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What do all of the following things have in common?

• Aging
• Smoking cigarettes
• Losing or gaining weight
• Exercising more or less
• Your menstrual cycle
• Taking medications such as birth control pills
• Pregnancy and nursing
• Eating foods rich in estrogen
• Getting plastic surgery

While you think about it, read my story…

Unhappy with my 34Bs, I had my first breast enlargement surgery at 21, which brought me up to a 36C. I was left with a bunch of too-small bras, but I barely took notice — I was too busy going WAY overboard shopping for new bras and bikini swimsuits. Fast forward 9-1/2 years: Something was amiss, and my plastic surgeon confirmed what I was already 99.99% sure of: that my right implant was leaking. Fortunately the saline was not harmful, but that meant I was facing another trip under the knife. Luckily I had purchased the extended warranty (yes, just like your car and your stereo system, this was an option made available by the manufacturer of the implants), so although I went up a size and switched to the new cohesive silicone gel-filled implants (Implants filled with liquid silicone were of course banned by the FDA for 14 years; CLICK HERE for a history lesson), the warranty covered most of the surgery, and if this is something you may be considering, if it is offered, BUY THE WARRANTY! Anyway, after the second surgery, I wore a 36D. That was all well and good, but I had a rather large collection (nearly 50!) of new and gently-used bras that were a size too small, which I donated to a local charity.

So while not all of you have had two complete overhauls of your bra sizes, all of the things on that list above can cause a woman’s breast size to change between puberty and menopause. Some of these changes are temporary, like those caused by hormone fluctuations during your monthly cycle; others may last longer, like if the number on the scale increases or decreases – about 20 pounds either way, and you will probably need a different size bra. In fact, studies have shown that your breast size will change an average of 6 to 8 times during your lifetime! Nothing, not even breast enhancement or reduction surgery, can etch your bra size in stone.

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Another interesting fact is, about 8 out of 10 women are currently wearing the wrong bra size! The following are just a handful of clues that you are part of the majority:

• Your skin bulges around the outside of your bra
• Your bra straps often slip off your shoulders, or they are so tight they dig into your skin
• The piece of fabric in between the cups isn’t lying flat
• The wires in your bra dig into your skin
• The back of your bra rides up, rather than sitting straight across your back

Sound familiar? Then you may be due for a fitting! Many department stores and specialty lingerie shops offer free bra fittings, including Nordstrom, Kohl’s, and Victoria’s Secret. And of course, there’s also an app for that! Do it yourself at home with the ThirdLove app (available on iTunes, with an Android version on the way.) It prompts you to take two photos of yourself and, in combination with their cool image recognition technology, somehow (magically?) accurately measures you. It took a couple tries to get the photos right, but once I got it, it was spot-on.

Want more thought-provoking trivia about your “twins?” Read this article: “Cosmo’s Boob Bible: 20 Surprising Facts About Your Set” – no joke, this is interesting stuff!

So, given all of the above, whether your cup size has gone up or down naturally or via surgery or if you have been wearing the wrong size all along, you more than likely have a few (or many!) bras lying around that no longer fit. Further, we all probably own a few bras that are in deceng shape and still fit, but that we no longer wear.

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Want some good karma? The main reason for this post is that BRAS happen to be one of the most requested/needed items by places like the YWCA and The Road Home. And yet, they are seldom donated. Imagine not having the means to buy a decent bra? It’s definitely something often taken for granted. But with the help of you and your friends (pass it on!), we can provide this necessity to so many women in need!

So why not clear out some space in your closet or dresser AND contribute to a good cause? We at Donna Bella Designs have teamed up with the awesome staff at The Rose Clinic for a BRA DRIVE!!! Donate what you no longer need to those in need, and you will receive something special from Donna Bella Designs! Utah County residents can bring donations to The Rose Clinic (CLICK HERE for a map and directions) anytime during their business hours (9am-5pm). If you live in the Salt Lake area, we have added an additional drop off spot downtown at the Glitz Gift Store, which is located at the Sheraton Hotel on 150 W. 500 S. Donations will be accepted there during regular business hours, which are 7am-10pm.

We are planning on collecting donations for this BRA DRIVE until the end of December. Send this to family and friends and together we can make a big difference!

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Visit the BRA DRIVE 2014 page on our website for full details.

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