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Training bras 101


 
Beginning to wear a bra is a huge step toward becoming a young woman. Whether you need the support, crave the coverage or just wanna get on with this whole puberty thing, the experts at GL have all the answers you need to your biggest bra-buying questions.

I feel really happy and excited that I'm finally gonna get a bra, but also a little bit nervous and kinda weirded out by the idea too! Did other girls feel the same way—like, excited but also a bit weird and nervous at the same time?

Totally! Puberty is a crazy weird time. On one hand, you’re finally growing up. On the other, you’re starting to leave childhood behind. When you first hit puberty, there are a lot of unknowns. Sure, Mom may have talked to you about periods and pads and PMS, but that doesn’t mean you know when to expect when you get your first visit from Aunt Flo. The same is true with bras. Being old enough or busty enough to wear one is cool—it’s a sign that you’re older and mature. But getting measured, picking the right shape or fit, not knowing how big your boobs are gonna be when they’re finished growing—that’s all a bit freaky!

My mom says I have to get measured to know what size to get. Do I have to get measured in the store by the store lady? I feel really weirded out about that. If I have to get measured in the store, do I have to take my top off, or can the store lady measure me over my clothes?

The first (and second and third and fourth) time you get measured is awkward. When has someone ever wrapped a tape measure around your chest? The important things to remember are that the whole thing will be over quickly, and this is somebody’s job. Your awkward experience isn’t anything out of the ordinary, nor are any of your problems or questions, so feel free to ask away. And yes, babe, she can definitely measure you over your clothes as long as they aren’t super baggy. We recommend wearing a cami or a close-fitting tank so you can get the best fit without losing your modesty.

What kind of bra is the best to get for my first one? I think a cup bra looks more grown-up looking, but I want to be comfortable too. Should I get a stretchy training bra or a small bra with real cups?

 
There is no right or wrong answer here. You should get whatever type of bra fits you the best, feels most comfortable and gives you a shape you like. After you’re measured, a sales clerk should be able to show you a variety of bras that ought to fit your body. Depending on how big you are in the chest area, it might make more sense for you to start with a training bra or a bra with cups. That certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t try on both. A training bra will be more comfortable at first, but the bra with cups might give you a more grown-up appearance. Pick whichever suits you best, and remember: This first bra isn’t the only bra you’ll have. You could pick a mix of bras, perhaps one of each type, or stick with training bras for now and grab a bra with cups in a few months, once you’re used to the feeling of wearing something supportive.

Does a bra feel weird when you first start wearing one?

t’s not so much weird as it is different. Having something fastened around your chest is awkward at first because you’ve never had to wear something of that nature before. It can feel a little restrictive, even a little scratchy depending upon the material. Some people adjust very quickly, while others never really like the feeling of wearing a bra. Having a positive attitude about the change will help you adjust more quickly. If you are excited about this new phase in your life, you’ll be more likely to get used to the strange feeling of wearing a bra sooner rather than later.

One more question: Why are they called training bras instead of just bras?
 
Good question! Training bras were given that name because they really train you to wear a bra. They’re also different than normal bras with cups, and they’re a bit simpler than most sports bras nowadays. While you can certainly wear a sports bra instead of a training bra and have the same effect, a training bra is a bit girlier, less restrictive and sometimes less expensive.

BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 5/13/2011 7:00:00 AM

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