Do you have memories of Mum’s family announcement that you now wear a bra?
Were you proud of your new ‘grown up’ accessory, or did you want to die of embarrassment when you went shopping at the department store?
As breast development is generally the first sign of puberty, the bra is the first step to being a teenage girl. How you handle this first step may impact how your daughter communicates with you during each stage of puberty. No pressure or anything!
You and your daughter surviving the journey of pre-teen bras is dependent on your connection with her, and understanding her personality. These tips will increase the chances of a communicative relationship with your daughter during the hormonal rollercoaster of puberty. And it all starts with the bra..
When to Buy Your Daughter’s First Bra
It’s completely up to you and your daughter to decide the right time, but the most common instances for the first bra purchase are:
- When you notice her breasts are developing this is most noticeable when she’s wearing a fitted t-shirt and you begin to see an outline of the breast tissue.
- When she asks – your daughter might be a late developer, or her friends are early. For some, being the only girl in the group who doesn’t wear a bra makes them feel on the outer, while other girls couldn’t care less!
If your daughter is mentioning that other girls are starting to wear bras, but hasn’t outright asked, perhaps embarrassment is a factor. Pick a time when just you and she can go shopping and point out a few pretty ones to encourage her to look and express her feelings. Even if she has no sign of boobs, follow her lead and interest and start with a crop type bra.
Note: Remember once your daughter’s breast tissue starts growing, her first period usually isn’t too far behind.
What To Look For in a First Bra
Do you remember what it was like to wear a bra for the first time? They are damn annoying and do take a while to get used to. So when buying your daughter her first bra, consider the following:
Choose Soft Fabrics
Look for cotton or bamboo bras, breathable materials that are soft next to the skin. Avoid lace! Lace can be itchy if your daughter gets sweaty during sporting activities.
Avoid Formed Cup Bras
Avoid the t-shirt bras with the firm cups, sure they are soft and comfortable, but these bras easily lose their shape in the washing machine. Choose instead soft pliable material that will move with her body.
Your daughter’s bra size will change and grow. There is a good chance the bra you buy her now will only last her a few months. Weight up quality and style and pricing – you still want her to have something comfortable and well fitted.
If Your Daughter Doesn’t Have Much Yet?
There are great alternatives to standard cup bras. Look at crop tops or bralettes – they are a terrific first bra for girls with little boobs.
Things to Avoid in Training Bras
Avoid the following:
- Lace – it’s itchy and can be uncomfortable
- Underwire isn’t great for developing new breast tissue.
Gentle First Bra Fitting
Find a reputable bra fitting service where the staff there are really well trained and their main aim is to make young girls feel as comfortable as possible during the bra fitting. Ensure they won’t even make your daughter remove clothing if she is not keen on doing that!
Major department stores like Myer and Target provide a bra fitting service, as do specialists stores like Bras n Things. You want to choose an environment your daughter will feel less uncomfortable in, cause let’s face it, chances are she’ll be squirming with embarrassment no matter where you are.
If she is absolutely mortified about getting professionally fitted, look at getting a crop top style bra – she won’t need any professional fitting and they are a comfortable first start!
Where to Buy Trainer Bras
These days we’re spoilt for choice with department stores, online shopping, home parties (think Tupperware, but for bras instead!), and specialist bra stores.
Being professionally fitted for her first bra will ensure your daughter has a bra that fits properly, educates her on what to look for, and minimises back, shoulder and breast pain from wearing an incorrect bra.
The type of bra will again depend on your daughter’s personality, and also her breast size.
The options include training bras for smaller breasts (soft, comfortable, good introduction to a life of wearing bras), sports bras (there is a range of sports bras available that don’t have under-wire, perfect for starting out), and for larger breasts, there is the choice with underwire.
Depending on your daughter’s preference she may want a bra that looks funky, cute or practical – most commonly teenagers prefer coloured and narrow straps.
Be Sensitive to Her Privacy
Your daughter might be proud of her first step to puberty, or she may not even want her bra hanging on the clothesline for family members to see.
Remember your daughter’s emotions may send the entire family on a rollercoaster as her hormone levels begin to change, so be sensitive to her feelings during this time, where it may seem like a small thing to you, but it’s a huge deal to her.
Our Picks for the Best Training Bras
The Boody Shaper Crop Bra – $18.95 each
With over 2000 positive reviews, this is a great training bra that comes in loads of pretty colours (and comes in a discounted pack of three!). Plus a single Boody Shaper Crop Bra on its own is only $18.95 – so this is a great affordable option!
The Sloggi Zero Feel Bralette – $29 each!
It’s light, comes in loads of cute colours, has no underwire and is affordable. Plus the main feature – it is comfortable!
The Sloggie Body Adapt Bralette – $39.95
Another great Training Bra by Triumph. This bralette adapts to your body giving teens the ultimate in comfort. Wirefree and clasp free, dual-layered with moulded cups and has a longline underband for additional support.
Triumph Triaction Seamfree Crop Top – $49.95
A great trainer bra for sporty girls. This crop style bra comes in two colours (black and white) and is available in sizes 8 through to 16. It has a crossover back for additional bust support.
Bonds Retro Rib Wirefree Tee Bra – $31.49
With a huge amount of positive ratings, this training bra looks more grown-up than traditional crop style bras but without any underwire. I love that it comes in a seam-free design (comfort is important!) but it still has the eye and hooks on the back – good practise!
This bra only comes in black – and is a bit pricey for a training bra at $44.99 each.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your daughter and choosing your daughter’s first bra may require your guidance.