Choosing the Right Bra for Your Unique Breast Shape. As a woman, there is nothing that can make you more uncomfortable than wearing the wrong bra. Being too tight or too loose can influence not only the way you feel but the overall aesthetic too. Therefore, I brought to you expert advice to choose the right bra according to your breast shape.
Finding a bra that fits and flatters your body should be easy, but it isn’t always so simple. With the overwhelming variety of bras on the market, how do you even begin to choose? Start by identifying your breast shape. Understanding whether your breasts are shallow versus projected, full on top versus full on bottom, can guide you to styles tailored to complement you.
Selecting a bra designed specifically for your breast type makes a huge difference in comfort and appearance. Read on for tips on determining your shape and picking styles that enhance your natural curves beautifully.
How to Identify Your Breast Shape
Breast shape is commonly categorized by both projection and fullness. Projection refers to how far your breasts stick out from the body, while fullness indicates where you carry the most volume.
Shallow Versus Projected Breasts
Shallow breasts have breast tissue spread over a wider, more horizontal area across the chest. They do not protrude out very far from the body.
Projected breasts appear more pronounced and curved, sticking out further from the chest wall. They have a smaller surface area but more significant depth.
To evaluate projection:
Bend forward 90 degrees and look at your side profile. Do your breasts seem wider or more narrow and projected?
Think of the glass shape. Shallow breasts are like a wide, shallow bowl, while projected breasts are like a tall, narrow drinking glass.
Full on Top Versus Full on Bottom Breasts
- Full on top (FOT) breasts have more volume above the nipple, creating upper fullness.
- Full on bottom (FOB) breasts are fuller below the nipple, with volume concentrated in the lower half.
- Evenly full breasts have well-distributed fullness top and bottom.
To evaluate fullness:
Support your breasts and bend forward. Where does the breast tissue go – migrating up or dropping down?Draw an imaginary horizontal line across your chest at the nipple level. Is there noticeably more tissue above or below that line? Identifying your projection and fullness characteristics helps immensely in finding bras optimized for your shape.
Bras for a Shallow Shape
If your breast tissue forms a wider, shallower outline across your chest, look for:
- Contour cups – Seamless moulded cups work with your natural shape.
- Lightly lined – Light padding adds subtle shape without excessive bulge.
- Underwire – Provides internal lift and structure to spread tissue forward.
- Plunge – Low gore between cups allows shallow breasts to settle.
- Demi – Lower cup coverage showcases your cleavage.
Avoid heavy push-up padding or excessive cleavage enhancement that minimizes your natural projection. Simple lined or lightly padded styles work best for a shallow shape.
Bras for a Projected Shape
If your breasts protrude distinctly from your body, consider:
- Unlined cups – Unpadded cups conform closely to the projected shape.
- Side support – Reinforced outer sides help contain and prevent bulging or gapping.
- Full coverage – Added coverage from top to bottom helps support and cover a curvier shape.
- Plunge – A low centre gore allows projected breasts to fall naturally forward into the cups.
- Vertical seams – Strategically direct curvature forward for lift and support.
Stay away from minimizing bras like compression sports bras that flatten your natural curves. Embrace projection with unlined cups designed to enhance it.
Bras for Full on Top Breasts
If your fullness concentrates above your nipple line, look for styles like:
- Balconette – The open neckline beautifully showcases upper volume.
- Demi – Low-cut cups accentuate fullness while providing support.
- Vertical seams – Shape the top of cups to provide contouring.
- Removable pads – Allow you to add or remove padding as needed in changing fullness.
- Stretch lace – Accommodates fluctuations in fullness at the top of the cups.
Avoid high-coverage cups with a stiff upper edge that can gap away from FOT shape. Seek demi and balconette bras that flatter your curves.
Bras for Full on Bottom Breasts
If you carry more volume below the nipple, target styles like:
- Full coverage – Higher coverage cups contain and support lower fullness.
- Side support – Mesh panels lift from underneath and prevent spillage.
- Underwire – Provides lift starting from beneath the breasts.
- Horizontal seams – Creates structure, support, and shaping in lower half of cups.
- Minimiser – Minimises overly full look if desired while still providing support.
Be cautious of demi and balconette bras that may not adequately support a fuller lower half. Opt for fuller coverage cups with support aimed at your FOB shape.
Bras for Evenly Full Breasts
If your breast volume appears balanced top and bottom, you have many options! Consider these adjustable styles:
- Lightly lined – Provides an average amount of projection suitable for even fullness.
- Full coverage – The extra coverage contains and supports smoothly.
- Underwire – Creates definition and structure without excessive enhancement.
- Stretch fabric – Adjusts to subtle daily size fluctuations.
- Plunge – Let evenly distributed breast tissue settle naturally.
Avoid dramatic push-up padding or compression. Focus on smooth styles that provide light definition without minimization.
Best Bra Fitting and Care Practices
Once you have styles suited for your shape, ensure you have the proper fit to maximise comfort and support:
- Professional fitting – Have an expert assess your true band and cup sizes. Proper sizing is vital.
- Structured band – A snug, rigid band should provide roughly 80% of support.
- Sturdy back – Non-stretchy fabric prevents riding up.
- Wires – Encase breast tissue fully, with no poking or gapping.
- Centre gore – Should tack smoothly to the sternum.
- Straps – Carry only about 20% of weight and allow free range of motion.
Reevaluate your fit periodically, as sizing needs can change over time. Take proper care of your bras to maximize longevity. By the way, if you need help finding styles designed for your specific breast shape, there are some great options for different breast shapes here on the Uplifted Lingerie website.
Style Tricks to Complement Your Shape
- Lined demi bra – Perfect for framing full-on top shape.
- Cutlets – Add subtle, customisable boost for full-on bottom breasts.
- Minimiser – Play down projection while maintaining support.
- Bandeau – Provides smooth shape under clingy clothing.
- Adhesive bra – Creates lifted look under backless and strapless tops.
The Bottom Line
Determining whether your breasts are shallow vs projected, full on top vs. full on bottom is an important first step in finding your best bra match. Seek out unlined bras at first to discern your natural shape without padding or push-up effects.
With so many bra styles and variations, it can take trial and error to determine which silhouettes complement your shape. Don’t get discouraged if your initial tries aren’t quite right. Once you find that bra designed for your specific breast characteristics, you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll look and feel supported.