Ewa Michalak Review: PL Amarant, Onyks, Cielus, and Bella, CH Toffik, and HP Fuksja

panache eleanor nursing

This Ewa Michalak review is long overdue, but there’s a reason for that. I’ve had these bras for 8 weeks now. I really wanted to wear each style several times before I added my opinion to the many rave reviews out there for these bras, because frankly I’m a bit torn on them. To start, here’s what I ordered:

ewa

I find Ewa’s size calculator way off for me and order based on my UK bra size. After converting my measurements from inches to centimeters and plugging them in, I got a suggested size of 34/75FF, but as you’ll see, this size would have been a terrible fit. In all of these except the CH Toffik, where it wasn’t available, I ordered a J cup based on a recommendation from Claire at Butterfly Collection, who kindly did me a personal favor and checked the fit of my first EM bra, a 30/65H PL Black I had pre-pregnancy, before I placed this order and advised me to go up two cup sizes.

SHIPPING COSTS AND ORDERING PROCESS FROM THE US

Shipping from Poland is about $15. You also must pay a Paypal assessment (the only way you can pay from the US) of 6% of your order. On this order that came to $15, so $30 all in for both charges was steep. However, EM bras are not quite as expensive as other full-busted bras: all mine ranged in price from $28-$43 versus the usual $68 and up. Spread between 6 bras, the shipping and Paypal fees added $5 to the overall cost of each, making the price $33-$48, still very reasonable.

Return shipping in my experience has also cost around $15, quite high, so I know many others simply resell the brand new bras that don’t fit on eBay.

It took about a month from the time I placed my order to receive it:

  • 6 days to process the order and approve the payment
  • Another 2 weeks to get the order ready (my size is often not ready for immediate shipment though other styles/sizes are; availability is noted on each product page)
  • Another 10 days to get the package from when I received notification that it shipped out

Ewa sends several emails throughout the process updating you on your order; I got an email for each step above, which is great that they don’t leave you wondering where on earth your bras are after they’ve debited your cash!

OVERALL FIT

I tried these all on for a professional fitter who double-checked the fit, how loose/tight the bands were and which hooks I should wear them on, so I could really feel confident about which ones to keep!

Bands

For several bloggers who have reviewed Ewa’s PL bras (the Plunge style), the bands run tight for them and they order up a size. For me, I experienced the opposite. Measuring a 29.5″ underbust and wearing a 28 in Panache Cleo at the time, all of my 30/65 PLs were loose and I got the best fit from starting on the tightest hook, except for the PL Amarant, which was very snug and I started on the loosest. (NB: My overbust at the time measured 41″.)

The HP Fuksja had a slightly tighter band than the PLs and I started that on the second hook.

The CH Toffik was the loosest of all of them and even wearing on the tightest hook it was still too loose.

June at Braless in Brazil, who wears a 28 band, has also found the bands on EM looser versus tighter. When we chatted about this she mentioned she and Bra Nightmares theorized that the larger band sizes in EM run much tighter for some reason than they do on the smaller end of the band size range.

So in general? I’d say if you’re in the 32+ band range, check Curvy Wordy’s reviews for band size info, but if you’re a 30 or under band size, I personally wouldn’t size up.

Fortunately for me, starting on the tightest hook was fine because I could expand out as needed as my pregnancy progressed. If I weren’t pregnant, though, I would have needed to get most of these altered down a size or special order them in a 60 so I could start them on the loosest hook. If you’ve read any Ewa Michalak reviews out there (Curvy Wordy is the queen of reviews on these bras and has a ton!), you may know that Ewa will custom make many of her bras in a 55 or 60 band size (UK/US equivalent to 26 and 28), but they’re non-returnable. (An alternative to this is ordering through the Big Bra Bar; see here for more details).

Cups/Style

The style differences between the Ewa bras were confusing to me to read on the website, so I put together this gallery that compares a “regular” bra (a Panache Cleo Eleanor) to the HP, CH, and PL. According to the Ewa Michalak site:

[On the CH,] the underwires at the center of the bra are higher than in our plunge (PL) bras. This gives your breast very good support. In comparison to our HP style, the CH halfcup bra pushes your bust forward and upward more. In comparison to our CH style, the HP halfcup bra pushes your bust more to the chest and upward.

In person:

panache eleanor nursing
L to R: Panache Cleo Eleanor, Ewa Michalak CH Toffik, EM HP Fuksja, EM PL Amarant, EM PL Onyks

For me, all the EM bras push your breasts way up and give them a high and rounded look versus a teardrop shape (which I’ve now learned that I prefer!). The cups are all padded. On me:

  • The CH (second column from left) brings the breasts in from the side the most, but still projects them forward more than I’d like.
  • The HP (middle column) has the least forward projection, which I much prefer (the side profile looks most similar to the Panache), but does widen them out a bit front-on versus the CH.
  • The PL (two right hand columns) pushes them out the farthest for me and lifts them up the most from the side view, giving them more of a torpedo shape. The tissue on the top outsides of my breasts (closest to my arms) also is lifted so high it pushes forward where the cup meets the strap, so I really need to tighten the straps more than usual on these to avoid that.
  • The CH and PL make my breasts look much bigger than other bras, with the PLs making my breasts stick out as far as my baby belly! With my large bust size AND the baby belly, I hate adding more volume visually to my breasts, so I’ve really disliked how I feel wearing the PLs.
  • My breast tissue is very, very full on top, and with the upward projection of the EMs, I have a lot more jiggle up there when I walk, in every style I’ve tried, than I get with other brands. My tissue is also so high that it shows on most tops, so when it bounces so much I feel super exposed. I don’t really like this as it makes me feel so much bustier.

OTHER FIT NOTES

  • One thing I’ve noticed in particular is that when I put the PLs on, they fit perfectly. My breasts are settled in the cups and separated. But soon after, my tissue falls to the center. Throughout the day, I’ll look down and have slight quadraboob from my breasts falling in too far in the middle, even though they fit well in the cups, so I’m always checking to see if I’m falling out of the bras and readjusting! I think it’s because I have so much tissue on the top of my breasts, so if you are full on top you might have this issue, too. The CH and HP are MUCH better for me because they keep my breasts from falling in.
  • All EM cups that I’ve tried have narrow wires that work very well for close-set breasts, like mine. If you fit well in Freya bras, these may work for you, too; if Panache and Curvy Kate’s wide-set wire styles are your go-to, this brand may not suit you as well.
  • PL Onyks fit tad bit more generous in the cup than the others, most noticeably on my smaller right breast, so I tightened the strap farther on that one to eliminate gaping. It also has 4 columns of hooks, detachable straps that can be worn in a racerback style, padded straps that are super comfy, regular straps, a halter strap, and removable pads to correct asymmetry. All these options make up for the fact that it adds so much volume to my chest, so I do end up wearing it more than the other PLs I have.
  • PL Bella cup hit too low on my breast tissue and with the hard edge gave me quadra-boob, so it was the only no-go in this lot of bras. I donated it to Support 1000.
  • The CH Toffik in 65HH fit just as nicely as the 65Js cup-wise but I grew out of it recently with my boobs getting even bigger. The J cups are all still fitting me.
  • The PL Cielus on the tightest hook was a great fit and gave the same look as the other PLs shown above.

OVERALL

I have to give EM props for being one of the only companies who will make, on special order, 55s in a huge range of cup sizes. I also love that you can ask if they’ll custom make a certain style for you in your size if it isn’t listed; no heart-sinking feeling when you see a gorge bra only to see it doesn’t come in your size. For small bands/big cups, they are a fantastic option, and for higher band sizes who want a sexier looking bra than, say, an Elomi may offer, these could be the perfect go-to. However, it really is a more high, rounded, boobs-on-a-platter look that I’ve also found makes me look bustier; many women who’ve tried them absolutely love the uplift and shape, while I’m still getting used to it. They are nicely made; not the most luxurious bras I’ve ever owned, but not cheap feeling, either–exactly what I’d expect from a $30-$45 bra. They have a really awesome range of colorways, from everyday neutrals to tons of fun options like this va-va-voom red or the funky Amarant I bought, something I’ve never really seen one manufacturer do! Personally, I’m more a fan of the HPs and CHs and likely won’t be ordering PLs again, but I appreciate that I have an option for a plunge when I need one.

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