The big question: Did they fit? And were they true 26 bands? The answer is yes!!! They truly were a vast improvement over the 28 bands I have been wearing. It is amazing what a difference going down a band size can make. :-) I had mentioned that I was getting sores/blisters/calluses from where the underwires were rubbing under my breasts, and I am delighted to report that I am no longer getting this irritation from the current, tighter, bras. I think it just goes to show that even a bra that's "almost right, but not quite" can still have big problems. I feel especially sorry for women who get improperly fitted using the add 4 inches method, since I wonder how many of them think they have the right size, but then have the same painful rubbing. As for the improvement in appearance, see for yourself:
|Comparison of 3 band sizes for you all... click photo to see bigger.|
I ordered 3 styles: Toffik, Black Emerald halfcup, and the nude Strapless bra.
The Black Emerald bra is gorgeous- pictures cannot do it justice. It's the sheer, delicate-looking, beautiful bra that so many big busted girls dream of. It's very low cut- my nipples were actually under the very top edge of the cups (and yes, the cups fit perfectly!) and the line across the cups and center gore is almost completely straight, which has an unusual and flattering look. And yet, with all of this, it offers wonderful support and comfort, I would not hesitate to wear it as an everyday bra under clothes. I am quite enamored with this bra, as you can tell. :-)
The Toffik is a nice, everyday bra. It is slightly padded, (enough for modesty, not for adding size.) The fabric is soft, silky microfiber and the color is sort of a dark nude/caramel beige color. The unusual seams and lace edging give it a sort of retro look. I kind of love about Ewa Michalak that they never make a bra that is just plain- they always have to add some special little detail. However, although the seams and lace are subtle and soft, they would show under especially clingy fabrics. I didn't have too much of a problem with it showing through Biubiu's soft, t-shirt material, however, and I personally wouldn't want to wear anything clingier than that. My only negative about this bra is that it ran a bit large, both in band and cup, compared to the black Emerald- although truthfully it still fit much more snugly and comfortably than 28 bras and so perhaps I should really be saying that the black ran a bit snug in the band- after all, I lean towards a 24 in band size. :-) The Toffik was most secure on the tightest hook, though, and I will order a 50/24 in this style next time.
The strapless was very impressive- I found it to be quite comfortable for a strapless bra and although I wouldn't want to wear it all day, it didn't cut in or rub too much. The cups are made of an odd, very stiff material. This bra had a very strange-looking fit on its own, it seemed almost like the cups were too small, and the bottom of them seemed more hollow. But, under clothes it was great. It gave nice cleavage and shape- something other strapless bras I have tried before failed at miserably. And even when I moved around quite a bit in it, and wore it for several hours, it stayed snug and secure. Although some people told me the strapless ran snug, I didn't find it to be uncomfortably tight, though I don't think I would want to go down a band size in it... it was just perfect.
The only negative to ordering 28 or under bands from Ewa Michalak is that you cannot return them if they do not fit. For this reason, if you need a smaller band size, you may wish to order some bras in the band size 65, just to figure out your correct cup size, and then return them and order special bras with the equivalent cups. A bit of a hassle, and it's a shame you can't just try things on before buying them, but IMHO it's totally worth it to get smaller band sizes if you need them.
If you decide to research Ewa Michalak, you may find that many people seem to think the bands run extremely tight. I find that the bras run fairly true to size, however, compared to brands like Freya, Panache, Fantasie, etc. I have shown this to be true this in the photo below. I recommend taking your usual band size, or maybe one size up in styles like the Black Emerald, which is a bit tighter. If in doubt, though, it is probably better to accidentally order a too-tight bra, and have to use an extender, than it is to order a too-loose one, for which there is no hope.
|Top: Panache Cleo bra, size 28H. Bottom: Ewa Michalak Denim bra, size 28H (60H)|
Even if you do not need a smaller band size, I highly recommend Ewa Michalak as a brand. The bras are gorgeous and extremely well made- I personally think that they are better constructed than Freya and Panache bras. The bras are also highly affordable if you live in the United States- they run about $30-$40, and shipping is just $10. You can also get matching undies for around $10 a pair, so a set is pretty affordable, especially compared to some of the fancier British brands which can be $80 for a bra and $40 for matching undies!
I really hope this helps those of you that need a smaller band size to feel supported enough, and I hope that the rest of you will consider giving this wonderful brand a try. If you do, I would love to hear from you. :-)
I really hope this helps those of you that need a smaller band size to feel supported enough, and I hope that the rest of you will consider giving this wonderful brand a try. If you do, I would love to hear from you. :-)
This is brilliant news! They look amazing, a step in the right direction for tiny backs...well done Ewa Michalak!ReplyDelete
Personally I do think their bands run pretty tight. I normally wear 28 bands and wouldn't want to go below 65 in EM bras. I'm wearing the strapless in 70.ReplyDelete
However, many of the new bras, like the Toffik seem to run rather wide (and some big in the cup), more like UK brands - even if Ewa promised to produce tighter bands when they took the 60 out of their standard range.
As ever this is an amazing post. I am so glad you have found an answer to your gorgeous tiny ribcaged problem xxxReplyDelete
This is a wonderful article, thank you so much.ReplyDelete
Hi, thanks for this review and recommendation. I just ordered a couple of bras from Ewa Michalak in what I think is my proper size, 30D. I will try and let you know how they work out for me.ReplyDelete
I've been following your blog for a couple of months now, and it's very enjoyable and helpful. I lost some weight a while ago, and since then I haven't been able to fit into the sizes I can find in my rural area. I tried altering one of my 34B bras by shortening the band, but then the underwires seemed to wide. Anyways, I really enjoy and appreciate your blog.
I struggle with some of the same problems! I don't know if you have ever heard of Aerie but they are also carrying bras in 30 bands as well and their bras are all under $50Delete
Wonderful post! I can definitely tell the difference too -- you look so much more supported and uplifted now in a band that finally properly fits!ReplyDelete
I don't find Ewa band's tighter than normal either, and their band calculating on their website is incorrect. For my 28.5 inch ribcage (71-72 centimetres), their 65 and 70 bands are both much too big for me. Their calculator suggests a 70 band which is ridiculous - 70's (32s) are huge on my frame! I agree with you in that people should try their UK band size (which is their underbust measurement - none of this incorrect adding inches idea!!) in Ewa.
Why are you so hunched in this 30GG and 28H? They three bras looks THE SAME, 30GG, 28H i 26H, but in last photo you stand straight, so this is normal: breast seams to be higher. IMO it's only seamblance, I don't believe, that the difference is real. Please, take all photos standing straight.;)ReplyDelete
PS. Best regards from Poland.;)
Well, for me most of the EM styles ("old" models and the strapless bra, not Toffik and Onyks) run that tight that I have to go UP a band size, so I would not want them to be any tighter. Still, it is a shame that 28s are being discontinued.ReplyDelete
The bra from Cleo that you chose for the comparison has an opinion of being significantly tighter than average.
Anyway, I'm happy for you that finally you have bras that make you feel supported.
Well, for me most of the EM styles ("old" models and the strapless bra, not Toffik and Onyks) run that tight that I have to go UP a band size, so I would not want them to be any tighter. Still, it is a shame that 28s are being discontinued.ReplyDelete
The bra from Cleo that you chose for the comparison has an opinion of being significantly tighter than average.
Anyways, I'm happy for you that finally you have bras that make you feel supported.
Why do you remove my request?;[ It means, that I have right and it's only one difference between this 3 sizes, namely stature?ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you've found bras that fit, and pretty ones at that!ReplyDelete
Can I ask your opinion on how the cup sizes run compared to other brands (accounting for the difference in band size)? It looks as if the Cleo 28H has slightly bigger cups than the Ewa Michalak, but that could just be the difference in styles.
Alladyna- I am not ignoring your post, I have had some Blogger issues and posts have been messed up. I am hoping it is fixed now.ReplyDelete
I have done my best to stand the exact same way in all of the photos, which of course was not easy with having to run back and forth to try different bras and take photos with my tripod. I think that the only real difference I see is that my head is a at a different position in each photo, if you look at the arch of my back, etc, then it looks the same. It is also a commonly known fact that bras that can affect your posture, so perhaps that is what you are noticing.
It is hard to truly show the difference the new bra makes in photos, but if I say that it looks much better in real life, and most importantly that I am more comfortable, then what does it matter?
My life would be a lot easier if I could wear 28 bras, and I have been tempted in the past to ignore the problem. But the blisters on my ribcage and pain in my shoulders were hard to ignore, and I knew I owed it to my readers to try to find something better.
If you disagree with my way of sizing or find something else works better for you, then, by all means use what works for you. Many factors affect fit on bra's and other garments. I do not claim to have an answer for everyone... but am very happy to have found an answer for myself and the other ladies who have found solutions as a result of my search.
Best of luck to you in finding your perfect fit.
En Bouton- well, both bras "fit" me, other than the bands both being too big. The Cleo has slightly wider underwires, though. I hope that answers your question! :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you for the thoughtful review and comments. I am in awe of an individual willing to do all this research and be willing to put themselves out into the world of the internet to help other women! I especially love how you refrain from judging other ladies harshly, even when their tone to you makes me wonder what they could possibly be thinking!ReplyDelete
Alladyna, for example... do you mean to come across with such anger towards a lady who is only trying to help others? You act like this lady would have a reason to try and deceive you! How strange.
My personal experience is this... when I wore ill fitting bra's (which I did for many years) I was sometimes poked by my underwire being in the wrong place. The back of my bra always went way up my back and all my bra's struggled to support me. The fitting ladies would give up in despair at fitting me. Bra shopping was a nightmare! It always involved settling for what sort of fit, never for getting something beautiful and truly comfortable.
Since I have been wearing better bra's, I have learned a few things. My first properly fitted bra was a revelation! The back did not go up my back. My chest was comfortable and supported. Everything looked better! Also, as a short waisted woman, I lost the breast as part of my weight look and had a much nicer silhouette.
Then I lost weight... I have been in the under weight, over weight and obese classifications during my lifetime. I tend to gain and loose evenly when it happens, but my body is most stubborn about it's set points! I did not loose much around my ribcage... people are so funny, they will call you anorexic (using the term way too loosely, it is a very serious and deadly disease) and make strange assumptions based on the measurements of your ribcage! People, if you have small frame, then your ribs are usually smaller. I am petite in height, have very small shoulders and a small ribcage... even when I am heavy! I think my ribs expanded a small amount after 2 pregnancies and I know I had a few inches of fat covering them. So, as I lost weight, my previous dream bra's suddenly started rubbing my rib cage and giving the blisters Brittany is talking about. It reminds me of shoes... if they are huge they don't hurt, if they are way too tight, they obviously hurt, but when they are loose, but not flying off is when they usually give blisters. The exact right fit is ever so much more comfortable!
I have had to go down below a 30" band in my bra's and it has fixed the problem. If you saw me in person, I am no twig! I have lovely curves and rolls! However, I still wear a small band size. I believe when I had more padding, it made whatever bra I had fit more comfortably. Now that my ribs are sticking out more, I need to be all that more careful of my fit. :-)
Anyway, kuddo's to another excellent piece and a lovely blog. You are appreciated!
Thanks for the reviews! I've been thinking about ordering EM for some time, but their sizing is confusing. This helps.ReplyDelete
Hi;) Thanks you for answer;)))ReplyDelete
I think, that our apperance in difference bra sizes depends on our posture, so standing stright is very important, when you will compare sth. I can wear the same bra and looks totaly different, because of my posture... Look at this photos: http://pokazywarka.pl/5m020n/
It is only one bra in one size Effuniak 30F, this one: http://balkonetka.pl/katalog/bra/effuniak-pomaranczowy-3 ... and looks completely different under my strappy top.;) At third picture my breasts are much higher. But it's not real diccerence, only seamless, a mistake. That's all.
What does that matter? Everyone knows that posture makes us look different. However, a good bra, when you are a chesty lady helps you to improve your posture as it balances out the weight on your front! The blog author is talking about being more comfortable and well supported. I think you are missing the point of the review...
Also, different bras in the same size shape breasts in different ways. Some make me look well rounded at the top, others flatter. This does not change if the bra is comfortable or not, it just changes how I look in the bra.ReplyDelete
OK, I have decided... My next bra purchase will be from Ewa Michalak! I have been mulling over this and perusing her website for quite awhile. Thank you for the very thorough review, sizing information and detailed pictures.ReplyDelete
Also, a few questions about special ordering: How long did it take for your order to arrive from Poland? I am in New York State. And was there any issue with ordering a larger cup size than is currently available in those styles, in addition to the smaller band size? I think I will order in my regular band size of 34, but several styles that I really like are only made up to a G or GG cup, and I would need them in a HH. Do you think that is possible?ReplyDelete
Question: How did you figure out that they special order 26 and 24 bands? There is also only one 28 on the site, does that need to be special ordered too? And how do you know which models are available to be special ordered in your band?ReplyDelete
Leah: Yes. You have to email the shop and as them if they could make the style you want in your size.ReplyDelete
But remember that you can't return these bras.
"What does that matter? Everyone knows that posture makes us look different. "
But if in this set of photos that's posture that makes the visual difference and not the bras then this comparison makes no sense.
Comfort and support don't always show. Especially when a person stands still :)
So why the photos if they don't add anything?
Leah- They mentioned the 26 and 24 to me themselves, when I wrote to them after trying 28 and told them it did not fit. 28 Does need to be special ordered, too, unfortunately. As for which models, all of them, unless they are end of collection or special edition, in which case they might not have the materials to make them special. You just have to ask. :-)ReplyDelete
AL- I do believe that the photos show something, or else I would not have put them. However, they cannot possibly tell the whole story, the other part of which is comfort.ReplyDelete
Brittany - I've been reading your blog for a while, and I really enjoy it. I was beginning to wonder about the Ewa bras - I'm glad the 26 works for you - you're standing tall and proud. I have a 26" ribcage, and you have helped me on my way to my "brapiphany." Great post!ReplyDelete
Anna- whoops, sorry, I missed your comment before. They took about a month or so for Ewa's team to make, but then only about 10 days to ship- I know that's a long time total but I think it's worth it.ReplyDelete
As for cup size, their bras are available up to a bigger cup size for each smaller band size. So something might be available in 34G max, then 32GG max, then 30H.... etc. Does that make sense? You would have to write them and ask if they could make the styles you want, but the answer might be no, because I think some styles aren't suited to the amount of support that cup size needs, so they won't make them. But it definitely can't hurt to ask. I hope that helps!
Nice to see that you are finally happy with your bras. I first came across you blog when you bought your first BiuBiu clothes (the've got beautifull dresses at the moment - I'm going to buy Summer City myself soon :)).ReplyDelete
Though, however happy you are, I'm also a bit suspicious.I know Effuniaks - they are really quite tight. I love tight bands myself, I'm definitely more on the tight side than Alladyna, but... Out of curiosity - do you exhale the air before you measure your underbust? If not, this could explain some misunderstandings:).
And one final remark, to the ladies who want to defend Britanny from Alladyna - there is no need. Alladyna is a part of a bigger bra-fitting community (www.balkonetka.pl)She only wants Brittany to avoid the same mistakes the Polish bra lobbists would make a few years ago. Too big cups and too tight bands. I think more than one person could find Alladyna's advice useful. She's got amazing experience with well-fitted bras.
Bianka: You have to measure as tightly as possible. My normal (also tight!) measured ribcage is 72cm - as tightly as I can pull give me a 63cm. The latter is the one you type into the Ewa Calculator. :)ReplyDelete
I've been meaning to comment forever, Brittany. I love the pictures you posted, and knowing that someone as particular as you recommends this brand gives me confidence to recommend it to others.ReplyDelete
Allydina, I appreciate your raising the point about posture because I wondered about it as well. The link you posted is GREAT (http://pokazywarka.pl/5m020n/).
How do you all post pics w/ diagrams like this??? I'm so clueless.
Why the word suspicious? What would Brittany have to gain by not being honest? She is not selling anything... simply sharing her experiences and trying to be helpful. Perhaps people are defending Brittany because the tone sounds a bit unpleasant in some of the posts, rather than supportive or questioning? Words like... suspicious, for example.
I think there are many important factors in measuring! I have never measured as tightly as possibly, nor do I add to my measurement. I try to have my bra's fit on the loosest setting when they are new. They stretch... so if I hold on to them for long enough I do end up eventually on the tightest setting. I also think the weight of the breasts, as well as the shape are important here. If the breasts are very heavy, they will slide under a band that is too loose and pinch on a band that is slightly too big. In this situation the right fit becomes very important. I think this is what Brittany has experienced. Ladies with lighter breasts can probably have a bit more flexibility. No person should be talking about bands that are tight enough to cause pain!!! That is obviously too tight and defeats the purpose. Just because many women wear bands that are too loose certainly doesn't mean that bands which are uncomfortably small become a good idea! That is just plain silly! Obviously, using some sense and finding the balance you need given that you are all individuals with different needs, shapes and sensitivities!
This blog is about supporting women in this search. It is stated to use ideas as a starting point... it is never written as an absolute rule for anyone. So, I would say I find it very helpful, but do wish some of the posters would adjust their tone. This is a safe place to get ideas, opinions and help. Be supportive and kind towards other women including the lady who writes the blog! That is better for everyone.
I think that the debate about posture is an interesting one, though I never meant for it to become as much of a focus as it seems to have. I would just like to emphasize, however: I would NEVER falsify images, consciously change my posture to make things look different, or intentionally lie to my readers in any way. Personally, I think the images look similar and Allydina, it seems you based your perception of my posture on where my arm is in the photos. If you tried placing lines at the small of my back and then touching the shoulderblade, I think they would look almost the same. I think the main difference is in my shoulders/arms.ReplyDelete
That said, I do see that my posture *looks* better, and to me, that just further illustrates what a good bra can do! I have not tried on a 30 band bra for a long time, and it fit very very poorly, it actually *felt* like it was weighing me down, as much as I tried to stand straight. So maybe that is a big part of what we are seeing here? Regardless, the photos are only one small part of what I wrote, and I would love more discussion on the rest of my review. :-) Thanks!
Anonymous: Brittany needs unusually tight bands, when compared to a very large group of Ewa Michalak's bras' users. That makes some people doubt that she really needs them that tight to feel supported. Katia wanted to ask how Brittany measures herself, because the answer might explain a lot.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't pick on her choice of words. Mind that some people here are not native speakers of English and might not sense semantic nuances and undertones.
I don't think that she had an intention of attacking anyone.
And for the record, I don't question the fit of Brittany's bras.
Al, I think the fit questions are good and clarifying.ReplyDelete
I lived in another culture as a child... and did still need to mind my manners in the other culture. So, I think being careful with words is a good idea. Glad to hear it is a language barrier issue and not some of the strange stuff one see's on the internet these days!
Al- That is a good point about the wording of a non-native speaker. I think Alladyna might want to know that what she said came across in a way she did not mean, however. It also feels a bit like she is determined to prove that my bras don't fit! I think we should all do our best to keep this discussion supportive.ReplyDelete
As for the measuring- I do not think that I am measuring quite as snug as the girls in Poland do. (I measure snug, but not as tight as possible and not exhaling.) I think this may be a big reason for the discrepancy in opinions here. :-)
I can see a huge difference in how the 26 band fits you and I'm really glad that you have found relief from the blisters, ouch!ReplyDelete
I have found that Ewa Michalak bras are extremely well made and very supportive. I think I'm hooked and won't buy from any other brand. As for the tightness of the ewa michalak bands, I've held the ewa michalak bras up to my freya, panache and fantasie bras, and found that the length of a 32 band in ewa michalak and freya/fantasie/panache is about the same. However, the length when stretched of the ewa michalak is much less than those other bras. The ewa michalak bands feel tighter when I wear them, which is great for me because I am in between a 30 and a 32 so the ewa michalak 32 band is just right. Smaller bands stretch less than larger bands, so you would notice the difference in stretchiness of the ewa michalak bras more in a size 32 than you would in a 28, and larger band sizes will notice the less strechy material of an ewa michalak band even more, so I think that's why they might have a reputation of being tight. I hope this explanation is making sense.
Thank you... that all made sense to me. I will check that out and compare my bra's!
Brittany, it's great that you found right bras for yourself. But if I can share my experience, I also had similar problems. I have 66cm underbust and to feel the proper fit I needed 28 bands in Panache bras. However, they all looked like the one in your note here: http://www.thinandcurvy.com/2011/02/bras-for-sub-28-ribcage-do-you-need-26.htmlReplyDelete
I think that in bras with bigger cups and smaller bands the problem lies in the underwires as they are much too wide for women with smaller ribcages. And consequently, much of the length of the band is "taken" by the cups and the actual band is really short but it still can ride up at the back! I hope what I wrote is understandable;) This phenomenon we girls in Poland call "wrapping yourself around with the cups" :)
I don't know if any girl from Poland linked it here, but there's a girl who has lingerie blog too and, although most of you are not Polish speakers, looking at the photos will be enough to understand the problem. http://stanikomania.blox.pl/2010/04/Trojkatne-kobiety-czyli-rzecz-o-biustonoszach.html My loose translation of the title is "The triangle-shaped women, i.e. about bras that do not fit anyone" (pardon my mistakes, if any;) the phenomenon of EM bras is that her underwires are not as big as in other brands, i'm not mentioning the snugness now but if you come to think of it, the underwires problem explains a lot.
And for clarity, it's not my intention here to question your fitting Brittany but I just wanted to share what we girls in Poland came to. You may want to compare the underwires in EM and other brands. They are not only wider but also longer and often stab in the armpit. And if you measure the proportion cups vs. band the latter is about 1/3 of the total lenght of the band. I'm planning to take some photos (comparing my 28H/HH panache bras with EM underwires) to support my claim, however, it'll be possible after the weekend because I don't have access to my camera now. As this blog's aim is to share experience,I hope my post will be helpful to someone and I want to highlight that I wrote about myself and I'm not denying Brittany's need for bands smaller than 28.
Anonymous- Thanks for the link! I do appreciate what you are trying to say. :-) I have actually seen that article and I agree, it probably is a big part of the problem. I at one point had 28's altered for me and it made them fit even worse, i think because the underwires were already making that triangle and then removing fabric from the bands just made that so much worse.ReplyDelete
This is one of the things I like about EM bras, Ewa pays attention to details like that and I think that is why the fit is so good (I have gotten some online British friends of various sizes to try them, too, and they all love them as well!) As per the snugness, I will just mention that I did indeed try the EM 60 band, for several months even, and it was definitely too big. But even too big I could tell the construction was better than other bras I had tried- for example EM's plunges are much better than the oft-beloved Freya Deco IMHO.
Thanks again for sharing your experience!
Well, I'm defintely not a native speaker of English. But I hope I know what suspicious means. At least, I know what it means in my own idiolect:).ReplyDelete
And, well, how could I suspect Britanny of trying to cheat us – I know Effuniak brand quite well – I'm from Poland. Ewa is a great designer and her bras do wonders. I would rather suspect her of being wrong. Or, I'd rather should say that I am a bit doubtful:).
However, my doubts may be the result of different measuring techniques in the USA or UK and Poland.
In Poland the good technique is as following: you exhale air from your lungs and you measure yourself as tightly as possible.
That's not a question of personal preferences – that is how the manufacturers such as Ewa Michalak or Comexim (another good Polish brand) expect you to measure yourself. My tight measurement is 77cm and loose one 81-82cm. When I type these figures into Effuniak's bra size calculator , I am advised to buy a bra which has a band nominally 75cm long (more or less, size 34 in the USA or UK). However, if I measured myself only loosely, the caltulator would make a mistake and I would buy a band 80 (36) bra that wouldn't be definitely tight enough for me :).
If Britanny doesn't measure herself this way, it's no wonder she and the girls from Poland have different opinions on how to fit a proper band size in case of Effuniak bras:).
And, Britanny, if it comes to altering, I think you can risk it in case of Effuniaks. The underwires are not flexible and they are rather narrow. I had two of my Effuniaks altered and they fit great:). Yet, I'm only 34E, so defintely my case could be different:) On the other hand, when I altered Panache Harmony, the result was awful.
What size would I need? When I measured myself with your instructions I measured a 28FF, but the EM calculator said I was a 30E?? I'm not sure how this works quite yet.I haven't bought any bras that actually fit me before.ReplyDelete
If you wrote in the calculator right measurements then the result given by the calculator should be fine. Right measurements are: the first one- very tight, after exhaling the air from your lungs, the second one- also snug but no exhaling.ReplyDelete
The calculator gives accurate results in most cases if one takes measurements in the right way.
Since you have never ordered a properly fitting bra before, pick a soft cup bra you like (not a molded cup bra, which is harder to determine if it fits you right when you don't know your true size,) and try ordering THE SAME BRA in sizes 28E, 28F, 28FF and also 30DD, 30E and 30F. Try on all the bras, keep the one that fits the best, and return all the others. I know that's a lot of bras to order at once, but if you don't have an excellent lingerie store near you where you can try on a lot of bras in your size, it's the best alternative.
If none of the bras that you ordered fit, you may need a bigger or smaller size than the size range you ordered, or more likely, you picked a bra that was incompatible with the shape of your breasts. Return all the bras and start again with a different size range and/or a different bra.
For me personally, the calculator on this site predicts I will be a 30G. The calculator on EM predicts I will be a 32F. I take a 32F in EM and a 30FF or a 32F in other brands, depending on the tightness of the band. So for me the EM calculator was perfectly accurate, but your size could vary from what the calculator predicts depending on the shape of your breasts. It's all very confusing and the best way to find your true size is to try on a lot of bras. Also your size will could vary slightly from bra to bra depending on whether that bra runs small/big in the band/cup or both.
I do not know of anyone in the U.S. who measures the way described above. Typical is to measure loosely, then add 4 inches. I got a good fit by measuring, not tightly, but snugly and not adding inches. I have never heard of exhaling and doing it so tightly. I am sure that would alter the fit quite a bit. The way I do it, the band I am trying to order should fit nicely on the loosest hook. I have only ordered one bra (which had really vastly different sizing and may have been a mistake) and as the cups fit a bra extender worked perfectly. There seems to be a lot of variation in the way people measure!ReplyDelete
A store would be great! I am short (petite, people like to call it!) and I need a balcony style bra, not a full size in all brands. Otherwise the underwire is too big for my frame. So, that would make all the difference in the world to me in terms of comfort. Do you have a store near you? I am SO willing to drive for a good store with a variety of sizes! :-) It is really worth the work to find out what works best for you. It makes such a difference in my comfort, how my figure looks, my posture... so many things, how my clothes fit... and once you know your size and styles that work it will get much, much easier! Good luck!
The measurement method described by me works specifically for Ewa Michalak's bras. EM design her bras with this mmeasurement method in mind and the sizes differ from those in other brands. So it's perfectly normal that the size given by the calculator is different from the sizes one wears/should wear in other brands.ReplyDelete
Hi Brit i saw that you talked a lot of the Band size not so much about the Cup size. When you picked out the bra did you use UK sizing?ReplyDelete
Hi Angela- Yes, the cups are exactly the same as UK sizing. So a 28H in, say, Panache and a 28H in Ewa Michalak have cups exactly the same, although Ewa's band sizes are a bit snugger/less stretchy. Ewa's cups also tend to be a bit narrower (better proportioned for narrow backs) and shorter (good for petite or high-breasted women) compared to most. Sorry for the confusion, I hope that helped! :-)ReplyDelete
Oh, and Zoe- I meant to say that I loved your explanation of the stretchiness, that made a lot of sense! The 2 bras I compared above did seem to stretch about the same, but sadly I couldn't figure out how to post a photo- I would have needed several extra hands! :-)ReplyDelete
So I think that may mean that in under 30/65 sizes, Ewa is more similar to British bands, but above that size, they start to get comparatively tighter? Does that sounds right?
Yes Brittany, that's exactly what I was trying to say, that the increased tightness/decreased strechiness of the Ewa bras is going to be more apparent in larger band sizes.ReplyDelete
That's why women with large underbust measurements don't always need large band sizes, because bigger bands strech more. Venusian glow explains this phenomenon pretty well
and here: http://venusianglow.blogspot.com/2011/02/bra-fitting-for-plus-sizes-really-big.html
Brittany - I definitely need to try this brand! Your pictures aren't slouched or distorted in any way and the rediculous 'diagram' is clearly utter tripe - the 'lines' used to show your 'slouch' in some pics arent even touching - what a sad loser with too much time on their hands. Your post is fabulous xReplyDelete
Anonymous - you say: "That's not a question of personal preferences – that is how the manufacturers such as Ewa Michalak or Comexim (another good Polish brand) expect you to measure yourself. My tight measurement is 77cm and loose one 81-82cm. When I type these figures into Effuniak's bra size calculator , I am advised to buy a bra which has a band nominally 75cm long (more or less, size 34 in the USA or UK). However, if I measured myself only loosely, the caltulator would make a mistake and I would buy a band 80 (36) bra that wouldn't be definitely tight enough for me :)."ReplyDelete
Brittany is not wrong at all anonymous, but I see where the problem lies here. In European countries, the band (65, 70, 75 etc) seems to supposedly be what you roughly measure tightly in centimetres. I believe this is wrong, as UK/Aus/US band sizes (28, 30, 32 etc) are what you measure in inches. They can't both be a literal translation of what you measure, but from experience, I know the UK way is correct. 77cm tightly would be 30 inches. Using the Ewa/EU method, this gives you a 34 band size. However, a 30 inched ribcage should never wear a 34 inch bra - this adds an extra 4 inches which would mean it is simply not tight enough.
My tightest measurement is 71/72cm like I previously mentioned, in which the Ewa calculator gave me a 70 band size. From the sounds of it, the Polish women on here would think this to be correct... But it's simply not. Having tried both a 70 and a 65, I can see that they're both too big for my frame, so in reality I need a 60 band - I normally wear a UK28. Brittany is right.
Agree with the Warner - you write amazing fascinating blogs and do not need to fabricate anything, you only want to help and share. Lines schmines, I have seen the bras on you and the smaller bands are definately the way forward, all the trolls need to stay away xReplyDelete
Brittany is not wrong, neither are you, Bianka. Neither are girls from Poland. Some girls would need the same band (28 and 60 for example) in EM as in other brands.ReplyDelete
However, as the calculator usually shows the right size (in most of the cases), using it should be recommended for the starting point.
I've got 28,7 inches under bust (73 cm) measured tightly and 28 bands are too tight for me.
I wear 30s and 32s and they fit perfectly.
So I think that 30 inched ribcage COULD wear a 34 inch bra, as my 32s are tight enough.
My Cleo Lizzie bra with 32 band is 25,6 inch long and can be extended to 31,1 inches. My 28 inches is halfway between these two measurements. I can tell from my experience that such bras usually fit me.
I don't say that this method is particularly accurate, though. Tightness and comfort of a band depends on so many factors that it is really hard to predict.
However, it CAN'T be stated that 28 inch ribcage should never wear a 32.
Cheryl Warner: At least Alladyna didn't intend to insult anyone and you do that ;/ That's not so fabulous :P
I uses Ewa Michalak calculator could be flawed. But I wonder did you use an actual measuring tape or did you use an English to Metric Converter.
When I saw the they had a 36 K I was so happy since a few a styles they have at that size are aren't offered in British Brands
I used a English to metric converter i typed in the numbers, then plugged those numbers into the bra calculator and got 40HH. That wouldn't fit me.
So after I stooped crying I looked at my bra and saw that my European measurement was an 80 K. Changed the band size measurement from 91 to 80 and it came back with 36 K.
Maybe you might want to try them out. But when you buy for the first time get two or 3 different sizes in one style. The see how each fits you. That's what i'm thinking of doing. But is have to ask bout their return policy.
Thanks for this post and for bringing awareness to band sizes under 30! I wear a 30 or a 28 band(my underbust varies from 28.5-27in).ReplyDelete
Do you happen to know of any physical stores in the U.S. that carry bras in larger cup sizes with 28 bands? It's hard enough finding 30 bands, and I find that even asking for 28 bands (or sometimes 30s, for that matter) often gets me incredulous or downright rude responses from the salesgirls/fitters. I was thinking of writing about this sometime. As it is, I generally stick with ordering online.
Christine- If you felt comfortable telling me your approximate location, I could maybe help you out more. But yes, there are a few decent stores- sadly not nearly as many there should be. The only good one I have personally been to is Breakout Bras in Greenville, SC. They carry a full range of 28 band sizes and do a great job on fitting. I also know Nordstrom's sometimes carries 30 bands but I don't think they have 28's.ReplyDelete
its good to see i am not alone with a slim body/large breast issue. I am a 28H in british sizing, usually only panache tends to stay tight enough. but even then, only on the tightest hooks, and after a few weeks of wear, the bras are no longer as supportive. I measure 26 around my ribcage, so plan to try a 55HH from Ewa Michalak...i will let you know what happens!
have your tried Intamacy. Even if you don't have one near you if you go on the site http://www.myintimacy.com/ you can find store ins their network that are near you they have bras will fit you.ReplyDelete
Brittany, I currently go between CA (Southern) and TX (Eastern)... I've never seen a 28 band at a Nordstrom, and it's usually hard to find 30's there :(ReplyDelete
A note about Intimacy - I've been there before, and while they carried a couple of 30 bands, I only found 1 bra that kind of fit me at the time, and it was $168! They were willing to alter the band down, but for the price, I'd just as soon buy a 28 band bra online!
This post has been extremely helpful and encouraging to me.ReplyDelete
After yet another poor Bravissimo experience last Saturday I was very depressed and frustrated. But thanks to fullerfigurefullerbust and this blog I have been given new hope.
My issue is a small back (77 tight, 80 loose) compared to an extremely large overbust (137). I am in my final stages of research regarding Ewa Michalak and I hope to order my first bra from them soon.
AL - fair enough, it just really angers me when people try to make out she's lying of trying to give false information as after all I don't see what reason she would have to do so? As a blogger myself I feel her frustration is all xReplyDelete
Just reporting in to let you know that I ordered two EM bras because you were so pleased with them in this post. Wow, love them! I, too, got the Toffik, and then also got the Lilia. The Lilia is not quite cut right for my breast shape, but the Toffik is perfect. I'm really impressed by the quality of both (and for so much less than my everyday Panaches, even including the Poland-US shipping, amazing!). At 32HH, I never thought I'd find demi-cups that actually fit, and I'm over the moon to find something that's at once sexy, well-made, and affordable. Definitely would not have taken the plunge (heh--bra pun!) with an unknown overseas company if you hadn't done this review, so thank you so much!
Could you please post a picture of your 26HH (any of 3 or all them together) side to side with some 28H or 30GG bra? I mean photo like those Panache Cleo 28H and Ewa Michalak 28H together? I'm on neverending quest of finding what can sit right on my 24" back and story of your successfull solving the similar problem gives me a new hope.ReplyDelete
But that *no return* policy forces me to second guess. The calculator from CurvesAndCorsets (Thanks Georgina for the link) puts me in awkward 24HH - the size really hard to trade-to-a-friend in case of fitting mistake. So I'm starting to think about almost a chess game - order something in bigger band but with possibility of return, check the fit, kinda calculate the *right* size, return, and finally order the custom one... huh? :)
neenah - you shouldn't use any other calculator to check your size in EM bras. there is a special calculator for EM lingerie on her site (http://www.ewa-michalak.pl/Size-Calculator-chelp-eng-10.html) and it gives correct bra size (in most cases). I wear 60(28)ff in EM bras and the calculator from CurvesAndCorsets gives me 24H..ReplyDelete
I commented earlier saying that I was ordering a couple of bras from Ewa Michalak; they arrived today. They fit very well and I am extremely pleased with them. It's so nice to have properly fitting bras again, and the quality seems very good.
For what it's worth, the bra size calculator on Ewa's site told me I should wear size 70B/32B. I ordered what I think is my "regular" size, going by your measurement instructions, which is size 65D/30D (my ribcage measures 30"). The bras fit very well; the band is snug on the loosest setting, like a new bra should be, and the cup fits smoothly (if anything I could try one cup size up). I do not think the 70B/32B recommended by Ewa's calculator would've fit me very well.
Anyways, thanks again for the excellent review!
Brittany, thank you so much for the fitting guidelines. Yours are the best and have led me to bra's that actually fit. Thank you!!!ReplyDelete
Don't know who Alladyna is, but I have to agree with her. Your back IS arched, though I'm sure you didn't intend to do so. I just traced with a piece of paper and compared all 3. There is a slight different between the 30 and 28, you're actually hunched a little more in the 28 which is kind of weird...you'd think it would make you less hunched since the band is smaller. But between the 26 and the other two there is quite a noticeable difference. Your shoulders are back more and your upper back is straighter. Now this could be becaues it's supporting you better...but bras don't push your shoulders back that much. Just sayin...ReplyDelete
I only found one 28FF bra on ewa's site-- I wonder how dissimilar a 30F would be. I guess i could always use an extender, but I'm wary of requesting non-refundable custom work...ReplyDelete
I just got my EM bras, and they're AMAZING. I've never had a bra that fit before. These are by far the best bras I've ever had! I bought them in 30F and they seem to fit very well. Thanks so much Britney!ReplyDelete
Thank you for this awesome post! I have a question for you regarding sizing for this brand. My ribcage loosely measured is 28, and tightly measured is 27 (i could get it down to 26 when i weighed 10 pounds less, which i don't plan on doing). So would you reccomend a 60 or 55 band? Thank you!ReplyDelete
This comment you made "Ewa's cups also tend to be a bit narrower (better proportioned for narrow backs) and shorter (good for petite or high-breasted women) compared to most" makes me want to try EM bras - I wear a Euro size 34F(or US 34DDD), and have very high breasts for my size (one would think they should be lower, because they are larger). But I'm thoroughly confused about their sizing now that I plugged my #s into their calculator. They recommended an 85DD (38DD), and I've never worn anything larger than a 36 band, and that was too loose, which is why I was fitted in a 34. My underbust is 33"...should I try a 34E (75E)? The impression I get from reading the comments is to go with my normal size, but I'm not certain.ReplyDelete
Do you mind sharing what your bras bands measure? I have a 26" ribcage and prefer a bra that measures 55cm in the band. I have one tighter 28 band that measures 55cm unstretched and it is the best fitting bra I own. The calculator on the website puts me at a 65DD, I wear a 28G. Would their 55 band size be a good fit for me with a 26" ribcage?
Hi! I found the post really useful but when I click on the link to take me to the website, it just takes me back here. Could you repost the link? I'm having a hard time finding it on Google. :PReplyDelete
Anonymous- I think a 60 band should be perfect.ReplyDelete
Veronika- I would suggest trying your normal size, or if you can, try ordering a few sizes and return the bras that don't fit.
Chrystal- I will look at that and get back to you! If you feel that you generally need tighter than most 28 bands, though, I think the 55 is probably the right size for you.
JessicaEnns- Sorry about that, I don't understand why it's not working! The website is http://www.ewa-michalak.pl/ and you have to click the flag at the upper right for English.
I am interested in trying EM bras, but am confused about sizing. The calculator put me at a 80DD (36DD), which sounds right for the cup, but very wrong for the band.
I wear a 32F in Fantasie. I have a Freya Deco in a 34E and a 32E, the 34E is too large in all aspects and the 32E is a tiny bit snug in the cup.
My ribcage measures 31 inches and my bust measures 41 inches.
Any advice for EM sizing? How does it fit, compared to Fantasie bras? Compared to the Freya Deco?
Part of an email direct from Ewa:ReplyDelete
"unfortunatelly we are not able to help you."
=( In hopes of looking for a 28FF or 26G. Brittany, do you know of any other companies that may make band sizes smaller than 28? Or maybe a company that runs smaller than normal? (Panache in a 28 slides up my back. I am 61cm snug, 65.5cm just firm around my ribcage, with 91cm for a full bust.) TIA =)
Anonymous- WTF? I don't understand why they would tell you that!!! My only guess is that maybe, due to the language differences, they didn't understand that you wanted to do a special order. If you think that's possible, would you write them back, and make it very clear that you want a special order and understand that it's not part of their regular range? (You have very very similar measurements to me, btw! My bust is a little bigger around and full in shape so I do need a few cup sizes bigger, however.)ReplyDelete
You could try M&S (Marks and Spencers) brand 28G's. Sometimes their bands run quite snug. But sometimes they don't and it's hard to predict, and also I worry the cups might be too small for you, as their cups run small, too. :-/
As far as other 26 band companies... All I can say is that I know for a fact that companies like Panache, Freya, Curvy Kate, etc are going to start having 26 bands within the next few years.
And that as soon as I know more, or find out other details, or new companies with options for us 26 backs, I will post to this blog for sure. I promise. :-) Sorry I can't give a better answer than that!
Actually when I contacted EM and asked if they have a 36K/80K in their email they said they didn't have my size. However on the bar it said that they did. At the time I wasn't sure if their K was like a British K or a European K.ReplyDelete
It was from you, Britney that I found out they use British sizing. Looking on their website it seems that 26 band sizes are now standard from D up. So you don't have to ask for the size if especially anymore.
i have to ask iam 30c /28D is that a small size i am 14 btwReplyDelete
I've been looking for good strapless bras for the longest time. I have the same breast volume, just a larger band size at a 32HH. Would you recommend getting the Toffik bra from Ewa Michalale? I would just be wearing it for a couple hours because I only have one dress that looks bad with straps. Do you, in your personal opinion, think that they'll be supported enough?
I love this post and I adore Ewa! I'm a 30H Ewa. Their bands to run a touch tighter I've found that's a good thing. 30's with any other brand results in back pain plus straps digging painfully into my shoulders. My Ewa 30's are now feeling too loose (yay weight loss). I realize my next purchase may be a special order. It's so wonderful knowing I can get high quality bras in such a unique size without signing over my first born. I still have another 15 pounds to lose, I may end up closer to a 26. Frustrating but knowing Ewa is there to save the day helps. :) Thank you. I adore your blog! It's next to impossible finding clothing that fits busty women. You take the guess work out of things.ReplyDelete
For what it matters, the Ewa calculator was very inaccurate for me. My best bet thus far as been the Sophisticated Pair calculator. That was pretty much spot on.
I've had a 24" ribcage (yes, I know...RIBCAGE, not waist) for as long as I've been able to measure it... My bust is 31/32 depending on the day. What bra size should I be wearing? Could someone please help?!!! I know the shops don't sell my size, I need a bra that fits!ReplyDelete
-16, confused and frustrated.
Anon, sounds like you would be a 55fReplyDelete
Dear Brittany, have you tried EU bra sizes? I calculated that 24 inch would equal 60,9 centimeters and 26 = 66 centimeters. On dutch websites (I'm Dutch), these bra band sizes (60 and 65) are available. Cupsizes differ a little too, though. You should calculate your EU bra size :-).ReplyDelete
Anonymous, Thanks very much for the suggestion, but the EU sizes don't work quite like that. A 60 band size is equal to a 28 band... it's kind of like +4 is built in. (Confusing, I know!)Delete
How do you know you're a 26 and not a 28?ReplyDelete
I ask this because I am having difficulty finding the right size. In a 30DD the center "tacks" on to my rib cage but it will rub me if I move around and I worry about blistering (just got the bra a week ago so time will tell...). In the back it rides up slightly. When I measure myself I get a 26 band size but I wonder how tight things are supposed to fit. I'm 5'5, I have a 24-25" waist and my ribs at 25.5" when the measuring tape is tight (not the tightest possible, just tight enough that it was easy to hold without squeezing a ton).
I've heard that a true good fit is a lot tighter than what most people desire/expect. What should I be expecting? How can I know the difference between whether I'm a 26 or a 28? Thanks :).
Have you noticed any discomfort when switching to a better-fitted band size? I always wore one too large, because it's all I could find. (A major pet peeve of mine - the lingerie experts always SAY that most women are wearing too small a cup/too big a band, then DON'T MAKE the sizes we actually need.) I finally found one with a band that's a pretty good fit. But it gives me heartburn and other internal discomfort by the end of the day. Is that odd?ReplyDelete
"Anonymous, Thanks very much for the suggestion, but the EU sizes don't work quite like that. A 60 band size is equal to a 28 band... it's kind of like +4 is built in."ReplyDelete
That's quite funny, because according to this site's measurement info, I should be wearing 28 (I measured 27,5", and I now wear 65DD/65E) and on european sizes the size is the ribcage rounded to the closest even number (mine was 69cm) minus 5cm, which is 65cm, equal 25,5". So there isn't (or at least, isn't supposed to be) a +4 inches in those measurements, only two inches, plus there's that minus 5cm = 2", which is added so that the band won't loosen up too quickly. I buy my bra from Change, and their smallest band size is 60cm.
But I don't know how misguided I am, I just really wanted to say this. :)
The shipping is now $14 USD plus a PayPal fee :(ReplyDelete
Do you have any bra of band size 24? I would be interested to know if you're happy with them. I tried on a bra that had band size 60 at Change of Scandinavia and it fit just fine but the cup was a little too small.
I googled and can't find bigger cup sizes with teeny tiny band sizes, say around 24H.
Would be interesting to know if you have Ewa Michalaks or other bras of band size 24 and if they fit well/look good.
BTW, just ran into this project. Nice I say! I bet there are plenty of people with band sizes 24,26 and 28.
Hi, I've been following your blog avidly for some time and find it very inspiring.ReplyDelete
I'm usually a 28G/GG leaning towards a 26, and was pleasantly surprised when I heard about Ewa Michalak through you. However, they are refusing to custom make a 26 band bra for me, claiming it will fit me badly. They keep referring me to their size calculator, which is completely wrong - there is no way that I am a 30/65. It seems to me that they don't know how the European sizes and the UK sizes work - they keep insisting that since I measure 26 inches under my bust then I must use an EU65 since 26 inches is 65 cm. I've been trying for months to make them understand, but they are very unhelpful.
I'm quite baffled to be honest and I'm wondering if you experienced anything similar when you contacted them initially? Or if anyone else have had similar experiences with them?
Hi Brittany, I love your blog, only recently came across it and it is very enlightening!ReplyDelete
The difference between these 3 bras is amazing, I can just imagine the extra comfort you get from the proper support! I'm growing into a figure similar to yours and I'm currently looking to buy a new set of bras because my current ones rub and itch something aweful, and I had a few questions:
- Going from a 30 to 26 band, how is the positioned changed between them?
- I currently use the 'swoop and scoop' method, although I don't quite have as much to scoop as you, I'm wondering if there is anything special you do to manage such ample breasts on a relatively small frame? Perhaps it will help me minimise my problems :( :)
- My sister is 3 years younger than me and a fair few cup sizes smaller, though with similar build, and I think she is wearing her bras wrong. She puts them on the usual way, spins and straps, but she doesn't try to re-position the band as high up under her breasts as she can. She just leaves them there and tightens the straps, I tell her it isn't supporting her breasts properly, is there any advice you can offer? She is 24CC.
Thanks Brittany keep up the beautiful posts and extremely helpful posts :)
Hi, Brittany! I tried custom ordering a 26GG bra from Ewa. I was really confused, so I just sent them an email saying that I would like to order the CH Toffik in a 26GG and gave them my address. They responded:ReplyDelete
You have to make an account on our web site, use our size calculator to be sure of Your size in our brand (sizes like 26band are non-returnable/exchangeable and costs 20PLN and I have to oversee such orders).
I made an account (and ignored their inaccurate sizing calculator), but now I don't know what to do... There is an option to place orders on their website, but it seems to only work with things you've added to your cart, meaning it couldn't be used for custom orders, could it? Should I email them again? What should I say? Sorry- I'm new to Ewa and I'm really confused.
I've always just emailed them to order, but I haven't placed an order in a little while, so maybe things are different. Maybe just email them again and ask? They've been being somewhat difficult lately about letting people order 26 bands, insisting that their calculator is accurate. I think they want you to try your calculator size first since it would be returnable, and then try 26 if it doesn't fit. If you don't want to do that, then maybe sort of pretend that you *are* ordering your calculated size (like, say you checked your size on their calculator and are sure it's 26GG or something like that.)
Woah! That was a super awesome quick response! :o Yay! Thanks! By the way, you are awesometastic. Sorry- just doing some blogger fangirling. I'll email them and pretend the calculator said that was my size. :)Delete
"Unfortunately we don't have materials to sew CH Toffik bra any more." Oh, well.ReplyDelete
So I'm getting three different ways to measure and I've gotten three different answers, 32 GG, 34 E and 32 F. I'm now confused. How do you find the true size?ReplyDelete
Sounds like Ewa Michalak discontinued all her band sizes below a 30... upsetting news, really.ReplyDelete
Not sure if it added my post, so my apologies if this posts twice:ReplyDelete
Are you aware that your comparison photo is being used on a bra shop's website? It's get bras.com under the Expert Advice page, at the bottom. It isn't negative or anything, just a little weird if you aren't aware, so I thought I'd point it out.
I am so buying them a bra!ReplyDelete
According to your guideline to measure myself, I am a 24F. It is almost impossible to get a 24F!!!
I'll first try the "normal" one to check if they don't fit and in case they really don't, I'll return them and buy my special size. :D
Thanks a LOT for this. It has been very helpful!
Hi, I had a question. My bra size is 26J and I'm 14 and im still growing rapidly so I cannever get overly expensive bras. However, due to the scarcity of my size I have been wearing sister sizes since the seventh grade. it's incredibally uncomfortable and I was wondering if there is a place were I can find my actual size?ReplyDelete
I ordered a couple bras through a site called Wellfitting. They offer band sizes down to 26 and cup sizes up to O.ReplyDelete