How the Placement of Your Breasts Impacts What You Wear


Could you do an article on how breast placement on our chests impacts our clothing. Some people have breast near their armpits, others near their elbow. They could be small, medium or large. Sharon

According to my plastic surgeon (who did my breast reduction operation) the bust peak/nipple is supposed to sit at the mid-point between shoulders and elbows.  Yet for many, this is not how it goes.  Yours may sit higher or lower (anyone with a large bust will find theirs is likely to sit lower). 

So how does where your bust sit naturally influence what you wear?   Not only is there the height of breasts, but also if they are more narrow (sit close together) or wider (sit further apart on your chest).  

What’s the Impact of Breast Placement on Clothing Choices?The impact of your breast placement on clothing choices and fit

High Breasts

This can happen if you have a short decolletage area and most often means that you’ll find the straps on clothes are too long.  You will need to take lots of clothes up from the shoulders and you may find that bust darts are too low for you.  High breasts can make you look a little broader through the shoulder area.

Low Breasts

This is very common as a larger bust will sit lower (there’s just no getting around it).  You may find bust darts are too high and most empire seams sit on the bust instead of under it (which looks terrible and isn’t comfortable).

Low breasts will also make your waist proportionally shorter, a good bra that lifts them as high as comfortably possible will improve this, but you may decide you don’t want to do any waist emphasis even if your body shape information calls for it so as not to draw attention to your shorter waist.  Instead, just make sure clothes are fitted through the waist, rather than highlighting it with horizontals such as belts.

Wide-Set Breasts

Breasts that sit wider will make your torso appear larger as they often extend past the sides of your body.  You will find that lower necklines wraps and V necks can work well as you have the space for them and don’t look like you have as much cleavage as someone who has narrower set breasts.

You may find it harder to find fitted garments from woven fabrics to fit as well, such as tailored jackets and button-up shirts, as your breasts may pull at the fabric.  You are also likely to have horizontal creases appear in knit tops too as your wider set breasts stretch the fabric across your busts.

Narrow Set Breasts

Breasts that sit close together will form a more obvious cleavage and can appear larger because of this.  You will find that lower v necks will show off your cleavage and anything particularly deep will be hard to wear without worrying that your breasts may “fall out”.

How the placement of your breasts impacts on what you wear

As you can see here (above left) I have more narrow set breasts and so can look too “booby” (as I call it) in any sort of V neck cut as my cleavage becomes very obvious.  This is one reason why I prefer a scoop neck that doesn’t expose my cleavage in this way (above right).

Large Breasts

A very large bust is most likely to sit wider than your torso (like mine used to do pre-breast-reduction – see below) and make you look larger overall.  Wearing loose clothing tends to make you look big all over, rather than just having a very large bust.  How the placement of your breasts impacts on what you wear - a large bust will make your torso appear wider

You need clothes that come back in at the waist to stop the volume of your tops making you look big overall.

You need clothes that come back in at the waist to stop the volume of your tops making you look big overall.

Soft fabrics that glide over your curves that can be tucked or are designed to come back in at the waist or under the bust are ideal.

Shallow vs Projected Shape

This can completely change how your bust looks and will fit into clothing.  

Shallow breasts have their tissue spread out over a wider area and will not appear as large (forwards) as Projected breasts, which have a narrower surface area on your chest, but project forwards.  Think about Shallow breasts being a dinner plate, and Projected breasts being a drinking glass.  Both may fit the same bra cup size, but are shaped very differently.  A shallow breast will fit more easily into a woven/button up garments, whilst a projected breast will find fitting these kinds of garments very tricky.

Bra Fit

You will also discover that different brands of bras fit differently and are made for different shapes.  I highly recommend you go down the rabbit whole of A Bra that Fits which has a plethora of resources to help you discover what kind of breasts you have, your best bra size, and the brands that will work ideally for you.


How to Flatter Smaller Breasts

The Scale of Necklaces Relating To Your Bust Size

Your Ultimate Guide to 17 Necklines and Which to Choose to Flatter Your Features

How to Make Your Small Bust Fuller

8 Tips on What To Wear When You Have a Flat Chest

How the Placement of Your Breasts Impacts What You Wear


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  • I often need to tighten adjustable straps. Looser are though better for pull on styles. Mine are large as I’m a 34HH in UK sizing and a 34L in US sizing. Mine start underneath my arm pits and end an inch above my natural waist. They stick out the farthest on my body even when I was full term pregnant. I mostly wear fit and flare dresses in a stretch fabric to T-shirts with long skirts. I usually look for scoop and V necks since some higher necklines including some crew necks chokes me. Empire lines are often too short for me and molded cup sizes usually are way too small. Tops with a closure are tricky for me and I usually have to go up in size with them even in the brands that specialize in button up tops for large busted women. With pull on styles I go down in size. My shoulders are one size and my bust is a different and significantly larger size. It’s a fallacy to think a large bust will hold up tops. One time I had a dress with a wide neckline and my mother made me get it in a larger size due to my bust but every time I moved it slipped off my shoulders. Most pants slip off of me when I move. The only ones that don’t are higher rise junior sized leggings although I am 40 years old. I can fit any size range in dresses and skirts since I have some from juniors, some from ladies, and some from plus sizes which is why I primarily wear them. I prefer wireless bras. I’m loving Breast Nest which gives no lift but causes no sweat. I also love Decent Exposures which has lots of customization options. and don’t limit the sizes of their styles. It’s the one brand that makes a strapless bra in my size. Also it would have been the only nursing bra that fit after I gave birth to Thomas which made me a 34KK in UK sizing. The bonus is pull on styles are more forgiving with fit. I do fit a smaller size than I should in both brands so I’ll fit them no matter how large my bust becomes since usually gain a cup size every other year no matter what I do. I live in the US and those are brands that are here but in different states. There is a Canadian brand called the BreastRest System I hope to try when there’s more room in our budget.

  • I’ll share a tip for shallow fitting. Since most bras that have large enough underwires for me also have far too much space in the cup fabric, I look for a minimizer. Full coverage, no poking, smooth fit. For less coverage, a half cup style sometimes works. Every sales clerk is surprised by the size I ask to try on until she actually sees how it fits.

  • Thank you Imogen for another thoughtful article. May I also share a tip, this time for the larger bust? I have always worn minimiser bras, thinking they provide the best fit for most clothes. The downside of these bras though is that they flatten the breast tissue which can increase torso width. I now wear side support bras rather than minimisers. These bras have side panels that centre the breasts, smooth the sides and make the torso look thinner. It look a bit of getting used to the increased projection, but It is actually far more flattering. I highly recommend that large busted ladies experiment with them. they might really like the look.

    • I personally never liked minimisers, always prefered those that had it all out front! But we are all different which is why they work for some and not others.

  • Interesting, thanks. My breasts are pretty average, but surprisingly difficult to fit. I now know it’s because they’re wide set, leading to pulling across my chest even though they aren’t so big. On the other hand, it would take duct tape to hold them together to make cleavage!

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