To me, anyway. I've learned a great deal over the last few years of the bravolution. About Fit, with a capital F. About the huge array of options available outside the U.S. to (the great many) women like myself who wear a cup larger than D. And it has been wonderful. And freeing.
I now have the knowledge to really fine tune the fit of my bra to my shape of my full-on-top, fairly projected, medium-width, high set, tall-rooted, 49-year-old breasts.
And yet, after 5 years of trying every British/French/German/Polish/Latvian brand I could find, in every conceivable size - and having the closet-full of bras to prove it - I still find myself standing at my dresser, surveying my bra choices, and some days not finding a satisfactory choice. And realizing that the rest of the time, I am choosing the same basic rotation of 6 or 7 bras.
The common factor? Comfort.
The 2nd most crucial factor? Beauty.
The....very distant 3rd criteria? Fit.
This is what I learned through observation of many laundry day, and many weekday split-second getting dressed decisions. I may live on the edge of the wilderness, but I still spend 90% of my work day at a desk, gazing into two 21" monitors. Harsh, rigid - though beautiful shape-giving wires (I'm looking at you, Panache, #1 offender) - lost every time when factored against the reality of a perfectly fitting bra turned digging-in, armpit-stabbing instrument of torture by lunchtime. At the end of the week, I realized I had turned overwhelming to a non-tacking, flexibly wired, buttery soft fabric Anita. Or a poorly fitting, but foam-cushion wired Wacoal.
Which has given me pause, and made me really consider: perfect bra fit as an analytically satisfying standard to achieve......or, comfort and reasonable support, with decent shape as a bonus. Ideally, perfect fit and the comfort we deserve could be found in one bra. In reality, I've personally never found it. It always comes down to a choice between foam-wrapped, stretchy, exquisititely soft microfiber - which is ill-fitting - OR - perfectly constructed, seamed, rough mesh-banded, wires barely covered in scratchy felt, let alone cushioned, stiff starchy pointy non-soft fabric.
Until that perfect hybrid exists, at a reasonable price point, I choose comfort. Then beauty. Then fit.