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Comfort and Beauty …Style Doesn’t Take a Break after Cancer

Comfort and beauty, essential to #healwithstyle, link function with flair. Slimming lines, hidden drain pockets, cooling fabrics, simple snaps, flattering palettes and versatile layering are transforming the grim and elastic garments that women traditionally wore during the weeks, months and years of treatment due to breast cancer.

The acute sensitivity that women experience following surgery is still debilitating. Hot flashes, skin rashes and swelling due to lymphedema, are exhausting to manage and complex to treat. Weight gain due to a more sedentary lifestyle is also quite common. Hair loss and brittle nails diminish one’s radiance even further.

“I felt frail and invisible. K-Mart was my only go-to place for roomy clothing to hide my scars and aching body. The choices were so generic. I bought and dressed myself in stuff that made me feel worse.”

A 10 year survivor

silhoutte of a woman's head and shoulders

Fashion is a Force for Healing

The tides have turned for the better. Women’s voices are rising up in the face of many crises, and breast cancer is no exception. The Look Good Feel Better program is evolving into a mantra that carries patients throughout their journeys. Thanks to visionary designers, the  unique style of each woman can be honored and preserved during this phase in her life. Today, intentional dressing can be an everyday way of greeting the world while recovering from surgery and during radiation, chemo and beyond.

Eva SooHoo, the founder of EileenandEva.com, consulted with patients and survivors over several years to design and launch her new Heal With Style CollectionTM.

“These amazing women want to reclaim their bodies after anxiety-ridden surgeries and treatment regimens. Why put their femininity on hold? The seeds of confidence lie within and I want them to bloom as soon as possible.”

Feel Good in What You Wear

Style, a concept often associated with elegance and celebrity, is a healing modality. The recent spring 2019 womenswear collection in Paris explored beauty and grace. Dior and Gucci allowed for new voices, according to Robin Givhan of the Washington Post. “These clothes epitomized SELF-CARE. If they have a message, it is about taking a moment to shut out the noise and to listen to the quiet.” Renewal is fashion forward!

“The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear.”

Ines de la Fressange

Stars battling breast cancer including Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sheryl Crow and Cynthia Nixon and Rita Wilson, looked stunning through it all. Angelina Jolie and Christina Applegate promoted self-care and dressing with confidence, following preventive surgeries due to their BRCA gene mutation concerns. Their joy of fabulous colors, fabrics and jewelry never took a backseat to major medical issues. Although they had more resources than most, cost is no longer an obstacle for many of us.

woman with arms outstretched looking out over mountains and bay

It’s a new day. A handful of online design houses are making it easier for women facing cancer or BRCA-related surgeries to dress with delight. Their elegant and affordable collections respect individuality. Creating with function as a top priority is the new gold standard to #healwithstyle.

“Bliss is knowing that we always have power and beauty,” says Eva, a BRCA previvor who faced numerous surgeries over 18 months. “Let’s begin at the beginning. Why wait until everything is topsy-turvy and we’ve lost our way?”

#YourJourneyMatters

Jane O. Smith

Jane O. Smith

Jane is a speaker and a catalyst. Her journey as a breast cancer survivor informs much of her content. You can reach her on Linkedin @JaneOSmith.

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