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New Word Wednesdays | Root

If you've spent any time browsing bra websites, you've probably come across the term "root" before. It's a pretty important part of determining your correct fit, so we've decided to make it our lingerie word of the week.

Let's start off with the definition.

Root: The base of the breast where it attaches to the torso. The width and height of your root play a major role in determining what kind of bra works best for you. Not necessarily correlated with breast size.

Now let's dig a little deeper into how your roots (sometimes called "breast roots") impact your fit. We'll cover a few different root types, then suggest some bras that may work well for each.


Root width determines what kind of underwire you should look for in a bra. Underwire should always align with the natural curve of your breast.

Examples of Breast Root Widths

The width is determined by how far the breast tissue extends toward the rib cage.

Wide roots take up most of the chest. They typically extend from the underarms to the center of the chest without much space between the breasts. If you have lots of tissue on the sides or tend to spill out of your bra near the armpits, you probably have wide roots. You’ll need a bra with a longer than average underwire that will keep you supported without digging into your breast.

You should try: Most styles by Elomi or Panache, the “Alex” by Fantasie

Narrow roots do not begin as close to the sides of the torso, and there is usually a good bit of space between the breasts. These types of breasts usually sit front and center. If you have trouble filling up the sides of most bra cups, you probably have narrow roots. You’ll need shorter than average underwire to prevent discomfort around your rib cage.

You should try: Cleo by Panache, Freya "Deco" Softcup


Root height is measured from the crease below the breast (called the inframammary fold) to the very top of the breast and determines the kind of cup you’ll need.

Examples of Root Heights
The height is the distance between the top of the breast and where it connects to the rib cage.

Tall roots take up a lot of vertical space on the chest. Look for bras with tall cups, especially if you’re full on top. Depending on your fullness, you may want to avoid bras with top cup trims that may dig into your breast.

You should try:Energise” by Elomi, “Alice” by Goddess, “Tango” by Panache

Short roots do not take up as much vertical space and may appear more wide than tall. If you have trouble filling up the top cup on most bras, you may have short roots. Try a balconette style or something with a shorter cup.

You should try: Half-cup styles by Freya, “Charlotte” by Parfait, styles from Cleo by Panache

Remember, none of these are standalone measurements. When shopping for a bra, you should take the width AND height of your root in mind before making a purchase, along with factors such as projection and fullness.

For more tips and lingo, check out the Lingerie Language page. Be sure to follow our blog for the latest BOB news!

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