Denim ChambrayIf you’ve never heard of eShakti, then let me give you a quick overview.   It is an online store for women’s clothing, specifically dresses, tops and skirts.  You can order standard sizes OR put in your own measurements and have the item made FOR YOU.  There’s an additional charge for this tailoring, a whopping $7.50 USD.  Yes, only seven dollars and fifty cents!  And almost all dresses have pockets.  Pockets!
Starting price for dresses is $59.95, and the most expensive I have seen is $99.
I don’t know about you but those prices sounded much too good to be true.  We are talking about a fashionable tailored dress with a place to carry my keys & phone and all for about $80?  There has to be something wrong here.
I found out about this site from a friend who ordered one of their standard size dresses.   It seemed to be decent quality, at least as good as Fairweather or some other commensurate store where I’d pay at least $60 for a mediocre off the rack number.  The fit was okay, after all it was a generic “medium”.  And it had pockets, which I seriously cannot say enough times.  I can’t tell you what a pain it is to wander around carrying all of your knick knacks because you don’t want to carry your whole purse.
Because I wanted a better fit I decided to go all out and measure up for my order.  I did my own, which is never recommended, but I’ve sewn a lot and I can usually do a fairly accurate job of it.  I selected 2 dresses, a skirt and a top (I have a wedding in a month and wanted a few options.)
Here’s one of my dresses: Vintage Denim Chambray Dress
I used my measurements, selected knee-length and added short sleeves.
Less than 2 weeks later my package arrived, having traveled all the way from India to reach my door.  The quick turn around actually made me even more reticent about the clothing.
So, what did I find inside my delivery?  Decent clothes that fit me.  Seriously!
Here are the bullet points:
– They looked like the pictures online, no surprises.
– The fabric, while not the highest quality, is certainly not cheap.  It is medium weight and decently durable.  I ride my bike in dresses and they have held up well.
– The construction is well executed.  The seams are both sewn and serged (most cheap clothing is just serged, which means if a seam comes loose the whole side comes apart.)  This clothing is not going to fall apart in the wash.
– Everything fit.  Now that being said, my weight has been fluctuating since having a baby so the perfect fit means you have to be a consistent size.  Something I’m not quite managing right now, and I ordered when I was a few pound smaller 😉
– Pricing was ever so reasonable.  I have two lovely options to wear to the upcoming wedding, that cost less than buying one fancy dress from a store.  And most of those stores tend to stock more size 2 than, well, larger sizes.  I am not very large or disproportionate, but I have to say if I was that eShakti is the route I would go.  Nothing makes a woman look worse (or feel worse) than poorly fitted clothing.
– I got what I wanted!  Everything I wanted!  On the top I chose the length and no embellishments (I thought the beading was hideous.)  On the denim dress I got the length, and sleeves I liked best and looked best on me.  Etc.

What, you may be asking yourself, is the down side?  I don’t really feel there is one in regard to the actual dress per se.  As long as you measure correctly and have a good eye for what suits you, the outcome should be marvelous!
My reticence comes from the fact that it is SO reasonable, SO fast, SO well constructed from good material.  Who is getting paid what amount to make this?  I don’t want to assume that these items come from a sweat shop in India, but the math is just a bit tight for me to presume that the person sewing these dresses can be making very much money.  I don’t think this possibility will stop me from ordering further items from them in the immediate future; however, I cannot live in ignorance and will look into this company in more detail.  That being said, I can’t say that any of the mainstream stores are not underpaying their international workers either.

Overall, I am very happy with my experience and expect to attend this wedding looking and feeling better than I have while wearing a dress in quite a while 🙂