Classify Your Breasts: Breast Position. Expert Bra Fitting Advice by Tomima Edmark
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Classifying Your Breast Position For Bra Fit

Breast Position

Breasts are held in place on your chest by ligaments called “Cooper Ligaments.” There are no muscles that can be exercised to move your breasts back up once they begin to fall. It is the stretching over time of these ligaments that causes the southerly movement of your breasts. And, the only way to stall this movement is to have your breasts fully supported, and their movement diminished throughout the day. You should also wear sports bras with the appropriate impact level while exercising.

All four breast positions identified below are very common. And, you can experience all four of these breast positions throughout your life.

Self-supporting Breasts

When looking at the breast in profile, the bottom of the breast is perpendicular to the chest wall. A bra is not needed to give a full look to these breasts, but should be worn anyway to maintain their position and shape. Self-supporting breasts are very common in post-pubescent girls and women with breast implants.

Wearing supportive bras on a daily consistent basis can keep your breasts self-supporting for a life-time. Going braless, wearing ill-fitting bras, and not wearing appropriate impact-level sports bras will cause you to lose your self-supporting position.

Bra Suggestions:
  • All bra styles on the market can be a success for you if you have self-supporting breasts.

Semi-supported Breasts

In profile, semi-supported breasts are beginning to drop. You have a clear breast crease line along the bottom of your breasts where they meet up with the chest wall. A bra may not be needed, but in order to maintain your breast placement and shape, a bra with good support should be worn throughout the day, and during athletic activities.

Wearing supportive bras on a daily and consistent basis can keep your breast semi-supported for a life-time. Going braless, wearing ill-fitting bras, and not wearing appropriate impact-level sports bras will result in your breasts moving further south.

Bra Suggestions:
  • All bra styles can be successful with semi-supported full breasts.
  • To achieve upper breast mounding, a push-up bra will probably be needed.

Settled Breasts

Settled breasts in profile have dropped so that the nipple is above the breast crease line, but your lower breast mass is below the breast crease line on the chest. Settling can occur after pregnancy, breast-feeding, weight loss, aging, improper bra wearing, or any combined. Bra Suggestions:
  • Seamed cup underwire bras (cups with seams – also called “cut & sew” bras) which are also be called 3-part, 4-part cup bras are the best solution for settled breasts.
  • Seamed cup underwire bras where there is a vertical center seam in the bottom half of the cup will give you the most lift.
  • Contour cup bras (bras which have a thin layer of foam inside the cup) will work, but their shape can break down with larger and heavier breast, and thus not be as flattering as a seamed cup bra.
  • Soft-cup bras (bras without underwires) will work, but may not give you enough uplift. If you are larger than a D cup, a soft-cup bra should have seams in the cups for support.
  • Push-up bras or using pads in the cups will help to give you upper breast fullness, and will raise your breasts up as well to make you look more youthful and slender. But, this style should only be worn by women with a 38DD bra size or smaller.
  • Demi, balconette and plunge bras where there are seams in the cup design can work for you, but your upper breast tissue could look a little jingly.

Pendulous Breasts

Pendulous breasts are when the nipple and the lower breast mass are below the breast crease line on the chest. This breast position is common after child-birth, breast feeding one or many children, extreme weight loss, a severe illness, improper bra usage, and, in general, as we age. Proper life-time breast support can significantly reduce and even prevent pendulous breasts from forming.

Bra Suggestions:
  • Look for bras with rigid, non-stretchy cup fabric.
  • Underwires along with cut & sew (seamed) cups that are full coverage will give the best shape and support.
  • Cut & Sew bras where there is a vertical center seam in the bottom half of the cup will give you the most lift.
  • Larger cup sizes – DD and larger – will get better support if the sides are also boned.
  • Avoid bras with wide-set straps. Center pull straps work best.
  • A plunge bra can work if your upper breasts are also full. If you have deflated upper breast tissue, look for plunge bras with seams in the cups.
  • Cami bras are a comfortable solution, but your silhouette will not be lifted, full or round.
  • Most contour and seamless bras will not have enough support to pull you up and keep your pendulous breasts in place. However some full-figure bra manufacturers have created some very supportive contour bras.
  • Soft cup bras (bras without underwires) will be very comfortable, but an uplifting, rounded shape will be compromised.
  • Lightweight, unstructured, pullover, bandeau or triangle style bras are not recommended because they are all missing the structure you need.


© 2016 Andra Group, LP - Thursday, July 28, 2016 (A2).