The ‘First Bra’ for Beginners: How to buy your daughter her first bra

Buying a girl's first bra is super exciting - your little girl is growing up! While some tweens and teens have been waiting for this day for as long as they can remember, others may have mixed emotions, including embarrassment, dread, and possibly even a little fear. Most of us will remember that with puberty comes a number of insecurities, so it’s important to navigate this milestone with sensitivity. 

At Bendon, we have been supporting and uplifting women for over 70 years, so we know a thing or two about the importance of a good bra at any age. Read on for advice on how to best support your daughter navigate her first bra purchase and what style of bras we recommend for beginners.

How do I know it’s time for her first bra?

It's super important to reinforce to her that every girl and every body is different. She may develop differently or at a different pace than others in her friend group, family or even yourself. That's totally okay!

There is no specific age for a first bra. Girls can begin developing breasts at any age. Typically this happens from age 8 to 14, but it may happen earlier or later. The best time for her first bra is when she's both physically and emotionally ready. It's important to be as open and direct with her about the issues of breast health and the many benefits supportive bras have on breast development and posture.

Here are several tell-tale signs to look out for to determine when she's ready:

Her breast buds have started to develop

Breast buds are the development of breast tissue under the nipples and are one of the earliest signs that your daughter is hitting puberty. She may be ready for her first bra if she's started developing breast buds

She needs extra support daily or when playing sport

Your daughter may notice some extra movement of her chest and breast tissue, especially when doing physical exercise. A bra can help her feel more supported and comfortable when exercising. 

Her breasts may start to feel uncomfortable 

Growing pains are a part of puberty and it’s not uncommon for developing breasts to feel tender and sore. A well-fitting bra may help to reduce this discomfort.

She may want extra coverage 

Developing breasts and breast buds may make her feel self-conscious, especially if they become visible through her clothing. She may request a bra for extra support and coverage. 

Even if your daughter is showing signs of being ready for a first bra it’s always best to ask her if she's ready. Helping her feel comfortable, prepared and in control during a time when her body is rapidly changing can be transformative

Which is the best bra for beginners?

The best bra for beginners is one that offers the right amount of support while feeling comfortable. When looking for her first bra, try to promote a positive and healthy environment for your daughter to learn about her growing and changing body. You may want to discuss the differences in women’s breasts shapes or sizes and help her understand which bra style best complements her breast shape as she develops. 

The most common first bra styles are soft cups, crop tops and bralettes – your daughter may want to experiment and try on a few different styles so she can decide the most comfortable one for her. For a smooth bra shopping experience, we recommend the following steps

Step 1: Understand her needs

Know what you are looking for before you go bra shopping. Are you looking for something your tween can wear every day, or only during exercise/sports?  She may even need her first bra for a special occasion?

Step 2: Get professionally fitted

We always recommend getting a bra fitted by a professional. While the concept may be a little mortifying for her, you can trust the Bendon team to be respectful and discreet. Our trained experts are used to having these conversations, ensuring your daughter is comfortable, confident, and fully supported. You may even consider getting fitted at the same time as her, to normalise the experience. Curious about what happens at a fitting? Read up on the Bendon fit process. 

"I wanted to send you an email to commend the wonderful shopping experience provided by Steph at the Essendon DFO Store in VIC today.  My 14 yo daughter Isabelle needed assistance with her first bra and Steph was amazing.  Explaining everything Isabelle needed to understand about wearing a correctly fitted bra.  She provided exceptional customer service whilst ensuring Isabelle was comfortable.  She provided lots of options and explanations on styles etc."

Leanne W (AU)

Step 3: Invest in a well-fitting bra

Invest in a bra that fits your daughter correctly, regardless of her age. This will help your daughter on the right path to knowing what a good fitting bra feels like for life.

What’s the best Bendon Lingerie brand for her?

Bendon is a house of brands with hundreds of styles to choose from, and we don’t want you or your daughter to feel overwhelmed! Our Lovable range is the perfect place to start when shopping for a first bra. This range starts at size 8 in a AA cup, making it an excellent brand for those who are petite or buying their first bra. It covers comfortable basics and includes a wide range of soft cup and bralette styles which are great first bra styles. In addition, lovable features vibrant colours and youthful designs, so your daughter can start discovering a new channel of self-expression.

There are soft cup bras and crop top bra styles available in our other ranges, check out our range of wirefree & bralette styles.

Here are a few styles we recommend as trusted first bras:

Lovable’s Soft Cup Bra has an extended size range from AA-G cup and 8-14 backs. This bra offers light support with a smoothing shape and has no underwire, making it the perfect t-shirt bra to wear under school uniforms, and it won't dig into your daughter's rib cage for all-day comfort.

me by bendon Ultimate Stretch Crop Top Bra is the ultimate comfort style and should be worn as soon as the nipples start to protrude or an option to wear during physical exercise. Available in S/M and M/L.

me by Bendon Ultimate Stretch V-Neck Bra is our newest addition to the Ultimate Stretch range, available in our newesr colour Potent Purple colour

Shop our range of Wire Free and Soft Cup bras

Our fit experts within our stores may recommend other styles depending on your daughter’s breast shape and development. This could include Contour,Balconette and much more. Find your nearest store to visit one of our fit experts.

Other helpful reads:

Learn how to best care for your lingerie

Discover the top five bra styles every woman needs

What styles of underwear are best suited for each occasion