This time of year, fitting a swimsuit to one’s body again can be a ritual that few women look forward to. Hoping it fits, tugging it on over one’s hips, trying not to notice the bumps and bulges that may not have been there the year before, it’s never a day at the beach.
For breast cancer survivors though, bumps and bulges may be the least of their worries. The more pressing concern when it comes to their body? A suit that will conceal the revelatory marks from an operation that spared their life.
When Patricia Brett saw that one too many women in her family were diagnosed with cancer—three aunts, a sister, three first cousins, two second cousins, daughters of one aunt, and myriad other cousins to be exact—she soon knew that she needed to face this disease head on. It was in early 2008 that Brett took out a sketchbook and began to put pen to paper, and eventually create what would become the Veronica Brett Swim Collection for Breast Cancer Survivors. The line is specifically designed for women who have survived breast cancer, or those who have had risk-reducing surgeries, like many in Brett’s family—including Brett herself: Her family is the unlucky holder of the BRCA1 gene, a factor that has caused she and some of her relatives to take the drastic action of removing both breasts—or both ovaries (ovarian cancer also runs in Brett’s family)—as a precautionary measure. Brett calls herself a pre-vivor, one who has not survived cancer but the higher risk of getting cancer. After being diagnosed with the gene, she felt she could take no chances, since the diagnosis delivers a whopping 85 percent chance that one will develop cancer in one’s lifetime.
The Veronica Brett line is named in honor of Brett’s Aunt Veronica, who was diagnosed when she was only 41 and who died three years later. Brett’s sister Regina is also a survivor, and the impetus for the line, after her mastectomy left her unable to find a great fitting dress for a wedding. Brett’s first sketches turned into three styles that now comprise the line: a Bandeau suit, a Wrap suit, and a Halter suit, each priced just under $200, which, for specially made LUX swimwear, is hugely affordable. The suits have wonderful cuts that enhance any figure and compliment the parts of a woman’s body that should be complimented, all while giving full coverage to those that have been affected by the very visceral experience they’ve just gone through. The suits are more for lounging and casual swimming than any more vigorous activity. With fashion this good, who would want to do much more than strike a pose in it anyway?
This past Memorial Day weekend, the collection joined with the Ellen Hermanson Foundation for a summer launch event at the Elie Tahari boutique in East Hampton, New York. A usual LUX crowd attended the lovely evening cocktail, held on a celebratory first weekend of the summer in a community where charity almost knows no bounds during the months of June, July, and August, when an average 5 to 10 charity events are held each weekend. The Ellen Hermanson Foundation couldn’t be a better partner for Veronica Brett Swimwear, with a 14-year history of serving breast cancer patients on the East End of Long Island. Brett’s swimwear is featured in this month’s Redbook and Glamour magazines, as well as last month’s Real Simple. To read further about Veronica Brett Swimwear or to order one of their fabulous suits, visit www.veronicabrett.com.