28 answers

When to Buy a Bra for My Daughter

How do you know when to buy a bra for your daughter? She is 10 going into 5th grade, has breast buds, but not much else. She is starting to feel a little self-conscious. None of her friends are wearing bras yet.....

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi K.,

I believe they have a T-Shirt/Bra for yound girls now. You may want to look into them. I know I have seen them in Walmart and Target.

Good Luck! :)

1 mom found this helpful

If she is self concious about her body then now is the time to buy her a bra. If you think she is too young for a real or training bra then buy her a bunch of tight fitting tank tops to wear under her clothes.

1 mom found this helpful

why dont you get her one of those stretch kind of bras.
If she is feeling self conscious it might help her.

More Answers

I developed breasts and got my first bra during the summer between 6th and 7th grade and I think that was perfect. In 6th grade none of the elementary school kids had bras. In 7th grade, junior high school, everyone was expected to have one on when they changed for gym class. Assuming middle school hasn't changed the culture I think that is a good time. If a majority of other girls are wearing them I would go ahead and get one, even if your daughter doesn't need one. An alternative to a bra is a nice, grown-up looking tank top, maybe with spaghetti straps?. :)

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is the same age, and has been wearing a bra for almost a year by her request. We were in Target buying some clothes and she saw them. She asked me to buy her one, and I did because I felt if she was asking for it then she would be comfortable with the idea. I let her pick out the ones she liked, many had matching panties. They had a huge selection for this age. I explained to try to not let many people know (especially the boys) because they will tease you. I told her that just like you don't want your underwear showing, you don't want your bra to show. It was a really easy transition. Target and Limited Too have a great selection of training trendy bras. It was not the embarasing nightmare that I remember when I was her age.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

I believe they have a T-Shirt/Bra for yound girls now. You may want to look into them. I know I have seen them in Walmart and Target.

Good Luck! :)

1 mom found this helpful

If she is self concious about her body then now is the time to buy her a bra. If you think she is too young for a real or training bra then buy her a bunch of tight fitting tank tops to wear under her clothes.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, K. -- My 1st daughter is the same age. Last year she wanted me to take her to the doctor for the lump in her breast. Sure enough, she was starting to develop. We did not do much at first, but after winter as she was wearing lighter clothes, we thought she should wear a "bra". I found a sports bra and also a couple of "stretchy" bras at the dollar store to start her out. I also encourage layering and have sought out tanks with "built in" coverage. Right now the layering seems to work just fine. Some of her friends ARE wearing bras so that is not an issure for her. Good luck -- I hate this part of being a mom :) they grow up too fast!!!

I went through a faze where my 3rd grader wanted one. She did not need one but I bought some of those half tank top things at Wal-mart and after she wore them a few times, she decided she did not want to wear a bra anymore.

I am glad now that I did not fight her on it. Once she saw how uncomfortable it can be, she decided to wait.

Been there, done that - just this year! My daughter will be 11 in february & a lot of her friends are starting w/the whole bra thing. We made it kind of a big thing by going to Victoria Secrets to have her measured and then went to Sears to buy some bras. Although Samantha was kind of embarassed, I think she is less self concious now. The only bad thing about the whole thing is that her best friend is a boy and she couldn't share it w/him! Good luck!

If she feels a little self-conscious then now is the time to start. Make it a special shopping trip just for the two of you. I went through this about 3 years ago and made it a special trip with my daughter. If you start now and remind her that from now on she will always have to wear a bra it works out for the better.

I love the idea of letting her pick out what she wants at Target or Walmart. I did the same thing with my girls and it was fun. Oldest daughter went straight for regular bras but my second daughter headed to the tanks with shelf bras inside.

whenever a young girl has breast buds it is time for a bra. And the 5th grade is a good time to have her start wearing one, even if it's just a sports bra.
Mom - grandma - and pediatric nurse

I say when she starts to bud, its time for a bra,

NOT a sexy bra, just a simple cotton, age appropriate starter, or training bra.

3 should do the trick,

and keep her in cotton panties


They do so much growing over the summer .. I would suggest that you just buy a training bra and put it in her dresser drawer.. that may take away some of the anxiety, since it will be in place when she does need it.

If you can see the buds through her shirt, it's time. If the other girls all start wearing them, it's time. My daughter started in 5th grade even though she didn't have much more than buds because that's when middle school started and the changing for gym, so all the girls wore bras. We got sports bras and those are still what she's most comfortable with three years later. Good luck!

why dont you get her one of those stretch kind of bras.
If she is feeling self conscious it might help her.

Hi K.,

I just went through that with my 11 year old daughter, starting last year. I first started her with light cotton undershirts, as it was clear she could no longer go without them. I also got her those "training bras", which really are nothing more than flat lycra/spandex panels with straps and elastic underneath. I found my daughter definitely does not need actual bras yet, but the undershirts and training bras are fine for what she needs now.

Looks like your daughter is reaching a real milestone. It gives us moms pause for thought as we see our daughters' bodies begin to change, no?


Hi K.,

I would definately get her a sports bra or something similar. If she has the buds going, it will be noticed eventually and she will get embarrassed.

My daughter is 10 going into 5th grade and is as flat as a sheet of paper!!! God Bless her, the child is so thin and gangly, but she asked for a bra two years ago! She wanted one like mine!!! Finally last year, we bought two "sports bras" that you pull over the head. They are more like a cut off undershirt. She wears one every day. There are times she is playing or leaning over or crawling on the ground and her shirt does accidentally gape open. You can only imagine the embarrassment if this were to happen in front of a boy at school!! She is very self aware at this point.

Many of the girls in my daughter's 4th grade class were beginning to develop and already wearing bra's. Some are even menstruating, if you can beleive that! The school started the puberty video in the 4th grade and will move into full-blow sex-ed in the 5th grade. You may want to consider all that and consider talking to your daughter about it if you haven't already.

It's a little disheartening that kids are growing up fast, both mentally and physically now. But, it's going to happen and already is, so I would just brace yourself if you haven't already!!!

I do feel you should get a couple of bras. Especially if she's beginning to develop.

Kind Regards,


If it makes her feel more comfortable buy her one. It doesnt matter what her friends are wearing. This is a personal issue. Sports bras fit EVERYONE!

My daughter and I went "bra" shopping when her buds were gone last year, she was ten, and she was mortified in the "bra" department!!!!!!! She was very embarressed so we agreed on "sport" bra's! It took her a few months to get in the groove of wearing. She wears sport bra's and tank tops (with the lining).

Good luck!

get a sports bra -- its a good halfway point.

my daughter has nothing.. but wanted a bra.. so before 4th grade - actually 3 weeks ago..we went shopping.. she bought 3 from Kohls and loves to wear them..and of course show her friends.. I think it is fun at this point. Go shopping.. let her look around.. Kohls - sears, target.. make it a fun thing. Buy some socks and undies too...

My 9 (almost 10) year old step-daughter is in the same position. We have talked about it a few times and went bra shopping the other weekend at Walmart. They have a whole section of bras in the children's section - training/sports bras - and she was very excited to get some! Every girl is different though. I know at her age i wasn't thrilled about talking to my mom about bras... what my mom did was just buy a few and put them in my drawer and tell me they were there when i wanted them. For me, that worked well and i started wearing them shortly after.

I would say when you can start to see too much under lightweight material. For both my daughters we started with the tank style ones, that are just basically t-shirts. Sports bras are also a good choice. I would recommend taking her shopping within the next couple of weeks. This way she will have time to get used to wearing one before school starts. I think she'll find that once she returns to school, several of the girls will be wearing them.

Depending on your daughters personality you may want to make it a girls day out, or simply purchase one for her. Start with just one or two and she how she likes them.

A story to share - When my youngest was ready for a real bra (never liked the sports bra), I had a difficult time getting her to go to the store. If we were in a store, she would always make an excuse why we couldn't go to the lingerie dept. When we were in a different state at an outlet mall, I got her to go shopping. It turns out she was embarassed and was afraid someone she knew would see her in a local store.

My daughter is almost 9 and has been wearing stretchy/sports bras for almost a year. Honestly, we really didn't think of it as a big deal. We are somewhat modest in dress, so when it became an issue of too much showing under her lighter clothes, we just went and bought some. It's part of getting dressed for her now. Maybe it was easier because she was younger? I don't know if her friends are wearing bras or not, but we don't base too many decisions on that. We try to dress appropriately for our body types. If you don't make a big deal about it, maybe she won't? Hope that helps.

E. - I'm a SAHM to an 8-year old daughter. I also have a Pampered Chef business which I love. Happily married for 16 years.

I tend to think when the "not much else" turns into a bit more then just buds, would be time enough to buy a bra for your daughter....
My guess is until her friends wear one, she wont want to...
Does she have and wear a 2 piece bathing suit?? Or maybe some of her friends wear one? If so you might want to buy her a grow cup bra and panty set and bring it to her attention that it isn't any different then wearing the 2 piece bathing suit. Then just put it in her draw and let it go. At some point when she's ready, she'll put it on.

Hi. My daughter starting to wear those sport bra type undershirts first. It gets them used to the feeling and it isn't obviously a bra. They do get self conscious at that age because not many of the girls need it yet. Tell her she doesn't have to wear it all the time .. just when she feels she needs it (depending on the shirt).

I would ask her. And do whatever she feels comfortable with. They have those starter bras that look like a tank top. Take her shopping and see what she thinks.
Starting early will give her a chance to get used to the idea of a bra before she actually NEEDS to wear one.

I was an early bloomer like your daughter. I think the best thing is cami with a shelf bra? Something that is tight, but doesn't have the "cups" yet, since those will make you stand out in a crowd...and don't usually fit anyhow. Good luck!

Have you talked to your daughter about what type of bra she may want?

My mother bought me a stretch as you grow bra, never talked to me about it at all. I was angry because my friends' bra was a circle stitched bra.

I'm 60 years old, have been married to the same man for 38 years, have two grown sons and one daughter-in-law.

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