Ever wondered why it’s so hard to find a bra that fits? One of the big reasons is that no two sets of same-sized breasts are really identical. They might be a slightly different shape, more or less firm, or placed close together on one person and spaced apart on another. And all of these different factors affect whether that bra is going to fit you like a glove, or just fit you ‘well enough’.
When you’re bra shopping and on the hunt for the perfect fit, you need to know more than just your bra size. You also need to know what shape your breasts are, and the bra styles that will suit that best.
Today’s article is all about wide-set breasts, and the bra styles and design details that work best on them.
What are wide set breasts?
Not only are wide-set breasts not touching, but they are separated by a sizeable gap. Try placing your fingers flat on your sternum, between your breasts. If you can fit 3 or more fingers there, you have wide-set breasts.
Some wide-set breasts are what is called ‘splayed’, also colloquially referred to as an ‘East-West’ shape. This is where your breasts are pointing outwards away from each other, creating a wide triangle of skin between them. However, it’s also possible to have splayed breasts that begin close together and then head off in different directions, so the finger check is really the key to working out if yours are wide-set.
Fit problems of wide set breasts
Many people with wide-set breasts complain that they can never find a bra that gives them cleavage. Unfortunately, getting wide-set breasts to touch is often impossible, especially on smaller cup sizes. There are however bra styles that will push them a bit closer together.
Because wide-set and splayed breasts naturally have the bulk of their volume towards the outer side of the cup, you may have issues with cups laying flush there but gaping at the center-front. You may also experience underwire discomfort at the underarm, if the wire ends up sitting on top of breast tissue there.
Ideal bra styles for wide set breasts
Side support in a bra can take the form of an internal sling or a seamed panel at the outer edge of the cup. It serves to push your breast tissue inwards towards your sternum, creating a more centered shape. They also reinforce this outer edge, making it more difficult for your breast tissue to escape the cup here.
You could also try a push-up bra that has padding towards the outer side of the cup as well as at the base of it. This has a push in effect, with the goal of boosting cleavage.
The gore is the piece of fabric that joins the cups together. Some bras have very narrow gores, but if you have wide-set breasts you want one that’s wide enough to fill that gap. The bra will better mimic and follow the shape of your body – the cups will begin where your breasts do and not before, minimizing the likelihood of them gaping.
You could try looking out for a front-fastening bra. Not only do these pull your breasts inwards, they always have a wider-than-usual gore because the closure takes up some space.
As mentioned further up, people with wide-set breasts can have issues with cup gaping near the sternum, where their breast tissue is less full. Plunge bras offer a convenient and stylish way around this, since the cut of the cups means it primarily covers the fuller, outer side of the breast.
Remember that if you are struggling to find a bra with underwires that are comfy, you could always opt for wireless. Not only can this improve comfort, but soft, stretchy cups have a more forgiving fit in general and hence are unlikely to gape. The downside is that this style of bra is less supportive.
Bonus tip: scoop and swoop
It’s always a good idea to scoop and swoop after putting your bra on, whatever breast shape you have. However, it’s especially useful when it comes to wide-set breasts – you want to ensure that your breast is fully inside the cup at that outer edge, which will improve comfort and create a more centered look.
If your breasts are wide-set, which bra styles or features work best for you?