Bra Shopping for Projected Breasts: An Expert Guide
September 25, 2023
Breasts with a lot of projection have more depth and often a smaller breast root compared to shallow breasts. If you have projected breasts, bras with seamed cups that provide ample cup depth and narrow underwires can help you achieve your desired look and fit.
Your best bet will be with brands that specialize in projection-friendly cup shapes in a wide size range, particularly Polish bra brands such as Ewa Michalak, Gorsenia, and Comexim which are known for their deep, rounded cup shapes and multi-part cups. As with any breast type, finding a bra with the right shape and size for you will be key in achieving the perfect comfort and fit.
What are Projected Breasts?
In order to properly discuss projection, let's first define a few key terms:
The area where your breast tissue is attached to your chest. Roots may have different widths (average, wide, narrow) and have different placement in relation to each other (far apart vs close together).
Beyond size, the most commonly mentioned breast characteristic is shape. Breast shape is an approximation and a shortcut that doesn't fully take into account other important variables like the width or setting your breast roots, or tissue density mentioned above. At it's core, it is the basic shape created by breasts when standing and looking at the chest straight ahead. To determine breast shape with some more nuance, there are two commonly used spectrums: fullness and projection.
Used to describe how tissue is spread out within the breast. Breasts can have evenly distributed fullness (often found in smaller busts with a round shape) or have concentrated fullness on the top or bottom. Full on bottom shapes are very common for larger natural breasts with more tissue.
Projection looks at the overall amount of breast tissue you have relative to the area of your breast root, the place where the breast attaches to your chest. In simple terms, projection refers to the depth of your breasts.
Projected breasts have more depth, with tissue that extends out, away from the chest. They also tend to have a higher concentration of tissue attached to a root that takes up a smaller area on the chest.
In contrast, shallow breasts tend to have tissue that is closer to the chest, distributed over a larger root area, at a shallower depth.
How do Breast Roots Relate to Projection?
Narrow Breast Roots
When someone has a narrow breast root, it means the base of the breast is closer together and doesn't extend as far horizontally along the torso. Boobs with a lot of volume and narrow roots often have more projection concentrated around a smaller, more defined area.
Wide Breast Roots
When someone has a wide breast root, it means that the base of their breasts extends further across the chest horizontally and often leads to a broader more even horizontal fullness in breast projection. This can result in a shallower breast as the breast volume covers a larger area and often requires a shallower bra cup and wider underwire.
How does Breast Tissue Affect Breast Projection?
Breast tissue and breast projection are two very closely related concepts. Quite often, individuals with a greater density or volume of breast tissue tend to have more projected breasts, due to the quantum of breast tissue pushing the breast out and away from the chest. Density can also play a major factor in determining projection, as more dense tissue creates a firmer feel relative to very soft tissue, creating a more projected look.
Distribution of tissue can also impact projection, as a high concentration of tissue in the center of the chest wall will also push breasts outwards in a projected manner.
Changes to Breast Tissue Over Time and Impact on Projection
As we age, our fluctuations in hormones can also impact the composition and volume of breast tissue. Going through puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can all factor into your tissue volume. With age, glandular tissue can be reduced and replaced with an increase in fatty tissue which will lead to a decrease in breast projection. In addition, fluctuations in weight can impact the amount of fat being stored in the breasts, all of which will impact the projection. Losing weight often reduces projection while weight gains can oftentimes add to it.
How does Breast Shape Relate to Projection?
Different types of breast shapes can lend themselves to different levels of projection. Overall distribution of tissue and contour both determine the extent to which your breasts extend from your chest wall. The following common breast shapes for among larger breasts can all have a meaningful impact on overall projection:
Breasts whose width is wider than the breast roots have an omega shape, sometimes called bell-shaped or teardrop-shaped breasts). Women with omega-shaped boobs often have very narrow roots which can often create challenges bra shopping in order to find cups with the appropriate amount of volume and wires that aren't too wide.
These boob shapes are often less projected and are known for having a saggy or pendulous shape. Supportive underwire bras often provide the desired level of projection and support for folks with pendulous breast shapes.
These boob types are often evenly distributed and frequently have average projection, with the fullest part of the breast centered over the breast mound.
With asymmetrical breasts, one breast is often noticeably different in appearance, whether it be shape or size from the other breast. This mismatch in shape or size can lead to varying levels of projection across both boobs. Bra cup "cookies" or removable inserts can be placed in the cup with the smaller breast to even out the cup fit.
What to Look for in Bras Suited for Projected Breasts
Cup Shape: Look for Seamed, Deep Cups
Cup shape is the most important characteristic to look for when shopping for bras well suited for a lot of projection. Deeper cups can better accommodate projected breast tissue without unwanted spillage or discomfort. Specifically, cups made with multiple pieces of fabric sewn together with vertical seams can create structured cup depth that is essentially impossible to recreate with just a single piece of fabric, even in a highly molded style. Seamed cups provide necessary additional support to achieve a rounded, lifted look.
Underwire Shape: Look for Narrow Underwires
Projected breasts come hand in hand with relatively narrow breast roots. The breast tissue extends away from the chest so the root often has a smaller, more narrow base compared to shallow breasts of the same volume. If you have narrow roots, you should also choose bras with narrow underwires. Especially for women with large busts and smaller ribcages, bras with narrow underwires can also eliminate some of the discomfort created by too-wide underwires that poke or even stick out beyond the contour of the body.
Bra Styles that Work Well for Projected Breasts
When bra shopping for projected breasts, one would be remiss to not mention Polish bras. Brands such as Ewa Michalak, Gorsenia, and Comexim specialize in bras purpose-made for women with a lot of projection. These brands make bras with especially deep cups and narrow underwires, perfect for those struggling with cups that are too shallow for their tissue or too wide for their breast roots.
EM's BM Balconette style is an excellent choice for those with projected breasts. The balcony shape and stretchy lace in the top panel on the cups allows for some flexibility in fit making it a popular, and beautiful choice.
Ewa Michalak bras are known for their projected shapes, ultra-wide size range, and ultra high quality pieces. Note: while the cup shapes are deep and perfect for projected breasts, EM sizing does run small in both band and cup - the cups are narrow and deep, but notlarger than other brands in terms of volume. Many women prefer to go one size up in band and cup compared to their size in other brands.
Gorsenia bras have an especially projected shape - the cups run so deep that many women find they need to go down a cup size compared to other brands.
Comexim bras have the narrowest wires of the three brands mentioned, and cup shapes with plenty of depth for even the most projected breasts. Comexim cup sizing runs significantly smaller than other brands. To achieve a similar fit, go up by 1-2 cup sizes compared to your size in other brands.