* Prices may differ from that shown
Men, move on, this review is not for you. Bras are a topic for women. If you're a cross-dresser or transvestite, you may protest now, but believe me, this review is really not for you. Not that I'd know, but my guess is that if you're thusly inclined, you'll prefer flimsy, sexy bras with lace and silk to plain, no-frills ones of enormous dimensions, and the bra I'm reviewing here belongs to the latter category.
Women! Now that we're among ourselves I have to tell you that the ANITA Care Bra 1094 (see pic at the top) isn't for all of you, either. Of course, every woman is welcome to wear it but it's really meant to be only worn after breast surgery for whatever reason (a boob job or cancer. Not mastectomy, that's another story and another bra).
It's big so that it can support the breasts well, it's a bit like a bodice. It helps the healing process with controlled compression on the scar tissue and relief of lymph drainage channels. It's closed at the front with a 20 cm (7.87 '') long zipper. Under the zipper are three small metal hooks which must be closed first. If they aren't, it's next to impossible to close the zipper alone, you have to call someone to help you. The shoulder straps are 5 cm wide and can be adjusted to the necessary length with Velcro, the lower end of the bra has a 5 cm wide elastic band with cotton inside all round so that it fits tightly to the body.
I was told to wear the bra day and night during the first week after the operation and then only during the day for another six weeks. Day and *night*? Can one sleep with a kind of bodice on under the nightie? Yes, one can and even well. I must say that I like the bra, it's comfy. The material, 85% stretch cotton fabric and 15% elasthane, is soft, no seams pinch. Now that it's cold outside I cherish it because it warms the body, too. I don't know how I'd feel if I had to wear this bra in hot weather, maybe I wouldn't be so enthusiastic. What can one do with it when one doesn't have to wear it any more for medical reasons? The shop-assistant told me that there were women who wore it when engaging in sportive activities or when cleaning their windows. This is not so funny as it sounds. I live in the south of Germany among the tribe of the Swabians who're known throughout the country for their love of cleaning and doing household chores in general. For me this remark would mean that I'd wear the bra only once a year! Maybe I should start cleaning my windows more often so that I can wear the bra more often.
Obviously, for the first week the bra can't be washed, but later it can be hand-washed in the evening and be worn again in the morning. It dries over night if you roll it into a towel after washing to get most of the water out and then put it near a radiator. For this I advise to open the Velcro straps so that they can dry better. In the washing machine (washable at 60°) it's not advisable to open them because the Velcro attaches to everything lying nearby which can end in a mess.
Germany's economy is based on the export of machinery. But not only Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, Miele etc., etc. have conquered the world as I've now learnt, but also ANITA Body Wear products. 23 countries are listed on the homepage. In England an ANITA sales company was opened in 1994. The ANITA Dr. Helbig GmbH has been one 'of the most authoritative ladies' underwear and swimwear specialists - particularly in larger sizes' for over 125 years. They have a 'clear eye for quality, function and comfort' (homepage). They offer six different ranges, namely Rosa Faia Beautiful (seductive lingerie), Athletic & Support, Pregnancy & Nursing, Relief & Body Forming, Self-Esteem After Breast Surgery and Edelweiss (crisp white lingerie) Made in Austria.
Why the brand name is ANITA is something the homepage doesn't reveal, no female family member of this name is mentioned in the history of the company. Btw, the German pronunciation of the name Anita is like the Spanish and Italian one where the name comes from originally meaning 'little Anna', namely Uh-nee-tah, stress on the second syllable. This means that Uplifting Anita is an aural alliteration, read the title loud in the way it should be pronounced, and you've got it.
I'm sorry that I can't give you precise prices in GBP, I haven't found any. But I can tell you that ANITA bras are expensive. I guess we're talking about ~50 GBP here. They're high quality products and obviously the firm fares well demanding high prices. That the post-operative bras are especially expensive is logical, they're a niche product. The times of the hippies are over, nowadays nearly all women wear bras, but how many women have to wear these ANITA Care bras? The market is small, there can't be much competition, so the ANITA peeps can demand whatever price they want. I don't know what things are like in GB, I got the ANITA Care bra on a receipt from my physician and the health insurance company is going to pay for it.
You can find the store locator for your country here: http://www.anita.com/gb-en/Store_locator.252