How to Determine Your Breast Shape

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The shape of your breast can influence a bra’s fit and how your bust will look. Particular breast shapes fit into specific bras, and the wrong one can be uncomfortable and unflattering. We’re teaching you how to determine your breast shape to make sure you can wear a well-fitting bra.

How to Determine Your Breast Shape

To determine your breast shape, you need to check several things:

  • breast fullness and projection
  • nipple position
  • root width and height, and
  • identify the gap between breasts

From here, you can see whether you are fuller at the top or bottom and if you have wide-set or close-set boobs.

An image of woman wearing bra

While you may need to switch styles to achieve different effects, knowing your breast shape is the first step to finding the best bra.

How to Identify Your Breast Shape

For this to work properly, you must remove your bra, lean forward, or stand up straight while facing the mirror. You may make a mental note, draw, or take a picture to help identify the shape of your breasts.

1. Check Breast Fullness and Nipple Position

The breast tissue’s density is what makes boobs either small or big. Some breasts are fuller on top or on the bottom, while others have an even, balanced shape. To determine breast fullness, you have to check the position and direction of the nipples.

If the tissues and nipples veer toward the bottom, then you may have bell-shaped or teardrop breasts that are fuller on the bottom.

In contrast, if the tissue focuses on top of the nipples, the breasts are fuller on top, which can sometimes mean you have uneven or slender breasts.

Meanwhile, you have even, rounded breasts if you can’t find the difference or the nipples point directly toward the floor.

2. Determine the Nipple Projection

Projection refers to the breast depth or how the boobs extend outward from the chest. Knowing your breast projection will help you find bra cups that fit you better.

3. Measure the Root Width and Height

Determining the root width requires calculating the width of your breasts. To do this, raise your arm above your head, then feel the side boobs sitting under your armpit.

Measure at the side of the boobs that protrude from the torso, then go over to the other side. The number typically equates to the size of the band or underwire.

  • Narrow roots end right before the armpits. A shorter or narrower root is common on breasts fuller at the bottom, like in round, bell, and teardrop boobs.
  • A bigger underwire is necessary for wider roots. Asymmetrical, conical, and wide-set breasts often have wide roots because of the tissue and fat that spill to the sides.
An image of a woman wearing pink bra

4. Check the Gap Between the Breasts

Breast separation pertains to the gap, or lack of gap, between the boobs. You have close-set breasts if they are touching, and there’s no visible gap. Conversely, you have east-west or wide-set breasts if there’s a noticeable gap between the boobs.

When your breasts touch closely, you need bras with a center gore, like plunge bras, to introduce separation and prevent a uni-boob look. On the other hand, bras with side boning are ideal for those with wide-set breasts to push the tissue front and center.

It’s common to have a space between your breasts as you age. However, some can have a flatter ribcage, a bony projection, or an inverted sternum. The spacing may also reposition the breast tissue and affect how the cups rest against the chest.

Related Questions

What Are the Common Breast Shapes?

The most common breast shapes include round, east-west, and side-set breasts. It’s also typical for women to have uneven and larger, sagging boobs as they age.

What Influences the Shape of the Breasts?

Genetics, hormones, tissue density, and fat mainly contribute to a person’s breast shape. Other factors such as age, activity levels, diet, and medical conditions may stimulate breast growth and shape.

How to Change Breast Shape?

You won’t be able to fully change the shape of the breasts, although wearing a particular kind of bra can contour the breast tissue to your desired shape. You can also do targeted exercises and improve your diet, depending on the shape or effect you want to achieve.


Determining your breast shape requires checking for breast fullness, nipple location, projection, root width, and the gap between the boobs. We hope this guide can help determine the shape of your breasts to find a properly-fitting bra.


Hi there, I’m Allena, Founder and Editor of The Better Fit. I’ve always had a passion for finding ways to help women improve various areas of their lives. I have researched and worked to create this website so women would have a place to come and be informed about an article of clothing they literally wear every day.