Monday, August 26, 2013

What Are Shallow Breasts?

You may have read the term 'shallow breasts' but be unsure what it means or if you have them. Lots of women with shallow breasts will look like they have smaller breasts than they actually do which can make finding your size quite tricky. Here are some of the features of shallow breasts:

1) Your breast tissue starts high on your chest (at your collarbone in some cases).

2) Even though your breast tissue extends over a long and/or wide area of your chest it isn't very full so doesn't protrude very far forward.

3) You find that you can't fill the horizontal depth of lots of cups but at the same time the top of the cup cuts into you and gives you quadraboob.

If these three things describe your breasts then you probably have shallow breasts. This means that your breast tissue volume is spread out over a larger area but doesn't have a lot of horizontal depth which makes it hard to fill out a lot of bra cup shapes.

Shallow breasts come in the following combinations:
* Evenly spaced shallow breasts with a narrow root (so you need narrow wires with a shallow friendly cup and medium to wide gore)

* Wide spaced shallow breasts with a narrow root (so you need narrow wires with a shallow friendly cup and wide gore) 

* Close set shallow breasts with a narrow root (so you need narrow wires with a shallow friendly cup and narrow gore - you may need to add inches to your band size) 

* Evenly spaced shallow breasts with a wide root (so you need wide wires with a shallow friendly cup and medium to wide gore) 

* Wide spaced shallow breasts with a wide root (so you need wide wires with a shallow friendly cup and wide gore)

* Close set shallow breasts with a wide root (so you need wide wires with a shallow friendly cup and narrow gore)
This gallery of shallow breasts from Venusian Glow is really useful for illustrating what shallow breasts look like. (Warning: Some images are not safe for work).
Style Features for Shallow Breasts
Shallow breasts often need the height of a larger cup without the forward projection and roundness of lots of styles. The cups shape is everything for women with shallow breasts to find their best size and fit.

Shallow breasts require support and fullness at the bottom and a tall cup (so that the edges don't dig into the soft upper breast tissue) that doesn't have a lot of curvature to it. Some teardrop shapes work well with shallow breasts. Lots of women also find that true balconette styles (like Medina) with vertical seams work well because the fullest part of the bust sits in the cup then the upper soft tissue isn't bisected by the cup. Stretch lace is a great friend to shallow breasts because it doesn't bisect the tissue and gives a smooth look.

It's common for women with shallow breasts to have tried multiple different sizes but may have missed trying on cup shapes that work with their breasts. It's worth trying a size you've tried before in a shallow-friendly cup shape.

Shallow Friendly Bras
Lucy works for medium to close-set shallow breasts
Claudette Dessous range is a phenomenal choice for shallow medium to wide root breasts

Idina Plunge has a stretch cup that is great for wide root shallow breasts average to narrow set

Andorra is a stretch lace bra good for wide, shallow breasts


  1. Love it! Thank you! I have wide-spaced medium root breasts but am out of the Dessous size range. Would you recommend the Jasmine as well as Andorra?

    1. Jasmine works for my clients with heavy lower breasts but very shallow upper breasts. It sounds like you might fare better in Andorra and possible Idina. Hope that helps xx

  2. Hello

    Thank you for this post, I particulary like when you say shallow breasts can be wide, narrow, wide spaced or not etc. I think I have shallow breasts, but I am wondering if I can be a sort of "super shallow" or something. If you have the time, could you tell me what do you think ?

    The thing that makes me think I am "super shallow", is because someone with shallow breasts who show a photo of her in the same bra and size as me allways have much boob coverage than me : 2/3 of her boobs are covered in the front, and underwires just good or a bit too tall under the armpit, on me it is 1/2 coverage of the boobs, and very very short under the armpit). But if I try the cup size up, my bra becomes too big and not wearable, bad shape (very low and heavy on the bottom, almost no lift and no shape comparing to my natural shape, just round padding around the breast. It is like I need a 30ff for the height of the cups, but only 30dd-e for the horizontal deep, even in shallow friendly bras. I measure 1m80 (5.9 foot), and every part of my body is tall and long, so my torso and my shoulders too. So my breast root too ?
    What do you think ? Is it because I am just too tall comparing to bras ? Am I low on chest (but when I look at me, strangely, I am more on the average or a bit high on chest !) ? Do I have the combo shallow shape+tall body=super tall boob ? Or is it just bra manufacturers assume someone in my size range is petite ?

    Thank you very much !

    1. It sounds as though you have long, shallow breasts. Your breasts need tall cups. If you have a high root on a long torso you will need as much length as a low root on a shorter person. Style is just everything for you (which is very hard, I know). When searching bratabase look for long cups. I really do like Andorra for the length of the cup and the flexibility of the cup depth. You do have a unique shape but if you persevere with different styles you will find one that works for you. I'm sorry it's so difficult, it must be frustrating. xx

    2. So bra designers don't design bras that can fit me perfectly because I have a rare shape ?
      Thanks to you I will consider it "normal" and stop focusing on the too short issue. I am not lucky, I can confortably wear a bra too short because my breasts are firm, so it is not too bad for now :D , but I am a bit afraid of what I will do when my breasts will become softer .
      Thanks for the Andorra suggestion.

  3. "Lucy works for medium to close-set shallow breasts." That would explain why that model's not really working for me. Mine seem to be insanely projected (12" avg).

  4. Are there no nicer more moulded bras for shallow breasts? These all seem to be fabric/lace based with no padding, personally I find they make me look even smaller and empty (I also do not like how they look in general).

    1. I'm sure there are molded styles that work with shallow breasts (look for demi rather than full coverage molded cups). It all about the shape of the cup and with a molded cup it has to be completely perfect for your shape as you can't adjust the way the cup sits as easily as you can with a 3 or 4 part bra.

  5. This seems like what I'm struggling with bras. I have full on top (or rather small on bottom), tall and narrow breasts. Lots of projection horizontally. I can wear a lot of normal bras without visible problems, but I don't feel comfortable or look particularly good in them. It's like the lower part of the cup needs to have almost no curve to it to get the neccesary projection and have the apex placed quite a bit higher than it normally is (stuffing the lower portion would be comfortable, but obviously not an option). Because at my size breasts are heavy and squishy, they fill out the bottom, but it feels like the breasts just fell into the cup (sometimes even were forced downwards by a closed cup style), not being particularly supported. Also most bras feel like they're squishing and spreading them wide and sideways. While it looks technically correct and some people say that's just my breast shape, it's not particularly comfortable and I'm greatest in the narrowest wires possible - although that cup is likely to be way too short. And there I'm not even sure about the narrowness. While I certainly have breasts that are pretty compact sideways, shape-wise, there seems to be a very thin layer of breast tissue going far towards the armpit, noticable mainly only by tenderness in certain parts of the month, which makes narrow wires uncomfortable. As if I needed the shape of narrow wired-cups as they lay on my body, with the projection and close-set apex, but with the actual metal frame being wider... I'm thinking of those 4 part bras with a side panel, but I'm not sure if they're going to work the way I'd need, didn't try it yet. A very flared, rounded chest can perhaps account for some of my problems... Also I sort of feel like straps in most of my bras were designed to be worn closer together than they actually rest on my shoulders, distorting the cups.

    I'm partially resigned about finding a really great-feeling bra, most are sort of OK-ish, the band and cup size being all right. But if you had any tips, I'd be really grateful.

    1. Hello Martina - you have such a great understanding of your shape and unfortunately, from your own experience, a great understanding of how few bras there are out there that fit your shape. You may have already tried these things but here are my recommendations; partially padded bras that will lend support and shape. My top choice for this style are the Polish brands like Ewa Michalak and Comexim. Demi cups that are more open at the top could simultaneously support your shallow lower breast and leave enough shape for the height of your breasts. I'm afraid there is no one style I can think of that will answer all your prayers but these are the style and brand tips I think are worth trying. I wish you the VERY best of luck with your search and if you haven't already search bratabase for person with a similar shape then that's worth doing too xx

  6. I think I'm shallow(?), maybe shallowish. I have narrow roots and have somewhat shallow yet projected breasts (I've found that bras that have medium projection fit best although they're kinda hard to find), and even though I have high set breasts my breast tissue goes all the way up too my collarbones. Although I feel like it's kinda odd because I'm also fuller on top and a little the sides.
    Does that sound like shallow breasts to you? The combination of full on top and high set breasts kinda confuses me and makes it harder for me figure it out myself. Is there any advice you could give me?
    (Also I was kinda wondering if you'd have an idea if Parfait's padded Celine would be a good fit for me? I just ordered it and I really hope it fits)

    1. Hi Shelby - It does sound more like you have medium fullness rather than shallow breasts. The tricky part is going to be finding short enough wires that work with your high set breasts and the right cup shape to fit your high slanting breast tissue. You don't mention if you have soft or firm tissue but it sounds like you might have medium to firm upper tissue which means a soft padded bra like Celine could work well for you. Parfait has short wires and the cups are shallower in slope so it's a good place to start. Elasticated upper cups could also be a good fit - try Destiny by Parfait. Hope that helps xx

    2. Thank you that does! That explains why with the more projected bras and styles like some cleos (although the Cleo Maddie ran small/shallow making me need a bigger cup) I've had to size down and with really shallow bras I've had to size up or not get it because it just simply didn't work with my shape. At first I thought it maybe I just had weird shape, I didn't think about there being a middle because most bras (that I know of) are either made for shallow breasts or more projected breasts not inbetween. Also my tissue starting at my collarbones farther convinced me that that perhaps it was just me.
      And thank you I'll look for more Parfait bras. I've been eying the Parfait Melissa (its beautiful) and knowing that Parfait may fit me better (hopefully a lot better than what I've been wearing).
      Also yes my upper tissue, almost all my breast tissue other than the bottom even though as I continue to develop it has started to get firmer (I'm 17 and over the past year have gone from a 36B to a 32G and may continue to develop if it keeps up like this).
      Thanks you very much for your help this is an eye opener!

    3. The only thing to watch for with Parfait is that their wires can be quite wide. If you're getting some spillage it could be that the wires are too wide for you. In which case it's well worth looking at more styles from Freya that have a flexible upper cup that can work with a medium projection xx

  7. I am still not for sure if I have shallow breasts. I have tissue near my collar bone and even around my breasts. I have been wearing 36d to a 38d some times 36dd. It is so hard finding bras for me. I have been trying to buy the push up bras but the ones I always find are the ones that feel like they have the wire under my arm pit and the cup and cup is huge so that the wire digs under my arm pit. I think I have shallow breasts bc of that reason bc of the pics above it seems like the bras fit on the chest not under the arm pit. If that makes any sense. It's been crazy trying to find bras that fit me. A friend of mine just got me some from Victoria secret with thick straps to hold up my D's but they are 36ddd so there's a little more room then what is comfortable and they get annoying under my arms. I just want to feel good about my breast instead of hating them bc I don't know how to take care of them and dress them. Any advice would be really appreciated and helpful. Thank you