When it comes to bras, unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This guide is designed to help you determine you breast shape, and which bra styles will best complement you. While we have done our best to include the most common breast types, completely classifying something as individual as breasts would be close to impossible! You may find that your breasts have characteristics of several of the types listed here. In this case, you may find it useful to combine fitting tips for different types to come up with a solution that works best for you.
Breasts that are touching are full and round, and are usually characteristic of a larger breast. Touching breasts leave little to no space between them, making it more difficult to find a bra in which the center wires lie flat against the sternum and separate the breasts properly.
Bras that work best for touching breasts, are often full coverage and full support styles with strong underwires that will separate the breasts. Plunge bras and balconette bras often work well too. Because the center wires are lower, the short wires can lie flat between the breasts, while revealing sexy, yet well-controlled cleavage.
Wide set breasts can be either full and round or small and shallow. This breast type is characterized by a prominent space between the breasts. For a woman with large breasts, this can make finding a bra with a wide enough underwire to encompass the breast difficult. For a smaller breast, this can make cleavage difficult to achieve!
Bras that work best for large, wide set breasts are those with wide frames that are designed to encapsulate each breast. Typically, the underwires in these bras extend farther under the arm than a regular bra style. For a small, wide set breast a bra that has a wide frame is also recommended; but if cleavage is desired, then a good ultra push-up bra will do the trick!
Best Brands: Panache, Sculptresse, Elomi, Empreinte, Ewa Michalak
Breasts with natural separation usually have about 1/2” to 1” of space between the breasts and are not touching or wide set. This breast is in-between the previous two, contrasting types.
Most bra styles work best with a separated breast, because the natural space accommodates both strong underwires and deep cups, or flexible underwires and shallow cups. So the good news is, you have lots of options!
Best Brands: Any!
Round breasts can be natural or augmented. Naturally round breasts are usually very firm and because of their fullness, they are often close-set or touching. Augmented breasts are full and can vary from firm to quite solid, depending on whether the implant was placed over or under the pectoral muscles.
For naturally round breasts, a bra with deep cups and a strong underwire will provide the support and separation that is needed. For augmented breasts, depending on the firmness, a cut-and-sewn bra with strong underwires, a plunge, or a balconette style is usually best. A full-coverage t-shirt bra or a bra with shallow cups is usually not a very good option for a round or augmented breast, simply because the stiff foam does not conform well to a firm, round breast tissue. However, a plunging t-shirt bra or a flexible, moulded spacer foam can work well.
Best Brands: Panache, Sculptresse, Elomi, Ewa Michalak, Freya
Pendulous breasts are characterized by soft breast tissue and sometimes deflated breast tissue – often with the nipple pointing downwards. Deflated or soft tissue can sometimes be caused by having nursed children, if you have gained or lost a significant amount of weight or if you are in your wiser years. This breast type is called “pendulous” because the shape of the breast is typically longer in shape and they sit a little lower on the body.
Bra styles that work well with a pendulous breast type are usually those that are considered t to “full support” or “cut-and-sewn”. These styles of bras are constructed to have deeper cups. A bra that is made of a firm fabric on the bottom of the cup and a stretch lace along the top is ideal for this breast type.
Best Brands: Panache, Sculptresse, Elomi, Ewa Michalak, Freya
Swooping breasts are those that are full on the bottom and not very full on the top. Typically, the swooping breast descends until the areola (nipple), and becomes fuller below the areola. The swooping breast can be either firm or soft, but is most often characterized by a combination of soft tissue on the top and firmer, fuller tissue on the bottom of the breast.
Bra styles that work best for a swooping breast typically are shallow cups with a less round shape. Most seamless bras work well for a swooping breast, but keep in mind that soft cups and spacer foam are better suited to a soft breast tissue than a stiff, moulded foam cup.
Best Brands: Fantasie, Chantelle, Montelle, Conturelle, Ewa Michalak
Breasts that have lost their fullness over time, or after nursing or weight fluctuations, are referred to as soft or “deflated”. This type of breast tissue is usually not as round or full as the used to be; they are usually either pendulous or swooping.
Bras that have stretch in the cup are usually better suited to a breast that has lost fullness. This is because breast tissue that has softened is often not full enough to completely fill out a deep, round cup and a stiff bra construction can emphasize areas that are not completely filled out. A stretchier cup forms to the breast smoothly, eliminating any puckering in the fabric that might result from lost fullness.
Best Brands: Chantelle, PrimaDonna, Empreinte, Conturelle, Van Elle
“Large” breasts are usually G cups and above, but large breasts may also be E, F, and FF cups with 38 band sizes and above. Full breasts are usually large and rounded on top, as well as at the base of the breast. They can be of either soft or firm breast tissue.
Bras that work best for full or large breasts are those that are deep in the cup and have a strong underwire for separation. Cut-and-sewn, or “seamed” bras, provide the best fit and support for a larger breast, which is why seamless bras are rarely made in larger cup sizes.
Best Brands: Elomi, Sculptresse, Goddess, Panache, Freya
When a woman has one breast that is slightly larger than the other (which is more common than one may think), her breasts are said to be “uneven.” If the level of size difference is low, it may not affect bra options at all; however, if the difference between breasts is a cup size or more then it may influence choices.
A woman with uneven breasts should always fit her bras to the larger breast. If the bra is fit to the smaller breast, the larger may put pressure on the bra’s construction, causing underwires to bend or break, and fabric/seams to wear more quickly. To de-emphasize any difference in size, she can either insert a little foam/silicone pad to fill any space in the cup on the smaller side, or she can go with a bra that has some stretch in the cup to form to each unique breast.
Best Brands: PrimaDonna, Fantasie, Ewa Michalak, Sculptresse, Panache
Teardrop shaped breasts are an ideal breast shape in terms of bra fitting, because they are usually very easy to fit! This breast type is normally firm and fairly round, but they are not as full on top as a true round and full breast.
Women with this breast type can wear most styles of bras without much issue. Cut-and-sewn bras, moulded, seamless, plunge, balconette… are all suitable for this breast type, as long as the breast tissue is fairly firm. If you have teardrop shaped breasts… lucky you!
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