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    No.171: Breast Forms 101: Everything You Need to Know

    Breast Forms 101: Everything You Need to Know 

    Breast forms are a great option if you’ve undergone a mastectomy or partial mastectomy, or if you’re trans and want breasts without undergoing surgery. But just like no two boobs are precisely alike, not every breast form is the precise right fit for each person, surgery type, or even every occasion! Read below to learn more about the breast forms available and which styles may be best for your body.

    What Are Breast Forms?

    A breast form is a breast-shaped prosthetic typically worn against your skin or inside your bra (theright bra with form pockets!). Breast forms can offer a natural look for all types of situations, including double mastectomy, unilateral mastectomy, a partial breast tissue removal, or trans people. Breast forms can also be a more affordable alternative to breast reconstruction or an option for those who cannot or do not want to undergo another procedure.

    Types Of Breast Forms

    Breast forms come in a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes, so you can find one that fits your body and boosts your confidence. Here’s what you need to know before shopping:

    Silicone Breast Forms

    Similar to a silicone breast implant, this type of form is a silicone shell filled with fiberfill or silicone gel. This mimics a natural breast form or shape due to their weight, shape, and movement, making them one of the most popular forms. They can either be attached to your skin using an adhesive, or they can be inserted into your bra’s breast form pocket. However, silicone breast forms diminish in quality over time. Extreme temperatures can damage them, so they will need to be replaced more often than other forms. They may also weigh heavily on your neck, back, and shoulders, making them an impractical everyday option for some.

    Foam Breast Forms 

    If you’ve recently undergone breast surgery and you’re still feeling sore or sensitive, or if you want a lightweight breast form that you can wear on an everyday basis, the foam breast form is your best option. These forms can be worn right on your skin with an adhesive or they can be put inside a bra with breast forms. What’s even better is that they’re machine washable and easy to maintain, making them a great everyday go-to option. They’re also great for swimming, as they dry quickly and won’t soak up water like a sponge.

    F(oo)Bs

    F(oo)B breast forms are the perfect combination of comfortable, affordable, and convenient! This seamless cup fits perfectly into any AnaOno bra to create a natural, sleek appearance. While it does appear to look like swimsuit padding, this insert is actually a B cup to C cup that’s proportional to your body size. The machine-washable insert can be worn time can again as well. We offer F(oo)Bs in black and champagne, as well as four different band sizes.

    Custom Breast Forms

    If you’ve undergone breast surgery and you know breast reconstruction is not something you want to undergo,  custom breast forms may be the right option for you. This type of form is most likely going to be made of foam or silicone gel, but instead of making an off the shelf option “do,” it will be molded exactly to your liking. If you’re considering custom breast forms, it would be best to schedule a professional fitting so you can find a proper fit, weight, and shape to be cohesive to your body. 

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    Partial Forms

    If you’ve had a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy, a partial form or shaper will best suit you due to you retaining some of your natural breast tissue. There are many different shapes available for you to choose from depending on where you need to place the form. These forms can easily fit into your bra to give you a natural, full look. 

    Boost

    Boost forms are breathable, colorful pads that fit inside a pocketed bra. These forms are lightweight, stay in place, and are easy to care for. Boost forms are available in many bright colors that lift up your spirits more than any boring beige bra could ever do. They’re great for an active lifestyle, too, so you can work out and swim in these forms if you please.

    Knitted Knockers 

    Knitted Knockers are exactly as they sound: Handmade, knit prostheses for those who have undergone breast surgery due to a cancer diagnosis. They are soft, lightweight, and can fit into any normal bra, providing you with a comfortable and natural look. Request your own free Knitted Knocker on their website, or if you’re feeling crafty, you can learn how to make your own knitted knocker to help a woman in need.

    What Size Breast Form Should I wear?

    When selecting a size for your new breast form, the general rule of thumb is to stick close to your natural size. If you’ve undergone a unilateral mastectomy, go with the size of your other breast to ensure they’re symmetrical. If you’ve never had breasts before, skip the temptation to go “the bigger, the better.” It’s much more realistic to stick with a size and shape that complements your body.

    When measuring to find your perfect breast form size, the first step is to determine your band size. Grab a tape measure and measure your torso beneath the armpits. Once you determine your band size, you’ll need to determine cup size. One way to do this is to consider your height, weight, and general frame. If you’re not exactly sure which cup size to choose, it’s best to start smaller and work your way up. You want to get familiar with the shape and weight of a breast form first, and once you’re comfortable, you can choose to size up if you’d like.

    What Shape Breast Forms Should I Get?

    There are four main shapes of breast forms to choose from. These include:

    • Oval.If you’re new to breast forms, a common go-to for your first set is an oval shape. They fit perfectly in most bras and don’t give an over-the-top, JWoww ofJersey Shorefame look.
    • Teardrop. The teardrop form is similar to an oval shape, but with a long tail. This form is best suited if your breast has or had more volume below your nipple, or shallower cup size.
    • Triangle. The triangular shape is commonly worn because it has the most natural bra fit. This shape may be a good option for you if you have an average cup size. When buying this shape, it’s important to buy them with rounded corners, so it appears more natural.
    • Asymmetrical. The asymmetrical form is a sister of the oval and teardrop. It’s shaped like the oval but has an added tip that fits directly under your armpit.  This type of breast form closely resembles a realistic breast shape and is specifically designed for those who have undergone a unilateral mastectomy. 

    Breast Forms For Trans Individuals 

    After undergoing a major life change, you want to find the perfect form to make you feel confident and be able to express your true self! Luckily, there are so many different breast form options available that you can easily find one that suits you. 

    Before choosing your perfect fit, you need to consider what type of form you’re wanting. For example, is there a specific size, shape, price, and material you’re looking for? With so many things to consider and options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming at first. For more information and tips, visit  AnaOno’s guide to find the perfect form for you. 

    Tips For Wearing Breast Forms

    Purchasing a breast form can be tricky, but demystifying the process is one of our favorite things to do here at AnaOno. Our friend Jamie Lee from SperoHope shared with us a few of her secrets when it comes to breast forms. A few tips include: 

    • Mastectomy bras or any pocketed bra are going to be your go-to when it comes to wearing forms. This will ensure that you won’t have an accidental slippage, and you’ll be less likely to feel the need to adjust yourself all day.
    • Breast forms can be worn either all day or for a couple of hours, so you want to make sure you’re comfortable. To ensure your form is good for long-term wear, it’s best to get fitted by a specialist.
    • Not all breast forms are meant for the water. Make sure you look at the care instructions before heading to the pool or attempting to clean your breast forms.
    • It’s important to conduct research before purchasing your form to ensure the fit, comfort, and application of the form fits your wants and needs.
    • Before purchasing, talk with your insurance company to see what benefits they offer. If you underwent a mastectomy, your breast forms may be covered by insurance.

    Visit our guide to read the full article and discover more tips on how to wear the perfect breast form for you. 

    Shop AnaOno To Find Your Perfect Breast Form And Bra

    At AnaOno, we know how important it is to feel your best, whether you’re lounging around at home or enjoying a Michelin-star dinner. That’s why we created F(oo)Bs -- lightweight, natural looking, and easy to care for, these affordable breast forms are quite literally the perfect fit. Explore our site to learn more about F(oo)Bs and find the right bra to help support your new look.

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.