As many of you know, I am all about finding clothing that makes a woman feel her best. Now, we all have colors or certain silhouettes we gravitate to, and these are all important on our road to confidence. But to me, regardless of fabric or cut, the most important aspect of achieving the goal of “I Feel Fab” is the perfect fit. Enter the latest shopping generation: Customizable Clothing.
More and more, online retailers are starting to recognize the importance of fit – and the fact that trying to distill women of all shapes and sizes into some idea of “standard” is a bit insane. I don’t know how many different versions of a size “medium” I’ve tried on in my lifetime. None (and I mean none) of them fit the same way. Because of this inequity, online shopping can always be a bit hit or miss – you just never know what you’re going to get and don’t have the luxury of trying a garment on before buying. So I always get really excited when a website offers options of customization.
One site that I had my eye on recently is eShakti – a retailer that not only allows you to customize a garment to suit your measurements, but takes it a step further and also offers different hemlines, necklines, and sleeve options. The possibilities are endless! I was really excited when they contacted me and offered me the chance to give the process a whirl – from ordering to customizing to the finished product.
For my maiden eShakti voyage, I opted to get the Daisy Dress (which is sadly no longer available – items on this site go quickly!). But, there are a few similar dresses here, here & here. As customization is one of their major selling points, I ordered a custom size instead of a standard size. For this, get your tape measure handy – they aren’t joking when they offer a dress to really suit your unique proportions! Because I think sizing and fit is so important, here are my personal measurements (rounded to the nearest inch):
- Bust (Around but): 37
- Chest (above bust): 36
- Under Bust: 34
- Shoulder: 15
- Waist: 28
- Hip: 39
They also offer the chance to include these optional measurements, recommended for those with long torsos (you can’t see it, but I’m waving my arm in the air wildly).
- High Point Shoulder to Bust Point: 10.5
- High Point Shoulder to Waist: 19
- High Point shoulder to Knee: 45
I had all of these on hand, as I often buy vintage based on my measurements. But, if you don’t know your personal measurements, I highly recommend getting a friend to take them for you, as trying to do it yourself will often lead to inaccuracies, simply because you have to bend and contort to get them. If you’re unsure what some of these measurements are, eShakti very helpfully provides detailed descriptions of how these measurements are to be taken – it really takes out the guesswork!
After your measurements, you fill in your height (I’m 5’9) and can customize the neckline, sleeves, and hemline length. I chose to keep the neckline and sleeves the same, but went for a below-the-knee length as opposed to the mini-length of the original design. As this dress already came with a back zip (which I much prefer) I didn’t change it, but I LOVE that you can also request a change to a side zip or vice versa. I know we are all firmly in the Back Zip or Side Zip camp, with very little in between, and it’s nice that something I care so vehemently about is another option for customization.
The Fabric and Fit
This dress is made out of 100% cotton with what feels like a hint of elastane – the fabric is thin and breathable, which I can tell will be really helpful when I finally get to experience my first North Carolina summer. Despite being unlined, it wasn’t at all see-through (even when backlit!). It’s also machine washable (hoorah!). The main feature that really drew me to this dress was the flower embroidery in tones of red, teal, white and grey. The embroidery itself was really well done – no pulled threads and made with very vibrant, silk thread. My only minor disappointment was to find that the embroidery was only on the front of the dress, and not on the back.
In terms of fit, I was really happy with how well it adhered to my custom measurements – it fit like a glove and came out of the box at 36″ bust, 28″ waist, and 17″ shoulder-to-waist (not including bust curvature). I did find that the slight stretch in the fabric created a slightly looser fit over time, now giving a waist of 29″. I can easily nip this in, but for future purchases I will probably opt for a 27″ waist, as I like a truly cinched fit. (I also often forget my true waist is 27″. Because most dresses range from a little to a lot short in the torso on me, I usually size up to a 28″! Live and learn…)
A huge plus for the bodice is that there was no underarm pudge – a curse of this kind of neckline on most dresses. I found the neckline to be really flattering on me, and was so pleased with the long torso. I went with a longline bra for these shots, but think I could get away with a thin-strapped black bra without anyone being the wiser. I was also thrilled I went with the longer skirt length – it really gave the dress a high-end feel, which meant I can dress it up for a night on the town with some sparkly heels (like tonight. Or let’s be honest, most nights). But, with some cute espadrilles and a messy bun, I’m just as ready for a picnic with friends. The skirt was beautifully full and handled my mid-full Malco Modes petticoat with aplomb (the true test will be when the rest of my crinoline closet arrives, but I think this beauty could definitely handle two crinolines should I so desire).
The Facts & Figures
This particular dress retailed for $49.95 – and most garments on eShakti are super affordable, in the $40-$80 dollar range. And you can register on their homepage and get $30 off your first order. Plus, if you download their app (for iPhone and Android) you can get an extra 10% off any order placed through the app. Note for today only (Cyber Monday) they are also offering 30% off your order! If there was ever a reason to shop….
Although they’ll always adjust garments to your height at no additional cost within their standard size range (which offers sizes 0-36W), full customization will cost an extra $9.95 per garment. Personally, I think this is a major bargain for a dress that will fit you perfectly and far less than any tailor would charge. I can see this being an incredible resource for bridesmaids dresses too – affordable and easily customizable to suit everyone’s individual preferences.
They currently ship to the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore and offer free return shipping for all US orders. From order date to construction to arrival, mine took 9 days total to arrive. 9 DAYS!! That’s pretty incredible for a custom made-to-measure garment. Overall, I had a really great experience with eShakti and will definitely be back. For my next victims, I’m already eyeing up this one and this one (what can I say except I love embroidery!).
Have you ever ordered from eShakti? I’d love to know your experience!
Dress: Daisy Dress dress c/o eShakti (similar here & here)
Jacket: Nanette Lepore (similar)
Belt (worn as a headband): Alannah Hill (similar)
Handbag: Gift, Review Australia
Shoes: DSW (similar here & here)
Lip Color: M.A.C. Ruby Woo