38 answers

What Age Should a Girl Be Made to Start Wearing a Bra

My daughter is 11 years old and refuses to start wearing a bra. She has developed enough that she really should start wearing one but she is a total tomboy. 99% of the neighbor kids are 9-10yr old boys and one 7yr old girl. Some of her girl friends in school have started wearing bras and some haven't. I asked her if she thinks the other kids will notice or say something but she just says she will start wearing one when summer starts. For now she compromises and wears an undershirt under her school uniform shirts.

She loves swimming and has always worn the swim type shirts for boys. I told her this summer she can still wear the swim shirt but she absolutely must wear a swim suit underneath. She grumbles she just won't swim this summer. I'm sure she'll cave in and wear the suit underneath because she loves swimming too much.

Any suggestions on what to say to make the transition easier and more comfortable? What type of bra should we start off with?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Uuuugggghhh, Boobs! I hate a bra and mine comes off the moment I get home. I don't even bother with cami's. I agree with the rest of the ladies with the sports bras. Definitely don't make a huge deal or force her into an "over the shoulder boulder holder." I remember myself at that age, I was a major tomboy and I hated the thing. No sports bras in my day.

3 moms found this helpful

Sounds like she has made a compromise for the moment.. The good thing is that once she does wear a bra, she can wear a sports bra. Many girls her age and as active as she is wear them all of the time. Take her to Academy or a sports store so she will feel more at home, than a "girlie" store.

She will have to wear a bra as soon as her nipples become sensitive. It only takes one day of being chafed by her clothes or ill fitting swimsuit to realize, why we have to wear bras or swim suit tops.. The other thing is that if you notice her nipples through her shirt. Try to take a photo and show it to her, she will also want to be covered up.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 13 and loves her sports bra's and has been wearing them since about age 11. It was only this year that she asked for a regular bra but she still wears her sports bra most of the time.

L.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I cried for 3 hours when my Mom forced me into a bra the first time. Whenever possible, I'm still avoiding the darn things!

I have discovered a most wonderful garment for those of us who hate wearing a bra: the camisole with built in shelf bra. I wear them underneath my clothes instead of a bra. Of course, I wear a real bra to work and church. But on my time -- no way!

I know there are a lot of cute styles in cami/bras out there, too. You might try transitioning into these now - before summer.

If she finds the bra horribly uncomfortable (I do!), try gradually increasing how long she has to wear it. Work up to a full day. Allow her 'off time' from the bra at home.

3 moms found this helpful

Uuuugggghhh, Boobs! I hate a bra and mine comes off the moment I get home. I don't even bother with cami's. I agree with the rest of the ladies with the sports bras. Definitely don't make a huge deal or force her into an "over the shoulder boulder holder." I remember myself at that age, I was a major tomboy and I hated the thing. No sports bras in my day.

3 moms found this helpful

Sounds like she has made a compromise for the moment.. The good thing is that once she does wear a bra, she can wear a sports bra. Many girls her age and as active as she is wear them all of the time. Take her to Academy or a sports store so she will feel more at home, than a "girlie" store.

She will have to wear a bra as soon as her nipples become sensitive. It only takes one day of being chafed by her clothes or ill fitting swimsuit to realize, why we have to wear bras or swim suit tops.. The other thing is that if you notice her nipples through her shirt. Try to take a photo and show it to her, she will also want to be covered up.

3 moms found this helpful

Oh, boy, the memories! I remember my mother giving me my first bra before I turned 10. It was in the middle of the school year, fourth grade, and I was so embarrassed to have to go to school after the weekend with the kids teasing me. It came out of the blue--on Saturday morning, she just told me that I had to wear it from now on, and I was wearing cute thin T-shirts that allowed everyone to see that I was now wearing a bra. I already didn't like the changes in my body--the attention that they brought--and I had to adjust to them under the microscope of my classmates and family members. I wanted to be a boy, and that just really hurt my feelings.

I think that with it being so close to the summer, you should let her get away with an undershirt or two under her school uniform...as long as no one can see anything. Then, she can spend the summer getting comfortable wearing it, getting comfortable with this new development. By the time she goes back to school, she'll be used to it and more comfortable in her new skin.

I can still be pretty boyish, but I am such a girl, now. My husband has a hard time believing that I wasn't always prissy.

2 moms found this helpful

My daughter is 13 and loves her sports bra's and has been wearing them since about age 11. It was only this year that she asked for a regular bra but she still wears her sports bra most of the time.

L.

2 moms found this helpful

I have read your previous reaponses and if she is as much the tomboy as you claim i think making a big deal out of it is going to put her off in a huge way and make this much more difficult. I agree wholeheartedly with Laurie though that sports bra's are the way to go with this child for the time being. It's a compromise betweeen a t-shirt and a full on bra, it's very comfortable for your pre-teen and not very girly in the least. Plus many of them can be worn as tops or as peek-a-boo tops under a button up...She may find this much more comforting..

As far as the swimsuit is concerned...there are so many styles out there that once you take her looking she may find that she is okay with one. Explain to her that there are styles out there that incorporate boy type shorts and shirt type looks as well as the traditional tanks and bikinis she is used to seeing. You may find her more receptive if you tell her she can find something more to her personal style...

Good Luck... ;-)

2 moms found this helpful

Since she's a tomboy, how about a sports bra? I found them far more comfortable than training bras. I would also, maybe around 13 or so, take her to a real lingerie shop where they can teach her how to properly figure out her size as she grows. One of the biggest problems with bra discomfort is that many of us were never taught proper sizing and fit.

2 moms found this helpful

I would say that as soon as she starts to have real breast development, or they're showing through her shirts that it would be time to at least introduce a camisole or sports bra. As far as swimsuits go many female surfers wear bikinis with a skingaurd type shirt. That may be a style that appeals to her. She may also prefer to wear a speedo style swim suit maybe with a pair of boardshorts. I would buy her a magazine that shows some of these styles. But other than that I would comprimise with her and just wait till May when they get out of school. This would be a good time to start ongoing conversations about what her body is currently going through and will go through, and why we all do. Best of luck I know this can be a trying time.

2 moms found this helpful

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