Fat Girl Fashion: an eShakti Review

eShakti cotton poplin shirtdress in crimson. Pearls by Fred Meyer, mary jane flats by Doc Marten.
eShakti cotton poplin shirtdress in crimson. Pearls by Fred Meyer, mary jane flats by Doc Marten.

I was nineteen years old when  realized I couldn’t shop for clothes at a normal store anymore. I was a 16/18 then, and I really just wanted a pair of pants. After four or five disastrous dressing rooms full of rejected pairs of pants, I realized it wasn’t going to happen. It was time to go to the other side.

On the other end of the mall were the outlands of clothes stores. Lane Bryant has been the most viable option for most women my size for two generations now. The other stores that opened to me were Torrid, Catherine’s, and a handful of others that nobody wants to name or try out. Better bloggers than I have taken on this problem, but here are the issues as I know them:

If you are fat

  • The clothes available to everyone else will not be available to you. It’s cute, it’s trendy, it’s in the front window, and it is IMPOSSIBLE for designers to make it in your size, because SCIENCE.
  • The clothes that are available in your size are ugly. They are shapeless, colorless, styleless, off-trend, asymmetrical, bizarrely patterned, or designed to create an optical illusion to lessen your overall mass.
  • These clothes will not be made of a natural fiber. They can only be made from ultra-stretchy unpronounceable material that has a shelf life of about six wears and washes before it falls apart.

These clothes that you don’t like, that don’t really fit, that don’t look good on you or feel good on you or even last very long will be expensive. 15-50% more expensive than they are for people just a little smaller than you. Happy birthday, fatty.

eShakti retro style poplin dress in crimson. Boots by Ros Hommerson "Sonah" with wide calf. Accessories by Claire's.
eShakti retro style poplin dress in crimson. Boots by Ros Hommerson “Sonah” with wide calf. Accessories by Claire’s.

I’ve been struggling with this for most of my life, and I know I’m not the only one. Fat fashion bloggers all over the world are asking the same question: why don’t they want our money? Even if you think being fat is a morally indefensible disgusting and offensive way of life, you sure you don’t want our money? ‘Cause it’s a lot of money. We’re waving it at you, we want you to take it. So we go through the boycotts and the complaints and the Abercrombie & Fitch fake conspiracy and the miraculous sellout of the fatkini and we ask again: You want this money? You know you do. Cough up the cute clothes, in every size.

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So one of the solutions that I’ve found has been a website called eShakti. This site sells really cute and classic dresses and blouses and skirts at a good price, with the very affordable option to customize to your measurements. I’m a hard fit. I’m outsize in every direction, but I do not favor a muumuu. I want a cute dress that actually fits me for less than $100. I’ve bought three from them so far, and they’re glorious.

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Minor drawbacks: they run large in the bust, so I corrected my measurement down two inches. Fixed it right up. They’re made of cotton poplin, a fabric that no woman over a size 12 will have any familiarity with. It wrinkles, it doesn’t give, it feels very different. I’m loving it, but it was an adjustment.

Major benefits: Customizable length, sleeves, necklines, and details. Be as modest or as immodest as you like, show off or cover up. Color options on plus size that aren’t black or gray. POCKETS in skirts and dresses; that is a revelation. Good-quality garments that come with extra buttons and a measuring tape. Also, eShakti is coupon crazy. The prices are already very good, but I haven’t paid full price yet. There are always sales and offers and incentives to buy. I have a feeling my closet is going to fill up with these, and I have no regrets.

eShakti Make a Beeline dress. Glasses by Oscar de la Renta, necklace from Icing, flats by Doc Martens.
eShakti Make a Beeline dress. Glasses by Oscar de la Renta, necklace from Icing, flats by Doc Martens.

Regular retailers may never catch on. I may never cross back into a brick-and-mortar store that sells decent looking clothes for someone like me, but I think that day has ended anyway. The better options are online now, and the one I recommend most these days is eShakti.com.

This is us fat girls. Full body, not shrinking in shame. hungry for FASHION.
This is us fat girls. Full body shot, not shrinking in shame. hungry for FASHION.

Note: I did not receive any promotional gifts or discounts for this blog post. I would absolutely not turn them down, however.

My straight dress size is a 22/24, but custom fits much better.

I live with a professional photographer, see his watermark on the pics for details. He’s amazing.

If you have any questions, ask away!

22 thoughts on “Fat Girl Fashion: an eShakti Review

  1. Absolutely beautiful, you can tell those dresses look tailored to you perfectly. So flattering and also doesn’t say “don’t look , I’m fat” says more ” look at alll-a-dis” 😉

  2. Thank you so much ! I loved reading this blog and I cannot agree with you more! I came across your blog because I thought eshakti was too good to be true. The dresses you are modeling here look amazing on you!

  3. Thanks for this review! I wish I had read it before I bought! The bust is MUCH too big. But since I make a lot of my own clothes I think I’ll be able to alter it myself, although it will take some work, ugh. But I do admit that I love the dress I got. =)

  4. Just ordered my first eShakti dress and THEN googled reviews. Out of order? Yep. But, I have to say the navy striped dress is KILLER on you. Rock on, gal!

  5. Cute girls and gorgeous women come in all sizes, and we want to wear beautiful clothes that accent our bodies where they should, regardless of size. You’re gorgeous and these dresses look amazing. Thanks for sharing this review. I’m going shopping at eShakti now…

  6. You look absolutely FABULOUS and have instilled so much confidence in me and my sudden 7-dress order from eshakti. I too have been completely frustrated with a true lack of options, and with that godawful stretch material that most retailers use; it clings to my chub in truly horrifying ways that make me essentially want to just say fuck it and join a nudist colony of 1.

    I, too, am anywhere from a size 22-28 depending on who’s making the dress and what fabric it’s forged of and if I look even half as rockin as you do…well….let’s just say I can’t WAIT until they arrive!

  7. Hi Meg! I have had the same problem with Eshakti with the too large bust area! I have only ordered from them twice, but both orders were way too big in the shoulder and bust area. I also ordered a skirt that made me look like a school marm due to being too big on the sides and length. I am paying a tailor to get everything altered, but it will cost me $100 bucks! Le sigh….In any case, I love your suggestion about reducing your bust measurement by a few inches. It’s kind of ridiculous that you have to enter your measurement wrong in order to get the right fit! Did you only reduce your bust measurement or your chest and under bust measurements as well? Thanks!

    1. Hey Miranda! I didn’t change my underbust, because that always seems just right. That sucks that you’re having to do so much alteration after the fact. I hope it works out!

  8. Wow! You look great in these dresses! I need a dress for an awards ceremony. Was looking for reviews and pictures of women in plus size eshakti dresses. I’m convinced. Thank you!

    1. Quite a bit! I usually drop the hemline a little, since I am high-waisted and long-legged. I change collar style a lot of the time, because I prefer rounded necklines. I don’t wear sleeveless often and I hate cap sleeves, so I change that much of the time. I try to change it up, but I have my preferences.

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