In the last post, we determined your breast size; the next step is determining your breast shape. Breasts come in so many different shapes and to provide support, are bras of all manner – balconettes, demis, push ups, balcony etc. To someone who doesn’t know where to start, it can be daunting. I don’t mean to sound dramatic but there’s a lot at risk – a bra shape that doesn’t work with your breasts’ shape won’t fit, no matter what. After a terrible purchase all you can think about is quad-boob, spilling and other unmentionables.
Some Basic Terms to Help you Understand Breast Shape
This refers to the depth of your breasts. Projected breasts jut out while shallow breasts sit closer to the chest. The area where your breasts meet your chest is the root. Projected breasts have a narrower/shorter root while shallow breasts have a wider/taller root.
If you have shallow breasts and it can get a tad frustrating finding a well fitted bra. This is because with shallow breasts, more of the volume/tissue is on the top part of the breast leading to a common fitting problem – spilling out of your bra.
Thankfully after you know what you are looking for, there are plenty of options available for each breast shape.
So many fit issues are related to how full your breasts are. Some breasts are:
- Full –breast tissue is more or less evenly distributed.
- Full on top – breast tissue is more on the top half of the breast.
- Full on bottom – breast tissue is more on the bottom half of the breast.
A simple way to determine your ‘fullness’ is nipple placement. Without a bra, lean over at 90 degrees and if there’s more breast tissue above your nipple, then you are probably full on top. If there is more breast tissue below your nipple, then you’re probably full on bottom. If the breast tissue above and below your nipple is about the same then you have full/even breasts.
Underwires are not meant to poke you! A well fitted bra would have the shape of the underwire aligning with the natural root (place where chest meets breast) of your breast, cupping your breast exactly where it naturally sits.
Just like a warm hug…for your breasts.
However, since not all breasts have the same curve not all underwires fit all breasts. This means you could be wearing your ideal bra size and still experience underwire issues because the brand isn’t addressing your breast width. The wrong size underwire can be all shades of uncomfortable.
The tops of the pink circles in the above diagram mark the breast root. Wide root breasts require a longer underwire and narrow root breasts require a shorter underwire.
The natural gap/space between your breasts might seem unimportant, until you need to purchase a gorgeous bra. Wide set breasts have a gap between them that is narrower at the top and widens as it goes to the bottom. If you are able to fit 2-3 fingers in the gap, then your breasts are probably wide set. Close set breasts on the other hand are very close, probably touching.
After making sure the underwire is perfectly aligned to your breasts, the gore (the separation between the bra cups) needs to be flat on your body. Wide gores suit wide set breasts and touching breasts are better fitted in smaller gores.
Bra Size? Check. Bra Shape? Check. We are one step closer to that lingerie shopping spree! We just have to tackle the sizing systems in the next post! Are you looking forward to it?