What Determines Breast Shape?

When it comes to bra style and design specifics, different breast shapes need different things. One of the most common reasons for bra discomfort, even if you’re wearing the right size, is a shape mismatch. Breast shape (determined by a combination of different attributes) is as important as bra size.   

To get the proper support and comfort level, the bra you’re wearing should have specific features (underwire width, coverage level, etc.) that complement your shape 

To make bra shopping easier, first determine which attribute stands out most about your breasts. Then, choose a bra that works best for it. 

(Hint: your biggest fit issue is likely related to that attribute.) 

To get the proper support and comfort level, the bra you’re wearing should have specific features (underwire width, coverage level, etc.) that complement your shape 

To make bra shopping easier, first determine which attribute stands out most about your breasts. Then, choose a bra that works best for it. 

(Hint: your biggest fit issue is likely related to that attribute.) 

This article explains the three factors that make up breast shape and recommends products that work well with those attributes. We want our customers to find the perfect braone that makes them feel confident and makes their daily lives pain-free. 

What Determines Breast Shape?

The shape of your breasts is determined by a combination of the following: projection, roots, and fullness. By mixing and matching certain attributes, you get a variety of breast shapes. 

Projection

Projection refers to how far your breasts “stick out” when wearing a bra.  

This does not refer to how large your breasts are. Two people can wear the same size but have different projection levels. The same bra may not work for both of them. 

Karen (left) and Christina (right) both wear 36DDD, but Karen’s breasts are projected whereas Christina’s breasts are medium projected. 

Karen (top) and Christina (bottom) both wear 36DDD, but Karen’s breasts are projected whereas Christina’s breasts are medium projected. 

Shallow

Your breasts are relatively flat and “plate” shaped.  

Breast Projection

Shallow

Your breasts are relatively flat and “plate” shaped.  

Breast Projection

Medium Projected

Your breasts stick out, but center gores generally still tack quite easily.

Medium Projected

Your breasts stick out, but center gores generally still tack quite easily.

Projected

Your breasts stick out further. 

In a bra that’s not projected, you may start to struggle with spillage and a floating (not tacking) center gore. 

Projected

Your breasts stick out further. 

In a bra that’s not projected, you may start to struggle with spillage and a floating (not tacking) center gore. 

Very Projected

Your breasts stick out very far and are “drinking glass” shaped

You may find that you often struggle with floating center gores.

Very Projected

Your breasts stick out very far and are “drinking glass” shaped

You may find that you often struggle with floating center gores.

Roots

Your roots are the curved line where your breasts are attached to the rest of your body.

Find them by lifting your breasts with your hands and looking in the mirror. 

breast roots

Wide

If your roots go all the way to your armpits, then you have wide roots.  

Wide roots call for wide underwire. An underwire that’s too narrow will sit on your breast tissue, aggravating and damaging it. 

Wide

If your roots go all the way to your armpits, then you have wide roots.  

Wide roots call for wide underwire. An underwire that’s too narrow will sit on your breast tissue, aggravating and damaging it. 

Narrow

If your roots end way before/in front of your armpits, then you have narrow roots. 

Narrow roots need narrow underwire. An underwire that’s too wide will irritate the area under your arms or even your back. 

Narrow

If your roots end way before/in front of your armpits, then you have narrow roots. 

Narrow roots need narrow underwire. An underwire that’s too wide will irritate the area under your arms or even your back. 

Short

Short roots start lower down your torso (near the center of your chest). 

An underwire that’s too tall will likely give you center gore discomfort.

Short

Short roots start lower down your torso (near the center of your chest). 

An underwire that’s too tall will likely give you center gore discomfort.

Tall

Tall roots start higher up your torso. 

Choose a bra with a taller side wire for proper support and coverage.

Tall

Tall roots start higher up your torso. 

Choose a bra with a taller side wire for proper support and coverage.

Fullness

This describes how your breast tissue is distributed and sits on your body.

You could either be one or a combination of the following. 

Vertical Fullness

Top-full

This is when most of your breast tissue is above the nipple. 

Vertical Fullness

Top-full

This is when most of your breast tissue is above the nipple. 

Vertical Fullness

Bottom-full

Most of your breast tissue is below the nipple.

Vertical Fullness

Bottom-full

Most of your breast tissue is below the nipple.

Horizontal Fullness

Center-full

Your breast tissue is mostly at the center.

Horizontal Fullness

Center-full

Your breast tissue is mostly at the center.

Horizontal Fullness

Side-full

Your breast tissue is mostly at the sides.

Horizontal Fullness

Side-full

Your breast tissue is mostly at the sides.

If your breasts have more than one key attribute, stack the product filters on our website. 

We hope this article leads you closer to your perfect bra. If you were to search online about common breast shapes, you’d find words like “bell”, “omega”, “tear drop”, “round”, “east west”, etc. 

Instead of simply listing the different breast shapes (the list can get pretty long), we believe it’s more useful if we break down what determines your shape (the mix and matching of certain attributes), so you can get the best bra match and understand why it’s the right one for you. 

If this is your first time checking out our products, welcome! We have a step-by-step tutorial on how to buy a bra from us and what you should know. 

If you’re planning to grab one of the bras we recommended, refer to our fit check guide to ensure it fits correctly. If you run into some issues, no worries. That’s what our troubleshooting guide is for. 

For further reading, check out Branatomy. The information there will come in handy the next time you go bra shopping. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if my bra fits right?

Follow our fit check guide to see if your bra fits correctly. It outlines how the bra band, straps, cups, underwire, and center gore should sit on your body.  

Keep in mind that bra fit is more art than science, and if your bra feels comfortable and supportive but doesn’t meet all the criteria, that’s okay. It’s fine to keep wearing it.  

However, we encourage everyone to experience a technical fit at least once to make sure they aren’t missing out on a great fit. 

2. How can I tell what shape my breasts are?

You can determine your shape by looking at your breasts in the mirror. If you need assistance or have any questions, book a virtual fitting. Our fit specialist can also guide you in measuring your bra size and give you product recommendations. 

3. What bra should I wear for my breast shape?

Ideally, the bra you’re wearing will have features that complement your breast shape. For example, if you have narrower roots (and that is the core attribute of your breasts), it’s best to wear a bra with narrower underwire. Take note of your projection level, roots, and fullness and refer to that the next time you go bra shopping.  

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