EDIT 4/11: Unexpectedly, Ewa Michalak has sent me two smaller sizes of CH Cherry. In my opinion, this resolves the situation, albeit in an odd way. Ewa Michalak didn’t include a note or email me about the bras, so I’m unsure of exactly what their thinking was on this. But I no longer am stuck without a Cherry I can wear. The review of the new Cherry will come, but I just wanted to let you all know that the situation described here was resolved.
Unfortunately, today’s blog post is going to be less upbeat than normal. It honestly kills me to write a negative review about one of my favorite companies, but I believe you all have a right to know how Ewa Michalak treats her customers. I’ve reviewed many, many Ewa bras positively, and given my recent experience I no longer feel that I can recommend the company without a warning. I’m sorry for the novel here, but I want to present the entire story.
Ewa Michalak is an impressive company in many ways: they have one of the widest size selections in the world, they use very diverse models in age and weight, and they bring trendy styles to plus-size and full-busted women. Their bras are masterfully engineered, and they’re made in Europe by a small, female-led company. None of that changes with this review. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend ordering directly from them. They have a track record of poor PR and customer service. They’ve outright told their customers that they’re stupid, vain, and wearing the wrong sizes. They’ve told women that their breasts are in “poor condition”. They charge VAT for customers outside of Europe and have raised their prices a huge amount in recent years without raising their quality of bras (in fact, some of my recent ones are lower quality). I cannot recommend this company wholeheartedly knowing that these body-shaming and customer-blaming attitudes are still accurate.
Back in December (ish), I saw the release photos for the CH Cherry. I’m not going to include a stock photo for risk of being asked to take it down. It was gorgeous, strappy and everything I wanted in a full-bust bra. CH has been my favorite bra cut! I own two CH bras that fit perfectly: Pawie Oka in 60F and Karmelki in 65E. Given that, I felt safe in custom ordering my normal size: 55FF. There are no returns on custom sizes, but I own many, many CH and CHP bras and was confident on my bra being the correct size for me.
I began to get nervous when I read my dear friend The Photog’s Brog’s review of her CH Cherry. She found it to run a bit large and very, very projected. Hers however measured very similarly to other CH/CHP bras she owned. Other reviews of the bra on Bratabase seemed to indicate that overall CH Cherry ran true to size, but seemed to gape on some people. This was worrying to me as someone with a lack of upper fullness, but I was confident on the size I’d selected.
Due to weirdness with my postage (i.e: not being able to get to my mail office for a month and a half because I have no car), I wasn’t able to try on my CH Cherry until February 16th. It didn’t fit. It wasn’t even close. The bra gaped a huge amount with pads, and I couldn’t even fill it with two sets of pads. There was something terribly wrong. I decided to contact Ewa Michalak to see if something in the cut had changed. I included details about the other bras I owned in the same cut (and the similar CHP cut) to try to explain why I was confused that this bra was so far from fitting me. Here was their response:
To be honest, I don’t really appreciate this answer. It’s blaming me and my body as the customer for the fact that my bra doesn’t fit. I knew the cut well before ordering, if the bra is exactly the same cut it should fit me. There was something that didn’t add up, and I began to suspect that I was sent the wrong size bra. I measured my CH Cherry against my CH Karmelki, and the results confirmed my suspicions. The CH Cherry in “55FF” has a cup depth of 9.3 inches (23.6 cm) while the CH Karmelki in 65E has a cup depth of 8.5 inches (21.6 cm). That’s close to an entire inch difference in depth for two bras that should be sister sizes! The cups in CH Cherry are also taller than those of CH Karmelki at 5.2 inches (13.2 cm) compared to 4.7 inches (11.9 cm). To me, this is a confirmation that my bra is mis-sized so I emailed Ewa again with pictures of me in the CH Cherry and pictures of me in my CHP Klaudyna in the same size. I also stated that my CH Cherry measured an inch deeper than any of my other CHP or CH bras. This was their response:
Are you kidding me? I’ve owned this cut of bra before! I know that it projects busts forward. I know it’s very open on top. Being open on top does not explain the massive discrepancy in measurement. Also, I resent the implication that she’s made about my body. This is a bra designed for smaller breasts, how much fat tissue does it require to be workable? Also, it’s impossible for this CH Cherry to both be exactly the same cut as previous CH bras and be correctly sized at 55FF. One of those things must be false!
I refuse to be body shamed, condescended to, or silenced by Ewa Michalak. This was not my mistake. How can I possibly recommend a company that might send you the wrong product and refuse to do anything about it? How can I recommend a company that blames their customers for short-comings in their products? Placing an order from a foreign company with a poor returns policy requires an enormous amount of trust, and I absolutely do not recommend ordering directly from Ewa. If you live in North America, I highly recommend retailers Zathiya and Bra Obsessed. Both stores have incredibly helpful store owners who can give fitting advice, order special sizes for you, and assist with any sort of issue that may arise with your order. Saving the extra $5 or so by ordering directly is not worth it, because you may be stuck with a $55 un-returnable, mis-sized bra that you cannot wear.
Whew! Okay, with that off of my chest I’m going to do a quick review of CH Cherry. Keep in mind that it is the wrong size for me.
CH Cherry’s selling point is those extra straps above the cup. So few full bust bras have details like that, and they’re what drew me to the design. Unfortunately, they have a tendency to roll around and the sliders are very difficult to move. The placement of them is also very high for short-rooted or full on bottom breasts. I believe this style is much more tall root/full on top friendly. Aesthetically, I really like the maroon cups with the polka dot mesh over them. They look sort of retro-sexy, and damn do I wish this bra was actually the size I ordered. I could live without the massive bow in the middle, and I feel like a black bow would have been cuter here. But that’s a minor quibble.
So as you can see, the cups are very, very narrow and projected. This bra has the most immediate projection of any I’ve seen, but that could be partially because it’s in a size too big. The cups are 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) wide by 9.3 inches deep (23.6 cm). This is the largest cup depth I’ve ever seen on that cup width. Pretty insane really! The cups as I’ve mentioned earlier are on the taller side for a CH/CHP, but that’s likely partially due to the size being too large. I do think this is definitely a bra for the full on top ladies of the world, and I’d advise caution ordering it if that doesn’t describe you.
Sigh, this picture just makes me sad. This is with the pads in. Sigh…. But yeah, there’s a heck of a lot of immediate projection. One thing I do think it’s important to note is that the shoulder straps are very narrow at only 0.35 inch (0.9 cm) thick. They’re also very stretchy and honestly feel pretty cheap. They cut into my armpit fat because they are wide set in the standard Ewa way, and they just aren’t very comfortable. Overall, the finishes in this bra are not up to the normal Ewa Michalak standard.
So the back is just a very plain back band with a 2×4 fastener. Mine stretches to 25.5 inches (64.7 cm), which is fairly true to size for a 55/26 band. Some people have reported that their CH Cherry bras ran large, so I would say this is not a model you need to size up in the band for.
Anyways, I’m sorry for the novel today. Just really disappointed, frustrated, and sad to have to write this. Let me know if you have had issues with Ewa Michalak or how your customer service has gone with them!