Breast Shape Dictionary: Understanding Your Breast Shape
At ThirdLove, we understand that not all breasts are created equal (though they are all equally beautiful), which is why we offer a diverse range of styles for every unique breast shape and size. Explore our guide to learn more about the nine most common breast shapes and the best bra styles for each. To learn more about each bra silhouette, explore our bra style guide.
40 percent of women have breasts that differ in size, ranging from a slight asymmetry to an entire cup size difference. It’s common to have asymmetric breasts in combination with any of the other shapes.
Fit tip: Explore bras with removable inserts to help even out your natural shape. Our curated collection of bras for asymmetric breasts will help you balance your shape.
This shape features wider, more muscular breasts with less tissue. Cup gaping tends to be a common issue for Athletic shapes due to the lack of volume up top.
Fit tip: Explore our bras for athletic breasts that will help lift your breasts comfortably.
Bell Shaped Breasts
Bell shaped breasts are slimmer at the top and fuller at the bottom - this shape typically characterizes women with larger cup sizes. You may commonly experience overflow with minimal coverage styles like balconette or demi.
Fit tip: Explore bras with full coverage which feature wider, memory foam straps that provide support, but never dig in in our collection of bras for bell shaped breasts.
Relaxed breasts have lax tissue and nipples that point downwards. Those with this shape tend to have longer breasts that hang.
Fit tip: Try styles with a slightly shorter cup for more fullness at the top such as those in our collection of bras for relaxed breasts.
East West Breasts
Just as its name suggests, East West shapes are characterized by wide-set breasts that gravitate away from the chest center. The nipples tend to point outwards in opposite directions. Those with this shape may find it is more difficult to achieve cleavage with certain tops.
Fit tip: Explore our bras for East West breasts that are full coverage and help bring your breasts up and together.
Round shapes are equally full at the top and bottom, and those with this shape find that they don't need a whole lot of coverage or support, making many padded bras unnecessary.
Fit tip: Most styles will work well for your shape, but explore wireless bras for days when you only want light support and balconette styles for when you want an ultra-flattering fit. You can find these styles and more in our curated collection of bras for round breasts.
Side Set Breasts
Similar to East West shapes, Side Sets tend to have a wide center gap, but fuller-shaped breasts with nipples that face more forward.
Fit tip: Explore bras made to naturally lift and draw your breasts closer together such as those in our collection of bras for side set breasts.
If you have thin breasts with nipples that point downwards, you may have this shape. Slender shapes are typically smaller in size with breasts that are slightly longer than they are wide.
Fit tip: Explore bras made to give you a natural, flattering lift in our collection of bras for slender breasts.
Tear Drop Breasts
Tear Drops are similar to Bell Shapes except rounder; and while they are round, they are slightly less full at the top. If you have this shape, you may experience cup gaping with full-coverage bras.
Fit tip: A wide variety of styles will suit your shape, but for more fullness up top, try a balconette style. Our collection of bras for tear drop breasts features a wide range of silhouettes that will enhance your shape.
What Determines Breast Shape?
Let’s understand the basics before we get into the weeds about boob types. Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, as seen in our breast shape chart. So if you are wondering, “What is my breast shape? Remember, several factors come into play. Some are beyond our control, while others can be somewhat modified.
Genetics play the starring role in the ‘boob shape’ lottery; they are the ones that determine the basic structure and appearance of our breasts. Genetics will determine factors such as the density and distribution of our fat cells, the elasticity and thickness of our skin, and the position of our nipples.
Breasts are a complex part of your anatomy, consisting of connective and supportive tissues, fatty tissues, and milk glands and ducts. The quantity of each tissue type will affect your breast shape. These ratios are affected by several factors, such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, hormones, weight changes, and age. It leads to your breast assuming different shapes in different seasons of your life.
Does Breast Shape Change Over Time?
Ah, the inevitable aging process; as you’ve already guessed, your breast shape might go through a remodel over time. Bodies continuously change, and so do your boobs; they may look different in the future compared to how they appear now.
Some women notice changes in their breast shape as early as their twenties, while for others, significant changes might not occur until in their forties. Some women may have relatively stable breast shapes throughout their lives, while others experience shape fluctuations depending on their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and weight undulations.
Hormone levels change, especially as you approach menopause, and this can impact the shape and size of your breasts. Estrogen levels drop, causing the connective tissues to become dehydrated and lose elasticity. Additionally, there is shrinkage and some shape loss in the breast tissues. Most people’s breasts become less perky, and gravity begins to win the tag of war. But guess what, that’s totally normal - it’s just a sign of a life well-lived.
All Breast Shapes Are Unique
With breast types and shapes, there’s no archetype. There’s no such thing as the perfect or ideal breast shape to be every woman’s aspiration. There’s just a whole symphony of breasts, types that are all unique and all beautiful. Just like life doesn’t have one size fits all, neither is it with boobs; there’s no one shape fits all. Breast shape charts are not definitive; they only attempt to help you understand your breast shape better and find the best bras for your breast shape that fit and support you properly.
Next time you look at your breasts in the mirror, appreciate them for what they are, a masterpiece. Celebrate them for their uniqueness and diversity, and love them for their shape and size. Remember, your breast shape is not a flaw; it’s a part of your identity, your femininity, so strut your stuff with a radiant smile.