Monday, February 25, 2013

An eShakti dress review.

When I received an email from inviting me to choose an item from their spring line to review, I was a little torn. This is obviously not a fashion blog. The only time I post pictures of and talk about clothes is when I've sewn them myself.
But on the other hand, how could I resist a free dress from a website that offers so many pretty designs and customization? I couldn't. :)
{Let me just say that I've never actually purchased an eShakti dress. Several months ago I won one in a blog giveaway. I picked a red cotton dress, one with elastic smocking all around the waist. It looked cute enough on the site and by itself, but it wasn't flattering on me. I thought the elastic would make it more comfortable, but the dress was a bit stiff and awkward and had very poofy sleeves. I've worn it maybe once or twice under a cardigan, but that's it. So I was curious to see if another style dress would suit me better.}

After a day of deliberating over a few of my favorites, I chose a black and white printed, button-up shirtdress, made from polyester. I would have preferred cotton, of course, but this dress has gathers and pleats. And those two things tend to look awful on me, so I figured the softer, sheer fabric would make them less severe and more flattering. The full-skirted, 100% cotton dresses with pleats at the waist look adorable on the website, of course, but if you're like me and not thin like the dressform, they might not be so flattering in real life. :) I would link the dress here, but it seems to mysteriously have disappeared from the site?

I decided to enter my measurements so that it would be customized. I also swapped out the cap sleeves for slightly longer short sleeves (because I'm just not crazy about sleeveless or nearly sleeveless dresses). That's one of the really neat things about eShakti. Not only can you get your item custom made to your measurements, but with most of the dresses, you have options for what sleeve type and dress length you want. On certain dresses you can even opt to remove embellishments or the pockets (but who would want to take out the pockets?? As you can see from these pictures, they're perfect for those of us who never know what to do with their arms :).

Basically: I love the dress. I find it so much more flattering than the giveaway dress. The sleeves are the perfect length (great for warm weather and not bulky, so perfect for wearing under cardigans), I like the "shawl collar" because it reminds me of a Peter Pan collar, and I think the berry print is cute. There is a bit of elastic smocking on the sides of the waist (see below photo), which keeps the waist snug but comfortable and slightly stretchy. The main fabric is sheer but it's lined with black (all except the sleeves). I love the full skirt, and despite my prejudices against non-natural materials, the polyester does make the whole dress wonderfully light and floaty. :) And I love the huge pockets.

The length of this dress is supposed to be "below knee," and you put in your height to help them determine how long that is. I'm 5'8 and it hits me right at the knee. I wouldn't have minded if it was a couple of inches longer, especially since the last button is several inches above the hem. Still, that's just a personal preference and there's such a slight difference between "at knee" and "below knee" that I really can't complain. Also, the neckline was lower than I'm comfortable with so I'm wearing a camisole under it (I pretty much wear a cami under everything, year round, so that's no big deal).

It's still chilly, so I wore a cardigan over it to church yesterday.

Elastic smocking on the sides of the waistband:

Ever since I started sewing clothes over four years ago, I pay more attention to how things are made and the quality of store bought clothes. This eShakti dress seems to be well made. It's constructed with about the same quality of most of my purchased dresses (better quality than a few of them).

P.S. The dresses are made in India, which does bother me. I've read so much about bad factory working conditions lately that I'm paranoid about that! One of my goals this year is to not to buy any new store bought clothing (except jeans and camis). I don't want to support cheap clothing that's being produced in overseas factories by underaged and/or underpaid workers. After some research, a brief mention here is the only thing I can find about eShakti's Indian factories.

The dress came incredibly quickly. I requested it on February 13th, and it shipped less than a week later. The craziest part is this: the dress was shipped on the 19th and arrived on the 21st. I tracked it and watched it go from India to Germany to Ohio to here in Virginia in two days. I couldn't believe it. :) The dress came through DHL, packaged in a tiny box. It did have a bit of a strange smell at first, I think from the plastic it was wrapped in.

So my experience with eShakti was nothing but pleasant. Their prices seem reasonable for customized clothing (though still out of my price range), and I like that you have so many options. If you have a hard time finding modest dresses that are long enough, etc., eShakti definitely offers choices. Though I've read some negative things online about their customer service, my dress was exactly what I wanted and arrived very quickly. Thanks, eShakti, for the free dress! :) You can check out their new spring line here. By the way, until February 28th, you can get free customization. And if you're a new customer, you can get $25 off your first order. Edit: Or use this code to get 20% off your order through March 10th: SEWTECHNCL .  

Don't worry, you won't have to put up with my awkward posing and rambling "fashion" reviews anymore...I think I'll stick with book reviews for a while now. :) Thanks, Mom, for taking the photos even though it was really chilly outside. And I apologize for any fake cheesy grins that may be included in this post.

Until next time,

*Note: I received this dress for free from eShakti in order to honestly review it.*


  1. It looks super cute on you! I've never bought anything from eShakti, but I'd like to someday, since they have so many adorable dresses.

  2. Just came across your blog and this review while researching a little more about eShakti and their working conditions (I, too, was a little apprehensive!) Your dress is adorable! Thanks for the info.


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