The Best First Bras

Written by heather berkowe
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The Best First Bras
A training bra comes in many styles for developing breasts. (Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Buying a first bra is an important right of passage for a preteen girl. A first bra signifies the entrance into womanhood that so many young ladies await with great anticipation. The importance of wearing a bra early on has been studied by leading paediatricians; the growing breasts need to be supported from the development stage for healthy growth. The question is; which bra is the right first bra.

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Training Bras

A training bra is lightweight and light duty for girls whose breasts are just beginning to develop. The bra is typically made of a cotton spandex fabric with thin straps and elastic at the bottom for support. Training bras do not have cups or underwire, and are usually without a closure. They come in a variety of coverage, from almost full, like a cami to very strappy and minimal. They also have a variety of silhouettes from wrap-front to extended torso. Training bras come in many colours and prints, even lace. The fit should be snug, but should feel comfortable at the elastic band.

Sports Bras

Sports bras are normally the first bra worn by an athletic teen. A sports bra should be worn as soon as the breasts are developed enough to be in need of support when running or jumping. Sports bras are more heavy duty than training bras, offering support for high impact sports. They are often made of cotton spandex as well, but are reinforced with extra seams, higher backs and thicker, more practical elastic. These bras offer more complete coverage. Sports bras are difficult to wear underneath clothes because of the extra seaming and fabric weight, and are not recommended for all day wear. The fit should be tight enough to compress the breasts and hold them when jumping.

Padded Bras

A padded bra offers the cuteness of a training bra with some support. As a bonus, it provides additional fullness to the bust, but typically less support, and therefore should be saved for evening wear. Some padded bras are also dressed up in lace and frilly trim. They are also available with underwire, which is not ideal for developing breasts because the wire can dig into the flesh. For a first bra, find a padded bra with elastic at the bottom for the support. Padded bras are often sized for larger breasts, but should fit snugly on smaller breasts. The cups should not bisect the breast in any way.

Camisoles with Built-In Bras

Camisoles with built-in bras are a good addition to a preteen's closet. While the need for heavy support is not great, a camisole with a built-in bra can provide the warmth and convenience of a cami. Most built-in bras are made of a cotton or cotton blend with spandex. The built-in bra fits very much like a training bra. Camis with built-in bras are for ideal for anyone who is comfortable with the level of support that it offers.

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