Off the Rack ~ Revisiting eShakti Customized Clothing

Several years ago, I wrote a very positive review of the online retailer eShakti. Even though I had a successful purchasing experience, I haven’t ordered anything from them in quite some time. But recently, I came to the realization that almost my entire dress wardrobe is vintage-inspired. Sometimes, that just doesn’t suit the event. And sometimes, you just want something stretchy you can throw on. I ended up browsing eShakti and found a jersey wrap dress that I really liked, so I placed an order.

This is the “High-low hem cotton knit wrap dress” in “Peacock blue” (i.e. teal):

I’m happy to report that eShakti has really been updated since my last order! The customization fee has increased from $7.50 to $9.95, but there are way more options now, including all sorts of neckline, sleeve, and length changes. With some of the dresses, you can mix and match the fabric of your choice with the dress style of your choice. There also seem to be more color options for the solid fabrics. And they offer more body measurements than ever before. You can basically design your own dress almost from scratch!

This time, I had my husband help me measure to ensure it’d be totally accurate. Here is what I provided:

Bust 38”
Chest (above the bust) 36”
Hip 42”
Shoulder (across the back) 15”
Underbust 30”
Upper Arm (bicep) 12”
Waist 30”
Height 5’6”
High Point Shoulder to Bust Point 11”
High Point Shoulder to Waist 18”
High Point Shoulder to Knee 43”

I also changed the sleeve length to three-quarters instead of elbow-length, changed the neckline from deep-V to standard V-neck, and kept the length as-is, which appeared to just cover the knee. In hindsight, I wish I’d changed the skirt to knee-length because I think it’d be more flattering if it was just a wee bit shorter, but it does hit my leg exactly where it hits the model, so that just goes to show how good they are at matching the garment to your measurements.

Did I mention it has gigantic pockets???

I’m really pleased with the dress! The fabric is much thicker and nicer than I was expecting. I don’t really see a difference between the original deep-V neckline and this standard V, but my cleavage is covered (a rarity in wrap dresses, as I’ve discussed before), so I’m happy with it.

The construction is also really swell for a full bust. There are darts on each side of the top and you can pull the fabric up onto the breast (rather than cupping below it) if you want even more coverage. I think the shoulders are still a little wide, leading to some bunching around the armpit, so next time I’ll probably decrease that measurement by an inch if I’m buying something stretchy or sleeveless.

The sleeves themselves are perfect—tight enough to look clean, but not so tight that they scrunch up at my elbows or feel binding.

There is a reinforced hole on the right side through which you thread the waist wrap, so it stays nice and smooth. The wrap is also long enough that you could tie it in several different ways. And both layers of the skirt reach all the way to the far outer side of the hip, so there’s no worry of the “slit” blowing open and exposing your leg.

As I mentioned, it also has pockets, an absolute necessity in my book! In fact, every eShakti dress and skirt has pockets, and you have the option to remove them (though why would you???).

The dress’s list price was $74.95, but I had a 35% off coupon, for a value of $48.95. With shipping and customization fees at $9.95 each, that’s a total of $68.85. It’s certainly more than you’d pay for fast-fashion, but I think it’s beyond reasonable for a custom-made garment.

Finally, I was really happy with the shipping speed. I placed the order on November 17, it shipped via DHL on November 27, and arrived at my door December 3. Considering that it’s a custom-made item and came all the way from India, under two and a half weeks is crazy fast speed!

GG Musings: Trying on My Sister’s Christmas Present!

My sister’s Christmas present was supposed to be the striped Bravissimo dress in my dress haul from eBay. That dress ended up being too big for her (and ended up in my closet!).

My sister decided after trying on and taking my Urkye wrap shirt that she wanted an Urkye dress for Christmas. I chose the color and the style for her – but if she reads this it won’t be a surprise!

The Koperta dress is a vibrant royal blue wrap top dress. This dress is lovely and I kind of want one for myself! It comes in a ton of other colors: navy, black, tan and green.

The only fit issue is that it’s a bit tight on the back. The jersey fabric is thick and the quality of Urkye clothing is amazing. Depending on the bra you wear this dress can be work appropriate or show cleavage.

I’m wearing size 44 oo/ooo. My measurements in these pictures are 47.5-38-44.5 and I’m 5’7. How many of you buy clothing from Urkye?

Full Bust Find: Stargazing Splendor Blazer from ModCloth

Here’s a side benefit from selling my shirts at pop ups: I get to see what other full-busted women are wearing. This woman measures 32″ at the waist and 41″ at the bust, and her jacket actually buttons! Usually when I ask someone where they got something, they bought it years ago, but she’d just ordered her Stargazing Splendor blazer from Modcloth two weeks earlier.    The next day, I ordered my own–or actually two because I’ve never tried anything from ModCloth before. According to their size chart, I should wear the XL, but I added the L to be safe. It’s a good thing because the XL felt too generous, and the L felt just right. (I give the actual waist and bust measurements of each size at the bottom of this post.)

I loved it buttoned on my customer, but I prefer it open on me.

I also prefer my profile with it open . . .

vs. buttoned.

Finally, here’s the cute flouncy back. You can also see the pointy shoulders that some reviewers complain about, but they don’t bother me and I think they can help balance a big bust. Actually, I think they only look pointy when I move my arms a certain way.

This jacket has princess seams in front and in back, another win for busty women. I’m also surprised at the versatility of the colors–I thought I’d only be able to match it with black! And for anyone needing a black blazer, it also comes in “abyss”.

I measured the outside of the garments because the lining (which is stretchy and soft vs. acetate-y and sweat-trapping) made it difficult to line up with the seams. Across the peplum waist, the L measured 36″ and the XL measured 39.75″. One inch below the armholes and to  the crease of the lapels, the L bust measured 41″ and the XL bust measured 45″.

GG Musings – Holiday Look 8 – Bravissimo’s Lottie Midi Dress

The final look in my eight-part holiday look series is Bravissimo’s Lottie Midi Dress in a beautiful cranberry stretch velvet. I love this dress!

This dress is great for work holiday parties or a party with your friends. It could also be worn for a nicer dinner in the fall and winter months. The wrap style is attractive and adjustable. The only thing I don’t like about this dress are the kimono sleeves – they kind of look like bat wings to me. And the hips were a tiny bit big.

The dress length falls to mid-calf. Below is a mirror selfie so that you can see the length of the dress.

Ultimately, I didn’t end up keeping this dress. I probably tried it on five times and if it shows up on eBay for cheaper I will buy it immediately.

My measurements are 48-39-44 and I’m 5’7. I am wearing size 14 in RSC (18 RSC in UK sizing).

GG Musings – Holiday Look 7 – Bravissimo’s Evie Dress

This is the second casual look in my 8-part Bravissimo holiday series and the second to last post about holiday looks. The Evie dress is a muted pine green in a soft jersey fabric. The dress is simple with beautiful gathers and buttons at the cuff.

The dress is comfortable and I like that there is not much fullness in the hips. I would wear this as a winter work dress but it would also be good for office or family holiday parties. I didn’t keep this dress but if I needed a new winter dress I would have.

My measurements are 48-39-44 and I’m 5’7. I am wearing size 14 in RSC (18 RSC in UK sizing).

Would you wear this dress as a holiday look or every day?

GG Musings – Holiday Look 6 – Sparkle Cardigan with Urkye Sheath Dress

For holiday look 6, I combined Bravissimo’s black and silver notch neck cropped cardigan with an Urkye dress that I already own (check out Darlene’s review of the same dress here).

I refer to this cardigan as the sparkle cardigan. I found that it fit a bit looser and longer than the other cardigans that I own in this style. I would recommend sizing down if you like a tighter fit or are the edge of Bravissimo sizing. I am wearing the sparkle cardigan in size 14 RSC (18 RSC in UK sizing).

My Urkye sheath dress is in size 44 oo/ooo. This dress looks best with Spanx underneath it for me. It’s made of stretch jersey and is comfortable. This dress is still available in some sizes and also the colors pink, red and royal blue. If this dress is sold out in your size there is a sleeveless sheath dress that should fit similar.

I thought this cardigan would be the winner in this order but honestly it made me feel like I was on an episode of The Golden Girls so back it went. My measurements in this photo are 48-39-44 and I’m 5’7.

GG Musings – Holiday Look 5 – Bravissimo’s Clara Knit Dress

This is one of two casual holiday looks. This burgundy sweater dress from Bravissimo would be great for someone who normally doesn’t wear dresses. It could be a dressier look with hose and heels or dressed down with tights and heels.

The dress is form fitting past the hips and then flares out. I found this dress to be comfortable and flattering. The color is beautiful.

I’ve never had a sweater dress from Bravissimo so I don’t know if this dress will stretch out. My knit cardigan from Bravissimo has not stretched out. Has anyone owned a sweater dress from Bravissimo?

GG Musings – Holiday Look 4 – New Cardigan to Wear with My Red Dress

In my holiday dress order I also ordered the Crop Notch Neck Cardigan in black. I tried this on with the Red Phoenix dress I already own from my Wedding Guest Dress Try-On post. And I love this look!

There is limited sizing left in red and all sizes available in black – both are on sale for $69 at Bravissimo.

The dress has a princess seamed bodice and two box pleats on the front and back of the dress. My office holiday party is right after work and this cardigan will make this red dress appropriate to wear all day. My measurements in these pictures are 48-39-44 and I’m 5’7.

GG Musings – Holiday Look 3 – Bravissimo’s Jessie Skater Dress

Holiday look number three from Bravissimo is the Jessie Skater Dress in black.

The dress is constructed with princess seams and has a black lace yoke and sleeves. It’s a stretch jersey dress so super comfortable. However, the stretch lace does seem like it has the potential to snag.

This dress is fun and flirty and definitely a great little black dress for the holiday season.

I am wearing size 14 RSC (18 in UK Sizing). I’m 5’7 and my measurements are 48-39-44.

Are of any you searching for a new little black dress?

GG Musings – Holiday Look 2 – Bravissimo’s Jennifer Velvet Dress

I have been eyeing the Bravissimo Jennifer Velvet Dress in black for a while so when this smoky blue color came out I decided to give it a try. I love the blue shade of the dress and others seem to as well since it is already sold out in some sizes.

I like the length of the dress as so many Bravissimo dresses are so short. However, I had a couple of fit problems with this dress. On the top of the dress the fabric seems to be pulling around my armpits and you can see the seaming and fabric pattern on my bra. This issue doesn’t make this dress an automatic no – but issue number two does.

Issue number two is the hips. I have complained before about the hips in Bravissimo dresses not being a great fit on me, however this dress I believe was cut out wrong. When laid flat the hips are not even. This resulted in some strange puckers on my hips.

The model in the Bravissimo catalog also looks like she has some issues with the hips of the dress fitting.

I want to say this dress would be great for an office holiday party due to the ¾ length sleeves, scoop neckline and longer length but there is something about the fabric that makes me look super busty. Maybe it would be less busty in black? I’m wearing the 14 RSC (18 RSC in UK sizing). I’m 5’7 and my measurements are 48-39-44. This dress definitely got sent back.