Sometimes you wonder what Facebook analytics are smoking because their sponsored posts are so off (I’m two years married, no I do not need an engagement ring, thank you!) but then again sometimes they get you so right it’s scary; this post is about one of those times Facebook knew me a bit too well.
I’m scrolling through my timeline like I have done… sigh… thousands of times, and I pass an ad for eShakti, dresses made for your height and come with full sized pockets. It seemed too good to be true – can we take a moment on how absurd that sounds? That it seems too good to be true to find clothes that fit based on your height and have pockets – but I was intrigued enough that I typed eShakti into my search bar and gave them a looksee.
Hundreds of dresses, as well as tops and pants, all available in standard sizes made to your height or nearly completely customizable for a $10 fee per garment. I focused in on the dresses which ranged from about $50 to $150 dollars. Not bad, really. If you look at full retail prices, Target ranges from $20 to $60, Maurices $25 to $60, and a bit higher end with White House Black Market, you’re looking at spending $80 to $200.
Still not convinced, I went back to Facebook and put feelers out to friends; maybe someone already gave them a chance and could tell me if it would be worth the expense or if I should not waste my time. A lot of people responded with having seen the ad and being interested in what they have to offer, but no one had bit the bullet yet. Guess it would be up to me.
On October 16th I ordered 2 dress, one standard size another custom fitted as well as a slight adjustment in the style. Since each dress is made to order, this isn’t the site to order clothes that you need in two days, but definitely one you need to plan about a month out for. On October 31st my order was shipped with an estimated delivery date of November 6th. However, this estimated delivery did not take into account the smorgasbord of national holidays India was celebrating the first week of November and my order status was on hold until 11th.
There was a lot of checking my delivery status between the 5th and the 13th (when it actually arrived) and even an email to eShakti customer support inquiring about the delay – hence knowing about the holiday palooza going on in New Delhi. However, when things started moving, it took three days to get to my door.
At 11:33 am on Tuesday, November 13th while I was on the phone with a client at the office and the plumber was at the house installing our water softener and the world was still reeling from the passing of Stan Lee (okay, maybe not he world, but damn it they should be, the man is a legend!), DHL left my package as directed inside the side entrance door. The remaining hours at work dragged like they have never dragged before.
I thought I could be patient enough to get dinner on before tearing into the package, but alas, my curiosity got the better of me. I unceremoniously ripped off the plastic bag the package was wrapped in (how great was that?) and paused just long enough to post a pic of the box on social media. I took a little more care to slice apart the tape and slowly opened the lid as if I was about to reveal something magical. Delicately, I removed the tissue paper encasing my treasures and pulled out my eShakti dresses.
I couldn’t help the initial stab of disappointment seeing the wrinkled state the dresses came in, but they had come a long way in a cramped little space, and who isn’t a little wrinkled after a long trip themselves? The fabric had a great feel, not too thin or thick, just the right amount of soft and stretch that should be comfortable lounging about as well as living life. Again, I contemplated getting dinner on—I had all night—but before I could finish the thought I was racing up stairs to try them on.
I tried on the customized dress first, the Asymmetric hem cotton knit A-line dress. This one I not only ordered to my measurements but opted to have a scoop neckline instead of the turtleneck style it comes with. I picked this one to be customized for two reasons. 1) It is a long sleeved dress and since I didn’t know how flexible the material was going to be, I wanted to make sure I could move in it. A lot of standard size garments “fit” as long as you don’t want to move your arms significantly, and that’s no way to wear clothing. 2) I don’t like buying high collared or turtleneck styles without being able to try them on. It’s a fine line between wearing something that is cozy and wearing something that feels like it’s attempting to murder you by strangulation.
I was not disappointed. Though the material is stretchy enough you can pull it on and off over your head, it does have a hidden zipper so you can step right in. There isn’t a single part of the dress that clings to the wrong curves. The pockets, both amazingly deep, don’t hang awkwardly, making the dress look askew. It just felt good, all of it, and it looked great.Cue the water works, because, dammit, it is so hard to find in clothes.
The second dress, the tie-waist empire cotton knit dress, was just as fantastic. This one I ordered “off the rack”, if you will, in a size L-14. I did have to enter my height (5’8”) for this and boy does that slight bit of attention make all the difference. I like my dresses long and it was fantastic that it wasn’t too long or too short, cutting me off awkwardly because of some measurement standard set by the gods. This dress had all the perks of the first (feel, zipper, pockets) plus a bonus: this dress comes with a bit of plunging neckline, and it did not feel like my boobs would pop out at the slightest shift. It’s hard to describe how secure I felt that I wasn’t going to accidentally flash someone, so you’ll just have to try it yourself. Be brave. It’s worth it!
Some stats on me, because a great review for a size 2 that’s 5’2” and one for a size 18 that’s 6’2” are two very different things. I’m 5’8”, and 204 to 209 lbs depending on the day of the month, I sport a 38-C, and wear commercial sizes between L-XL or 14/16 (0-1 in plus size stores) depending on the brand and fit. Buying off the rack dresses I stick with A-line dresses since my hips are wide and finding something form fitting that accommodates the smaller top and a larger bottom isn’t worth the stress.
My first order I was lucky that not only was there a sale on the dresses, but there was also free shipping. For the two I paid just under $100, and it was so worth the gamble. I’m going to go order a third and maybe even a fourth now. Hope you go and order your 1st. Splurge and get it customized; I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
*After this post was written and edited I had a couple more thoughts to share. 1) Both of my dresses came with bra strap holders – they really are magical! 2) Both are also machine washable. 3) The fabric is a bit thick so a quick steam did not release the wrinkles very well, I would recommend a damp t-shirt (not a towel) and a few minutes in the dryer. I was much too excited to get into my dresses to take my own advice.