The despair of the high street
Browsing the high street for the perfect dress can be a depressing experience. My mantra is ‘if only’. Not ‘if only I had enough money’, more ‘this would be the perfect dress, if only it had sleeves’, or ‘if only this skirt wasn’t so short’.
Of course it has to be this way. The high street caters for the masses, with our individual desires, varying curves and waistlines in different places. Long gone are the days when the big retailers offered alterations. It’s hard enough to get a shop assistant to find you an alternative size.
Online gambling, I mean shopping
The alternative is to gamble with online shopping. You might know where you stand with some of the established brands. For example, I know a Marks and Spencer size 10 will be roomy on me, and that everything I buy from ASOS looks great on the model and gets returned in disgust.
What about a brand you haven’t worn before? Can you trust their sizing? How can size 10 trousers fit both a 5’8” model and a big bottommed 5’3” midlifer?
This is personal
If the above scenarios ring true for you then I have the solution. And I am bloody delighted that I’ve found it.
eShakti is a website and app featuring hundreds of gorgeous dresses, skirts, jumpsuits etc – which you can have made to suit your personal style and size. By which I mean, they will tailor a dress to your particular measurements, but more exciting – you can customise the pieces to your personal taste.
No more ‘if only that had sleeves’. Add sleeves! Want a skirt that grazes your ankle rather than settling below your bum? Knock yourself out! You can change the style of collar, sleeve length, leg length, even add or remove pockets.
With each new option, the image of the outfit updates to show you the choices you’ve made. As a child, did you have one of those fridge magnet dolls with interchangeable outfits, or enjoy changing Barbie’s clothes? This is playing with dolls for adults.
If the dress fits
eShakti asked me to choose and customise a dress in return for a photo on Instagram (I’m massively over-delivering on that promise here).
The dress I chose was originally shown on the website with a high collar. I wanted a boatneck style neckline which wasn’t available for this dress. But the website allows for additional notes to be added to the order, so I asked for a boatneck, and that is what they made. I made the arms shorter, lengthened the skirt, and voila – I have a dress that suits my style.
You can put in your exact measurements, but I took a chance with a standard size 10, providing my height so eShakti could calculate the length of the skirt. This dress would have cost just under £70 including a small charge for alterations and shipping costs. The website is currently showing a 33% discount for new customers.
The dress took 10 days to arrive. It fits me perfectly.
The clothes are made in India. According to Ethicaloo, an ethical brands database, eShakti scores four out of five on the ethical environmental and transparency indices. Ethicaloo says “eShakti strives to safe, clean and well-paying factory conditions for workers and maintains a strong commitment to ethical manufacturing.”
Quality, not quantity
Of course, by buying clothes that are made-to-measure, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your purchase and wear it again and again.
A word of warning though, this could become addictive. There is so much choice here and the stock changes regularly, which can stoke the fire of shopping addiction – which I’ve written about before. I hope that more thought goes into an eShakti purchase.
Having said that…
I revisited eShakti to research this post and found myself playing with the models again. I couldn’t resist buying another dress (bought myself this time). Again, I’ve changed every element – neckline, sleeves and length, from the original image on the left, to my chosen dress on the right.
Keep an eye on Instagram for this latest purchase. Have you bought from eShakti before? What do you think of the concept? Let me know in the comments below.
Much love, Vx
[Disclosure: eShakti asked me to choose and customise a dress in return for a post on Instagram. I haven’t been paid for this blog, nor is there an expectation from eShakti that I would write one. But eShakti’s product is such a great idea I wanted to share it with you. I use affiliate links.]