This is a subject that comes up every week when I'm speaking to clients about their bra fit. A woman's height is so often a factor in her bra fit that I'm surprised there's so little information out there about the correlation between height and bra fit. I hope this post will help you narrow down which features your bra should have in relation to your height.
Height and Breast Root Position
Firstly we need to talk breast root position. This is something I've written about before in Breast Roots and Bra Fit. Whether you're tall, short or somewhere in the middle you can have a high-set, low-set or medium-set breast root and this will play a big part in which kind of bra wires work for you. This excerpt from my previous blog post summarizes breast root position and wire length:
"Breast Root Height
On average, full bust women find that their breast root is between 5 and 7 inches lower than their armpit. If the distance between your breast root base and your armpit is less than 5 inches you often find that bra wires poke into your armpit. If this is the case for you then you have high set breasts and will benefit from bras with short wires that don't rise as high into your armpit.
If your breast root is farther down your body than 7 inches you can experience spilling at the sides of your bra no matter which size you try. You need tall bras with long wires that run equal to (or higher than) the side of your breasts."
Tall Women and Strap Length
Tall women often find that their breast root is proportionally lower than an average 5ft 5" woman and so they need their bras to be long enough to reach their breast root. Their breasts aren't necessarily so tall that they need a really long wire to encase a deep/tall breast, instead they need a shallow to medium wire length on a bra with long straps that can lower the cups down to their breast root. This might sound simple but you'd be amazed at how few bra straps are long enough for a long torso.
|Partially Adjustable Left: the straps can only be adjusted as far as the ring Fully Adjustable Right: the straps can be adjusted all the way forward or back|
If you are a tall woman with average or short height breasts then you need to find styles with a short to medium wire with a long strap. Here are some recommendations:
Cleo Bras - good for full all round and top heavy breasts. Lucy is good for side heavy and bottom heavy breasts.
|Cleo bras have long, fully adjustable straps. The cup shapes are good for full all round, top heavy and side heavy breasts|
Claudette has very long straps and the Dessous shape is good for wide set breasts, side heavy breasts and shallow breasts. Dessous has a short wire too.
|Dessous by Claudette has long, fully adjustable straps. The cups are good for side heavy, wide set and shallow breasts|
Jasmine, Gem, Tango and Envy are good styles for medium to tall breasts (ones that require a longer wire to encase a taller breast) that need longer straps.
|These styles have medium to long wires on long straps which are good for medium to tall breasts on long torsos|
Boobs Take Up More Space on Short Bodies
Imagine a 34G volume bust (34 inches around the body and a projection of around 8 inches away from the body). This volume of bust on a long torso is a very different fit to the same volume on a short torso. This is because the surface area that 34G breasts take up on a short torso is proportionally greater than the surface area on a long torso. The short torso woman with a 34G bust might find that bras jab her in the armpit more than the long torso 34G woman. When the shorter woman sits down her breasts are closer to her stomach than the taller woman so a bra with a band might flip up or cut into her stomach whereas it may not on a longer torso.
A surprising pattern has emerged through our size consultations. The same under bust and over bust measurements on women of different heights can alter their cup size by as much as three cup sizes depending on her height. It seems that for every inch you are under 5ft 4" your cup size is one volume larger than that of a woman over 5ft 5" with the same raw measurements.
If you have a short body or simply a short torso look for bandless bras with medium length wires. Fully adjustable straps are essential for short women. Check out my post on bras good for short torsos for some style suggestions.
Strap Position on the Shoulder and Height
Lots of bras have straps set too far apart for short women (and women with narrow or sloping shoulders). Besides making the straps slip off your shoulders more easily, straps that are too far apart for your body can buckle the cup shape. As you pull the straps closer in so that they sit on your shoulders it alters the shape of the cup and can cause gaping where the cups start to buckle. Short women benefit from bras with straps designed for narrow or sloping shoulders.
|Left: Cleo bras have wide set straps that are ideal for average to wide frames. Right: Dessous has closer set straps ideal for smaller frames (and sloping or narrow shoulders)|
I hope these height related fit tips help you narrow down what you need from a bra. If you have any questions please let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to get you answers! xx