Dragonwing Girl Blog
Another word for "picky" is "discerning," and that describes Jill's daughter! She appreciates the many features that make the Un-Tee Sports Cami the perfect light support sports tank top for girls:
"My daughter really likes the tank tops. She is extremely picky about fabric and seams that can be irritating, and she is very comfortable in this tank. Thanks for a great product!"
- Comfortable, moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch fabric with a shelf bra for gentle support.
- Wide straps, flat seams, and tag-free design mean no chafing and no strap droop.
- Perfect by itself or under a sports uniform -- also provides coverage when changing at a game or practice.
Moms of tween/teen girls and athletes: Have you been looking for solid, comfortable, well-made undergarments for your daughter to wear under her uniforms, for sports, dance, under tank tops etc.. but can't find the quality? I just bought some items from Dragonwing girlgear (basic white tank undershirt w. built in bras) for my tween & my teen and these products are AMAZING! And built to last. My daughters love these.Thanks, Adrienne! Our Un-Tee Sports Cami is available in a range of sizes and colors.
"Making active wear clothing for tween girls to feel comfortable and special is such a great concept. If you’re encouraging your daughter to learn to live an active lifestyle, it helps to inspire them by providing not only the opportunities, but the gear they can use to feel confident and strong."What was the Dragonwing Difference for Tami and her pre-teen daughter? - "Much nicer quality than the cheap athletic capris for kids, typically found at retailers." - "Softer, more durable, longer lasting, better fitting, and much more comfortable!" - "They quickly became her absolute favorite pair. She says they feel noticeably different, better, than all her other capris." - The Un-Tee Sports Camisole is "soft, comfortable, and again… much nicer quality than the cheap options sold in most stores like Target or Walmart. Plus it comes in a rainbow of fun colors!"
As a mom, I love that with one Dragonwing Girlgear “outfit”, she has the needed active wear gear for two different sports, both running and even gymnastics. These versatile pieces could really be worn for any tween girls’ athletic endeavor.Read Tami's full review at her terrific blog, The Colorado Mountain Mom.
Thanks to Chris Deacon for her excellent journalism in the Sept 6 issue of Today's Parent. Her article follows!
Studies show that girls start quitting sports in the tween years—this solution might surprise you.
Growing up, Juanita Lee ran track and rowed, but her sport of choice was tennis. She played the game from age six until age 14 when— seemingly overnight— her breasts grew from a 32A to 34DD.
The change immediately set her apart from her more petite, flat-chested opponents and made the teenager extremely self-conscious. She hated the sensation of her breasts moving when she ran on the court and how exposed she felt in her scoop-neck tennis dress whose padded cups only accentuated her size. And because breasts move independently of the body, (both up and down and side to side,) Lee also started experiencing breast pain, an issue she was too embarrassed to discuss with her parents. Not long after, Juanita used a sports injury as an excuse to quit tennis altogether and turned her attention to rowing, where breast movement wasn’t an issue, and running, a sport that—while still painful—meant she could wear baggy t-shirts for coverage.
Lee isn’t the only girl whose breast development has affected their participation in sports. In a 2016 survey of more than 2,000 British girls aged 11 to 18, nearly three-quarters said their breasts got in the way of enjoying sports. According to the study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, when girls hit puberty they start pulling out of athletics and skipping gym class to avoid the pain and embarrassment of breasts that are either too big, too small or —the chief complaint—too bouncy.
It turns out there could be an easy fix—a sports bra. While a given for professional female athletes, this undergarment is often omitted from the equipment list of girls’ sports teams. And while jockstraps are offered to boys for protection and to prevent discomfort caused by excessive movement during exercise, sports bras that serve the same purpose for girls have not been a part of the cultural conversation. In fact, only 10 percent of girls surveyed in the British study had worn one.
So how can a parent navigate the tricky terrain of breast development and sports with their tween?
Here are five tips:
Start the conversation early: Your daughter may not need the support of a sports bra yet, but it’s worth tackling the topic early on, before she gets embarrassed about it. If she’s not ready for the discussion in the moment, MaryAnne Gucciardi—whose company, Dragonwing girlgear specializes in performance base-layers such as sports bras and support tops for girls aged 8 to 17, encourages parents to stick with it. “It’s a hard conversation for a parent,” she says, noting that dads in particular, have a hard time with the topic, “but it’s even harder for a child. They don’t know yet what they need. They just know what they’re feeling.”
Be matter of fact: Gucciardi also suggests sticking with the facts when broaching the idea of a sports bra. “You could say something like, “I want you to play your best. I want you to feel comfortable, and have good support to prevent injury and stay healthy and just like boys with a jockstrap for support and to prevent injury, this is what girls wear,’” she says. Explain to you daughter the difference between your average tween bra (which often looks like a sports bra) and the real thing. Most tween bras are made with thin cotton and flimsy straps. A good sports bra, by contrast, has smooth but stretchy fabric that moves as the athlete moves, with straps and a band that stay in place.
Shop it alone: While the odd girl might enjoy looking for a bra with her mom, most don’t, says Gucciardi, so parents should start the process. One idea, she says, is to buy a few different styles of sports bras and support tops and leave them in your daughter’s drawer—while keeping in mind she probably won’t model them for you. “She might have you hand them back and forth until she finds one that she likes,” she says, “Be patient. If you let her control the conversation, then she’ll feel in control of her body.”
Go for fit: Thirteen-year-old Melanie Paulson’s* parents have been helping her shop for sports bras since she started developing breasts in Grade 4, with little success. “I don’t find them very comfortable,” says the avid hockey player, who now shops in the women’s section. But many women’s sport bras are padded which makes breasts look bigger—the last thing most tweens and teens want. And Gucciardi cautions that an improper fit—caused by a bra that’s too big— can lead to back problems. “You could have a bigger bust but a small rib-cage,” she explains, suggesting that parents seek out sports bras that are specifically designed for tweens and teens, and that take this silhouette variation into account so that the fit is precise. Lululemon, Nike and Gucciardi’s brand all carry quality sports bras for this age group. Look for a fit that is snug but not tight with straps that don’t droop or slip. And if you’re buying online, it’s worth taking the time to measure your daughter and refer to the size chart rather than order the size that corresponds to her age. Parents should measure just under the rib cage to get the right fit as opposed to across the chest, and, when the bra is on, be able to fit not more than one finger under the band. The band should be as wide as possible while still being comfortable for your child.
Comfort is key: Gucciardi recommends quality sports bras that use high performance, moisture wicking fabric (that moves the sweat away from the skin) with mesh for coolness and breath-ability. “Girls get super embarrassed when they think they sweat and smell and that people notice it,” she says. Also look for thin, removable pads for coverage and softness. “Nipples showing is another source of embarrassment,” she says. Nipple chafing— especially common with runners— is also an issue. Finally, choose a sports bra that’s seamless and tag-free to prevent irritation. Now that you’ve got a bra for your daughter, can you really expect it to be the difference between giving up sports and staying in the game? For Juanita Lee, now 27, the answer is—absolutely. “I was kind of a shy kid and I never felt comfortable saying, ”oh, my boobs hurt.” she says. In grade 10, Lee got her first sports bra at the suggestion of her female rugby coach, and she played rugby until the end of high school. *Name has been changed.
Research shows that girls are entering puberty, marked by breast development, significantly earlier than 15 years ago. Today, more than 20% of girls in third grade have started to develop breasts, and many begin as young as age 7 or 8. Of course, many other girls don't begin until they become teenagers. Regardless of when they first need a bra, girls want something comfortable that provides enough coverage so they don't feel self-conscious and allows them to move with confidence.
Girls and parents alike want a first bra to be age-appropriate, not the padded or plunging bras of Victoria's Secret or many other teen retailers. A well-fitting, comfortable sports bra, like our Racer Seamless or the Keyhole, or a sports camisole with a shelf bra, (like our Sports Cami, above) is often the best choice for a girl’s first bra for several reasons: - With no clasps or cups, a sports bra doesn't shout “bra” and provides a smooth silhouette under clothing – at school and on the playing field. - A sports bra is easy to wear, with nothing to clip or adjust. She can put it on and take it off all by herself. A sports bra or cami under school clothes also makes the transition from school to sports practice quick and easy.
Sports bras are made for activity and all girls are active, whether they're climbing or jumping at recess, running for the bus, or playing soccer, hockey, basketball, or any other sport.
"The highest compliment we get from our tween customers is when they tell us that our sports bras are so comfortable that they don’t even know they're wearing one. That means they're focusing on doing the things they love, living their lives free and with confidence! Who could wish for anything more for a girl?"
Key things to look for in buying a sports bra for your tween: Fit that’s snug but not tight. The bra should move when she moves but shouldn't ride up whether she raises her hand in class, throws a ball, or runs around a gym. The straps should be secure and shouldn’t droop or slip. Measure before buying and check the size chart to be sure you're ordering the right size for your girl. Soft, smooth fabric that wicks moisture away from her skin, keeping her cool, comfortable, and chafe-free on – and off – the playing field. Look for a sports bras that's seamless and tag-free so there’s no irritation. Coverage without bulky padding. Padding isn't needed or wanted by most young girls and pre-teens. Look for a sports bra or cami with double-layered fabric that provides a measure of modesty for girls whose breasts are starting to develop. As girls develop further, support becomes more important – especially for athletes. When your tween is ready for a traditional bra, it's best to shop at a store that provides individual attention and offers a variety of age-appropriate options. “Trying on your first bra in a big discount retail store can be unnerving for an 8- or 9-year-old who may already feel shy about the experience,” notes Kelly O'Brien, owner of LingerTween in New Jersey, who carries a wide variety of traditional and sports bras for tweens.