eShakti Review

In June, I read about on the C.Jane blog, and as she was offering a discount code, I decided to check it out.  I was definitely in the market for new work clothes, as I have not purchased anything besides a sweater and one short-sleeved blouse for work in the past twelve months, and some of my favorite items are literally (and I mean LITERALLY) falling apart.

My issue with dresses is that they are ALWAYS too short, and they never seem to have sleeves.  Seriously!  When is the last time you saw a Banana Republic dress with a sleeve of any kind?? I am not about to wear a sleeveless dress to work, and can rarely find a dress that is a decent length for me.  Because my height all seems to come from my femurs and my waist-area, pants aren’t an issue, but dresses really are.  They might be just barely long enough if I’m standing still and not moving, but walking or sitting hikes them up to totally inappropriate levels.  (Mind you, my idea of “inappropriate” is pretty conservative, but leave me be!)

Before placing my order at eShakti, I read about thirty million reviews on the internet, so in my little review here, I’ll address my experience and some of the things I read about from others.  My internet-searching also revealed to me that eShakti apparently went on a huge blog campaign, and sent free dresses to basically every girl on the internet who talks about clothes.  I (obviously) missed the boat on that one because, well, this ain’t that kind of blog.  Plus the only time I make mention of “fashion” it is to post a photo of myself looking ridiculous (what DID happen to my hair?) and wearing a puffy vest:

Because I think that is funny.

But the truth is, I dress up for work.  There are dry-cleaner pressed shirts, heels, slacks, and blouses involved, people.  So, back to eShakti.

eShakti is based in India, and offers dresses (and shirts and skirts, too) that you can customize in a variety of ways.  First, you enter your height for whichever dress you are choosing so that it is hemmed to the appropriate length.  From there, you can customize sleeve, neckline, and dress length depending on the dress style.  You can also enter your own custom measurements and have the dress built exactly to suit you.  This, friends, is genius.

It was actually the screen shot above that sold me.  SLEEVES!!!

I up and ordered two dresses immediately:

I ordered the blue one as-is, and the green one with elbow-length sleeves.  Even though you enter your height, I was still worried about shortening the dresses from the standard “below the knee” to “knee length.”  Paranoia led me to leave the dresses at “below the knee” and experiment with the height option:  I ordered one dress as 5’8″, and the other as 5’10″ (I’m 5’9″ in real life).

I took my measurements, and according to their chart, should have ordered a size 6.  However, I wear a size 4 in dresses and the last time I used measurements to order a dress, I ended up with a bridesmaid dress that had to be taken in about a yard, all the while being scolded by the seamstress who just kept telling me: “This dress is too big for you!”  The eShakti website notes that the dress fits “true to size,” so I went with a 4 and crossed my fingers.

One (small) thing that is annoying about the website is that you can’t click on items in your shopping cart.  As I was browsing, I saved several things to my shopping cart, but when it came time to make the final decision, I had to open a separate browser window and search for each dress in order to get the full view and description of it.  Totally minor issue, and I bet something that would be easy for them to change. (I’m planning to give them my feedback, as well).

I ordered both dresses right before I went to North Carolina, and was so excited about dresses with sleeves, that I spent half of my vacation talking to Megan about it.

Oh, also, on your first order, they give you $20 off and free customizations.  (Later, customizations are $7.50, I think.) You sign up for an account, and then they email you a code for $20 off.  I somehow misunderstood this, and ordered without my code.  I realized I had missed my $20 deal, so I emailed to ask if they could credit me.  Right away I got a response and a credit they changed my order total immediately.  Super nice! (edit:  I actually just checked my credit card statement to verify the charge…. oopsies- while my eShakti account states that they DID take off the $20, credit card says they did not.  I’ll contact them again to see what happens….)

As soon as I came home from North Carolina, the blue dress arrived!  It took about a week and a half from the day I ordered it.  I liked that they separated my shipment to send the dresses as they were available rather than waiting for my customized dress to be finished before shipping both.

I’d read online that the dresses come in tiny, flat boxes via DHL: true.  I’d also read that they can be very, very wrinkly upon arrival.  I wouldn’t say that it was particularly wrinkly:  though it certainly did need a bit of ironing, it wasn’t crumpled up or anything.  Also, it ironed out easily and perfectly, and I am the world’s worst ironer, so I appreciated that.

Here is blue dress.  Photos were taken before work with ye olde iPhone, so they are what they are:

I love that dress.  LOVE.  The fit is great, it has an elastickey part in the back of the waist to keep it fitted but also allow movement, the length is perfect, and it has POCKETS!  Good pockets!  I have to carry keys and a cell phone with me at all times at work, so pockets are key.

The day I wore it, my boss and I were doing interviews all day with our HR person.  Those poor dudes.  About fifty times (between interviews, of course) I had to tell them another great thing about my dress.  How comfortable!  Long enough when I’m sitting down!  I did not stop talking about it all day.  I was so convinced of the awesomeness, I ordered three more that afternoon.  For reals.

Earlier this week, the green dress arrived.  It took just over a month from the day I ordered it.  The website notes that dresses (even custom!) arrive in about ten days, but honestly, since it was a custom dress, I felt like a month was still a very reasonable time to wait.

I also decided that it would be better to have the dress shipped to work, so I emailed eShakti again and asked if I could change the shipping address.  No problem, they said, and the dress arrived at work.

I ripped into it upon arrival, and of course could not wait to try it on.  This was the dress that I had ordered a bit longer, and it was definitely, well, long.  I asked my boss and another coworker for their opinion: “Is this length too ‘Little House on the Prairie?’”  Both guys have been well trained by their wives to be on the alert for any question that asks “… is this too (fill in something negative)?” and immediately answer “NO!” So they assured me the length was fine.  Bless their hearts.

I tried it on at home and realized that it was just too much green with the long sleeves and long length, so I actually hemmed it up about four inches, and now I love, love, love it (first photo is pre-hem):

The back is a little bit low for my work preferences, but will be fine.

(Seriously, have you ever seen a back with more freckles, or a mirror with more spots?)


I flippin’ love eShakti.

The dress selection is great, and you can customize pretty much every bit of it.  They continually update the site with new styles.  Dresses are VERY reasonably priced, around sixty bucks, and there seems to always be some kind of discount code available.  Plus, with the free shipping (over $100) and no sales tax, you get a great deal.  They aren’t the absolute highest quality dresses in the entire world (on my green dress, the striped seaming around the middle is a tiny bit wonky on one part of the back), but they’re a solid quality.  The fabric is lovely, and the fit of the dresses for me was perfecto. Customer service was also excellent.  I had to email them twice with somewhat ridiculous requests, and got super prompt and helpful responses.  They also sent emails to update about shipping and tracking and such.

What would I change?  Minor things, mostly relating to searchability on the website:

-I wish they showed a few dresses with different sleeve options.  The only time I’ve seen sleeve add-ons is on the screenshot of the red dresses above.  On each dress’ page, they just have drop down menus with drawings of sleeve types, but none shown on that actual dress.  I understand that they wouldn’t make every dress combination possible, but a few would be helpful.

-I also wish you could sort dresses by sleeve type available.  Each dress has its own customizability, and not all of them are available with the 3/4 or elbow length sleeves.  Since that is what I want, I would love to be able to search just the dresses with that modification available.

-”Shopping Cart”– I already mentioned that you can’t click on the items in your cart to bring up their pages.

-Another incredibly minor point- there is a sale section with dresses that are only available in limited sizes.  It would be great if that was searchable by size.


Overall, though?  I am SOLD.  And when I am sold on something, I feel like I need to tell the world how awesome it is (see: steam mop).  So if you are looking for dresses, and you have any type of body there is, get yourself to, like, right now.  And then google around for a discount code, and order yerself up some dresses.

I’ll give an additional report when my next batch of dresses arrives!

And now, I just need to run 43 more miles so that I can buy some boots to go with these babies.

19 Responses to eShakti Review

  1. Rumble Kitty says:

    Glad you like them! I was wondering about the quality. Since I usually shop at Ross, my standards aren’t terribly high! I ordered some that were on sale in addition to the discount code!

    I did take my measurements later and I’m a little worried they’ll be too tight in the waist. Maybe that will finally give me the incentive to lose the grad school pudge!

    • Rumble Kitty says:

      I got my first dress yesterday! I received the first shipment email the same day that I got the DHL slip on my door so that must be for the second dress.

      The pros: It is nice fabric and pretty good construction. The color and style are as pictured on the web site. It came surprisingly quickly!

      The negatives: You are right, the sizing does run large! I ordered a size smaller than the measurements indicated so I was a little nervous about it being too tight in the waist and hips, but it was actually a little loose. This dress is cotton so I washed it and put it in the dryer on high and, fortunately, it did shrink a bit. The zipper twists some at the waist where they put the folds and it was hard to pull up and down. I rubbed beeswax on it because I was having to pull it so hard, I was really worried about it breaking. I am a bit pear-shaped so the dress is a little loose in the bust. I am going to have to come up with a solution to tighten it up there. It is a V-neck so tacking the bottom half inch of the V together might work and also make it a little less revealing. If I knew how their sizing ran, I would have customized it to be one size smaller in the bust.

      I am a little worried about the other dress. It is polyester so I can’t just toss it in the dryer to shrink it if it is too large.

      Overall, I am happy with dress #1. It has some issues, but I think I can fix them all with a minimum of effort!

  2. Katie says:

    This post had me laughing start to finish. Look how cute you are! Love the dresses on you. Very flattering.

    And your North Face puffy jacket iPhone picture of fashion? Love it.

    • Kara Kara says:

      Haha! Thanks! I wear the puffy vest so often (like, daily during winter, even with work clothes) that I joke that people might not recognize me without it!

  3. Brad K. says:

    Good looking clothes.

  4. Lynn says:

    I love love love the dark blue dress! The green one is very bright! But it’s nice, too. I do like the length you made it. But the dark blue one is awesome. I might just have to go check out that website…. Thanks :)

  5. Alice says:

    I’ve been looking around on eshakti off and on for a year or so now, but finally took the plunge. I ordered three dresses, and can’t wait to get them.

  6. Delsy says:

    Hi! I loved this post. I recently ordered 4 custom dresses from this site. However, I recently read all the negative scary posts online about the site and now I’m a little worried. Did you have to pay outrageous courier fees with DHL?

    Thanks again :-)

    • Kara Kara says:

      Hi there! Nope, I didn’t have to pay any extra fees at all… I hadn’t even heard about that! I was really happy with the overall experience, even with a return I had to make. Hope you love your dresses!

  7. Betty says:

    Count me as one who was hit by outrageous courier fees!

    I ordered two tops during their Xmas sale. Standard sizes. Just to see if their clothes are worth is before I start ordering any other items. Total: $25US, plus $11.95US shipping.

    I’m in Canada. Three weeks after I place the order, I get home and find a DHL sticker on my door – they want $30CAN upon delivery. I call DHL; $16 is ‘brokerage fees’ and $14 is some undefined ‘tax’.

    I’m not even going to bother getting an explanation of how the customs and duty is over 50% of the item costs (even without the sale discount, the customs and duty is still over 25% of the non-sale value).’s site states $11.95US to ship the items to Canada and the US. So Americans aren’t getting hit by these courier brokerage and customs and duties fees? The complaints I’ve been reading about are invariably Canadian.

    I called DHL and refused the order (so I’ll never find out about the fit or quality of the items) and now I’m going to have to go after and get a *full* refund (since the tops are sitting in the US and whoever eventually gets them will surely be paying again for ‘shipping’).

    Did I read the shipping info? Yeah. I did. They give vague statements. They also only talk about ‘customs’ charges. Nothing at all about courier brokerage charges, nor do they name the courier company involved. I buy a lot of my clothes from the US and the UK and I’ve never ever had anything like this happen. Fees and taxes that are over 100% of the value of the items I bought? Come on… .

    As a 6′ tall plus woman, the *concept* of is great. But the reality is this order has left a really bad taste in my mouth. I won’t be ordering anything from them again unless I read they’ve substantially changed the way they handle orders to Canada.

    Which is a shame because those two dresses you got look really great on you and I would have loved to have tried them if this initial order went through OK :::sigh:::.

    • Kara Kara says:

      That is such a bummer! I definitely loved my items, but for the most part they are not super high quality, and honestly not worth the extra in customs fees– they are great for their price, but doubling the price for fees? Sadness! Hopefully they figure out Canadian shipping… :(

  8. Dee says:

    Hi! I know this is an old review but I’ve been interested in eshakti for a few years now, just reluctant to purchase anything. I was wondering if you have ordered from them lately and are still satisfied. I’m eyeing several dresses but still debating if I should go ahead an order them. No one I know personally has shopped there.

    Thank you!!

    • Kara Kara says:

      Hi Dee! I haven’t ordered anything lately, but I’m happy with what I have ordered from them. Generally, I’d say just don’t pay full price–the quality isn’t amazing but it is solid for sale prices!

  9. Mirella LeBlanc says:

    I purchased 3 maxi dresses from eShakti and I have to admit that I’m in love with them . The fabric and measurements are perfect . Really nice craftsmanship . My only complaint with eShakti is that it did take quite some time to recieve my order but what really frustrated me was having to pay quite a bit for custom and taxes . I’m from Canada and we don’t have a trade agreement with India . That resulted in a hefty 90$ extra that I had to pay to recieve my package at the door. If I had known that my order was going to come from India, I would not have scrolled along to another site . It would have been nice to have had a heads up .

  10. Sherry says:

    My daughter & I ordered six dresses (custom-sized) that are perfect in every way. HOWEVER I just got a bill from FedEx for $50! I was not expecting this and am upset. We should’ve been told when ordering there would be duties.

    • Dawn says:

      Stumbled across this and I realize it’s old. But according to their website, they are only shipping to the USA now and because of customs, any order that is more than $200 is subject to the extra fees. So if anyone is late is reading this (like I said, I know it’s late), make sure you keep your total costs lower, placing several smaller orders if needed. That’s what I gathered from the website and other reviews, at least!

  11. Hitchiker says:

    I came across your blog while looking for independent reviews on eShakti. I’m a petite size 12-14 woman and as you can imagine, it is pretty hard to find any clothes out there.
    Two questions – did you feel the fabric quality was not up to mark? I have been zooming in on all the materials and the cotton just looks like it would tear. Did the dress hold up?
    Secondly, where did you get that multi-colored, multi-strand necklace, I think I looked through your entire blog and may be missed it.

    • Kara Kara says:

      Hi there! The fabric quality is medium. The cotton is sturdy and thick and pretty durable, but it isn’t the nicest, softest stuff ever. I don’t wear the dresses a ton, but they’ve held up to washing and wearing reasonably well. They definitely aren’t top-of-the-line quality-wise, but they get the job done. I still get tons of compliments when I wear them, and people always, ALWAYS ask where I got them. I can’t remember where I got the necklace! It may have been from a random little shop during a trip to North Carolina, but I also find a lot of my necklaces at jCrew, Banana Republic, and Ann Talyor, of all places. ;)

  12. […] one to two years ago, however the reviews in the past year have been much more positive (source, source). It seems as if they really listened to the reviews and improved greatly in the past year. […]

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