Move over, cuddly toys and everything Frozen – before you know it, it's time to think about her first bra...
It seems like five minutes since your little girl was cutting her first tooth, spitting out broccoli puree and taking her first steps, right? And now suddenly not only have you had to put yourself through the ‘puberty chat‘, but now she’s started sprouting nipple buds. Say whaaaaaat? It’s time to arm yourself with everything first bras: when and where to buy training bras, crop tops and bralettes for your young lady. Deep breaths…
When will my daughter start growing breasts?
Chances are if your daughter has started the early stages of puberty, the first thing you’ll notice is that her little nipples are suddenly more visible through her tees (especially if she’s wearing light-coloured clothing). This generally happens to girls between the ages of eight to 13 years, with periods generally coming in around a year or two after the breasts first start developing. It’s a slow process – she’s NOT going to wake up suddenly with a pair of 32DDs, fear not!
Breasts stop growing once puberty is done and dusted with (around one to two years after she gets her first period), but may change in shape or size up until the age of 18 years-ish.
When should I get her her first bra?
Whether it was a moment of pure mortification or major excitement, buying first bras was a definite milestone in our lives. But while no two pairs of breasts are the same, no two young lady’s feelings on the subject are, either. Some girls are desperate to wear a bra (especially if their mates already have them), while others want to put it off as long as possible. Whatever the situation, handle it with bucketloads of sensitivity and check with your daughter if she’s ready to take the plunge. Be practical, diplomatic and approachable – if she’s started puberty she may not have complete control of her emotions at the best of times… #tricky
What first bra options are available?
Back in our day, your first bra was probably called a ‘training bra’. (We never did work out what we were training for, mind.) These days, they’re more likely to be known as a first bra. It does what it says on the package. They’re designed for girls who don’t yet fit into the standard cup sizes of a normal bra, but still need some basic support, coverage and comfort. There is no underwiring and generally, as they are aimed at young wearers, they come in fun colours, patterns and fabrics.
Sports bras or crop tops are a popular pick for many tweens and teens. They not only prevent new boobs from jiggling around when PE lessons are on the timetable, but they offer good coverage for wearing under tees, and may be less imposing than a ‘proper’ bra. For very young girls, there are also some pretty cami tops available, which are rather like a vest and offer a layer of coverage under clothes.
If those little buds are starting to grow into proper breasts, a soft-cup bra (also known as a bralet or bralette) is a good option – they come in lots of different fabrics and generally don’t have uncomfortable underwires to deal with.
Where to buy first bras, sports bas and soft-cups for tweens and teens
Young Heart’s Lingerie
Young Hearts is a tween or teen girl’s shopping paradise, with plenty of choices for first bras, ranging from crop tops to wireless support bras. The Junior Collection is entirely dedicated to undies for young girls, so expect tons of choice and zero stress. Crop vests (perfect for the very early days of bra-wearing) cost from $16.90, and bras from $16.90 (with lots of great deals on multi-buys). Stores are located all around Singapore, although they are currently closed until further notice once Phase 1 of Reopening ends. However, you can still shop up a storm online! Standard delivery is a very reasonable $2.90 and if you spend more than $35, shipping to local addresses is free.
For soft jersey crop tops with narrow, adjustable shoulder straps and an elasticated hem, H&M is the place to head (we love the kids’ clothes, too!). The range is small, but if it’s just basic you’re after at affordable prices, it’s a good bet. A pack of two crop tops will cost you just $17.95. Again, it’s just online dealings at the moment thanks to the Covid sitch.
Next is hands down one of our fave places for kitting out our young ‘uns. The good news is it offers a fair-sized and functional range of first bras. Pick from a variety of styles, including crop tops, pretty camis and bralettes. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the brand is facing limited flight options and increased costs in order to get your Next parcels to you. Therefore expect a $25 delivery charge on all orders for now (with the hope of that decreasing in the near future). Also note: returns aren’t free, so go easy on the bulk buying if you don’t want to get stung with a huge postage bill when you send it all back.
Marks & Spencer
The stalwart of many a woman’s undie drawer, Marks & Spencer not only offers a bra-fitting service (free!), but it also has its own range of first bras: Angel Bras. The collection comes in neutral and coloured picks in a variety of styles, all designed with young wearers in mind. Choose from crop tops, trainer bras, soft-cups and full-cup bras (with many styles starting in an AA size and going through to DD cup). Expect to pay around $40 for a twin-pack.
A fave of all the Aussie mums out there! The iconic undies brand Bonds is a great place to shop for first bras, and there’s a varied and colourful offering to appeal to your girls. Shipping to Singapore is AU$20 for orders under AU$100, and free if you go over (easy enough… check out the womenswear range!).