Saturday, April 23, 2011

EShakti Review

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"

 I had never gotten any email from them, but I understand that things do happen and since I was essentially getting a dress for free I didn't feel that I should push that point. There was still enough time to get the dress for the show so I quickly reordered the dress to the left. I gave my measurements and had them add flared short sleeves, which is an option they offer.

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!


jamie said...

oh man, what a bummer about the dress! you would think they would step up their game if they KNOW they're going to get reviewed!!

i have drooled over eshakti dresses and then started researching and read all the bad reviews so i never ordered anything. the concept and the designs are SO brilliant - i wish they weren't so unreliable!!

Siggy said...

I have quite a few eshakti dresses and overall I have found them very good. I love the custom options. I usually custom size. It is so great to get a maxi dress that's the right length for example. I would give them another go. Overall you'll end up with some lovely pieces that are sweet and distinctive.

Tart Deco™ said...

Siggy- I did try to give them another go. They offered me a credit after my review so I thought I would order an "off-the-rack" item with no customizations to see if that was the issue. When I tried to use the credit (months before it was supposed to end) it didn't work. I sent a message to them to find out why and they never replied back. Horrible customer service!

Sarah said...

I've heard similar horror stories from people about the wait for dresses and the lack of contact (I know 3 people who have ordered from eShakti, and none of them have gotten replies to their emails). I wanted to order a dress from there but had the same concern you did - what does a "wide V neck" or "short flared sleeves" look like on an actual dress.

Anyway, I wish I could say that your blog answered those kinds of questions, but it did help me decide whether I should buy a dress I kind of like from there or from a more reputable company.

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