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Buying a first bra is a big moment for girls across the world. While every mother experienced that moment for themselves, it doesn’t mean it will always be smooth sailing when it comes to shopping with their daughter.
Australia’s very own ‘Bra Whisperer,’ Esther Labi and founder of iconic bra store, Storm in a D Cup, says that although she is delighted to see so many mothers excited to take their daughters shopping for their first bras, she is concerned curvaceous teens will struggle to feel supported and confident in their first garments.
“Although it is great to see so many girls excited to purchase their first bras, there are many girls that can actually be quite large in cup size and need extra support and comfort; more than what basic bras may offer,” says Esther.
“It’s very common for women to say they hate bra shopping, so it is important to ensure that first-time-bra owners have a positive experience from day one. This way, they will be comfortable having a bra fitting in future and be confident that any future bra purchases will be exactly what they want and need. My own first bra fitting experience was so bad, I didn’t have another one for 20 years! We really don’t want that for anyone.”
Esther has curated her top six tips for buying a bra for your daughter for the first time.
When is the right time?
“There is not a specific age that every girl must go out and purchase their first bra. For some teens it is at 12 years old but for others it is a lot later or sooner than this,” explains Esther.
According to Esther, if you are looking for a sign it is time to shop there are a number of situations you can look out for:
“Whatever her size is, it is important to promote a positive and healthy environment for her to learn about her growing and changing body.”
Buy from the comfort of your own home
“Every pre-teen or teen feels very differently about purchasing their first bra. Generally, they aren’t excited by it but if your daughter is particularly shy or awkward about heading into a store for a bra fitting, buying online is a great alternative,” says Esther.
“Not only is shopping from the comfort of your own home a great mother-daughter bonding opportunity, it also means you and your daughter can browse the online racks and get a better insight as to what is available.
“You can also have a long talk to one of our bra fitters on the phone about what would be most suitable as a first bra. These are usually smooth t-shirt bras, no lace, and suitable to wear under a school uniform – and nothing too ‘granny looking’ – although we have nothing against grandparents! We also offer virtual fittings through Facetime or Skype so that a bra fitter can check the fit of your daughter’s bra without her needing to come into the store. Our bra fitter will also point out what to look for in the fit to know when it’s time to get a new bra.”
“While Storm in a D Cup offers professional fittings for first time bras in-store in person and online in person thanks to technology, the preferred option will depend on each individual.”
Explore a range of shapes and sizes
“Racer-back, bralettes, underwire, padded, plunge, t-shirt. There are so many options when it comes to bras these days. For girls with larger breasts, it is important for their development that their bras are comfortable and supportive for their changing bodies,” Esther advises.
“With free online returns at Storm in a D Cup, it has never been easier to explore every option that your daughter is interested in. While your daughter may not need ten bras to get started with, purchasing a range and then using our free returns and exchanges option for the ones that may not be quite-right means that you can buy online with the reassurance of seamless returns.”
Take out the guess work
Ester recommends following a bra size guide so your daughter’s first bra makes her feel comfortable and confident.
“If you’re purchasing online, Storm in a D Cup’s detailed bra size guide and video helps women to correctly identify their bra size. I always thought I was a size 14DD, until I learned how to fit a bra in 1999. When I found out that I was one of the eight out of ten women wearing the wrong size bra, and that I was actually a 12FF, I nearly fainted, but it changed my life forever,” she says.
“I really had no idea, but nowadays, there’s lots of information out there, including our own trained bra fitters.”
“‘’Wowza’, ‘holey-moley’, ‘that’s bigger than me!’, ‘what a strange size’. These are all comments that I have heard unassuming mothers say to their impressionable daughters in the fitting room. While the mothers often mean nothing malicious by these remarks, they can have real, long-term impacts on girls’ confidence,” Esther emphasised.
“Remember, your daughter may not develop that same way you did. So, whatever her size is, it is important to promote a positive and healthy environment for her to learn about her growing and changing body.”
Choose proper support
According to Esther, she would encourage all mothers to steer their daughters a wear proper bra rather than a crop top.
“Invest in a bra that fits your daughter properly, regardless of her age. If your 13-year-old daughter has size 12DD breasts, then she definitely needs a well-constructed, supportive bra in her correct size.
“Don’t make the mistake of trying to save money, or pretending that a flimsy teen bra or crop top will do. Even though she might still be growing or changing size, it’s important to support your daughter’s developing body today,” Esther added.
For more information, visit Storm In A D Cup.