eShakti is a website that claims to offer the ability to order custom fitted clothing via the Internet. You (or a friend) take your measurements according to the instructions on their site, enter them as you’re ordering your clothing, and the garment will be made to those exact measurements. They also offer the option of changing sleeve styles, hemlines, and sometimes necklines and embellishments. This kind of customizing runs you $7.50 on top of the price of the dress. Does it work? And is it worth it?
The reason eShakti can offer these levels of customization is because, according to their website, they cut every garment to order even if you order from a pre-designated size (sizes 0-36 are listed as “standard sizes”). Even when ordering from their list of standard sizes, you’re asked for your height so they can be sure the garment fits you as well as it can even without customization. I’d ordered two dresses from them in a standard size and been happy with both of them, so recently I decided to take a chance and order a custom sized dress.
The first thing I noticed was that custom sized garments do take a little longer to ship. Because eShakti is based out of India, the typical shipping time (at least to the East Coast where I live) is around 10 days. My custom dress took 12 days. Not too much longer, but something to account for. When I got the dress and tried it on I could immediately tell a difference. I’m not far off a standard size, but it’s incredible how much an inch or so can affect the fit of a dress. My mother is a seamstress, and when I modeled the dress for her, she was impressed with how closely the dress fit.
Other details about the dress that I liked were that it was fully lined (as was my other standard size dress from them) and had small straps inside the shoulders to hold your bra straps with so they didn’t sneak out from under the sleeves. Most of their dresses have pockets, and they tell you on the product page how it zips, what it’s made of, whether there are pockets, washing instructions, and other important details that are good to know before you buy.
The dresses are a bit pricey, not more than you’d pay in a nice shop or department store, but still a bit beyond women who are on a shoestring budget. There are frequent sales, and if you know someone who shops there they might be able to give you a code that will get you $25 off your first order. Once you order from them, they’ll also send you gift certificates and discount codes pretty regularly to encourage you to buy more. They also send you almost daily emails, but that’s pretty standard for most online retailers these days.
What I like most about eShakti’s customization is that nothing is cut until it’s ordered. Those of us who have had clothes altered or altered them ourselves know that starting with a ready made garment and tweaking it to fit differently isn’t ever perfect and that you’re fighting a bit of an uphill battle. Because each garment ordered from eShakti is cut to order, it’s easier for them to ensure that the custom fit is tailored specifically to your measurements. I do think they could add a couple more parameters into what measurements they ask for (as a short waisted woman, I’d love to see a shoulder to waist box added) but so far what they’re doing seems to work well.
If you’re interested in ordering a custom dress, there’s helpful diagrams on the site detailing how to measure yourself. The boxes only accept whole numbers, so if you come up between inches you can either switch to centimeters to get more accuracy or just round up or down. Use your judgement on this, though I would recommend rounding up to give yourself a touch of breathing room. If you regularly wear bras with padding or shapewear, measure yourself with it on because it will change your measurements enough to matter.
Having ordered a custom sized dress, I plan to order one again. I’ve been happy with the service I’ve gotten from eShakti, and even though they take a little longer than some other online clothing retailers I feel like the wait is worth it for a dress that’s cut to order. Feel free to ask me any other questions you might have in the comments!