Joy, this one is for you!
For others -- Joy had mentioned that her standby favourite bras were not on sale this year and could I say something about the ones I chose. So here's the scoop (ah...so to speak...)
First, for reference, I am a really small size. 30D or 30C, depending. Which means my choices are automatically quite limited. My girls are self-supporting but not terribly full on top and although technically I could probably get away with a bralette, I feel better with an underwire bra. Also, I am widely spaced, which limits my choices still more. Oh! And I like my bras to be a little bit pretty. (Sorry if that is TMI).
I made my choices after carefully reading reviews and taking a close look at the design details of the various options in my size. And lo and behold, I got lucky!
I ordered and kept the following:
Simone Perele "Caressence 3D" in the larger of my sizes. This was not part of the NAS but my size happened to be available on sale in a fun colour (fuchsia!!) and I know it fits because I already own one. This is a lovely bra, extremely well made and comfortable. I am just on the edge of being big enough for it. (It does not come in a smaller size). When new, it fits perfectly.
(I'm actually thinking about making a strap alteration to my older one to deal with the stretch...the rest of the bra is still in fabulous shape. The straps look good but there is more give in them, if you know what I mean...has anybody done this?)
Wacoal "La Femme". This one is snug in the band, which is perfect for me. (I'm probably actually a 29, but that's not easy to find, to say the least.) I ordered the larger of my sizes and it's perfect. Not padded, just molded.
Natori Feathers: Again in my larger size. This one is very comfortable now but I am wondering how supportive it will be over time. It gets rave reviews, though, so I decided to give it a go.
Betsy Johnson Stocking Stripe: Ordered the smaller of my two sizes in pink. After I had already made the order, Elle mentioned that the pink was too pink. She's right -- it's kind of bubblegum. But weirdly enough, I like it. :) If I'm going to be a tomboy on top, I can still be a girly-girl underneath, right? This one is just on the verge of being too small for me but the cup design means that there is no unseemly spillage and it is super comfortable and lightweight.
I also ordered but returned the Calvin Klein "Seductive Comfort." The larger of my two sizes was actually too small in this. There was padding in it, which I didn't care for. The band wouldn't stay flush with my chest and I was getting cup spillage (a novelty for me, let me tell you!!)
I also bought some undies. Natori to go with the bra, and some DKNY "Fusion" briefs in colours to go with some of the other things. Plus a few Shimera tank tops.
I feel very well supported! :) And how good it felt to toss the old worn out bras!!