Saturday, February 13, 2010

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Review: Customized Women's Clothing Online by eShakti

Since there isn't a special boutique for women who have carried multiples and, as a result, have permanently stretched bellies, it is difficult for moms like me to find clothing that will camouflage that area. That is why I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to have a customized shirt made for me by eShakti, an online women's custom clothing boutique.

eShakti offers elegantly designed clothing in sizes ranging from 0 to 26W. Each piece can be ordered in a standard size or you can have the item customized for a fee of $15 per garment. This was a service I was most curious to try, especially since eShakti offers a quality contract.

It was extremely difficult to choose one piece to try. The designs change often on, so you have to remember to check the boutique's archives. I kept coming back to this Paisley Woodblock Cotton Satin Top. It is in my favorite color red and has an Asian flair, as well as just being a little unique. Since Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year land on the same day this year, I thought this top would be perfect for the occasion.

In addition to being able to provide my body measurements, I also had the option to customize the top. I decided to add cap sleeves and to make the length hit at the hips. I also requested that the body be made slightly more boxy, so that it would not cling to my belly.

As you can see, the workmanship used to create this top was excellent. I especially liked the detail of the tuxedo-style ruffles over the sheer black under the neckline.

I ended up having to cut the paper care label out in order to wear the shirt because it was extremely stiff and irritated my skin. I would have loved to see a fabric label instead of a paper one.

The top fit perfectly around the neck and shoulders. It fit okay around the bust, but did have some buckling on both sides. The body of the shirt was not as flattering as I had hoped it would be. The shirt bowed out on the front and the back, somewhat like a beach ball, causing my belly to appear twice as big as it really is. The shirt just puffed out rather than draped like it should. Maybe a knit fabric instead of a woven would have had enough weight to make the shirt lay flatter or maybe the pleats should have continued further down the front and back? I tried to smooth it down with my hand, but every time I moved, the fabric would puff back up again.

I also need to mention that this was eShakti's second attempt at customizing this shirt for me. The first attempt resulted in a shirt that hit about 4 inches down my thighs and puffed out in the middle just like the one pictured. With the added length, the first shirt looked like I was wearing a gourd. I explained the problem, but it seems like it could not be fixed. Having said that, I do want to commend eShakti for providing excellent customer service.

Ultimately, I think eShakti would be perfect for anyone who does not have special needs that are more complicated than changing the length on sleeves, inseams, or hems. If you want to order truly customized clothing online, then you need to be prepared for the possibility of one or more parts not fitting perfectly. This does not mean that the pieces you order will not fit, but you should be aware of the risk that comes with not having someone physically present to give you a fitting.

The selection of women's clothing by eShakti is not limited to tops and blouses, but extends to pants, skirts, dresses, sweaters, outerwear, accessories, and jewelry. For a limited time, all new U.S. customers who register on will receive a $15 gift certificate to go towards their first purchase.

Thank you to eShakti for sending me a sample custom tailored top free of charge to base this review upon.