How Much?

This is a rant – pure and simple so if you have suffered enough today – feel free to leave. Also, it is going to be a particularly lady shaped rant so if you are of a sensitive bent – well whatever. Without going into long and tortuous detail about my personal circumstances, I wanted to talk about “Mastectomy Fashion.” (Actually an Oxymoron but never mind) Ladies of a certain lopsided persuasion with bit of them missing have to wear special bras so that they can tuck false boobles in. (Still with me? Good!) I get a bit worked up about how much these bras are – rarely less than £30. However, that pales into insignificance when it comes to the price of the clothes. If you have ever reached the end of  a long day and found it relaxing to take off your bra and let your ning-nangs run free, you will realise how nice it would be for any lady to do the same. However, women with mastectomies need a pocket  to put a breast form in unless you want to look a bit lopsided. (Doesn’t bother me too much but it is VITAL to some ladies.) So you can buy T Shirts and nighties and things – IF YOU TAKE OUT A PERSONAL LOAN! Behold this vest top.

It’s not Armani is it? So why is it £44.00? (£52 pounds if you are not exempt from VAT)

Or this little beauty

This is a nightdress – supposedly to go to bed in. It starts at £57.00. I would wear it to collect an OBE in at that price.

So why so expensive? Could it possibly be because there is so little choice out there?  Is it possibly because traumatised women, for whom appearing normal and a bit attractive is sooo important have little choice but to pay? Some would say that this is just cosmetic but for women who have had their femininity assaulted the way that breast cancer does, cosmetic is as important as any other part of their rehab.You can’t just whip to Primark and get a £3.99 vest like everyone else, your options are limited. I would expect to pay more because of the extra material but this smacks of taking advantage of people who have no choice.

I’m not really a big believer in what people call a courageous fight against cancer. In my experience most people are prepared to do whatever it takes to get rid of the stinking disease but the same people are very scared. The treatment is no fun – truly it isn’t and that’s before you get to the sheet terror of the whole thing. But survivors are making their way back into the world. They will bear the scars for the rest of their lives. To me, it feels that someone, somewhere is making not a profit from this (a profit is fine) but they are making a mahoosive profit and that just doesn’t feel right does it?



  1. March 9, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    No, it feels terribly wrong.There must be a way to get one of the big chains [M&S, Sainsburys Tu, Tesco F&F] to produce a few items – summer tee shirts, and pretty nighties – at a more realistic price. As a dressmaker, I am now wondering about this…there must be thousands of women out there needing these garments, who have suffered enough already. And to make a profit from them is NOT right.

    • March 10, 2016 / 6:51 am

      And Ang as a dressmaker you would be unhappy at how little extra work goes into sometimes goes into these things. Just a little bit of mesh sewn inside. I don't really bother with them myself but I know it's a big deal for some ladies

  2. Anonymous
    March 10, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    I'm with you entirely on this. It's very hard for them to justify the cost of that little bit of extra material. But I think the problem is that everything for us post surgery ladies is expensive, not least the bras.They get away with it by producing attractive brochures, showing lovely feminine garments on attractive ladies at a time when we feel most vulnerable and I for one am struggling to maintain my sense of attractiveness and style against the odds. But I draw the line at paying these prices, so I just make do. My big problem is finding clothes with a decent neckline. I am brushing up my dressmaking skills as I think that's the only option.

    • March 10, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      I mostly make do as well. The longer I have gone on, the more I have felt that style come from me – whatever shape I am. It's not always easy to keep that mindset though. You sometimes have to be a bit bolshy and it's hard to have the wherewithal sometimes.But I agree the neckline is a big issue – just bending forward is a minefield.

  3. March 10, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    How very unfair, when all it needs is a few minutes sewing. A nightdress for £57?!!
    It would be interesting to approach a manufacturer from, say M and S, and ask what they could produce, if anything?

    • March 10, 2016 / 4:47 pm

      I knew somone who asked about this once. Apparently, it's not a big enough group to merit it

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