This is a great question that we get all the time. The answer is that it really depends on a number of factors, as the sports bra is often the first bra experience for many young women.  Because all girls develop at their own pace, you have to gauge where your pre-teen is physically and emotionally. As we all know, teenagers are social creatures, so the development of your teen’s peer group or sports team is also important in choosing when to discuss sports bras or support tops with your child.

For example, there are some young women who will begin to develop buds as young as eight years old, and if your daughter falls into that group, you may feel as though they need a sports bra or support top for their everyday life or athletic activities. However, your teen may not begin to develop buds until 13 or later and that’s just fine!

Generally, we like to suggest a sports bra or some sort of support top for children as soon as they begin prepubescent breast development (known as  thelarche), a process that can begin as early as eight years old. That way the child is comfortable wearing a sports bra when secondary breast development begins at or after puberty.

However, whenever your child starts to develop breasts or you notice that their friends or teammates are developing, have a sit down chat with them and bring up the following points to help facilitate a healthy and helpful conversation.

The Physical and Emotional Benefits of a Sports Bra

As girls develop breasts, they may begin to feel insecure about their bodies, especially when on the field for a big game. That’s why it is important to discuss the physical and emotional benefits of your teen’s first sports bra. 

Here are a few pointers to discuss: 

  • A properly fitted sports bra will provide support on and off the field, stopping any back pain or discomfort associated with the budding growth your child might be experiencing.
  • If your teen plays a sport with jerseys designed for boys, like basketball jerseys with wide armholes, a sports bra will prevent any embarrassing “uniform malfunctions.”
  • The right sports bra will do wonders to prevent any shyness and promote confidence, as they prevent movement that might be awkward or promote objectification of a young athlete.

Setting the tone for the conversation

Remember that even if your child starts the conversation about their first sports bra, you set the tone here, and that can be great for helping your teen feel good about themselves and their body.

The biggest thing to remember here is to avoid making the conversation into a big deal. These sorts of chats can be sticking points in a parent-child relationship, especially when the child feels self-conscious about changes in their body. So, be cool  and avoid any fanfare, body shaming, or making the conversation bigger than it needs to be. 

The best way you can approach talking to your daughter about their first sports bra is by being straightforward with them. Say something nonchalant like, “Hey! Want to check out some sports bras? I think it’s time we get you one” instead of “I’ve been noticing some changes in your body and I think we should talk about getting you a sports bra.” That sort of tone can increase feelings of self-consciousness and drive a wedge between you and your child.

In short, setting the proper tone for talking about your child’s first sports bra is necessary to develop an open rapport with your child as they begin to mature, and  can pave the way for other difficult conversations in the future.

Shopping for her first sports bra

Now that you have noticed your child should be wearing a sports bra, you have made the first step of talking with them about the benefits on and off the field, you are ready to go shopping! Easy right? Well, actually no. There are so many options for your child’s first sports bra that it can be overwhelming for both the parent and the child.

Should you go with a classic sports bra? A racerback? A cami? What material? How much support do they need? Moisture wicking? This can all be a frustrating process, especially with other brands that treat your child like a grown woman with style choices that might be too mature.

The great thing is, if you’re reading this, you’re already in the right place. At Dragonwing girlgear, we pride ourselves on great fitting and comfortable sports bras, camis, support tops and accessories for tweens and teens. Our stylish yet age appropriate designs will be a hit with your athlete, and we do our absolute best to ensure your athlete feels supported, both physically and emotionally.

Unlike those big brands, we’re here for you and your athlete, and can help at every step of your purchase process. Have a question about sizing, styles, or our products? Feel free to  reach out at any time. We pride ourselves in excellent customer service and will be happy to assist in any way we can.

Ready to score some points? Check out our  sizing chart for tips on how to get the best fit!


Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.