Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is LookBetterThanYouFeel a wise investment?
First of all, it helps in your personal recovery process. It also helps your family and friends recovering with you when they see you "Looking Better Than You Feel." An old button-down man's shirt can only go so far as a cover-up and will definitely not hold your drains. I love the freedom of pairing LookBetterThanYouFeel with my favorite things. Investing in a piece of clothing that will last many years after your surgery and with two necklines for the price of one - I love that, too!
- Who needs LookBetterThanYouFeel?
Any woman facing breast surgery, mastectomy, reconstruction or radiation. Not only will you probably come home with awkward drains after surgery, but the range of motion in your arms is very limited. You may not raise your arms over your head. LookBetterThanYouFeel is for any woman who just wants a very cute, comfy, modest tank that goes with everything. Even if you do not have a mastectomy or need temporary drain pockets, you will face a barrage of treatments and save much time and hassle of changing clothes for exams. If your diagnosis demands radiation, it is often daily. It took me longer to get in and out of my clothes and readjust my wig or scarf than the actual radiation zapping. I have not changed my clothes for a breast exam in 3 years because of LookBetterThanYouFeel!
- What size should I order?
LookBetterThanYouFeel is very stretchy by design so it can be pulled up over your hips post-surgery, as you cannot raise your arms over your head. I can easily pull it over a pair of jeans! The new microfiber is cool, breathadle, soft and flattering. It feels great. Therefore, there is some flexibility with sizing when placing your order. If you have an above average bust size, you may consider going a size higher.
- Kim, what is your favorite thing about the garment?
Everything! But if I have to pick just one thing, it would be wearing the garment years after my mastectomy and reconstruction to every doctor's appointment and follow-up screening (which some days seem endless) and not having to change my clothes! No one can tell I am wearing a medical garment! At my last appointment, my oncologist said, "Oh, you're already dressed; I don't even have to shut the door! Come on out!" (BIG SMILE from ME!)
- How do the drain pockets work?
The placement is strategic and my breast surgeon really liked the size and placement of the drain pockets. They are roomy because tubing length varies and I wanted easy access for nurses in the hospital and for me to maneuver them. The slit is on the front of the pocket so if you are lying in the hospital bed, your drains can be moved more towards the front near your stomach and you won't be lying on them. Then when you take your first little walk with your IV probably still in place, you can move your drains easily towards the back so you don't have this big bulge in front where you are already self-conscious. We can't let those dreaded drains get the best of us! Remember on these long days, they are temporary.
- In your brochure you mention being able to cut out the drain pockets on "Independence Day." Can you elaborate?
Yes! When I was shocked with a breast cancer diagnosis - my head, heart, and schedule started screaming. I knew I was getting drains but nothing could prepare me for those awkward tubes and drains that came home with me from the hospital hanging from my arm pits like an extra appendage. I wanted to hide them! When they finally were removed, it felt like "Independence Day" and was so exciting. Make it a real sweet milestone when you can literally take a pair of scissors and cut out lightweight mesh pocket for good!!
Please DO NOT CUT pockets if you are having reconstruction. You may need them. Ask your surgeon if he anticipates any drains for you in the future. If he says, "No," honey, go get those scissors!
- When do I actually cut out the drain pockets?
Of course, this is optional. They are so lightweight; you may want to leave them. You can creatively put money in the pockets when you travel instead of hiding it in your bra! You may cut them only after you are sure you are not having reconstruction or another surgery. Do continue to wear your comfortable garment though, especially if you have all those daily radiation treatments. You can literally go in for radiation and never experience the awkwardness of changing clothes with possibly a wig or scarf. Changing my clothes took longer than the actual radiation treatment itself.
- Which color should I try first?
I would choose whatever makes you feel the most feminine. If one matches your favorite pajama bottoms or sweats for hospital to home, I would start with that color.
The white lace cowl neck cami is dressy enough for fine dining and can look "cute-casual" with jeans yet very feminine as loungewear.
Black is classic, slimming and goes with everything.
The zebra print is just plain fun and stylish. My plastic surgeon actually suggested an animal print, so imagine his surprise when I came to my appointment in that one!
- What do you do about support for your breasts or prosthesis?
Great question! LookBetterThanYouFeel does not offer any breast support. Post-surgery you cannot have any binding and believe me, you will want the most comfortable thing you can find next to your wounded body. When your surgeon gives you permission to wear a bra, you can! I wear a strapless bra under LookBetterThanYouFeel when I need the breast support.
- What do you place in the breast pockets?
You may put anything soft in there you like, including a sock, if necessary or nothing at all. Your Image Recovery Center will have many options in terms of a cup or prosthesis. At first, I just used an old lightweight foam cup I had from high school. You may buy those at a fabric/sewing store. Just take off slick fabric so it will not slide too much. I remember wishing I had something in the hospital for the one side when they decided on the operating table not to do the skin-sparing reconstruction as planned. They removed all my lymph nodes in my right arm instead. They didn't want to slow down my chemo or radiation treatments, and I woke up with nothing there! I was very self-conscious with one breast, and I came home from the hospital in my robe because I had nothing to wear!
- What do you mean hospital to home, street to sleep and every doctor's office in-between?
I mean literally just that. I want every woman to come home from the hospital in LookBetterThanYouFeel, wearing it in the hospital with your favorite PJ bottoms, sweatpants or robe, so you can LookBetterThanYouFeel! Seeing myself with the drains for the first time was when I needed it most. It was the time I felt least feminine but it is amazing what a pretty top and some pink lipstick will do for you! Then, by design, it hides all the surgery or post-trauma, and you can be on the street, come home to sleep, and definitely wear to every follow-up! I am convinced pretty soon the doctors will be "Looking Better Than You Feel," too, because of their precious time being saved too. They will have more time to listen to us because it won't take so long for women to get those ugly gowns off and on!! Also, if you have children at home, the drains may make them uncomfortable. You actually "Looking Better Than You Feel" will help them feel better too.
- How do I put on LookBetterThanYouFeel?
You just pull up over your hips! You step into LookBetterThanYouFeel as your arms do not feel very good post-surgery, and doctors do not want you raising them over your head. LookBetterThanYouFeel is so stretchy by design that you can have on your heaviest jeans and still be able to pull it over your jeans!
- How do I wash it?
The washing instructions are tagged inside the left side of the garment where it won't touch your skin. The fabric can be put in the dryer, but I don't ever put any of my nice garments in the dryer, I wash mine on the delicate cycle and line dry. You will probably wear it daily post-surgery so consider purchasing two as it is a practical comfortable investment long after your scars have healed!
- How much does it cost?
I have no control over pricing for individual retail stores. The suggested retail price is around $75.00 (does not include sales tax and shipping & handling). I think it is worth far more!
- How do I purchase LookBetterThanYouFeel?
Since LookBetterThanYouFeel is brand spanking new and just being introduced to women, quantities are limited and it will be as a first come-first serve. LookBetterThanYouFeel is available locally to date in Richmond, Virginia, or you may order online.
That Special Look
380 Serpentine Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Westbury Home Health Care
8801-C Three Chopt Road
Richmond, VA 23229
Town & Country
Health Services & Supplies, Inc.
16618-D Mountain Road
Montpelier, VA 23192
Buford Road Pharmacy
2608 Buford Road
P.O. Box 3989
Richmond, VA 23235
Stepping Stones Women's Center
7575 Cold Harbor Road, Suite 2D
Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Toll Free: 888-746-9880
Silhouette Mastectomy Boutique
12715-V Warwick Boulevard
Newport News, VA 23606
Richmond Apothecaries, Inc (EPIC)
7601 Forest Avenue
Richmond, VA 23229
- What does BSSYP mean?
Be Sweet Say Your Prayers.
For 25 years, my Sweet Daddy sealed every letter and package to me with BSSYP. It stood for the words he had said to me my whole life: Be Sweet and Say Your Prayers. Now it dons the back of my PINK truck and the license plate on my family car.
When I was a freshman in college, a thrilling "first letter from home" was sitting in my campus mailbox awaiting my enthusiastic response. It was obvious that Mama had addressed it, but Daddy had scribbled "BSSYP" in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope.
For the life of me, I could not figure out its meaning. Out of curiosity and probably homesickness, I immediately called home. I remember part of our conversation as if it were yesterday:
"Daddy, what is BSSYP?"
"Sugar, it is what I've told you all your life. Be sweet and say your prayers."
For many years, Daddy never missed leaving his mark on each letter or package that my Mama carefully and lovingly addressed. BSSYP survived graduation from college, graduate school, marriage and now our first baby!
My unique tribute to Mama and Daddy is a perpetual Virginia license tag with BSSYP on it. The look on my parents' faces when I drove home for the first time donning my "tribute tags" was priceless. God only knows how many people have inquired about its meaning over the years.
I've never tired of sharing this tribute about my special parents, Bo and Maxine Bowman. I taught school almost ten years and an old license plate always adorned my classroom. The students inquired about it without fail and were given a little extra credit when they sought out its meaning and told me the next day. They loved it!
Imagine my joy in giving my parents an autographed copy of Dennis Rainey's book The Tribute (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1994) in which a letter from me, about my parents, was published!
This BSSYP tribute has already been passed on to our daughter as a tribute from her special, special grandparents, my Mama and Daddy, and now to you!