Black satin 1950s hat: eBay
1950s sterling silver and rhinestone screw back earrings with matching necklace: Gift from a dear friend ♥
Vintage style metallic brocade dress: eShakti (this specific dress is no longer in stock)
Silver faux leather skinny belt: eBay
1950s black velvet stole wrap: A Better Time
1950s/60s metallic mesh handbag: Either a gift or thrifted (can't remember for sure)
1950s black gloves: ChameleonCMC
Opaque black tights: Ardene
Sparkly champagne peep-toe heels: The Bay
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Tony Cangiano
♥ ♥ ♥
Two years ago quite literally to the day, I had my first experience working with the well known online fashion powerhouse eShatki. This brand offers a wide range of modern and vintage-y looking styles that can either be purchased in standard sizes or customized to your exact measurements/specifications, including changing things like sleeve and hemline lengths, as well as, in some cases, necklines (either for free or at very modest prices, depending on what the change is).
Unfortunately, for reasons pertaining both to fit and absurdly high DHL courier fees that I was charged, my first experiences were not very position ones and though I did work with the company again in early spring 2013, with somewhat better results all around, I haven't worn the dress I got then since and honestly doubt it will ever see much play in my wardrobe, as the fit isn't particularly flattering.
I always like to try and get along with everyone - very much including the companies I partner with here on my blog or personally buy from (both of which I've done with eShakti), and when they contacted me again in early December to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing one of the items from their elegant holiday line, I took a few days to think about it, but ultimately said "yes" to the dress. :)
Knowing already from past experience, that eShakti has yet to fit me to size (each garment I've received from them has measured at least 2 inches smaller than the stated measurements given in their item listings in key areas like the bust and waist), I ordered up two sizes and am extremely glad that I did. While this did mean a bit of extra fabric in the waist and a little in bust, the addition of a silver hued skinny belt from my closet was able to help wrangle that in instantly.
Due to the fact that eShakti puts their zippers on the side and tends to cut very narrowly in the torso (an area that I would generally consider myself to be quite slender in - you can clearly see my ribcage when I'm in the buff), I size up to ensure that I'll be able to breath and that their garments (excluding skirts, naturally) will fit me comfortably.
If we went off measurements alone, in theory I would be a size six, but I ordered a size ten (I never care in the slightest about size numbers, fit is what counts in my books) and am extremely glad that that I did. When ordering garments from them, eShakti asks for your height and here I also "sized up", so to speak, and stated my height as 5'4", instead of its actual 5'2". I did this because I've found that past garments that claimed to be below the knee, rarely were and as that's super important to me with all my clothes (that they hit below the knee, I mean), I'm very glad that I did add a couple of inches to my height when ordering this dress. In addition, I opted for the custom options of 3/4 length sleeves and a princess neckline on the dress, which came in standard form with a v-neck and short cap sleeves - two styles that generally look awful on me.
Though even with sizing up, due to the side zipper, it's tricky to get in and rather hard to get out of this dress (doing so involved me kneeling on the floor and Tony pulling the dress off over my head by the ends of the sleeves), which is made from a lovely, thick brocade fabric (that is lined in the skirt, helping to add to the garment's fullness). Still even with these relatively small issues, I really must say that this is my favourite eShakti garment I've owned to date and I very much appreciate the company's desire to collaborate with my blog again.
When I ordered the dress, I did so with the intent of sporting it on Christmas Day, which is precisely what I did. I must say, it garnered compliments from Tony and all my relatives who were present that day, with my mother even saying that it was her favourite dress she'd seen me wear in years (aww, thanks, mom!). I really adored this great 1950s inspired dress as well. Its thick, but comfortable, brocade fabric - a rich mix of silver and gold metallic threads forming a floral design on a cranberry hued background - was both warm and incredibly holiday season appropriate.
Christmas Day was very grey, overcast and accompanied by dim light, so for our photo shoot that afternoon, we just took snaps on my parent's deck. This is a formal dress and I truly love that about it. In keeping with the sophistication it exudes, I went with a gorgeous mid-century vintage sterling silver demi-parure comprised of a rhinestone necklace with matching screw back earrings, which was an amazing gift from a treasured friend two Christmases ago. I also teamed it with a 50s/60s metal mesh handbag, 1950s black velvet wrap, black vintage gloves, modern silver faux leather skinny belt, a beloved black satin 1950s hat, opaque black tights, and a killer pair of sparkly champagne hued peep-toe heels that I feel in love with, and Tony promptly bought me, nearly three years ago now.
I really believe in dressing to the nines for the holidays and centering my Christmas Day ensemble around this stunning eShakti brocade dress allowed me to do just that. Though the fit isn't 100% perfect and I did have to rig the system when ordering, again, it's the best fit I've had from this company so far and I'd certainly be happy to review and/or purchase from them again in the future, as I now have a greater degree of confidence when it comes to figuring out what size of theirs to select for dresses.
Our Christmas was filled with all the usual joys of the Day - family, feasting, gift giving and receiving, playing games, basking in the glow of the tree, and other pleasures that - much like sporting such a fabulous holiday season dress - come but once a year. It’s hard to believe another Christmas is behind us again, but thankfully the season as a whole still has a few more days and I’ll be celebrating each of them with loved ones to the very fullest.
Happy New Year’s Eve countdown, my dear friends!