Teen bras

Working in a school full-time I see young girls of all ages, shapes and sizes. A quick search on the Internet will also tell anyone who wants to know, that young girls are very much affected by the size, shape and development (or not) of their breasts. And as many parents of these young girls do not know how to help them with deciding when to start wearing a bra or how to select an appropriate size and style to ensure health and comfort, they may go through life wearing inappropriate or even unhealthy (for their body) styles or sizes of bra!

Any incidents at this age can affect a young woman for the rest of her life. I have spoken to ladies who have been profoundly affected by comments overheard at the age of 12, who to this day are still living with the memory of how those comment affected them! Such comments can so adversely affect a young woman that her self-esteem can be totally destroyed for life!
It is so important for young women to know that their body is normal and totally unique to them. It doesn’t matter that their friend may be “body beautiful”‘ they too have their own beauty!




Get your bras VAT-free*

This was first posted over on my personal blog but I think it would be useful for readers of my bralady blog too!

I’ve been living with the diagnosis of breast cancer since 30 October 2000. In that time I’ve seen a lot of hospitals and experts due to moving around the UK quite a bit.
Not once has anyone told me that as a patient who has had a lumpectomy (and this applies to mastectomy patients too) if I buy a bra specifically made for someone who needs a prosthesis (ie with a pocket or pockets) that I am entitled to have my purchase charged to me at a VAT-exempt rate under Group 12 of Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
Bearing in mind that it is now 11 years since I had my diagnosis and I only found out this important piece of information 6 months ago – that is a lot of extra VAT that I’ve been paying unnecessarily. I understand that health workers of all types (Drs, nurses etc) are busy people, but it doesn’t hurt to produce a leaflet of facts that apply to every patient and give it to them to read in their own time! I know it’s not just me, as a Bra Lady I fit other ladies who have had breast cancer and I haven’t come across anyone so far who has been aware of this fact!
At a time when money can become a precious commodity due to being unable to work – information such as this can be vital in helping ends meet. Not only that, but mastectomy bras are slightly more expensive due to the additional work involved in adding the pockets, so the VAT exemption brings them down to a comparable price-range. It is worth investing in mastectomy bras as they are a great deal more comfortable for ladies who have more sensitive skin following surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. I much prefer them even now as I still find I have sensitive skin even all these years later.
Ladies, make sure if you have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy that when you buy pocketed bras – you ask for them to be exempted under Group 12 of Section 8 of the VAT Act 1994 and sign the appropriate document to confirm your eligibility. If the vendor selling you the bra doesn’t know what you are talking about, do what I’d do – educate and then shop elsewhere.


Items to take into hospital with you… (via Julie Short)

Seeing as it is breast cancer awareness month (and if you tweet, look out for this hashtag #bcam), I thought that a blog about what to take into hospital may be of use.

This is one from my personal blog about my cancer and reconstruction.


This is as much a reminder for me as it is a list for you, the reader. I find that my memory doesn’t seem to want to work so well sometimes (I could say it’s chemo-brain, but I think it’s too long since I had it, to get away with that!).

Let’s see what I can come up with

1. Paperwork – you’ll need the consent form (if they send it in advance), complete with all your allergies, previous medical treatments, doctors details and your other key information. If they didn’t send the form in advance, make sure to take all this information with you.

2. Change of clothes – this time I’m going in as a day patient, but I’m still intending on taking a change of clothes in case I’m kept in overnight (heard that if the anaesthetic has a profound effect on me, this could be likely!). So that would be nightdress (not too tight over the upper torso, underwear, not my favourite bra (indelible ink does not come out of favourite bras!) and MAGIC PANTS for after the op. I’m also taking a bra extender (easy to find when you are a BraLady!) so that I can wear my bra a bit looser after my surgery for a while. I was told that if I needed a post-surgery bra, the hospital would provide one (which saves me taking one of my stock items and having to replace it).

3. Wash bag – whatever you like to take in yours, take! I’ll be taking the usual bathroom accessories, along with a towel.

4. Emergency Cash – last time I didn’t take much cash with me, not that there was a shop to spend it in. But if I’d had access to some funds I may have been tempted to try and get a taxi home. So it’s always useful to have access to some emergency funds.

5. Mobile phone – mine was so much a life saver! I was able to organise my escape, sorry – lift, from the hospital back to home. It also kept me occupied with writing my blog and playing brain train games.

And, the list recommended on the hospital website pretty much covers all that (see below):

  • Nightclothes
  • Dressing-gown
  • Slippers
  • Personal toiletries (including soap, toothbrush, face cloths, shampoo, comb, hair brush and talcum powder)
  • Bath and hand towel
  • Soft drinks (I’ll also be taking some individually wrapped “green tea” teabags)
  • Reading material
  • Tissues

Some “if appropriate” items:

  • Spectacles/personal aids
  • Denture pot and cleaner
  • Sanitary towels/tampons
  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Small amount of money for newspapers etc

As a footnote, I was handed some leaflets at my pre-op assessment which recommended a good scrubby-up bath and hairwash before you go in, to minimise the bugs that are taken in with you on your body. I’ll be taking that advice of course.

See you on the other side!


Bring out your bras!

What do you do when you change your undies?

If you are changing your underwear and buying new bras or new knickers, what will you do with your old ones?

Royce Sadie bra
Royce Sadie bra

Bras4All will take them off your hands and put them to good use, helping women in Africa and UK. They will use them to support two charitable enterprises:- HOTmilk, providing women in Africa with bras and knickers to offer them protection from sexual abuse; and BreastTalk, providing underwear for women who are homeless in the UK or unable to afford them in developing countries.

Further information on these campaigns can be found on the Bra Appeal page of the Bra Lady website.

Bra Lady in Scarborough & Ryedale, East and North Yorkshire is currently collecting undies to pass on to Bra Lady HQ for this appeal. Please contact her to arrange your donation!

Pre-assessment appointment (via Julie Short)

This is my latest blog about my reconstruction, feel free to read it here, or nip over to my personal blog.

Well today was my pre-assessment appointment. The first thing I did when arriving for my pre-assessment was to get lost in the hospital grounds! I ended up parking in one of the many car parks and phoning for directions. I was directed back to the car park by the entrance (I was at the rear of the site!). I also enquired how much time I should allow for the parking fee and was told that £1.50 should be sufficient (good! last time I spent over £5) … Read More

via Julie Short

Post-surgery ladies, what bra style do you wear?

I stopped wearing under-wired bras when I was given my diagnosis of breast cancer in 2000. Since then I have been wearing various different makes of soft cup bra or sports bra. Recently I started wearing a mastectomy bra with a pocket, much easier for wearing a prosthesis. I wondered what other ladies had decided to do, so created this poll. Please do complete it….

BraLady – we can rebuild her

This blog was recently posted over on my personal blog at Julie Short, I thought you might want a bit more of an insight into why I am a BraLady.

I’ve been updating you off and on about how lipofilling is done and what it is like to be on the receiving end.

I am due to go through the procedure again on 4 July 2011, so will need to review what I’ve already been through and determine what extra information I think I will be needing from my pre-op visit on 29 June – which is not that far off now!

I already think I need to check about the state the transferred fat takes on over time. I’m finding that it feels hardened from time to time and I need to warm my breast with my hands and massage the breast to get some suppleness back into the fat. Associated with this, it feels lumpy sometimes as well, which could be due to the ‘hardening’ effect.

Shape-wise the breast looks good still, with just a little of the original dimpling on the scar (which is on the uppermost part of my breast) returning. Again, I hope that the second operation will sort this out for me. I still need a lot more volume in the breast to get it to balance with my left one though.

At one point I was getting a sharp ‘pricking’ sensation as if a sharp implement was being pushed into the breast – that has passed now, but I think it’s worth mentioning (if I remember – my mind still goes blank when I walk into a hospital!)

If anyone reading this has had similar experiences that they would like to share, I’d love to hear them. Maybe we could write the information manual for those yet to recieve lipofilling?

Happy ladies with their new bras

This week I have had the most fantastic feedback from two of my ladies in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

One lady received two new bras on Friday and has worn both of them over the weekend and is looking forward to buying some more in the near future. She found them so comfortable.

My other lady contacted me to let me know that she wore one of her bras for the first time today (since I dropped her bras off at her home). She said that it had been comfortable all day, the straps had not slipped off her shoulders and that the bra had given her comfortable support all day. The other bra is so pretty, she tells me that she is saving it for best.

I think I need to let her know that anything you buy and like so much should be enjoyed and worn as much as possible to get the most benefit from it 🙂


Poll: Bra Lady page name on facebook


Be treated like Royalty

You’ll have seen all the ladies in court in their beautiful outfits watching the lovely couple taking their marriage vows.

You could look as lovely, without it costing you a fortune.

All you need to do is ensure that you wear clothes that fit you properly and have the correct underwear, what used to be known as foundation garments.

Foundation garments is a good description, as these items, bra and pants usually, determine how your upper layers of clothes, your trousers or skirt and your blouse or top will look on you.

You only need to see a before and after picture from a bra fitting to realise that a quality bra, fitted correctly will make a lady look tremendously different in the same outfit.

A bra fitting is not something that needs to worry you, it’s all done very professionally. Your Bra Lady will visit you in your own home and will offer you a selection of bras to try on, for size, style and comfort. You will not need to totally undress in front of anyone for the fitting at all. Your Bra Lady will check the bras she recommends for proper fit, after you have put them on, and advise you accordingly as to style.

If you prefer to have a friend with you at the same time, that will be perfectly acceptable to your Bra Lady. Your friend may wish to have a fitting at the same time, that too is fine.

Once you have been fitted you will be invited to check out your new look with your regular clothes on over the correctly fitted bra. I’m sure that you will see a difference and understand why foundation garments are what Royals and Celebrities are hiding under their beautiful clothes.

If you live in North/East Yorkshire and wish to arrange a bra fitting, please contact me julie@bralady.co.uk