Be breast aware – all the time

Being breast aware throughout our lives is essential to maintain good breast health. Most problems with lumpy breasts are nothing to do with cancer, so it’s worth getting things checked out.

This video explains what to check for every month of our lives.

Be breast aware:

  • know what is normal for you
  • look at and feel your breasts
  • know what changes to look for
  • report any changes without delay
  • go for breast screening if you are 50 or over

For more information, check out the NHS advice, Breast Cancer charities websites, or local breast care support group.

Cancer Research UK – Spot breast cancer early

Breast Cancer Care, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Against Breast Cancer


Bra wearing should ALWAYS be comfortable

From when we first start wearing bras as a girl, wearing a bra should never hurt us. If it does, your not wearing the right style or size.

Don’t start shouting at me, I’m only the messenger, but an experienced one now. I, like you, was ‘supported’ by some trainer bras to start with, ‘fitted’ by ‘experts’, and only really felt truly comfortable and supported when I was in my mid-30s.

There are many factors to consider when buying and wearing bras. I’m not going to cover them all here, but here’s some things to consider when you’re out shopping.

Is your weight fluctuating? Where are you in your monthly cycle?

If you buy a bra when you’re at your biggest in your cycle, then in a weeks time the bra will be too big and not supportive enough for you. Can you wait? Or do you actually need different bras for different times of the month? (I do some months).

Rule of thumb – Buy a bra that is fitting firmly on it’s loosest setting when you buy it. It will only stretch with wear, and you need it to remain firm around your ribs.

What type of clothes will you be wearing? Does the bra need to work under different styles of tops and dresses?

One bra is unlikely to suit all your wardrobe! What about when you wear that backless dress you’ve got? Or when you do some exercise? Are you really expecting that skinny little piece of lace to support your breasts when you’re running around the park with your children?

Rule of thumb – However small your budget, getting the right tools for the job is always more cost effective. Get a sports bra for sport, and a good supporting bra for day wear. What you do when you go out depends on the look you’re wanting to create!

How far are your breasts apart on your chest wall?

Have you ever looked at how far apart your breasts are? Some of you will be touching, with no space at all between your breasts. Others will be able to put 3 fingers in between your breasts. Whatever your breasts look like, select a bra that suits your body shape.

Rule of thumb – check how the seams and wires sit against your chest wall and breasts. If anything is pressing onto breast tissue, it’s not right.

Whatever your question about bras, please remember that you should always be comfortable. Since my discovery, I always have been. It’s taken time, but I no longer have back ache or neck ache because of my bra!

The Bra Lady network, set up by T-J in 2004, supports women around the world with bra fitting advice, and specialist bras. For advice on bra wearing and bra fitting, please use the contact form, or contact T-J via twitter.


Bra fitting training – 28th March 2014

We’re holding our first basic bra fitting training course on Friday 28th March, at our offices at Coppull Mill, Lancashire.

In response to demand for bra fitting courses for those setting up their own lingerie shops, we’ve developed a new way of working.

Basic bra fitting – 4 hours

Specialist bra fitting, (mastectomy, teen bras, maternity bras, nursing bras, sports bras) – 2 hours

We can also offer 1-1 training, advice, or coaching on an hourly basis. This can be specific around marketing, websites, PR, bra queries, suppliers & can be delivered by skype or phone.

A Bra Lady franchise is still available for those who want to be part of a larger network.

For more information, contact T-J at t-j at, or 077 62 000 426


What is a mastectomy bra?

A mastectomy bra is a bra suitable for use after a woman has had a mastectomy (a breast removal), or lumpectomy (a part breast removal).

Depending on the type of surgery, and whether there has been a reconstruction of the breast as well, will determine the type of bra advised by the breast care nurse.

Anita mastectomy bra

Anita mastectomy bra

Generally, a mastectomy bra is a bra which already has pockets sewn into it, for a prothesis (a breast shape, either silicone or fabric), to sit comfortably. Some bras are manufactured with the pockets already sewn in, others have pockets added later.

Most bras can have pockets sewn into them, so just restricting a search to mastectomy bras, may limit the styles available in a particular size. For example, if you have one breast removed by mastectomy and you’re a 34G, you’re more likely to get a good fitting bra by having a pocket sewn into a bra of your choice. Very few manufacturers make mastectomy bras for cup sizes above an E or F cup.

Mastectomy bras, ones with a pocket already sewn into each cup of the bra, are made so that the remaining natural breast fits into the cup as normal. The other side, where the breast is no longer there, will be filled with the prothesis, so that the bra and body shape looks natural under clothing. When a bra is pocketed for a lady, only the side that is required is pocketed.

Women are generally advised, after any breast surgery, to wear a soft cup bra – a bra with no wires. Depending on the type of surgery, and/or follow up treatment, reconstruction or where scar tissue is, will determine the type of mastectomy bra that is advised.

There are many mastectomy bras available, plus soft cup bras. Some may be more suitable


for immediate post surgery wear, (where you usually get given a ‘softie’, a small very soft prothesis made from fabric and stuffed with cotton wool type fibre), being softer and higher. Others look like ‘normal’ bras.

If you need bra fitting advice for a mastectomy bra, before or after surgery, or even after your treatment has finished, seek specialist advice from a bra fitter experienced in mastectomy bra fittings. Your body will be changing all the time, so you’re likely to need different bra shapes and sizes through any treatment you have post surgery.


Bra Lady training

Anita mastectomy bra

Anita mastectomy bra

The next Bra Lady franchise training is 14th November at Chorley office. The training will concentrate on the basics of bra fitting, how to set up your own Bra Lady business, and will train you in bra fitting for ladies who’ve undergone mastectomy and lumpectomy operations.

Spaces still available. Contact T-J directly,


Win £60 voucher with bra fitting advice from bras4all

bras4all is part of our family of online shops, and is going through a makeover as we speak! To tie in with this, and Breast cancer awareness month, we’re giving away a £60 voucher to be spent with bras4all. Fitting advice is free, by phone, email, twitter or facebook. Skype fittings can also be arranged.

We’re also going to give 5p for each entrant in the prize draw to Breast Cancer Care who do a fantastic job supporting women throughout their lives look after their breasts, and through the trauma of breast cancer.

The prize draw is open until the end of the month. Start entering now!:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Maternity & nursing bras can be attractive and sexy, as well as comfy

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy and post birth. Some women complain that they feel ‘frumpy’ or ‘whale like’. Your maternity and breastfeeding underwear should be anything but frumpy to help you to feel as fabulous as you look.

There are many maternity and nursing bra styles available now that offer the lacy, attractive, pretty and even sexy look. All you have to do is find the right one for you that fits correctly! The shape of the bra cup, the fabric used, and the cleavage you can achieve, (which is bound to be better than usual, whatever your shape and size), can be the same as you’re used to. But, most importantly, be comfy in whatever bra you buy.

Lorna Drew Alexa nursing bra

Alexa nursing bra

When looking at bras for breastfeeding, look for a similar cup shape to the one you are used to wearing. This way you’re more likely to enjoy wearing the bras, with or without underwires. There are some fabulous bras that don’t have any wires in them, HOTmilk , Lorna Drew , Bravado and Royce are just a few brands. And then there are some great brands that use wires in some of their bras, like Anita. You can see that they all have different shapes, which suit different body and breast shapes – just like ordinary bras.

All the bras at our online shop bras4mums stock have been chosen for quality and comfort, even the under-wired ones! Check that the band is firm around your rib cage with room to make it smaller as it stretches over time, and the cup covers your ever changing breasts. The rest of the style choice is your own. Apart from the main one – IS IT COMFY? If it’s not, change the style, or the size.

Just because your pregnant or breastfeeding doesn’t mean you can’t look and feel great. Fabulous underwear that makes you comfortable and look good with your clothes on is worth investing in. What price do you put on comfort? Make it a priority!

T-J Hughes started and runs bras4mums – Supporting You during pregnancy and beyond. Bra fitting advice can be given by phone, email, skype, facebook and/or twitter. It’s our speciality, so please ask for Support!


“Your advice was invaluable. My perfectly fitting bra brought instant relief for my back ache and I’m proud of my feminine curves! I can’t thank bras4mums enough!”, Nicola, Burnley.


Buy your underwear before your special outfit

It’s often difficult to contain our excitement when we see the dress or outfit of our dreams isn’t it? We may have seen it in a shop window, or in a magazine, and thought “that’s the dress for me!”. And nothing has got in our way of buying it.

How many of you have got home & partner/Mum/friend has said, “so what bra are you going to wear with that then?” ? Be honest now! Did you even consider your underwear when buying the dress? Whether you’re big busted, or have very little, your underwear will make such a difference to the look of your outerwear, it’s generally easier to get your underwear first.

Ava strapless bra set

Ava strapless bra

We know it’s not top of your list, but without the right underwear you’ll have wasted your money on that gorgeous dress/outfit. Whether it’s a strapless number for the summer, or a wedding dress, or special outfit for that very special meal out, your bra can make a break the look.

It’s not only the style of underwear you wear, but the size of it on you that’s important. Make sure the band is firm around your body giving your body shape it’s natural silhouette.Ideally you’ll wear your selected underwear when trying on the dress of your dreams as this will show off your shape, which will undoubtedly be even more stunning in your dream outfit!

If you find that the bra strap shows, or you have bulges you didn’t expect, you can do something about it before buying the dress. It’s much easier for your Bra Lady to work with

Elomi strapless corset

Strapless corset – more support than bra

you to get the right style and shape of underwear before you buy your outfit, than play with alterbacks, lingerie tape and pins after your purchase! Knowing this before you spend all that money on this gorgeous outfit will prevent a lot of bra hunting for something that doesn’t exist, or expensive dress alterations to make it fit around you.

The Bra Lady team have a range of styles and accessories to make you look fabulous and feel comfy during your special occasion in your gorgeous outfit. Our bra fitting service allows us time to work with you to get your underwear right, and we advise we see you at least one month before the event.


Check your breasts this month

We all know we should check our breasts after our monthly bleed, but do we? Even after the menopause, it’s even more important to regularly check our breass. But how? TLC is the starting point.

TOUCH your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual?
LOOK for changes. Is there any change in shape and texture?
CHECK anything unusual with your doctor.

What do we look and check for? Anything that isn’t ‘normal’ for you, basically. We all have one breast bigger than the other, but on some women the difference is more marked. The difference is also heightened during pregnancy and breastfeeding. As with most things, you know your body better than anyone. Its up to you to look after yourself.

When do we check? We’re advised to do our checks at the same time every month, after our monthly bleed has finished. Before a woman’s bleed, our breasts are usually fuller and some women find them quite uncomfortable, so feeling our breasts at this time is not ‘normal’ for us. Find a time of the month that is right for you, and stick to it. I sometimes get very tender & swollen and sore breasts when coming to my time of the month. I was advised to take Starflower Oil, and this worked well for me. Available at any good Health Food Store.

So, if we check our breasts regularly, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, wear comfy and supportive bras that don’t press on our brest tissue, and are not high risk, then we’re less likely to ‘get’ breast cancer. World Cancer Research Foundation talks about the risk factors involved in getting breast cancer, and how it’s the interplay between genes, environment and chance that are what causes breast cancer.

If you need any advice about how bras should be fitting, contact an experienced bra fitter, like those in the bra lady network. There’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable, or being worried about how your bras are fitting you, or how your breasts are feeling.

Do you check your breasts regularly? Anything else we should be doing to ensure our breasts remain healthy?


Back to School? Don’t forget teenagers need support too!

Everyone grows and develops at a different rate, and we all have our own unique shape. This is true of breasts as well as bodies.

It’s important that young women’s breasts are supported properly as they grow and develop, without squashing or causing discomfort. Girls are often embarrassed by their bodies, so it’s even more important that they are comfortable with their clothing as their bodies develop.

Now’s a great time, whilst getting everything else ready for the start of the school term to ensure your girls are wearing well fitting, supportive bras for their shape.

The Bra Lady team offer a home bra fitting service and will work with you and your daughter & her friends to educate them in breast health, and work out the styles of bras that suit them as they develop.

The lovely Sweetling teen bra range was created by 2 Mums of 7 girls, and featured on BBC2 television programme Next Big Thing in 2011. The Sweetling team have designed different shape bras for these different shape bodies our daughter’s, nieces’s and grand-daughter’s have. Each bra shape, named after their own daughters, comes in plain white and some lovely patterned fabrics. Each bra has a matching bikini brief.

Sweetling Milicent Matilda teen braThe Royce teen bra range includes moulded bras to prevent nipple show which is one of the questions we get asked most. We expect to be able to find a solution to all breast shapes and sizes for our customers, so please do ask if you have specific requirements.

The Royce teen bra range offer a moulded cup bra in larger sizes, as well as packs of lighter support first bras.

Doing sport? Then you’ll need a firmer sports bra as well to hold your breasts in place against your body. Any movement of the breasts can cause discomfort and can damage the breast tissue or stretch the Coopers ligaments that hold the breasts firm and pert.

None of our range of teen bras use wires as these can damage young and developing breast tissue. We sometimes use other products within our range, but we do advise that young developing breasts aren’t restricted by underwired bras which can be uncomfortable, particularly for everyday wear.

We look forward to Supporting your daughters as we’ve supported you!