Re-thinking Design Aesthetics of Post Mastectomy Lingerie

Silke Hofmann

SILKE HOFMANN – research image

‘Women’ clothing designs by Silke Hofmann, Image by Nina Piroth


My project is inspired by the personal story of a friends battle with breast cancer, specifically with the physical and emotional scars of her mastectomy treatment. With her story in mind, this practice led research aims to determine a relationship between post-mastectomy lingerie and positive body image.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women and according to the German Cancer Research Center, three out of ten diagnosed women are younger than 55 years. With a survival rates of 80%, there is potential need for new post-mastectomy lingerie that caters to the survivors by assisting with their emotional recovery process through improving quality of life and well-being and to reinstate and nurture self-perception and improving the sense of femininity, in affected women of all ages.


The study analyses the existing range of post-mastectomy lingerie and re-thinks design aesthetics by investigating aversion to currently available garments. The research takes into account sensory perception, inclusive design strategies, and psychological experience from wearing the garments.


In developing new design strategies to assist physical and psychological trauma recovery, the study aims to develop new insights into the relationship between clothes and the wearer and with this knowledge develop a resource that could be beneficial for similar fields of trauma research and clothing design.