So I have a mistake to own up to today: this dress. Is it ugly? Oh no. It is a fun one – shoulder maxi dress with a bright red floral pattern from eShakti. Is it boring, you ask? Nope, it is actually my fave color combo, red and black. And it HAS POCKETS! Did eShakti screw up the order somehow? Nah, they were actually pretty neat (Well… actually just a bit.) The truth is that this dress, in spite of being amazing on paper, just does not fit me as a person. I shall explain those pompous words in a minute.
(the wind was playing no games. also peep my heels they looked like needles)
Who is eShakti, anyway? Well, they have actually been on my radar for a while; they are a fast fashion company, but what sets them apart is that they custom make every single item to the customer’s measurements at no extra cost, unless the customer opts to go with a regular size. (I copy/pasted/summarized this from their About page.)
While this may sound super novel to most, this is actually the reality for most people back in my home country Burkina Faso- as well as most other African countries, really. Buying ready-made clothing is generally way, way more expensive than getting a cool fabric, going to a good tailor and having them custom make you an outfit based on pictures, catalogs, Instagram or any other visual source. This may sound ludicrous for anyone in the Western world, but that’s the way things work.
I grew up getting things made to my exact measurements by my tailor (shout out to him, even after me living abroad for 12 years, he still has my measurements in his tailoring book and just adds a couple of inches here and there because you know- extra pounds). Getting clothes from boutiques was for major events. My country is landlocked, so importing anything from the West costs an arm, a leg and maybe an eye; making things from our local fabrics was way more affordable.
Based on all of this, upon hearing of eShakti, I was understandably enthralled by the concept and thought: “Yes Lord, finally a place where I do not need to pray for the top of a dress to be cut small, or for the hips to have stretch. Yasss- Baby Jesus in a manger, my pear shape is about to be looking fire.”
What I am wearing: Dress, ONE-SHOULDER FLORAL PRINT DUPIONI MAXI DRESS, Here. Heels, Steve Madden Daisie, Here. Belt, leather Obi Belt- similar here; earrings, here
I was right in theory. Buuuut I botched the execution. I can’t even blame anyone else, it was all me (Actually eShakti takes a little bit of the blame for those fucking torpedo darts sitting on my chest, but let’s cover that later).
Here is a lit of everything I did wrong:
- I am on a weight loss journey; I ordered the dress without thinking about the weight I would be by the time I got it. Hint: It was too large.
- I ordered a standard size… when the whole appeal was about getting a custom dress. Why? I have no fucking idea.
- ON TOP OF THAT, I ordered a Size 12, when I am a Size 8 in real life and maybe a 10 after a few tacos (like… why? I don’t even have an explanation for this)
- I did not look for enough real life pictures of the dress. It came with RIDICULOUS darts that put me in a seemingly constant state of arousal (or you know- make me look very cold). Like WTF.
- I did not research the fabric enough. It creases when I breathe.
Obviously, the dress arrived and I was swimming in it … but did not realize it until the day before my shoot. Classic. It was 2 whole sizes too large, and I faked it by cinching the heck our it with a belt and pinning the bodice a bit for the pictures.
I returned the dress featured here for a smaller one, but the new one- though it fits much better- still has those life-ruining torpedo darts (even though I specifically asked my eShakti contact to round them up a little, and even sent them pictures.) Look at their website picture for the dress below! The model has boobs, not missiles; why do I need to have two pointy mounds on my chest? The hell?
Anyway- the dress is gorgeous, but those darts bothers me enough to want to return it, in spite of it being actually cute AND in my favorite color combination. This is not a knock on the eShakti business model, and I would likely try them again; however, I would make sure to go the custom route with my own measurements vs. standard sizes, and I would find real life pictures of garments before buying.
In the meantime, torpedo boobs and I bid you adieu. See ya on Friday!
Look photographed by the one and only @joyofodu in Berkeley.