Abstract: This post summarizes the different types of bras available from Ewa Michalak and recounts my experience with sizing, ordering, shipping, and customer service. I’ll add links to more detailed reviews of the bras I purchased when I finish writing the posts.
Introduction: Ewa Michalak (click the flag in the top right corner to view the site in English) is a Polish lingerie brand that is popular with many bloggers and reviewers around the Internet. Their bras are very well priced, ranging from GBP£21–£29 at current price levels and exchange rates. The size range is fairly extensive, and, according to this post at Thin and Curvy, they will make 28, 26, and even 24 bands on request.
Product Range: Each EM bra is labelled with a two- or three-letter code to indicate its style and shape:
- CH, HP, CHP: Padded half cup bras. The CH style emphasizes forward projection, whereas the HP style gives more upward lift. The CHP style is a happy medium between the two.
- HM: Fabric and/or mesh cup bras.
- PL: Padded plunges.
- ST: Padded strapless bras.
- KM: Nursing bras.
This post at StackDD+ illustrates the difference between some of these styles and contains a lot of other useful information about the brand.
Sizing: EM uses European bra sizes, but the website lists equivalent UK sizes next to everything, so you don’t have to worry about size conversions.
If you’ve never purchased bras from EM before, sizing can seem like a total crapshoot; their calculator is completely bizarre, and sizing recommendations from other online sources are all over the map. I found that their bras, on average, run true to size in both the band and the cup. There are a few styles that run loose in the band, but in general, your usual UK size is a good bet.
Ordering & Shipping: You can place an order either through the website or by email. This post at Braless in Brasil offers advice on placing email orders and other general information, as does this thread at Busenfreundinnen (in German; use Google Translate). A list of shipping rates can be found at EM’s Terms and Conditions page.
As far as I can tell, all orders from outside Poland have to be paid by PayPal and include a 6% processing fee. It seems that some European customers also have the option of paying by bank transfer, which may or may not be more economical than PayPal.
I ordered four bras from Ewa Michalak (via the website) during a 10% sale in early June of this year. (I’ve waited quite a while before posting reviews so that I could get a good idea of how the bras performed over the long term.) The process of ordering and paying for the bras went smoothly, and the package was shipped two days later. It arrived exactly three weeks after it was shipped. Shipping times for destinations outside Europe seem to vary between two to four weeks.
Returns: I don’t actually understand EM’s returns policy — it seems like a rather byzantine process. All I know for certain is that custom-ordered sizes aren’t returnable. You can find out more about returns and exchanges at some of the external sites that I’ve linked to in this post.
Customer Service: This was my experience: when I received the package, one of the bras I’d ordered was missing. I emailed the company about it and they said they would send a replacement. After they found that the missing bra wasn’t in their warehouse, though, they emailed me back to ask whether the package looked ‘worn’, i.e. whether it appeared to have been opened before it reached me. I replied that no, it hadn’t — it was well sealed, with all the tape and labels intact, and the bras inside were neatly packed and folded — and I asked if it was possible that the missing bra had been accidentally put into a different customer’s package.
I didn’t receive a reply to that email, and Ewa Michalak’s customer service also ignored the two follow-up emails I sent over the following three weeks. It was only after my third email, one week after that, that they offered to send a replacement for the missing bra. I was satisfied with this outcome, but the process, I feel, could have gone more smoothly. As a customer, I didn’t appreciate having my sincerity questioned and my inquiries ignored. I believe that when a customer pays a business for products that they then do not receive, it’s the responsibility of the business to promptly replace or refund the missing items in good faith, regardless of whether the business made a mistake in shipping, or whether the items were lost in the post or stolen, etc.
In general, I think dealing with Ewa Michalak can be a bit hit-and-miss; this post at Sophia Jenner alludes to less-than-briliant customer service, whereas this post at CurvyWordy details several very good customer service experiences.
Conclusions: Though EM’s customer service leaves something to be desired, I’m impressed by this company in all other respects. Their ordering process is straightforward, their prices are brilliant, and — most importantly, even though I’ve not yet touched on the topic — they make seriously awesome bras. I’ll post more about the products — fit, shape, etc — later, in individual reviews.