Ewa Michalak, a Polish lingerie company, has been everywhere in the last year. If you haven't heard of them or don't spend hours trolling through their styles yet, there are reviews on almost all the full bust blogs and an introductory post on the Lingerie Addict to get you obsessing. Once you're familiar with the brand, it's easy to see why the company has attracted such enthusiasm. They will custom sew most sizes, their construction is impeccable and their prices are reasonable. They provide a missing piece of the full bust market -- including sheer balconnets and padded plunges -- to women who are unable to find those products elsewhere. Additionally, their design "look" stands apart from their English competitors; a full busted customer would never mistake an Ewa Michalak design!
Last fall, I decided to check them out for the first time and I ordered four bras, choosing one of each of the four styles available (PL, HM, CH, & HP). The PL is a three sectioned padded plunge with a low center gore while the HM is a sheer traditional demi. The CH and HP are both padded half-cups, but the latter holds the breast tissue close to the body while the former pushes it out. The CHP, or combination of the HP and CH models, hadn't debuted yet. I ordered all the bras in a 65G/30G, as I had read reviews stating that many of the styles ran tight in the band. Here's a quick note on how these styles worked for me:
- HM Halfrek: This bra had the tightest band by far (almost like a 26/28) and the cups have stretched over time. At first, I thought it might be too small, but they've looked perfect lately.
- PL Burgund: Again, the band was snug and felt more like a 28. The cups were fractionally small, but since it's a plunge, the lack of coverage isn't immediately noticeable when I wear it.
- CH Toffik: This band was immediately too loose (almost a 32!) while the cups were true-to-size for a G.
- HP Bella: This bra's cups were the smallest of the bunch, but the band was pretty true-to-size for a 30. I wore this bra frequently when I went down a cup size in the spring.
As you can see above, I had four completely different reactions to the four styles. For the most part, I decided that I'd prefer increased coverage when I ordered again. Even though the 28" band is considered a custom order and isn't returnable, I decided it'd be better to get the smaller band size and have to wear it with an extender than order a 65/30 and be unable to wear it on the loosest setting. Last month, before the company went on vacation, I took the plunge (har, har) and special ordered the HM Finezja in a 28GG.
When I first unwrapped the HM Finezja, I knew immediately it'd be too snug. However, with my trusty extender, I was good to go. Since this is only my second HM bra, I'm hesitant to proclaim that all HMs run smaller in the band. Although both the Finezja and Halfrek had tight bands, I think many of these "fit factors" are a result of specific materials and individual manufacturing quirks rather than a general sizing method for each style. Cup-wise, I think I could go for either the G or GG. Like the Showgirl line from Curvy Kate, my smaller size gives me smokin' cleavage whereas the larger cup is better for "anchorage" and daily running around.
The Finezja speaks to my girliest side. Ya' know, the part of me that still thinks dollhouses, My Little Pony and Flower Fairy books are totally awesome (Tomboys, don't judge!). The white floral design is unusual as well, as most brands have shied away from any details with this traditional neutral. The stitching, straps, and wires are all sweetly delicate. However, my favorite feature has got to be the ruffled fabric beneath the band. It reminds me of another insanely feminine bra I'm obsessed with: the Chantelle Tuileries Demi. Before I received the set, I wasn't keen on the pink pom-poms or the slightly sparkly stitching. Now I think these details added a fun playfulness to the overall feeling. I like that Ewa's designs are mischievous and don't take themselves too seriously.
If you're thinking of ordering from Ewa Michalak, keep in mind that the sizing can be a little inconsistent. All the special order sizes aren't returnable, but the design and construction are absolutely worth the gamble. Lately, the company has been focusing on smaller runs of their more colorful bras, but Ewa recently announced on her Facebook page that there would be several new concepts for autumn. I personally can't wait for more HM designs! Alright, I'm curious, have you tried Ewa Michalak already? What was your experience? Do you love Poland too? ;)