Silicon Breast Forms Part 6:
Your Breast Form Questions Answered:
Adhesives and Bras

Your Mail

Some of you have written that you still have problems attaching your breast forms. Some of you have questions about using bras with silicone breast forms. I'll try to answer your questions here.

I have tried gluing my "Silicone Balloon" breast forms and they rip apart.
Yes, they do. I had the same experience with them. They are just very fragile. My best advice is upgrade to sturdier forms. You can repair the breast forms (see Repairing Breast Forms), but if the entire back has come off (which is a typical failure mode), this is probably not practical. Rather than spend the same amount of money slowly on a series of inferior products, spend it all at once on an upgrade.
I've tried everything but my breast forms don't stay on.
I get a lot of mail about this, so it's clear that many of you are still having trouble, even with more expensive breast forms and adhesives. Some of this is probably caused by the fact that we all have different skin types. Some of us are oilier than others, some of us sweat more than others. People with dry, non-sweaty skin are going to have an easier time getting their breast forms to stay on. It's quite possible you're having problems because you have "problem" skin. But with effort, I do believe you can achieve a successful transformation for at least a few hours, and probably longer. The first step in solving these problems is to double check that you are doing the basics properly. You really have to be meticulous, especially if you fall into the problem skin-type category:

  • It is critically important to prepare your skin. Exfoliate (you can do this the night before), shave or epilate and shower or bathe. I also recommend cleaning the attachment area with some alcohol.
  • Don't use any moisturizers or creams, including moisturizing soap.
  • Make sure your breast form is clean. You should clean it well right after you use it, but a quick swab with some alcohol before applying the adhesive is a great idea.
  • Use something like Telesis Top Guard or Skin Tac wipes on your skin to help with oil and sweat issues.
  • After applying the adhesive to the forms, make sure you wait long enough. With silicon adhesive, even 20-minutes is not too long to wait but wait at least five minutes. Remember that it should be tacky before you put it on. The tackier it is, the better your chances for a successful bonding.
  • You don't need a lot of adhesive. Aim for an even, thin layer.

Some of you say you have done all the above, religiously, and still have problems. I believe you. Here are some other things to try:

  • Controlling sweat. Silicon is an insulator which means the area underneath your breast forms is going to get hot. When that happens you are going to sweat. Some people will sweat more (some a lot more) than others. There is no adhesive which is impervious to sweat. Dealing with sweat deserves an article of its own, but the short story is that you can apply a strong, non-cream based antiperspirant before using the Top Guard or Skin Tac. This can help a lot. The best time to apply any antiperspirant is before you go to bed. I am currently favoring the "Certain Dri" line of antiperspirants, which have as much as 12% Aluminum Chloride (the active ingredient) and are reasonably priced. Apply to your chest area (and any other area) the night before you wear your breast forms, and reapply in the morning.
  • Applying adhesive to both your skin and the breast form. This should create a very strong bond and it might be harder to remove.
  • Don't deform the breast forms! I believe this could be one of the largest causes of failure. If you are having trouble getting your breasts to stick it is very natural to press harder and longer on them. The problem with this is that silicon breasts are elastic and have a natural resting shape. If you change that shape by pressing on the form, when you remove the pressure, like any elastic, the forms will try to return to their natural shape, pulling away from the places where they are attached to your chest. You can use a bra, such as a sports bra, to hold them on while the adhesive sets, but make sure it is not so tight that it changes the form's natural shape. This is a very important point.
  • Work from the inside out. This is standard advice for attaching prosthetics. The breast forms are naturally sticky, so focus most of your attention on the edges.
My sponge soaks up too much adhesive and wastes it.

Some of you have written that using a sponge soaks up too much of the Telesis adhesive. I think you must be using a sponge which is too large! Use a small one, or if you don't have a small one, do what I do and cut down an existing sponge. Or you can also just use a brush, which I am now back to trying.

That's all the advice I have. Let me know how this works out for you.

What's the best way to use Bras with Breast Forms?

If you have balloon breast forms, the only solution is to use a pocket bra. If you use forms like Aphrodite's, then you can (and should) avoid pocket bras and use a traditional bra. I don't recommend gluing the forms when using bras.

Step one: Make sure your bra fits

This is the most important step. The bra should not be so tight that it leaves red marks and welts on your shoulders and ribcage. Only ten percent of the bra support comes from the straps over your shoulder. The other ninety-percent should come from the band. You want to be able to slide two fingers under both the straps and the band. If you find you can fit more fingers in, then use a smaller band. In my experience, most women use bras that are too small and too tight.

The bra band shouldn't be too large. If you think about the simple physics of bras, the strap should be level or slightly below your breasts. A bra strap which is too loose won't support the breasts, which will press down on the bra and cause the strap to go up in the back. A bra strap that rides up on your back is the number one clue that your strap is too large (or too loose).

A cup size which is too large will sit too low on the front of your body. If you find there is always space between your bra cup and your breast (or that your breast forms are always peeling away from your skin), go down a cup size.

Step 2: Putting on your bra

  • Put your arms through the straps, lean forward and then fasten the back on the largest set of hooks.
  • While still leaning forward place the breast forms in each cup. You want to make sure your breasts are settled comfortably and correctly into the cups, which won't happen if you try this standing up straight.
  • While still leaning forward, grab the underwire or bottom of each cup, and wiggle gently from side to side.
  • Slip your hand inside the cup and lift the breasts up and toward each other gently.
  • At this point, you will need to adjust the shoulder straps. Slip each one off your shoulder one at a time to adjust the sliders They need to be short enough to stay in place without cutting into your skin.

Step 3: Making sure your bra fits.

Once you get the hang of this bra stuff, it will be simple. But most girls wear bras that don't fit them well and don't realize it. So let's take a moment here to double check things:

  • Does the band fit? A properly fitting band provides most of the support. If it is new, then it should fit perfectly on the loosest hook. Some people think those hooks on the back are there to adjust the fit. Oh no! They are there because a perfectly fitting bra, being elastic, will start to stretch out and, over time, you will need to move to the tighter hooks. If your bra is new and only fits you well on the tighter hooks, you need a smaller band size. If the back of the band rides up, then your band size is too large. Be aware that if you move to another band size, you might also need to change the cup size. As a rule of thumb, going down a band size means going up one cup size.
  • Does the cup fit? The cup should be filled, with no wrinkled fabric or extra space. If there is spillage, any spillage at all, then the cup size is too small, even if you are using a low-cut or pushup bra. Check around the cups for bulging, either at the front or the sides under your arms. Bulging means the cups are too small.
  • Where does that underwire go? If you have an underwire bra, the wires are intended to sit on your ribs, not on the breast tissue. Since most people reading this are using breast forms, it won't be uncomfortable (as it would if you had real breasts) so you might not notice it if you don't check it. Having the underwire in the right place will look much better and be easier on your breast forms.

The Joys of a Properly Fitting Bra.

When I finally figured out bras and started using ones that fit me, it made an amazing difference in the appearance of my clothes. And your breasts will look much more amazing also! Your breast line will suddenly be at the correct level, proportional to your figure (about halfway between your elbow and your shoulder). And since this is where designers expect your breasts to be, your clothes will fit much better. It's amazing how much better shirts, long dresses, tops, everything looks with a properly positioned breast, either in the bra or attached with adhesive.

Other Bra Issues

While I'm writing about bras, there are other issues we can talk about.

Keeping Bra Straps from Falling

I don't know about you, but as far as I am concerned, this is the most irritating wardrobe malfunction there is. The most common cause for this is the obvious one: they are too loose. Bra straps loosen with wear, so they do need frequent adjusting. If you can put more than two fingers under the strap, it's too loose.

It can also be caused by wearing a bra style that is wrong for your particular body/breast form combo. If you have narrow or sloping shoulders, you need to make sure that the bra's straps are not too far apart. You can try demi or balconette type bras, which have closer set straps.

If your straps are properly adjusted, and you love your bra, but the straps still slip, here are some other solutions:

Strap-keepers These go back to the 1940's and the Hollywood starlets. They are a thin piece of ribbon with a snap sewn on each end. You pin them into your dress or top (careful to grab only the lining, so it doesn't show on the outside) and then snap them around your bra straps. You can buy them for about two dollars at any sewing or notions shop.

I learned about these because I have a beautiful vintage style dress with them already sewn in! I thought the tiny ribbons with snaps were meant to keep the clothes on the hanger, and I know some woman cut them off. Oh no! But if you're lucky, your dress will already have them, or you can add them yourself or pay someone to do it.

Topstick tape Put some of this stuff onto your bra straps at the shoulders, they will stick to your dress. They stay on all day.

Going backless

You can go backless with a bra! It's easy. You buy these amazing things called low-back bra converters. This hooks onto both sides of your existing bra clasp and wraps around the front of your lower stomach, pulling the band down in back, hiding it, while still giving maximum support in the front. If you are on a budget or cheap, you can make your own with a piece of elastic and some hooks from a bra that is too stretched to wear, or just use safety pins.

Backless and strapless requires a long-line bra, which I admit, I haven't yet tried. I will update this article when I do.

Washing Bras

No one has actually asked me about this, but since I'm on the topic, I thought I would address this. I hope you are all washing your bras by hand. Soak them in the bathroom sink in warm water with a capful of gentle laundry soap for about ten minutes, then rinse well. Really rinse them! Excess soap attracts dirt and makes your bras wear out faster.

To dry them, lay them on a clean, dry towel until they are not dripping wet, then hang them by both straps on a hanger to air dry. Make sure the cups still look like cups and are not dented. If they are dented, gently reshape them with your fingers. Do not wring, twist or press your bras, which will cause them to lose their shape.

I hope this has been helpful and your breasts stay put and your bra straps stay up. I know a lot of you are having issues, so I really hope this helps you out. Let me know how it's going. Feel free to