Independent lingerie brand Something Wicked has produced what is thought to be the world’s first one-cupped mastectomy bra.
The Leeds-based label has created the bespoke style for local breast cancer survivor Hilary George, who chose not to have reconstruction surgery or a prosthesis fitted following her mastectomy in January 2015.
Hilary spent a year trying to find a lingerie brand that would help her find a beautiful bra with one cup, and finally came across Something Wicked.
And while post-surgery lingerie is not Something Wicked’s area of expertise, managing director Steff McGrath was determined to help her.
“As soon as I received the first phone call from Hilary, I knew that the brand’s independent set-up would give us the best possible chance of fulfilling her wishes,” she said.
Freelance garment technologist Rachel Vickers designed the bra and matching briefs in collaboration with her friend, Ros Lodge, who has years of industry experience.
The design process for the bra was complex, and because Hilary’s remaining cup size is an E, it still needed to provide substantial support.
One of the biggest challenges Ros and Rachel faced was to ensure the bra wouldn’t ride up on one side, so they had to balance it by applying a narrower elastic to the non-cup side.
This reduced the strength of the apex pull, where the strap meets the cup, and a wider, strong band elastic helped to anchor the bra in place.
To keep the bridge of the bra against the chest, power mesh was added behind the side panel of the non-cup side, and the side seam was moved forward to adjust the pull.
“Rachel and Ros did an incredible job of designing the bra, and the science and technology behind it is evident,” said McGrath.
“Because the whole process takes place here in the UK, which is quite unique, it enabled us to make this one-off piece.”