Friday, August 24, 2012

Belovely – innovative mastectomy fashion that holds a hidden secret

This is a guest post written by Jayne Howarth of Belovley Designs. I am so honored to share this great clothing line specially designed for breast cancer patients and survivors! 

With Breast Cancer Awareness month just around the corner1Belovely Designs – a one-stop, online fashion and accessories store for women who have had breast cancer – is helping women look good and feel great.

UK-based Belovely Designs is a specialist retailer that has taken an holistic approach to what it does, creating a unique concept in clothing and offering self-coaching techniques for building inner confidence, aiming to transform the lives of women who have had a mastectomy, lumpectomy or reconstructive surgery following breast cancer.

Designed by owner Michelle Usher, the collections feature trendy tops, pretty day dresses and gorgeous evening wear that contain a secret that only the wearer knows.

Tops and dresses feature subtly higher necklines that minimise gaping and an ingenious integrated hidden bra with cleverly designed pockets that securely hold a breast prosthesis on either side.

Innovating this design into day and evening wear has given women who have had breast cancer a new-found confidence and freedom to wear strappy, feminine styles post-surgery, with or without a bra.

Michelle, who worked as a qualified life coach and HR professional in the NHS prior to launching Belovely two years ago, was inspired to create her clothing range after talking to friends who had gone through breast cancer.

She heard their frustrations at the lack of suitable and fashionable clothes post-surgery, finding high street options low cut, gaping and revealing.  She saw how their confidence and self- esteem was affected and felt strongly that she could offer a solution. 

She undertook three years of extensive research, attending support groups, talking to breast care nurses and carrying out one-to-one and group research to test out design ideas.  Working with a designer who had had a mastectomy herself also gave a unique understanding of the design requirements.

The result is a unique design concept for Belovely’s affordable dresses and tops, which feature:
  • higher fitted necklines that don’t gape, allowing wearers to feel confident;
  • hidden built-in bra support with pockets to securely and discreetly hold a breast prosthesis,  for peace of mind;
  • higher underarm and backlines hide visible scarring – often particularly important for women with lymphoedema or breast reconstruction;
  • adjustable straps for a perfect fit and high quality, breathable fabrics for comfort and style;
  • empire waistlines that fall flatteringly around the tummy and hips.
What further differentiates Belovely is its holistic approach to helping women regain confidence, not only through what they wear, but how they feel inside, too.
Using Michelle’s extensive coaching experience, Belovely posts a regular self-help blog for women who have had breast cancer, offering useful tips on building inner confidence and self esteem.

“Coaching has helped me to understand the important relationship between how you look and how you feel,” she explains.

“Through the personal experiences of women I’ve talked to and coached, I saw an opportunity to bring both aspects together – helping ladies with breast cancer find clothes that make them look good from the outside and using my fashion coaching blog to help support ladies to feel good about themselves from the inside.”

“Having coached someone who had come through such a devastating illness and seeing the energy and drive she put into getting some normality back into her life was truly inspirational,” she says.

“These are traits I have witnessed in many other ladies who have had breast cancer too, and I wanted to do something that could help them as a whole person.

“I wanted my designs to really make a positive difference to how ladies who have had breast cancer feel about themselves.

 “My aim has always been to offer a new fashion alternative for ladies who have had breast cancer that inspires confidence by enabling them to wear stylish, feminine designs that looks like high street fashion, with subtle adaptations only the wearer need know.”


  1. This is so very nice to see. I will be sharing this information with some great ladies I know that could benefit from this clothing line. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is great , I personally have people who have been affected by breast cancer and it is great to see a line of clothes for them. I will pass this along to them. Thank you for this article.

  3. I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.

  4. This is a great clothes line!! Cancer is a very touchy subject now a days, and this is a very touching clothes line! Thank you for this review!

  5. I love the concept and the way they help women though their hard times!!

  6. I love to see wonderful ladies that support breast cancer. Not to mention the clothing line is a awesome place to start. Many Blessings to them.

  7. It's nice to see company's focused on helping people like this.

  8. What a wonderful thing! I believe everyone deserves to feel like a whole person and this is fantastic.

  9. I think that this is a great company that makes these items for women that have gone through a mastectomy. The outfit looks stylish and comfortable. Nobody would even know that a women had a mastectomy! Great place!

  10. Wonderful company. Every women deserves to feel pretty.

  11. As a double mastectomy/breast cancer survivor, I can tell how important clothing like this is. I had to wait a year to have reconstruction, during which time I wore prosthesis. Even now that I've had reconstruction, I have a very uneven, lumpy upper chest. I'm uncomfortable in the low necklines on many of the tops in the stores. Also, higher underarm openings is important for those of us who have scars from lymph node removal. I'll be checking out this company. Thanks for sharing!