It seems like five minutes since your little girl was cutting her first tooth, spitting out broccoli puree and taking her first drunken sailor 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… Laugh? Cry? Or just arm yourself with a list of where to buy training bras, crop tops and bralettes for your young lady? Maybe all three.
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 nips 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 spout 32DDs overnight, 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?
There can’t be many amongst us who don’t remember buying our first bra. Whether it was a moment of pure mortification or major excitement, it was a definite milestone in our life. 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 are 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 tween and teen. 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
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. Ranging from $29.90 for a single bra, or $49 for a double pack, this 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 (which start in an AA size and go through to an E cup).
Young Heart’s Lingerie
This place is a tween or teen girl’s shopping paradise, with plenty of choices for bras ranging from crop tops to wireless support bras (up to a B cup). 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, but if you spend more than $50, 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. The range is small, but if it’s just basic you’re after at affordable prices, it’s a good bet. A pack of three crop tops (in black, white and grey) will cost you just $19.95, and a pack of two plain white crop tops will set you back $12.95.
If it’s an online option you’re after, Next delivers to Singapore in just four working days and offers a fair sized and functional range of first bras. Pick from nude, black, white or grey options in a variety of styles, starting at $19 per bra. Crop tops start at $11 for a pack of three, and there are also some pretty camis to pick from if your little girl is not feeling a full on bra option just yet.
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