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At What Age Should Girls Start Wearing Bras?

Published: 08 November 2009
Dear TeenHealthFX,
in what age bra should wear
Signed: At What Age Should Girls Start Wearing Bras?

Dear At What Age Should Girls Start Wearing Bras?,

 

There is no specific age that girls should start wearing bras. Basically it’s time for a bra when a girl has breasts – and this will happen at different ages for different girls. Breasts can start to grow as early as the age of 8 and as late as the age of 13. Some girls development is very slow, while others is very rapid. 

 

When to Start Wearing a Bra

 

With all these differences between girls when it comes to breast development, rather than focusing on what age should you start wearing a bra, consider the following:

 

         Start with a bra once you breasts are developed enough that you could benefit from the support.  

         Start with a sports bra once the breasts are developed enough to benefit from that kind of support and protection during exercise.

         Consider a training bra, sports bra or soft-cup bra if it will make you feel more comfortable by smoothing out your silhouette or providing more coverage if you are wearing a t-shirt or something light.

 

 

How Are Bras Sized?

 

It is very helpful to understand how bras are sized and to ensure that you are wearing the right size and the best kind of bra for you. That way, you will get the most effective support possible and you will avoid dealing with things like the bra pinching, having gaps, or sliding around.  

 

There are two parts to a bra’s size: chest size and cup size. The chest size is generally an even number such as 32, 34, 36, or 38. The cups come in letter sizes such as A, B, C, and D. You need to measure your chest size and cup size to find the right bra for you. Some girls may need a 32A, some may need a 34B and so on.

 

How to Figure Out Your Size:

 

The best way to figure out your bra size is to get measured at a department store or lingerie specialty store by one of the saleswomen who work there. Another option is to have your mother, aunt, or older sister help to measure you at home. While it may feel a little embarrassing to be measured and have so much attention given to your breasts, it is important to be correctly measured and sized so that you are wearing the right size bra.

 

If you want to try and measure yourself, or have a female family member help you at home, follow these guidelines:

 

Chest size: Run a tape measure just under your breasts and around your back. Don’t hold the tape measure so tight that it digs into the skin – but make sure it isn’t too droopy either. Note your measurement in inches, add 5 inches to that number, and that will give you your chest size.

 

Cup Size: Take the tape measure around your body at the point of the fullest part of your breasts. Subtract your chest measurement from it and you should generally be left with a number anywhere from less than one inch to 4 inches. The number you are left with will indicate what letter size you are as far as cup size.

  • Less than one inch: AA
  • 1 inch: A
  • 2 inches: B
  • 3 inches: C
  • 4 inches: D

 

So let’s do an example: If you measure just under your breasts and around your back and come up with 27 inches, you would add 5 to 27, leaving you with 32. Your chest size is 32. If you then measured around your body at the fullest part of your breast and it was 34 inches, you would subtract 32 from 34, leaving you with 2. This would mean your cup size would be a B. So your correct bra size would be a 32B.

 

A note: if your measurement is an odd number, then round up to the next even number. By rounding up you ensure that you will be getting a bra you can grow into. And since most bras have a few hooks on the back to choose from in terms of where to fasten it, you should have some flexibility in how loose or tight you make it when you put it on.

 

What Kinds of Bras Are There?

1.      Training bras: This type of bra is for girls looking for some support and comfort, but who do not have breasts large enough to fit into any cup sizes yet. 

2.      Sports bras: These bras provide extra support for breasts during physical activity. Sports bras are flatter in the cup areas to provide this extra support – so they are often used as a first bra for girls just beginning to develop. 

3.      Soft-cup bras: Probably the most natural of all bras, the soft-cup bra doesn’t cause any significant changes to the size or shape of the breasts. These bras come in different materials, various thicknesses, and some have underwires for added support. (Underwires are generally recommended for girls with a cup size of C or larger). 

Training bras, sports bras, and soft-cup bras all come in different fabrics and styles – so it is important to try on a few before making a purchase to ensure that the bra is supportive, comfortable, and fits well. 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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