Wearing a bra used to feel like a right of passage. But as I got older, I realized there is a time and place for them. The time? Well, preferably never. The place? When I run errands or am going to my daughters’ school for something and don’t want to embarrass them. I’ll throw on a sports bra last minute, because yes, old habits die hard.
But do you know what I never stopped to consider? Whether or not I wore a bra because it was comfortable to me, or did I wear it to make everyone around me comfortable? Honestly, that should have been the first (and the only) question I asked myself to begin with. So when my tween started asking all questions about sports bras, I decided to approach it a little differently.
‘Mom, do I need to wear a sports bra?‘ She had just started playing soccer and noticed many of her other teammates sporting one, so naturally, she wanted one too. When it came to the answer, it was completely based on one question: Will wearing a sports bra make you feel more comfortable?
Do They Need a Sports Bra, or Do They Want One?
When it comes to needing a sports bra versus wanting a sports bra, there are different questions to ask. First of all, is your tween’s body at the point where their breasts are developing?
Of course, this varies from tween to tween, but if you (or they) notice budding occurring, it’s a definite sign that their body is beginning to mature. If your child complains of discomfort because their breast tissue is sensitive, it makes sense to introduce a sports or training bra to help alleviate the sensation.
On the other hand, as VeryWellFamily points out, even if your tween hasn’t started to develop physically, wearing a bra can help them feel less self-conscious about the subtle changes to their body. Their desire to feel as comfortable as possible is just as valid as wanting to wear a bra because they need physical support. In our case, my daughter thought she’d feel more comfortable having a little extra coverage, but once she actually started wearing them she changed her mind.
Remember, Being Comfortable Always Comes First
In my younger years, wearing a sports bra (or two, especially because I was an athlete contending with double Ds) granted me physical comfort. These days, comfort is more about not shoving my breasts into a contraption that holds them hostage all day. It’s about feeling free.
It’s also not about deciding to wear a bra because I don’t want to offend someone’s delicate sensibilities (all the eye rolls). Yes, I’ve experienced a random person in the supermarket commenting on my lack of bra in the summertime. But that’s a story for another time. All I know for sure is that my daughters, all our children, shouldn’t wear a bra for any reason other than it makes them more comfortable.
It turns out my daughter shares the same sentiment. Being comfortable, to her, means not feeling trapped by another layer of clothing. And you know what? That’s okay. As parents, we’re here to answer all the questions about the sports bra, training bras, bralettes, and more. Just make sure you’re addressing the most important question of all. What makes you feel most comfortable?
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