Bras & Underwear for Teens & Pre-Teens
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Bras & Underwear for Teens & Pre-Teens
I'm having terrible trouble finding underwear for my
15-year-old daughter. She is very slim, with 33-inch hips.
She doesn't want to wear kiddie underwear, obviously. But
all the women's underwear we've seen is too big (the
smallest seems to start at 34-inches for the hips). Any
suggestions? She is particularly looking for bikini styles
or boyshorts. I'd prefer reasonably priced (we did find one
website with stuff in the $100 range!)
Go to Victoria's Secret. Their sizes range from zero to
extra large. They have a great line called ''Pink'' with
some fun prints and colors and many styles. They also
have ''basics'' and frequent sales. Once you know what you
like, you can also shop online.
If you don't mind taking BART into SF or driving in and
parking H&M on Powell would be the perfect place to find the
size she needs. Their sizes run very small. In fact my 13
yo who is very slim usually a size 3 to 5 jrs fits a 6
there. Very inexpensive too.
Hope this helps
Mom of x slim Teen
My 5'4'' 108 pound teen had the same problem. A very
petite salesclerk at the Gap gave us the answer --
Victoria's Secret. They carry extra small underwear in
cotton knit and microfiber in a wide range of styles
including bikini, low cut bikini, thong, brief, high cut
brief,etc. My daughter found the low cut bikini to fit her
best --no more baggy seats! While they do cost more than
the 5-packs from Target, you can often find sales and/or
get a reduction in price for buying 5 or more pairs.
And they have usually have nice, well-made shelf bra
camisoles to match some of the panty styles, so she can
have attractive, comfortable matching underwear without
looking like, well, a Victoria's Secret ad.
Challenged mom of a tiny daughter
I also have a very slender teen daughter. She's had good luck finding underwear
at the women's Gap store on Bay Street. Her hips are also around 33 in., and
their x-small fits her well. They have lots of styles including the bikinis and boy
shorts your daughter is looking for. You can also find their styles on line at
Hope this works for you!
Mama of a Thin One
My daughter wears a size 34-A bra. Does anyone know where to find
this size in a nice selection of colors (or at least something
other than black and white), preferably without underwires? (And
preferably not terribly expensive!) We live in Berkeley, and
already know about Bancroft Clothing Co. I don't much like
shopping on-line, but will consider going to the Internet for the
Victoria's Secret's new line, ''Pink'' offers a good selection of
fashionable smaller cup bras. They also have a lot of bras that
don't have underwire (see their on-line selection for best
choice). Also, the San Francisco Macy's has the best selection
around if you are an A cup.
an ''A'' myself
I wear 32A and have had the best luck with Lily of France brand
bra. They come in many styles and colors and are very
comfortable. I think the large department stores are the best
place to find them; once you find a style you like, you can buy
them online. The Barely There brand also makes lots of small
sizes, but I have found the durability somewhat lacking.
There is a great online selection at http://www.shopfleuri.com/.
I never thought I'd want to buy bras online, but her selection
and service absolutely make it worth it. Fleuri specializes in
A and AA bras -- the tagline is ''for women who don't need a
lot.'' She has some pricey lines, but some everyday lower-cost
ones as well. Lots of colors, softcup and underwire. The return
policy is great, and if you have questions about the styles and
what's likely to work for you, she offers advice by phone or e-
mail. I'm a 36A, but after bf'ing two kids I want a supportive
bra, and I've found wonderful ones through Fleuri -- I know, I'm
gushing about it, but a good bra is such an important thing, and
as a hard-to-fit size, I'm so happy to have found something like
A woman who happily doesn't need a lot
I wear about the same size bra as your daughter and just got a great bunch of
''bralettes'' by Maidenform at Kohl's in San Leandro - on sale right now for
Great colors and many to choose from.
-Lovin' these bras!
Prior to pregnancy and breastfeeding, I was a 34A. (Now I'm a 34DD, which is
strange experience.) I used to get my bras at Macy's in Walnut Creek. I
Calvin Klein bras especially, and on sale they're not too expensive.
If you are willing to shop online, I can highly recommend the Bare Necessities
site (http://www.barenecessities.com). They have a great range of sizes. I am
(used to be a B before kids...sob) and I can usually find what I want at Bare
Necessities. It seems to me that stores get in one or two of the A cup sizes
them out quickly.
An A Cup Sister
I am a parent of a 7-yr-old and I am writing a magazine story about
a trend I've noticed among young teens to wear thong underwear.
Companies such as Abercrombie and Fitch and Deliah's have
been marketing thongs in girls sizes. Has anyone else noticed this
trend? Does this alarm anyone?
I am curious to know what you object to and why you think
we should be alarmed by teens wearing thong underwear.
I am more concerned about the effects of advertising on our
children. As we all know, clothing designer and
manufacturers change styles as just a way of making
perfectly good clothes obsolete so you have to buy new
clothes. As soon as everyone is wearing thong underwear,
they'll think of some other kind of underwear for everyone
to wear along with some form of advertisement to make it
appealing to teens. I'm sure thongs are quite profitable as
they cost the same as other underwear and there is hardly
any material cost involved. Maybe soon we'll be back to
The best thing we can do is show our children how these
advertisements manipulate them into spending money for
things they don't need. Then perhaps they can use other
criteria for making their choices. I wear thongs for
Thong wearing grandma
A few years ago my teen (then ~ 15) started wearing thongs
under her volleyball spandex to eliminate panty lines. No,
it doesn't alarm me if they can stand them -- I think
they're dreadfully uncomfortable. But for kids? I don't
think a parent needs to buy them for kids.
It's just another latest style. I don't think the girls that
wear them are making a sexual statement any more than we were
when we wore really short miniskirts. They are just trying to
be stylish. Teens wear them, so of course pre-teens will wear
them in order to look like cool teens.
Thongs are uncomfortable in my opinion, and I don't wear them, but
then bras are uncomfortable too. And high heels. And panty hose. And
jeans that are too tight. And mascara. All of which I wear. I guess
I could dress in sweatpants and t-shirts and no bra, but then nobody
could stand to look at me, including myself! It's no big thing, IMO.
Just tryin to be stylin
I've checked the archives, and while there are suggestions for
where to buy first bras, they don't address when. My almost-10
year old daughter doesn't need the physical support of a bra yet
(far from it), but she is self-conscious about her ''bumps'' (her
word) when she wears knit tops. Her ''bumps'' look very small to
me, and I've seen plenty of girls who are bigger and not
apparently wearing a bra. Should I follow her lead about when
to buy her first bra?
A late bloomer myself
If your daughter is feeling self-conscious, by all means, take her lead.
I don't think it is too early -- I'd noticed that my daughter, who is
11, and most of her friends started going through similar physical
changes when they were 10. I took my daughter about 6 months ago to get
a ''bra'', because we noticed she was starting to show her points,
although they're hardly noticeable. She didn't want to get a bra, per
se, and seemed very embarrassed about going to find one. I made it a
special day for just the two of us, without dad or younger sister, and
used that time to talk casually about puberty and some other issues. We
went to the lingerie section of a department store for a greater
selection, and I had her try on what she liked.
Instead of getting a regulation bra, she chose short tanks with shelf
bras and thin adjustable straps (Barely There brand).
They're comfortable and work very well under knit tops and light-colored
t-shirts; and they're very much in fashion. Hope this was helpful.
mom of preteen
My mom took me shopping at about the same age and we found a set of
underwear with a top much like a light sports bra. I got to pick it out
myself and that increased my confidence.
I really think the time is when your daughter feels ready. If she feels
uncomfortable or self-conscious, and she thinks a bra would help
alleviate that, I would trust her.
Absolutely follow her lead! I'm not a big advocate of early-bra-wearing,
but it's their bodies and they should feel comfortable. I would
recommmend maybe a sports bra or softly padded bra, but not an underwire
bra. There are plently of these kinds of bras around for first-wearers.
It's kind of fun too, to go bra-shopping with your daughter. It's the
begining of adolescence and a whole lot of new things to come.
Have fun! good luck from
a bra-wearing mom of a bra-wearing daughter!
Follow her lead by all means. When I was a kid they called them
''training'' bras, which always cracked me up. But they have many useful
roles: to give straps to a girl uncomfortable about not having them when
her friends do; to cover up those very sensitive ''bumps'' so clothes
don't rub them uncomfortably, and probably others. It's easy to find a
cup size A-B bra which will start small then stretch a bit as she grows.
Take her to a nice dept. store if you can, and have fun with it!
I got my 11 year old two bras this past spring. She was interested in
getting them, enjoyed trying them on and buying them, and since then she
has not worn them. This doesn't bother me - I think she just likes to
know they're there. My suggestion then would be to go ahead and get a
bra for her, and let her decide if she actually wants to wear it all or
some of the time, or none of the time! We went to Nordstroms in Corte
Madera FYI where the salesperson was very helpful and matter-of-fact -
my daughter liked being treated like a grown-up.
Oh, I wish my mom had asked this question when I was in the 4th grade. I
still cringe when I think of how long it took to build up the courage to
ask her for a bra only to have her laugh and say, ''No, YOU don't need
one.'' (I was so envious of my best friend, whose mom made a big deal of
all transition-to-womanhood things and bought her a beautiful pink
satiny special one. She was also the mom who bought kid-friendly books
on getting your period, had a coming-of-age party for her, etc.) Anyway,
the topic was dropped by both me and my mom for over 3 years, when it
was most definitely past the time for me to get one.
So, I say, get your daughter a bra. If she thinks she needs/wants one,
what could it hurt? It can be embarassing to be the only girl without a
bra, whether or not she truly needs one. And if she changes her mind or
doesn't like it, she'll probably just stop wearing it. I guarantee you
she will be grateful if you don't make a big issue of whether or not she
should have one.
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
There seems to be a LOT of peer pressure these days about covering up
those little ''bumps''. Girls are pressured to wear bras, or at least
camisoles, at a really young age. I don't think there's any harm in it,
except that bras are uncomfortable. During winter, anyway, camisoles
I hated bras, myself, and refused to wear one until my best friend told
me I HAD to, and I was pretty big!
I would try to avoid anything that is padded, since you probably don't
want your little girl to look like she has something she doesn't!
had to wear one before I wanted to
I bought sports bras for my daughter last year (she was 10 and had
''bumps'') for her to wear if she wanted. She sometimes wear it under
tight tops, but mostly not. She knows it's available, it is enough for
her, for now. For my daughter, the issue is more to be like the other
girls and not to advertise what she thinks she's to young to have.
I recall all the other girls getting bras and me not needing/having one.
I had to ask my mom for one and explain why I thought I needed one. As
if peer-pressure wasn't enough I got parental-pressure too! :) It
would have been nice to have my mother notice the class/age ''trend'' on
this milestone and made an offer. I probably still would have been
awkward and embarrassed... who knows! I'd follow her lead, while
surveying her peers. The first bra is not to support the buds, it's just
to support the girl.
I have two teenage daughters myself (12 and 15 1/2) and was also a late
bloomer, though my daughters weren't. This first bra issue was a very
sensitive one for me in middle school because it seemed to be a rite of
passage that EVERY other girl had reached but I hadn't (an exaggeration,
of course, but that's the way it felt). When I asked my mom to get me a
bra, her response was that I didn't need one. She was right, of course,
but I'm convinced that she could have handled it better and was
determined to handle it better when my daughters got to that age. I
think at a certain point in every girls' life there's a combination
modesty/status issue about wearing a bra, and I decided when it came to
my own daughters I didn't really care what that mix was. When they were
ready for one (they both asked me; it wasn't my idea), I went with them
to buy ''sports'' bras. They were perfectly happy with those for the
first year or so and they're really handy when you have to change
clothes for soccer practice in the back seat of the car. (-:
That said, the Gap, Limited Too and Target are all good sources for
Also a Late Bloomer
I remember desperately, desperately wanting to wear a bra -- and I also
remember how sad, hurt and belittled I felt when my mom said I didn't
need one. Then when I finally did get a bra I hated it. It looked
bumpier under my shirt than my bumps had; it was uncomfortable; and
worst of all, all the boys at school NOTICED it and commented and
snapped the back. Of course I still didn't really need it, but after
all that begging I didn't have the courage to just tell my mom I didn't
want it after all. So my advice is to smile sweetly, buy your daughter
the bra, and gently let her know that often girls decide they don't want
to wear one after all... and that if
that happens, it will be just fine with you.
Your letter took me back many years to when I was your daughter's age
and wanted my first bra. I was and still am flat, but somehow, to me,
that bra represented growing up. My poor mother was so oblivious to the
needs of a child, I applaud you for giving so much thought and
consideration to your daughter and can only say: Yes! Go with her, what
a great opportunity to spend time with your daughter and help her in
this important transition.
BTW - I now never wear a bra, unless it's for business.
My 9.5 year old daughter is in a similar development phase. Our solution
has been simple white undershirts - they are light cotton tanks that
come in packs of 3 at places like Target. I personally dislike most bras
and am quite small chested - so much so that I will sometimes go without
- so am definitely not encouraging anything like a training bra just
yet. If the tank doesn't make your daughter feel more comfortable, my
next recommendation would be a training bra in the ''shelf bra'' style -
similar to a sports bra shape.
We started off with lycra cami tops from Target. Like wearing an
undershirt. Available in the adult underwear dept--the small size is
really small and will probably fit fine.
We've now moved on to the super stretchy type bras in their kid bra
dept. None of these offer support, but just a nice layer to make her
feel more secure. Wish they had these options when I was a kid!
Old Navy has great starters bras.
My 12 year old started wearing them last year, she was just commenting
how nice they were.
When my daughter was about 10 or 11 I bought her several sports-type
Target) in the girl's section. I remember distinctly being self-concious
about my ''bumps'' at that age. These bras are a good transition before
your child really needs the support of a regular bra.
Another late bloomer
I went back-to-school shopping with my almost 12 year old daughter this
evening. She feels that her breasts are large enough that if she does not
wear a bra, (boys) people will "stare" at her chest. She feels she needs to
"secure" them somehow. I remember being this same age and general point of
development myself. Thirty years ago however, the staring was (dare I say
this?) more subtle. I'm sure the boys stared, just I didn't think about
them, I suppose. Can anyone on this list recommend a place where she can be
properly fitted with a decent bra? She has used a sports bra for the past
few months, but it is too hot (and bulky) for summer clothes. Is there a
teen, or preteen store that would be less embarrassing for her to be fitted?
Or can somebody point us toward a certain brand that would be good?
My daughter (12) and I went to Target and found a very simple, light
bra that fit her pretty well. I would imagine that any large deparment
store would carry something appropriate.
When dealing with this challenge last summer, for my then-11 year
old, I found that the regular lingerie departments of women's
clothing or department stores were fine. I just asked to be pointed
in the direction of light-weight bras for small-breasted women and
found a huge selection because lighter, less structured bras are in
style. I helped her with the fitting myself because she did not want
any strangers near her. My daughter liked shopping at Bancroft
Clothing across from the campus because it caters to teenagers and
college students. We've also been successful at Macy's, though she's
less comfortable there. (If you're really concerned with getting a
professional fitting the first time around, I'd go to Nordstrom's
where the help is fantastic.) The biggest challenge is that at this
age they are extremely self-conscious and therefore VERY picky. I
happened into a solution to this problem a few months ago when I
found a great sale at Macy's and she wasn't with me: with the aid of
a cell phone, I did the shopping without her. The basic idea is you
figure out her size (based on visual inspection and how much too
small the current bra is) and a general sense of what she likes (type
of material, decoration/no decoration, thin straps or thick,
underwire or not, etc.--I deduced this by having her buy several
different styles and watching which ones she wore and which ones
stayed in the drawer, but you could also do it by looking at
magazines or catalogs), go to the store and pick out 5 or 6 that fit
the bill, then call her from the store, describe them, and let her
narrow down the choices over the phone. She's perfectly happy to
take my selection, feels like she has control because she picks the
color, etc. (based on my description), and is tremendously relieved
to not have to go into the store herself! I never would have
imagined that one could use someone else to shop for such a personal
item, but it's worked out just fine and it's WAY faster!!
Please post anonymously or my daughter will kill me.
My 13 year old wears a very comfortable cotton/lycra bra from Victoria's
Secret (their size 32 runs small). It think it is called a "bralette". It
looks like a cross between a regular bra and a sports bra but it has all
day comfort. Looks great under T-shirts. The customer service at
Victoria's Secret (we went to Corda Madera) is very good. As many of you
ladies out there know, we go through many bras and many size and style
changes. I think it is good for young girls to learn how to ask for
fitting help. There is such a variety, that advice is often needed!
Anonymous Please (my daughter would be Soooooo embarrassed!)
Bancroft Clothing seems like a good place to go for bras for a teen.
They cater to college students and have lots and lots of tiny little
bras and panties. I was there yesterday looking for something a bit
(ahem) larger for myself (didn't find much in my size alas).
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