Green bra

Bra Shopping with your Tween

There are many important milestones in a young woman’s life. Today my daughter and I tackled one of them!

My shy, soft spoken and determined 12 year old asked me to take her bra shopping. I should have been excited for this mother-daughter bonding time but for some reason I wasn’t.

I was really NOT in the mood for a trip to the mall but after a week of putting it off and tons of begging on my daughter’s part, I realized that I had a motherly duty to teach my daughter that:

Saggy boobs

Saggy boobies are NOT a good thing and they need a home in a properly fitted bra.

Saggy boobies are NOT a good thing and they need a home in a properly fitted bra.

Before taking my daughter bra shopping, I reflected on why I was so resistant to go. AND then I remembered MY first experience and It all made perfect sense.

Negative reinforcement 101:

Oh Boy… do I remember that horribly embarrassing day in October 1983, the day my little sister, my mother and grandmother all piled into our Honda Civic hatchback and embarked on a family trip to the matronly Mrs. H’s – the Montreal “bra specialist” – to get “fitted” for my first brassiere. (Even that word still makes me cringe! )

I was an awkward teen in the midst of puberty, so bra shopping was taboo. I was not yet ready to embrace all the changes of my new emerging body with open arms!

Bra fitting vintage

I vividly remember that dreaded experience……the prodding and man handling of my itty bitty titties that took place in the front room of her home store complete with dozens of middle aged, saggy women onlookers, smiling, commenting and winking at me with pride. I remembered being mortified by that Twilight Zone experience and wanting to run out of the store and escape the craziness, but my mother forced me to try on bra after bra and then come out of the dressing to show everyone how they fit!!

I did not enjoy this foray into womanhood one bit and I would be damned if my daughter was going to have this same experience! I was now determined and cautiously optimistic that I would be able to make this a very different experience for my daughter!

5 steps to successful bra shopping with your daughter:

Green bra

  1. Go shopping with JUST your daughter. No need to invite siblings, grandparents or friends to bra shopping day. You don’t need an entourage.
  2. For this important milestone, take her to a professional fitter. We went to Aerie at Fairview and was served by a lovely, hip sales girl named Taylor!
  3. Have your daughter measured with her shirt ON in the privacy of a fitting room
  4. Have the fitter take your daughter around the store discreetly, giving her several age appropriate bras to try on.
  5. Don’t tease your daughter about her desire to wear a bra. Help her feel comfortable with this big step and remind her that women come in all shapes and sizes.

Feeling good about yourself can affect your mental health and how your behavior. Some people struggle with self-esteem and body image when they begin puberty because it’s a time when the body goes through many rapid changes. Good body image is closely linked to good self-esteem. Mothers can have a crucial impact on fostering their daughter’s positive self-image.

Here are a few ways that moms can help:

I heart me

  1. Be a positive role model.
  2. Don’t talk negatively about your own body. Try not to be overly focused on your appearance.
  3. Don’t praise girls solely for their appearance. Praise should be focused on effort and accomplishments.

I’m thankful (and relieved) that my daughter’s first experience down this road to womanhood was empowering, respectful, memorable and fun…..and of course shared with me!

  • Wendy Berenbaum
    Posted at 09:59h, 13 September Reply

    Also keeping in mind that after the first experience only shy of a year away our Lil darlings will most certainly outgrow their first fitting. So Katy and I headed out to Carrefour Laval (my ol stomping grounds) where we were both fitted in the beautiful private rooms (which of course we shared). The whole exercise was a blast, we’re thinking about turning this into a yearly ritual. We had fun and walked away with new bras and panties and to boot and a pocket full of memories.

    Having a bit of a hectic schedule these days we only had this one day to shop for both kids much needed Back to school items. My son Jack sat very patiently surrounded by only bras, panties and silky lingerie, after all it is Victorias Secret!!!! When we made it to the cash an hour later, we had realized that we were short a pair of panties, as we were getting the 5 for $28 special…(man I sure do miss the days of fruit of the loom 10 for $5), not to worry Jack asked for the size and was back in a flash!!! This is a day, likely the three of us will never forget…I told Jack…his wife can thank me later!!!! Happy milestone moments.

    • Wise Women Montreal
      Posted at 09:23h, 14 September Reply

      Glad you could relate Wendy!

  • Connie Ohana
    Posted at 22:00h, 13 September Reply

    I can totally relate to this one. Thanks for sharing Lisa! Great advice for any mom with girls coming into their teen years.

  • Lisa Brookman
    Posted at 19:46h, 15 September Reply

    Thanks for reading Connie!

  • Alex
    Posted at 17:17h, 18 November Reply

    I can’t remember this right of passage for myself when I was younger but I def think you give some great advice on how to handle it all.

  • Becky
    Posted at 10:43h, 19 November Reply

    Oh. My. Goodness…..that was your first experience??!? Ouch!

    I went with just me and my mom to the Bay and even that was enough mortification thank you very much!

    Now I go to an amazing boutique in TO that has private fitting rooms, friendly helpful consultants and offers tea & coffee. I adore it!!

  • Jackie
    Posted at 19:34h, 19 November Reply

    I love this article, Lisa! And I totally remember Mrs. H — what a nightmare!

    • Lisa Brookman
      Posted at 17:00h, 22 November Reply

      Thanks Jackie! So glad you liked it and that I could jostle up so old memories!

  • Dani @ lifeovereasy
    Posted at 23:56h, 20 November Reply

    You poor thing! Lucky those days are over. Aerie is a great choice for girls – minimal trauma I’m sure!

    • Lisa Brookman
      Posted at 16:59h, 22 November Reply

      Thanks Jackie! So glad you liked it and that I could jostle up so old memories!

    • Lisa Brookman
      Posted at 17:01h, 22 November Reply

      That experience definitely impacted me….., soooooo glad those days are over !
      Thanks for you comment

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