Product Review: Eshakti Custom Dress

Hello Everyone,

In a perfect world where everything I bought fit beautifully and every style was a dream on my figure, I would channel the breezy nonchalance of a J. Crew model and the edgy “I wear what I want” vibe of Kate Moss. Maybe I’d have a few minimalistic 60s mod pieces like shift dresses and miniskirts thrown into the mix too. My daily uniform would consist of effortlessly chic basics, layered together in the most casually cool way with an undercurrent of edge accenting each outfit. In the real world, I hate shopping, never feel effortlessly cool, and always channel Joan from Mad Men because that woman knows how to dress her body. The simple truth for a lot of curvy women is far too many clothes are not designed for our figures, and those that could be flattering often do not fit our measurements. As a result, when I heard about e-retailer EShakti, I was thrilled. For those not familiar with the brand, EShakti sells a variety of clothing all of which can be customized to fit your body for an additional $8 to $16 fee.Β  Holly of the Full Figured Chest experienced wonderful results and wrote lovely reviews of their products which left me ready to dive in and test the process.

Because I wish cropped trousers looked like this when I try them . . .
Because I wish cropped trousers looked like this when I try them . . .

On my fashion “Wish List” among other impossible-to-find entries like slim fitted trousers that stop at the ankle and a silky shift dress has always been a basic, denim shirt dress. With NC’s mild weather, the dress would transition throughout the seasonsβ€”wedge sandals and bare legs in summer or layered with a turtleneck and boots for fall but always accompanied by a trusty belt. The downside of any item involving buttons on the front is with my 42″ bust and 29″ waist, it’s pretty hard to find one that actually fits off-the-rack. So when I saw this one, I knew what I wanted to buy.

EShakti_7

Before I discuss the fit of the dress, I want to complement EShakti on their fast turnaround and shipping time. From order to receipt, the process was roughly three weeks, and the retailer emailed constantly with updates. Tracking my order was easy, and I felt confident dealing with their company. Sadly, the dress itself . . . well, let’s just say I could have omitted a text review entirely, and you’d still get the idea.

I just couldn't muster up enthusiasm for these pictures.
I just couldn’t muster up enthusiasm for these pictures.

To customize the dress, EShakti requires multiple measurements, and while I gave most accurately, I did give lower measurements for some of them. Once my medication and illness were sorted, I started to see progress on the weight loss front, and I opted to use my normal measurements (which I am nearly back to again) with the anticipation the dress would fit with weight loss. Imagine my surprise when it arrived several sizes too big.

EShakti_5

For my bust, I entered 43″ because my Comexim and Anna Pardal bras do add about a 1/2″ to my bust and I wanted the buttons to close properly, and for my waist I used 29″ (was 31″) and 41″ hips (was 41.5″). My educated guess from looking at the fit of the dress is EShakti saw a 43″ bust and ignored the other measurements. While I expected a little space in the bustβ€”hoped actually to prevent button gap, I was floored by how roomy everything was. I think the dress would roughly equate to an average, non-tailored size 14/16. Given I wanted to belt the dress anyway, I was not opposed to a relaxed fit, but what I received was just too big everywhere.

EShakti_6

It’s also hopelessly long. When I selected the desired length, I chose the model with the hem ending at the top of the knee. Since I also included my height as 5’6″, I figured that wouldn’t be a problem. The dress I received comes down past mid-calf.

EShakti_4

Quality-wise, I love the dark wash of the dress, but the fabric itself feels more like a linen than a chambray or denim and as such wrinkles very easily. The stitching is superb though, and the shoulders seem reinforced to prevent wear and tear from moving the arms. I also love the use of wooden buttons and the built-in option for rolling the sleeves. Furthermore, at no extra cost, I had them remove the boob pockets which only made me love the dress more.

EShakti_9 EShakti_8

Sadly, the build-up of excitement made the disappointment sharper. The boxy shape and general largeness remind me of a painter’s smock, and since EShakti does not refund shipping or alterations charges means returning this item will cost around $20. Because I hate the idea of spending $20 to try on a dress three sizes too big, I approached the amazing Melanie of Silver Threads and Golden Needles and asked her opinion about alterations. Due to the large size difference, Melanie informed me the dress would need to be reworked entirely which was $40 minimum. So, the $20 I’ll chock up to a learning experience and move forward.

Not flashing the bricks here because I could literally fit another dress underneath.
Not flashing the bricks here because I could literally fit another dress underneath.

To be fair to Eshakti, I have not emailed or discussed the issue with them, and I wavered about exactly what to do. Do I contact the company and see if they will fix the error before posting a review, or do I publish the review honestly for my readers? I ultimately decided on the latter because I want there to be a testament to what kind of product I received using the custom alterations, and I want readers to be aware that they have the potential to have the same experience. Every person is different, and as I mentioned, Holly has never had issues with them. For me though, I was extremely disappointed by the tailoring and fit of this piece, and I am angered to think either through negligence or apathy someone saw my measurements and sent me this dress. Have any of you ordered from EShakti before? If so, what were your experiences?

Erica

Even a belt wasn't helping
Even a belt wasn’t helping

Product Review: Eshakti Custom Dress
Erica
Erica is a lover all things lingerie and is passionate about helping people find the bra which fits and flatters. Side passions include reading, writing, hiking, dairy-free food, walking her Jack Russell terrorists, and dying her hair everything from black to red.

61 thoughts on “Product Review: Eshakti Custom Dress

  • October 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm
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    I’m sorry that you had such a bad experience.

    I actually just ordered a dress from eshakti for a wedding in November (http://www.eshakti.com/product/CL0032993/Ellen-dress). It came in last week, and it is pretty much the best dress I have ever gotten. It fits my waist and my bust. There is a snap sewed into the criss-cross neckline to keep it from flashing too much cleavage, but it is easily removed with a seam ripper if I want. It also has pockets! For me, it was definitely worth paying for the customization. They were able to account for my linebacker shoulders, and I gave them my arm measurements so the hole for my arm is large enough without showing any of my bra. My only complaint is that the dress is not quite the color I ordered. I ordered it in the deep purple color, but the one I got is definitely the wine color.

    My sister also got a dress. She chose one of the modified sleeve options, and it turned out really well. That being said, the return form offered a comprehensive list of all the things that can go wrong, including improper fit. As you mentioned, they were frequently in contact with me after my order. I would email them and see what their response is. It honestly looks like they sent you the wrong dress.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 29, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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      That dress is gorgeous! The deep purple is lovely, so it’s a shame they sent the wine color instead. I’m glad your dress was perfect though! There’s nothing better than a dress which fits beautifully, and I’d love to hear how future orders go for you. I plan on emailing them when I do the return process and linking to the review, and I’ll post an update on whether they want to fix/replace it. I wonder if some of the mixed experiences come from the type of order. To be honest, I was more concerned the dress would be too small because I used my standard ones rather than what they were at the time of order. When it came in this large, it totally baffled me, and a minimum of $40 for alterations is way too much to tack onto this dress.

      Reply
      • October 29, 2014 at 4:40 pm
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        I was also bummed about the color switch, but Ashley says it still looks good. From the comments, there seems to be a lot of inconsistency in their products, and I am a bit worried about larger purchases in the future. At least they are really generous with the coupons they send out.

        I did provide them with a lot of information, though. I filled out the custom order measurements, but I also added my inseam and my torso length for good measure.

        Reply
        • Erica
          October 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm
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          I’m sure the wine color is beautiful too! The dress is so classy and sophisticated you can wear it for other occasions too. πŸ™‚ They are definitely good with coupons, and I did get this one for $35 off because of a referral. Online ordering is so tough sometimes, especially for in the fuller-bust market.

          Reply
  • October 29, 2014 at 4:06 pm
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    I feel that I cannot trust them anymore. I have had several successes over the last few years, but after my most recent trench coat purchase, I don’t want to waste my money anymore. I actually had 6/8 successful pieces. Piece 1 that did not work was a dress that was too small. Same exact measurements as the other 4 previous dresses, but too tiny. Of course I beat myself up over it, figuring it was due to weight gain. It took me three months to put it up next to a different color of the same dress for me to realize that it had been made smaller. I actually had one dress made between that one and my trench coat that was perfect as well.

    But my last purchase, the trench, was a MAJOR fail. My 39″ bust adds up to their size 12 for bust, but my waist is 10″ smaller, so I opt for custom. My beautiful navy blue sateen trench jacket is HUGE. Like yours, they clearly made it for a size 12 everywhere, ignoring my custom measurements. I also made sure that the sleeves were custom for my 5’4 self, but they are over an inch too long. Unfortunately, when I complained, my emails went ignored, so I’m stuck with this coat. I’m going to take it to my regular amazing tailor to find out what it would cost to have taken in, but it probably wouldn’t be worth it. I’ll try to sell it somewhere. Cost me $65 on sale, and I don’t really want to put another $25+ into it. I was sent a $25 gift coupon for October (something they do every so often), but I am too afraid to use it. I could probably order a skirt if I really liked one-at least they wouldn’t screw that up because I don’t need custom skirts.

    All in all, I’m afraid to order again. I’m also too angry that they completely ignored my measurements and just sent me a size 12 instead.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 29, 2014 at 4:21 pm
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      From the responses here and on Facebook, it certainly seems like the customization process can be a mixed bag! It’s just a lot of money to gamble on whether the alterations will be successful or not. In my case, I’d rather lose the $20 on this one rather than try to sell it, but I totally understand the frustration. I really would love to find out more information on which items lend themselves better to being customized. I get a button-front shirt dress (or buttoned trench coat) may be a harder item to modify, but this just feels like they sent whatever size my bust needed without regard to the rest of the what I provided. Surely someone checks the custom orders prior to sending, and I can’t imagine they would see what I submitted and think this would work fine.

      Reply
      • October 30, 2014 at 12:23 am
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        I have 2 of the Havana dresses- a pale spring green, and a navy. The navy is where they messed it up and made it too small. I also have 4 versions of the Hailey- a regular red, lighter blue, a white with lobster print (which has a very long halter strap that I need to shorten), and a maxi version. I also have a cage dress that needs to be shortened in the straps as well as a skirt which was a regular size. So I guess that makes my total 9 garments including the coat, and 7/9 are pretty good with the alterations, though only my blue Hailey truly fits me to a t. The rest are a little big in the waist, and the red is a bit short in the bust (which means that the line that should go under my bust isn’t quite under it). I also had to pay for the lighter blue Hailey and the pale green Havana to be taken in at the shoulders despite giving them my measurements for my shoulders and shoulder to bust ratio.

        All in all, it’s been pretty good, but this is a huge mess up for me, so I’m afraid to try again. I appreciate custom dresses, but I’ve had to have several of them tailored ever so slightly to make them the way they should’ve been to begin with, which of course means extra cost. I mean really, $7.50 is nothing for a custom fitted dress, but the extra costs add up. In the end, with extra alterations, I probably spend what I would’ve spent to have something off the rack tailored, and that’s a lot easier. I’d gladly pay more than that for eShakti custom garments if they actually had people check orders against measurements of the final dress before they send it out. I know it must be difficult since everything is online (and I don’t fault them for the waists being too big), but it seems like many of the employees just aren’t double checking things and making sure they’re right before they’re sent to customers. I know many people just eat the cost or have them tailored because return shipping is cost prohibitive for many.

        I agree- we both seem to have gotten the size for our bust without any attempt to custom size them. It is unfortunate. What’s worse is that this has been a problem for many from the beginning, and it does not seem to have gotten better. Oh well. An expensive lesson learned for me, but I think I’m not going to take that chance again.

        Reply
        • Erica
          October 30, 2014 at 1:18 pm
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          Cate, I love the Havana dresses! I had one of those bookmarked as well. You’re right that the alterations costs start to add up, and if you have a great seamstress/tailor, they can take a less than perfect fit on an off-the-rack garment and transform it perfectly. Plus, to be fair, I have gotten a lot of Urkye and BiuBiu clothes which fit perfectly with no alterations, so it’s hard to justify extra expenses like this. Of course, as much as I love both of those companies, they don’t always have items which are my style, or they tend to focus heavily on basics. I would love to have a chambray denim shirt which fits perfectly (the one I have from J. Crew is alright but not as fitted as I would like), a silky tie neck blouse, and a plaid button-front like this:

          http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=95285&vid=1&pid=181678002

          Like you, I would pay for quality materials/work and pay extra for those items to fit perfectly. As it is, I would rather pay the money to buy something and then have the alterations performed. How did you find the quality of your dresses long term? That’s another issue for me. As much as I love what they offer, Banana Republic has always been hit or miss with me for longevity, but J. Crew is totally amazing. BiuBiu and Urkye are pretty good too, especially for the price, but if I am paying more for customization, I want to know the garment will last.

          Reply
          • October 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm
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            I agree -Urkye & BiuBiu have been much better fitting. Probably because they understand boobs and eShakti doesn’t seem to.

            I love JCrew and I’d live in it if I could afford them more often than when they’re having really good sales.

            Anyway: So far so good, but they’re mostly just the cotton, so I’d hope they last a while. Two summers of wear have been pretty good. They’re not bad cotton, but they’re not the greatest-definitely attract hairs and whatnot so I’m always picking cat hairs off of them. Not surprising since it happens with everything at my house, it just seems like this particular cotton is more prone to it.

            I shop a lot at BR and find that everything is pretty good so far (been shopping there fairly often with their deals lately), and their jeans are great. But then again, those have nothing to do with boobs. I wear my BR jeans almost exclusively.

          • Erica
            November 4, 2014 at 11:58 am
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            I can’t get BR jeans to fit me πŸ™ In all fairness, I find jeans shopping as challenging as tops though. I seem to do okay with Levis, and I used to swear by Gap’s skinny jeans . . . until I had a pair literally give out in the fabric. Not the seam either. Just a giant hole in the fabric. πŸ™

            Oh, dog hair is a permanent accessory for me. Einstein has this wiry guard hair that binds with the fabric of my clothes on a cellular level and will not come off!

  • October 29, 2014 at 4:08 pm
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    I really like a lot of eShakti’s designs, but all my custom orders came back far too big all over, and I was being super accurate with my measurements. I kept one top because it was a wrap blouse and I could cinch it tighter and make it work. It made me apprehensive about trying again. I’m sorry this one didn’t work out for you– I bet it would have been such a great piece to have in your wardrobe!

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 29, 2014 at 4:22 pm
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      Oh Sweets, I saw so many cute items that were going on my wish list, but now I am wavering about trying this process again. That said, I think I will take the money I spent here and redirect it to the Urkye Kopertowka dresses instead. πŸ˜€ One day, one fine day, I will fine my shirt dress!

      Reply
  • October 29, 2014 at 4:24 pm
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    I took my measurements and ordered a top from them without being customized. I went ahead and ordered the size that would go over my bust, expecting the waist to be big, since that is the easiest to take in.When I got it, it was so small, it didn’t fit over my chest. I measured the top because I couldn’t believe that it was an XL when I held it up. The measurements of the actual top were closer to a medium even though the label said XL. That has been my only experience with them but after that, I am pretty hesitant to order from them again.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm
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      Interesting to hear here is consistency with non-custom garments too! More than anything else, inconsistent sizing is one of the biggest deterrents for me, especially in cases like these. It’s a shame because they have some adorable items for sale.

      Reply
      • October 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm
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        Agreed! Their dresses are adorable!!! and they boast that they have a wide range of sizes, and can customize, which seems like every woman’s dream. too good to be true?

        Reply
  • October 30, 2014 at 11:38 am
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    I really want this coat http://www.eshakti.com/Product/CL0032485/Heart-collar-wool-blend-coat and after Kerri’s experience I was really considering pulling the trigger since my upper arms and bust are large finding coats is only slightly easier than finding button up shirts.

    But now I think $200 is too risky for something that might totally not work out. Le sigh, the search continues.

    Reply
    • Erica
      October 30, 2014 at 1:08 pm
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      That coat is AMAZING! I love the color and the shape of it especially. Okay, despite some of the bad experiences out there, it does seem like there are some great ones as well, and if you’re having a lot of issues finding a fabulous coat that fits, it may be worth the $20-25 risk. After all, you can still return it; you would just be out the $8 alteration fee plus whatever shipping was. Maybe you and Kerri should try some outlet/regular shopping and see if you find anything you like more and then keep this as a potential? It’s still pretty warm here, so you probably have a couple weeks to look for something else locally.

      Reply
      • January 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm
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        So I bought the coat (and some dresses in a buy 2 get 2 sale)… and it was a disaster. My biggest problem with everything I ordered is I have very fat upper arms combined with a large bust its very hard to find non-knit tops that fit. Anyway if you alter the sleeves they don’t taper them at all so mine were 21″ all the way down the arm which looks super ridiculous in a dress but still pretty bad in a coat. The whole coat was way too big and looked like a bathrobe plus I thought the material was pretty cheap for a $200 coat.

        I called customer service and they requested I send pictures to help their designers (I can send those if anyone cares). But with the holidays I missed the 30 day money back window so I guess I will end up with several sleeveless dresses for the summer. They did send me a free shipping label at least. The lady did tell me on the phone they add like 3-4″ inches to coat measurements which I thought seemed excessive and would have been nice to know up front (which I did express).

        The only real positive is the custom order I did for my roommate for Christmas looked gorgeous and fit perfectly. I breathed a huge sigh of relief at that. (was also a little jealous)

        Reply
        • Erica
          January 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm
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          Oh no! I am so sorry to hear the coat didn’t work out as it was quite lovely in the photo. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t taper the sleeves though. It seems really strange to cut them straight down like that, particularly since they are supposed to be tailoring the pieces to your measurement. Are you taking them to a seamstress locally to remove the sleeves, or are they doing the alteration? Would it be possible for a seamstress to rework the sleeves for you at all?

          That’s good to know they add inches to the coat. I usually buy my coats with enough space to layer, but I don’t think I’d need an extra 4″. I guess the silver lining here was your roommate got a perfect gift. What a shame about your stuff though Ashley, and I hope you can find something else in the future. πŸ™

          Reply
          • January 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm
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            I kept one dress that I am going to get something done to the sleeves (prob just removed completely), but I sent the other dress back in addition to the sleeve issue it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

            They did send me a gift card for shipping my stuff early and I ordered a sleeveless dress which turned out pretty well. I still am not over the moon about it but I think its a great dress for the $15 I spent on it.

            To be honest I am not sure I know how clothes are “supposed” to fit. I mean most of my clothes are always tight in some places so I think seeing clothes “loose” in those places throws me off a little.

          • Erica
            January 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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            Hi Ashley! Well, you can always layer your sleeveless dresses over long-sleeves depending on the neckline or wear a cardi/jacket. I know how disappointing it can be though. πŸ™

  • December 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm
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    Oh no…that is way too big on you although it does look so much better belted. I hate that you had such a bad experience with them. I just received a sweatshirt and didn’t have anything altered so obviously I didn’t have the same experience.

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm
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      Yeah, I was a bit disappointed, but I’m still open to considering another order in the future. πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • December 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm
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    I literally just posted a review for eshakti on my blog and it goes the same way as yours πŸ™

    Reply
    • Erica
      December 5, 2014 at 11:05 am
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      I just checked our your review, and it does seem like we were in the same boat. πŸ™ I wonder where the system falls part for the 30% off us who are having issues because it seems like we are all facing “too large” issues.

      Reply
  • January 5, 2015 at 10:53 am
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    Ok, as a seamstress, I have to point out a few things. Firstly, this dress that you received, is not mid calf. Mid calf would be about 5 inches lower than the one you’re wearing. Also, it’s a loose fitting dress so even with accurate measurements, it’s going to be loose b/c that is the style and fit of that design. I’m sorry that your’e not happy with it. It always sucks to spend money and not be happy, but if you’re going to review a company and basically slam them for this then you really should know more about basic construction and design of clothing b/c you wouldn’t have had some of these complaints. Also, to wear it that wrinkled for a review just seems to me like you’re trying to make it look worse. A simple 5 minutes or less in the dryer, it would have looked a lot better. Again, I’m sorry that you’re not happy but to me, as a seamstress, it looks like a quality made dress.

    Reply
    • Erica
      January 6, 2015 at 11:47 am
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      Thank you for commenting! I have to respectfully disagree with you about the review. First, while the dress does not hit at the equidistant point between the base of my knee and tip of my angle, it’s pretty close. Some shots do not show this as well as others, but it’s definitely closer to mid-calf than to “at the knee” which is what I ordered. The space between knee and calf on my legs is only 12″, so going 5″ lower would make the dress about ankle-length. Also, I was expecting, nay hoping, the dress would fit slightly loose so I could have that relaxed, casual vibe. Plus, I knew I would layer warmer items underneath for Fall/Winter. It was this desire for a looser fit that had me sweating about using a set of measurements which were smaller than my current ones at the time of ordering. The dress I received is about a true size 14/16 depending on the manufacturer when I wear a size 8. That’s not what I ordered. However, I liked the dress enough to consider paying for alterations until I spoke with my seamstress who agreed the dress was simply too big. To fix it, would require hemming and a total rework. The minimum price? $35. I wasn’t prepared to invest that into the dress, especially when I technically paid money for alterations already.

      My intention with the review was not to be completely negative with regard to the product as I specifically pointed out positive attributes of construction and design in the post. My point was I paid money to have the dress customized to my measurements, and I do not feel the company even attempted to do this. I feel like they promised me a product which they did not deliver, and I paid $20 to try on a size 14 dress once and then send it back.

      Finally, with regard to the wrinkles: I was didn’t want to risk damaging the dress at all after I decided I wasn’t going to keep it. I didn’t want them to deny the return in anyway, so I took photos as is.

      I also want to close with the fact that I would be willing to retry EShakti in the future, but I felt like I would do a disservice to my readers if I gave a glowing review when I wasn’t happy.

      Reply
    • January 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm
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      I agree with the seamstress, how could you not iron the dress and show it with the belt first. Clothes that fit should night be tight, or even hugging (Which, secretly I think you’d prefer a more snug fit.) In all honesty Ironing the dress would have made it nice. Also, she’s right about the length. The dress looks very close to the picture with more of a freer flow. Wished you would’ve ironed it, that would’ve really shown what the issues were. (Maybe it was a hair too long. In one pic it appears at the knee, in the other…below. IDK girl.)

      Reply
    • July 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm
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      I agree. The style of this dress in the sample photo is clearly loose and belted. And it is slightly below the knee, not mid calf as you state. I don’t think this review is very accurate. I think the error was misjudging the original style, a loose belted dress, for a fitted shirt dress. That was your bad.

      Reply
      • Erica
        July 21, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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        Ya know, after several years and this being my most controversial review, nay post!, I still disagree with everyone who said it’s somehow my fault. At the end of the day, it boils down to my opinion of the dress and of my experience with the brand. I didn’t expect the dress to be perfectly fitted to my every dimension and loved the relaxed, casual vibe of the dress. In fact, I state as much here: “Given I wanted to belt the dress anyway, I was not opposed to a relaxed fit, but what I received was just too big everywhere.” And it’s clear in the photos, it is much closer to mid-calf on me (especially in the front where my butt isn’t taking up some of the hem) when I asked for “above the knee”. Taking aside the largeness, the length clearly a problem. They sent me a dress based on my bust measurement, and *if* there was tailoring, and I suspect there wasn’t, I couldn’t find where, meaning they took my money without providing the service. I get a lot people had/have great experiences with them, but mine wasn’t. It happens. But saying it was “my bad” for not looking at the picture ignores many of my comments in the review, including where I consulted with an actual seamstress who told me the dress was just too large. And remember: I put in smaller measurements than I was at the time because I planned on losing weight, so if the smaller measurements were representative of my body, the dress would have been even larger on me. And when I tried to contact them about it, they ignored me.

        Reply
  • January 5, 2015 at 10:56 am
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    Also a shift and a shirt dress are quite different in design concept. A shift is much tighter fitting. With the belt, in one of the last pictures, The dress looks remarkably close to what’s pictured as the desired result.

    Reply
  • January 7, 2015 at 5:13 pm
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    I also disagree with ‘coppermatryoshka’. This dress definitely appears to be 3 sizes (at the least) to big for you. As an alterations specialist for over 15 years, I would have to take the entire thing apart and put it back together in order to achieve the desired look you stated you were hoping for. Belting it shows way too much material bunching on the sides and the front and I can only imaging, in the back as well. I see no point in ironing nor drying the dress to remove wrinkles for the review since it more than likely had to be returned with tags attached and unworn to receive a refund. I think your review was spot on. You even mentioned small details you did like. Any company not willing to have a true assessment of their work critiqued, isn’t worth buying from. They should take the feedback and improve.

    Reply
    • January 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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      Even in the picture it bunches with the belt though.

      Reply
  • February 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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    I just received two dresses that I had ordered and was very disappointed in the sizes. The chest was too small and the rest of the dress was much too big. I am sad because I love the style of the dresses, one in particular and it is quality made and cute as anything. The part that upset me more is that there is no “exchange” policy only refunds. I got this dress when it was on sale and only want to exchange it but now it is at full price ($30 more than what I paid) I don’t think it’s fair that I can’t just exchange it for the correct size since it was not a custom size. Now if I want this dress, I have to pay an additional $30 plus the cost of returning the one that doesn’t fit. They should re-evaluate their return policy. I shouldn’t have to pay more than what I originally paid to get the dress I want.

    Reply
  • March 4, 2015 at 11:18 am
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    I’ve ordered from Eshakti quite a bit. What I found was it took me about 2 or 3 dresses to figure out what my correct customization are for their site. Once I did, everything I ordered has been spot on. For example for me to get knee length I order above the knee. On the ordering page you can also add comments to help them make the piece to your specifications and they have been really great about that when I have said something such as “could you put the belt loops 2 inches lower than normal I have a long torso”. I think what is true of them is is the same with any company, it may take a few tries to communicate your exact needs with a seamstress far away.

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    • Erica
      March 4, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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      Thanks for the tips!! I will take this into consideration with any future orders I place and see if this improves the fit of the garment. πŸ™‚

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  • March 11, 2015 at 11:32 am
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    I have ordered a number of things from them (3-4 skirts and 5 dresses) and had some customized, some not. I have been very satisfied and I am not an off the rack standard size. I agree with RA that it did take several tries to get exactly the fit I wanted and I do things like give my height as taller when I want a longer skirt. But I think they are great in terms of it is better than what I find in stores.

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    • Erica
      March 13, 2015 at 11:18 am
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      Thanks for the feedback! Did you just exchange the initial ones that didn’t fit? I guess my concern is that if I have to go through multiple orders (with multiple customization and return shipping costs) that pretty soon, I’m going to eat up a lot of my already limited clothes budget. Meanwhile, I can order a Bolero, Urkye, or BiuBiu dress and have it fit perfectly. Of course, those companies have less selection that EShakti, so it would be nice to broaden my options too.

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  • April 18, 2015 at 8:25 pm
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    Hi! I ordered a slub knit sweater and the beau belle chambray top using my measurements to choose a standard size (5x-32). For the sweater I mentioned in the comments that I like my sleeves on the long side. Both items arrived within 3 weeks and were absolutely perfect. Better even than I expected in quality and fit. My only issue with eshakti is really that their prices are a bit high for my budget. There are sooo many things I want – but I can’t justify spending a hundred dollars on a dress…

    Erica, you are adorable and I think the dress is cute on you even if a little big. But IMHO I think a cap sleeve princess seam denim dress would be better on you (and a younger style).

    Thanks for the review! πŸ™‚

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    • Erica
      April 21, 2015 at 2:18 pm
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      Hi Linda! Thanks for the feedback on the brand! It sounds like you were able to find exactly what you were looking for, and I am happy to hear they worked so well for you. I have seen a few people review pieces now in standard sizes and wonder if my next purchase won’t be to see their standard fit.

      P.S. I love your idea of a cap-sleeve version. πŸ™‚ I am still on the hunt for the perfect shirt-dress, but it’s admittedly not the easiest garment to find when you’re busty!

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  • April 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm
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    Man, I just ordered a dress through them for my brothers wedding. They want us to wear these dresses in August. Online the dress looks cute, in person it looks and feels like a huge piece of cloth! Instead of custom sizing, I just ordered a size based on other dresses I have worn. First, the waist line is too small to pull over my hips, and too tight to get over my shoulders. Once I did weasel an arm in, I can’t get the other in. It has a zipper on the left side just under the sleeve to hip. I also wanted it knee length and its past the knees, too tight in the waist, and couldn’t get it off! It looks big and frumpy. I ended up ripping the sleeve just to get out of it!! $64 dollars for something I can’t get in or out of and looks like a big rag! Luckily it is on sale, so I ordered a new one with custom sizes. If this one doesn’t fit, they will be the most expensive cleaning rags ever!

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    • Erica
      April 22, 2015 at 12:11 pm
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      What a shame! I am crossing my fingers for you that the new custom size one is a drastic improvement over the previous attempt. Is there anyway a seamstress could rework the dress, or is it just not worth it? I know the blogger who writes Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed took too big E-Shakti dresses to a professional and had them reuse the fabric for better fitting designs. Maybe that is possible here?

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  • April 26, 2015 at 4:59 am
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    This is interesting since I just read another blog where the blogger and commenters all complained that their garments, even the custom jobs, were way too small! I’d like to order something from them but don’t know what to think now. I do agree with the people who say your dress is not that big. Once you put a belt on it looks very similar to the model shown, which is pretty baggy; however the shoulders are too big and that throws the whole thing off. Also maybe you discovered you don’t really like the style you thought you liked. A true shirt dress is fitted at the waist, usually with a gathered or full-ish skirt; you might like that much better once it’s adjusted through the bust. http://wwtaylorw.com/tag/shirtdresses/

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  • August 6, 2015 at 11:12 pm
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    Hi! I just ordered a beautiful maxi dress. I normally wear a size 12, but decided to get the custom sizing to give the waist area a little more room. I hope that it does not arrive too big. Because I am a new customer, my custom tailoring was free and I received a huge discount. However, if the dress is too big, I’ll just tailor it. I can sew. The dress was $40.00 from $70+. So, I’m willing to alter it if I have too. LOL

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    • Erica
      August 7, 2015 at 11:40 am
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      Hi Nikita! It seems from the comments and web reviews that some orders do come out perfect, so I wouldn’t worry about it until it actually arrives! Since you can sew, I’m sure you’ll be able to work with it too if there are a few issues. I need to learn how to do that myself sometime!

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  • January 4, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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    Thank you for the detailed review. Did you have to pay any additional customs fees for the delivery?

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    • Erica
      January 12, 2016 at 8:25 pm
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      Hi Shani! I am glad you found the review helpful. πŸ™‚ On my order I did not have to any additional customs fees. It was just the cost of the item plus the shipping.

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  • February 1, 2016 at 11:42 am
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    I found Eshakti.com on a five hour trip back from Austin yesterday. I ordered two dresses, normally $135, for $77. I’m normally a size 4, but I ordered a size 6, and gave them my height (5’8).

    Of course, I only started researching reviews AFTER ordering. Go figure.

    Now I’m nervous! I’m a blogger, too, so this may be a $77 learning experience. Fingers crossed that the dresses aren’t terrible!

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    • Erica
      February 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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      Don’t panic just yet. πŸ™‚ Some people had really outstanding experiences with them, so you could find the dresses fit you perfectly. πŸ™‚ Shortly after I did this review, I had some weight fluctuations so I haven’t tried them since then but I’d be willing to give them another shot for sure!

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  • April 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm
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    You know, I feel bad saying it because I totally understand your frustration BUT- it actually does look like the website’s photos only scaled/changed for your body type. If it was ironed and you wore a belt I’d say it’s about right. In the photo of the model there is still creasing/bunching in the waist when it’s belted, but the model has a lower waist to hip ratio. Also, it does seem to be hitting you on the low knee. I actually have the same measurements as you but I am just 5″4. I often sew my own garments and have been an avid reader of instructional sewing/dressmaking books. I’ve come to the (sad) realization that certain styles of garments simply will always look vastly different on large busted or very hourglass shaped bodies. I also have wanted that look from a shirt dress and always thought they didn’t fit. But once I sewed a few a light bulb went off, ah! The style would never work on me! After all, I made them precisely to my measurements and they still looked wrong.Fitted waists, dresses with clearly defined waist and bust areas will always look “like the picture”. Shift, princess seams and non-pieced shirt dresses just never look right. To bad because it’s very hard to find well fitting clothes and you paid a pretty penny for it

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    • Erica
      April 23, 2016 at 12:17 pm
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      Thanks for commenting! I truly wish I had learned to sew when my mom tried to teach me. Life would be a lot easier! πŸ˜€ If I ever get free time, I’d like to take a course if I can. Anyway, I do think shirt dresses are a little trickier although I did try on one from a full-bust company (BiuBiu) that a friend had, and it fit so much better than this one did. I wasn’t expecting a completely fitted product, but I think the fact I could wear multiple pieces of clothing underneath was a bit excessive, particularly since there didn’t seem to be any alterations done to the design. In all honesty, the longer I have had to think of it and have responded to comments about the review, the more I think I have nailed down what bothers me the most (I may not have articulated as well) was that I paid for alterations that I don’t think were performed. If this was just some shirt dress I ordered to try from Belk’s in a standard size and fit like this, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. I’d have just sent it back and chocked it up to other online shopping failures (of which I have more than a few). What bothered me was the promise of some kind of tailoring to my measurements which didn’t seem to have happened, and then to not have that refunded at all or even addressed by the company felt like poor customer service at best. We deal with Polish company Comexim who offers alterations at $3 now (but at one point, they were as high as $10) on bras. On those cases where a customer paid for an alteration that somehow did not get made, we *always* found a way to make it right, either by remaking the bra, refunding the alteration fee, or offering a discount on the piece. It is not fair to have someone pay for something that they never actually receive, and I just feel like eShaki did not offer the kind of service I would expect. If I had known they weren’t going to really alter it, I’d have skipped ordering. I was willing to take on the added expense of the alteration, the shipping, and the return shipping for the promise of a garment that would be at least slightly tailored to my figure. And when it wasn’t, it made me feel cheated by the company. πŸ™

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  • August 25, 2016 at 8:33 pm
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    I just received my second dress from eShakti. The first, I should have looked at the style more carefully. While I loved the fabric print and was happy with the fit, the style was really unflatteting. Too low cut, stiff fabric did not fall flat resulting in a matenity look. “Live and learn” I thought.

    Just received my second dress. I requested a slight adjustment to the collar because it was too low and paid extra for custom sizing. Again, love the fabric but neckline was not adjusted and the arm holes are a little tight.

    I’m disappointed. Furthermore, for both orders I have been unable to leave a review on the eShakti website. Dresses are no longer available. Completely gone from the site!

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    • Erica
      September 7, 2016 at 11:51 am
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      What a shame, Peggy. Did you contact eShakti at all to see if they had an opinion about the issue? I can see style issues creating problems with alterations, particularly since you really can’t see what the garment looks like before requesting changes, but it does seem that occasionally alterations are simply not done at all. πŸ™

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  • September 14, 2016 at 5:21 pm
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    On the pic of the original design, I see about eight 1″ gathers in the front along the belt line. If they’re repeated at the least by half along the back, that adds up to a lot of extra fabric at the waist (~12″). It means the original dress doesn’t hug the waistline, but would hang loosely without the belt on anyone, proportionally.

    They may have just structured your custom dress proportionally to match the pattern of the original from your bust. If they promised they would customize for the extra payment, you owe it to yourself, and perhaps to future customers, to tell them why you’re not happy with it, and to get an explanation of what that meant to them. In their thinking, they made ‘that style’ with your bust size, because your other measurements (or anyone else’s) don’t ‘count’ in that style’s pattern formula.

    That’s not custom fitting, tho. You owe it to yourself, and perhaps to their future customers, to tell them why you’re not happy with their decistion to not change the basic pattern, a promise intrinsic to taking your extra measurements and your extra money. You got a 49″ bust, pocket-free version of the same dress they would’ve made for anyone with your bust size. That’s not what you paid for.

    Let them know the ‘misunderstanding’, and that you blogged about it. You don’t have to be confrontational or agressive. I don’t understand reticence when money was paid for an agreed-upon result that was not delivered.

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    • Erica
      October 13, 2016 at 2:23 pm
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      Hi Victoria! I responded to this before, but the response was lost in my server migration. So for brevity, I’ll sum it up. πŸ™‚ I actually emailed EShakti and sent a message with the package expressing my displeasure with the alterations, particularly since I did pay for them. As you point out, it seems to me that they *maybe* altered around the bust but nothing else. As a small business, I think customer service is exceptionally important, and I was disappointed they did not seem to even acknowledge the problem with the order. It has certain put me off ordering from them for the last two years, but I haven’t completely ruled them out. Some of my customers have reported similar experiences while others have good ones. I may try something with less fit ambiguity next time though! If/When I do, I will be sure to update here again. πŸ™‚

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  • October 27, 2016 at 3:25 am
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    Do you have an iron?

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    • Erica
      October 27, 2016 at 10:06 am
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      Yep, did you read the comments ahead of you where I address the issue of ironing the dress?

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  • July 25, 2017 at 3:09 pm
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    Found your review while looking for others who had similar problems. I haven’t looked around your site, but it would be interesting to see if you have tried them again and had similar issues. My sister has ordered the last year or two and loved her dresses. Last dress she got seemed baggy, but I think she decided it was more of a weight loss fluke than anything.

    I tried ordering two dresses with custom measurements. I’m somewhere between a size 10-12 (probably leaning more towards 12 right now) and very tall, 5’11”. The dresses I got were about 2″ too big everywhere. Waist was dropped down too far, arms were baggy, chest and waist had too much room. If I was ordering a sweater or t-shirt it would have been perfect for lounging in, but what I ordered were supposed to be fitted dresses. Overall I think they must have been at least 1 if not 2 sizes too large. Thought about trying to take them apart and fix them myself, but I would have had to probably reduce every seam by 1-2″. I’ll be returning them, and probably not ordering again. It just seems like a huge hassle for something already “custom” made.

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    • Erica
      August 2, 2017 at 6:16 pm
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      Hi Whitney! I honestly haven’t retried them, mostly because shortly after I wrote this review I started down a weight roller coaster . . . or perhaps I should say “up” since that’s the direction the scale moved. πŸ˜‰ I didn’t want to risk running into the same issue again and/or compounding that with unstable weight. That said, I do plan on revisiting them in the future, either sometime later this year or the start of next. From talking with people in person, I’ve heard generally mixed reviews. For every person who didn’t have an issue, I found another who got an entire order that was wrong. I think the concept is really, very cool, but I wonder if perhaps the general alterations cost is too low which leads to errors if the person’s measurements are going to depart too much from the design. When I do retry them, I will be sure to write another review though!

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What are your thoughts?