[Disclosure: Ewa Michalak generously provided this set for review. I received the Karolina kimono as a gift from The Giving Bride. I was not compensated for this post, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Since reviewing the deep green Szmaragd collection by Ewa Michalak back in April, I’ve only fallen more in love with the BM bra shape (Ewa Michalak identifies their different cup shapes by initials, M, SM, SF, CHP, S, etc.). This shape is non-padded (yay!), with narrow underwires and a very projected shape that accommodates full breasts. It’s basically a perfect match for my body– I put it on in the morning and almost never have to adjust it throughout the day (as I have to do with bras that have a wider, shallower shape). So I was delighted when the folks at Ewa Michalak reached out a few months ago to offer me early access to two brand-new Spring/Summer styles: the darling mint-green Mojito (here on Instagram and reviewed in the S cut by Comics Girls Need Bras) and the pink floral Tajemniczy Ogród (which translates in English as “Secret Garden”).
The Tajemniczy Ogród bra is a classic three-part shape featuring a photo floral print stretch fabric. The lower two cup sections are backed with a laminated white lining fabric for stability and support, and the top cup section is light rose pink stretch tulle with a gentle folded edge, which offers flexibility for different breast shapes and size fluctuations. The ballet pink straps are fully adjustable, and the band fastens with three rows and four (!) columns of hooks and eyes. The lower edge of the band is trimmed with a row of pink lace, and rose-pink bows trim the center gore, straps, and waistband of the briefs. One thing I don’t usually mention in reviews but that I’ve started to pay more attention to is side stays, which are pieces of flexible boning in the band under the arms for support. Some people love them and some hate them, so I figured it’s worth mentioning that this bra does not have them (my personal preference).
The matching briefs feature the same photo floral print on the center front panel, while rose-pink stretch tulle covers the hips and rear. There’s a row of pink lace at the waistband, and the legline features a folded edge at the hips and a fluttery edge over the rear to allow for stretch and to avoid digging in to the skin. There’s of course a cotton lining in the gusset for breathability and comfort.
When the set first arrived I thought “whoa, this is … not my usual choice.” There are several shades of pink in the print, but the primary one is a pale baby rose pink with slightly blue undertones, not the usual vintage-inspired peachy-pink that I go for. In addition, I shy away from floral prints, especially bold ones, and this is an unusual one, with a digital, modern look and shades of blue, green, and gray mixed in with the pink. Once I got photos back from Michi, however, I wound up liking the look more than I expected. It’s a little tricky to wear, since the pattern is visible under lighter tops and I worry that my darker clothes will bleed on it and dull the color, but I suspect that when the temperature drops and I start layering again, this set will get a lot more wear.
My size has been in flux this summer after some injuries (and traveling, hello and fond love to all the cheese in France), so right now I’m generally most comfortable wearing a UK 32H. While I sometimes advise folks to size up in the cups with Ewa Michalak styles, I find that the BM style fits right in line with my UK bras. In 32H/70H, the band fastens comfortably yet firmly on the loosest set of hooks, the center gore rests snugly against my sternum, and the cups fit perfectly without digging or gaping. Ewa Michalak offers underwires that are narrower than many other full-bust brands, especially in G+ sizes, and it is honestly just a delight to have a bra that fits my body so well. I will note that I get a more projected shape in Ewa Michalak bras than I do in any other brand. This is comfortable, because again it matches my body’s shape, but it’s a pretty dramatic look, and it also affects how my clothes fit, which is something to keep in mind.
I took a size 42/Large in the brief, and it’s a lovely fit. The rise isn’t so low that the waistband rolls under my belly, but it’s also not a super-high rise, so the shape feels a little more contemporary. I really like that Ewa Michalak’s coordinating knickers always go above and beyond the basic to create a really lovely matching set– the lace trim, floral print panel, and sweet bows really make the set pop.
As I mentioned above, the BM bras suit my body better than almost any other bra I’ve ever tried. I feel lifted and supported, and I like the shape the bras give me. The last BM style I tried, Szmaragd, I took in a 32GG rather than the 32H I’m wearing here. I’ll note that thanks to the stretch fabrics I can still wear the 32GG well. The slightly more generous cup of the 32H gives me more projection (because there’s more room in the cup), but it’s not quite as…contained as the 32GG. In other words, if I’m looking for a bounce-reducing bra, I’ll go for the 32GG, but if I’m feeling sensitive or a little full (like when I’m on my period), I’ll choose the 32H.
The knickers are pretty comfortable, although my personal preference is for a brief with an elasticated legline, so that it doesn’t shift around too much on my body. That’s just my preference though– I know lots of folks prefer a more relaxed edge so that it doesn’t dig in, in which case I think you’ll really like this shape.
If you want a centered, projected, and lifted shape with narrow underwires in fuller cup sizes, especially over a G-cup, you really can’t beat Ewa Michalak. While this print wouldn’t ordinarily speak to me, I actually kind of enjoy how sweet and pretty it is. It’s hot and sunny out; I don’t feel like getting out heavy embroidery or layering up in black. A comfy bra in a cheery pink floral helps make the heat a little more bearable. Keep in mind if you’re in North America and want to shop from the Ewa Michalak site that some styles are made to order, which means you might need to wait a bit longer for delivery. Looking for retailers on this side of the Atlantic? Check out the offerings at Zathiya (including the green lace Mojito collection!) or, if you’re in Toronto, consider paying a visit to Secrets from Your Sister.
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Bra and Short: BM Tajemniczy Ogród by Ewa Michalak (c/o). Bra available in sizes 30 E-GG, 32 DD-K, 34 D-K, 36-38 D-J, 40 D-HH, 42 D-H, 44 D-GG. Briefs available in sizes 8-20 (all sizes UK). Ewa Michalak’s cup size progression is D, DD, E, F, FF, G, GG, H, HH, J, JJ, K. The set retails for 59-179.00zł, or about $60 total at today’s exchange rates.
Kimono: Karolina Lace Kimono by The Giving Bride (c/o). $220, available in S/M and L.
Photos: Studio Rezin