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5 Things To Consider When Dressing For Breast Cancer

When I was going through treatment for breast cancer, I found it difficult to find clothing, particularly tops, that were soft against my skin and comfortable to wear; easy to slip on and off without lifting my arms over my head; and looked good on.

There are plenty of button up shirts and blouses out there but they can be rather stiff and restrictive to wear especially during chemotherapy and radiation. And the soft and comfy t-shirt tops have to be pulled over your head which is difficult to do after surgery when you can't lift your arms.

I found a lovely camisole at a mastectomy boutique that did up in the front and I have to say, I lived in it post surgery but then, what was I to wear overtop? It was quite surprising to find racks and racks of swimsuits and undergarments but very little in the way of tops. At that point in time, a swimsuit was the last thing on my mind.

I remember coming home and googling adaptive clothing and let's just say the word "stylish" did not come to mind. And "breast cancer clothing" brought up pink ribbon t-shirts.

So here are 5 things to consider when shopping and dressing for breast cancer.

Ease of Access

The Front Closure

      • Is it easy to slip on and off without lifting your arms up over your head?
      • Can you easily access your port during chemotherapy?


The Neckline

      • Does the neckline provide protection from the sun during radiation?
      • Does it provide adequate coverage to hide incision marks and scars?


The Sleeve

      • Are the sleeves and armholes generously cut for comfort?
      • Would they accommodate and provide easy access to a PICC line?
      • Would a compression or lymphedema sleeve fit comfortably underneath?


The Fabric

              • Is the fabric soft against your skin?
                • Is it breathable?
                  • Is it eco-friendly?
                    • Is it easy to care for?


            The Look

                      • Does it fit in with your everyday style?
                        • Does it make you look good and feel better?
                          • Would you wear it after your treatments are all done?

                    If you, or a loved one, or anyone else you know is going through breast cancer or other health issue that limits your mobility, here's a nice summary of the 5 things to consider when shopping and dressing to feel comfortable and confident.

                    5 Things to Consider When Dressing for Breast Cancer

                    And please check out the coKANna line of clothing. Our tops feature an effortless on and off style in a soft and breathable bamboo fabric. We like to call ourselves an F2F brand because our designs take you from functional to fashionable.

                    The Maddison

                    The Maddison

                    • The Maddison features a front zip closure making it easy to slip on and off.
                    • The zipper has a fabric underlay so it is soft against your skin.
                    • The front panels have a double layer of fabric for added coverage, and inside pockets to accommodate light padding if desired.
                    • The standup collar provides coverage and protection from the sun.
                    • The armholes and sleeves are generously cut for comfort.
                    • This versatile style can be worn all year round on its own or layered as a jacket.
                    • It comes in 3/4 sleeve, short sleeve, and cap sleeve.

                    The Maxine

                    The Maxine

                    • The Maxine is the perfect sleeveless top to wear under the Maddison or on its own. 
                    • It is reversible with a V-neck on one side and a boat neck on the other.
                    • It can be worn front to back or back to front making it two tops in one. 
                    • It is designed to be stepped into and pulled up so you don’t have to lift your arms and pull it over your head.
                    • It has a loose fitting shelf style underlayer for extra coverage and added comfort.
                    • It offers versatility: a casual sporty look with the V in the front; a more professional look with the boat neck in front under a jacket; or an evening look with the V in the back and some standout jewellery.
                    • It comes in solid and two-tone colour choices.
                    The coKANna line is designed with the breast cancer champion in mind. Our purpose is to help the "person" going through this difficult time in their life. Sometimes it’s the small things that get you through like a reassuring hug from a friend; a heated blanket during chemotherapy; or a comfy, feel good top that’s easy to slip on and you’re ready to go.
                    It's also important to us to give back to the breast cancer community that helps so many of us on this journey. We donate 5 percent of every purchase to the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre's Head Start Program. This is a wonderfully supportive program for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. To learn more, please click on:
                    Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre's Head Start Program

                    If you like our designs, please leave a comment and let us know. We'd love to hear from you.

                    If there is a particular design detail or style you can't find, or a clothing need you cannot seem to fulfill, please leave us a comment or send an email to: We are always looking for new ideas or ways to improve our existing products.

                    And if you know of anyone who might be interested in or in need of a fashionable and comfortable adaptive clothing option, please share this blog post and pass on our coordinates:


                    Thank you so much for reading to the end. Please come back and visit again soon.

                    All my best,







                    • Colleen

                      Lorraine, thank you so much for your feedback. Yes, the Maddison was designed to have the zipper stand out as a design detail. Interesting that you would prefer a fuchsia zipper on black. Our new fall jacket will have the zipper the same colour as the fabric.

                    • LOrraine

                      Hi Colleen,
                      I love my Mattison top and I wear it proudly. I tell everyone it is designed fior breast cancer. My only comment is the zipper looks too big. I would prefer a fuasia colorer zipper.

                    • Colleen

                      Thank you, Natalie! Hope all is well with you too.

                    • Natalie

                      Another great blog! Hope you are well!

                    • Colleen

                      Thank you, Sonia! That’s great to hear and you look fabulous in the teal Maddison!

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