To 34B or Not to 34B

the fullness of womanhoodQ Dear Miss Abigail:

I’m a twelve-year-old girl who has started going through puberty. My breasts have been developing faster than most of the girls in my class. I’m already bigger than my mom. She told me that if I started wearing a bra now I would probably wear a size 34B. She thinks I should start wearing one now, but I don’t think so. What should I do?


A Dear Illana:

Listen to your mother, young lady! This is the perfect reason to have them around ~ who else is going to tell you to start strapping your boobs in? I remember the day my mom first took me bra shopping. I was horrified, but ultimately it was the best thing that could have happened. I was more comfortable, and so was everyone around me. In any case, this excerpt from Evelyn Millis Duvall’s Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers should help you think about all of these bosomly issues. Good luck!

1956: Breasts and Brassieres

Breast development is apparent quite early in the girl’s maturing. As her breasts become larger and fuller a girl is sometimes sensitive about such obvious signs of growing up. For a short time she may want to avoid tight dresses that reveal the new lines of her developing bust. Fashions that decree straight, boyish figures for women add to a girl’s self-consciousness about the full lines of a mature bosom. More normally, however, styles recognize and accent the natural form and figure of women. Fortunately many girls are proud of these signs of growing up and learn to wear clothes that enhance rather than play down the ripening lines of maturity. Some girls, impatient with the course of nature, add to the curves of the breasts by using what are popularly known as ‘falsies’ ~ rounded forms that fit over the breasts and make them appear rounder and fuller than they really are. If a girl is concerned about her breast development, she will do well to consult her doctor rather than resort too quickly and uneasily to makeshifts. Given time enough, nature usually endows a girl with the fullness of womanhood that is suitable for her.

Selecting brassieres that give some support without being uncomfortably binding is relatively easy these days. Bras come in many sizes, measured in inches around the largest circumference of the bust; for example, 30, 32, 34, 36, are popular sizes. The bra should fit snugly without feeling tight when a girl breaths, laughs, or bends over. The fullness of the breast is accomodated by varying cup sizes of brassieres. The A cup is for the small breast, the B cup for the medium full breast, the C cup for the full breast, and the D cup for the very rounded breast. Many fabrics and styles are available, from the sheerest nets and laces to the heavier cottons. Some uplift quality is usually desired. Easy washability is imperative. Straps which have a strip of elastic at front or back usually wear better, without pulling out, than those with fixed, inflexible ends. The same holds for the fastenings at the back. A piece of elastic at least an inch or two in length adds considerably to both the comfort and the wearing quality of the garment.

Source: Duvall, Evelyn Millis. Facts of Life and Love for Teen-Agers. New York: Association Press, 1956.
~ pp. 7-8 ~