Ewa Michalak HP Kobalt review

I got this bra two months ago from ewa-michalak.pl and have worn it semi-regularly despite the fit issue. I ordered a 70(32)G, which is the size I start from for a bra.

Construction:

Two vertical seams give a very uplifted shape (less projection than the CH or CHP styles). Three hooks in the back give a tall band good anchoring. I’m not sure if it’s because the underwires are not padded or if they form too narrow a U-shape for my breasts, but this bra can get uncomfortable at the end of the day. Cotton lined on the inside, in black at that! The straps are halfway adjustable.

Fit:

This bra runs large in the cup, with a band that’s slightly tight. I’d say go down a cup size unless you’re full on top. If you’re not…well I admit that it’s currently a bit too big for me. There is a small gap between my breasts and the seams near the fore. I tend to jiggle on top when doing anything semi-strenuous with this bra (I feel supported on the bottom, though), which I assume is a symptom of a too-large cup. At the end of the day there’s almost no gap as my breasts have ‘settled in’, but I’m not sure that’s really what I should wear.
The underwires, as mentioned above, are pretty narrow so may make wide-root breasts unhappy. They also go pretty high, so I can work on tissue remigration.  Since I am full on the bottom, I don’t get the rounded shape above the top of the cup that the model does.

Looks:

The color and pattern are more gray than I associate cobalt blue with, but true to the picture on my monitor. The floral pattern is somewhat shimmery (why aren’t there more shiny bras? I’d looove those) and a bit antique-looking. It continues onto the front of the straps, which is a nice feature! Again, I’m not big on the center bow, but it’s nice for some and easily remedied for those who don’t like it. The two seams will show under clothes, and the lace edging does too- but again, that could be because the bra’s a bit too big for me!

It seems the HP shape seems discontinued in favor of the CHP, but I think I’d like the HP shape more if it fit me a bit better. I now understand the fuss about Ewa Michalak: the bras give an amazing shape. I’m torn about this bra- it is just slightly too big. Do I list it (for a few dollars) or wait in case I gain weight? I’m leaning towards the former.

Ewa Michalak CHP Stalowka review

I got this bra a month ago but have taken to reviewing bras after a while of wearing them, since I think some fit issues don’t crop up in the first week. Here’s what I’ve found.

Construction:

Two vertical seams give a round and centered shape. The placement is different than the CH or HP models (namely somewhere in between), so there’s both projection and some uplift. See how they are not completely vertical on the model but seam towards the center? I’d assume this pushes the breasts together more (my breasts are splayed so they still weren’t next to each other).

Three hooks in the back give a tall band good anchoring.  Cotton lined on the inside, which is black. The top of the cup is somewhat open, so I tend to ‘settle into’ it more as the day goes on.

Looks:

The color’s a matte gray, which I haven’t seen before. I applaud Ewa Michalak for trying something new! It has these little matte-gray flower-bows on it that I’m considering chopping off because I’m really not a bows person. However, they are the same color as the rest of the bra so don’t stand out. I fit into it well, so seams are not visible under clothing.  My lower pole fullness looks more emphasized than the PL model.

Fit:

The 32G fits me just right, but may be a bit generous in the cup. If you’re between sizes, I’d say size down a cup from your most-worn UK size unless you are full on top. The underwires are narrow, but I fill the cups quite well. No cleavage like the pretty dreadlocked model, but I’m bottom-heavy and soft-tissued. The band runs pretty true to size- stretches a bit at first and now seems stable- it doesn’t ride up. I’m not sure if it’s because the underwires are not padded or if they form too narrow a U-shape for my breasts, but this bra can get uncomfortable at the end of the day. I end up readjusting myself a few times a day.

I don’t think Ewa Michalak bras retail in the US, so I order them from the website. Shipping to the US is a bit steep, so I’d suggest you save up for an order and get more than one bra.
I’m pretty happy with the CHP Stalowka. It centers breast tissue well, and the material is quite comfortable. I don’t see it in sizes larger than GG though, I seem to remember something about Ewa saying the construction did not support larger cups.

When to let go of a bra

This holiday season was celebrated with my partner’s family, since mine does not celebrate Christmas. His mother overfed us. And then there were parties and more overfeeding, and with all the travel I didn’t get to exercise as much as usual. I’m not sure if it’s that or my tissue remigration or hormonal changes (I had a Mirena installed in October) or something, but my bustline has increased a bit, which is enough to make me just a tad too big for my non-black decos (the black one is a bit larger for some reason), the PL Karmelki, and the Porcelain Plunge. They are all wearable but I when I scoop everything into the cup it’s too small- not by an entire cup size, but enough for me to notice and need to adjust every few hours.

I had a pile of bras that were just a bit too small or stretched out (Freya Taylor, another Deco in pistachio, some 5-month-worn Porcelains, a too-big band Freya Active) before that I admit I was hoarding in case I lost some tissue/weight, and now is probably the time to let go of them because they’re more than a hair too small for me. The question is how? Some of these have been somewhat worn already, so I think I’ll list them as giveaways on Bratabase- they might not be as nice as new bras, and I have washed them in a machine because I’m lazy, but women who only need a bra for a bit (weight fluctuation) or are saving up might appreciate them for the few months they have left, I hope!

The main roadblock for me is figuring out how to package and mail everything! I don’t live too near a post office, so I will need to ship several per group. What envelopes/mailers should I use and where should I buy them from? The bras are molded cups, so should I use bubble wrap or something? If you have good packaging advice I’d love to hear it.

What do you do with your not-quite-working bras? Do you hoard them? Give them to Goodwill? Sell them at a big discount? Give them away or try an exchange on Bratabase?

Curvy Kate Spring/Summer 2013 Collection

Curvy Kate is a relatively new company, and I remember when they didn’t have any continuity bras, just fun colors. Some of the styles have translated well to continuity colors (Emily), and some I just see as ‘meh’ (Lottie). I have a rocky relationship with Curvy Kate bras: I’ve returned a Tease Me and a Thrill Me, keep an Emily on low rotation, and own a Tempt Me that I rarely wear because it’s slightly too small but remain attached nonetheless. Sizing’s tricky for their bras, and the cups are wide and shallow. However, the color combinations are often amazing (teal and gold!), and the padded bras look fantastic for a boudoir shoot or lounging about.

Every half-year I take a sneak peek at their new brochure, and I’ve found some surprises/items of interest.

Princess in Orchid: far too girly for me in terms of detailing, but the color makes me want to go and eat cupcakes right now.

Gia:  The ‘strengthening laminated lower cup’ is apparently a hit in the GG+ range. I think they used a similar material in the Lottie. Does anyone know what the section is laminated with or how? It’s not a bra for me because I usually dislike sheerish upper panels and the wide wires don’t fit me well in non-padded cups. However, the geometry is fun! Cheryl of Invest in Your Chest finds the fit problematic for shallow profiles.

Desire: CK’s multiway bra! It actually has a curlicue print that I can’t really see on the light colors. I’d be curious to try it but am afraid the cut would be the same as the Tempt Me/Wild/Elegance (too shallow at the bottom of the cup for bottom-heavy breasts).

Enchant: I think this is CK’s first plunge bra? Normally I’d say this is too girly and sheer but the detailing and color are exquisite geometrically- I’m thinking chain among the clouds. Yes, I do love purple. If I get a new job I’ll want to try it out…my reservations are once again wire width and that CK tends to make the sheer part of the cup really big and sometimes unflattering in larger cup sizes.

Smoothie: This bra’s been on my wishlist since it came out. I am not really a pink person, and the blush version is a little light for my skin, but I love myself black t-shirt bras for my black tank tops. The leopardish print is thankfully not garish. Someday someday someday! I do need to figure out sizing- Erica of A Sophisticated PairBras I Hate and Love, and Cheryl of Invest in Your Chest have  reviewed this.

Tease Me: The purple is so bright and fun! I have sent Showgirl bras back in the past as they tend to show up under my clothes and I don’t like frills. It’s photos like this that make me regret that. I believe this is the last Tease Me we will see for a while (I peeked at the A/W 2013 catalog). I really enjoyed the black color combinations which are no longer available. For this bra, size down in the band and at least up one in the cup.

Fashion colors: Orchid, purple, and seafoam. A bit of raspberry, too! The seafoam color is unique and somehow warm-feeling, and I adore purples.

Wait, they don’t make those anymore?!: The Angel and Elegance seem to be gone, with the Elegance leaving more recently (surprising me because of the continuity colors). Perhaps the Desire has the same cut and is its replacement? The Angel had a cool criss-cross overlay, but the ribbon on top could cause fit problems so I never tried it.