A training bra is designed for young girls who have begun to develop breasts but who don’t yet fit into women’s bra sizes. Normal sizes for this type of bra usually range from AAA to A cups. Once a girl can wear a B cup, she can usually find a bra in sizes. It should be noted in all sizes besides the A cup, double letters means that it is a larger cup size. For instance, DD is bigger than D, but AAA or AA bra cups are smaller than A cups.
When to wear or purchase a first training bra is highly variable. Some girls may develop breasts as early as eight, and others may be well into their teens. Many girls don’t feel it necessary to ever wear a bra, but others look forward to getting their first one as a rite of passage and a sign of maturity.
Although when a girl first begins to develop she may not need a great deal of support, a training bra may still be helpful during exercise to prevent chafing. It also provides an extra layer of fabric between clothing and the breasts, which is a bit more modest. Many girls are are perfectly happy wearing undershirts or camisoles.
Most types of training bra are quite simple in design and many of them are made in stretch cotton fabrics. The bra does not usually feature an underwire, since minimal support is needed and is usually accomplished merely by wearing stretchy fabric. The bra style may feature a little bit of trim or be made in satin, but cotton seems the more popular choice. White or beige colors are most common, though you can find a few in dark colors.
Training bra sizes are not always uniform. Some bras fit smaller or larger than other brands, so skillful measurement is important. In order to find the appropriate fit, you need to take two measurements. The first is a measurement directly under the breasts at the rib cage, and around the body. The second measurement is of the breasts themselves, at their largest point, around the body. Usually, there is a number differential between the breasts and the rib cage.
If this number is between 0-.5 inches (1.27 cm), then an AAA training bra cup may be appropriate. An inch (2.54 cm) difference suggests an AA cup, and a 2 inch (5.08 cm) difference suggests an A cup. Some bra styles don’t feature cup sizes, but instead are only measured by circumference of the rib cage and back below the breasts. The cups of these bras are normally flat but have a little bit of give so that a slightly larger breast receives a small amount of support. You may have to try on several styles before finding the one most comfortable.
To confuse matters, every now and again you may see athletic bras marketed as training bras. These are normally called sports bras instead. Generally the training bra is found in the girls department of retail stores, though occasionally one needs to look in the lingerie section of the store instead.