George Swimwear Assistant Buyer Danielle Purdue blogs about the inspiration behind our range of post-surgery swimsuits...
I've been really delighted by the feedback we've been getting about our range of swimwear specially designed for women who've had surgery for breast cancer.
It’s wonderful when customers get in touch to tell us how good they feel wearing any of our costumes. The whole aim behind our range is to give women confidence to feel good in swimwear at the pool, no matter whether they are buying post surgery products or not.
We currently have four different styles available at George.com – a tankini, a skirted swimsuit, a printed swimsuit and a plain black swimsuit with frill detail on the front – and we've got lots more new designs to come.
I always keep an eye out for comments about the costumes on social media and on George.com – and I was moved recently by a message from one customer, Anita Hogan, who got in touch to say:
"I just want to say thank you. I purchased a post op swimming costume today as I had a double mastectomy and I can't have reconstruction and finding suitable swimwear that fully covers my surgery scars has proven difficult – until I checked your site and came across a lovely black costume with frill detail specially designed for ladies like me. I was so pleased how lovely and feminine it made me feel that I cried."
Everyone in the team really appreciates it when someone goes out of their way to send feedback like this.
We also get comments from customers not specifically searching for a post-surgery swimming costume, but who end up loving how they look and fit – which shows that they do look and feel part of the everyday range and don’t shout "post surgery", which I think can be a concern from some customers looking to buy.
Getting the design right on the post-surgery swimsuits is our top priority. Depending on the type of treatment needed, there can be a lot of scarring around the breast area and also at the top of the legs, so we make sure our range has a slightly wider gusset and a lower leg, along with a higher neck line to try and help with concealing any scars. We also try to have at least one skirted swimsuit for those customers who want further coverage at the top of the legs.
The swimsuits come with a pocket opening on each side for any prosthetics to be inserted and then an extra hole at the top for customers to discreetly secure the top of their prosthetics with a safety pin so that everything can stay in place when swimming. Each cup also has a thin foam pad for modesty purposes and to help give a slightly smoother shape.
We also consider the prints used and the position of the prints as they can help to disguise any unevenness around the bust and be a little more flattering, along with rouching details in the bust area too.
It's about keeping the costume looking feminine and with the details that all of our customers would expect to give a flattering shape. We try and keep the products as close to our main range as possible to help make the wearer feel confident, just with a few small practical tweaks to help along the way.
We first offered a post-surgery swimsuit back in 2016 and we've grown the range considerably since then. New post-surgery options are added regularly, and our long-term plan is to really grow the size of the range, which we're really excited about. We've got nine new styles planned to launch throughout 2018, and more fabulous new designs will be added next Spring/Summer too - we're working on the Spring/Summer 2019 options now.
Here's what our Tickled Pink campaign partners said about the range:
Bernie Nolan from Breast Cancer Now: “This new range of post-surgery swimwear from George at Asda will make a huge difference to women who have had surgery for breast cancer and who may struggle to find swimwear this summer. Surgery as a result of breast cancer can have a long-lasting impact, so it is hugely important to have suitable swimwear on the high street to help women feel their best after their diagnosis and surgery. The four swimsuits in the George collection have been carefully and thoughtfully designed, and are both beautiful and feminine.”
Samia al Qadhi of Breast Cancer Care: “We welcome this range from George. It's very important that women are able to find great, affordable post-surgery swimwear following breast cancer treatment. Asda’s range of specialist clothing has been well received by the people we work with who have been affected by breast cancer. This range of swimwear will offer additional choice for women, potentially boosting their confidence.”
Post-surgery swimsuits: Take a look at our post-surgery swimsuit range here on George.com. You can also use our Click and Collect service to order a costume and have it delivered to your nearest store.