Wearing White after Labor Day?

Does one wear white after Labor Day?  If you have had breast cancer and are dealing with post-surgery dressing, the color of the garment is most likely the least of your worries while looking for transitional clothing tips or higher necklines.

After I had my double mastectomy for Triple Negative Inflammatory Breast Cancer, I was just so happy to be alive that I didn’t think about clothes. However, reality hit fast that I would have to go out in public; and as common as it is to see PJ’s on shoppers in Wal-Mart, this Texas girl would not be following that fashion trend! 

Since I couldn’t have (and didn’t want) reconstruction right away, I had to figure out how to dress with my new look.  Personally I preferred to dress breast-free, but it was harder that I thought.  Clothes are designed to have breasts in them, just as simple as that.  My chest was healing, but my body just couldn’t bear the weight or pressure of prosthesis.  I want to share some of the ways I deal with dressing without breaking the bank on special clothes. 

Gap dressing – Need a little help post-surgery?   We all have one: those tiered skirts with elastic waist bands. Just pull it up like a strapless dress.  I wore a cotton camisole as a base giving some place for the skirt to grip. The flat of the first layer works well across the chest and the free waist can hide drains while you heal. If the waist band has a draw string, it might double as a V-necked tie.  If you would like a slimmer look, just use a slimmer skirt.  My only word of caution is to use a skirt that is not heavy.  Top it with a scarf or shrug, and you have something comfortable for that transition time.

Necklines – Sometimes we just want a little privacy, and necklines can be difficult.  Seems the higher the neckline, the more fitted the top.  That can be a difficult combination especially if you are healing or have Lymphedema.  If Lymphedema (LE) is giving you different size arms, that only adds to fashion woes. Cowl neckline tops are great.  Often they are sleeveless, which personally I need because my arms are different sizes.   I just pinch the neckline at the center, pull towards one shoulder, and pin.  The draping can look very cute, and I have a neckline I can live with. Pins with magnet backs are great and don’t damage clothes.  This is not the best picture for this example, but I love this picture.  Yes, that is Ricky Skaggs.  The nicest man you will ever meet.    

These are just a couple of easy tips. I hope they help you.  What is my favorite dressing tip for women who experience breast cancer? A great smile of course!  Your smile and the look of what you have experienced give you a beauty that is rich and deep. 

Terry Arnold


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