Understanding the Different Breast Shapes

Understanding the Different Breast Shapes

Each individual body is different from another. From smile and laugh to soul and personality, I love that simply being your true self is unique. At Leonisa, we value women and each of their strong, beautiful bodies because physical health and both emotional and mental strength are something to celebrate! From a physical aspect, however, women are often viewed in terms of how they might fit into a predetermined category instead of how they are unique. While the categorization of women's body shapes can indeed shed light on commonalities and helpful, shape-specific information, it's also true that these categories are usually generalized to a point that lacks recognition or appreciation for unique, specific features.

I see this a lot when it comes to different boob shapes. Though there are common shapes out there and many women identify with at least one of them, so many conversations and articles focus on how to normalize your “different” shape to make it look more similar to a standard or universally pleasing breast shape. Instead, I think we should be talking about how to love and celebrate your unique body shape, breasts and more. I hope that we can find a sense of community among the different body shapes women identify with, but also that we can view it as a way to better understand ourselves and not feel the need to alter it for non-health reasons. With that in mind, here's my guide to understanding your breasts, finding confidence in your unique shape and choosing a Leonisa bra that helps you celebrate and accentuate what you have!

Getting to Know The Different Breast Shapes

Different breast shapes - Leonisa

I think it's important to familiarize yourself with your unique breast shape for a few reasons. Most importantly, your breasts are a part of your body and therefore it can help you to feel more knowledgeable and in touch with your own self to know them well. If you're more familiar with your body and your breasts, in particular, it shows. Positive and confident body language, good posture and an overall sense of poise are classic and very telling outward signs of a woman who is aware of her breasts, in touch with her physical self and loving towards her natural shape.

You are so much more than a shape. You are not a category or a classification or a group. You are your own unique self, and your breasts are a part of that self. With that in mind, there are some breast shape commonalities that link individual women together through their natural shape. These commonalities (seen below as my list of breast shapes) show that while we as women can find a wonderful sense of community and even kinship in our similarities, no two of us are exactly the same. Which shape or shapes do you recognize in your own breasts?

  • Asymmetrical Breast Shape: Before I say anything else, I want to make it clear that “asymmetrical” does not denote faultiness, inadequacy or fallaciousness of any kind. Rather, the asymmetrical shape simply means your breasts are not identical to one another. This shape might manifest itself through a difference in size (of varying levels), nipple placement or breast orientation in general.

Athletic Breast Shape

  • Athletic Breast Shape: For my professional athletes, dedicated CrossFit queens and others who love to sweat it out, you might identify closely with this shape. On the other hand, elements of the athletic breast shape can definitely be found in non-athletes as well. Athletic-shaped breasts usually include muscularity throughout the area, a space between the breasts and a low to moderate amount of tissue.

  • Bell Breast Shape: I don't always love comparing body parts or shapes to inanimate objects, but the beautifully fluid shape of a bell is very much spot on for this shape. Bell-shaped breasts are aptly named because they begin with a skinnier top region and broaden into a wider, more round shape towards the bottom of the breast. Keep in mind that as with most breast shapes, you might personally have a bell combination shape (i.e., an asymmetrical bell breast shape) that is all your own.
  • Close-Set Breast Shape: While primarily athletic-shaped breasts feature a space or gap in the sternum area between the breasts, close-set breasts are their opposite in this way. Women with this breast shape might notice that their breasts meet in the middle of their chest or are very close to each other. This shape focuses on breast orientation and is identifiable regardless of size, but is a common feature of larger breasts.
  • Fundamental Breast Shape: I believe all breast shapes are exemplary, significant, normal and accepted, which is why I chose the word “fundamental” for this shape. Known to others as a standard, typical or even ideal breast shape, this one represents the essential nature of the breast itself. The fundamental shape is something you might draw as a universal representation of boobs and can be identified specifically as a medium-sized, relatively round breast with symmetrical nipple placement in the front.
  • East-West Breast Shape: Another shape that features a separation of the breasts in the cleavage area is the east-west shape. You might identify with this one if you see that your nipples face outwards towards your arms instead of straight ahead. If you have a unique east-west shape, you might also experience some difficulty with creating your desired amount of cleavage under your shirts. Don't worry — you can find the perfect bra for creating cleavage with east-west-shaped breasts. Read on!

Model in black underwear
  • Relaxed Breast Shape: Your boobs don't need to be perky, high-set or super-large to be healthy or beautiful. I like to think of relaxed-shaped breasts as a softer shape that offers more in length than it does in width. Other signifiers of this shape include a low amount of tissue, nipples that point downward and sag when not wearing a bra. If you fall under this category of breast shape, push up bras are a great solution if you want your breasts to feel supported and have a perkier look.

Round Breast Shape

  • Round Breast Shape: Though perfect circles aren't believed to occur in nature, the round breast shape makes a convincing case that they do. All jokes aside, this breast shape is identifiable by an overall rounded shape which includes a similar amount of tissue in both the top and bottom regions.
  • Side-Set Breast Shape: Both east-west and side-set breast shapes tend to include a gap between the breasts themselves, though they each have their defining factors. Unlike the east-west shape, side-set breasts tend to be a bit more full in their shape. Side-set breasts can also be identified by nipples that face more towards the front instead of the sides.
  • Slender Breast Shape: Your breasts may have a slender shape if they are a little longer than they are wide. Slender breast shapes can come in any size, though they are common in small-breasted women. The slender breast shape often includes downward facing nipples as well.
  • Teardrop Breast Shape: Another appropriately-named breast shape is the teardrop, which describes breasts with circular fullness around the bottom that tapers at the top to create a natural water droplet shape. This shape offers less curviness than bell-shaped breasts and more roundedness. Push up bras are a great solution for this breast shape as well.

Different Breast Shapes vs. Bra Styles

Now that I have discussed the defining factors of each shape, is there one (or two or three) you feel aligns closely with your one-of-a-kind breasts? Were you surprised to know that many women have breasts with your similar shape? Even if you immediately found a shape that relates to your own, it's still interesting and enlightening to read about other shapes and know that there is so much breast shape diversity. Knowing your own breast shape(s) as well as others helps to round out the spectrum in detail.

Every body's shape has a flattering dress style, and that's also true when it comes to breast shapes and bra styles! There are so many different types of bras out there, so I included this section to help you narrow down your bra search and find what works best with your unique breast shape.

I'm all about Leonisa bras because they're made with real women in mind. Some other brands center their styles around “perfect breasts,” which ends up disappointing so many. Leonisa strives to make women with any breast shape feel like their best, most confident selves when wearing a bra. Their size and style range is not only inclusive but also celebratory of all different boob shapes and sizes. Here are the most common bra styles and the breast shapes that pair well with them, plus some must-try Leonisa styles!

Balconette bras Leonisa

  • Balconette Bra: This classic bra style is super pretty by itself and discreet underneath clothing. It's popular in strapless or convertible styles, making it a versatile bra option for various occasions and all-day wear. A balconette bra offers side support, a contouring shape and low neckline-friendly cups, making it ideal for multiple breast shapes. Those with an overall round breast shape will enjoy how this bra flatters their upper body and neckline. A balconette bra also pairs exceptionally well with fundamental-shaped breasts.

  • Bralette: Luxury, lace and comfort come together to form the bralette, a bra style with lightweight fabric and just a tiny touch of support for comfortable daily wear. I love pairing this comfort-based bra with loungewear, casual dresses and flowy tops. It's also fun to show off the straps and back design as part of your outfit! The bralette style is perfect if you have slender, round or athletic-shaped breasts.

  • Underwire Bra: Perhaps the most iconic of all modern bra styles, the underwire bra remains a go-to for nearly any breast size or shape. A quality underwire bra features adjustable straps, medium to high-coverage cups and, of course, added underwire that gives you ample support and a light lift. Underwire bras center and accentuate bell, close-set and east-west breast shapes. They also balance and accommodate asymmetrical breast shapes.

  • Push Up Bra: Known primarily as a friend to women with small breasts, a push up bra uses padded cups to create breast-lifting power and make your cup size appear larger. Great push up bras are known for their reliable and supportive lifting and shaping powers, making them my favorite sexy bra option for slender breast shapes. They can also help lift side-set breasts and bring them towards the center of the body.

Contour/Smoothing Bras Leonisa USA

  • Contour/Smoothing Bra: Meet the smoothing bra, or what I consider to be the most supportive high-coverage bra option on the market. These bras are like shapewear, a sports bra and your favorite high-coverage underwire bra all in one. These bras come in an array of specific styles that target different issues (like bad posture, bra bulge and more!) for a multitasking effect. Leonisa's versions are made with exclusive PowerSlim fabric, which adds shaping power and a bit of compression. Women with asymmetrical, east-west, relaxed or bell breast shapes are sure to love contour bras for their superb security and shaping power.

  • Plunge Bra: A plunge bra is noted for its deep “v” shape between the cups. This unique bra style creates a natural look and is perfect for everyday wear. A plunge bra can also known for its half-cup shape, making it ideal for accentuating athletic and teardrop breast shapes. The style helps to shape and balance close-set and relaxed breast shapes, too.
Women black bras Leonisa

It's one thing to identify with a breast shape and know your recommended bra styles, but it's so important to consider your inimitable body as well! My hope is that you'll use the list of breast shapes to better understand your own. When the time comes for some online bra shopping, I hope you'll be able to choose styles with ease, knowing which features might benefit you the most and help you love your natural breast shape even more.

Image Credits

Great Bergens/Shutterstock.com