There’s been a lot of discussion online about breast roots. Do you have wide roots, narrow roots, short roots, long roots? It all sounds interesting, but what is a breast root?!
The breast root is the inframammary fold. It’s basically where your breast attaches to your torso. The advantage to figuring out your breast root shape is to identify which wire shapes or styles might work best for you. This is extremely helpful if you are making your own bras and can select your wires, but even having an understanding of your root shape may help you in selecting ready-to-wear bras based on other people’s feedback.
So, how on Earth do you determine your breast root?!
The easiest thing to use is a flexi-curve ruler. It’s a bendy ruler that you would use for drawing or drafting, and it has come in handy when I’ve made paper patterns.
With the flexi-ruler, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve ‘bent’ it in a bit. I have two of them (a short one and a long one) and they are rather stiff when you first purchase them.
If you have large or pendulous breasts, you may also find it helpful to round up an assistant so that you don’t warp the shape when you remove the ruler from under the breast. You can lift up your breast while the helper moves away the ruler.
So, with your flexi-curve ruler, place it underneath your breast and mould it into the shape of your root. Easy as that!
Your root at the centre front begins where your breast attaches to your body. The root under the arm can be a bit more difficult to spot on some women, but it will be where the breast tissue ends. The idea is that the underwire of your bra follows the shape of your root. You don’t want the wire sitting on breast tissue, so make sure the ruler is capturing the shape of the tissue to the end. You want to capture the entire shape of the root, so if you have larger (not longer, lol) breasts, invest in the longer ruler.
It can be made a bit easier to make a small mark on your body with a pen or eyeliner pencil to mark where you believe your breast root ends and begins. This can make for a good check in the mirror before you begin. When I’m taking breast root traces of other women, I will use my fingers on the ruler to make a note of where the root ends and begins. When I place the ruler on a sheet of paper, I will have the model grab a pencil and mark the trace between where my fingers are positioned on the ruler to get the most accurate length. Four hands are better than two.
I then scan my trace and pop it into Adobe Illustrator to draw over top to darken it up and take measurements. You don't have to do this, but if you have your flexi-curve ruler with measurements, give it a measure. You can then line up your wires overtop to find the right shape for the breast root - or have a bit of a better idea of what you're looking for if you're shopping online.
I’m writing you this article from my temporary home in Nothern Germany where I don’t have a proper stash of supplies, it's currently all in the UK while I sort out my life, so I don’t have a photo of wires laying over top of the root. You’ll have to imagine it. Lay the wires over top of the shape to find one that seems to be the closest, and keep in mind you’ll want to splay the wire open a bit at the underarm. The tension on the band and cradle will force the cup and wire to widen a bit when the bra is put on, so do calculate that into your trace.
My friend Lyzzy Beswick has a great image of the root trace and a wire overtop over here on her Bra Underwires 101 on The Lingerie Addict.
I hope you find this helpful in your quest to find your perfect underwire fit!
Educating women on the benefits of proper fitting bras is important to Kim. Designing lingerie that complements the fuller figure, and is comfortable, on-trend and beautifully constructed is her mission.
We are in charge of our bodies, and we make the decisions that are right for us, with no judgement. Kimtimates supports those who make their own choices about their own bodies. #yourbodyyourchoice #mybodymychoice