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How To Determine Your Breast Shape To Find Your Perfect Bra!

Do you know the shape of your breasts? Do you know that this is JUST as important as knowing your bra size, when shopping for plus size bras?

Marie’s Note: When it comes to our girls, there are always certain gripes concerns or frustrations attached to finding the right bra. I have always wanted to talk about our shape and how this is JUST as important to finding the right bra as is knowing our bra size! SO when Kate from The Bra Guide hit me up to fashion a post, I leaped at her offer to do a guest post to talk about it! 

If you’d describe your boobs as either big or small, you’re missing something! There are 4 main factors you should consider when it comes to your breast shape. Find your perfect bra is all about understanding the shape of your breasts. Sure it might be fun to be able to describe your boobs in detail, but this information is especially practical when it comes to finding your perfect bra fit.

Did you know that there are literally dozens of boob shapes?

1. Top or bottom?

The first thing you want to consider is breast fullness. Some ladies are fuller on top, and some are fuller on bottom. Some have even fullness, meaning their breasts are equally full on top and on bottom. What you have to do to determine where you’re fullest is look at the placement of your nipple. If most of your breast tissue is below your nipple, your breasts are full on bottom. If most of your breast tissue sits above your nipple, your breasts are — you guessed it — full on top!

Another way of figuring out fullness is bending over forward when you’re not wearing a bra. If your nipples are pointing directly towards the floor, your fullness is even. If your nipples are sitting on the front part of your breasts, you’re full on bottom (since most of your breast tissue is sitting below your nipples). If you’re full on top, your nipples will be sitting on the lower portion of your boobs when bending over.

Penningtons Plus size Lingerie Ti Voglo

How does this factor affect our bras? Those with top fullness might run into the quadriboob problem, where the cups dig into your breast tissue and give the impression of having two pairs of boobs. If this is you, go for full-coverage bras!

On the other hand, if you have bottom fullness, your breasts might not fill the whole cup if you’re wearing a poor-fitting bra. Avoid bras that are cropped on top such as balconette bras.

2. How shallow are you?

In this case, it’s not a bad thing! Shallow breasts are spread out closer to the chest and don’t pop out. The opposite of this is having projected breasts, which are “projected” to the front and point away from your body. Determining if you have shallow or projected breasts is easy peasy. Take a look and you’ll know!

If you have projected breasts, chances are you won’t run into many bra fit issues. However, it’s those with shallow breasts that find it really hard to find a bra that fits. I even wrote a full guide to shallow breasts which I recommend you take a look at if this is your shape.

LACE LIGHTLY LINED SMOOTH BALCONETTE plus size braTo keep it short, the main fit problem for shallow breasts is that your breast tissue doesn’t fill out the whole cup, leaving a gap. The solution? A well-fitting balconette bra with no horizontal seams might do the trick for most, but it won’t work for everyone.

3. What’s your root width?

Before you take out your calculator, let me tell you that there’s no math involved here. The “root” in this case is the root of your breasts, or where your breasts start on the torso. In terms of bra fit, the root width of your breasts is directly related to your bra’s underwire. If you have narrow roots, you’ll need a smaller underwire. If you have wide roots, you’ll need a bigger underwire.

FULL COVERAGE BUTTERFLY BRA - F G CUPS

It may seem like common sense, but I’ve experienced underwire-related problems with women of all sizes. If you feel like your underwires are poking your armpits or uncomfortable in any way, you might want to consider trying on bras with different underwire sizes. Underwire size varies depending on the brand and model, so trying on as many bras as possible is the best way to ensure a proper underwire fit.

4. How close are your boobs?

I saved the simplest factor for last! Breast separation refers to the gap (or lack of gap) between your two breasts. If your breasts are touching and there’s no gap, you have what we call close-set (or even touching) breasts. If there’s a big gap between your boobs, you have wide-set breasts. Easy, right?

Smooth Boost Plunge Bra at LaneBryantIt’s also generally easy to find the right bra for both of these breast types. For touching breasts, look for bras with a small gore (middle part). Plunge bras are very likely to fit you well, since the gore is extra small. Just make sure that the gore is touching your chest without being projected to the front. If you have wide-set breasts, you’ll simply have to look for bras that have a wide gore.

Generally, you should be able to tell if a bra will fit your close-set or wide-set breasts based simply on looking at the bra, and particularly the gore (or center part).

Need a visual? here you go, a handy guide thanks to SheKnows.com!

What is your breast shape? Image by SheKnows.com

I hope this walkthrough helped you better determine your breast shape, which is crucial for finding a bra that fits you correctly.

Remember that there are many boob shapes out there!

The same bra will fit most women differently. Whether you’re full on top, shallow, or have wide roots, I hope that using the tips above will steer you in the right direction.

What shape are you??

About Our Guest Blogger:  Hello everyone! I’m Kate Brooks, professional bra fitter and Editor-In-Chief of The Bra Guide. I’m all about body positivity, love yoga, and make a mean veggie lasagna!

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110 Comments

110 Comments

  1. Anne Infantino Rinaldi

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I only a few weeks ago discovered why balconettes work best for me.

  2. Brandie Bishop

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Same but figured it was size not shape is why they work best for me

    • The Curvy Fashionista

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      certain styles work best for me… lie the blaconette and plunge, other ones cut me funny!

  3. Devi Jhaneen

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This explained so much! I’ve been wearing the wrong bra’s my entire life 😳

    • The Curvy Fashionista

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      woot!

      • Dale

        August 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        OK so what about those of us who’ve lost significant volume in our breasts? I lost about 176 pounds and am still a big girl. But my breasts literally look like tennis balls in tube socks! My nipples went from pointing at the floor to pointing at my rib cage! How does most of this guide apply to women like me?? I’m not up for breast reduction surgery yet but I’ve got to get on with my life. And how do you fit ‘the flats’ into a sports bra? I need to exercise to keep healthy. The only thing I can think to do is roll ’em up like a jelly roll and throw ’em in something very elastic.

        By the way, I hate underwires and refuse to wear them.

  4. Cathy Bugdale

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I often wondered why certain bras look great on some and not on me. it’s not just the girls, it’s the torso too

  5. Keira Bailey

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Good read thankyou .

  6. Keira Bailey

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I’d love to be a plus size Modal lol xx

  7. Cat Taylor

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Yay for balconette!!

  8. Alexis Schaffner

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    thinking ……. no wonder it’s so hard to find a bra that fits properly AND do designers of bras think about this kind of stuff when they make them

  9. Susi Mtz

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Great to know. I love LB balconnets

  10. Jeanette Kaffe Winberg

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I kept going down in sizes because I got the floppy tops showing under my shirts. Realized size wasn’t the issue. I can’t wear full-cups and I also fit better with balconettes or half-cups. Great realization!

  11. April White

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Very informative, will refer to this next time I shop for bras

  12. Jennifer Gervais

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I have that bra 🙂

  13. Judith Walker

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This was very helpful in determining the styles of bras that best suits my shape! 🙂

  14. Dawn Lindo-Morgan

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Glad to learn about this

  15. Matthew Zamora

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Her Curves are so great.

  16. Nicola Murray

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This is super helpful. I hate hearing ‘we’re the same size’ so the same bra should work for everyone of that size. Nooooope.

  17. Kerry Roberts

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This was so informative! Thank you…..

  18. Elisa Jean

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    They’re roughly south-facing torpedo-shaped. Like they’re gonna bomb the ground.

    • Stephanie Cunningham

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      AHAHAHAHA! Mine are like water balloons with the necks all stretched out.

  19. Andrea Krinke

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Great explanation! I’ve always had problems with being gouged by underwires in my armpits once I went up to a sufficient cup size to accommodate my needs. Does anyone know of any specific bras or brands that tend to have narrower underwires but still goes up to around a 40f ish?

    • Tricia Lorenz

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      I would contact Livi Rae Lingerie on here. They are the ladies that had the Double Divas show. It doesn’t look like you are anywhere near their stores in Georgia and Texas, but they still might be able to help you out!

    • Andrea Krinke

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Tricia Lorenz thanks for the recommendation!

  20. Jamie Z-f

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This is so helpful!

  21. Pamela Turner Murungi

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Balconettes are best for me, I never fill the top of a cup (after 3 years of nursing babies, I’m definitely teardrop), but I need a taller gore (not wider) because the girls are close set & I tend to heat rash in the warmer months. Gotta keep them seperated. For this reason, plunges are a no go, can’t have the girls touching. Lol.

    • The Curvy Fashionista

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      I think it also depends on the style of Plunge… like some of the LB ones work and do not push right together!

    • Daphne Meza

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      I have tear drops and think mine are gorgeous lol!!! Try the Demi bra. It’s my favorite. No padding needed if you are a larger cup size.

    • Pamela Turner Murungi

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      LB are the plunges I had. Girls were always touching within minutes of putting one on. They just couldn’t stay away. Lol.

      Daphne, I’ll have to try a demi.

  22. Dana MiChelle

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    My breast are deformed

    • The Curvy Fashionista

      August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

      awww, there are places that can help you find what you need to feel confident! Like Livi Rae Lingerie or Jenette Bras!

  23. TR Edmonds

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Umm I’m still confused. I’m round, tear drop, east west. Lol

  24. Daphne Meza

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I love Demi bras!!!!! Tear drops 🙂

  25. Heather Yvonne

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Meredith Nolan

  26. Michele Addison

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I need demi cups! LB used to make some dope ones but now the few demi’s they have are no longer actual demi shape. I was a Cacique specialist for them & fit hundreds of women and I used to explain cups shapes to people, to best enhance their breast shape & it was a joy to see the light dawn in their eyes & see their shape transform with the right bra, lift & shape & support!

  27. Neil Honrales Carilla

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Krista Jerica Ong Nogal

  28. Tammy Emery

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Cacique smooth plunge at lane Bryant ! Perfect for me.

  29. Rooster Osborne

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Angela Wickedone

  30. Jahaira Muñeca Michelle

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    This explains my entire life, dealing with D cups! Now I need to go bra shopping forreal! 😩😭😭

  31. Gloria Anderson

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Much needed information

  32. Ashley Stevens

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I’m still trying to figure out the right bra at 31 years of age. I’ve always been a C or D, but 3 kids have pushed me to DD and sag. I also have a quite short torso and am naturally very wide/stocky.

  33. Annette M Silva

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I buy the same ones they are great for my size and they have good support too😀

  34. Tracy Jones

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I find it hard to find bras for smaller cup sizes as a larger woman. I’m a B cup.

    It seems like everything is made for my fuller breasted counterparts(lucky).

  35. Fern Upshaw

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    No matter what I try, my girls always wind up “together”. And I’ve tried a lot of bras… Wish I could make my own at this point! Any suggestions?

  36. Kathryn Sullivan

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Diane her one to help the team

  37. Kristina Batis

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Cathy Woodrick

  38. Isabel Voorhees

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Balconette 💯💯! I can’t do full coverage bras.

  39. May Sølvi Midbø

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I am big and have a lot of fat, but I’m still kinda and hourglass shape because my body kinda go in on the middle and I’m in porportion.

  40. Lauren Nichole Turner

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Victoria secret bras are the only bras that fit me well and comfortably. Even fullness and close set 👍🏼

  41. Olivia Moreno Griggs

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Samantha

  42. Scott Harrison

    August 19, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Kerry Harrison

  43. Marsha Creary

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Yeah Curvies!

  44. Jennifer Gervais

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I have that bra! 🙂 (the one in the thumbnail for the article)

  45. Annella Wheatley

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Breast shape? These days best described as Sad Tubes.

    • April Wright

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      I’m sorry, but that description is hilarious

  46. Timia Nicole

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Lawwwd this just gave me a headache!! Someone’s going to have to do this for me! Lol

  47. Toni Owens

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    And I still have no clue what to do different about these tig ole bitties.

  48. Jenny Strode

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Kara Strode

  49. Niki Stroude

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    check this out Crisha

  50. Jill Koerber

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I still have zero clue

  51. Autumn Conway

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Tube socks with an orange dropped in them.

  52. Cindi Beebout

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    38DD and this article explained nothing. The illustrations & their descriptions i was hoping for did not match the article’s descriptions. The pics did nothing to help explain the info. SMH Go to Victoria’s or another specialty shop. Be accurately fitted (most of us are wearing the wrong size) and try on all kinds of bras. I have learned a lot from VS the last few years. Like sometimes you might wear a 38DD or a 40C.

  53. Sandra Bassvor

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Elomi is my fav

  54. Barbara Prescott

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Question: where can i buy the bra and panty set she wearing cause I need a pair (loving the color )

  55. Amaterasu Sara Dyer

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Mine are mongrels; a cross breed between a few shapes

  56. Danyel Floyd

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    I didn’t learn anything bout these triple d’s

  57. Chandni Kukreja

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Thanks for this! Really helpful. 🙂 Although I can’t imagine going to a salesperson here in India and asking for smaller/bigger underwire. Sigh. What say Anita?

    • Anita Paul

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Hunkemoller is the only store I’ve been to which is helpful like that. Otherwise… No chance.

    • Chandni Kukreja

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Where that?

    • Anita Paul

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Seems to be one in VR Mall there. They also have call buttons in the changing rooms if you need a size. 😀

      European sizes though. I’m an E.

    • Chandni Kukreja

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Haha nice! I’ll go check 🙂

  58. Jennifer Haselbach

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    A list of specialty shops throughout the U.S. would be great. We all know places like Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant, etc don’t always for the bill to help us get what we actually need.

  59. Susan Fitch

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Okay great. Now how do i find a bra for my type of breast? The cups are always too big on the top half, and the bra fabric doesn’t lay flat against my skin – it bunches up into wrinkles, which show thru my blouse.

    • Ashleigh Eisenbach

      August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

      Have you tried going up in cup size and Down in band size? Or trying different shaped bras? I had this problem and was wearing a 40 or 38 B when I should have been wearing a 36C. As long as I get a Demi cup and wear the correct size this doesn’t happen anymore. I always do the bend over test before I buy a bra lol

    • The Curvy Fashionista

      August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      I got fit by an elomi and Lane Bryant specialist to learn which ones and styles work best… ohhh also at Livi Rae Lingerie! Get fit at a place that has a variety of styles and fits, so that they can cater to your girls!

    • Livi Rae Lingerie

      August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Many of the molded styles found in most department store doesn’t work for everyone. Many gap at the top. We can help. Send an email to [email protected]

    • Livi Rae Lingerie

      August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Many of the molded styles found in most department store doesn’t work for everyone. Many gap at the top. We can help. Send an email to [email protected]

  60. Debbie Webbe

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Thanks for the info. Now only if the bras were not so expensive

  61. Mario Gonzalez

    August 31, 2016 at 4:42 am

    Mamasita soy mexicano .estas bien buenota

  62. Sampat Sawant

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Hi

  63. Sampat Sawant

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Hi

  64. Sampat Sawant

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Hallo

  65. Sampat Sawant

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Hallo

  66. Staykoss Mehdi

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Carinia Mehdi EL

  67. Staykoss Mehdi

    August 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Carinia Mehdi EL

  68. Elysia M. Kubiak-Vindiola

    August 31, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Samantha Hooton Chynna Vindiola Amy Vindiola-Santos

  69. José Filho

    August 31, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    E.muito Lindaaa está morena

  70. Jean Noelgomis

    September 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Is ok yes very nice a love you

  71. Pingback: The 5 Styles of Bras You Need & Where to Get Them | The Curvy Fashionista

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