Thursday, 27 June 2013

No More Sub-30 Bands from Ewa Michalak

On June 20th Ewa Michalak made the decision to no longer manufacture 60 (28), 55 (26) or 50 (24) bands. This was announced on Facebook after a question from a previous customer. The reason behind this is currently unknown but I'd love to hear an explanation for the reasoning behind the decision. Custom sizes in 65 (30) bands and up will still be made, just as before.

Most likely not out of financial reasons

As these sizes has been non-returnable and made to order they have been safe sales for the brand, they have not had any risk of standing with an inventory that won't sell. As other sizes are also made to order, but still being returnable it cannot be the additional cost of making bras to order. As patterns already exist it cannot be a question of costs for creating patterns either. These sizes also had an additional charge of 20 zl placed upon the regular price for ordering them in non-regular sizes. Sizes made to order available on the drop down menu are both returnable and has no extra cost paid by the customer associated with them. This means that the sizes no longer produced should not be the least profitiable sizes sold.  Because of that I'm personally quite sure this was a decision not made based on financial reasons.

Fit issues have been brought up

It is also unknown if this means withdrawal from this segment of the market completly or just temporarily. There has lately been some controversy at their Facebook page. FussyBusty posted a review mentioning problems with the straps being too far apart on her CHP Mak Nowa Koronka bra, which lead to the brand asking its customers on Facebook if more was having this problem or if this was an isolated incident. The response from well-meaning customers was massive with many wanting the straps closer together on their bras. The official judgement from the brand was in general that in the cases this was experiences the problem could be avoided with a bigger band and smaller cups, something the customers disagreed with publicly. The brand itself has called it a "Strapgate" and will post an answer at the official Ewa Michalak blog.

Hoping it's only temporarily

What I strongly do hope is that the withdrawal of the 50-60 bands is just temporarily, to give the brand some time to fix the fit issue many are experiencing. With the release of the S and the SM bra not all sizes were released at once, the smaller and larger cup sizes needed some more testing according to Ewa Michalak, but after that had been done they were also available. This is an excellent approach to ensure that all sizes hold up to the high standard the brand aspire. Grading, the practice to start with a sample size preferably in the middle of the size range and then change the pattern according to a set of rules to create the different sizes, usually causes the most issues in the outer-most sizes, so taking extra care to fit test the largest and smallest cup sizes before releasing them is definitly how thing should be done. The same thing however applies to the opposite direction too, to the smallest and largest band sizes, which it obviously hasn't.

As for now Ewa Michalak has gone from being one of the most inclusive brands in size range to not being on the bottom but far from the top. Their brand promise:

"Ewa Michalak is a bra brand that offers the widest range of sizes on earth :-) Bandsizes from 65 (30) to 100 (44), cupsizes from AA to LL (see the sizechart!). Any woman can find the perfect Ewa Michalak bra at affordable price, no matter how big or how small her bust is. " from, see photo below.

surely does not apply anymore. A 28 band or smaller is not uncommon at all. For long Ewa Michalak has been the brand to go to for smaller framed women of all ages. I hope with all of my heart that Ewa Michalak will be going back to being that, just in an improved version. Because we need options.


  1. bought my first Ewa bras recently, for the first time found a band that was too tight for me (nothing an extender didn't fix) and I was so happy. since some british 28 bands are too big for me now I knew I had where to turn, but apparently not :(

    1. I know the feeling. :( While a third of my 28 Ewa Michalak bras has been too big for me (and a third too small, first time ever for me too), and I've personally had all the strap issues they have been a life saver as I actually could find bras that fits. And now that option is gone... :/

      However, have you considered trying Comexim? They make 28 bands as just regular orders and 26 bands as custom orders and have plenty to chose from. :)

  2. Hi,

    I would probably suggest the reason for this decision is simply that it is more hassle than what it's worth.

    Firstly, we are talking a profit margin of a few pounds on a bra to start with.

    I heard about 'Strapgate' and Dominik told a blogger to just go and get your bras from Panache - I think this pretty much sums it up. The hassle just aint worth the £10 or so profit you're gonna get. Being a business is about making money and not being a public service.

    Making bras in units of 1 at a time is very costly, you are essentially sample making. There isn't a huge market for 24/26/28 bands - it probably accounts for less than 10% of overall bra sales - so why bother with the negative feedback, the hassle, the endless emails (that you dont even understand because they're in English) with pictures and questions and more questions.... all to make ten quid profit.

    Although she was probably a little rude in her way of saying it, I dont blame her for not WANTING the custom and being quite glad for Panache to have to take the flack instead.

    Just my humble opinion :)

    1. Thank you for your comment! :)

      As for the Panache recommendation I applaud them for admitting that their bras didn't suit the woman in question. You cannot make bras that suits everyone, that's just how it is, we are too different for that. What really gets to me is both how they chose to say it, without even an explanation and more so, that they claim to dress every woman. Which they obviously can't, and it would be a miracle if they could. Just don't promise more than you actually can stand up for.

      As for the whole pulling back sizes. I agree that custom orders might not be what is wanted financially. However, that should then apply to all custom orders. As it is now, quite a lot of sizes are made to order, but only the bras in the small band sizes (50,55 and 65) plus the large cup sizes in other sizes are subject to the extra charges. Cutting productions lines and making one-offs is definitly costly, but that is just as costly no matter if it's a 60J or a 70H. To only apply the charges to some sizes just doesn't make sense and is a version of price discrimination that I feel is potentially costing them more than they planned.

  3. Yeah, I agree. There are a couple companies out there that cater to full figured ladies who like to wear their bands closer to the waist, thus necessitating smaller bands and higher cup sizes that are still shallow (to create the same cup volume). I personally don't think this look is sexy when overdone and probably painful at it's extreme, but Curvy Kate and Panache and probably Goddess and Elomi, oh also definitely Bravissimo are made for mild versions of this fit. These lines also have bands that aren't so thin that they cut into adipose tissue and they extend lower to encapsulate spread out roots due to weight gain. Most companies don't make bras for thin, narrow-framed women with projected boobs and a single lettering K or L size like me, but I understand why and so I search and hope to make all my research accessible soon for the X number of women out there like me...I think most full figured busty ladies should have plenty of options based on all the brands and ranges offered, especially in the UK. The problem I'm seeing is many full-figured women demanding that lines which already offer sizes for them (evident from the women who model Ewa's bras and the range offered), make bras the way they want to wear them, even if misguided. Instead they should either wear the brands I mentioned from the UK, or like Ewa said, go up in bandsize and not cup size, especially if weight is put on easily up top. This is equivalent to having either an apple or hourglass shape, thus most women. Since straps come off the cups, wearing too high a cup size and the band at the waist can lead to major strap issues...You just can't call the underbust of a busty full figured women with expanded roots the same thing as the underbust of a slender woman, they can't both be bandwidth if one is a measurement around the waist and the other around the fullest part of the ribcage. Someone has to adjust (there could also be a minus rule, but in countries where people are not usually plus size, it'll be a plus rule. This is probably the case for Poland as opposed to the UK). Thus +4, which can be modified to +2 or +6. That's why Ewa built +4 into her calculator because she probably assumes and probably correctly so, that many women using her site will not be able to measure right below their shoulder blades. She also says to just use it as a starting point. I think because she knows many women who asked for the 60 and 55 bands were using something closer to their waist measurements, she stopped offering bras specifically for that wear, super small band super big cup size. The decision was between changing the relationship of band to cup in her bras for a marginal group of mostly incorrect fits or...not. Understandable, I'm just worried now I'll never know a Michalak...

    1. What does this have to do with wearing the band closer to the waist? :S I must have missed something, because this has nothing to do with wearing the band there. My waist is at least 4 inches below where I wear my bra, and even more depending on how you measure (I have some very protuding ribs).

      Regarding measuring, so far everyone I know who has been measured by Ewa herself has recieved the same size as they normally wear when they measure themselves and use the measurement in inches to get their band size. Exactly the same. The reason to this is that you are supposed to measure extremely tight when using the calculator. And, yes, I do get a 60-band when measuring myself and using the calculator in question. Using the rest of the instructions of sizing up if you have firmer breasts I actually land on the size I do wear. :)

      Do you happen to have some links to those wearing 55 and 60 bands who are wearing the bras closer to their waist? Because I have really not seen any.. :S