My eShakti Experience

Thanks to a Buy Two, Get One free offer, I made my first order with eShakti, a company that sells semi-custom, Indian sewn dresses, skirts, tops and jackets. Styles seem to be short runs so the offerings change fairly quickly. eShakti works one of two ways — you can either shop by their stock sizes or you can have a piece made exactly to your measurements. Additionally, depending on the item, you can customize further changing neckline, sleeves and hem length. All pieces are cut on order and customized based on your height, even if you order stock sizes and opt for no further customization. Customizing to height can really help for fit for someone like me. I’m a curvy hourglass girl but I am also short with narrow shoulders. Most of the time getting dresses that will fit my hips and tits usually means I am swimming somewhere — in the shoulders, waist or length. Customizing for height seems to with help this. It also means that a knee-length dress will actually hit my knee. The assumption most clothing manufacturers seem to make is that if you are big busted or curvy you are also large framed and tall. There really needs to be “plus petite” or something similar. With the kind of customization they offer, eShakti seems to be sort of addressing these kind of fit issues. It takes 14 business days or 18 calendar days for you to receive any order. I ordered on April 14th and the first delivery attempt was made May 1st. They deliver via DHL and you will need to be there to sign (or wave signature, etc.)

So, did the clothes actually fit?

In all styles, I opted to go for a stock size versus custom measurements. I did this mostly out of laziness. I know my core measures from sewing but there are a couple — like the eShaki chest and shoulder measures — that I do not know and would have needed someone else to help me with. That wasn’t going to happen at 3am on a weekday when I was working on this experiment. I realize, given some of my general fit issues with off the rack clothing, going for full custom could have really helped overall fit but I was also curious how it would go just ordering off their charts. I fell in a size zone somewhere between a 16W – 18 – 18W. My hip measure is actually beyond all those sizes but as all the items I was ordering had fuller skirts I didn’t worry about it. If I ever order something fitted at the hip, I would go for custom sizing. In the end, I erred on the larger size and ordered the 18W. All the dresses are just a touch big so I’d probably go for the 18 if I order again soon.

 

Here are the dresses (featuring below par iPhone pics):

#1  Belted BiPlane Print Dress

eShakti Biplane Print Dress

How I customized:

Below Knee to Knee Length

Scoop Neck to Sweetheart Neck

For my Height

My version of the Biplane Dress

This dress is adorable. The fabric is a soft yet crisp cotton. The red fabric belt is a nice touch but I will probably wear this dress with a red leather belt I have versus the fabric belt. The belt is made from a thin cotton and has a tendency to slide open. I’m glad I changed the neckline and while I’m pleased with the sweetheart it’s cut a little high for my tastes. It furthers the retro look of the dress though and I much prefer this over the scoop of the original design. The below knee-length just doesn’t work on me so I was happy to shorten that too. Length options were mini, above knee, knee, below knee and calf length. Adding sleeves was also an option. Of the three dresses this one has the least “give” as there is no elastic anywhere. The fit could be a little better at the neck but is more than acceptable considering I went for a stock size.

 

#2 Candy Crush Print MaxiDress

eShakti Candy Crush Print Maxi Dress

How I customized:

For my Height

My version of the Candy Crush Maxi Dress

I sure love a maxi dress but buying them at 5’3″ on a good day is comical to say the least. This was the dress that made me try eShakti. I’m really excited about the print. It’s hard to tell in these photos but the candy is very 80s Patrick Nagel looking with the primary colors and black outlining. Knowing I wouldn’t have to hem this sucker was huge. The fit is good but a tiny bit big. The back waist is ruched with elastic so fit is forgiving. There is a small hidden snap that keeps the crossover neckline closed. That is a really fab little detail. Also, this dress, like most of eShaki items, has pockets! Sleeves can be added to this dress and the hemline can be raised in various ways — although raising the hemline kind of defeats the purpose of a maxi dress. There is also a similar, shorter Candy print dress.

 

#3 Belted Corset Style Print Dress

Belted Corset Style Dress by eShakti

How I customized:

Regular Straps to Wide Straps

Below Knee to Knee Length

For my Height

My version of the Belted Corset Style dress

I had a hard time photographing this dress. The fabric patterns is really cute and lively. The topstitching pops. The fit on this dress is the worst of all of the three dresses but it is still quite good. The biggest problem is that the straps are too long. This is an easy fix. The entire back of the dress is elastic smocked so again the fit is very forgiving and a tad big on me. I’m pleased with how the bust fits as that could have gone really wrong. I love the matching belt on this one. I plan on sewing a snap on to the belt to keep it from sliding open. You get a couple of strap choices on this one — it would be really cute as a halter — and length options.

All these dresses also had “bra strap restraints”, little snap tabs that hook around your bra straps to keep them from going astray. Again, another small detail that just adds to the overall polish of the eShakti garments.

Bra Strap Restraints (Oh!)

I think you’ve figured by now that I’m very pleased with my initial experience with eShakti. While their dresses aren’t cheap, they also aren’t any worse that what you see in most department and boutiques. They seem to be well made but as I have not yet worn or cleaned any of these dresses I can’t yet comment on over all durability. The biggest complaint I can really make at this stage is time. Since everything is made on order you can’t just have a dress for that surprise date or unexpected event sent to you in a snap. Maybe you’ll just have to order an extra just in case…

 

 

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