Last year I started reading about a clothing website called EShakti on some of the fashion blogs I subscribe to. My interest was piqued- an online store that allows you to customize their clothing by changing sleeves, collars, and even measurements? I visited the site and thought they had some cute designs, some even vintage inspired. Unfortunately, because I am a graduate student I don't have the money to order something that isn't a sure shot. Luckily I was able to contact them and in Dec. 2010 they offered to allow me to choose an item to try for this review. Yep, this was a while ago, but I have been putting off writing this review because I don't like to post a lot of negative things on this blog, but I do feel that I need to follow through on my agreement to write a review. Plus, I want to post my experience if anyone else is trying to decide to buy something from the EShakti website.
My initial e-mail conversations with a customer service representative were prompt and pleasant. I was very happy with this because I had read conflicting reviews online. I had a gig coming up for Valentine's Day and was excited to pick something for the show. I started looking in early January because I had read in other blog reviews that because the dresses come from India that they can sometimes take more time than is listed on their website (7-10 business days). Their website is fairly easy to navigate and they have a lot of choices. They also offer various options to customize, depending on the dress. One issue I had was that they don't show examples of the custom options (ie. what their idea of a "wide V neckline" looks like). If someone isn't familiar with clothing terms they are going to have a hard time figuring this out.
I found a vintage inspired black crepe dress and sent my choice and measurements to them through a special link that they sent me on Jan. 16th. On Feb. 3rd, I still hadn't received the dress, nor had I heard from eshakti, so I emailed my rep and asked for an update. I received this reply 4 days later:
"As per the update given to me, our team had emailed requesting you to choose an alternate sample since the one that was made ready for you was rejected at our Quality Check for a fabric defect. We await your response on an alternate choice.
We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause you. We have pulled out the style now and await fresh lot of fabric to bring it back online. Kindly use the same link to submit your new product choice. Please rest assured that we will process this new sample within 3-4 business days and have it shipped to you"
Feb. 20th and I didn't hear anything about my second choice. Both times I ordered I sent all of my information through the link they provided and to my customer rep to make sure it was received correctly. I also double-checked my email address to make sure I got any email messages from the warehouse. So that day I emailed my rep and on Feb. 21st I received this reply:
"Yes we have received your alternate choice and are processing it. The sample is nearing completion and will be shipped to you within the next couple of days.You will receive the tracking number information from our Customer Care as soon as it is dispatched."At this point my gig came and went (which was great by the way). Now I was just interested to see what was going to happen. Needless to say, I never received an email from Customer Care in "the next couple of days." In fact, I never got an email from Customer Care even when I received the dress in the mail in the middle of March, almost 3 1/2 months after I put in my first order.
Unfortunately, it doesn't end there. The dress came shoved into a small box roughly 12x12" and only 1" high inside a mylar envelope. I honestly had no idea that the package was my dress until I opened it because it didn't seem possible that a package so small could hold my item. Needless to say the dress was insanely wrinkled and I had to steam it multiple times and let it hang for a week to get them out. On a positive note, the dress itself is adorable and looks just like the picture from the website. The workmanship is good and I didn't see any visible flaws.
I would show you a picture of me wearing it, however it doesn't fit. The measurements are all 1/2" too small. You may be tempted to say that maybe I took my measurements wrong or it is a human error and I could take out the seams, but I am a seamstress that knows how to take measurements correctly and I actually entered my measurements an inch larger, just in case. So basically they missed the correct sizing by 1 1/2", which is pretty excessive. It also looks like the hem is a little short (it was supposed to be mid-knee), but I can't know for sure until I am able to wear the dress. Hopefully this will be soon since I have started losing weight.
So there you are. I really, really wanted to have this experience be positive because the concept of EShakti is so great, especially for plus-size gals like me. Other reviews I have read online have been a mixture of positive and negative, so it looks like ordering from the company is inconsistent. If you do decide to order from them, it looks like people who go with the standard sizing fare better than the custom sizing.
Do you have any experience with EShakti? I would love to hear your comments!