What tips can you offer for choosing a girl's first bra?
First, determine where your daughter will feel most comfortable shopping and where she will find a wide selection of sizes and styles, suggests Kelly O'Brien, who runs LingerTween, an e-commerce site at tween.shoplinger.com, dedicated to undergarments for tweens. Would she prefer a department store, a chain that caters to tweens, or an online site? O'Brien discourages visiting more sexy shops such as Victoria's Secret because the attire may not be age appropriate.
If your tween is average sized, bras labeled "one size fits all" or small, medium or large may work. For more developed girls who need bras with cup and band sizes, here's how to measure at home, says O'Brien: For the band size, wrap the measuring tape around your daughter just under the breasts, where the band sits. Add five to that number. For instance, if the tape says 23 inches, band will be 28 inches. For tween cup size, the rule of thumb is to measure around the fullest part of the chest and subtract that number from the band size. The difference is the cup size -- 0 to 1 inch is an A; 2 inches is a B.
Be sure straps can be shortened sufficiently, especially for petite tweens, O'Brien says. Tween padding is not meant to increase cup size. "It's really a lining that smooths over the nipple area," O'Brien says.
Some girls may prefer to start off with a sports bra.