I’m the Petite Collegiate (you may know me from my bra-fit focused blog) and today I want to talk to you guys about one of the harder to grasp parts of bra fitting: Projection. If you’re on a bra-fitting journey, I’m sure you’ve tried a lot of bras in “your size”, and probably been frustrated when the vast majority of them didn’t work. Boobs are tricky little demons! But learning about your breast shape will make online shopping, and bra shopping in general much easier and more fruitful. Projection is a major aspect of bra fit in larger cup sizes. So let’s get started!
What is Projection?
Projection is a spectrum of breast shapes within a given volume that ranges from extremely shallow to extremely projected. A fair amount of people have “average projection”, which means they fall somewhere in between shallow and projected. If you find that most bras you’ve tried in your size fit you well, this is probably you! In the same volume (or cup size), shallow breasts will be wider rooted and cover more of the chest wall than projected breasts that will be narrower but stick further away from the chest. I know, that sounds complicated, but it’s easy to visualize if you picture bowls instead of breasts! :)
Shallow to deep (projected) bowls
How do I know if I have projected breasts?
If you experience some (or all) of the following problems in bras you are likely to be projected:
- Your cups fold/crease over at the bottom near the wire, like this.
- Your underwires are frequently sliding out of your Infra-Mammary fold onto your stomach throughout the day
- You get quadboob (spillage) in one part of a bra combined with gaping elsewhere
- You have difficulty finding moulded (read: classic T-shirt) bras that fit and are comfortable
Other indicators of Projected breasts:
When leaning over braless, your breasts appear to grow or lengthen down towards the ground
- If you measure your leaning bust, laying down bust, and standing bust as by these instructions there is a significant difference between the laying measurement and the other two.
- If you’re in a cup size above F, it’s very common (but not universal) to have projected breasts.
- If you have moderate profile (or higher) breast implants, you are very, very likely to be projected.
Illustration of projected breast
How do I know if I have shallow breasts?
If you experience some of the following problems in bras you are likely to be shallow:
- You get wrinkling at the center of the cup (deepest point) of some bras, even when the bra is cutting in or feels too tight elsewhere
- You have difficulty finding unlined styles that fit well
- You frequently find that bras have too narrow of wires, and that the wires sit on your breast tissue
- Other indicators of shallow breasts:
- You were wearing an A or B cup prior to finding your correct size. Shallow boobs are stealth boobs, and those with shallow breasts are frequently judged as being smaller than their true volume
Shallow breasts are most common (but not universal) below an E cup
Illustration of shallow breasts
What is immediate projection and how do I know if I have it?
Breasts with immediate projection have a sharp slope at the bottom from the chest wall when supported (almost like a 90 degree angle). Breasts that are pendulous are immediately projected. Breasts can be immediately projected even if they aren’t projected overall. See illustrations below:
Breasts with immediate projection
What bras work best for projected breasts?
Polish bras are works of magic dreamed up by goddesses for projected breasts. Well, maybe that’s a bit over-dramatic, but seriously they’re amazing! Both Ewa Michalak and Comexim make fantastic styles for full-busted, projected breasts. And Zathiya is the perfect place to dip your toes in the water and try them!
If you are smaller busted and very projected (Up to approx. 28GG volume) I highly recommend Ewa Michalak’s CHP cut. It’s very immediately projected and open on top. It has narrow wires, a narrow gore, and removable padding. Take either your normal bra size (as per Zathiya’s bra calculator) or sister size up if you prefer a looser band (ie: go from 30F to 32E). In larger cup sizes, the CHP is still immediately projected, but the overall projection may be insufficient for a projected shape. Another great option is Comexim’s three part half cup. It’s a slightly wider, taller cup than the CHP, but quite similar in openness and projection. I recommend going up a cup size in Comexim’s bras (ie: go from 30F to 30FF).
I highly recommend Ewa Michalak’s SM cut as an unpadded option for projected breasts if you prefer sheer and lower coverage cups. It gives a fairly rounded shape. A fair amount of SM bras run tight, so you may wish to size up in the band (ie: 30F to 32E).
Ewa Michalak’s BM cut is a great fuller coverage unpadded option for projected breasts. It’s slightly less immediately projected than the SM and tends to give a more natural shape as a result of the stretch lace used. This is a great comfort bra!
Larger-busted, projected breasts are well served by Ewa Michalak’s S and PL cuts. The S is a balconette designed for breasts with softer tissue. It has a higher gore and more coverage than the PL, which becomes narrow and projected around the 28H volume. If you want more options, Comexim’s plunges have slightly narrower wires than the Ewa Michalak offerings, and also have a low gore. Both the S shape and the Comexim plunge are best for overall projected breasts with less immediate projection.