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Friday Q&A: What Factors Influence Breast Shape?

10-25-what-factores-breast-shapeOver the past few Friday Q&As, we’ve been looking at common questions about breast shape. Things like what kind of breast shape women have, and how breast shape relates to cup style and fit carry practical considerations to help women get the best fit they can from their bra. But today we’re going to tackle something else about breast shape: what factors influence breast shape? How do breasts become shaped the way they are, and is there any thing you can do to shape your breasts a certain way? Here’s everything you need to know about how breasts take on a certain shape!

Factors in Asymmetrical Breast Development
Believe it or not, many women have breasts that aren’t exactly the same size. It’s actually fairly common as long as the size difference between breasts is within a cup size. It’s less common, though, for asymmetrical breasts to be more than one cup size apart in size. Uneven breasts with this kind of differential typically occur because of a body injury, or an illness during the period when the breasts were developing. Alternately, uneven breasts can occur during menopause; at this point in your life, hormones can cause the breasts to expand unevenly. And finally, if you’re athletic and you use one arm a lot more than the other, this can also contribute to asymmetrical breasts.

Factors in the Omega Breast Shape
The Omega breast shape typically occurs in women with full breasts; typically D cup or larger. In this breast shape, the breasts don’t start out like this, but instead the expansion in circumference in the lower part of the breasts is caused by improper bra wearing.

Years of wearing bras that don’t offer enough support can cause the breasts to take on this shape. Alternately, going braless too often can cause the breasts to take on the omega shape. (Yeah, take that, you French guy who says that women don’t need to wear bras!) If you have a history of weight loss and weight gain – i.e. gain, lose, gain, lose over many years, you can develop the omega breast shape. And finally, years of wearing the wrong size bra can also cause your breasts to take on this shape.

The omega breast shape in particular is a great example of why it’s absolutely critical to wear the right bra size! If you don’t, years of wearing the wrong bra size can cause your breast tissue to deform and change shape, and it can make shopping for a bra a nightmare!

Factors in Reduced Projection Breast Shape
Women who have a reduced projection breast shape typically have it because of surgery – either breast reduction, or a mastectomy and reconstruction. Reduced-projection breasts are somewhat unusual, but with more and more women battling breast cancer, more are developing this breast shape after surgery.

Conclusion: Wear a Properly Fitted Bra!
In conclusion, there’s generally not a whole lot we can do to affect our breast shape. Developing any breast shape other than the archetypical shape can happen because of illness, injury, surgery or even being an athlete. But there IS one factor we can control: bra fit! If you don’t wear a properly-fitted bra, your breasts can become deformed and develop the unusual omega shape that makes it very difficult to shop for bras. So make sure you’re wearing a properly-fitted bra to keep your natural breast shape!

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