When I was taking the photos for this post, Zack asked where the set was from and complimented me on it. He's seen a lot of lingerie and unless I ask him directly for this thoughts, he's stopped chiming in on what I'm wearing. But this afternoon was different, he noticed and there was a little earthquake in my brain which came out as: "Wait, WHY do you like it!?". His response? "It's nice". When pressed for more descriptive adjectives, he admitted that Ewa Michalak's PL Charlie looks "classy" and putting aside the fact that Zack says weird things all the time, I think he's onto something. Menswear designs are almost nonexistent in full bust lingerie, but they're a very sophisticated theme to play with. Blazers, trousers, oxfords are all "borrowed from the boys" and add a distinctive crispness to any ensemble. The Charlie is no different and left me feeling particularly polished.
Off the top of my head, I can name only two other menswear-inspired designs, the Freya Taylor from Autumn/Winter 2011 and this season's Panache Envy. Both of those sets are lovely, but they don't have the same sense of fun that accompanies Ewa Michalak's designs. The Charlie's masculine pinstripes make it a rare treasure in the market and it's quirky details add an undeniable charm. I adore the buttons and the way they've been used to accent the brief and straps. The oversized bow is a trademark of Ewa's new collection and, alongside the thinnest little lace trim, adds an interesting feminine contrast. It's wonderful that the company released it with the CHP Gazeta because even though they're quite different, they feel as if they belong together or they'd appeal to the same sensibilities. They both look like they could've walked out of a movie like Chinatown or The Sting.
Because each design is made from different materials, with varying levels of stretch, there can be slight discrepancies in fit. The PL Charlie has super soft material and with it's coziness, there's more stretch and it's a looser band than the SM Margot and CHP Charlie. This bra has four hook and eyes in the back however so while I needed to move to a tighter notch right away, I'm still on the third loosest setting. In all the photographs here, I'm wearing the Charlie without the push up pads or "cookies" that accompany the construction. It feels like the most secure fit, although I still appreciate the option of a more voluptuous appearance.
The matching bottoms include a high waist brief, thong, and short (pictured) and I had the opportunity to try all three. The short and thong were tighter than I'd like but after considering the material, I bet they'll "open up" after a few wear and washes. The high waist briefs are amazing quality and I had the opposite experience of the sizing, as the waist was too big and the bum fit like a dream. There's a 12" difference between my waist and hip measurement so I blame my proportions. Since this happens with every high waist brief I've tried off the rack, I'm not surprised. If your waist-to-hip ratio is smaller, then they come highly recommended! :)