Detection and comparison of breast shape variation among different three-dimensional body scan conditions: nude, with a structured bra, and with a soft bra

Jie Pei, Jintu Fan, Susan P. Ashdown

    Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    To investigate the effect of structured bras and soft bras on breast shape, 46 female participants (Caucasian, BMI < 30, aged 18–45) were recruited for three-dimensional (3D) scanning. Participants were scanned in three conditions: wearing a provided structured bra, a provided soft bra, and nude. The impact of the bras on breast asymmetry was quantitatively studied. The change in breast shape and position from the nude condition to the condition when shaped by the bras was also explored. Contour maps that show the topographic shapes of the scans were generated to analyze these comparisons. Thirty-five measurements were extracted from spider web structures that were derived from the contour maps, and were used for statistical analysis. Eight measurements were found to be especially indicative of the shape variations introduced by the bras. Regression models were built to predict the in-bra shape given only the nude breast shape. Lastly, heat maps that visualize the shape variations from the nude-to-bra condition via colors were plotted on the surfaces of the 3D scans of the participants in bras, and were used for qualitative analysis. This study is helpful in understanding how bras interact with breast tissue, and can provide useful information for the improvement of bra designs for enhanced fitting or desired shaping effects.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4595-4606
    Number of pages12
    JournalTextile Research Journal
    Issue number21-22
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


    • breast asymmetry
    • breast shape
    • shape modification
    • shaping effect of bras

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
    • Polymers and Plastics

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