I’m really excited to be reviewing my first-ever bra by Polish lingerie powerhouse Ewa Michalak! I’ve shared some her designs in past posts and gift guides, but I’d never tried her products for myself, partly because I was timid about figuring out my size and partly because I was worried about deliveries to and from Poland (the mail carrier for my office is…whimsical, to say the least). Even as designs I loved (like this babydoll! Or this stunning sheer bra!) appeared on the website and made me gasp, I kept thinking “oh, that’s so lovely, maybe next time.”
I was thrilled, therefore, when a representative from Ewa Michalak contacted me in early November and offered to send me a set to review. My first order arrived January 8; some of the delay is due to the fact that many EM bras are made to order, and some of the delay is, I imagine, related to the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. Not only did they kindly send me two different sets, but they sent me two different sizes of both the bras and the knickers to help me find the perfect fit! I still needed to exchange one set, but for today I’ll be talking about the elegant BM Bibi Czarny Tulipan.
[Note: Ewa Michalak generously provided this set for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Through the magic of Google Translate, I have learned that the name of this style is Black Tulip. It’s a fitting name; though the design is straightforward– a solid black bra trimmed with lace– it still feels pretty and elegant. The bra features three-part cup construction, with a vertical seam in the lower cup and a stretch lace upper cup. The materials look and feel lovely: the satiny cups and ornate floral lace make this ostensibly everyday set feel very, very special. The straps are fully adjustable, and my size closes with three rows of three columns of hooks and eyes. The coordinating knickers feature an opaque center front and stretch lace across the back, one of my favorite styles for comfort and fit. Both the bra and the brief also have pretty pearl drops at the center gore and back of the waist, respectively.
I’ve never been a big fan of sharing my size on the internet, but it’s going to be hard to talk about size and fit in this case if I don’t, so here goes. I’ve been wearing UK sizes 34GG/32H pretty consistently for the last two months or so, with the occasional UK 34G or 32HH sprinkled in to mix things up. I followed the fitting instructions on the EM website and sent my measurements off via email. Based on other USA and UK-based bloggers’ experiences, I expected a 34H or 36GG would be my best fit in Ewa. The general rule of thumb when converting from UK to EM sizes seems to be to take one band size up from your “regular” size, keeping the same cup size letter.
I received bras in sizes 36G and 36H (oddly, skipping over 36GG), with knickers in sizes 42/14 (US size 10) and 44/16 (US size 12). While the bands were a little large on the second style I received, I found that BM Bibi fit me very well in 36G (so, my true sister size). The band fastens firmly on the loosest set of hooks, the wires lie flush against my sternum and fully encapsulate my breast tissue, and the cup lies perfectly smooth with no wrinkling or digging, no doubt in part to the wonder fabric that is stretch lace. The shape reminds me a lot of the Jasmine or Envy shape from Panache: very round and centered with lots of lift. Ewa Michalak bras are identified by initials in their names (all BM styles feature the same construction), so you can easily anticipate which new styles or colors will fit like your old ones.
Both the bra and brief for this set ran a bit smaller than the other set I received, but I still preferred the fit of the smaller knickers. They seem right in line with sizing from Freya, Curvy Kate, and Bravissimo, so I’d recommend going with your usual size in those brands. I really, really like briefs with stretch lace backs, because they fit nice and smoothly without digging or bagging.
While some bras (ahem, Panache) seem to require a bit of a breaking-in period, I felt great wearing BM Bibi all day right from the start. The only issue I encountered was that one of the seams on the band near the back clasp was a little rough, and it irritated my skin by the end of the first day’s wear. After a few wears and a wash, the materials and rough edge seemed to soften, and I don’t even notice it any more. The knickers are similarly comfy, and required very little adjusting throughout the day. I wish the waist was maybe an inch higher, but then I always do with bikini briefs.
Overall, I’m very happy with this set. I’m glad to have a nice, solid black set that I feel comfortable wearing every day, but that still feels dressy when I’m getting ready for a special occasion.
The bra retails for 159.00zł, about $42.50, and the brief for 59.00zł, about $15.75. These prices are really exceptional– many of the major UK full-bust brands’ prices are creeping past $70/bra, and I think many of Ewa Michalak’s designs blow their English and American competitors out of the water. I can’t wait to try some other styles, especially this beautiful fairytale of a sheer embroidered bra.
EM have also started introducing some fantastic new coordinating briefs; this whole set is stunning.
Have you tried Ewa Michalak? I know a lot of people in the lingerie blogosphere have. Do you order from the EM website, or do you have a boutique near you? I’d love to hear about your experiences and favorites shapes and styles!
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Bra and Brief: Bibi Czarny Tulipan by Ewa Michalak (c/o). Bra available in sizes 30 F-GG, 32 E-K, 34 DD-K, 36 D-JJ, 38 D-J, 40 D-HH, 42 D-H, 44 D-GG, as well as some custom sizes. Brief available in sizes 8-20 (UK) / 4-16 (US).
Holdups: Pink Bowed Hold-Ups by Bluebella (c/o). Available in sizes S-XL.
Photos: Lydia Hudgens
21 Comments on Review: Ewa Michalak BM Bibi Czarny Tulipan
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[…] Oben konntet ihr den Link zum Interview mit Bloggerin Sweets finden, hier gibt es ihre neueste Review zu sehen: Den „BM“-Schnitt der polnischen Lingerie-Designerin Ewa Michalak, der zu einem meiner Lieblingsschnitte zählt. Ewa hat übrigens ein eigenes Größensystem, bei dem der Buchstabe gleich bleibt egal ob das britische (in Inches gemessen, hier 36) oder europäische/ deutsche Größensystem (in Zentimeter gemessen, hier 80) verwendet wird. // Link […]
mokeshJanuary 23, 2015 at 8:57 am (8 years ago)
By coincidence I received my first EM BM bra today! (Although I’m far from a newcomer to EM- most of my other bras are different EM styles). My first thought when I put it on was “where has this bra been all my life?” It’s not the sexiest EM bra (in fact it’s probably the least sexy one I’ve tried), but it’s the most perfect fit.
Glad you loved yours!
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm (8 years ago)
I’m really excited to try more styles! I’m generally not into padded bras, but I’m very interested to see what I think of the PL bra they sent me once I’ve tried a better size. Do you think you’ll try other shapes?
mokeshJanuary 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm (8 years ago)
I don’t get along well with the PL style, but I like the CH and CHP, and absolutely love the S, SM, and HM styles.
YvetteJanuary 23, 2015 at 9:46 am (8 years ago)
There is simply no comparison to the uplift of an Ewa Michalak bra, especially for the large bust. I became a Polish lingerie convert a couple of years ago and now I don’t even bother checking out other manufacturers. Too bad that there are no distributors in US for Ewa Michalak product as it would be so nice to try the bras on before committing to a purchase. However, ordering from her website is easy and the prices are pretty amazing considering the quality of materials and design. BTW, if you end up ordering the Czarna Mgielka set, both the bra and panties fit smaller than the BM models – you may need to go up in band and cup. I guess the fabric does not have much “give” compared to the BM and the cut of the cup is less roomy. But the uplift in this particular model is unprecedented, particularly for those with large cup size and soft breast tissue.
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:06 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Yvette, thanks for the heads up on sizing for Czarna Mgielka! I’m really excited to try a few other EM styles as soon as my budget allows it. It’s just hard for me to figure out where to start!! 🙂
Erica of A Sophisticated PairJanuary 23, 2015 at 11:46 am (8 years ago)
Okay, so this set is totally classy and sophisticated! Love! I think the fit looks great as well, and I love how it has the very rounded forward look.
“The bra retails for 159.00zł, about $42.50, and the brief for 59.00zł, about $15.75. These prices are really exceptional– many of the major UK full-bust brands’ prices are creeping past $70/bra, and I think many of Ewa Michalak’s designs blow their English and American competitors out of the water.” I have to say I agree that Polish companies are really coming forward as powerhouse contenders, and more content-to-rest-on-their-laurels brands (you know who you are) need to step up and take note. However, the pricing part does have another factor. The import costs for non-domestic brands adds anywhere from $10 to $25 (commonly $15) per bra depending on the import method and fees as well as wholesale prices. If I am not mistaken, there is a boutique in Oakland selling EM bras for roughly $70 each. Buying directly from EM allows the consumer to take advantage of a vertically-integrated company which naturally allows for a lower cost. Of course, the downside is that you never get to try the bras on first or get help with sizing. So there is a bit of a trade-off on the price. Having said that, I think Eveden’s prices have increased in part because of global inflation but also because they are trying to transition the now discontinued Fauve line into Fantasie, Freya, and a little Elomi to both capture the original customer as well as to encourage non-Fauve customers to branch out to more expensive, luxury-oriented pieces. Personally, my customer base is much happier with bras under $70 which is where we try to stay, but I am sure boutiques with options like Prima Donna, Marie Jo, etc. may have better luck with the pricier options.
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:18 pm (8 years ago)
These are such good points. I should have included a note about import costs in the posts, because it definitely drives up the prices of the UK brands to the American consumer, which are significantly cheaper at, say, Bravissimo, even with the exchange rate, than they are at American retailers and boutiques. I totally agree with you re: Eveden trying to position some of their styles in the Fauve market, but man is it frustrating budget-wise. I’ve been to a few boutiques lately where the ONLY full-bust styles are Prima Donna and her sister brands, and it’s just too pricey for me to spend on an everyday bra. I’m not above the occasional splurge, but when I need to restock or when my size changes, it would be nice if there were some more basic, frill-free options like the ones some retailers have started offering in the UK.
Erica of A Sophisticated PairJanuary 28, 2015 at 11:28 am (8 years ago)
Amen! Trust me, as a retailer in an average income area, it’s really hard to sell $70+ bras, and it’s so frustrating to open up the new sheets and see retail prices consistently above $60 or even $70 for the Eveden group. We cut way back on what we offered from Fantasie because of issues with cost. And Elomi is getting to be just as bad. I get there is general inflation in the market, but a few basic options with less frills and details would be so helpful!
Faustine LiJanuary 23, 2015 at 12:44 pm (8 years ago)
I haven’t tried any EM bras for two years. At the time I liked them but found the wires a little too narrow to wear more than a few hours without pain. Are their newer shapes friendlier to wide-set breasts?
For price, I’ve paid a 23% VAT add-on, despite not living in the UK. Polish law bars companies from not charging VAT to individual customers when shipping. According to the site, the VAT is now integrated into the price, which is less sticker-shocky. Shipping was 45zl (ameliorated if you buy more than one), so a bra comes out to about $60 once you add in the PayPal 6% charge. It’s a fair price for a bra, but may stretch budgets a bit more than $43.
YvetteJanuary 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm (8 years ago)
The wires are still narrow, which is the main reason why the Polish brands – most of them – are so popular for the women with narrow set breasts. If your breasts are wide set then you are probably serviced well by the established British brands. Generally speaking, women tend to take the leap of faith and order Polish bras because the fit of what is available on the market is not fitting them well because the wires are too wide, the cups don’t have enough projection, the size range is limited or because they just would like more fun sexy designs in large cup sizes. The Polish companies are smaller and more responsive to their customer feedback. For example Comexim will customize your bra to your specifications without charging any extra fees. Where else do you get that kind of service?
Faustine LiJanuary 24, 2015 at 12:00 am (8 years ago)
I sometimes find Eveden bras too narrow/deep, actually. There’s definitely diversity in every size, and I hope that deeper cups come to more countries. I wonder if Polish women with shallow or wide breasts feel they have to order abroad? I think Ewa Bien makes wider wires, but I’ve never tried them.
I think there are larger Polish companies who don’t have a big e-commerce presence: Samanta, Kris Line, Gaia, Ava, Corin, Kinga (I could be mistaken about the size of any of those). Hopefully we’ll see them more often outside of Poland!
SogneJanuary 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm (8 years ago)
Wow, you are stunning! I love the deep red lipstick and nail colour! I actually just got the same bra, I love the way how it fits. I think BM is a successful bra model. But I didn’t get the briefs which I should have done:) By the way, would you suggest me to get 42 ou 44, a size up from your size, if I have 106 cm round the hips having in mind that I would prefer looser fit, so that it wouldn’t cut into my hips. Thank you!!
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Sogne, thanks for stopping by! I’d try 42, since my hips put me slightly into the 44 on the chart, yet I still preferred the 42. It should give you a slightly looser fit.
CharliJanuary 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm (8 years ago)
Fantastic post! I see the Ewa Michalak bra’s popping up everywhere lately and really think I should try them as they look phenomenal!
SelmaJanuary 24, 2015 at 7:33 am (8 years ago)
Yes, i’ve ordered a lot of EM bras (like 10) and I find them absolutely stunning both in terms of design and functionality. I order online. To me, they are the best, they beat Freya and Fantasie and Wonderbra and Krisline (another Polish brand) and everything else I’ve tried. I prefer padded bras though so I never bought any soft cups at EM. Maybe I’ll try someday)
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm (8 years ago)
Oooh, wow! I can’t wait to try other styles. I almost never wear padded bras, but I’m wondering if EM will convert me 🙂
LauraJanuary 25, 2015 at 7:07 am (8 years ago)
Let me just tell you that you look absolutely fabulous in that! Really, you are amazing 🙂
SweetsJanuary 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm (8 years ago)
Thank you so much, Laura! You are too kind 🙂
RachelleJanuary 27, 2015 at 4:26 pm (8 years ago)
Absolutely beautiful. I guess I need to get over my fear of ordering from Poland!
SweetsJanuary 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm (8 years ago)
(I still need to get over mine too, to be perfectly honest.) Once I’ve tried the second set they’re sending me I think I’ll feel more confident about picking my size!