Bra Spillage: What Is It and How to Avoid It

It can be tricky to avoid bra spillage no matter how securely you tuck the girls into each cup. If you find that breast tissue spills from your bra cups too often, it could be due to a few reasons, such as the wrong bra size or bra style for your breast shape.  Whether you experience bra spillage or back bulge, let's dive into the common reasons for spillage issues so you can keep your breasts snug in your favorite bra

The 3 Main Causes of Bra Spillage

Many women experience bra spillage. But part of preventing this overflow is knowing what causes it. Here are several reasons why your girls are caught spilling over.  Small Cup Size-A cup size that is too small is one of the main reasons most women experience bra spillage. You want to ensure the cups cover your breast tissues adequately to be comfortable and secure. Band Size-Bands that are too tight cause stretching, pulling the cups apart, which creates bra spillage and even uncomfortable cutting.  Breast Shape-Not every bra works for every breast shape. It's essential to understand your breast shape to find the ideal bra.

Measuring Your Bra Cups

Source: Dmytro Flisak/

Before narrowing your bra spillage issues down to the style of cup, ensure the size is correct. Since many women's breasts fluctuate in size throughout their lives, it's important to re-measure every so often. So how exactly do you know if your bra cup is too small? Here are the steps to take in determining your bra cup size.

Measure Your Cup Size at Home

  • Grab a tape measure and wrap it around your back and chest, going beneath the arms and just above the bustline. Round to the nearest number to determine your band size. 
  • Take the tape measure and measure across the fullest part of your bust.
  • Subtract your chest measurement from your bust and you will have your cup size. Add a cup size per inch. For example:
    • A cup | 1 inch
    • B cup | 2 inches
    • C cup | 3 inches
    • D cup | 4 inches

If you discover you are indeed wearing the correct cup size, your bra spillage may be due to the wrong bra style. To find the perfect bra style, let's take a deeper look into the best bra styles and cups for each unique breast shape. 

Common Breast Shapes and Bra Styles

Each woman's body shape is unique, and so are their breasts. Avoiding bra spillage may come down to simply having the wrong cup and bra style for your breast shape. Take a look at the common breast shapes listed below, choose which best describes your own and then discover the best bra style that will only flatter, never overflow.

Source: Dmytro ganjalex/

Source: pylochka/


Everyone has asymmetrical breasts, even if it's barely noticeable. But, for some, the difference may seem more pronounced. It's worth noting that some women have one breast larger than the other. Base your fit on the larger breast and add a padded insert to fill in the gap. 


The athletic breast shape is more muscular with little breast tissue. If you have petite breasts, plunge bras and demi cups with minimal coverage work nicely to add some cleavage.


Slimmer toward the top and fuller on the bottom, this breast shape is typically found on women with larger cup sizes. Women with bell-shaped breasts should avoid bras with less coverage such as balconettes and demis, reaching for a T-shirt bra or full coverage bra with some uplift instead. 


Close-set breasts have a narrow gap or no gap, which leaves more space between the breasts and underarms. Plunge bras are excellent for close-set breasts, flaunting the cleavage without bra spillage.


Typical of smaller breasts, these are less round and more cone-shaped. Many bra styles can be worn with conical breasts; however, we recommend a more molded bra to provide extra support or a T-shirt bra, offering a thin layer that can help create a rounder shape. Balconette bras and bras with additional side support work wonderfully as well. 


These breasts tend to gravitate away from each other, each nipple pointing in the opposite direction. Women with east-west breast shapes often find it challenging to create cleavage and, in a desperate attempt to do so, usually end up with bra spillage. Instead, find a full coverage bra that can simultaneously bring the girls together and keep tissues from overflowing. 


With nipples pointing downward, this breast shape has more loose tissue. The best bra styles for these breasts are undoubtedly a balconette with shorter cup sizes and extra support to lift those hanging breasts to create a fuller look. 


Equally full, these breasts create a rounder shape. The good news is that many bra styles and cup shapes work well with round breasts. But many women have bra spillage when they use padded bras. Instead, try on a wireless bra, which offers lighter support, or a balconette.

Side/Wide Set

Opposite of the close-set shape, these breasts have a wide space between and are set farther apart. Athletic women with muscular backs can have this shape as the back muscles sometimes pull at the breasts. Choose a plunge bra or push up bra with side panels that push inward, creating rounder shaped breasts.


Typical of slim breasts, this shape is long and narrow with nipples pointed downward. Like bell-shaped breasts, slender breasts work nicely with a demi bra style, adding necessary lift and fullness.


Common in women who have had children or lost a significant amount of weight, these round breasts are slightly less full and more narrow toward the top. Like bell-shaped and slender breasts, teardrop breasts need a tad more fullness at the top, making demi bras perfect. 

Not sure what type of bra is best for you? Take Leonisa's Bra Fit quiz to determine the perfect fit and cup shape for various activities, which can set you on the right path to avoiding bra spillage, pinching and more!

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