In a typical discussion of bras and breasts, we hear a lot about cup size. We don’t, however, hear a lot about cup shape, which is just as important in the fit of a bra. A cup that is wide and shallow might be good for someone with breasts that are small relative to their torso, but for those of us with breasts which are large relative to our torso, we need something different.
This is a separate, but related, issue from that of wide/narrow underwires, which I will definitely cover in a post soon, along with some of my discoveries in that vein. The width of the wires has something to do with it, but the shape/cut of the cup is also part of the picture.
I went bra shopping and took pictures of various bras for you to compare shapes. In these pictures are three bras: first, the baseline, my own bra, a Fantasie Savannah. Then we have two bras I tried at the shop: a Primadonna Amazone, and a Panache Andorra. Primadonna does not do half-sizes, but they are known for having larger cups: the Amazone I tried in a 34G, the other two bras are 34GGs. All three bras have the same width of wire, and all three “fit” technically, which is to say that they contained my breasts. I started out in a tight tshirt to get the best idea of fit, but by the time it had been pulled on and off several times it got a little stretched out.
I hope you will forgive the poor quality of the photos: these are phone snaps I took on the spur of the moment.
First, a front view:
The Fantasie Savannah, on the left, lifts and centers and looks nice. Since my breasts are large but my torso is small, it is inevitable that the return of the breast is a bit wider than my torso on either side. But I think this is kept to a minimum.
I think you can see the same thing in the Panache Andorra, on the right. Again, my breasts are centered, maybe even a little more so than with the Savannah. The support is great.
The problem, as you can see, is with the Amazone, in the center. My breasts are much less centered, and you can see that the profile is wider than in the other two bras. This is because this bra has a very shallow cut, and my breasts are being flattened out.
Here’s a side view:
This photo makes the problem apparent. On the left, in the Savannah, you see a relatively natural shape with good projection. (The Savannah, by the way, is one of those seamed bras so often described as “pointy”. A perfect hemisphere, it is not, but it is certainly not, in my opinion, pointed. Ha.) On the right, in the Andorra, you can again see a natural silhouette, only a tiny bit rounder than the Savannah. The lift is higher, but recall that this is a brand new bra, whereas the Savannah is broken in. The projection is still good. In the center, we have the PrimaDonna Amazone, and you can see clearly how much reduced is the projection. My breasts appear flatter. The volume is desperate to go somewhere; it is going out and up, making my entire torso look larger. (And no, it is not too small: there was no spillage anywhere, and a larger size would have been too wide.)
I made this post just to highlight some of the ways that different bras are different, and how they will fit different people. The SA kept telling me that the Amazone bra was a great fit, but I could see the width and took the photos to have a definite comparison.
Things like width, projection, lift, compression, etc, are all things to look at when evaluating a bra’s fit. Even if the cups “fit” by all the usual standards of complete enclosure, no spillage, no falling, etc, it might not be the best fit for you. It is really worth looking for a good fit!