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First Bra Fitting Guide: 
How To Choose & Which To Buy

Having a bra fitting as a teen hits the top of the 'most embarrassing experiences' list. It's different at Brava. Yes, we do check the fitting but the rest we leave to you as we know that standing half-naked in front of a stranger is your worst nightmare. We will not force the dreaded granny bra on you either - we promise.

Fit is foremost but we don't compromise on fashion for fit, we can give you both. Also, remember Brava was born because the owners had horrible bra fitting experiences as teens ... and all Brava fitters are D cup & up too. We get it!

We know that most teen girls...

  • Prefer moulded bras
  • Don't like sheer materials
  • Like thin straps
  • Want bras similar to those worn by their smaller breasted friends
  • Don't want bras that their mothers or grandmothers like to wear
  • 50% of teen girls visiting Brava do like to have help from their mum... BUT the others dread it, and sometimes it works best if mum hands the job over to Brava fitters who are adept at maintaining communication while minimising embarrassment.

Breast development in teenage girls

Breasts go through many stages of growth over a period of five to six years. Development normally begins about 1 year before the menstrual period begins and full maturity is usually reached by age 17 or 18. This generally happens around 4 years after the start of menstruation, but not always. Breast development during puberty is still not considered mature or fully-developed, because only pregnancy brings about fullness of breast growth and development.

The breast is made up of milk glands and ducts, connective tissue and fat. In teenagers the breast tissue is firm and dense and then becomes softer and more fatty with age. Because there is no muscle tissue in the breast there are no exercises to make you bigger or firmer. The pectoral muscles that lie underneath the breasts can be firmed up to provide lift and shape.

A few facts for teens

  • Your breasts can feel tender and itchy as they are growing
  • Stretch marks may appear but they will probably fade
  • Because your breasts contain fat cells your bra size may increase with weight gain
  • Breast size is primarily determined by genetics. It can be complex in that your genes may come from your mother or father’s side, or even from distant relatives. Many girls will have a breast size that is very different from their mother's or sisters' size.

When will my breasts stop growing?

Your breasts usually continue to grow for about four years after your first period. Starting with a childhood chest you will experience breast budding where the nipples swell and become tender. Breast tissue enlarges from gland and fat development (young teens usually start their first period about this time). The breasts may change in shape rather than size and the nipples may protrude. By age 17 or 18 you should know your final breast size. But be prepared for surprises and probably more bra fittings due to the many reasons for size changes such as weight loss, weight gain, menstruation and pregnancy. This is why we recommend an annual bra fitting, sometimes more often through times of change.

Is there anything I can do to reduce my breast size?

There are no exercises you can do to reduce your size because breasts are made up mostly of fat, rather than muscle. A good fitting bra is a must because you may find that a correctly fitted bra will help you to look smaller.

Is my back pain related to my breast size?

A common side effect of bigger breasts is back pain, often due to hunching forward in an effort to hide your breasts. A correctly fitted supportive bra can make your breasts appear smaller, helping you pull your shoulders back and stand taller. Good posture not only looks better it may help to minimise pain and discomfort.

An annual physical examination is recommended for all early teenage girls and is a good opportunity to ask any questions you have about your development. If your breast size continues to be a major health problem for you, your doctor can refer you to a breast surgeon who can discuss options like breast-reduction surgery.

One of my breasts is bigger than the other. Is this normal?

It is normal to have one breast bigger than the other. You may notice this while your breasts are growing and it usually evens out with time. However, approximately 25% of adult women will continue to have different sized breasts, this is called asymmetry. If one breast is growing markedly larger than the other and you are concerned, see your doctor for a check-up, however its usually nothing to worry about and very normal.

We hope you feel fully prepared now for the first bra fitting experience! 
For any questions you have, please email our Brava Bra Experts anytime.
And here's one more related guide that can also help you: the Sports Bra Fit Guide.

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