This Underworks compression bra, suitable for various breast surgeries including double mastectomy, caught our eye. Because of the nature of its US manufacturer, Underworks, it has a good pedigree. It also has many features that provide benefits to women who have undergone mastectomy, without a top shelf price. Underworks states they are a pioneer in making men and women look and feel their best. They aim to produce high quality, feel good and look good clothing for men and women. So, let’s put the Underworks compression bra through its paces and see how it stacks up.
Why trust an Underworks compression bra?
We’re looking at the Underworks Double Mastectomy Bra with Molded Pad Inserts. Underworks produce quite a number of different products for their customers. However, they offer only a limited number of highly specialized bras. This company caters for people with certain medical conditions as well as people wanting to smooth, reduce and tuck certain body curves to give them self-confidence and peace of mind. So, they aren’t a specialist breast surgery product designer and manufacturer. But they certainly aren’t your average run of the mill scanty panty underwear store. Their products focus on maximizing the comfort and self-confidence of their customers.
One of the Underworks bra designs caters for people with arthritis or who have difficulty using their hands to manipulate traditional bra fasteners. It also doubles as a maternity and breast-feeding bra. Another style’s design gives very good compression as sports bra, coupled with the softness of cotton. This same design is suitable as binding for people who would like to minimize the appearance and movement of their bosom. A third design is essentially a simplified ‘leisure’ version of the bra we’re reviewing here, designed to be supportive, comfortable, soft and recuperative. So despite not specializing in breast surgery products entirely, the technology and consideration behind their brand are in the right ballpark.
Love a local brand – Underworks Compression Bra
Like Wear Ease, Underworks is an American brand. Their garments are made in the United States. This suggests that, assuming raw material supplies are readily available, stock should always be on hand. One would anticipate quality control should be easier due to proximity [or lack of distance and language barriers] so a high standard would be expected. This certainly correlates with Underworks’ claim of producing high quality garments.
What makes the Double Mastectomy Underworks Compression Bra Special?
We already love a local brand – designed and manufactured on home soil. Coupled with that a specialist manufacturer of personal care garments, it’s going to produce something that suits our requirements more closely than a product for a general audience. Recovering from breast surgery means will want functionality, maximum healing and comfort. So the option of an accessible product that provides all that at an affordable price is very attractive. There’s plenty of time and space for lace, frills, flowers, prettiness, or sassiness once we’re fully healing and back on top of the world again. Not that this Underworks bra is unattractive – it’s actually quite nice – but it’s not what most people would class as seductive or glamorous.
Material, price, design – it’s all there. So, let’s have a closer look.
Pros of the Double Mastectomy Underworks Compression Bra
1. High Cotton Content
For breathability, softness and durability, a high cotton content is attractive. The content is 55% Cotton / 35% Polyester / 10% Spandex and described as luxurious. Many of the reviews talk about softness and comfort, so we certainly take note of that.
2. Made in USA
Already covered – but worth reiterating! Locally ‘grown’ implies care, quality, ownership, integrity and responsibility. Not that being manufactured overseas should imply a lack in any of those qualities. But keeping processes close enables closer control and scrutiny over procedures, so we sense would result in a better product. Besides, why would we not support our own?
3. Well Designed Shoulder Straps
The shoulder straps are wide, which is particularly important to provide ample support for large breasted ladies. For all sizes of ladies, wider shoulder straps prevent “digging in” and provides more comfort and coverage where needed. The shoulder straps are also cushioned to further reduce the risk of ‘digging in’.
4. Wire Free Design
As any good mastectomy bra should be, there are no wires in this Underworks bra.
5. Slightly Wider Underband
Whilst not the widest under band of any compression bra or mastectomy bra design, the under-band of this bra is about an inch wide. So, a nice balance between a longer ‘top’ style of bra and a narrow band you might find on a fashion bra. A really wide band feels more of a top and perhaps more constrictive. So, keeping the under band in the mid range keeps this Underworks bra more appealing as an undergarment.
6. Size adjustability
Whilst I’m not a great fan of hook and eye closure (I remember finding them a challenge to do up on my mastectomy bras after my surgery), the benefit they provide on this garment is three levels of adjustment. The Underworks compression bra has three rows of hook and eye as the front closure to offer the adjustability in size around the torso and breasts.
7. Pocketed Bra
This is a pocketed bra that actually comes with quality molded pad inserts! The bra has in inner pocket to hold the breast form provided. Or, you can use any breast form you like. Customers use this mastectomy bra with full size prosthetics on a daily basis. Some use it with Medicare issued prosthesis.
Sometimes, being professionally fitted with a mastectomy bra and prosthesis can be difficult due to location and insurance situations. Often, high prices also make this approach prohibitive. So women have reported that using the sizing guide and self measuring instructions have aided them in choosing their size quite well. This Underworks Compression Bra for mastectomy patients is such beautiful quality for such a low, low price it warrants a second look.
Hits all the good mastectomy bra design points
Front opening, adjustable (to three levels), wide straps, wide under-band, breathable and soft fabric, and nicely styled to top it off. I particularly like the lower, cutaway front. This styling makes the Underworks Compression bra look more like underwear and less like a post-operative surgical device. When we have to wear post-operative surgical devices, that is all fine! But after the recovery period, when we just want something that still protects and supports our continual recovery, but has less requirements for specific compression around drains and tissue expanders, for example, it’s nice to have a prettier cut neckline.
Cons of the Double Mastectomy Underworks Compression Bra
1. Sizing challenges
Choosing the correct size can be a little difficult when ordering online, so some have had trouble getting the right sized bra delivered. Close attention to the instructions for self-measuring is the only advice anyone can give. And, even then there’s a chance that an individual’s shape and ratios just isn’t suited to this particular design. In fact, it seems that smaller sized women have found the supplied molded breast form pad inserts are rather too large for their frame. From the descriptions, where the breast form has encroached into the underarm area and been quite uncomfortable, we anticipate that the breast forms provided are either
i) one size fits all, or
ii) not incrementally sized enough to have a smaller size suit the smaller sized bras and a series of larger and well matched molded breast form pad inserts to suit the larger sized bras.
We noted when studying what Amoena had to say about their design techniques that they actually adjust the design to suit the different bra and cup sizes. This suggests that if this attention to detail isn’t taken on board, then simply scaling up and down for larger and smaller may be an inadequate method for getting a good fit at either end of the spectrum. So, in the absence of the same detailed description of how Underworks go about design of their compression bras, we could assume this is a slight oversight on their part. We can’t be sure, and we want to believe that the bra will suit almost any size of woman because it represents such a good solution. But do be careful to check measurements, particularly if you’re on the small or large ends of the spectrum. If only we were all ‘average sized’!
2. Only available in black and white
Now this is one to check with your surgeon and medical team. We don’t see this bra as necessarily being one you’d wear immediately after surgery. We do see it as one that would be perfect and completely suitable from after the post-operative recovery period and forevermore from there on. In the case that this is a ‘forever and always’ bra, only being available in black and white is limiting. I, personally, would love this bra, but don’t wear black or white, as a rule. Such a shame.
Underworks Double Mastectomy Bra – Compression Bra Review Wrap Up
Except for the fact that this Underworks Compression Bra only comes in black and white, we really love it for the period after ‘immediate post-surgery recovery’ when we’re easing back into our (new) normal life. And then, this bra is so soft, beautifully styled and nicely designed – and incredibly priced – that it suits as a sleep, leisure, comfort everyday bra forever more.
For those who wear a breast form, this is a pocketed bra that caters well for that requirement also. Nicely versatile. Definitely a ‘must have one of those’ type bras.