My amazing technical designer (you saw why she’s so amazing here) mentioned her friend’s company, eShakti, to me a few months ago, but until reader MJ emailed me a link to its website, I didn’t realize that the company works with individuals. Basically, eShakti makes custom clothes for you in India without your having to leave the States. It’s almost like what I wrote about here, but without the expense (or fun) of traveling.
Here are two eShakti styles that I’d like to have in my closet. At $54.95 each, the extra $7.50 charge to customize a dress is easily affordable.
And here are my favorite custom options:
- You can choose a different sleeve style for each dress, so you don’t have to be stuck with cap sleeves. In some cases, you can even choose a different neckline.
- And get ready for this–they request your bra cup size to ensure a better fit!!! Am I dreaming??
On Bust Lounge’s forum for women with large breasts, one reader wrote, “Everything I’ve ever gotten from [eShakti] has been splendid & cut to my specific boobie needs.” Let us know about your experience if you place an order! (Nothing after the jump.)
Okay, I love Twitter. I just did a search for "eShakti" and found this post from yesterday: http://garnerstyle.blogspot.com/2010/10/eshakti-why-does-my-dress-reak-of.html
So of course there's a little risk involved.
But what planet is the commenter on who complained that it's taking over a week and a half to get her custom made dress from India??
Just found this 15% discount code JiS65P at http://frugalplus.com/great-deal-lil-black-dress-eshakti/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FrugalPlus+%28Frugal+Plus%29&utm_content=Twitter
I would suggest you step away from the credit card, fast. I was all set to order from them a few months ago, but I decided to do some research first. I found some good stuff but a lot of horror stories… especially about custom ordered stuff not fitting at all the way it ought to. Since a lot of these seemed to be at least a year old, I wondered if they hadn't improved things. They use their facebook page a lot for customer service, so I wrote on basically saying, "I am planning on doing an order but I just wanted to check if you had addressed some of the quality control issues I have heard about?"
I was expecting reassurance of some kind… But instead, they DELETED my comment! Needless to say, that sealed it- I won't be ordering from them.
I have since heard more from large breasted gals that they tried eShakti and that the clothing fit weird.
Thanks for your comment, Brittany! I can't believe they actually DELETED your comment. Twitter may be the next way to comment–there was an article in the WSJ last week about how airlines actually respond to complaints made that way.
By the way, I'm looking forward to reading more on your new blog, http://www.thinandcurvy.com.
It seems kind of risky to custom order clothes from people who refuse to communicate with you. DELETE! 😀
This brings up an important thing with custom clothes…the sewer should ALWAYS ask your cup size, as well as upper bust, full bust, and even under bust measurements. Having done a lot of learning this summer on how to sew for my full bust, I know it can be done 🙂 Commercial sewing patterns are geared for a B cup, and just giving a bust measurement does not always result in a good fit….I'm not 42" divided by 2 (front and back). I'm 20" + 22". In fited clothes, this is important.
I'd question the quality and ethics of a dress being custom made for $60. I know it's probably more to go with a local seamstress, but then you can really do custom fitting, choose the fabric yourself, etc, and support your local economy. I'm not at the level of sewing for others, but for many stay-at-home moms, this is a great way to make a little extra money. Check out http://www.etsy.com for lots of custom options.
Good points about measurements. You capture the challenge perfectly: "I'm not 42" divided by 2 (front and back). I'm 20" + 22"." Ultimately, the best custom clothing experience involves actual fittings.
You also express some of my reservations about the price. It's not the price alone that is the issue–it's the inability to know about the working conditions and whether the workers are being paid a fair wage. When we buy from a big corporation like Kohl's or JCP, we know they're doing their homework in this area. When we buy as individuals from an overseas operation, we don't have a way to check this. But if there is a way to check and the company is above-board in these areas, I'm happy to give them my business.
Which Etsy shops have you had a good experience with?
Do we really know that big corporations like Kohl's or JCP are doing their homework? I was pretty sure that like most larger clothing suppliers, stores like that are still buying clothes from manufactures who's practices are iffy. Anytime we buy something manufactured in third world countries we're likely buying something that was made by someone not making enough money.
I'd have to do specific research on JCP, but I have a friend who works for Kohl's who has had to fire a contractor for offering a bribe. Kohl's is able to offer low prices on their clothes because of the volume orders they place, but if they were to be associated with sweat shops, no price would be low enough to convince people to buy their clothes.
Also, I once attended a workshop where a panelist from Liz Claiborne (or was it Ann Taylor?? I hope I can dig up those notes somewhere!) explained everything they do to ensure fair labor practices, and she explained the challenges. For instance, unless a representative from her company could be there 24/7, there's no way to ensure full compliance all the time. But with surprise visits, they could get a pretty good read on things.
Oh dear! I think that eShakti is bribing bloggers to write good reviews about them! I'm warming towards the idea of supporting my local seamstresses right now.
Complaints Board: http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/eshakti-c184389.html
Ripoff Report: http://www.ripoffreport.com/directory/Eshakti.aspx
Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/western-washington/business-reviews/womens-apparel-retail/eshakticom-in-redmond-wa-13026771