One fateful evening I was trawling the internet for something...anything! I was feeling very fed up with seeing beautiful bras, only to find that they stopped at a D or G cup. I can't recall exactly how it came about (I think I searched for something like 'best bra for big boobs') but I stumbled upon Cheryl Warner's wonderful blog http://www.investinyourchest.co.uk/. I read about her recent order with Polish bra manufacturer, Ewa Michalak (also known as Effuniak). She had written individual reviews on the bras she had purchased, as well as an overview of the order process and her thoughts on the whole experience. I was blown away and could not help but take a look at Ewa's site myself, albeit having prepared myself that this surely must be too good to be true.
To say that I was astounded would be an understatement. Ewa's site is professional, well-ordered and comprehensive. It is even available in both Polish and English (although Google Chrome will automatically translate the Polish to English for you - often with funny results!) - to choose English you simply click the small Union flag that is shown next to the Polish flag in the centre of the top of the homepage.
I spent a long time drooling over the stunning lingerie that was available, whilst at the same time steeling myself for disappointment based on my past experiences of ill-fitting bras which are not true to size. I measured myself using Ewa's measuring system, which is very different to that of the UK, and did some further drooling over the items available to me. A further revelation was that every bra had matching underwear, with most having the option of knickers/shorts and a thong. Even better news was to follow - unlike Freya and many other UK brands, Ewa's range of briefs was available up to a size 22 (Polish size 50) and again a size chart is available on their website (here (at the bottom of the page)). Depending on the fit and style of the knickers, I take anything from size 16 to 20, so I was thrilled to have options for a change.
I could not resist placing an order. Did you see that coming?! I placed seven bras (sizes 80H and 80HH) and two matching knickers in my basket and got the total. I had no idea at this stage of the conversion rate for Polish zlotys to British pounds but was delighted to find out from an online currency converter that 1 zloty is worth around 20p. This means that a bra priced at 119 zlotys (as many of them are) will cost a shade over £23. Bargain! And European postage is very cheap too at 27 zlotys - around a fiver! Cheaper than some UK online retailers.
So I sat back and awaited delivery of my parcel. I thought about the bras every day and could not wait for them to arrive. I received various email updates from the company, which was reassuring as I must admit to having had one or two niggling doubts about the wisdom of placing an order with an overseas company about whom I knew very little.
After a few weeks my parcel arrived. Unfortunately I was at work at the time but my lovely postman left me a card so I could collect it from my local sorting office the following day. I made a special trip there the following day after work but was unable to open the box straight away as I had to visit family and was running a bit late. However when I parked outside their house I could not resist opening the box and having a quick peek at what was inside. I am not exaggerating when I say I almost wet myself - the box contained the bras I had ordered and they looked stunning...and, astoundingly, as if they might fit me. I had never seen bras in my size looking so amazing. I closed the box and went indoors.
The evening, although very pleasant, seemed to take an age to pass. When I finally left I drove home as quickly as possible and hurriedly undressed to see if I had finally found what I had been searching for for so very long. I was not disappointed. The bras were amazing.
(Sorry some of these pics are rather dark. They were taken in my bathroom using mirrored tiles but clearly this is not the best thing to do!)
Unfortunately, I had to send the whole lot back as the H and HH cups were just too small for me. I reordered in a 36J (80J in Ewa Michalak sizing) and discovered that now the only styles available to me were PL (plunge). This was very disappointing at first as I had fallen head over heels in love with the CH Onyks (I had never owned a multiway bra before so this was unspeakably wonderful) as well as other styles. Sadly, I was also unable to order the PL Garden (the red and white bra pictured above) as it was not available in my size. However, when my new box arrived some weeks later (the day before I went on holiday so perfect timing to take them with me) I was every bit as thrilled as before with my new bras - and this time they fitted perfectly.
Since then, I have received a further box containing heaps of matching knickers/thongs (which all fitted perfectly) and have placed yet another order as they now do the Onyks in a plunge style - I actually had tears in my eyes when I saw it on the EM website.
I know it won't be long before I'm ordering again as Ewa has her own blog and regularly posts pictures of her latest styles.
It has been a dream come true to find bras which do everything I need them to. Uplift, plunge, comfort, available in a huge range of colours/patterns. I still can't quite believe it has happened. Now, readers who can easily buy bras from the high street might not understand where I am coming from here and think I am being frightfully melodramatic. But I know that ladies who have had similar experiences to me will know exactly what I am talking about.
I think I might have to seek medical advice for this lingerie addiction...but what a wonderful addiction it is!
I might write individual reviews of the EM bras and undies I now own - is this something you would like to read? Let me know by commenting below.