How much do we actually know about choosing a bra?

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April 5th, 2020

How much do we actually know about choosing a bra?

It is easy to take our bodies for granted. We do it all the time. We feed ourselves, exercise, and try not to get too stressed. But how many of us actually take the time to optimize our efforts? To actually work with our bodies instead of against them? If you are anything like me you probably assume you know everything you need to know about your breasts at this point in life. There’s no thought of maintenance, longevity, or thought of improving breast health.

Here at Natapar, we have decided to express our celebration of women's bodies by taking the time to truly learn and accept all the unique shapes and sizes. We want to provide bras that aim to work with our bodies.

We have dedicated ourselves to learning about what true diversity of breasts actually looks like and how we can best design for All shapes and sizes. Allow us to take you behind the scenes and show you what we mean by this. In this article, we will share with you the range of breast positions and shapes, related body shape factors, and how we design for each in mind as well as the most common problems we’ve found with ill-fitted standard bras.

The Range of Breast Shapes

The sneaky thing about a lot of breast problems is that they aren’t immediate. They can happen slowly over time, making them harder to identify and prevent. The components of breasts can make correctly fitting and sizing a bra rather difficult to determine by just visual means or feeling alone. An ill-fitting bra can restrict blood flow or slowly deform the soft tissue. A well-fitting bra however, can not only prevent these issues from happening, but it can also bring some extra benefits like helping you withstand the effects of gravity over time. But to know what a good fitting bra looks like, we must first understand what it is not.

A shallow cup being worn on a breast with a high swell. It flattens the breast due to insufficient cup capacity.

A deep cup being worn on a breast with a low swell.It lacks any real support which can lead to sagging.

A cup that is all-around too small. This creates bulging over the cup as well as the formation of “side/armpit boob.”

To put breast shapes into context, let's take a moment to do a simple breakdown of their composition.

Breasts are composed of fatty tissue, ligaments, lobules, and ducts. The lobules produce milk and the ducts carry that milk to the nipple. The ligaments are connective tissue that stretch from the skin to the chest wall in order to hold the breast tissue in place.

The fatty tissue resides around the ligaments, lobules, and ducts and is mostly responsible for your breast size.

Last but not least, the pectoral muscle lies between the chest wall and the breasts providing support and blood vessels.

The pectoral muscle, fatty tissue, and ligaments are what we have determined to affect the following breast shapes the most–we’ve broken it down into breast shape factors, breast position factors, and body shape factors. And to help show you what we mean, we’ve provided illustrations for the purpose of showing you all the shapes that bras SHOULD be able to accommodate.


Round & Pointed

High Nipple & Low Nipple


Big Areolas & Small Areolas

Wide breast attachment &

Narrow breast attachment

Low Breast Swell & High Breast Swel

Fuller Upper Hemisphere &

Fuller Lower Hemisphere

Fuller outer breast contour &

Fuller inner breast contour

Wide Breasts & Narrow Breasts

Full Breast Shape & Flat Breast Shape


Close-set Breasts & Separated Breasts

High Positioned Breasts &

Low Positioned Breasts

Even Breasts & Uneven Breasts


Broad Shoulders & Narrow Shoulders

Wide Body & Narrow Body

Protruding Ribs & Sunken Ribs

Clearly there are many different ways our breasts can be built and positioned. And no matter how you are built you deserve to have access to bras that make you feel comfortable and properly constructed for your unique shape.

Our Classification System

Now allow us to show you how we’ve taken all of this information and utilized it to create our own classification system for bras. We have taken what we consider to be factors that have the greatest impact on bra fit into our system.
These factors are the amount of breast swell (and its location), amount of breast lift, and breast attachment size.
What we mean by breast attachment size is whether the breast has a larger attachment to the chest wall, or a smaller/more narrow attachment.
These three elements are then divided into the six breast shapes you see below.

These three elements are then divided into the six breast shapes you see below.

These categories have also been given specific equations that our team uses to design our range of bra sizes. If you are curious about how we do this we’ve got it outlined below.

T value is less than 0.5. The breast attachment is large, and the swell of the breast is low.

T value between 0.5-0.8. The breast attachment is larger, and the swell is lower.

T value is close to 1. The breast attachment is roughly similar to the swell. The breast is more half full and hemispherical.

T value between 1.2-1.5. Smaller breast attachment area, higher breast swell.

T value between 1.5-2. Small breast attachment and high swell.

T value greater than 2. The nipple height is lower than the lower breast contour, and the breast skin is sagging.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably ending this article with more breast knowledge than you started with. Armed with this knowledge, take care of yourself. Adorn your body or set it free however you choose. But know that whatever you decide, you deserve comfort and to have your unique curves celebrated and included. Demand more from your bra fit.

In our next article

we will be discussing different types of cups

and why they matter.

Come learn with us.


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September 13, 2022 — lin lin