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No Man’s Land: Buying and Filling a Bra

Buying breast forms

m102There are many different types of commercial breast forms ranging in price from $50 a pair to $500 each side.

Fake Boobs: these are the toys you buy at joke shops as gags. Usually oversized, hard and uncomfortable, they are cheap. We recommend you don’t bother; carefully-made homemade forms work, fit and look better.

Treasure Chest: these are a full chest/breast form, available through some mail-order places like Frederick’s of Hollywood. Rumour has it they are not worth the money.

Bust enhancers: these are small crescent-shaped pads of latex or soft plastic that fit under your breast to lift up what you already have. The better ones are silicone-filled. They work best with a firm-fitting bra. They’re available via the Internet, through television shopping networks or at lingerie or mastectomy stores. $30-$100 a pair.

Swim forms: these are fairly sturdy to withstand the physical and chemical rigours of swimming. These usually form a full breast, hollowed out behind to fit your chest. They work well with most bras or swimsuits that offer at least medium support. They’re made of soft rubber; some are silicone-filled. They’re usually transparent to match skin colour under a wet swimsuit. This means they can look odd under very sheer tops; solve this by making covers from the feet of old pantyhose. Look for them on the Internet, at specialty lingerie stores or mastectomy stores. Typically $40-$90 each side.

Silicone-filled: designed to match the weight, softness and movement of a real breast, these are the cadillacs of breast forms in quality, comfort and price. They are medical prosthetic devices that substitute for a mastectomy patient’s missing breast. A variety of styles and sizes are available to match differing breast sizes and shapes. Attachable nipples are available, along with cloth covers for comfort. Available at mastectomy stores, or via the Internet. Typically $350-$500 each side. Some mastectomy stores will sell returned or exchanged forms for considerably less don’t hesitate to ask!

Attachable: Many breast forms are available in attachable styles. Most come with small patches attach to your chest with special adhesive and the breast forms attach to these with a Velcro-like material. (No, it’s not as painful as it sounds!) Properly attached, they can be secure enough to allow you to go braless. They’re invaluable under a strapless or backless dress! Another type, the Luxa Contact by Amoena (also called the “Post-It Boob”) has a special adhesive on the back of the form which sticks directly to your skin, then comes away leaving no residue of any kind. The Luxa Contact is secure enough to be self-adhesive but is not self-supporting. Even a snug-fitting top or a sundress with a built-in bra will hold them in place, though.