Breast height?

I was thinking about this for quite some time for now. This is factor of fit which usually hasn’t a lot of attention.  The thing is that two women with the same depth and width of the breasts can have very different sizes due to third dimension. Sometimes it called length, sometimes tallness, sometimes height – it’s projection of the base of the breast on the ribcage. And the fact that there is even no common word for that saying a lot about how often we speak about this: almost never!

But this parameter is actually quite important when we are talking about fit, it can make your go to size to be one or even two cups bigger or smaller, it defines how bras look on you, length of wires you need, models you most likely fit into etc

Recently I came across this post Exceptions to the “Starting Point” Size by This Bra Does Not Fit Her (excellent fitting guide BTW, exactly one of the ten reasonsfitting guides, which written way better than I ever be able to write why I’m not going to write my own, at least in English). And what brought my attention is that in my case this starting point correction for shallow profile and broad base should be done in the opposite direction. You know why? Because there is more than one type of shallow breasts: they could be half of the upper torso in height or they can be quite compact in the any other direction except width. In the first case 1-2 cupsizes up could be a great idea, in the second case not so much. I wear two cup sized down from what my measurements suggest, actually, because vertical distance between my breast root and apex, measured at center gore to ignore projection, is just a little bit more than 2″ and I don’t need a lot of a bra up there too! Much lesser breast tissue than with the same measurements, but taller breasts. My ideal bra would be a half cup with 2″ center gore and very wide wires (like at least 6″ wide, while most bras in my size are from five to five and a half). But the first woman, whose breasts are taller, wouldn’t benefit from such bra at all, because what she really need is tall and shallow cups, not short and shallow (it could be tallish balconette or plunge with wide wires like Panache Porcelain, e. g., but bras like Fauve Lucia or Masquerade Tiffany would be disaster on her).

WordPress doesn’t allow me even miniscule onClick (cruel people! no fun at all!), so I have to add this as links, instead of proper spoiler HTML.

My oh, so not academic drawings: (attention, naked breasts!)

Short breasts


Tall breasts

The same of cause is fully applicable to narrow and deep breasts. They could be tall or they could be not. Further more breasts could be more like proportional on width and depth, but rather tall or short. In any case there are very different bra choices.

And what I also wanted to mention is that sometimes girls and women with less breast “height” can technically fit into tallish cups. But lets be frank: it could be comfortable, but it looks like hell a lot of a bra and often it’s pretty much obvious that it didn’t meant to be like that.

So, what do you think about all this?

PS My blog is not exactly top five lingerie blogs in the lingerie blogging community and I’m very interesting in the topic, so feel free to take this discussion anywhere if you are interested in the subject.

15 thoughts on “Breast height?

  1. WideCurves

    I think you make perfect sense.

    I am technically “tall breasted shallow with lower fullness”, but fit like a “short” because I’m high set and upper-deflated from pregnancy/weight loss.

    I think I go down a cup size to make wires fit better (shorter) and get more lift from the bottom.

    My measurements put me in a G or GG cup. I feel better in an FF, sometimes F. In the right bra I have killer boobs and cleavage. In the wrong one, I look 10 years older.

    It isn’t all about the measurements. I think style comes first, then the right size. The hard part is finding the right bra style for your body – the right size can generally be found….somewhere.

    1. nothingeverfits Post author

      From what you are saying (being high set) it sounds like you are more in the middle (because tallness is about breast base vertical projection and has nothing to do with perkiness). But what really important and what I didn’t mention is that shallow profiles are also different and it also should be taken into account, too.
      I think I should update the visuals.

      1. WideCurves

        I think my true shallow nature makes me tallish – it’s just difficult to corral all of it. In an ok bra I’m very lower full. In a great bra my cleavage is full up to my collar bone and fullness is spread out so I’m more shallow.

        How the right bra does this in a smaller cup – I don’t know. But it does. I think perhaps because my breasts are very heavy for their size – it’s difficult to get proper lift otherwise?

      2. nothingeverfits Post author

        I think it makes perfect sense that smaller cup lift breasts higher, because it has less volume, so bigger cup just left them where they were and smaller cup redistributes volume up, because it should go somewhere. In the case when you can and you want to redistribute lower fullness you need more shallow cup and it’s usually good if it won’t be too open, because usually you overspill easily in such bras.

      3. nothingeverfits Post author

        I think that bra makers have some average volume and volume distribution for certain measurements in mind when designing bras and if you are on extremes then you doomed to the quest for the freaks of the bra market often not in your supposed size (the most wide or narrow wires, tall or open cups, not to mention strap placement, and what not).

  2. Galactica

    Hi !

    I agree with you, the height of the breast (under the armpit to the bottom of the breast) is very important !
    I want to add the height of the shoulders is important to, I made drawings to explain 🙂 :

    women 1 and B are the same : average body height, your description of short boobs
    woman 2 : exaclty the same woman than n°1, unless she have taller shoulders. She have short breasts compared to her body, BUT become tall-breasted compared to woman number 1
    woman A : exaclty the same as B, but all her body is shorter (armpit-shouder and armpit-bottom-of-the-breast distances)
    woman C : exactly the same as B, but all her body is longer
    women A and C have short breasts and average shoulders compared to their own bodies, but not if they are compared to the “average” woman B.

    In bras, they all can wear the same bra (I just duplicated the bra on photoshop), but the fit differs : woman A have the underwire poking in her armpit and have a lot of coverage, women 2 and C look saggy/not supported enough, even if they are not.

    I think if you have short boobs+short body+short shoulders, or tall boobs+tall body +tall shoulders, finding a bra that fits is a lot more hard than if you have everything average.

    Personnaly, I think I have medium height boobs (distance armpit-bottom of the breast), but I have tall shoulders and tall body, so all my bras looks shorter on me than on all women that wear the same bra on bratabase, blogs, and commercials.

    1. nothingeverfits Post author

      I meant the whole projection of the breast to the torso, not just vertical distance from breast root to armpit, so yeah, you should account all breast height, but you are definitely right about importance of how it’s distributed. I think that when we are talking about fit, cup height to breasts height is more important, but aesthetically proportion of the bra to the body affects the look a lot.

    2. Shani AZ

      I’m a little confused. The “height” of the breast tissue appears to be the same on all of these drawings, but each body is proportioned differently. Isn’t “tall” or “short” based on how much of the torso is covered by breast tissue? For example, I am short, and I have a very short torso but my breast tissue pretty much begins at my collar bone and ends about an inch above my elbow (if my arm is down straight). That leaves about 2″ of rib-cage below breast tissue. I thought, based upon the original post, that I would be categorizes as “tall” but now I think I don’t understand….

  3. Galactica

    Du you know what king of “disaster” happens when a woman wear a too short bra ?

    I am thinking of the breasts want to return to natural position in the top side of the cups. After putting the bra, everything looks ok, but after an hour, cups are empty and breasts are over the underwires on the side. But isn’t this more because underwires are too narrow ? Or too short and too narrow ?

    1. nothingeverfits Post author

      Too short underwire could be a real problem for women with soft breast tissue, cup could be wide enough to contain all breast tissue comfortably, but if it’s too short, some of it could escape to the armpit.
      Another problem with too short cups is nipple not where it should be, or the whole shape can be really odd (cups which go inward too early look really ugly).
      And support could be compromised if cups are not tall enough.

  4. Shani AZ

    I think you can read my mind! This is something that’s puzzled me about my sizing for awhile, but I had no idea how to begin understanding the supposed “discrepancies” in what’s supposed to fit me and what actually fits me. Recently on Bratabase I posted that I finally found a couple of bras that I feel fit me really well…more than any others so far. One is a Panache Porcelain Marni in size 30DD, the other is a Jasmine, in 30D (but I think I need a 30DD). Several Bratabase users, (one of whom is pretty much my “boob twin” and another is my “boob guru”) were shocked that these bras fit me at all.

    While I don’t have a lot of front projection, I’m certain more of my torso is covered by breast tissue than not. My (relatively) small breast size makes it seems counter-intuitive to describe my breasts as “tall” – however, according to your descriptions and drawings, they are indeed “tall”. I do believe you have solved for me the puzzle of why Porcelain and Jasmine work on my wide root-full-on-bottom separated breasts.

    I am very relieved about this, because I was second-guessing my own fit analysis. Silly as it sounds I can’t always tell if a bra fits me or not. After decades of completely wrong bras anything that comes close feels pretty good!

    1. nothingeverfits Post author

      In my book “tall” or “short” is about distance from the lowest point of the “root” (where underwire goes) to the highest point on your torso where you still have breast tissue. Nipple position is also important: it makes you “full on top” or “full on bottom”, other things which should be considered are projection, root width and distance from the root to armpit.

      My main point was that how tall you are is not less important than if you full on top or full on bottom. And from Panache bras I tried I could say that they are constructed for tall or tallish breasts, which have average projection or shallow.

      Glad you found bras that fit!


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