Plus size bra review: Ewa Michalak PL Stalówka

 

 

 

PL Stalowka

The Stalowka is available in both PL and CHP styles in many, many sizes. Price is 129.00 zlotys, which is about $41.60

I may or may not have had a photo shoot with the bras when I received them on Wednesday….

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The Stalowka is about a 1/2 inch taller than the Karmelki. More on that later.

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The inside is lined with the softest cotton; and it’s harder to see because it’s black, but the Stalowka has the pockets for the breast asymmetry correction pads

The actual color in real life of this bra is like a happy medium between the site photo (blue) and my photos (darker grey)

I spent about 2.5 months debating on whether I wanted to order bras from Ewa Michalak. There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about what size you should order, and the size calculator on the EM site gives very, very different suggestions than the “normal” UK size that I wear. From lots of people and the calculator, I was told to try anywhere from my standard size of 40J all the way up to a 44J.

I decided to stick with my Panache Andorra size (as it runs tight-ish in the band and smaller in the cup). A lot of feedback about the EM bras has said that you should size up in band and cup. It seemed like the Andorra size was a good place to start (at least in my mind!)

Before I post photos of me in the bra, I want to share the measurements for the 40J PL Stalowka:

  • Band Length: 30″
  • Stretched Band: 38″
  • Cup Width: 9″
  • Cup Depth: 15.4″
  • Wire Length: 15″
  • Cup Separation: 0.75″
  • Center gore height: 4.5″
  • Wing Height: 5.25″

As compared to my 40J Panache Andorra:

  •  Band Length: 33″
  • Stretched Band: 40″
  • Cup Width: 9″
  • Cup Depth: 15″
  • Wire Length: 18″
  • Cup Separation: 0.75″ 
  • Center gore height: 5″
  • Wing height: 5.5″

The Andorra is one of my absolute favorite bras, and the two (Andorra and Stalowka) are almost identical, except for small differences in cup depth and wire length. I’ve always felt like my Andorra gave me a great cleavage (obviously not the same as the Stalowka), and now I see how it really compares to a plunge style bra.

For more comparison, here’s the measurements of my 40J Elomi Briony bra:

  • Band Length: 33.5″
  • Stretched band: 44″
  • Cup width: 9.25″
  • Cup depth: 15.5″
  • Wire length: 17.5″
  • Cup Separation: 1″

What this tells me is that, for the most part, a J cup is 15-15.5″ in depth across the board, and typically a 40 band starts at 33″ unstretched. Except for Ewa Michalak bras, which start smaller and do not stretch as much (I mean….the Briony stretches 9.5″!!).

Also, as you can see, Ewa Michalak wires are shorter in length overall, with comprable cup width, wing height, separation, and gore height.

The biggest difference between EM bras and others? Well, obviously EM bras are padded, so there’s that…but oh goodness….look at the shape. I think I fell in love with my boobs when I put this bra on….

 

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My poor right boob is bigger…

 

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It’s so….so round..

 

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Borderline buttcrack cleavage

 

For reference, this is what the Panache Andorra looks like on me…

Panache Andorra Bra

Panache Andorra Bra

I swear I’ll get to the actual review in a minute here……

This whole experience with EM bras has taught me a few things:

  • Where I once thought my boobs were just full on buttom, I think they are just full in general.
  • I have a lot of migrated tissue still making its way back to the homeland. I’ll address this more in the full review.
  • My boobs are closer together than I thought, initially. I actually do NOT fall to the center of the EM PL bras. My boobs love these!
  • I miss wearing padded bras.
  • I grew accustomed to the more natural shape of my boobs in non-padded bras, so the “shelf” effect of EM bras was startling at first.
  • I love my boobs!!!

 

On to the legit review:

Features: Half adjustable straps, ability to add padded inserts into each cup to correct asymmetry, lightly padded plunge shape, delicate bows on the gore and straps, 3 sets of 3 hooks and eyes, and matching band color.

Fit: As you can see from the measurements, the 40 is definitely snug. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it hooked when I first put it on, but thanks to my husband, I got it hooked. It relaxed enough for me to be able to hook it on my own. I wore it all day yesterday while at work, and while it didn’t bother me, I was pretty red when I took the bra off. It was actually a welcome change from the 40’s I have been wearing that have become too loose.

I ended up purchasing some extenders today from Jo-Anns (a 4 set of 3 hooks is only $2.99). It turns out that I really only needed an extra row of hooks for the bra to be comfortable and still supportive.  The cups themselves are spot on. They couldn’t be any smaller, as I would totally have double boob. However, I will say that because the wires are shorter (and the wing height is shorter), I do have a little bit of armpit chub that likes to visit every once in a while. Another blogger suggested that I would need to size up in the cup because this is breast tissue. But, it’s not breast tissue. It’s just armpit fat. I have lost some more weight and haven’t been working out due to a foot injury, so I am super squishy and have a lot of loose skin in my arm/armpit area. I know that if the wires were longer, this wouldn’t be an issue. Going up a cup size would cause me to lose the AWESOME look I get in this bra, and I think it would be too big. And, as it really is comparable in measurements to my other bras, I don’t doubt that the armpit chub problem is because of the wire length (or lack of).

Support and Shape: Why hello gorgeous boobies! The support in this bra is so amazing. I’ve always dreamed of having a bra that felt like my husband was behind me, holding the girls up with his hands. I totally get that same feeling in this bra! It’s like my boobs are suspended in air, defying gravity. And the shape…oh lawdy. So beautiful. I definitely do have some jiggle up top where the breast tissue is not covered. When I wore this to work (I nanny which means lots of up and down, bending over, carrying children, etc.), I was really worried that I was going to fall out of the cups, or that I would spend the day readjusting myself…..but NOPE. Not at all. My boobs, albeit jiggly, stayed put and in the cups all day. I never had to readjust at all.

Other thoughts: I think the only complaint that I have about this bra is that the underwires aren’t really padded at all, and tend to irritate my skin right where the fabric of the center gore rests on my tummy (damn that high tummy!!!). Other than that, I just can’t get over how awesome this bra is. While the cup width is the same as the Andorra, the bra is definitely constructed so differently. Instead of getting the wide shape like I get in the Andorra, I get a very projected, front and centered shape. I LOVE IT. 

Overall Grade: A… It would have been an A+ had it not been for the lack of padding on the underwires….

 

So here’s my take about ordering from Ewa Michalak:

  • The bands are snug. Say you measure 38.5″ underbust. You should be okay getting a 38 band. But if you’re like me and measure more like 39″, you aren’t going to want to get a 38 band. You’re going to want that 40″ band. And maybe even a 42″. I also ordered the PL Carmen in a 38JJ…..the band only stretches to 36″!!!
  • The cups run a size small. So, size up a cup.
  • If you wear the Panache Andorra, order that same size in your Ewa Michalak bras.
  • It took a week for them to make the bra, and then a week to post from Poland. Ordered on Nov. 28th, and got the order on December 12th. That’s pretty amazing! 🙂

 

Other reviews of the Stalowka:  PL UndieGamer (28G)   CHP Faustine (32G)

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Plus size bra review: Ewa Michalak PL Stalówka

  1. I have to say that I’m unsure about the relationship between the Panache Andorra and PL Ewa Michalak bras in smaller cup sizes. Perhaps it works out in larger cups, but I currently have a 28FF Andorra which is a perfect fit in the cups, and my PLs are 28Gs-26GGs, also perfect. So these rules may not apply to smaller sizes as well.

    There’s also a good chance that a cup size up in the Stalowka would fit you based on my experiences with the bra. I can wear a 28FF PL, and I get great cleavage from it, but I find it a bit too jiggly, whereas a 28G really anchors me down. I would not be surprised if this was also the case for you. But really either size works and it just depends on what you like, and this bra looks amazing on you lady! Great and thorough review.

    • Hey thanks Windie!

      It may be that a general statement could be that you should size up two cup sizes (from the norm) and one cup size up from your Andorra size. I guess above all I am trying to find a good comparison so that there is not as much guesswork. Perhaps same cup size as Curvy Kate? I find I have to size up quite a bit (usually to a JJ cup) to get a good shape, whereas I wear an HH in most Elomi styles. But as you mentioned, I think there are differences in scaling. I’ve looked at Curvy Wordy’s measurements of her EM bras and some of the other girls and the larger band sizes don’t stretch as much. Not sure about cup scale, but it is possible that there are differences.

      I will probably order a 40JJ (or 42J) in the EM bras in the future. I don’t mind the jiggle, it’s just new. And I never fell out of the bra.

      • It might have something to do with the center gore as well. They are veeery short in my size, so the support toward the center is not as great. But certainly a size up at least from one’s “normal” size seems necessary in the PLs.

        And no reason to mind some jiggle if it looks that good 😉

  2. Hi there! I think we’re kind of sisters-in-size and probably in shape 🙂 I’m a 38JJ on most Panache and Curvy Kate Bras and I wear a 38J in Elomi (except for the Tamarie, which I like pretty much, but it’s only available in 40HH).
    Thanks for this great review! Especially the meassurements are quite helpful for me. Would you mind meassuring the wire width of the Stalówka?

  3. Pingback: Plus Size Bra Review: Panache “Jasmine” | Fussy Busty

  4. Pingback: Plus Size Bra Review: Ewa Michalak ‘PL Charlie’ | Fussy Busty

  5. OMG

    Thank you! I have been considering ordering from Ewa too, but have has hesitation on size and have been confused about this going up sizes recommendation. I, too, might be a boob twin (38JJ in most CK and Elomi, but haven’t been brave enough to try for Andorra after my way-too-wide/tall-wires experience with the Tango. But I find that nothing has given me the shape, projection and lift I want, which makes Ewa a natural next step.

    And to my disappointment, there’s very little in the upper band sizes for EM on bratabasee for me to extrapolate from. Sounds like I could order a 40JJ from her and maybe need an extender or maybe not, but end up with a well-fitting cup?

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