Before you read this guide, you should already know how to measure your true breast size. After measuring your breast size, the next step is looking for the perfect bra. This means you need to know the shape of your breasts!
Knowing your breast shape is important as you may have the same breast size as another person but require a different bra because of the shape.
If you are like most people, you probably think that breasts can either be small or big. Considering breasts in terms of size is the biggest mistake you should avoid when looking for a properly-fitting bra.
Breasts, whether small or large, come in different shapes. To determine your true breast shape, you will need some experience. You will understand the shape of your breast better as well as what works after wearing various bra brands.
When shopping for a bra, you will come across terms such as “root width”, “shallow breasts”, among others. Do not be scared of these terms!
Breast Shape Guide
In this guide, you will learn the four main things that are related to breast shape. By the end of the article, you will have known your breast shape and be in a better position to find the right bra for you.
Let’s get started.
#1. Projection: Are Your Breasts Shallow?
The depth of the breasts is also referred to as “projection”. Like the name suggests, projected breasts “project” to the front.
Shallow breasts are the opposite of projected breasts. Shallow breasts do not project a lot and their tissue is nearer to the body.
Generally, women with shallow breasts find it more challenging to find well-fitting bras. Since shallow breasts have less projection, they look a little bit flatter.
A shallow breast and a projected breast may have the same volume. What will make them different is the distribution of the tissue volume. With a shallow breast, the tissue will be more on the top part than a projected breast would have. Apart from this, a shallow breast has a more even tissue distribution.
Because of the way shallow breasts are, fitting a bra on the can be a problem. When you wear a bra, the cup will feel small on the top and too big on the bottom. This is because the breast tissue will be spilling out on top while leaving an empty space on the bottom.
While finding bras for shallow breasts is a challenge, there are many bra options that are perfect for this breast shape.
#2. Fullness: Are You Top Full or Bottom Full?
You may also have top full, bottom full, or even breasts. Determining the fullness of your breast is important since fullness affects your bra fit.
Both projected and shallow breasts can have fullness issues.
If you have top full breasts, most bras will dig into your breast and cause spillage on top. If you have bottom full breasts, some bras won’t fill your cup all the way up.
You can determine whether you have top full or bottom full boobs by checking the placement of the nipples. When not wearing a bra, bend at a 90-degree angle and check the nipples. If the nipples sit on the back half, you have top full breasts. If they sit in the front half, you have bottom full breasts.
#3. Root Width: Do Underwires Align with Your Breasts?
To find a fitting bra, you should understand your breast root. When you know whether your breast has a narrow or wide root, it will be easy to determine whether a particular underwire bra will be suitable.
The root refers to the base of the breast. This is the part where the breast is attached to the torso (see the picture below).
A bra underwire is designed to align to the natural root of the breast. However, since all breasts do not follow the same curvature, not all underwire bras will be suitable for all breasts.
To find a fitting underwire bra, check that the underwires are in line with the natural root of the breasts.
In the picture above, the breasts on the left have a wider root and, therefore, need a wider underwire. If you wear a bra with a narrow underwire, the breast is likely to be poked into and leave you uncomfortable.
On the other hand, the breasts on the right have a narrow root. Therefore, the best bra for them would be a narrow underwire. If you wear an underwire that is too wide, it will be uncomfortable, especially if it extends past the breast tissue.
Both the wide and narrow root breasts above could be of the same volume. The root width refers to the shape of the underwire only. Therefore, sometimes a bra may be fitting bra but the underwire may not be correct because of the bra model or brand does not accommodate your breast root width.
If your breasts have wide roots, their tissues will be near the armpits and just next to the sides of the torso. One easy way of knowing whether you have wide root breasts is checking whether the boobs tend to fall out of your bra around the armpits. If this is the case, the best bra to buy would be one with overly extended underwires.
On the flip side, breasts with narrow roots don’t fill all the cup space at the sides of your torso. Therefore, you may find that the bra underwires are too long. For your case, the best bras to wear would be those that have a shorter underwire.
Are Your Breasts Shallow or Narrow?
To find out whether you have shallow or narrow root breasts, try on different bras and check where the underwire ends on the outer sides of the bra. If the underwire bra fits you properly, your breast should be cupped where it naturally sits.
If the breast tissue extends further than where the underwire ends, this means you have a wide breast root. If the underwire extends past your breast tissue, this means you have a narrow root breast.
#4. Separation: Wide-Set Breasts Vs. Touching Breasts
The spacing or separation between the breasts also determines how fit a bra would be. If you can fit three fingers between the boobs, you have wide-set breasts. If the boobs are very close and touching, this means you have touching or close-set boobs.
Separation between the breasts can prove to be a challenge when you want to buy a bra. If you have touching or wide-set boobs, check where the underwire is placed to ensure it aligns with the breasts properly. Keep in mind that for the breast gore to fit properly, it should lay flat on your body.
To wrap it all, here are some tips that will allow you to select the right bra for your breast shape:
- Wide-set breast. If you have wide-set breasts, get demi-cup bras that have a wider than average gore. These bras are recommended for women with separated breasts. Since the bra cups are also separated, they will match the breasts.
- Touching breasts. If you have touching breasts, get bras with smaller gores that are not separated between the cups. A good example of these bras are the plunge types. A plunge bra is a great option if you have touching breast and what to augment your cleavage.
Breast Shape Pictorial Guide
Below is an overview of the common types of breast shapes.
Asymmetric shape refers to one boob being larger than the other. If you have asymmetric boobs, the best bra for you would be one with removable paddings.
Side set breasts point in opposite directions and may have a large gap in between them. Women with side set breasts tend to busty. For them, the best bra would be a plunge bra, which will help to pull the breasts in and up.
Tear drop breasts are rounded but a little less full at the top. If you have this breast shape, you can wear almost any type of bra.
Athletic breasts are a little wider and more muscular but with less tissue. The best bra for athletic breasts is a push-up bra. This bra brings out curves on your bust.
Bell shaped breasts are fuller at the bottom but slimmer at the top. Women with bell-shaped breasts have a fuller bust. Therefore, they need a bra that offers plenty of lift and support.
With relaxed shape, the breast tissue is more relaxed and your nipples point downwards. The best bra for this breast shape is a push up bra because it provides shape and support.
Breasts that are round at the top and bottom are referred to as round shape breasts. The best bra to wear in this case would be an underliner bra.
East West Shape
With these breasts, the nipples point outwards in opposite directions. Moreover, there may be a noticeable gap in between your cleavage.
If you have east west shaped breasts, you should wear a T-shirt bra to pull the breasts in. This will provide a smooth silhouette on your breasts and give you a fuller shape.
These breasts are usually smaller on top and tend to be longer on the sides. With this breast shape, the nipples may also point downwards. You can give your breasts the right amount of lift by wearing a plunge bra with padding.