Why You Really Shouldn’t Worry About “Pointy” Cups

As large-busted woman, I prefer bras with seamed cups to those with molded cups. I often see on the internet the complaint that a bra (usually a seamed bra) gives the wearer’s breast a “pointy” shape. (Some women even describe modern, seamed bras as “bullet bras”, which I, having owned and worn real, vintage bullet bras, find ridiculous.)

Let’s first clear that up: the slightly pointy shape in many modern seamed bras is nowhere near being a bullet bra. Bullet bras were severely, seriously pointed, and they stiffly lifted and separated the breasts. To call a modern, seamed balconette a “bullet bra” is just silly. This is a bullet bra. Note that the cups are very cone-like, and that they point in opposite directions. What you can’t tell from the photo is that the fabric is relatively thick and very, very stiff.  I have one very similar to this, and it’s essentially a girdle for your upper body. The seams are very stiff too, and are for the most part entirely straight. This is NOT a bullet bra, but some reviewers describe it that way. This is a seamed bra, made of fabric that flexes to conform to the shape of the breast. It gives a very natural shape that some describe as “slightly conical.”

I think this complaint stems from a three different factors:

One: the recent popularity of molded bras, especially in the inexpensive bra market. Cheap molded bras create an externally-visible shape that gives no clue as to the actual shape of the breast. Rather than true support, most of them offer compression and coverage. The hard cup means you really can’t see fit problems.

Two: sadly, most young women today have never seen a naked, unaugmented human breast, and if they have seen it, they haven’t had a moment to just see it, without judging that breast or their own. They don’t know what a breast “should” look like, what is normal and what is natural.

Three: most women aren’t wearing the right bra size. This distorts the appearance of their breasts, so they don’t really know how their breasts are shaped; then when they finally get a good bra, they are shocked or uncomfortable with seeing an unfamiliar shape on their front.

The round, high, augmented breasts most people see on television and in pornography are not natural. Most large breasts, especially on small chests are, are somewhat oblong, or “UU shaped.” A bra’s job is to lift, support, and position those breasts in a way that is comfortable and appealing. The shape that a good seamed bra gives is like the shape of a natural breast:  deep and oblong, with a rounded apex. The breast volume has to go somewhere: do you want it in front of your chest, or in front of your arms? (Have you ever tried to reach forward, only to find that your breasts were in the way?) Much better for the breast to be supported and projected in front of the torso. This slims the appearance and means you can move your arms freely.

What most women also don’t know is that a young woman’s breast, a breast of a woman in the prime of her fertility, is slightly pointed. Men who are attracted to women may unconsciously be attracted to this shape of breast. If you care at all about that sort of thing, it’s something to keep in mind. I think, however, that the most attractive bra is one that is comfortable and makes the wearer feel attractive and confident.

Before you avoid seamed bras, try one on under your clothes. I think you will find that you like the shape it gives you. Some styles are pointier than others, while some others give a rounder profile, so with time and patience you really should be able to find a seamed bra that gives you a good fit. You will find that the support of a seamed bra is absolutely unparalleled!

21 thoughts on “Why You Really Shouldn’t Worry About “Pointy” Cups

  1. It definitely took some getting used to when I first started trying on bras in my actual size–I wasn’t comfortable with the slightly pointed look but I ended up getting used to it. But I’ve since found unpadded, well fitting bras that do give a round shape and (as a product of my generation) I do prefer that when I can find it, in fact I demand it from anything I’m going to spend money on. A lot of the seamed bras I have tried, especially full-cup bras, are a bit too natural-looking for me. They are constructed so they give no extra lift, and my boobs do take on the shape of a bullet bra (even if it’s not a bullet bra) just because that’s what my boobs would look like under clothes if I didn’t wear any bra. A bra that gives me a totally natural shape also gives me a lot of back pain, so I try to find a happy medium in between padded, rounded bras and these very natural-shaping bras. I don’t really like padded bras anyway, although in my experience it is the padded or contour bras that are MUCH more expensive in my size.

    • I am pretty sure we are of the same (or nearly the same) generation; the vintage bullet bra I own was my grandmother’s 🙂

      I think for me it ends up being a matter of clothing: for some clothes, a bra that rounds things out and brings them close to the chest looks best, (typically for something like a baby doll dress, which otherwise would project too far from the body and make me look fatter/shapeless) With others I am fine with the slight point. I don’t like anything that makes things extremely pointed, because that’s not natural either. I just think that a lot of people freak out over any pointiness these days because they don’t know what a breast looks like, and that’s sad. Anything TOO rounded, though, will just spread my boobs out, because my torso is so narrow, and that looks gross to me.

      I personally can’t do a full-cup bra, I’m too short. I think most full-cup bras are sewn with a cup style that doesn’t give much lift, though. Most UK full cups are sewn with what is called “cup style 6” by Boobius Maximus, in this helpful guide to cup styles. As she points out, that style makes things low and pointy, I think that’s what you re dealing with. I generally prefer a balconette: I am short and have really big boobs, so I need a lot of lift in order to better define my waist.

      I have ordered a couple of Effuniaks that are “padded”, but they are seamed, not contour, and the padding is only 3mm thick, that’s half the thickness of a contour cup. I am hoping these are a happy medium.

  2. Thanks for sharing this perspective. I may be less picky than I used to be, but I’ve almost totally converted to 3-part cups now. Or does that mean I’ve become MORE picky, since I’m not willing to look squashed in and bigger from the front anymore?

    The seamed bras I wear may be slightly pointy, but they’re definitely not in bullet bra territory.

    Speaking of shapes, I tried an amazing-looking bra the other day, but when I turned sideways, my bust profile almost looked like one of those curvy brackets that we used to use in math class (I can’t remember what they’re called). It’s amazing the variety of shapes a bra maker can create for our boobs.

    Excited to discover your blog!

    • Thank you Darlene, I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now!

      I have definitely become more picky as I have learned more about bras and found more bras available to me. I am definitely not willing to look squashed in and wide. My seamed bras are also a little “pointy”, but not bullet bras. I have worn my grandmother’s bullet bras and they are a whole other animal 🙂

  3. They * are the modern day version of bullet bras…I can’t stand them. I’ve tried several in my correct size and the shape they give is absolutely horrendous. They make me look more pointy than what I look like completely naked. I prefer that American style rounded silhouette. T-shirt bras don’t compress you. I find I look more my size in them (most are around 1/8″ in thickness and the foam itself compresses from the weight of your breast). If you’re in too small of a cup size THEN they’ll squash your boobs down. And it’s very easy to tell if you’re wearing the wrong size in them simply from the shape they give you. If you’re looking a little pointy in a t-shirt bra, the cup is probably too small. But if it’s coming up too high or the apex of the cup feels soft and can easily indent and/or is located above your nipples then the cup is too big. An easier way to tell is to just take the bra off after you’ve been wearing it for some time. The underwires should be perfectly around your breasts, not on or way past them.

    Also…most young people (women in general) of todays generation DO know what reall boobs look like because they see them every day. Unless you’re taking CA, TX or FL…everyone and their mother has implants in those states.

    You should probably clarify more what you mean by seamed bras though. I love vertical seams because they’re following the natural curve of the breast and properly support it more than one with your traditional seams ( * 1 long diagonal/horizontal seam with 1 vertical seam). And it’s a shame more companies don’t make them, especially in smaller band sizes. I love the ones Chantelle puts out, but IMO they’re far too overpriced and they don’t make small enough bands.

    • The only natural breasts most young women see are their own, so they don’t know that they are “normal”. This is actually something young women are very concerned about, as evidence by the queries on sites like Scarleteen. Most of the breasts in Hollywood are augmented, as well as in mainstream porn.

      I welcome comments, but I ask that people keep regional stereotyping and other forms of bigotry out of my blog. I live in Houston, Texas, and the only person I know here with implants is a trans woman (and hers are delightful.) I am a 34H without implants.

      WRT Chantelle I can’t stand them, it’s largely a matter of breast shape. Their bras compress my breasts, making them flat and wide, even in the correct size 😦 Same with Wacoal. I think Chantelle makes some very pretty bras and I wish I could wear them, but it’s just not meant to be. I don’t like diagonally-seamed bras either; I like a 3-part cup with tulip cut, or some 4-part cups (like Fantasie side support models). Some are more and less pointy than others, it depends on which one you wear. As for being bullet bras, they aren’t 🙂 The modern version of a bullet bra is a bullet bra 🙂

  4. Did not realize you were from TX until after I submitted my comment. I’ve never been there, nor do I know anyone from there but most of the women (reality TV shows, Cheerleaders, etc) you see look as if they do have implants. High profile, super skinny arms yet still having a large bust, as well as other factors. I’m aware implanted women can be in any state or country. Those seem to be the main ones with more publicity.

    Whether it’s a modern day version of a bullet bra or not…all those plunge and balcony styles from brands like Freya and Fantasie DO give a pointy look, and I don’t think it’s attractive. Other than the point factor I don’t like the shape because it brings your breasts front and center and I think it actually makes my (24″) waist look bigger because they’re positioned up far too high and too far from my sides (and it’s still lower than the middle of my arm where they’re “supposed” to be), the entire shape is more like a cone for me. Perhaps it’s different with boobs that aren’t as saggy/fleshy? I always attributed that pointy look to the fact that the fabrics are not cut the correct size on those 3 part bras and because I’m nowhere close to perky. (I.E. – I look like a 34A cup without a bra yet spill out of C’s)

    • It really doesn’t matter where I live: I wouldn’t be ok with similar comments about anyone from anywhere. It’s just not the kind of thing I want to publish. Thank you for understanding 🙂

      Some seamed bras are pointier than others. I don’t think all of them give a pointish look. I have the Fantasie Savannah which is a 4-part cup with a rounded profile (not Panache-style rounded, more like natural-boob rounded; it gives a lot of lift but a natural shape.) I tried on a Cleo seamed balconette the other day that was completely round-looking. But I have heard people say that the Savannah is “pointed”, and I think those people are completely mistaken. Maybe they think anything not completely hemispherical is pointed, but if that is the case, they are just wrong.

      Bringing the breasts front and center actually reduces the apparent size of the torso. Basically, our eyes perceive the width of objects and analyze size from that width. I think any good bra, regardless of shape, *should* bring my breasts front and center, instead of spreading them out toward the sides. It could be that you have breasts significantly narrower than your torso, or (as discussed before) that you are wearing bras in the wrong size. I definitely have my days where I can’t bear a tight band (and I spent a few years unable to wear a fitted band at all because of the pain) but there’s a trade-off there, and that’s fit. If your breasts are centered “far from your sides”, that sounds like too small cups. The breasts should be evenly distributed across the chest.

  5. Hmmm, I never thought the cups would be too small, sometimes they seem too big. My breasts are more full at the bottom and closer to my sides, maybe narrower at the tops but not flattened. I have an Arabella, Pollyanna and Rio and I just don’t like how close together but coned (almost mammogrammed coned) with no cleavage they make me look. The apex of them is almost a little loose yet the tops cut in and tend to push me down giving a pointed look. But there are a few flaws in 2 of those bras so I think that may be why there is an ill fit.

    Question: Where should your nipples be in a seamed bra, well below the main (longest) seam, just under it, or centered over the two seams meeting? Or does it depend entirely on the wearer? I often times see a Freya model in a seamed bra and their nipples are sitting an inch or two below the seam, yet considering where the apex is in the cup they should be higher up. Mine sit about half an inch below the main seam. Should they be lower or higher than that? I know I’m in the wrong size. I take what I can get, and in reality should be in a 26 (I gave 34 as an example up above because it still sounds more realistic to me, lol).

    • The nipples should, in my opinion, sit under the seam, in a seamed bra like those that Freya, Fantasie, Empreinte, etc, sell. In a seamed bra, the cup typically has an apex of its shape, and that is usually where the nipple should go. The seam also helps to hide nipples.

      I have a few bras where the cups are too small, and they similarly seem to pull my breasts downward. But we talked before about how you have bands riding up in the back, and I think that is a loose band issue.

      Also, not every bra will fit every person. I can’t wear Freya bras myself, the shape of the cup is wrong. My breasts are fuller on the bottom than on the top.

      I also tried on a Fantasie Florence bra, and no matter what size I tried, it dug into the top of my breast, even in a cup that was too big everywhere else. it sounds like you are dealing with two things: wrong cup size and also wrong cup shape. If the apex is loose but the top edge digs in, it sounds like the cup is too small for you to get your whole boob in (so the apex is empty, but the top edge tight). But it also could be a shape issue.

      Do you have a big space between your breasts (more than a finger’s width?) that might be why you think some bras are making your boobs sit too close together. In that case you might like Panache bras better, they have a wide center gore.

      My breasts are also not at all perky, but they are getting fuller on top due to wearing good bras! Migrated tissue is moving back into the breast.

  6. I remember when I first started wearing bras (back in 6th or 7th grade, I think) and bought this awful, awful molded bra with the weirdest nipple positioning I’d ever seen in my life. I’m so glad I know better now…I’ve found with some bras though, especially unlined ones, the seam at the top of the up seems to cut into my breast. It’s weird. I don’t know if it has to do with me having a lot of issues with too-narrow wires on most bras, but bra design definitely has a ways to go in many areas.

    • I think that the top line digging in is a combination of two things: soft breast tissue, and a poorly-fitting bra.

      I have a lot of ptosis, so the flesh on the top of my breasts is pretty soft. Even some well-fitted bras will compress there just a little bit, like my Fantasie 2152. The bra isn’t too small, it’s just that the top line is across a soft part of my breast.

      On the other hand, some bras are just poorly designed. I tried on a Fantasie Florence and even when the rest of the cup was way too big, the top line dug deeply into my boob.

      • I think it’s mostly a poor design. Or perhaps, an unsuited design–my breasts are fairly firm and “up”, so maybe it’s because it’s cutting into somewhere that’s too full for its limits?

        • Sounds like a bad fit for you then. (An unsuited design would count as poor fit in my book; finding the right bra isn’t just about size, but about finding the suited design. “Fit” has many elements.)

          You might try some Panache styles. Their balconettes do not usually have a firm ribbon across the top of the cup. And the Andorra, though it is considered full-cup, fits like a balconette, and the top of its cup is made of stretch lace. I found that it curved around the top of my boob without cutting in.

  7. Yeah I’m definitely nowhere near perky. And no matter how much I work out they do not firm up. There is about a 2-fingers width between them at the top, tapering out to 4 at the bottom (if that makes any sense), so averaged out to 3 I suppose. They’re almost slanted because the outer edges start halfway between my armpit. Although I find Panache to fit better, and I like how wide their underwires are for each cup, the cups almost seem too far apart at the same time. I have to get a cup size larger in their bras since they’re more shallow than Freya. But I have found what size fits me in them now. Just wish I could wear all the pretty, lace styles.

    Thank you for all your advice! =)

    • It’s a myth that working out will firm up the breasts. There are no muscles in the breasts, so working out won’t change them. Wearing a good bra can improve firmness though, but it will also increase size, as tissue migrates back to the area.

      I recently learned that in sizes above a G, so GG through KK, many Panache bras are built differently, with a smaller center gore. I thought I couldn’t wear Panache, but since I learned this, I see that there are certain styles I can maybe wear.

      It sounds like you have wide-set breasts. Prima Donna is known to be wide and deep; I found my “right size” in them to be too large, but a size down was too shallow. Also I have found that Fantasie balconettes are much wider and deeper than their side-support varieties. I know you don’t like pointiness, but not all Fantasie models are pointy, they really vary. Read reviews and look for one with a round shape.

      And you’re welcome, of course, I’m glad to help.

  8. Pingback: The Importance of Cup Shape « My Curves

  9. Pingback: Bra Review: Fantasie Savannah 2152 | My Curves

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