The first bra

Your little girl… is not so little anymore! Her breasts are beginning to show and you will soon have to have a "bra" conversation. How will you manage this child-teenager transition?  

Usually, the onset of puberty coincides with a new sense of prudery in a girl that was never that concerned with her body until then. But the first signs of femininity, like the development of the breasts, also bring a sense of shyness for the future teenager who may not want to discuss the physical transformations that she is experiencing.

Delicate subject

For some young girls, the development of the body begins around the age of 10 or 11 years old but the average age of puberty is 12. Because sexuality is not a specific issue at this age, the appearance of breasts may be a touchy subject. So, while most little girls are secretly looking forward to finally wear a bra, they do not necessarily want to discuss this subject with their mother.

Therefore, it is our motherly responsibility to bring the delicate subjects on the table. It is best to forget the “So, you are becoming a woman…” cliché because it will scare her much more than it will make her happy. It is better to wait for a key moment – like her birthday – to talk about it and adjust to her reaction.


Many girls are downright uncomfortable when entering a lingerie store with their mother, says Jessica Morin, manager at La Senza in Laval. “Especially when comes the time to measure her. That’s why we usually tell the mom how to take them (the measures)”.  The retailers will be happy to explain the characteristics (straps, bonnet, the adhesion of the underwear to the skin…) that you must take into consideration when you must choose the right bra. “We always try to make them feel comfortable”.

It is best to let our daughter go alone in the dressing room to respect her intimacy as she is trying different models. There might be some lively exchanges between the mother who wants to see everything and the daughter who wants to hide… it is quite common. The manager told us that she sometimes witnesses heated discussions taking place on both sides of the doors…! “The mothers would like to go in and give their opinion but the daughters refuse”.

And to be certain that our daughter will like the chosen model, it is best to let her decide after the fitting and avoid imposing our personal favorite.

Choosing a bra
  • It is better to choose basic models than to look for pretty models with laces and patterns because they are more expensive but also because the body changes so fast during puberty that we will soon have to go shopping again.
  • The smallest size is 32A and it is possible to wear a sports bra or a camisole between the budding of the breast and the time when a real bra is necessary.
  • We prefer cotton bras that are available in many colors appreciated by young girls and that cost around $10 at La Senza.
  • Half-bust models are most appropriate as a first bra because they are not overly lifting and their cleavage is reasonable, says Jessica. “We also recommend a bra without underwire because its cup is less rounded and it looks like a bikini top”.
  • The price of a young girl’s bra varies between $10 and $40.
Image de Josée Descôteaux

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