Product Review: Ewa Michalak Dark Magenta & Paradise PL Shapes

Hello Everyone! First, I apologize for such an erratic blogging year. Between my dad’s cancer scare, catching e-coli from romaine lettuce (yes, I am that damn unlucky), getting a staph infection, being targeted by homophobic, racist boycotters, and then back to cancer scare mode with dad . . . well, 2018 has sucked. But, we’re in fall now, and I love fall. It’s a season for closure, and I hope this chapter finally ends and a brighter future begins. Even though I have not been writing, the ideas have steadily flowed, and I am allotting some time each week to catch up. In the meantime, I have today’s review as well as four guest posts I’ll be sharing while I sort through everything and plan my schedule.

Several years ago, a customer brought in her two Ewa Michalak bras (hereafter abbreviated EM) for me to review even though the size was not correct and the styles were worn. Nevertheless, the EM bras impressed me with their fit, quality, and lift, and I wanted to revisit the brand. When Zathiya Lingerie announced it was shutting down, I was super sad to see another boutique close up shop, and I wanted to show my support by snagging a few bras, including two from EM and one from Nessa.  With EM, I purchased the PL shapes Dark Magenta and Paradise albeit in different sizes, and I don’t feel they warrant separate reviews. As a result, at the bottom of the Dark Magenta review, there’s a bonus section with a few observations on Paradise.

Of the two styles, Dark Magenta fits the best and better represents my size. Before ordering, I consulted with Aisha on account of the weight fluctuations, and she recommended buying both the 80H (UK 36H) Paradise and 80HH (UK 36HH) Dark Magenta. Like Comexim, EM bras often run tight in the band and small in the cups compared with UK competitors, but I have also read EM also suffers from inconsistencies between styles, making it harder to assess sizing accurately. Dark Magenta fits wonderfully though. A firm band anchors tightly to my rib cage on the loosest hooks, and the HH cups perfectly encapsulate all of my tissue without overflow or gaping.

To improve fit, EM adds a fabulous component to all of their cups: pockets. An argument could be made all garments are made better by pockets, but with bras, I genuinely believe all of us would be better served if more manufacturers included them. Each EM bra features soft pocket openings on the interior of the cup along with removable inserts. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much I love this idea. All people have at least a little asymmetry, and by having this option of adding or removing padding to each breast, people can ensure a more even fit. Going beyond general asymmetry, the concept of pockets also works for anyone whose size fluctuates, whether from inflammation, hormonal changes, or dietary sensitivities. For Dark Garden to not cause spillage, I have to remove both inserts, but I am losing weight again too. I like the idea of having them available to ensure I can wear the bra for longer without running into more fit issues.

Excuse the dog hair, but this is the interior of the cup.
A better view of the pocket.

Like other Polish bras, EM focuses on giving a forward, rounded, and ultra-lifted profile with a narrower center gore and underwire shape. The projected cups allow my center heavy tissue to comfortably rest forward, and the lower side underwire and cup prevent chafing or rubbing under the arm. Long term followers of my blog will recall this is one of my personal pet peeves, and many full-bust styles seem to irritate me. However, both EM styles avoid this while still offering superb side coverage and support. Moreover, the wire gauge on my EM bras ensures proper tacking without creating too much pressure, and while not as narrow as Comexim, the wire shape on the side contains my tissue without extra space.

My only grip with the fit of both EM styles is the super wide straps. I have to angle them inward on my shoulders because if I were to wear them vertically from where they attach to the cup, it would be right on the edge of my shoulder. And I ain’t exactly narrow of shoulder, so I can’t imagine the issues people with a smaller frame are experiencing from this placement. The extreme width could also create fit and comfort issues, such as awkward gaping near the cup or rubbing on the side. Personally, I find the bra comfortable, but it’s worth noting for those with a different shape. The strap length is also shorter than I expected, and I need to adjust mine almost as loose as possible.

EM utilizes a comparable price point and quality level to Panache, and both styles I have are exceptionally well-made with thoughtful design choices and impressive materials. The interior cup and pockets are soft against the skin, and the wings exploit a 2-ply design to reduce stretch, keeping the band tighter over time. Lightly padded three-section cups support the bust well while still contouring, and exterior lace is sturdy but discreetly textured. Fully-adjustable straps give maximum customization on fit but also sport a textural element for added aesthetic value. In fact, the straps could pass as part of a fancy camisole or tank if they peek out under tops.

My choices were a little limited from the sale, but I’m pretty much obsessed with anything dark or black. The black base on Dark Magenta is classic, and the floral lace, which reads more of a purple than magenta to me, really pops. The contrast remains minimal under clothes, but when the light catches the threading in the lace, it lights up the whole bra for a gorgeous piece. Carrying the color onto the center ribbon of the straps and the middle bow was a nice choice which makes the bra cohesive. Overall, I love my EM bras and am excited to try more both for myself as well as for the shop.

Bonus Review on Paradise

A cup size smaller than Dark Magenta, the Paradise creates more cleavage with borderline overflow, even without the inserts. Nevertheless, I am impressed how a bra a cup size smaller can still fit fairly well, something I attribute to the depth and shape of the cup and how that marries with my breast shape. However, the wing on Paradise stretches significantly more. In the photos, I have the bra latched one set in from the loosest because I *ahem* ate gluten yesterday and am now a bit . . . fuller. Usually, I wear it on the tightest hooks, so I can see where retailers and consumers have complained about inconsistencies with fit. Of course, the wing fabric here is also not covered with an exterior lace which inhibits stretching, so this could relate more to materials choices. Quality and fit are lovely as expected. The floral print is more autumnal with it subtle combination of navy and deep pink, and the fabrics read smoother than Dark Magenta. I appreciate the design, but I wouldn’t choose this print for myself if I paid full price. Dark Magenta is more my speed, but I still love and enjoy Paradise too.

Product Review: Ewa Michalak Dark Magenta & Paradise PL Shapes
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.
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4 thoughts on “Product Review: Ewa Michalak Dark Magenta & Paradise PL Shapes

  • September 29, 2018 at 1:24 pm
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    OMG – I love the patterning on the bra in the Bonus review! Also, giving you my positive vibes for a 2019 that in NO WAY sucks! Want you to have the best year evah!

    Reply
    • Erica
      September 29, 2018 at 3:24 pm
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      Thank you for the wishes for 2019! <3 I hope so too and am very ready for some good things. 🙂 The pattern has grown on me a little bit since I found some faux-matching underwear, but Dark Magenta is still my personal fave. 😀

      Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 2:47 am
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    Erica, thank you for these Ewa Michalak reviews! They both looked great on you! I’d love to order an EM bra from your store in the future. I’m very intrigued by this brand as I love that Polish aesthetic, where the breasts are coaxed forward and out of the armpits, avoiding the East-West look. As a fellow wide-shouldered person, I appreciated your demonstration of how the straps nearly fell off unless they were angled inwards. I wonder if some of her other styles (perhaps the ‘BM’ or ‘SF’) might have straps that are not quite so far apart? Just 3 cm closer, like you mentioned, might make all the difference for people with average to narrow width shoulders. Ooh, that reminds me, have you read about “Strapgate”?

    I’d also like to thank you for being such an amazing, beautiful, and brave human being. Your personality and heart shine through in your writing and your videos. I’m thankful for the help you’ve given to so many people through your shop, as well as through the extensive information on your blog. I love how you are so refreshingly real, down-to-earth, and staunchly supportive of ALL people’s right to be treated with dignity in finding and wearing a properly fitting bra.

    You’ve gone through a ridiculous amount of trauma in the past year or so; it’s waaay past time for the pendulum to start swinging in the other direction! I’m praying that you and your family will begin to experience an overwhelming abundance of positivity and goodness.
    –Laurie

    Reply
    • Erica
      November 1, 2018 at 3:57 pm
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      Laurie, I’m glad you enjoyed them! I’m curious to try a few other styles from her and see if the straps aren’t placed better. Yes, I remember Strapgate. To be honest, that impacted when I wanted to stock EM, which is a shame. I’ve been wearing both for several weeks now and they are super comfy, but I do noticed the straps needing to be angled in more and still wish they were inset. I also have a review of Nessa on my docket too. Polish bras just get my shape well, and I love the support and profile.

      On a personal note, thank you for such a kind comment. <3 I hope the bad luck finally moves to the past too. I am choosing to look at this as character building, and that if I can survive all of this and keep the business open, then imagine where we'll be when I have a few months of bliss. 🙂 Everyone has been so supportive and understanding, and it has really made me want to keep focusing on the business. I think it is so important to create safe spaces for people, especially in this climate, to shop and be accepted as they are. <3 Thank you again for the positive wishes!

      Reply

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