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Girls, Bras and Puberty

There are many different types of bras, here's how to tell them apart.

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Woman putting on brassiere
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For tween girls, bras can either be regarded as confusing contraptions or something that they can't wait to wear. If your tween is getting ready to enter puberty, or already has, she needs to know about the different types of bras available to her. Below are styles of bras that are popular with the tween and teen market. Be sure you know how to help your daughter find her proper size before shopping for any bra, to ensure a comfortable fit and proper protection.

Girls and Bras: Knowing the Options

Training Bras

Training bras don't actually train the breasts, as some girls might think. Instead, they are very basic bras that help girls become familiar with wearing a bra. Training bras are generally worn when breast buds first appear, and offer minimal coverage and support, because at that point a lot of support just isn't needed. Because training bras don't offer padding or support they should be replaced with other bras when a girl's breast really begin to develop.

Sports Bras

Sports bras are a must for girls who are active or play sports. Many of these bras wick perspiration away from the skin, and a good sports bra will also offer extra protection against chafing of the nipples. Many tween and teen girls prefer sports bras to other styles of bras because many don't have adjustable straps, or the plastic adjusters that sometimes dig into the skin. Sports bras restrict the movement of the breasts by compression against the skin. In other words, they are a very snug fitting bra.

Soft Cup Bras

Soft cup bras are a good choice for girls with small to medium-sized breasts. These bras do not have an underwire for support, but they do offer a soft foam cup to give smaller breasts a bit of padding and support. Girls with larger breasts may prefer to opt for an underwire bra.

Underwire Bras

Underwire bras come with a flexible wire that helps lift the breast from the underside and the side. The underwire also offers jiggle support for girls and women with large breasts. Girls may suspect that underwire bras will be uncomfortable to wear, but a well-made underwire bra can be as comfortable as any other option. Just be sure you help your daughter find her proper size. Underwire bras come in either a full or partial cup (demi) options.

Cotton or T-Shirt Bras

Cotton or T-shirt bras are a fun option for tween and teen girls as the come in a variety of colors and designs. They may be slightly padded, but their appeal is that they are comfortable, and because they are made with a cotton jersey fabric, they are a cool fabric to wear in the warmer months.

Strapless Bras

These bras are usually worn on special occasions, such as school dances, proms or weddings, underneath a strapless gown, or a gown with very thin spaghetti straps. Strapless bras are kept in place by hugging the body with a very strong elastic fabric. You can find strapless bras that also offer an underwire option or additional padding.

An Additional Note

For todays girls, bras have to be not only comfortable but stylish. The good news is bras come in such a variety of colors and designs that it's easy to find bras that are fun to wear as they are comfortable. And you can find them not just at posh lingerie stores, but at big box discount retailer stores such as Target, Kmart, and Wal-Mart.
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