Oh hay, look at me, making a post after three months of silence. Sorry about that, I’m alive and have been meaning to do every post of every thing, but I’ve just been busy with life so I’ve never quite gotten to the actually blog something stage.
Welp, figure it’s time to hop back on it, so here I am. Posting.
I have a lot of things I need to post, I’ve been snapping pics left and right and have many GlamBag/box opening/Doll thing/story stuff/art stuff to put up. But this post is not for any of that, this post is a review of the clothing site eShakti, mainly because someone I know wanted to see one done by someone she knows, and since my order just came today and it’s all fresh in my mind, I figure I’ll do the thing.
So eShakti, I first saw this thing pop up one day months ago on my Tumblr dash, during one of those rare occasions I actually went into Tumblr to look at said dash (most of what I post there is like Facebook, simply crossposted from my Instagram and I’m rarely actually on the site because it annoys me like no one’s biz), anywho, so it popped up because some one had ordered some dresses and done their review, and it had been reblogged with a bunch of other peoples reviews going on about how good the site was for custom sized clothing. While I didn’t so much care for the dresses and skirts shown in the reviews, I was intrigued by the custom sizing options, and coupled with the fact that there had been a coupon to get 25.oo off the first order, I thought -why not? and wandered over to take a look. I immediately found a whole bunch of dresses, skirts and shirts I liked, and spent some time sifting from one page to another looking at the options before narrowing it down to a dress I thought I’d like to take a chance on.
Before I get too far into the ordering and full review, I need to state a few things. Ever since moving back to Seattle, I’ve put on some weight. There’s a bunch of contributing factors to this – stress (which we’ve had so much of), age (getting older), brain fog (thanks black mould in this apartment and lack of proper nutrition), the Chibi’s UC development which led to more stress and a whole lot of terrible foods due to all the misinformation we’ve been given since she developed it, bills (of which we’ve amassed many since her diagnosis because shortly after she was cut from Medicaid for “making too much” on minimum wage, part time, which meant a sudden influx of medical bills, specialized food bills, specialist bills, bills, medicine bills, more bills, so on and on and on), a large drop in my own sales in my shoppe (for whatever reason), sicknesses on my part, etc etc, so on and so forth forever -basically it’s all been this non stop roller coaster since our return and neither of us has been able to catch much of a break. Where the Chibi’s UC has her losing her much needed weight and getting into dangerous underweight territories, stress has me doing what my body seems to want to best these days, which is packing on the pounds. This is despite the body breaking non stop exercising I’ve been doing too, which has made it all the more frustrating.
I also want to note that for anyone other than me, I could give an ass rats about what size you are because for the most part I don’t care and whatever you are, or whatever you do, is no one’s business but your own. I don’t look at people and judge them when it comes to their looks or their weight or what not, because you are what you are and it’s not my inclination or care to bother with you being something you aren’t.
Unless it’s me. I have an issue with me. I always have, and where I’m “eh *shoulder shrug*” with every other person on the planet, my eyes go into dagger hate and nitpick-city every time I happen across myself in the mirror, or you know, happen to look down and see my own bod. For anyone that knows me, you know weight has been a thing I’ve struggled with since getting preggers with the Chibi 24 years prior and it’s prolly always going to be a struggle, because I’m not comfortable in my skin unless it’s more in proportion with what I know I’m able to be. I’ve tried to be weight and body positive with myself, I’ve tried to relax about it, I’ve tried to “come to terms”, but over the years I had to finally concede that when it comes to me, I have a standard (often times an impossible one) that I’m happy with and when I’m not near it, I’m miserable as all misery can be.
It’s a complex, to put it simply. A very irritating, but very real complex of mine.
I’m not saying any of this to hear reassurances, I’m not saying it to reinforce the negativity that’s always in the back of my mind, I’m simply saying it because it’s how it is in my head and I need you to go into this aware of the fact that despite my best efforts, that negativity will manifest here and there when I go over these types of reviews and you’ll have to either skim past or just do what I do when it happens inside my brain; take it with a grain of salt and carry on.
So that being said, the entire reason I got so interested in eShakti in the first place was because of the custom sizing deal. I’ve always had off proportions, I mean even at my thinnest I’m somewhat an off-shape hour glass -small in the boobs and large in the hips (99.9999% of that being my butt), but ever since the weight gain in the first place (i.e. preggers where I gained over 100 pounds), it went sort of whack. After ten years of maintaining that weight post pregger, I did lose it for a good so many years time… only to start putting it back on here or there since. And while I’ve never, ever gotten back to that obese stage that I once was, I have been all the ups and downs and my measurements have gone right along with it. I usually remain around the same in the chest, give or take a few inches depending on my losses or gains, but the hips. Oh my hips. They are a thing all of their own and when I gain any weight, the majority of it tends to pool there. Currently, I’m in a sort of spoon to pear body type way, which would be great and all if I were taller. But alas, I am not. I’m short. Very short. Not quite to the under four foot or five even sort of short, but close enough at a whopping five foot two inches sort of short.
But, see, the thing is that I quite like being short. I also quite like having small boobs. In fact, if I could, I’d go all the way and just have the damn things removed because honestly, they annoy me and always have. Not to the point that I don’t want to *have* boobs, but really, I’d love to be flatter if I could swing it because I have no use for the things and I get damn tired of the stigma attached to both having them and being a girl (not to mention how irritating it is to find frikkin bras at my size that DON’T have those fucking push up cups because news flash people, some of us are *fine* having small boobs and would like to have nice underwired bras, not granny bras or sportsbras where they are just flattened into a uniboob, but underwired bras that don’t push the fucking things up into our chins. You know? /rant). I also like not having a flat butt, because you know how that is – lots of white girls, even the larger ones have these really flat weird looking bums that don’t work with the rest of them and I’ve always been so grateful not to be one of those ones.
The issues I have with clothing, and my body apparently, is not me being short, or having small boobs, or a huge rounded you-could-use-it-as-a-shelf sort of bum, it’s that my height = petite in most clothing standards. But petite in the clothing industry usually also = waif like thin, of which I am very much not. I have a short torso for my height with long legs in proportion, and I have no boobs, and I have very ample sized hips and a thick waist at this weight. For things that fit my hips and waist, it usually means plus size, even petite plus, which in the clothing industry = fitted to someone with boobs, of which I have not. For things that fit my chest size, there come the issue of my arms. Ever since the pregger weight, my upper arms are large, yet my shoulder span is zero, to match my small chest apparently. And my rib cage is larger than normal, so my under bust measurement, no matter what my size is thicker than the upper parts of me that are small. So while, even at my current weight, I can technically fit into a store size 6 (or smalls, depending on the place), those same smalls and size sixes that fit my chest and upper torso, do not fit my larger arms. Usually I get around this by always wearing two piece everything, unless it’s a Japanese brand lolita dress, of which I can for the most part, fit into since I’m short and have no boobs, but I don’t have the funds to buy 300+ lolita JSKs all the time, and when I’m in higher weights (as I currently am in), I get self conscious anyway and don’t always feel like dressing up, because I’m too busy trying to hide in my head. And while buying casual separates can work, it can get tricky because where the larger skirts and bottoms will fit my lower regions, the issue that often comes up there is that they make most of that stuff with taller people in mind. Where it’s assumed for the most part that small boobed people want larger boobs, it’s also mostly assumed that petite = short + waif, and med/large = taller + larger boobs. It’s frustrating when trying to find just the right fit on a body that even during its smallest size time, is not proportioned like the clothing industry assumes and/or caters to.
So you can see why eShakti’s custom sizing option appealed to me. And this is why, along with their awesome clothing selection and customizing options, and that nifty coupon, that I decided to try them out and order a dress.
So if you are still with me after all that rambling about my complex, weight and body fitting issues, on we go to the review. Like I said somewhere in that wall of text above, I milled over many a dress but ultimately decided the first dress I’d order would be this one –
Link is [HERE]
“Chambray stripe cotton maxi dress”
The customs I ordered are this –
To my exact measurements
Sleeve Type: As Shown
Dress Length: Knee length (me and maxi dresses don’t get along very well)
*I should note that there’s a 10 per item fee to make the clothing custom, which in my opinion is very small in comparison to the work that will be needed to fit off sizes. You can just order the clothing on the pages as is and not pay the fee, but my entire reason for ordering from them was for the custom option and with the coupon I had (plus free shipping for signing up), it didn’t bump the cost up that much for me and I felt (hoped) it would be worth it. There’s also an option to change the zipper position if you like (you can get the zipper on the side instead of in back) and to take the pockets out, but I did neither because the zip position doesn’t matter to me, and I’d have to be cray to not want pockets in a dress. Like seriously cray because pockets. In a dress.
The site claims that it can take about 10 – 14 days to complete. Once you order, your order info page actually shows a small grid at the bottom with a timeline checker (sort of like those Domino’s Pizza trackers, only not animated), with these five status bubbles shown – Pattern creation, Fabric and kit creation, Cutting and stitching, Quality control, Packing and shipping.
So I ordered 5/13, and I got the shipping notice on 5/30. It was shipped from India, via DHL and even though originally the site showed that it would show up in two days, it actually took longer because it got stuck in customs (not our customs, I think it was Indian customs since it sat for a few days), with today being the day it made it to my door.
So this is how it came. It’s basically the size of a pizza box wrapped in clear plastic, with no other padding or anything involved. I was a little concerned because the top of my box was squished and the plastic was slightly torn, but not too much because it’s just clothing inside and a squished box shouldn’t affect the product inside.
Out of the plastic.
When I opened it up, this is what greeted me.
So the paperwork inside is basically a card, a label and a returns info sheet.
The card is awesome, not just because of the generic dear “customer” note, but also because it has a place for names of the persons who worked on your outfit(s) each step of the way.
Another cool thing is, that along with the info sheet they actually include a return label for you if you want to return the outfit for whatever reason. Usually these things are a huge song and dance (as anyone who knows) just to get to the point of getting a label, so the fact that they preemptively include one just in case is pretty awesome.
Underneath the paperwork, was the dress itself. Also wrapped in plastic, which is another cool thing since the over plastic on mine got torn in transit and this is just an extra layer of protection, should anything have happened.
And here’s my special order dress laid flat. It’s pretty much the example pic, save the extra girth for my custom size, and the changes I wanted listed above (boat neck instead of close circle, knee length instead of maxi). Obviously I had to iron it, because it’s been folded in a box for over a week, but that was a quick do and easy to square for this pic.
Here are a bunch of closeup deet pics.
Neckline closeup (please note, the discoloration is the sun, not the fabric).
Front lower seam on the contrast hem, which is spot on for pattern matching.
And the sides, which are spot on until the lower portion, where for obvious reasons, it gets shaky near the hem. I do like that they continued the pattern matching only opposite near the bottom, when the pattern fell into that sort.
Pockets. POCKETSSSSSSSSSS. And they are nice and deep too, deep, useful, wonderful pockets. I love this the most in truth. I’ve gotten so against carrying a purse these days so I usually stuff everything I need into my coat pockets, but seeing as how summer is fastly approaching, I’ll not be able to wear said coat so having what is destined to be a summer dress come with actual, usable pockets is just. Everything of my dreams.
The back seam with the zip. You can see here too how spot on they were with pattern matching. It’s not a small feat, I have issues with this myself and I’ve ordered plenty a lolita dress that don’t bother with that at all so the fact that they not only managed it, but managed it near perfectly on a custom size deserves props. all the props.
The back lower hem was also pattern matches well. There’s no gray showing in the top the way it does in the front, but it’s a small detail and the fact that the pattern lines overtakes it all.
Inside label. It’s nice and silky too, not crispy the way a lot of these labels can be so I know there won’t be any irritation during wear that normally causes me to take the labels out.
And the back is a hidden zip with a hook and eye closure at the top. Oh the hook and eye, a long standing nemeses of mine, but luckily the hook is facing out and protected by cloth, so I’ll never need both with it. Still, if you are not like me and don’t mind them, it’s a good thing to top the back of your dress since there’s always that small amount of fabric left when a zip is involved.
The dress isn’t lined, which is fine since I knew it wouldn’t be (and it’s meant for summer anyway so lining it would make it thicker), but it’s finished inside well. They added facing to the inside of the zip instead of leaving it raw like a lot of clothing places do, and every seam is serged so there’s no threat of fraying. I have to note too that there are no loose threads or mis-stitches that I can find, which is an awesome thing considering the cost (I can’t tell you how many lolita dresses I’ve bought that come with unfinished insides or loose threads *everywhere*, and they’ve all costed five times plus the amount I paid for this dress). So it passes my quality check with flying colors.
And now we go onto it worn.
Before that, let me just note that I do not, repeat DO NOT wear sleeveless anything as a rule. I hate the thickness of my upper arms and I do much to keep them covered, no matter how hot it gets or how sweaty I get. I can’t stand seeing this part of my skin, so I keep them covered. The end. The only reason I ordered this ‘as is’ as far as the sleeves (or lack of) are concerned is because I got this particular dress to layer and thought due to the pattern that it would be best to keep it sleeveless, with me adding a sleeved shirt or bolero either over or under it.
But since this is a review, I’m going to show a few pictures of me in it, with nothing else, just so you can see the fit of it. That means showing my arms, and it’s taking a lot for me to post them because hateeeeeee, but you know, doing it anyway and moving along. I’ll apologize now for the flab.
A harder shot of me to ‘selfie’ on, showing the wider boat neck (I’m so glad I ordered the boat neck instead of the one shown, I really like how roomy and airy it is and the other fitted one would have been uncomfortable to me, I know).
So my main concern when ordering this dress was the way that pattern hits at the waist. On the model, of course it looks fine because she’s taller and wears a store size below zero, most likely. But on me, well as said, my torso is short and I’m all hips and butt, so the dress had the very real potential of making that widest part of me look ten times wider. I think in a way it does, but surprisingly, not in a way I hate. I’m okay with it, even if due to the pocket placement, it gets a little more bulgy on my hips than I’d like.
As for the fit of it, well see. The thing is that when I put the measurements in, both my weight and my size were slightly larger. Due to a food/diet change in favor of the Chibi’s UC, I’ve actually dropped almost ten pounds since I ordered the dress, and my waist and hips (my waist more than my hips) are inches less than they’d been. So the fit of the dress is actually a bit baggy beneath the chest, (it’s hard to tell but in the second pic, where it shows a straight line down from my chest to stomach, my actual stomach does dent in by a few inches beneath the fabric so there’s room there until you reach the lower stomach and my hips), but it’s there none the less. This isn’t eShakti’s fault obviously, because they made my dress exactly to the measurements I gave them, plus it’s not so baggy that it’s uncomfortable or anything, it’s just a note I have to make in the fit since the discrepancy is there. Another thing to note is the sleeve holes. As said, one of the most difficult things for me in clothing is getting something that fits, but doesn’t squeeze my fatty-chan arms, or in the case of sleeveless things, ride so far up into my armpit that it may as well be a part of my arm socket. The opening for this dress is perfect, loose enough beneath the arms for movement but not so loose my bra is showing (which is another issue I have normally- if it’s not too tight, it’s so loose I can invite an entire party into my dress via the span of fabric beneath my arms). So bonus to eShakti, for giving me something I can actually wear.
So here are pics in which I’ve done exactly what I wanted with it, and added shirt layers.
White shirt, and look at how far up my arm my hand has disappeared, because dem pockets, they be awesomely deep.
Cream vintage shirt with a Bean loaf behind me.
Or a sheer black bolero.
I like them all honestly, so I’ll prolly end up wearing them all at some point.
So overall? My experience with eShakti was great. 10 for 10 in ordering, the swiftness of the making, the fit to the measurements and customs I provided and asked for, and the quality of the fabrics and the garment itself. It’ll be interesting to see how they fair on a dress or shirt where there’s sleeves involved, which I know I’ll find out at some point because I definitely intend on ordering more clothes from them in the future. I also wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who likes these kind of clothes (in fact, please to use this link if you do since it’ll benefit us both, I think? Or not, it’s up to you), because you won’t regret it.
Or you shouldn’t, because I don’t ^_^