I lost some weight over the last year, and while I've generally enjoyed buying new clothes (or finding that old ones now fit again), I still have problems finding dresses and shirts that fit well because my shoulders/chest are a couple of sizes bigger than my waist/hips. I considered having clothes custom-made to fit me, and even signed up for an account on eShakti a while ago, but the dress I had chosen went out of stock and I sort of forgot about it. But back in February they emailed me asking if I'd like a sample dress to try, custom-sizing included, so I picked a dress - and here it is!
I picked the contrast trim poplin dress and had it custom-sized to my measurements, as well as shortening it to above-the-knee.
eShakti Contrast Trim Poplin Dress in Navy/Off-White, $69.95
2/18 placed order
2/28 order shipped by DHL (tracking number provided)
3/4 received order
Such a tiny, flat box! The dress was in a plastic bag and wrapped in some tissue paper.
Perfect beach dress! The poplin is stiff enough to hold the cute flared shape.
Hat: Urban Outfitters, Bag: PG Beauty, Shoes: Liz Lisa
The bodice fit pretty much perfectly. This is a big deal for me - I love the fit-and-flare look, but usually dresses that fit my bust hang loose around my waist, and those that fit my waist do weird things to the shape of my chest.
I loved the length I chose and the fact that this is totally customizable based on height. In many cases when clothes don't quite fit, you can buy a bigger size and have it tailored down where necessary, but if you have a skirt that's too short you certainly can't make it longer, and where there's a border trim it's difficult to shorten the skirt while keeping the design. I'm about average height, but my mom is shorter and often has issues with skirts that end in awkward places.
An extra button was included, which is always nice.
Not so Good
Even though I specified a shoulder width of 16" (the default is 14"), the straps were still a bit too close together for comfort (or for covering bra straps). Looking at the stock photo again, though, it seem that that's just the design of this particular dress. However, the 36" bust measurement I provided was assuming that I would be able to wear my normal bra - with a strapless or bandeau, my chest would be a 34-35", and thus the bust is a bit big for the undergarments I'll be wearing with it.
The elasticated top band makes the fabric poof out oddly - I understand the reason for having elastic on standard sizes, but on a custom-fit dress I'd rather have the option to leave the elastic out. Alternately, some of their dresses have a smocked back panel, which would also work and give a smoother look than just having elastic around the top edge.
The top trim panel refused to lay flat and I couldn't figure out how to iron it due to to the elasticated edge - ideally I suppose you'd put it on a dressmaker's dummy and steam it, but I have neither a dressmaker's dummy nor a garment steamer, so I used my mini flatiron (yes, for hair) to flatten out just the trim panel.
Wrinkles and uncooperative trim
While eShakti is pricey for my student budget, they often have reasonably good deals - right now there's a buy two, get one free/ buy one, get one 40% off special. Also, your first order is always $25 off.
Overall, I'm really happy with this dress and the way it fits me. Next time I'll probably look for a dress with a smocked back. I love being able to customize things to my body shape, and eShakti has tons of cute designs (my favorites are their fit-and-flare dresses).