Ewa Michalak first thoughts

Due to a mixup with my roommates, my Ewa Michalak package languished at the post office for over three weeks! I thought EM was just being slow. No, no, not the case. I only had a day to look at and measure my merchandise before I ran off to vacation. Here’s what I thought, though, before I do full reviews.

CH Purple

I ordered this up a size, 32GG, because Bratabase seemed to indicate it ran small. Whoops! I swam in it. I’ll have to list it. My favorite of the bras design-wise, but oh well. It isn’t made in my size anymore.

CHP Stalowka

The gray is a bit more matte than I envisioned. I ordered my ‘standard’ British size, 32G, and it seems to fit quite well, with a tight band and a more generous cup. Not sure how extended wear will change it, though.

HP Kobalt

The blue-gray is actually shinier than I thought it would be (unlike the CHP Stawolka). Beautiful pattern. Also runs a bit firm in the band and generous in the cup. The way the cups come up on the size make this bra great for remigrating tissue back to the front. As the EM website says, I feel like my breasts are pushed towards my frame for less projection.

PL Karmelki

I got the bra in 32G despite reviews seeming to indicate a big cup and band. The cup and band seemed perfect at the time: I juuust succeed in not spilling out the middle. How did EM manage that? I’m not big on the seaming and button detailing, but wow. This works as well as any other plunge bra I’ve tried.

I will be spending the next week in lovely New Mexico for vacation! I look forward to getting back to the new bras (I did not take them with me) soon!

Panache Confetti

This bra was discontinued years ago, but pops up a lot on EBay.  I was first alerted to its shaping qualities by Bras I Hate and Love, but I didn’t know if it would work with my shallow profile (she is full on top). I am not sure why it is called Confetti- the embroidery is floral and scrollwork.  I saw it on super sale at Breakout Bras, so ordered it in black.

Construction:

This is a mesh bra with a bias cut, balcony style. That means a three-part cup where there’s a seam that goes from the gore to the strap on the top of the cup on the opposite side of the cup, forming a U shape across one’s entire chest (as opposed to an M shape formed by many full-cup bras, in which the seam goes from four o’clock to eight o’clock on each cup).  The tops of the cup are sheer, and the bottom are reinforced with heavier fabric. The cups are wider and shallower than the Freya mesh bras I’ve tried, but not so much as the Curvy Kate Emily. The gore doesn’t come up very high on me, and feels on the wide side. Three hooks on the band, which makes everything feel nice and supported.

Fit:

The advice on the site was to go down a band size if you’re at all in between and up a cup, so I ordered a 30GG instead of a 32G. This was correct for me- the band is quite quite stretchy. The cup is one of the best fits I’ve gotten in a fabric bra! I need to readjust after six hours, but I tend to overspill after several hours in every cut-sew bra I’ve tried.
Confetti has another potential fit issue- The underwires are long and wide and can poke you in the armpits if you’re petite, shorter-torsoed, or have higher-set breasts.  You can try bending the wires if you love the bra otherwise and don’t want to return it (there’s some risk here, I don’t know of any bras that break when you do this, but it’s always a possibility).

Looks:

This is the roundest non-projecting shape I think I could ever get in a mesh bra, and for that I adore it. I think the bow at the gore is a bit big, but that’s easily remedied. The embroidery is floral and scrolly, but manages to look sophisticated and not very girly. The straps on the black version have a gold-toned adjuster, which seems a bit random in that the hooks are black.

Verdict:

This is replacing my stretched-out Emily in my drawer as my single cut-sew bra. The fabric is amazingly soft for the job it does, even the embroidery! It’s versatile and elegant and gives an amazing shape- a shame Panache discontinued it! Do you know of any bras anyone makes now that fit and shape similarly?

Customer Experience: Asos

ASOS is originally an English online marketplace, I believe, but it’s selling in the US now. Their boast is that there’s free shipping both ways, and I will attest that they do honor that. Past orders have included a Panache Porcelain Plunge bra and a Freya Deco Strapless.

The selection seems to mostly be fashion collections with various random continuity stuff, so what you’ll get varies wildly. I’ve seen the Eveden and Panache collections, Miss Mandalay, Curvy Kate, Gossard, Lepel, and Wonderbra. The clearance section is a great place to snap up a find, and the regular inventory is cheaper than most places online. Something that burned me is that the bras are in US cup sizes: D, DD, F, G, H, I, J. I haven’t seen anything beyond M US. The British version of the site uses British sizing, but if you’re in the US the way to get the free shipping and returns is to use the US site. They might have different stock in the US versus UK.

Delivery takes about a week to Boston and comes in a reusable bag with a printed shipping label for returns, which is utterly and fantastically convenient. Since I don’t go with the majority of things I try on, that’s very valuable. However, you cannot do an exchange- only a return because of the way they seem to stock things. I’ve had to cancel an order before and it wasn’t difficult. However, I could not change just one item and had to cancel the whole order. My coupon code was apparently one-use and I found that I couldn’t use it on the new item.

All said, this is the most risk-free method of online shopping I’ve seen. The sizing can be confusing, and you may not find something you like, but if you do, give it a shot.