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Designing with Dr. Deb Ep. 3: Designing for Large Breasts

July 12, 2018

Designing with Dr. Deb Ep. 3: Designing for Large Breasts

Hi Again!

Today on Designing with Dr. Deb, I want to talk about designing for large breasts.

The first thing I think of are bras. Many women are frustrated with the fit and comfort of bras.  It seems that the larger someone’s* breasts, the more challenging it is to find something comfortable.










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  1. Breasts don’t discriminate- people of all shapes, sizes and heights can have large breasts.
  2. Bras are designed on small breasted and proportionate females. So if you’re designing a product for females with breasts - I highly recommend using fit models that have a variety of breast size - not only just a large bust, because that includes the circumference, and there are many women with strong lats and wide rib cages that don’t necessarily have large breasts.
  3. Bras are typically designed through the lense of the male gaze.  I encourage you as a designer or consumer to really focus on what the individual needs - not what others might want to look at.

Side note: We posted a poll about bras on our instagram asking females to rate how much the liked/disliked bras. To my surprise, some of our male followers replied saying I like bras, or I don’t like bras. And in my opinion,  I don’t care what you think. Much of the clothing for females has been created to be visually appealing to males. There are an incredible amount of lingerie companies that create sexualized bras and underwear, but that isn’t us. Kade & Vos is 100% focused on your comfort.

To design a garment or bra for an individual with breasts, designers have to consider:

  1. Support
  2. Length
  3. Width
  4. Fullness or Lateral Spread.

So let’s go through each.


The current design of bras mostly relies on the straps for support. Think about this; a small breasted female doesn’t need a lot of support, so a thin elastic strap will suffice. But when you apply greater stress to a thin elastic - you know what happens? It gets thinner.

This is why those cute strappy bras are so painful to wear. If you have large breasts, the elastic will stretch out into a thin strip and dig into your body tissue. The width of the strap must be proportionate to the amount of support you want to provide. The % amount of stretch in the elastic has to decrease with an increase necessary support . So, you can’t use flimsy elastic for large breasts, or you will get deep indentations across your shoulders, which can be very painful.


What most designers fail to consider is the length of the breasts. This measurement should be taken without a bra-  and goes from where the breasts naturally begins to curve out - all the way to under where it meets the abdomen.

How many of you have tried on a  bra that just doesn’t cover your breast?  I mean it’s either popping out the top of falling out of the bottom?

 Sometimes I feel like I am constantly adjusting, and when I pull a bra down - I pop out the top. When I pull a bra up, I spill out the bottom, and then if I go to separate, they pop out the side. This causes the phenomenon known as side boob.

Side boob is often thought of as a cup size problem. But I think it has to do with bra design in general and the use of an underwire. Personally, I can’t stand bras with underwire because the side of the wire digs right into the breast lymph-nodes which is responsible for cleansing the breast of toxins. And the thought of my breasts not being able to do what they are naturally designed to do is not OK with me.  I’ll talk and write about that in another video post.


If you have side boob it means the width of the design is too short.

To measure width you go from the side of the breast across the naturally fullest part to the center. And yes, that includes what we call side boob fat - it is part of your breast and armpit tissue.

Fullness/ Lateral Distance

What about the lateral distance - most designers ASSUME that individuals have a perfectly proportioned distance between the breasts - FALSE. Some people’s breasts lay out to the side, some straight down and others are close to each other.









These are the natural parts of the breast that are rarely considered in design, because most designers and teachers in my experience say, “it’s the way it’s always been done”. Well, I say screw that. We must design for bodies the way the are and stop trying to cram our bodies into shapes that aren’t natural or comfortable. We at Kade & Vos are using each of these parts of anatomy to design a bra that works with you and not against you. We think that all bodies, big breasted and small breasted, deserve to be comfortable.Comfort isn’t just getting the ‘correct cup size’ because bras can be really uncomfortable depending on the lateral separation of each person’s breasts.

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Tell me your thoughts about bras? Do you like wearing them? Is it the first thing you take off at the end of the day? Do you have big boobs and have troubles? Let me know - share this with your friends - and let me know what you want to want to hear about next.

Much Love,

Dr. Deb

*We at K&V do not ascribe to the assumption that only people who are female or identify as women have breasts. Our designs are created based on the female sex, which genetic predispositions breast development. However, this is not always 100% the case. We respect all sexes, genders, non-binary identifications, sexualities, non-binary sexualities and identities that feel true and authentic for you.

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