What Are Shallow Breasts?

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Breasts are not just big or small. There are many other factors involved that determine your breast shape, which helps in finding your perfect bra. This article elaborates about one specific boob type, namely shallow breasts. So, what are shallow breasts and do you have them? Read on to find out.

What Are Shallow Breasts?

Shallow breasts refer to boobs that are set closer to your torso. They seem to be positioned higher on your chest and spread out more compared to other breast types. Less horizontal depth makes the bust appears less voluminous. They are opposite to the projected breasts, which extend further out from the body.  

Graphic illustration of various types of breasts and their corresponding names

If you wear a wired bra, the underwires may sit on your breasts tissues. You may also notice that there is a gap between the cups and your skin or the cups are unevenly filled. Consequently, women with this type of breast may struggle to find the right bra.

What Sizes Are Shallow Breasts?

In general, shallow breasts have smaller cup sizes, usually ranging from A to DD/E. However, it is important to remember that shallowness is a category of boob shape and not the size. Thus, women who have bigger busts can also have shallow breasts, with higher breast tissue volume spread out over the chest area.   

They are often confused with small breasts, since a side-view reveals that these breasts do not pop out significantly and lack the rounder, fuller look associated with bigger boobs. 

Also oft confused is that you can have shallow breasts with a small cup size but be a plus sized woman. Again, breast shape is not necessarily tied to the size of your body.

Shallow Breasts vs Other Breast Shapes

Breast Shape Breast Appearance Common Sizes Best Bra Styles
Shallow Set higher and closer to the torsoA to EDemi, balconette, adhesive
Archetype Round and fullA to JFull-coverage, plunge, wireless
East-West Point away from each other towards the sidesA to JPlunge, push-up, t-shirt
Slender Thinner in size, with nipples pointing downwardA to JPush-up, demi, t-shirt
Asymmetrical Differ in size, volume, form, or position from one anotherA to bigger sizesT-shirt, push-up, wired
Round Equal fullness at the top and the bottomA to bigger sizesBalconette, t-shirt, sports
Side-Set Spaced wide apartA to bigger sizesFront clasp, side support, wired
Close-Set Placed close to each otherA to bigger sizesWired, plunge, balconette
Wide-Set Sizeable gap between the breastsA to bigger sizesWired, front clasp, full coverage
Relaxed Hang longer, with nipples pointing downwardsA to bigger sizesPush up, balconette, t-shirt
Conical Tapers sharply towards the nipples, forming a cone shapeA to DPadded, demi, adhesive
Bell Slimmer at the top and fuller at the base, with a rounder bottomA to bigger sizesFull-coverage, wired, contour
Athletic Wider and more muscular, with less breast tissueA to CBralettes, wireless, push-up
Teardrop Less fullness at the topA to bigger sizesBalconette, strapless, plunge

What Bras Works for Shallow Breasts?

One of the primary concerns for women with shallow breasts is the difficulty in finding the bra in the correct size. Most regular bras feel too big as the boobs do not fill the cups. However, once you find a well-fitting bra, it can help your breasts appear their true cup size to achieve a fuller look. 

Woman wearing a lacy green bra

Therefore, when shopping for bras for your shallow boobs, consider the following features:

  • Opt for bras with less coverage. For example, a demi cup bra covers around two-thirds of the bust. Another option is the balconette bra that has cups, which end just above the nipple line. 
  • Look for bras that have an open top, like a balconette bra, instead of a top that curves towards your body. This ensures that the cups do not dig into your breasts to create a quad boob effect.
  • If you want more coverage, go for tall cups and less depth. The small cup volume will ensure that there are no gaps and your breast tissues are well supported.
  • Find bras with vertical seams, which direct your breast tissues upwards and lift your breasts.
  • Try padded bras, where the padding can occupy the space left empty by the breasts. You can also use these bras to create an illusion of bigger breasts and a more perkier silhouette. 
  • Invest in quality bras made with stretchy material, which will adjust to your bust’s shape and fit you seamlessly. The material will also work to hide the lack of fullness and support your breasts better. 

What Bras to Avoid for Shallow Breasts?

While there are quite a few bra features and types that are appropriate for shallow breasts, there are some that usually do not work for these types of boobs. Avoiding them can help you find a more comfortable fit, without any unwanted poking or spillage. Here are the bra features to avoid:

Woman wearing a black bra
  • Bras with full cups are not a good option as the breasts tissue are unable to fill the cups out adequately. As a result, the bra is unable to offer ample support.
  • Bras with horizontal seams are also best avoided, since these types of seams cause more projection that your boobs can not fill out, leaving gaps.  
  • A plunge bra have a plunging neckline. Consequently, the top edges of the cup can dig into your breast tissue, making this type of bra uncomfortable to wear. However, if you find a plunge bra that feels comfortable and gives you a flattering shape, you can definitely wear it.  
  • A push up bra is designed to lift your boobs to accentuate your cleavage. However, push up bras can create an unnatural silhouette, since the breast tissues start higher up on the torso. 

Related Questions

How Do I Know if I Have Shallow Breasts?

You’ll know you have shallow breasts if your chest appears to have a broad base. The breast tissue is spread closer to the torso, projecting a less voluminous bust.

What Do Projected Breasts Look Like?

Projected breasts have a higher depth causing them to stick out more prominently. This shape often experiences top spillage, creating quad boobs. Women with bigger breast sizes (DD/E cups and above) or implants usually have projected breasts.

What Are Narrow Breasts?

Narrow breasts refer to breasts that are fuller at the top yet narrower as you move toward the bottom. They are also longer than wider, which makes them appear thinner. The nipples point downwards, and their placement is also a little lower.

Bra Size Measurement & Cup Size | A, B, C, D, DD Bra Sizes AND Extra Large Breasts


Breasts that have a wide base and a small projection are called shallow breasts. These types of breasts usually belong to, yet not limited to, women with smaller cup sizes. If you have this kind of breast, you should ideally wear bras that have half cups with vertical seams and open top edges for a natural shape.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.