Berry Christmas

Dress: eShakti

Belt: DIY

Shoes: TUK

You guys, you guys… this is not a drill. eShakti – the holy grail of plus-size fashion – is finally, finally, shipping to Australia!

If you haven’t heard of eShakti before now, prepare to have you world rocked: this brilliant company – the name comes from the Sanskrit word for power – has been a mainstay for plus size bloggers in the US for years now. They offer classic, on trend fashion that is highly customisable, and tailored to meet each customer’s needs… and all for less than the price of most off-the-rack items in Australia.

Their philosophy is clothing that looks good on people – not mannequins – and if your particular kind of person has big boobs, or a tiny waist, or is anxious about their upper arms, or refuses to wear anything shorter than their knees, well, then eShakti can make it happen.

Every item on the website can be ordered as pictured, or – if you’re so inclined – you can make alterations: custom measurements for people whose measurements might not reflect the size chart, the option to change the neckline, to add pockets (or remove them), to adjust the hem, and even to add sleeves. The cost of all these alterations? A negligible $9.95 fee.

The clothes are made in India, but eShakti has a strict – and transparent – ethical production policy. Their workers are paid at least 70% over the minimum wage, and are promised a clean, safe and healthy work environment with appropriate sanitation facilities. I was delighted to discover that my order came with a handwritten note telling me who my order had been sewn by (and an invitation to send them a personal message).

I placed my order for six dresses (three for me, three for a friend) on 25 November, they shipped on the 12 December, and I was wearing my beautiful new dresses by 16 December. That’s a faster turnaround than most off-the-rack clothing shops. I was also able to track the process of my order – from pattern creation, to cutting and stitching, to quality control… all the way to my front door.

And what arrived at my front door was not – as I had expected – a vacuum-packed bag of wrinkled clothes, but a carefully packed box with individually folded items wrapped in tissue paper.

Of course, none of this means anything unless the clothes are good, right? Well – I’m thrilled to let you know that they’re great.

I bought three dresses – two in a knit fabric, one in a woven – and I had two of them customised and bought one as-is.

All three dresses fit perfectly, and were beautifully sewn and finished. The fabric isn’t brilliant quality, but it’s not worse than what you’d usually find at that price range, and all three dresses had a number of wonderful features that you would normally only find in premium brands, including strap-keepers (little fabric strips that you loop around your bra straps to ensure the neckline doesn’t slip on your shoulders and expose your bra). Also pockets… pockets are standard.

I’d be hard-pressed to pick my favourite of the three dresses, but its difficult to go past the gorgeous berry-red colour of this cowl neck sheath dress. I ordered it to fit my measurements exactly, and added little cap sleeves, and the result is an absolutely divine frock that follows the curves of my body without hugging my tummy or pulling across my hips. Not bad for $48.

I added the belt myself – a little DIY’d number made of elastic velvet ribbon and a rhinestone buckle.

eShakti regularly has site-wide sales and special discount offers, plus new customers get a $25 voucher and free customisation…. but full disclosure – it’s addictive! I’m already planning my next order!

28 thoughts on “Berry Christmas

  1. I too am in love with eshakti – I’m up to my third order!! The clothes are wonderfully made and I have been thrilled with everything I’ve ordered so far.

  2. I placed my first order just yesterday after holding off for so long as I just knew I would want everything…..and I do. Here’s hoping I have as great experience as others have 🙂

  3. I’m so glad you had a good experience with them. I purchased a pair of pants and a dress a few months ago and the pants were see-through- they are wearable I guess with nude underwear but I called customer service and was unimpressed saying that they should have included semi-sheer in their description. They were unapologetic and offered no help but to return them (and pay return shipping from Canada). I’m very used to modcloth’s amazing customer service so I was very dissapointed. Maybe I will cave and order from them again but it will probably take a while.

    I also wanted to say that I love your blog! You are so beautiful and have a great fashion-sense. Congratulations on your engagement as well!

    • First time visiting your blog, F&F, and am really enjoy it! I enjoy seeing your outfits and creativity. We are almost the exact same build and size (and complexion – I’m half Chinese), so it’s nice as well as helpful to see how clothes look on someone with a similar look.

      Re: eShakti, unfortunately, I had a similar experience when ordering from them (also from Canada). Granted, this was about 7 years ago. Adding insult to injury, I was dinged with huge duty bill as well when the packaged arrived (COD)… but fortunately, I see they are now adding this at checkout, so you know exactly what you’re paying! Looking forward to trying them out again, and hopefully this time, a more positive experience will be had!

      • Oh that’s a shame to here! I had such a good experience, and I know a lot of others who’ve been pretty happy. I hope you give them another chance (and that you’re pleasantly surprised this time!)

    • Ah, that’s a bugger. I had wondered about their pants – it’s a shame to hear their fabric wasn’t any good. I LOVE the Modcloth customer service (though that said, they were pretty unhelpful one time I contacted them about something being WAY off size chart. Similar situation, they offered to return them… if I paid the exorbitant shipping charge back from Australia!)

  4. Could you post photos in your other dresses? I would love to see the different shapes and fabrics on someone else with a rack of doom. I just got my first eshakti order and was thrilled, although my turn around time was not as quick as yours and i ordered as is. Happy to wait for the quality and price!!

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