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