Monday, August 19, 2013

How Torso Shape Affects Bra Fit

Your rib cage shape can make a big difference to your bra fit. Regardless of your dress size the dimensions of your torso can alter which kinds of bras fit you best. Here is a simple guide to some of the variations in rib cage shape and how they affect bra fit.
Straight
This is the most common torso shape and not to be confused with whether your overall figure is straight or curvy. On a straight torso your bra will sit evenly across all the hooks at the back. If you have a straight and narrow torso then look for bras with narrow wires.

If you have a straight and wide torso and your breasts are wide across your body then you probably need bras with wide wires. If you have a wide, straight torso (often referred to as a broad back) and your breasts are close set or narrow then you may need to add inches to your band size and reduce your cup letter.
Flared
When your rib cage is dramatically smaller at the underbust than the overbust measurement it can affect the way your bra sits. Lots of women find bras with fewer hooks at the back (2 rather than 3 or 4) sit better. It's quite possible that you need to go up a band size to accommodate the widening of your rib cage across the wider part of your rib cage. A common alteration for flared rib cages is to bend the wires under the armpit away from the body.
Rounded
Often referred to as barrel chests, this rounding of the ribcage means that you need a lot of band and potentially not a lot of cup so you may need to add inches to your band for comfort. This also works for women with curved spines due to health or posture issues. If you have a narrow and round torso then you will most likely need narrow wires which can accommodate a lot of bust in a small width.

If you have a wide, round torso then you'll need to asses whether your breasts need wide or narrow wires. Again you might need to add inches to the band but this also depends largely on whether you have a squidgy torso. A lot of women with rounded torsos find that they need to bend their wires both around the ribs and away from the sternum so that the wires follow the curvature of their rib cage.

It's important to remember that no one piece of bra information is gospel, so many other factors can affect your fit but this is a general guide to understanding how the shape and contours of your torso can change your bra fit. xx

8 comments:

  1. This is great! I have a narrow flared torso and find that because I have large breasts I typically have 3+ hooks. I sometimes have to hook the bottom 2 farther in than the upper one or more, depending on how stretchy a band is. The bra that fits me best, the Panache Tango II Plunge, has 2 hooks which are perfect for me. I wish there was a smooth fabric version of that bra.

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    1. Relynn - I was thinking that an inverted closure would work best for a flared torso so that the bottom hooks were tighter than the top ones. Everything you've mentioned here are exactly the issues my flared narrow clients experience, thank you for sharing xx

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    2. Yep, basically I rig an inverted closure by just hooking the bottom 2 hooks tighter than the top hooks. It works ok that way. So that may be something you want to suggest to your clients with narrow flared torsos. Definitely a 2 hook band is the perfect solution for those of us with that torso shape. It's just hard to find for busty gals.

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  2. i wear a 36K and the band is fine. the cup, sometimes. sometimes too small, which i only find out after it's delivered. i'm short, so the wire is digging under my arms. the wire is too wide for the front of my chest. so .... i guess i need a shorter, narrower wire and a larger size cup. a smaller band? 34L? OMG! they're hard to find the wire will still dig. can i cut the wire and cap it off somehow? can you recommend a brand that would suit me and has nude colored bras with good coverage? i can't even imagine where to begin

    i can't be alone..

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    1. I think you're using your US size (so a US 36K is a UK 36HH and a US 34L is a UK 34J) the reason it's easier to use the UK sizing is because so few US brands make these cup sizes so you're probably better off searching for UK sizes. There are lots of brands that make these sizes (Elomi, Goddess, Freya, Fantasie, Curvy Kate, Tutti Rouge, Cleo, Masquerade, Panache, Affinitas, Sculptresse) Elomi has several styles that have shorter wires, however, they're not necessarily narrow enough for you. Remember you can bend wires to be narrower but bear in mind that will make the cup taller. I would start with Elomi, Goddess and Fantasie - all of which has basic styles in beige.

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  3. I think this post rounds out your explanation. She designed sewing patterns http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/a_question_of_thoracic_shaping/

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    1. This is a fantastic addition - thank you so much for the link! xx

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