This is a question we hear a lot at Clover Lewis Swimwear! Some women quite rightly point out that adding two extra pockets to support breast forms shouldn't make a mastectomy bathing costume costlier than standard high street swimwear.
However, this overlooks the sheer amount of craft, design, time (and in our case love!) which goes into making truly comfortable, confidence-boosting swimwear for women of all shapes, sizes and experiences who have undergone breast surgery.
We receive many, many emails from women looking for the perfect post surgery swimsuit or bikini to suit their new bodies and personal taste after breast surgery. And being an independent brand, we listen to these comment, compliments or complaints.
Many of the stories we read feature common complaints and problems including:
Too high-cut suits which chafe under the arms
Long, unsupportive straps which expose tender scars to the sun's UV rays
High necklines which felt unflattering and frumpy
And that’s just for starters. Unflattering prints, ageing designs...the list of issues, niggles and hurdles is a long one. Everybody is different, so customer’s needs vary very widely. That’s why our swimsuits feature supportive, completely adjustable straps for bodies, treatment scars and styles of all types.
There are services out there which offer to sew breast form pockets into regular swimwear. This is a good temporary, low-cost fix, but once wet, these adapted swimsuits are likely to sag and lose symmetry.
This is a common complaint we read about everywhere. is that their breast forms (prothesis) sag and move around in this customised swimwear, especially when wet. So when Clover designs our mastectomy swimwear, she intentionally developed extra support for prosthetics in the cup area, and has been designed to achieve perfect symmetry - even when wet. Some of our customers have written to tell us that they even go wild swimming in our bathing suits! Clover Lewis herself puts each design through its paces by scuba diving in every new look.
Many of the stories we read, forums we are in and emails we open feature complaints about straps and necklines. From high-cut suits which chafe under the arms, to long, unsupportive straps which expose tender scars to the risk of sunburn, high necklines which some find unflattering. In response to this, we have designed swimsuits with supportive, adjustable straps for women to perfecti the fit for different women's body shapes.
With all this in mind, it's not surprising that well designed, high-quality mastectomy swimwear costs a bit more than an average high street swimsuit. However, if you pop into leading department stores, such as Fenwicks or John Lewis, you'll see that many quality swimwear brands including Seafolly or Ted Baker are a similarly price to our own gorgeous, designed mastectomy swimwear.
Do you have any questions about mastectomy swimwear you'd like us to answer?
Leave a question for Clover and the team below, or contact us directly with your query.
Clover, Creator of Clover Lewis Swimwear
Clover started designing mastectomy swimsuits and bikinis after struggling to find a stylish, beautiful post-surgery bikini to wear on her first holiday after a breast cancer diagnosis. The holiday? A trip to Bali to overcome her fears by learning how to scuba-dive.
She made her first mastectomy bikini, got her PADI diving certificate wearing it, at that moment personally realised the connections between body image, clothing confidence for women with breast cancer.
So despite the expectation to carry on with “life as normal” after cancer, this experience had a profound effect on Clover. It became the fuel for her mission creating beautiful swimwear for women to feel good about their bodies so they can swim again.
Through Clover Lewis Swimwear, Clover helps women feel body confident… and feel like they belong on a beach.