Before You Buy A Bra

Tina Kells

Buying a bra may seem simple, but it is actually quite complex. First and foremost it is essential that you know your correct size. A proper fitting bra is important for both comfort and posture and is especially important during the teen years when your body is growing. A poorly fitting bra can cause back problems, muscle tension, and even headaches. Since teens are still growing, the strains caused by an improperly fit bra can lead to life long problems with posture and back pain. For this reason, teens should be fit by a lingerie consultant at least twice a year or, preferably, after every noticeable growth spurt. Another important consideration is the reason the bra is needed; is it for support, coverage, comfort or athletics? There are different styles of bras designed for specific body types, fashions and activities and they come in a variety of fabrics. Despite popular misconceptions, no one bra can "do it all".

First/Training Bras
Training bras are are for young girls who have started to develop breasts but who do not yet fit the standard bra sizes. A young girl who has started to develop should wear a training bra, but there is no harm in letting a girl get one before there is a real need. Remember, training bras are intended for girls of any age who have started to get breasts and who are not yet able to be fitted with a regular bra. If your breast size warrants a full fitting bra you should wear one, even if you are very young.

Light Support Bras
Light support bras usually have no underwire and are good for girls with smaller breasts. They are less constricting than full support bras and many girls feel that they are more comfortable. Because they are wireless they offer less shaping than other bras and are most flattering on trimmer figures. These bras come in padded and unpadded versions; which you choose is really a matter of personal preference.
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Full Support Bras
Full support bras usually have an underwire or plastic boning holding them up. They can be worn by women of any breast size and are a must for those with larger cup sizes. These bras offer a shapely cut and are built more like bikini tops than underwear. These also come in padded or unpadded version and are flattering on any figure type.

Push Up Bras
Once called "padded bras" this is the category that the world famous Wonderbra falls under. These bras lift the breasts and add shape them with extra padding. Some more innovative push up bras use silicone inserts or water sacks to imitate the fullness of a natural breasts. They are said to "lift and separate" creating a full cleavage look on breasts of all sizes. These bras always offer lots of support.

Sports Bras
This is the most uncelebrated of the bras, and ironically, it is probably the most important one for growing teens to have. Sports bras do more than offer full support, they also stop the breasts from moving during athletic activity. Breast tissue is very delicate and the growing tissue of the teen breast needs to be protected during high impact exercise. Even girls with smaller breasts should invest in a good sports bra if they take physical education or participate in sports.

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