How Should a Gore Fit?
On wired bras the gore should lie flat against your body. Non-wired bra gores won't lie completely flat against your body because there's no wire to bring the cup back around your breast towards your body. It's rare but some women find that no matter what they try the gore never lies flat. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1) Their breasts are so close together that the gore always gets twisted
2) Their ribcage or breast bone is curved in a way that prevents the gore from lying flat
If your gore doesn't lie flat then you most probably need a smaller band. If your cups fit you but your gore doesn't lie flat then you should try one band size smaller and one cup letter larger (this will ensure you don't lose any cup volume).
|The center panel comes up high on sports bras (like the Panache Sports) to minimize vertical bounce|
What is the Gore For?
The gore's job is twofold. It contributes to the shape the bra gives you and most importantly it's a key part of support.
Shape - If the gore is narrow then the cups will sit closer together making the shape better for close-set breasts and forward projection. If the gore is wide then the cups sit farther apart and make the shape better for wide-set breasts.
Support - The depth of the gore changes how much vertical bounce a bra will reduce. A deep gore will generally give you less vertical bounce. This is why sports bras come so high up so that the vertical bounce is almost eliminated when exercising.
|A low, wide gore (like this one on Idina) is great for wide-set and average set breasts that are side heavy.|
Gores for Wide-Set Breasts
If your breasts are heaviest at the sides and spaced quite far apart with very little full breast tissue in the middle then you'll want to look for wide to medium width gores that are short to medium height. A tall gore can give you too much cup at the center which your breasts can't fill. The shorter gore will still give you enough support as you don't have heavy breast tissue at the center that needs support.
|Dessous Peony with Limeade is a great medium gore style for side heavy breasts|
Look for bras with high side panels that will give you the support where you need it, like the Dessous range from Claudette above.
Gores for Average-Set Breasts
If your breasts are full all round and set averagely close together (you can get 1 to 3 fingers between your breasts) then you need extra support at the front/center of your bust. This is especially important for women over a G cup as the increased projection away from the body needs vertical as well as horizontal support.
|A medium/tall gore like Jasmine is great for average set breasts (both rounded and shallow) that need forward support|
Gores for Close-Set Breasts
If your breasts are very close together then gores can be a real pain! Some styles will have gores that are narrow enough for fit between your breasts (lots of my clients like Melissa, Bella and Meg) but a lot won't be. Very short gores (most usually plunge styles) can be a much more comfortable fit. The gore sits flat against the body just below where the breasts meet.
|A short gore style like Tango Plunge can be excellent for close-set full breasts as the cups offer full support|
How to Adjust the Gore
If you find a bra that you love but need to alter the gore then there are a few things you can do.
If the gore presses too hard into your breast bone then you can physically bend the wires away from your body. You'll need to apply quite a bit of pressure so it's important to do this while NOT wearing the bra so that you don't tear the material. If you haven't tried styles with a lower gore then I suggest you try them as taller gores might simply be incompatible with your breast bone shape.
If the gore is too wide you can make it narrower by following these steps.
If the gore is too tall you may be able to shorten it by pushing the wires down away from the top of the gore then removing the excess material at the top. Be aware that this will also affect the angle of the cup so this is not a minor alteration.
I hope this helps you figure out which gore shape is right for you so that you can have a comfortable and supportive fit. Let me know in the comments if you have a gore question xx