If you have athletic breasts, that means you most likely have a more athletic body shape, too—but that doesn’t mean you should only be confined to sports bras.
However, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit for smaller, athletic breasts.
Depending on your shape, certain bra styles might fit you better than others. To discover what works best for an athletic chest, let’s explore the world of breast shapes and how to best support a sporty bustline.
Breast Shapes: The 12 Types
When it comes to boobs, people (a.k.a., society) often measure them by one standard—size. But sizing is just one factor behind your bust. The width, firmness, and density of your breasts all play a role in determining your silhouette.
While no two pairs are quite the same, most breasts fall under one of twelve shape categories:
- Archetype – While the name is problematic (there’s no such thing as an “archetypal” breast shape), archetypal breasts are the most common shape. The breasts are rounded, tapering to a small point at the nipple. Since bra manufacturers tend to model after this shape, archetypal breast owners fit most styles.
- Asymmetrical – First and foremost, it is completely normal to have two different size breasts. In fact, over 50% of breast owners do! Asymmetrical breasts can size up their bras to fit their largest breast, or they can even order custom bras for separate cup sizes.
- Bell shape – This breast shape resembles its namesake, with a thinner top section and a rounded, larger bottom area near the nipple. Experts recommend padded or lined bras to help support bell shaped breasts and fill out the cup area.
- Close-set – If you can barely fit one finger between your breasts, you likely have close-set breasts. For some lift and separation, call on a lined balconette bra.
- Conical – Like a classic Madonna bra, conical breasts taper to a point. Typically, conical breasts are smaller since the shape is less bulbous. Lined bras for petite breasts, like our microfiber T-shirt bra, can comfortably round out conical breasts.
- East West – When your breasts taper out to the sides, that’s called East West breasts. Smaller or lighter boobs often have some form of east-west direction. To help “gather” the breasts, a padded sports bra or push-up is best.
- Relaxed – Loose, dense, and larger, relaxed breasts usually point downwards. In this case, push-up bras with wide shoulder straps are your best friends to take a load off your back.
- Round – Rounded breasts are equally full at the top and bottom, with nipples located right at the center. This shape is common with larger breasts and breast implants, usually needing high-support bras with underwire.
- Side set – Similar to East West, side set breasts point out to each side. However, they’re often larger and spaced farther apart across the chest. Padded sports bras and push-ups can help gather this shape as well.
- Slender – Slender breasts point down like relaxed breasts, but their shape is more long and thin. Underwire models tend to be too wide for this shape, so stick with wireless designs.
- Teardrop – Like the mini version of bell-shaped, teardrop breasts are slightly fuller at the bottom than the top. If petite, this breast shape works well with flexible unlined bralettes, such as our oh-so-soft wireless Alysa bra.
>What Determines Your Breast Shape?
Genetics are just one player on the bustline field. Your breasts include gland, connective, and fatty tissues, all sitting on top of your chest muscles. Any lifestyle or health factors that affect those tissues can impact your breast shape. And for most women, that means a fluctuating silhouette across their lifetime.
Whether rounded or slender, the shape of your breasts can be influenced by:
- Weight and body-fat percentage
- Exercise habits and musculature
- Hormonal cycles
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
As you’d expect, exercise habits often contribute to an athletic breast shape. Extreme bodybuilders and power weightlifters might see some increased firmness around their chest. There’s even some research that aerobic activity can change breast density, impacting their shape.
Do I Have Athletic Breasts?
Curious that you might fall under the wide-set athletic breast family? If you’ve never figured out your breast shape, it’s time to investigate. All it takes is a few stances, a steady eye, and a reflective surface. Start with these tips for an accurate read:
- Use a mirror – Looking down at your breasts is a pretty limited birds-eye view. To really see your breast shape, you need a large mirror. Begin by taking off all clothing on the upper half of your body and facing your reflection.
- Check for fullness – Are your breasts fuller at the top? Or at the bottom? While larger breasts tend to widen further down, smaller breasts can go either way. For athletic breasts, fullness is relatively even or wider at the top.
- Look at nipple direction – If your nipples point up or straight ahead, you probably have close-set, rounded, or archetypal breasts. If they point out to the sides, then East West, side set, or athletic breasts. If downwards, then relaxed or slender breasts.
- Consider closeness – A bra that fits the size and width of your breasts? For many women, that feels like a pipe dream. However, knowing whether your breasts are close-set (less than one finger apart) or wide-set (more than two fingers apart) can help you find the best bra. For those with close-set breasts, an underwire bra will provide the best fit, while those with wide-set breasts can receive the best support with a push-up.
>Embrace Your Athletic Breasts with Lulalu
Don’t let advertisements and media fool you. Busts come in all shapes and sizes, from wide-set athletic boobs to fuller bell-shaped breasts. And most importantly? They all deserve quality bras to support them.
As athletic breast owners know, finding a bra that fits can be tough. That’s why Lulalu made it our mission to give smaller breasts the variety they deserve. From AAA to A cups, our bras cover up to a size 42. No more poking underwire or too-tight bands—just comfy fits and luxuriously soft textures.
FitMist. Know Your Boobs: 12 Different Shapes. https://fitmist.com/12-different-breast-shapes/
Flo. Breast Shapes and Sizes: Everything You Need to Know. https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/teens/your-body/breast-shapes-and-sizes
Healthline. What Are the Most Common Breast Shapes? https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-shapes
Shape. 5 Factors That Determine Breast Type. https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/5-factors-determine-breast-type