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shallow vs projected - Projected vs Shallow Breasts: What's The Difference Between Projected Breasts and Shallow Breasts?

When it comes to how a bra fits, one of the major factors to take into account is projection. Projection refers to breast depth — in other words, how much they extend outward from the body. And understanding whether your boobs are projected or shallow (or somewhere in between) will allow you to find bras that mold to your shape and thus, fit better.

Still wondering what the difference is? Or how to determine which type of breasts you have? Read on for everything you need to know about projected breasts and shallow breasts.

Projected breasts

The short explanation is this: Projected breasts stick out more in the front. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that. This type tends to be more common among those with larger breasts (E or above) or augmented breasts (especially moderate to high profile implants). And there are a few indicators that can hint you may have projected breasts as well. Do you often experience spillage out of one part of the cups (a.k.a. quad-boob) with gaping in another part of them?  Do the cups crease at the bottom of the cups by the underwire? Do you have trouble finding molded bras that fit flawlessly? These are all signs you may have projected breasts.

There are also a few tests you can perform to confirm your suspicion. Without a bra on, bend at the waist and lean over. If you notice that your breasts look like they’re lengthening toward the floor, you likely have projected ones. You can also measure your bust while lying down, standing up straight, and leaning forward — and if you notice a major difference between the measurement you got while you were lying down and the other two, you probably have projected boobs.

It’s important to opt for bras that feature support that extends outwards if you have projected breasts. In other words, you’ll want to seek out bras with deeper cups to ensure your breast tissue doesn’t feel squashed down. If you’re buying a bra with two- or three-part cups, look for horizontal seams: These help to accommodate projection.

Shallow breasts

On the other side of the spectrum are shallow breasts. These are set closer to the torso, thus appearing less voluminous. Whereas projected breast tissue extends farther outward from the body, shallow breast tissue is spread out closer to the body.

So, how do you know if your breasts are shallow? Some common signs include: underwire tending to sit on the breast tissue, not filling up the cups evenly, and the center of the cup tending to wrinkle even when it fits tightly elsewhere. Typically, shallow breasts are medium to small sized (but not always, of course).

When bra shopping, opt for styles that have a little less coverage — like a demi-cup bra, which only covers roughly two-thirds of the breast, or a balconette bra, which covers your breasts to just above the nipple line. These styles are great choices because you’re more likely to fill out the cups. With full-cup bras, you may not, and therefore may notice some wrinkling or gaping toward the top. It’s also worth pointing out that cups with vertical seams, which provide lift, can be super helpful.

Final thoughts

Do you have to fall into one of the two aforementioned categories? You certainly don’t! Some women have boobs with average projection, meaning they fall somewhere in between projected and shallow. If that’s you, then you may not face as many challenges finding bra styles that fit well. Breasts come in a vast range of shapes, and there is no “normal” or “perfect.” Whether you’re shallow, projected, or somewhere in the middle, a little knowledge about how different bra features function will help you to find the ideal styles for you.

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Whether you’re shopping for new everyday bras or lingerie for a special occasion, it’s always a good idea to seek out a second opinion. We know how hard it is to find bras that fit well and feel good, especially when you’re doing it on your own. If you’ve ever felt unsure about your bra size or you just don’t know where to go to find good bras, it’s time to let a bra fitter help.

Many specialty lingerie boutiques offer bra fittings. Their expert bra fitters will take the pain and frustration out of bra shopping and do all the work for you. Even better, their product knowledge can save you time and money. Plus, they know where all of the best bras are hiding.

If you’ve struggled with finding bras in the right size, it’s time to make a change. Visit our specialty store locator to find a store near you and schedule an appointment.

Happy bra shopping!

Featured image lingerie:
Kelsey: Charlotte Padded Bra 6901 | Charlotte Bikini 6905 in Icy Blue
Tanesha: Marion Contour Padded Bra P5391 | Marion Hipster P5395 in Lapis Blue
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Rebecca Strong

Rebecca is a Boston-based freelance writer who focuses on style, fitness, food, and travel. She has contributed to such publications as HuffPost, Elite Daily and U.S. News & World Report. When she's not writing, she can be found at home or in the studio working on the songs for her upcoming album. Her favorite bra is a black demi-cup style with all-over-lace — timeless and feminine.

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