Finding the right bra can be a challenge for teen girls. Bras come in many styles, and need to fit properly or they can cause pain and discomfort. Trying on different bras is the best way for teens to find the right bra, but there are some tips that can help teens shopping for bras.
There are many styles of bras for teens, and teens may need to try different bra styles to find the ones they like best:
- Full, three-quarter, or demi (half) cups offer different levels of support
- Push up bras and padded bras emphasize or enhance breasts
- Minimizing bras minimize large breasts
- Underwire bras provide extra support
- Sports bras offer support for active teens
- Many styles include straps, removable straps, or strapless versions
- Training bras fit teens who do not yet fit standard cup sizes
About 80 percent of teen girls wear a bra that is the wrong size, which can cause pain in the back and shoulders, as well as poor circulation in the arms, restricted movement and breathing, and discomfort in the breasts. Your breast size, and therefore your bra size, will change throughout your teen years, as well as any time you gain or lose weight, and sometimes even during your monthly menstrual cycle, which makes it challenging to find bras that fit well.
Bras have two sizes: the strap size and the cup size. Strap sizes come in even numbers, such as 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40, and cup sizes are letters such as A, B, C, and D. Some bra companies now make half-sizes for teens who fall in between cup sizes. Different types and brands of bras may fit differently, but there is a simple way for teens to determine roughly what bra size will fit them.
Use a measuring tape to measure around your bare rib cage, just under your breasts. Add 4 or 5 inches to this measurement to find your band size. Next, measure around the widest part of your bare bust, keeping the tape as level as possible. Compare your bust size to your band size. If your bust size is:
- up to half an inch larger than your band size, then your cup size is AA
- half to 1 inch larger is an A
- 1 to 2 inches larger is a B
- 2 to 3 inches larger is a C
- 3 to 4 inches larger is a D
- 4 to 5 inches larger is a DD or E cup.
This provides you with a general idea of what bra sizes to try on.
When shopping for bras, try on several styles around your size. Adjust the shoulder straps so they are comfortable and check to see how well the bra fits.
The band should:
- Be snug without cutting into your rib cage
- Not ride up your back
- Hold the cups in place so that your breasts do not slip out of them.
The cups fit correctly if:
- Your breasts fill the cup without overflowing, including when you bend forward, and the fabric of the cups is not wrinkled
- Your nipples are centered in the fullest part of the cup
- The fabric or bridge between the cups lies flat against your breastbone
- You can lift your arms without the cups lifting or sliding off of your breasts
If you have trouble finding a comfortable bra, or one that meets your needs, consider going to a store that specializes in bras to get a fitting, or to a department store with clerks who are trained to fit bras.
Once you have found several bras that fit you well, take good care of them by washing them by hand, or on the delicate cycle in a mesh lingerie bag or pillowcase, and air drying them. This will preserve the fit and shape of your bras, and help them to last longer.
How to Find the Right Bra Sources:
- EHow.com, “How to Find the Perfect Fit in a Bra” [online]
- Today’sParent.com, “Supporting Arguments: How to Find the Right Bra” [online]
- Wikipedia.org, “Bras” [online]