Wondering when your daughter should start wearing a bra? Many Circle of Moms members have raised this question and wonder how to make the shopping experience a good one for their daughters. To help, we’ve rounded up their best tips on everything from knowing when she's ready to helping her find the right bra.
When to Get a Bra
Circle of Moms members have shared two solid reasons to take your daughter bra shopping. The first, not surprisingly, is that she’s developing breasts. As Glenda E. puts it, “When you notice she is showing through her tops, then you know it's time.”
The other reason to take your daughter bra shopping for the first time is simply that she wants to go. Shawn B. explains: “My daughter is twelve now. She is very small and started developing after her friends…She was just self-conscious about it. She wasn't physically ready but I took her to pick out a couple [of bras] that she would be comfortable wearing… her self-esteem was more important than whether she was physically ready.”
What Type of Bra to Get
Many moms recommend starting your daughter with a sports bra-style bra. Rox M., a mom who’s been a bra fit specialist for years, advises: “The best thing I've found for young girls who are just starting to ‘bud’ is a simple sports-style bra…it's a very simple pull-over style.”
Other moms recommend a style that’s part bra, part camisole. Tricia B. shares of her daughter: “She really likes the ones that look like a half cami/sport bra.” Penelope C. agrees: “Maybe those tank tops with the built in bra would be good for her. My daughter likes those.”
Corrine D. opted for trying several different styles: “We went for variety. That way she could make a decision on what she likes and feels comfortable with.”
In terms of styles to shy away from, many Circle of Moms members advise against buying padded bras for young girls, and also steering clear bras with underwire. As Connie S. explains: “Don't buy underwire. It is not good for girls who are still developing and they are usually uncomfortable."
Ready to hit the stores? Circle of Moms members offer two key pieces of advice.
First, be sure to have your daughter measured. Michelle H. speaks from personal experience: “Teach her right off that it is okay to go in and have a fitting. I think that the worst thing that my mother did was to just bring one home for me.” If your daughter is really uncomfortable going in for a fitting, you can measure her bra size at home using these steps supplied by Circle of Moms members Rachel:
- Measure around the ribcage underneath the breasts and add 3 inches. That number is the band-size.
- Measure around the breasts and subtract the band-size. The resulting number indicates cup-size. A difference of less than an inch is AA, 1 inch is A, 2 inches is a B cup, and so on.
In addition to getting a proper fitting while shopping, many moms recommend making the experience a special mother-daughter event. Christi S. recently took her 10-year-old daughter bra shopping for the first time and shares that, "She was shy about bra shopping at first and so was I, but we made a girl day out of it and it turned out to a great 'mommy and me day' for the both of us!"
Lori W. even used the mother-daughter shopping time to address other coming-of-age events: “Last year we started with jog bras and cami's with liners. She blossomed a bit over the summer so we made an outing out of going to Target and picking out some cute bras … we also used that time to purchase items for a special "period" box for when she needs it (tampons, pads, motrin, chocolate). She loved the day!”