Saturday, 5 January 2013

Ewa Michalak "HM Gold" Review

You might remember my review of Ewa Michalak’s HM Granatowy Motyl. That was my first Ewa bra, and I was impressed with the uplift of the vertical seam structure, which suits my shape well, and the technical brilliance of the band. But the 30GG I tried was too small in the cup, not surprising considering that’s a cup size smaller than I normally wear. I also felt the band was very firm even though the bra had been heavily used by its first owner, so I figured a 32GG (70GG) would be the best fit for me in the HM style from Ewa.

I didn’t order the HM Gold directly from Poland, but rather secondhand from an acquaintance, so I can’t report on the direct ordering process. I was excited to be able to get this bra for a reduced price and, in fact, to be able to get it at all, because the HM styles are fairly few and far between.

The fit of the cups is great. I also like the shape from the side. It's a classic half-cup bra shape, the same shape I get in the Cleo Juna-style bras (like the Rihanna, reviewed here and the Sadie, reviewed here) as well as the Curvy Kate Showgirl bras (reviewed here). It's very rounded, with not much forward projection. This shape tends to look like it is pointing down a bit on boobs that have a lot of upper fullness and not much lower fullness. I don't mind this very much because this mirrors the actual shape of my breasts.

As a vertical-seamed half-cup bra, it does tend to enhance center heaviness, uplifting the boobs so dramatically that they end up pushed to the middle with a very bulky cleavage. You can see that happening in the front view, but the effect is not nearly as dramatic here as with the Curvy Kate Showgirl bras, so I feel more comfortable using this one as an everyday bra. I believe the reason for the diminished center-heaviness is the triangular panel that connects the straps to the cup. 

Widening the strap at the point where it connects to the cup allows the strap to provide some lift that pulls outwards, away from the center and toward the shoulders. It helps to balance the shape of the cups.

As someone who can’t stand to wear padded bras, the sheer lace cups are really nice. I imagine I would feel very overexposed if I was used to a greater level of coverage, but I really like the fact that it feels very light and insignificant in the cups, like I’m barely wearing anything. And because the fabric is very lightweight and has the slightest stretch, it forms to my shape rather than cutting in.

On to the negatives… unfortunately, the band on the HM Gold has utterly lost all the technical genius that the band on the HM Granatowy Motyl has. The Motyl’s band sits at a lower angle, wonderfully eliminating discomfort and bulges:

It is also thick (3 hooks) and made of a heavy, extremely stretchy material. It’s the best bra band I’ve ever experienced.

I was really disappointed that the HM Gold (a later bra) no longer features this glorious band. Instead, it has a band that’s basically the equivalent of a Cleo band—2 hooks, too thin, and sitting at too high of an angle. It’s made of a scratchy mesh instead of the wonderful soft material of the Motyl’s band.

The HM Gold’s band also runs very tight. The 70 band (theoretically the equivalent of a UK 32 band) measures 25 inches unstretched, and stretches to 32.5 inches. For comparison, a Cleo Lucy with a 30 band (one size 'smaller') measures 25.5 inches unstretched and 34 inches stretched.  So the HM Gold is both tighter (even though it’s a 32) and less stretchy than my usual bras. Running small isn’t a huge issue because I could always just try a larger size, but I hate bra bands with so little stretch. Whether they are too big, too small, or just right, they never feel good, and they always cut in and cause unattractive bulging. So far, I haven’t made a final decision on whether this (and the narrowness and bad angle of the band) ruin the bra for me. I wore it a few days in a row before Christmas and ended up in such pain and frustration that I started to hate my boobs again. When I stopped wearing it, everything felt better. I am going to try it with an extender and see if that helps; otherwise it may be best to avoid wearing it two days in a row.

The HM Gold is definitely a great bra cups-wise, but the band is a serious drawback, and I’m not ultimately sure whether I feel positive or negative about it. Of course, bras tend to be a situation where a draw is the same as a loss. I personally wouldn’t buy another HM bra unless I was sure it had the nice, thick, stretchy kind of band that the HM Motyl has, and not the thin, rigid kind that the HM Gold has. If readers are looking to buy it, I would definitely recommend sizing up in the band unless you like a really tight, firm band without much stretch, in which case this bra may be your dream come true. Cups-wise, I wear the equivalent of the same cup size in the HM bras by Ewa Michalak that I wear in Cleo (32GG for Ewa, 30H for Cleo; I wear a cup size bigger than that in Curvy Kate and Bravissimo bras). The HM style is very open on top and so it's well suited to those who struggle to find bras that don't cut in on the top edge. 


  1. I am also very saddened about the un-stretchy bands of the newer EM's :( I about one in the beginning of last year, which had a more comfortable band - wider seams and more stretch. But not on my newest PL, it's extremely firm (which many women prefer, so I guess that's why they've made it such). The straps are very firm too - If I adjust them so they are comfortable with straight shoulders, they are too tight when I lift my arms, and too loose if I slump. It's a shame! I've toyed with the idea of sowing elastic on to the straps and seams of the band, but I'm not that skillfull at sowing, so I'm afraid to chance it!

  2. Thanks for this review! I'm from Australia and ordering from EM is a bit risky as my only option if it didn't fit would be to resell. I've been lusting after one those HM styles for a while and as we have the same shape/similar size (I'm a 32H in styles that you are a 30H), I know what size I'd need now. Do you know if all of the styles apart from the Motyl have the unstretchy bands? Maybe the HM Gold's band will soften a little when it's washed?

    p.s. Thought I'd mention that your blog is what got me into the correct size in the first place! I haven't had to try on a crazy amount of bras to find the right style/fit because of your reviews, so thank you!

  3. Have you ever had a bra that you didn't like the first time you tried it on, yet the 2nd time you put it on it was much better? I have a PL style from Ewa Michalak that seemed to have a lot of gaping when I first put it on, but definitely fit much better the next time I wore it. Hopefully the HM Gold will become much more comfortable for you soon. The Ewa site doesn't have very good descriptions of their bras, unfortunately, so you didn't miss anything by ordering it through an acquaintance. On the HM styles, in fact, there's not even pictures of the back of the bras so unless you send them an email to ask, you'd have no way of knowing what type of back those bras have. I ordered two of their halfcup styles (HP & CHP) in a 75GG, but the cups are a bit too small & I wasn't happy with the band either. The PL one I have, though, has a much better band. I've been looking at the Comexim site for my next Polish bra.

  4. I'm happy I didn't choose the HM Gold over HM Magnolia then (even if visually I still prefer the design of the HM Gold). The HM Magnolia has 3 hooks therefore is more stable and less bulking, but it's just as tight - the only thing I could compare it to is the lace band of Panache Sienna. At first I thought it's just my problem, because I haven't found anyone on Polish forum complaining about the bands, but since you're pointing out the same thing now I have a feeling people are too amazed by some of Ewa Michalak's work to complain about the less perfect bras. So good you are out there.

  5. I might be the only one to make this comment, but it looks as though you're borderline popping out of the tops and sides of the cup. Not that it looks like you have soft breasts - they look pretty firm - but that you could use a bit more coverage in the front and sides. You might want to try a 32HH in this style, and I think you'd get better lift and coverage. You can especially see this in your side shot in the mirror....definitely overflowing!

    Your boobs do look great in this bra, it just may not be the most practical size.

    1. The underwires are a little narrow for me, so I do see a little extra tissue on the sides, but I don't think I am overflowing on the top. I know there is a lot of tissue above the cups, but that is kind of just what my boobs look like, the tissue there is VERY firm and actually does best when it's not in a bra cup. The picture is dim, but from what I can tell it's a very smooth line where the bra ends.

      In any case, this bra only goes up to a GG as I recall, so I would have much option to go up in the cups anyway :(

  6. I have this bra in a 55F, but I probably should have gotten a 60E. 28E is my usual size, but I typically stick to only the most firm 28s.

    When I placed the order I asked them to put 3 hooks on my bra instead of 2. I get back fat in most of the 2 hook Curvy Kate bras; I never had any visible backfat when I was a larger cup size - ie, all bras had 3 hooks.

    I will always ask if they can make me the bras with 3 hooks. I still don't have even one bra that is "perfect", just different versions of less things wrong or that annoy me. So I am pretty excited at the prospect of having someone that will work with me and change stuff.

    If you ever place your own order, make sure to ask for 3 hooks. It might make a big difference. You could also ask about the fabric or cut.