Polish Bras Have Ruined My Life: Some Fitting Notes on Parfait, Fauve, Ewa Michalak, and Avocado

So everything exploded in my entire life, I’ve shamefully neglected this blog, and quite honestly even Thanksgiving has not been sufficiently restorative. THIS YEAR. I swear to God. I’m still not feeling up to a marketing strategy monkey dance, but I do have a quick update as regards personal fitting woes.

I had two new Parfait by Affinitas bras I’d been trying out, the Fiona and the Charlotte balcony, in 32G and 32GG respectively.

look at those badass black straps on the Charlotte *weeps*

Parfait by Affinitas: Fiona; Charlotte balcony

I was mildly but distinctly pleased with these bras and had plans to review them with some favor, and then it all came crashing down.

What happened was that I tried on some swap-acquired Ewa Michalak bras, my first ever Polish bras — not so much because I thought I needed the narrow and projected Polish fit, just on the theory that if I’m going to blog about full-bust bras, it behoves me to clue myself in about Polish bras at least somewhat.

Well. It took about 20 minutes tops with the best of the lot to realize that (1) I have narrower roots and more projection than I’ve been crediting myself with and (2) holy God, do I need to raise my standards for an acceptable fit. The Parfaits unfortunately were collateral damage, revealed to me in their depressing reality as Too Shallow To Deal With. Charlotte in particular I’d been honeymooning pretty hard over for its badass looks and for its awesomely high outer wire/wing — it’s the tallest bra I think I’ve ever tried on — but I’ve had to retire it into the exchange drawer, because the contrast against the new EMs was so stark that it really made it obvious how suboptimally wide and shallow the fit was. Fiona is narrower, and it lives, but on a weekend basis; I need another inch of depth beyond what it provides, the absence of which creates an oddly square shape, like a bag of sugar and makes the band sit lower than I prefer. It’s a wretched shame because Fiona’s a silky, luxurious bra that I really like the feel of. OH WELL.

Also suddenly not working for me: my Fauve Chloe balcony. Happily I underpaid spectacularly for it via another swap situation, but goddamn it, that was a useful bra. Pretty much quasi full-cup in terms of coverage, but largely sheer (not alas as sheer as the stunning halfcup version of the Chloe, which  does not run as high as G) and friendly to upper fullness. Now, it’s suddenly fitting All Wrong in that too-wide too-shallow way. The Fauve Evangeline halfcup, my holy grail bra, continues to be fine, thank all the gods that take an interest. I’m wearing the 32G on the middle hook, but it’s still excellent. I don’t know why Fauve has this genius for producing halfcups that work on projected breasts, but I love them desperately for it, and am eyeing up the newer Agnes halfcup, which appears to have potential as an Evangeline successor, cutwise, plus also too it’s freaking black and dark green, which RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS. It may prove shallower, though. We’ll see. Fauve costs a bomb so I tend to hang out and wait for discount opps.

these halfcups I swear

Fauve: Chloe balcony; Evangeline halfcup; Agnes halfcup

Right now the CHP Fiolek is kind of nipping at the Evangeline’s heels as far as competitive excellence, and would be actively threatening the crown if it weren’t for that little quadding problem.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with me, but it’s not just the EMs raising my standards. I’m changing shape. I’ve lost 40-plus pounds this last year and a half (not from dogged will power or anything, long story, mostly stress), and things have been and continue to be pretty wildly unpredictable as far as clothes fit, so I don’t know why I thought bras would be an exception — I’m pretty close to bone round my big barrel of a rib cage and I have extremely dense tissue, so it seemed like stuff ought to be stable? Feh.

ANYHOW: in such fragments of time as I have the ability to devote to lingerie at present, and notwithstanding the ground shifting under my damn feet, I’ve been trying to nail down what size I am likely to take in EM and other Polish brands so that I can place a sensible order, and unfortunately I can’t say that progress has been made.

I’ve had my hands on three EMs to date:

revolutionized my sense of my own shape people I'm not kidding

Ewa Michalak: CHP Fiolek; CHP Gazeta; CH Onyks

  • The CHP Fiolek in 70G. Lightly used. Almost perfect; band just as I like them; some mild but distinct quadding out of the top suggests a 70GG would be better. Kept anyway. In heavy rotation at present.
  • The CH Onyks or Onyx (it varies, OK) in 70GG. New. Clearly one size too big in the band and also about one size too big in the cup.  This is commensurate with reviews of the Onyx, the fabric of which apparently just makes for a really stretchy band. It at least makes sense as a reasonably straightforward sister-size down from 70G — I’d need a 65GG in it. I still have this bra, but haven’t removed the tags as I need to re-sell it onward.
  • The CHP Gazeta in 70GG. New. This was one of THE hot bras of the fall for those of us with an itch for actual aesthetics and originality and so forth in the full-bust sector. I find it a tidge hipstery, but God knows it’s a style desert up in here, and hipstery beats hell out of saucy-teen. I thought I would be safe buying a CHP 70GG based on my experience with the CHP Fiolek 70G, but noooooooooo. It fit like a 70H. There is no justice in the world. I sold it onward with a quickness, the little bastard.

(Note for the baffled and curious: CHP and CH refer to two of the specific constructions that Ewa Michalak offers her bras in. As with many Polish brands, a particular fabric and aesthetic design is often made in a plunge, a halfcup, a couple of balconette variations, etc. I suggest reading up on Polish bra fitting generally and EM styles specifically elsewhere. My empiric experience is limited, I don’t have much visceral trust in my own sense of what’s what just based on theory, and in short I think it would be bootless effort for me to try and unpack it here. Miss Underpinnings has an outstanding series of posts on Polish lingerie from this last year-plus that would make a great place to start.)

So, that’s how that’s gone. I’m no further forward in assembling an ordering plan, except that I know I want a 65GG in the CHP Onyx, which tells me nothing about any other style, and meanwhile other Polish brands like Comexim and Avocado are improving their availability to U.S. buyers, and I really don’t even know.

Avocado in particular has some pretty serious chops aesthetically speaking. I’m not clear on their fit at all even after poring over Miss Underpinnings’s post on Avocado fit because I am apparently incapable of absorbing fit theory without an adjunctive lab course, so I probably need to just place a large research order and expect to have to deal with returns/resales. I got no fitting notes yet so that part of my post title is a total lie. Check these Avocado styles out, though. They are not messing around. They are out for blood. I had to include them.

jesus. jesus, jesus christ.

Avocado: Nina S166K; Babette S168K; Annick in Love S155K

(Advice gratefully accepted, though I’m mostly venting)

 

Odeanna

4 Comments

  1. Hey Odeanna, I’m so sorry to hear that my fitting and construction guide wasn’t helpful! I wanted it to be thorough, but I’m realizing now it might’ve been too convoluted? My basic advice was to order your usual band size (in my case, that’s a 28″/60 cm) and then, measure your bust in a Polish/Polish style bra that offers forward projection and fullness. I fall between an Avocado G/H and I wear both of those sizes, depending on the style. I only take the smaller cup in the Reglisse and Carmélia. I hope this helps!! :)

    • It’s not that your writing is unclear! It’s that, despite obsessive-compulsive immersion in the discourse (and great temperamental appreciation for the convolutions) I have extremely poor, really almost impaired ability to theorize effectively about what’s really going to fit me without trying actual real-life bras on and seeing for myself. I also am fairly impaired at self-measuring, so it’s pretty much a festive round of fail till I can get bras into the dressing room. BUT I am measuring myself again this very instant with husband’s help and we get, let’s see: serious BTT 30″/76 cm; snug-comfortable 31″/77.5 cm; 38.5″/97.5 cm bust wearing the CHP Fiolek; 40″/101.5″ bust leaning over without a bra on. (Which means I have actually, no joke, lost some bustage. Holy crap.)

      So at this point for Avocado I’m figuring a 70G in known tight bands or 75F in known stretchy ones? Ooof. I still have a couple of UK 32Gs working fine right now. It doesn’t make sense. I’ll do some cross-referencing on specific styles I like and try to winnow more. I’m really interested in Avocado as far as the aesthetics go. What I have an irrational hankering for as far as shape is that white wedding cake Samanta of yours, actually. That shit is bananas.

  2. Thanks for this post Odeanna. You have prompted me to try Fauve. :-) I tend to use 32G as a target size, but I seem to end up all over the board ultimately. I have a Curvy Kate Portia in 30G (it fits mostly ok, but big in the band and not entirely the shape I want, but very comfy around the house). I have a Fantasie Rebecca in 30GG. An Elle MacPherson Dentelle in a 32G (also 32FF). A Panache Andorra in 30GG.

    I wanted to let you know that I did try the Avocado Annick in Love in 70H (the black with green that you have posted above *swoon*). I followed the measuring chart provided by Avocado and as explained by Cecily on her blog (btw, thank you both for your blogs– they are of enormous interest and help!). I measured 75cm to 75.5cm underbust. And 98/99 over (their measurement method is different from EM’s). The bra fit me perfectly in the cups. Maybe a bit snug in the band, but not too much so. It is constructed soooo very well– it just lifts everything right up there and holds ’em. :-) The only problem I had is that the straps are super short, well, for me since my bust sits lower on my chest than most, I guess. I always need to lengthen straps to the end or almost end. I couldn’t bear to wear the straps like that. I contacted them and they said they will change the straps for me. Yay! I sent the bra back for that and asked them to send me an additional Annick in Love in another colorway, with the straps lengthened. I’m just waiting on them to return, along with the matching knickers, which are also nice.

    I had also ordered the Avocado Nina in 70H. The style didn’t work for me. It was too high under the arms for me. And somehow just wasn’t quite for me. But that may just be peculiar to me. So, I am exchanging it for another Annick in Love. But the Nina is gorgeous.

    I have a Comexim on the way in two different sizes. I settled on 75G and 70HH. So, we shall see. I can’t even remember what convoluted mathematics and faith prayers I used to come up with that. lol. I ordered through their wellfitting.com site after studying their sizing chart and the pictures of real women in some of the bras and their sizes and measurements. They should be here any day now. If you like, I will let you know how it goes.

    I wish this was all much easier!!

    • I have three Avocados that just arrived that I need to review ASAP. They’re rather impressive. I zeroed in on 34F (or equivalent, need to go home and check) with Avocado’s assistance and that does seem to have worked. I think I’m around 32FF/30G UK at the moment; I’m still doing well in some of my 32Gs/70Gs, but they’re on the tightest hook except for the Ewa.

      It appears my body rather suddenly rearranged itself in response to this long slow weight loss I’ve been going through these last couple of years and that I legit went down maybe half or three quarters of a cup size — enough to matter in at least some styles, and to shoot out all my well established default assumptions and a third of my bra drawer, sigh. Didn’t happen for the first 80% of the loss, which was band-only, no cup, so I don’t know why the hell they’ve suddenly shrunk now, but here we are. I guess the upside is it’s rescued me from having to go to a 30GG, which would definitely have leveled up the pain-in-the-ass coefficient as there’s an awful dropoff in market offerings between G and GG.

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