January 20, 2013

I want to love you, I really do, but...

Have you ever purchased a garment - be it vintage or modern - and wanted to love it dearly, but for whatever reason, something prevented you from giving your whole heart to it? I have, on numerous occasions, but the gods of good fortunate must have been on my side recently, because it had been quite a long time since that scenario last occurred.

Towards the end of 2012, I was contacted by a member of the customer service team for the popular online etailer, eshakti.com, who was curious to know if I'd like to receive one of their garments (of my choice) to review. I'd heard about eshakti before and read a few (mixed) reviews of their products and services online, but never purchased from them before, so I was totally game to sample their wares.

Today's post however, is not specifically focused on the garment I received from them, that will appear in a future post (I'm putting together an outfit around the my eshakti review garment and am in the midst of sourcing the items I need to complete the ensemble, which - hint, hint - is not in keeping with the decades I usually wear, but rather channels an earlier one). Instead it's about one of the two dresses that I bought myself from eshakti after I'd picked out my review garment. At that time the site was having a 25% off sale, so even though I'd not been planning to spend that kind of money on myself during the holidays, I bought two dresses from them.

For those of you who aren't familiar with eshakti, they are an online women's clothing retailer based out of India (their site is in English though, fear not) that offers semi-customizable clothing at fairly affordable prices (they presently ship to Canada and the US). Their inventory changes frequently (neither of the two dresses I bought are currently listed, so I can't provide you with links to either), the site offers coupons to new users, has sales on a regular basis, offers a wide range of sizes, and perhaps most appealing of all, allows you to customize certain elements of the garment(s) you purchase from them at the time of order.

Depending on the garment you select, some alterations (such as removing pockets or forgoing embroidery) are available for free, whereas others (including custom sleeve and hem lengths) are available for just $7.50 (which is generally less than you'd typically pay to have the same alterations done by a professional seamstress or tailor). On both of the dresses I purchased, I opted for 3/4 length sleeves and a mid-calf length hem.

I selected the two dresses that I did because both had a somewhat 1940s feel to them, and because (for all the frocks in my closet), I don't have many black vintage or vintage appropriate day dresses, and these two appeared to fit that bill quite nicely. I selected the size whose measurements, on paper, came closest to my own, as I always do when I buy clothing online, and also selected my height from a drop down list that was provided as part of the item selection process.

Considering that the garments were coming from India (and were shipped during the busy December holiday season mail rush), they arrived relatively quickly (about two weeks, I think). At the time of purchase, I was charged $11.95 US for shipping, on top of the $97.90 that the two dresses cost (for a grand total of $109.85). I thought this was very reasonable for international shipping, and still do, however...

While I was fully expecting to pay a bit of import on my purchase, I was not expecting the approximately $50 customs and import fee that I was charged when my parcel arrived. While only about $20 of that was true import fees, the rest was taxes, tariffs, fuel charges and the like the the shipping company, DHL, charged to deliver my order. I was gobsmacked by this. I've ordered clothing from around the world over the years and never before have I been hit with such incredibly high import (et al) charges on such a small (price wise) purchase.

For this reason alone, much as it pains me to say this, I would likely never order from eshakti again, unless there was an alternative shipping method offered (which, at present, there doesn't seem to be). I believe that getting charged the equivalent of one of the dresses I bought in import costs is flat out insane and a very, very bad position to put their customers (especially those on tight budgets) in.

On the eshakti site, in regards to this matter, they state that, "Personal purchases over $200 in a single day are likely to attract US customs duty at the time of delivery. Such duty charges will be reimbursed to you in the form of a gift certificate ONLY." This is good to know for those in the US, however I live in Canada and my purchase only totalled $97.90 before shipping charges, so there's no way for me to recoup any of the $50 I had to spend on import and customs fees, much to my chagrin.

This point irks me because, had it not been for that, there's a decent chance I would have bought from eshakti again, even after I tell you what I'm about to say (which better explains the title of this post, too).

You see, despite ordering the dress that appears in the photos here today in what I believed was my correct size, based on the sizing chart they provided, it proved to be too small in a really odd way.

Lest you think the problem is me/my body, let me tell you, the second I slipped off this bad boy after wearing it for the first time that day, I hopped on the scale (I was a pound less than I'd been for the past few of months, so I hadn't gained any weight) and busted out the tape measurements (all my measurements were just as they'd been on the day I double checked before ordering from eshakti).

When you look at these photos, it would appear that the dress fits me quite nicely. Even I, looking at them, almost get duped into thinking so, but I know that such is not the case. You see, this dress does not have a back zipper, nor does it do up the front with buttons (those fabric covered buttons are just decorative), instead there is a very small side zipper on the left hand side and that's it. The dress has to be put on over your head and then slid over your body, after which point the side zipper is done up.

Now, I don't have a particularly big bust at all. I usually do not fill out dresses and blouses (be they modern or vintage) all the way in the bust, and never think of myself as having as a voluptuous bosom, but this dress made me suddenly feel like I did, because it took an massive amount of work to get it over my bust. Even once I'd managed to (and believe me, if I was even 1/4th of an inch bigger in the chest, I don't think I could have gotten this dress on at all), it was very tight in the bust and abdomen area (if I'd not had a long line bra and girdle on, I really don't think I could have wore this dress at all). It doesn't look it here, but I promise you that it was.

I'd honestly guess that I'd need to be about seven, or more, pounds lighter for this dress to fit the way I expected it to, and has I have no plans to get drastically thinner anytime soon, this dress is pretty much a write off. I could squeeze into again if I had to, but when I have a closet full of clothes that fit way better, it doesn't make sense to wear something that's uncomfortable.

Another thing to note (and this is true of both dresses I bought from this company) is that the skirt does not hit at what I'd consider to be mid-hem. In both cases it's pretty much ankle length, which makes me wonder why they bothered to ask about my height (5’2”) at all. What would have happened if I was two or three inches shorter? I like longer hems as a general rule and don't mind this point too much, but it is a strike against them, as I was expecting mid-calf length, not ankle grazing.

While, to their credit, eshakti does offer returns, you have to pay for them and they recommend you send garments back via courier. It honestly would have cost me as much or more, to use a courier from Canada to India as the price of my whole purchase, so there's no way that's going to happen. Instead I'm left with a very pretty 1940s-esque black dress that looks like it fits, but actually doesn't. I measured the dress, and indeed, it comes up two inches in the bust and waist smaller than the size it was supposed to be according to eshakti's sizing chart.

I debated ordering this dress in a larger size just in case it was smaller than it was supposed to be (I've encountered this once or twice before from other brands over the years), but gave them the benefit of the doubt and ordered what I believed was my correct size. You better believe that's the last time I'll be doing that for any brand. It's always easier to deal with a dress that's a little too big (belt it!) than too small.

If we put the fit issue and the highway robbery that was the import and custom fees aside, I like this dress a lot. It's femininely sweet, lined (hard to find in a dress in that kind of price range), nicely constructed, made of pleasant feeling fabric, and the multi-coloured Swiss dots are cute as all get out. I know that if this dress fit a bit better, I'd wear it often (for those who are curious, the other dress, while also tighter than expected and should be, based on the measurements I took, fits a bit better than this one).

As is, unless I happen to loss weight for some unplanned reason, I may one day end up selling this dress (which I only wore for a couple of hours early in the day on Christmas - there was no way I was going to attempt to do Christmas dinner is something that was already too tight!).

It's strange when you have a mixed bag experience with a company and their products, but I suppose it beats an experience that was nothing but a nightmare every step of the way. The review garment that I received has less issues (and thankfully, because of how the package was marked due to it being a review item, I didn't have to pay any courier, import and/or customs fees on that one) and I look forward to sharing more about it in a post of its own a little later on this year.

For the time being though, may I present a few snaps taken in our dining room on Christmas Day of me in one of the black dresses I recently purchased from eshakti.


eshakti multi colour black polka dot dress_image 1


eshakti multi colour black polka dot dress_image 4


eshakti multi colour black polka dot dress_image 2


eshakti multi colour black polka dot dress_image 5


eshakti multi colour black polka dot dress_image 3


Outfit details

Adorable sterling silver & Swarovski crystal kitty necklace: gift from Tony ♥
Vintage white lace trimmed slip: eBay or etsy
Black dress with multi-coloured Swiss dots: eshakti.com
Iridescent pink plastic beaded stretch bracelets: Forever 21
Nude black seamed stockings: eBay
Black faux suede round toe pumps: Wal-Mart
Lip colour: Clinique Raspberry Glace
Nail colour: Joe Fresh Mint

Photography by Antonio Cangiano
 


Looks like it fits, I know, but hand on my heart, in the bust and torso, it truly doesn't (at all!). Such a shame, as I sincerely wanted to love this dress, but as they say, que sera, sera.

I'm just glad the other eshatki dress and the review item I received fit a bit better, and that I didn't end up spending more money than this whole experience cost me, given that this particular dress is pretty much a write-off. Oh well, you win some, you loss some, and this time I struck out.

95 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you had such difficulty. The company should have a local distributor to avoid this problem. And, regarding the other issues, their existence can nag at us and spoil the fun. That's too bad. On the bright side, your hair looks fabulous!

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    1. Thank you very much, Ally - one more outfit post to go and the shorter bangs start making an appearance here (they already have on Facebook and Instagram). :)

      A North American distributor would be a good idea for sure, but I think that the fact that they offer custom tailoring on each order is part of the reason they're located overseas where they can keep the costs of this service lower. Still, charge customers a little more, I say, and have the tailoring done here.

      ♥ Jessica

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  2. I ordered my first garment from eShakti a few weeks ago and had similar fitting issues. If I order from them again, I'll be sure to order one size larger.

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    1. Hi Andrea, thank you very much for your comment. I just read it aloud to my husband and said, "Oh my goodness, it's good - as much as can be in the sense of a negative experience - to know that I'm not the only who experienced this issue with the fit."

      I'm really sorry that you encountered it as well. I'd suspected before your comment that others might have, too, but am now even more sure that the two us are not alone in this.

      As I mentioned in my post, if I hadn't been charged with such absurd import and customs fees, I could perhaps have forgiven the fit issue and just ordered up a size or two next time. I never worry about the number on tag, fit is what matters to me and this dress failed there big time. However, with those two strikes against them, it's very unlikely I'll order again unfortunately.

      Thank you again very much for sharing your experience with me,
      ♥ Jessica

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  3. I found a peach coloured 50s skirt on Etsy but I can't buy it because I'm on a three month shopping ban. I've always wanted a net skirt and it's killing that I can't have it! But I know if I bought it I would feel disappointed in myself, I would love it but I would know I bought it in guilt. Sorry skirt :( guess you was meant for someone else to love.

    And your wig looks wonderful btw!

    Amy, xo

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  4. I don't know, I think it looks cute. That is very annoying paying that extra fee. I wouldn't buy anything from them again either. I always see custom clothing that are quite inexpensive on ebay, made in China and I'm always leery about what I'm going to get.

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    1. Hi Trina, thank you - I agree, it is cute, which is why it irks me all the more that it doesn't fit properly (smaller than measurements stated) and is so oddly constructed. I'll sometimes buy small accessories (brooches, hair clips, etc) from Asian sellers, but haven't venture into clothing much, as I share your apprehension about the quality you could be getting.

      ♥ Jessica

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  5. Could some shaping/corset items do the trick? Because you do look lovely. :)

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    1. Hi Sanne, thank you for the suggestion. Due to medical reasons, it's not possible for me anything super tight around my abdominal area, but - as I generally do - I had a longline bra and gentle girdle on when I wore this outfit. That's about the most that I can do in terms of shape wear. For the sake of argument, a waist trimming corset could help in the middle, but it would only push my bust further out, and it was already almost impossible to get over my (not very big) chest, so I don't know if that would work too well.

      Thanks again, dear lady,
      ♥ Jessica

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  6. You know how stunning you are, don't you? >.<

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    1. You're immensely sweet, thank you very much, dear Charlotte.

      ♥ Jessica

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  7. Man that is horrible! First they nail you for the shipping then the dress doesn't fit. Is there any way you can let out the dress a bit or is it just a lost cause at this point? I try not to order anything of the internet like shoes or clothing because things tend not to fit me well. I have wide feet and jeans are always much better to try on before buying. I would be super irritated if I spent that much money and can't even return it.
    The dress dos look lovely on you but if it doesn't fit then for get it. You don't need to lose weight to fit a dress that wasn't made correctly. I'm sure someone will buy it if you decide to sale it.

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Mariela - so true, and don't worry, I wasn't even contemplating trying to drop weight (that I don't want to loose to begin with) for the sake of one dress. I love my curves! :)

      I had that thought, too, but there doesn't seem to be much fabric at all to let it out in the torso area unfortunately. Otherwise that could really do the job for sure.


      ♥ Jessica

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  8. I had issues with Eshakti's sizing, as well. Too bad, as they have some cute dresses.

    You hair looks so fabulous and beautiful, though!

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    1. Hi Chrissy, I'm srryo you encountered issues with the sizing, too. That's three of us now here. That doesn't bode too well for eshakti, I fear.

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience with me, I really appreciate it.

      ♥ Jessica

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  9. I'm really happy that you've shared this story. It's not too often I read of a blogger having a negative experience with products they've been sent to review. There is such a big difference between being someone a company is trying very hard to please and a regular customer. The two experiences can vary widely - as you've shown.

    Lisa.

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    1. Hi Lisa, thank you very much. Excellent point regarding customers. The item (a skirt) that I selected to review (though longer than expected - as per the two dresses I bought) fits better, I don't have any real qualms with it, and will say as much when I review it in it's own post one day. However, I thought that a fair handed review of one of the two dresses I purchased was in place, as I know many of my readers may be offered an eshakti item to review and/or contemplating making a purchase themselves and I just wanted to them know about the sizing and import issues I experienced.

      Thanks again for your comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  10. I love the review and the dress is lovely, sucks that it doesn't fit quite right. BUT it is nearly impossible to avoid duties and taxes in our neck of the woods. Anything over the value of $20 that came international is subject to duties of $9.95 right off the bat and then they calculate taxes and everything else. I just try to avoid looking at international companies because I know on top of shipping and the cost of the item I have to be prepared to pay extra. Even the Bernie Dexter dress I bought from Modcloth which was around $135 got charged and extra $35 in Duties and such. It is worth every penny though, but still a bummer.

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    1. Hi Stefanie, thank you very much for your comment and for sharing about that Modcloth experience with me. I don't have qualms per se with true customs fees - they just come part and parcel (no pun intended) with purchasing online from other countries - but I don't like it when courier companies tack on scads of their own fees. The actual customs charges on my eshakti order were only about $20, but with the courier's fees added, the total hit $50. That's flat out nuts, if you ask me.

      Thank you again, my dear,
      ♥ Jessica

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  11. Customs charges are the pits, I got stung on a jacket I bought from an American seller what frustrates me is as you say most of the fee is 'other charges' and not actual customs at all grr.

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  12. Thanks for letting us know your experience with the company. I have considered ordering from there myself and now I know what to expect if I do. It is a very cute dress though and you look lovely as always.

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  13. Oh I hate import fees! Over here they put £8 on top just for the handling of something with custom tax. It's so annoying!

    Have you contacted the company to say that the measurements don't actually come up right? If you mention this, then perhaps they will refund you a portion of the product - which will certainly be cheaper and less hassle for them than you sending it back.

    For what it's worth, I think you look divine xxx

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    1. Hi Kate, thank you very much for your comment and compliment. Oh how terribly annoying to be charged eight pounds on top of whatever you're hit with import fees on.

      No, I thought about it, but didn't contact the company because they did (in the first place) provide me a free skirt to review (and the skirt fits better than the dresses). That doesn't give eshakti carte blanche when it comes to my other dealings with them, of course, but thus far I've held off on contacting them (the other dress I bought, though tight too, fits a bit better, so that one isn't a total write-off). In hindsight, I probably should have. Another lesson tied to this experience for sure.


      Thank you again, lovely lady,
      ♥ Jessica

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  14. What an awful surprise to find you were charged that much extra. It's such a cute dress, it's really too bad it doesn't fit right. You would think that if a company went through the effort of providing a sizing chart that the actual dress would be more accurate in size.



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    1. I thought the very same thing, my dear lady (great minds :) ). Proof positive that not even a sizing chart is a guarantee that you'll actually end up with the correct size.


      Thank you very much for your comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  15. I'm sorry you had such a situation. Maybe you won't be so upset, if I'll say this dress looks really beautiful on you. And your mint manicure - supercute! :-)

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear gal. I wore that mint polish tons of times last year and am surprised it escaped documentation on camera until nearly the last day of the year.

      ♥ Jessica

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  16. Holy moly! I am super frugal, so your situation would drive me mad. I have never ordered from overseas, so I had no idea duties were so high.
    I can't tell you have many dresses I've had to pass on due to my hip to waist ratio. You look smash though, and I do love polka dots!
    Cheers,
    L A

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    1. Thank you very much, my dear - I adore polka dots as well (as does my mom - I'm sure a lot of my love of them comes from here, perhaps there's a polka dot gene :D).

      I'm forever hunting for a million and one things online (whether window shopping, buying or researching for posts) and would be happy to keep an eye out for dresses in your size(s) if you'd like (just zip me an email with your measurements, price range and what kind of dresses you're after anytime).

      Thanks again so much!
      ♥ Jessica

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  17. Oh, no!!! I'm so sorry about your experience with this. I've struck out a lot in the past year with on-line purchases and I guess it's like you say...you win some and lose some. I'm glad however that your other dress will work out.

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  18. I love eshakti and about 85% of my wardrobe is from them. That doesn't mean I haven't had to take things to a local tailor on occasion though. Their 'mid calf' length is too long on me too, and I'm 5'7". I've learned that I have to order all of their shirt-dresses a size up because that style of dress seems to run small. And their little zippers are the cheapest things and I've broken a few of them.
    Unfortunately, when you're a plus size and you like vintage style there aren't a whole lot of options out there. To most of the 'retro' style manufacturers a 3x is a size 18...and that's still too small for me. Mostly, I like eshakti, and I think they have some cute stuff. I've been a customer for a couple of years now and I will no doubt continue buying from them.

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    1. Hi Noir, thank you very much for sharing about your experience regarding eshakti. I want to state emphatically for my readers that I don't have a major beef with this company or their goods, I just learned (or was reminded of) some big time lessons from shopping with them that I thought might be of a benefit to my readers.

      I'm really happy to hear that overall you've had good experiences with order from them. I like their garments a lot in principle and do wish this dress would have fit as it was supposed to, they could have a had a definite repeat customer in me if it had and and if they'd shipped with a courier who didn't so many of their own fees onto the import costs.

      Thanks again for your comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  19. What a bummer! It's such a shame when you order something on line and eagerly await it's arrival, only to be disapointed...and as you said this is the worst disappointment as it is too small. I had this recently with a pair of shoes, careless sizing is no one friend.

    For what it's worth the dress looks lovely on you, and I love your pretty nail colour to boot! I'm sure you'd be able to recoup a pretty penny for it if you sold it on ebay?!?

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  20. The dress does look nice in the pictures. I'm sorry to hear about a bad experience, but I think it's really good that you shared the info so others can be prepared for the fees. I usually have a pretty tight budget and I would probably have to send it back! I have had a few bad online shopping experiences where I never received a refund after a return, which made me pretty mad!

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    1. Thank you, Chrissy, I'm really glad you said what you did because it was actually the matter with the excess fees that prompted me to write this post more than the sizing issues with the dress.

      I know how many of us out there watch every penny and I'd hate to see someone have to pay a hefty import (et al) bill that could potentially rob them of money that they needed for something more vital like rent, bills, gas, etc - and also because, quite frankly, regardless of a person's income, I don't want any of my readers to (again, potentially) be ripped off by a courier company.


      Thanks again very much,
      ♥ Jessica

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  21. First - super cute necklace from Tony!
    After receiving a couple of those emails from eShakti I decided to purchase a dress from their website with their first time discount coupon. I am actually wearing the dress in my UN luncheon post. I like it, but the shipment time was too long for me vs. Modcloth. I ordered a size 0 and I am usually a 00 in dresses.
    When I was in Kerala in 2011 I got a suit of Indian clothes. The seamstress measured me with her own measuring tape and when I tried on the custom fitted clothes, I could barely get the top over my shoulders and bust. When it was on, it fit Extremely close to my body. Apparently that's how Indian ladies like it. I wonder if it is a cultural issue - the company is producing an Indian fit garment for Americans/Canadians.
    Kathleen

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    1. Very interesting point about the way some Indian garments are cut, I'd not factored that in. You'd think that since they only ship to Canada and the States, the garments would be cut for a North American audience, but perhaps such is not (or not always) the case with the company. I'm really glad you brought that up, thank you Kathleen.

      ♥ Jessica

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    2. I agree. My sister-in-law was really amazed when I complained about the difficulty of getting into my clothes.

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  22. It's so funny you are talking about import fees. I just got off the phone with my UK aunt who I sent perfume directly. I didn't want to pay to ship it to me than to her. She got hit with about $40 in taxes. It's crazy how they get you with all these taxes. It stinks that it is also not a dress you like. I think it looks beautiful on you but as you say, there is no comfort to it!

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  23. Sorry to hear about your experience, I've had a few annoying online experiences. But I must say you look very beautiful! :)

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  24. Oh how awful!!!! I was recently contacted by them to review a dress and I did. I also picked a black 40's-50's style dress, ordered for my measurements and such. Since it was a review dress, I didn't have to pay anything but if I got stuck with all of those taxes, I would have been furious!!! My dress fit very well, the hem and everything was great. Actually, the waist was a little larger than I had wanted but because of the smocking at the sides, there's not a lot that I can do with it so I wear it as is and always get loads of compliments on it. The bust and arms fit great and it has a lovely drape and sweet details. Knowing about the fees and such, however, I don't think I'd ever order from them! p.s. you still look very pretty!! :)

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    1. Hi sweet Brittany, I remember how wonderfully lovely you looked in your black eshatki dress from the post about your hometown and am so happy to hear that you had a positive experience (and that your dress with room to spare) with them.

      The skirt that I received to review fits better (the hem is too long there - like tripping under my feet length pretty much - but that's my only qualm with it) and I was spared import there (it was shipped separately and marked as a sample or something to that extent so I didn't end up paying any import costs). It looks like it's just (some) paid orders where people are hit with these hefty import and courier fees. Such a shame, as I really might have ordered from them again if not for that.

      Thanks again for sharing your experience - I loved how you paired your dress with blue gloves (so pretty!).

      ♥ Jessica

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  25. can you get a seamstress to put in a longer side zipper? side zippers made me give up on vintage clothes when i was young; i had a biggish rib cage and always hated trying to fit a side zip over my head...

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    1. Hi Maureen, thank you very much for your suggestion. That might help a little, but I don't think it would expand the overall bodice area enough to make much of a difference, as once the dress is on, it's incredibly tight (due to being smaller than the measurements listed on the site) in that area. I have a small rib cage (and very small shoulders) and often have the opposite problem - too much excess fabric on top, so this is something of a new situation for me. It's a great idea though, and again I really do appreciate you suggesting it.

      ♥ Jessica

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  26. Ah, how sad the dresses aren't fitting. Those fees are indeed annoying. Occasionally I buy something from the US. The last time I had to pay taxes it was also also half worth the purchase :S

    Do you have someone in your family or a friend who can alter the dress for you so it fits? It would be a shame you can't wear the dresses.

    I love the one in your pictures!

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    1. Hi sweet Anthea, I'm sorry that you've been hit with big import/customs fee bills before, too. This is by no means my first, but it's (by far) the largest in relationship to the cost of the items I purchased.

      There doesn't seem to be much fabric (at all) to let it out in the bodice. Perhaps a panel in the back or two (maybe in solid black) on the sides could help it fit better by expanding the bodice. My mom made our Halloween costumes when I was little, so I'd turn to her first for help if I did go down that path. I'm thinking I'll just try to sell it though, perhaps try and recap a little of the cost. We'll see.

      Thank you very much for the suggestion, my dear friend,
      ♥ Jessica

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  27. So sorry it didn't work out. :( There's no shopping hassle worse than a bargain gone wrong.

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  28. I'm also an eshakti customer and I've been pretty pleased with what I've gotten. I'm also taller at 5'9" and except for my hips, fairly medium/small in size, so that's probably to my advantage. I'm shocked about the shipping costs, though. All of my purchases (that weren't Overstocks) have come via DHL from India, and none of them had extra fees. I am in the U.S. I do ask that you at least advise eShakti's customer service of this issue, so they can update their ordering information. What a nasty surprise!

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    1. Hi dear, thank you very much for your comment. I'm happy to know you've had positive experiences with this site. It's so interesting that your orders arrived via DHL and yet you were spared massive import and courier fees (I'm so happy you weren't though). It's possible that the fact that I'm Canada, not the States played a roll there, but I can't say for sure one way or the other.

      ♥ Jessica

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  29. Your hair/wig looks just amazing it really does suit you! from my experience it was the shipper that they used that cost you all that money we have ordered a few things from the states that was well under the $50 no duty fee limit and still had the pay duties plus extra when they were shipped with DHL, almost every time... I have ordered winter coats from england and only had to pay $20 duties with regular post. it really sucks when you end up paying more than you were excepting, let me tell you.

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  30. It certainly looks a really attractive dress and appears to fit you nicely but if it feels wrong then it's a non starter. I rarely buy clothes online because of the sizing problem and also I've learned that what looks great on the model or in the picture doesn't necessarily look great on me. In a shop you just leave it with the fitting room attendant and try again, by post it's a lot of messing about to return it. Glad the other two garments were more of a success.

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  31. Oh my....it is definitely an ankle grazer isn't it?
    It is a pretty dress; its too bad they blindsided you this way. I always appreciate an honest review.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa, I really appreciate that. I don't have a major grip with this company and will say honest, positive things in my future post of the skirt I was sent to review from them, but because I so rarely encounter anything less than stellar experiences when shopping online, I wanted to share this one with my readers.

      ♥ Jessica

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  32. I have to compliment you hair again, it's so pretty! I once tried that colour, it just didn't fit me (I have olive undertones). I think it takes a particular complexion (a pretty peachy one, which you have!) to pull it off correctly. It does look lovely! The dress is also beautiful. I think finding something you fall in love with...only to have it not fit correctly is probably one of the most frustrating things out there! But, comfort is important (though there are exceptions at times) so I understand.

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  33. Such a shame you had such a disappointing experience. Online shopping can be a bit risky unfortunately and I'm sorry you seem to have lucked out here. You do look lovely in these pictures though, I'm hoping you'll be able to find some way of salvaging this dress. And as others have said, your hair looks great! The colour suits you beautifully.

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  34. Yeesh! That does stink! I'm glad the other two dresses are a bit more salvageable though.
    Jamie

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  35. I'm a new reader, and I also had a bad experience with eShakti. In my case, the items I ordered took a month to arrive, and when they did, one of the items was not in the package. Many emails to the company later, and all they would tell me was that "their records showed" that the item was shipped. No offer to replace or refund. The other item was off the listed measurements by two dress sizes; again, no offer to replace or refund.

    I ended up filing a dispute through my credit card company, who refunded the money. A week after the funds were restored, I got a call from an eShakti representative, offering me a 10% discount "on your next order." Nope.

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    1. Hi Kate, thank you very much for sharing your eShakti experience with me. I'm sincerely sorry to hear that it was such an unpleasant one for you. You are now one of several people who have told me that they too received a garment that was incorrectly (usually too small) sized. Thank goodness you were able to eventually recoup your money via your credit card company.


      Thanks again & a very warm welcome to Chronically Vintage,
      ♥ Jessica

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  36. I just had a similar jarring experience when after a 3 month struggle of trying to finally get this dress (starting off with cancelled my order because they assumed my waist isn't really that small, then the colour or style was out of stock, followed by technical issues with their site and several weeks after I paid before they even started to make my dress) and then when I go to my door to collect the fruit of my labors, I learn my taxes are higher than the cost of the dress and shipping combined... And of course, it doesn't even fit my "custom" measurements. Flabbergasted and disappointed, my sister will be canceling her order and despite the cute styles I won't be buying from them again.

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    Replies
    1. I'm sincerely sorry to hear that you had a really unpleasant ordering experience with eShakti, too. I've probably heard from about ten people now who recount similar sizing issues.

      In the months since this post went live, I've worked with eShakti again (making sure to order up on the sizing just to cover my bases, which helped a lot) and have had better experiences, but I don't think their sizing will ever be ideal for my body (one might say ironically, considering that they offer custom sizing on some elements of their garments) - and there's still the very major problem of being hit with huge import fees.

      Thank you for sharing your experience here - fingers crossed you have better luck with other online sellers from here on out.

      ♥ Jessica

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  37. I've had very mixed results with eShakti.com - these days I typically only order things that have elastic in them, as these tend to fit better as a rule than garments that don't. Their customer service is TERRIBLE. Trying to get a response from them is just awful. I haven't had trouble with paying customs on orders, but then I'm in the US. What they should be doing is shipping things to a processing department in the US, and then shipping from there to the final destination. But I suppose that would significantly increase the costs. I do wonder about the labor they're using in India, though.

    It seems to me that if the measurements of the garment are significantly different than those listed for the size, they should pay for the return shipping and for a replacement garment. I ordered five garments in one shipment, all in the same size, and they all fit wildly different. One skirt was so small that I couldn't even zip it closed! So yes, caveat emptor, I suppose.

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  38. Oh, how I wish I hadn't read this very pertinent entry the day *after* I ordered two tops during their Xmas 50% off sale. I'm in Canada, too. My total for the tops: $25US. Shipping: $11.95.

    Now DHL has attempted a delivery to my neighbour. They wanted... $31.95CAN. WHAT?

    What the heck was the $11.95 for, then?

    So I'm going to just avoid DHL until the stuff goes back to wherever it started and I'm going to have to go to eShakti for a full refund.

    Because they are nuts if they think I'm paying more than 100% of the items just for this nebulous 'shipping and brokerage fee'... .

    The thing I find interesting is I never seem to hear about this really weird shipping tactic in other eShakti reviews. Is it because we're in Canada or are most of the reviews paid endorsements in kind and eShakti pays everything to get to the blog reviewer? Qui sait, qui sait, qui sait.... .

    If I knew they were going to do this I would never ever have bought anything from them. And I don't care how great their clothes may be, I'm not going to buy anything else from them. Which is a shame 'cause I'm taller than the average, fatter than the average and appreciate vintage vibe-ier than the average.

    Nuts.

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  39. I too ordered from Canada only to answer my door to the DHL courier wanting 90 dollars. The order I placed only cost 209US. The 4 items I did order were all ill fitting, despite being custom, and cost me even more to send back. What a nightmare. It would have been nice to know that it was being shipped from India and not the U.S., considering I thought I was buying from an American company. Not impressed. I did give them another chance by ordering and having my items sent to an American address in NYstate, close to my own res. in Ontario. I had great service and the items I ordered fit well. They are good at luring you back with 20.00 gift coupons etc. Basically, don't bother if you are from Canada.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea, thank you very much for relating your own less than stellar experience with eShatki with me (us) here. I'm sincerely sorry that things did not go well for you with that order either. I too have had somewhat better experiences with them since this post (two other orders, one of which was a complimentary review product, followed this one), but in both cases the fit was still somewhat off (even with custom measurements) and there were ridiculously high import fees and courier charges. It's a shame, because visually I adore many of their offerings and think that concept behind their company is great. They just need to work out certain kicks, so to speak, in their sizing and partner with better couriers or the postal system (oh, and ditch side zippers - almost no one like them!!!).

      ♥ Jessica

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  40. I ordered from eShakti.com a few weeks ago and was really exited & looking forward to my 3 new dresses for my sister's wedding weekend!! Unfortunately when I finally received my dresses it was a nightmare!!!! First, they were all supposed to be made of cotton (NONE of them were actually cotton dresses as promised) the quality of the fabrics was horrendous! Also none of them fit, none of them were consistent with the sizing charts on the website - they were ALL WAY too small in the chest/bust area.... as in I could not get 2 of the 3 on and the last one I was able to squeeze on but looked horrid... keep in mind I am a 32 (so by no means big) and I ordered a size Small/4 so should have fit a 34-35 bust/chest. Needless to say I had to return everything and am now left without dresses for my sister's destination wedding this week! Probably doesn't help with sizing issues that all 3 dresses came from different countries!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sincerely sorry to hear that you ran into substantial issues when ordering from eShakti, too. Though I did go on to work with, and personally order from them, again on a couple of occasions, both of which were a bit better experiences, none were perfect or anywhere near it, which is such a shame, because I do feel that this site/service is very good in theory. They just need to work on getting that theory into actual practise.

      Though I do know some gals who have had good or even great experiences with this company, a lot that I've spoken to online and in person have similar stories to yours and mine, so you're certainly not alone there.

      Fingers firmly crossed that you're able to find something suitable for your sister's wedding locally.

      Thank you for sharing your experience with me/us,
      ♥ Jessica

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  41. Oh, it's probably also relevant to note that I'm in the U.S., so there were no customs charges.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Same issue with a dress I ordered....extremely small fit on the top and I am not large chested although my shoulders are broad

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    Replies
    1. I'm very sorry to hear that the fit wasn't fabulous for you either. I've since worked with eShatiki a couple more times and though the most recent (last Christmas) was the best to date (you can read all about it here: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2014/12/so-we-meet-again-eshakti-or-what-i-wore.html), it was still far from perfect and involved a lot of "hacking" on my part.

      Thank you very much for your comment,
      ♥ Jessica

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  43. Wow, I was just thinking of ordering from this company! Never Mind!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, though I've had a very mixed bag of experiences with eShakti myself (I've worked with them in a product review capacity two more time since this post back in early 2013 - most recently here: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2014/12/so-we-meet-again-eshakti-or-what-i-wore.htm) and I know others for whom the same has applied, I'm also aware of many folks who have had great fit and order experiences.

      Though I haven't yet lucked out there myself, I wouldn't say that my experiences of the fit of the items were so bad that I would advise folks from ordering from this company point blank. Perhaps wait for a sale, order one item, and see how it works for you - there's always a chance you could be one of the people for whom this brand fits wonderfully.

      Sincerely,
      ♥ Jessica

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  44. I had to give up on eShakti, much to my disappointment. A couple years ago I ordered a few dresses from eShakti with the custom option. I gave them my exact measurements to use to custom-make a dress. They are all so tight in the bust, under the arms, and across the back that I can't wear them. I can't breathe or move. I measured the dresses, and the bust measurement is exactly the same as my bust -- they didn't add any ease. I was shocked, because anyone who makes clothes knows the garment must have extra room to allow for moving and breathing.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, thank you very much for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that you've run into really crumby fitting luck with eShakti's offerings, too. I've worked with them a couple of times since and though the last time (December '14) was the best so far, they still missed the mark in terms of fit substantially (and that was with me even sizing up to take into account how their pieces have fit me in the past). I still, to this day, really do want to love this brand and to be a paying customer of theirs again, but until they fix their fit issues and size in a way that is true to size, I just don't see it happening unfortunately.

      Thanks again & have a wonderful day,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Boy, am I ever glad I read this entire page! With an impossible-to-fit pear shape and only wanting longer skirts, I was very excited to find a company that would make clothes to my measurements; but to be safe, I decided to read some reviews first. It's bad enough that a regular size doesn't fit, but when the custom-sized is too small..... Jessica have you found a site where all this DOES work??

      Delete
    3. Not really, no. I have a lot of luck with genuine mid-century vintage, a fair number of repro, and some (though far less than either of those two categories) modern brands working for me, especially with skirts and dresses (pants, suits and shoes are the "toughies" for me), so I haven't had to venture down that path out of sheer necessity a lot. Honestly, if I did or if I wanted to, at this point, I'd probably opt for a skilled seamstress and get things made on a bespoke level. It can cost a bit more, but in the long run, it can save you a lot on clothes that fit poorly and end up just collecting dust in your closet.

      If I happen to work with a brand that also offers customizing like eShakti does, I'll certainly do a post about it here, too.

      Best of luck with your hunt,
      ♥ Jessica

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  45. Don't know if this was the case when you got the dress, but here's their policy now: :)
    Customs Duty:
    USA
    Personal purchases over $200 in a single day attract US Customs duty. And as a service to our customers in the USA, we will absorb it directly. Despite this arrangement with the courier service, if any Customs levy is made on the customer, we request the customer to write [to email customerchampion@eshakti.com] or call [tollfree number: 1 855 ESH AKTI (855 374 2584 855 374 2584 )] to inform us, and such duty will be paid back to the customer.

    CANADA
    All shipments to Canada will attract Customs Duty. These charges are indicated in our Canada shipping policy and are charged along with your order confirmation. You will not be required to pay any additional amount at the time of order delivery.

    In case of any clarifications, please contact us.

    NEED ASSISTANCE?
    Customer Service is happy to help!
    Call Tollfree 1 855 ESH AKTI (855 374 2584 855 374 2584 ) MON - FRI 8.00 am to 4.00 pm PST
    Email us at : customerchampion@eshakti.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, thank you very much for sharing that information here on this post from a couple of years ago. it's one of my most trafficked and I'm sure many readers will find it helpful. For me personally in regards to the issues discussed in this post, the step brokerage fees that DHL charged were certainly part of the problem with the high costs I was hit with bringing the eShakti items into Canada. DHL are notoriously bad on the front and if at all possible, it would be amazing to your company switch to a different courier or at least provide the option of different couriers and/or the regular parcel system when sending to customers in Canada.

      Thanks again & please don't hesitate to email me if you'd ever like to discuss this matter further,
      ♥ Jessica

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    2. Yes but..... if you live in Canada you pay the duty up front to eShakti - and provincial sales tax. But if you return the garment they do not refund the customs duty and provincial sales tax, altho as a registered vendor here in BC I know that on returns a vendor gets the sales tax refunded, and can get the duty back too. What with a coupon for first purchase I only paid about $30 for the dress, and then $20 in taxes and shipping. I made the mistake of sending it back ($17 postage) - before finding out that I would only be refunded approx $30. So I have no dress which does not fit (could have made a skirt out of it) and am out of pocket nearly $40.

      Customer service convinced me they could do better on a second try with "better" measurements, so I bought again, a different dress because the first was no longer available. It doesn't fit either. It's unwearable. I contacted them by email, with a picture and measurements nine days ago. I have not had an answer. I have phoned three times, and am now re-forwarding my email to them every day - still no customer service at all.
      Perhaps they will come up with a good resolution to this, but I am not very pleased with the dresses or the service so far. :(

      Delete
    3. I'm very sorry to hear about your issues. Sadly, the mirror some of my own experiences with this brand and those that I've heard from other folks, too. There are plenty of people who love and have had good experiences with eShakti, and to be fair - while still far from perfect - my two subsequent collaborations which them after this post were more positive, but scores who haven't and that's a real shame because I still stand behind the fact that I think this company has the potential to nail what they're trying to do so much better.

      I sincerely hope that you're able to get a favourable outcome here in the end. If you can't get a refund from them, try contacting your credit card company (if you paid via credit card) to see if they're able to reverse the charges.

      Fingers crossed!
      ♥ Jessica

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  46. I know this is an older post, but I just decided to try them in case things have improved. All I can say is meh. Things seem to be sewn well, but on shirt is made of such a funky material I am afraid to wear it anywhere near a candle. I am afraid it will burst into flames. I paid extra to have things changed such as having the shirts made longer and none of that happened. So while I think the idea is interesting, I probably won't do it again. (I also look at the cost of the clothes in comparison to the quality of the constrution and wonder who was exploited to make these things so cheaply, and that doesn't help.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your impute and for sharing your own take on this company's offerings with us here. Though I have subsequently worked with eShatki a couple of times since, with the most recent (last December) being the best to date, there are still fit, fabric and other issues (including that they continue to use the same courier, DHL, which charge stupidly high brokerage fees) that have kept me from becoming an eShatki convert, though in a strictly review capacity (aka, not an out of pocket purchase), I would keep working with them again. Part of me feels like one day I'll nail their fit right, but ironically (given that they pride themselves on custom tailoring), it hasn't quite happened yet for me.

      Many thanks again & have a great day,
      ♥ Jessica

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  47. Same comments from me...I have ordered one and two sizes larger and both are barely tolerable. Unless the fabric is a knit with stretch.. there is no keeping to your measurements and the sizing of a 14 or 16 is equal to a 8 or 10 petite. I measured their garment. I can't risk buying from them again. Just not professional in the sizing.. no consistency.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for sharing about your less than stellar sizing experiences. It's a true shame that a company that prides itself so much on custom sizing can miss the mark so much there. Of course, I do know some folks of various body shapes that love eShatki and have lucked out, but it seems more of us are in the other camp and that's really too bad.

      Many thanks again & have a wonderful weekend,
      ♥ Jessica

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  48. Thanks for your pictures and comments. You look absolutely stunning and the dress it's beautiful. You could crop it at the length you need and re hem it. Use the material you remove to add a gusset in both sides. Could even do the arms if need be. Thus eliminating the zipper, and not flattening you out.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your great suggestion. So smart! I really appreciate it! I can clearly tell that, unlike myself, you're a sewer.

      Thanks again & have a terrific week,
      ♥ Jessica

      Delete
    2. I can sew, I agree with Avotts, but... when you've already spent quite a bit getting a dress, how much time can you afford with unpicking and resewing (if there is enough spare fabric to allow alterations)?

      Delete
    3. Thank you very much for your impute. Unfortunately the hem length was the least of my issues with this dress (and the company in general), but had it fit better over all and I'd wanted to wear it, I might have had it hemmed (though, to be fair, I do love longer length skirts and dresses).

      Wishing you a great weekend,
      ♥ Jessica

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  49. Further.....I found this post while searching for reviews on the company which I have never heard of until today. I was planning to order, but now I am scared off.
    I am a very bid girl. I was going to order a size 26. That is what I wear in US sizes. I did not see anything telling me it was Asian/Indian sizing or even that it was not in US. I wonder what size they would recommend for a big busted large hipped old woman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For what it's worth, I've seen tons of reviews of eShatki on different blogs, and interestingly, plus sized ladies often seem to have better luck with their sizing. Still, I would recommend placing a small order first, in case it really doesn't work well for you.

      Their sizing is supposedly American, but do proceed with caution and be as specific with your details on their site, if you do order, as possible.

      ♥ Jessica

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  50. I had a big long post about my love for eshakti and it disappeared. I love LOVE everything I have purchased from there and I don't feel like an awkward elephant. I am plus sized and I just ordered items from the overstock section XL and everything fits perfectly. I am constantly browsing for new items to add to my collection.

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    Replies
    1. That is thoroughly wonderful to hear, C, thank you very much for sharing your experience with me/us here. I've worked with eShatki twice since, both in a product review capacity, and though neither nailed it for me entirely, the most recent one (last Christmas) was the best so far.

      I hope that they continue to always work marvelously for you.

      ♥ Jessica

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  51. I would really love to see some more of people's experiences with the custom sizing options for eshakti recently (there's no way to know if what was happening a few years ago is still current.) It is almost impossible to believe that there aren't dozens of options for custom sized clothes online, but I haven't been able to find anything but eshakti. (There's a HUGE untapped potential market there, if any clothing entrepreneurs are reading... ;)

    The reason I really want to know if eshakti is doing a decent job by this point is that I have such bizarre proportions. Standard sized pants, skirts, shorts, etc, are fine... but on top... There is no hope of EVER wearing anything that isn't very stretchy without it being custom made. Can anyone post about more recent experiences with custom sizing there? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anise, thank you very much for your comment - and open question to other readers here - on this post. It's just astonishing to me how many people have commented and emailed about this entry over the years, usually regarding their own ill fitting experiences with eShakti.

      In the years that have followed, I've worked with eShakti again a small number of times, most recently for Christmas 2014. At that time (so some 1 2/3rds years ago now), I didn't find that their sizing issues had changed much at all, but did have a better experience over all with the garment (which I've since worn, but not blogged about, a couple more times). You can read that post, which details my experience with another eShakti dress, here: http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/2014/12/so-we-meet-again-eshakti-or-what-i-wore.html

      I completely agree that more brands should jump on the custom sizing bandwagon - and, hopefully, do a better job at it. I also hope that said brands ship to more countries, as well as that they keep products in stock for longer. Usually, by the time a given eShakti item has reached me and I've photographed + blogged about it, it's no longer in stock. I get that they want to keep things fresh, but that sort of turnaround time is just to fast and doesn't ultimately serve them well (if bloggers and folks on social media share items and then their readers/followers can't even purchase the same item within days or weekos of that person receiving it).

      Hopefully others will see your comment and be able to relay their experiences to you as well.

      Thanks again & have a terrific week,
      ♥ Jessica

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  52. Hello Jessica,

    Nice to read your post. I sincerely have one question. Could you please help me with it? I ordered 2 dresses from eshakti website and paid online from my debit card. I Recieved confirmation from the bank about the money deducted from my account however the eshakti website doesn't reflect the confirmation of the order. They still show the dress in the Shopping cart. This is really distressing as I have already lost my money (which was considerable) and I don't even have an Order number to give to the customer service. Seriously not sure what to do :( My question is how to get in touch with eshakti Customer service? Is there an email or a phone number that I could use?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, thank you for your comment and question. I'm very sorry that you're dealing with this stressful situation. I would suggest contacting your bank to let them know about the situation and ask as to what their charge reversal policy is. This varies from bank to bank (and credit card to credit card as well), but if you can prove that you didn't receive the item, some financial institutions will reverse the charges in certain circumstances.

      Here is eShakti's customer service information: http://www.eshakti.com/ContactUs.aspx

      Hopefully getting in touch with them and explaining what's going on will help to remedy the situation for you.

      Best of luck!
      ♥ Jessica

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