Continuing my coverage of Polish bras, after my first Ewa Michalak bra was such a success, I did decide to place an order for two more bras. Here I’ll outline the ordering process as well as review the two bras.
The first one I tried was a CHP, so I decided to stick with that style for my first real order. CHP is sort of halfway between a plunge and a balconnet. It’s a good style for me, since I can fall out the center of plunges and the straps on balconnets are very often too far apart and painfully dig into my armpits and/or fall off my shoulders.
The two I selected were the silvery grey CHP Stalowka and the bright red (with lace wings) CHP Mak. Note that there is also a CHP Mak Nowa Koronka for ten zlotys more, but I cannot for the life of me figure out the difference between the two.
I decided I wanted to order a 28GG (or 60GG), which is a custom-made size, meaning it is non-refundable and I would have to pay a little extra. But the prices are so low and the bras so wonderful that I thought it’d be worth it. I followed instructions from Braless In Brazil (scroll down to “Ordering”) to keep emails as short and direct as possible to avoid any language miscommunication. Here are all the steps I went through, from first email to arrival at my door:
January 30: Sent an email to email@example.com stating that I wanted to buy the two bras, the size I wanted, my Ewa Michalak account user name, and my mailing address.
January 31: I received a response from Dominik Michalak confirming that my order would be non-returnable. I responded that I knew and accepted that. Then he (she?) sent me an email stating that the order had been created for me, and that payment would be 289.38zl. I then sent a PayPal payment in that amount to the same email address I’d been using to converse. Finally, I sent Ewa another email stating that I had paid and included the PayPal transaction number. (Yes, this was all in one day!)
February 1: I received an email confirming they received payment.
February 4: I received an email telling me my order had been delayed. (Since I knew they’d be custom-making the bra, I could only assume that this was par the course. It takes time, and three days would not be enough to complete the job.)
February 21: I received an email stating that my order was being “processed” and could no longer be changed. A couple hours later, I received an email announcing that my order had shipped. It included an itemized list of garments and the breakdown of the cost.
March 8: The bras arrived at my door.
The two items I ordered cost 109zl and 119zl, plus 45zl for shipping and 6% extra to cover PayPal’s fees. This week, Ewa rolled out a new policy of charging an extra 20zl for custom orders, but that was not the case when I purchased. At the time, the total was equal to $95.99 USD. Considering that most new bras cost at minimum $50 and custom-made ones twice that, plus adding in the fact that it’s coming from a foreign country, I feel totally pleased with the price I paid.
As for the bras themselves, they feel extremely high quality. Everything about them is tough and made to last. Excellent fabric, no loose threads or wonky seams, and amazingly strong wires (more on that later).
As for fit, on my body they look more like the photo of the Mak above—balconnet-like—versus the plungier-looking fit in the Stalowka shot. It doesn’t come up as high on me, though. It’s more like a true halfcup.
I ordered 28GG because the 30FF I had first tried was one cup too small and I could comfortably close the band on the tightest hook. Ewa is known for their exceedingly tight bands, so I was a little hesitant to order 28s, but I so prefer tight, tight, tight bands and I figured I could use an extender if it was too much.
Well I need an extender—haha! I can close it on the loosest hook, but I’m literally pulling the band as far as it’ll go. I’m okay with the comfort level since I feel more secure in a vice-like bra, but I don’t want to damage the hooks by pulling them too hard, so I’ll stick with the extender until it stretches out some. As for comfort, I doubt most other women would like it so tight, so I do have to recommend ordering up if you wear a small band.
The only thing that’s uncomfortable for me is that the wires line up perfectly with a rib. It’s fine if I’m walking around, but if I’m sitting down for a long time, the wires press against the rib harder and it hurts. The first day I wore one to my office gig, I ended up stuffing my tee shirt between the bra and my skin to give me a little more padding. Amazingly, despite the insane tightness of the band, the wires aren’t being pulled or warped at all. I don’t know what kind of magical alloy they’re made of, but I am seriously impressed.
As for the cups, well they’re pretty magical, too. Like I said, they look more like a balconnet on me. That’s a bit of a shame, as I prefer more of a V-shape than a horizontal line going across my chest, but the volume and shape are perfect. They almost look small on me when I look down because I have a lot of skin visible, but then when I look in a mirror, they’re perfectly, perfectly flush with my bigger boob and just the tiniest bit loose at the top edge of the cup on my smaller boob. No quad boob or indent into my breast tissue, not even an inkling. It’s pretty awesome.
I also love the crazy lift these bras give. No underboob sweat for me this summer! It also makes my chest fill out an empire-style dress better, because they’re being hoisted above the seam.
Going forward, I’ll definitely be ordering Ewa bras one cup size up and one band size up (so 30G/65G instead of my standard 28G), since the 60 bands are just a bit too tight and I’d prefer to avoid paying the extra fee and waiting for a custom-made bra anyways. But I would still call this order a rousing success.
Next week I’ll be writing about another Polish bra brand, Comexim, which I’ve actually decided I like even better than Ewa.
For more background on bras from Poland, be sure to check out Miss Underpinnings’ series about her recent trip there.
I have a problem with bands hitting a rib too. I tried wearing the bras looser but they just slide around which sucks. Anyway, my solution is to pad the front underside of the bra with a plain old sock, and wear my bras on the tightest hook (I need to move down a size, I know!). I wear crew socks, and my size are exactly the right length to cover the underwire and center gore, and it works out very spiffy for me. It doesn’t show under clothes because only a half inch or so is below the bra. I’m sure there’s a product somewhere that does the same thing, but I am …er, ‘frugal’ and I like me cotton socks since they are durable and washable.
dang, missed an s… ‘underwires and center gore’, so one sock covers the whole front area.
I can’t wait to hear the Comexim review! I’ve been dying to order from them, but I’ve heard their sizes are a little wonky.
So glad they worked out! Now you need to convince Darlene to order too. 😉 I also have the PL Stalowka and need to get my review up for it shortly. I really love the bra itself because you just don’t see a lot of plain gray bras around. 🙂