think they are great when you need to wear a form but they tend to be tops with too much coverage. And I don't need a pocket so I don't, necessarily, want one.
So start with the best…Sunsets this one-
I have in three colors. It is supportive enough to wear without the strap has loads of matching bottoms and there are several other styles of tops that might work also but I have yet to try them.
Lands End has great suits. There are some made for the more modest crew and some for the not so modest. For me, the pale Celtic mutt that I am, I wear a bikini top with a rash guard all the time in the summer. The gift of Landsend.com is that they manage to make bathing suits with more coverage but they don't look matronly.
This rash guard is what I want this summer Click here for cute!Love the stripes!
bought this one last year. They are also not skin tight.Breton stripe rash guard
This fits more like a Land's End t shirt
this one goes longer or shorter with the side ties polka dot rash guard
also rated by the Skin Cancer Foundation
my favorite one piece. It comes in a long torso and it is flattering to my inconsistencies up above. Grecian suit
This is the one mastectomy suit I bought from them. Usually one pieces and tankinis don't go on vacations since I wear rash guards so much but they are great at home.All Lands end mastectomy suits
This I tried on today and it fits great. Last summer I would have snatched it up right away but this year I have lost weight and want to show it more. If you are not feeling great about your midsection this is terrific. I may still go back and get it.
This is totally cute but not for those over a c possibly d cup it is simply too short from the top to the bottom of the main coverage area.Luxe by Lisa Vogal at swim spot
There are also several other options for suits.
-- These are made by a previvor and while their one pieces are cute they run too short in the torso, I am 5'10" tall so that is a factor for me.
-- This company has cute suits and their one pieces and tankinis have pockets but they really look adorable. Haven't tried them yet but I have my eyes on a few.
Several of the mastectomy bra companies have swimsuits such as Amoena
which are nice. Haven't tried any though.
I have liked bathing suits from various bra companies in the past but now with the lack of nipple thing I can't wear them unless they have a molded cup.
Will do a coverup piece in the future with more rash guards I promise!