Life with the Girls

The Mastectomy Whisperer

Though her prophylactic mastectomy is behind her, Lambeth Hochwald will never stop helping other women facing the procedure. Find out why in this month’s “Life with the Girls.”


Earlier this year, I got a note via LinkedIn from a reader of a mastectomy-related essay I wrote for Glamour. I replied to her immediately.

Despite the fact that she’s a decade older than me and 14 years behind me on the path to a prophylactic mastectomy, our shared BRCA status unites us. In fact, we’re friends now.

Since my mom and my aunt developed breast cancer and, one by one, we learned that we carry the high-risk BRCA mutation, I have become a mastectomy whisperer of sorts. It may sound like a weird side gig, but I consider it my duty to help others navigate the complicated and painful path to coming to terms with the implications of being a BRCA carrier. (This mutation, known as either BRCA1 or BRCA2, ups your lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer by a considerable percentage.)

Why not move on, now that I’ve graduated from the panic I felt when I discovered that I have an error on my DNA strand? After all, that genetic glitch likely stretches back to Dora, my great-grandmother, an immigrant who came to this country and died at age 53 of an ovarian cancer so insidious that they ‘opened her up and closed her up,’ according to family lore.

Why not focus on other things now that I no longer need mammograms or breast MRIs (my original pair has been replaced by a reconstructed duo), and I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed when my now-15-year-old son was just three?

Personal Style Swimwear

Gorgeous Swimwear $100 and Under

Summer is half over, half gloriously ahead—we’re still all about endlessly lounging on the deck and weekend trips to the closest beach. That doesn’t mean your bathing suit shopping days are done. In fact, right now is an ideal time to score some serious bargains to round out your wardrobe of swimsuits.

We asked Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma to curate her favorite under-$100 swimwear options in three must-have categories. Read on as our in-house expert helps you find the best bathing suit buys.

Personal Style Swimwear

Sexy Swimsuits, from Mild to Wild

Sexy is in the eye of the beholder, so when it comes to swim season, there’s more than one way to make a splash. As with so many things in life, it all comes down to attitude and personal style. Sexy can be as subtle as it is bold and brazen: “Sexy swimwear can sound intimidating, but it really doesn’t have to be at all,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “For example, if you opt for a one-piece with sheer mesh panels, you’re fully covered, yet the overall look still reads sexy.”

Consider this summer your personal platform to show as much—or as little—skin as you like. “The most important thing is your comfort level,” says Megan. “If you feel hot, you look hot. It’s as simple as that.” Here are her picks, arranged from smoldering to blazing hot.

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The Best Bikinis for Large Busts

If you trend toward the bigger-busted and have ever stood in front of a rack of swimsuits wondering which bikini top could possibly contain you, the solution is surprisingly simple: Look for a bikini top with a true-to-bra size.

“So many women steer away from bikinis because they only see themselves in sizes small, medium, large or extra-large, and they don’t know which will fit or support them best,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “That’s all the more reason to seek out bikinis with real bra-like construction, underwire and adjustable straps to give you the lift you need to feel secure.”

Summer’s coming, so join in as Megan rounds up the best of this season’s bikinis for big busts:

Personal Style Swimwear

Get in the Swim with Summer’s Best Plus-Size Swimsuits

Close your eyes and dream a little daydream about a day on the beach. Hear the waves, touch the sand, feel the sun. Are you there yet?

Now imagine actually loving the swimsuit you’re in.

“No matter what you’re going for, whether it’s a suit that’s classic or something trendier, I promise we have something for everyone,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “And this season, we’re extra excited about our assortment of plus-size swimsuits.”

Consider Megan your personal shopper as she shares the best of this season’s plus-size swimwear:

Personal Style Swimwear

Love This Bra Brand? Try This Swimsuit!

Let’s just say you’ve come to love one (or two or three) particular bra brands for their comfort, fit and style. Guess what? Many of those same brands are in the bathing suit biz, which means you’ll feel as happy on the beach or by the pool as you do at work, on a date or at school drop-off.

“By shopping these collections, your bathing suit finally gets to fit as well as your favorite bra does,” says Bare Necessities swimwear buyer Megan Puma. “The suits feature underwires, adjustable straps, clasp backs and an overall more tailored fit so you can jump into the water or run after your kids without worry.”

What makes these swimsuits from bra brands so special is that they’re constructed exactly like a bra, which gives even a teeny swimsuit so much more support than the standard offerings. The suits are designed with the same level of detail and quality of construction as their bra counterparts. “Shopping is more precise since you’re able to buy them by your exact bra size as opposed to the more generic small-medium-large,” adds Megan.

Here, Megan divides our 10 bra-sized swimwear brands into three categories so you can key right into the style you’re seeking. She picked a favorite look from each brand, too. Ready to dive in?