Tag Archives: eShakti

Monthly budget adventures (June 2017)

It’s time to see what my monthly clothing budget adventures were for this month! It is a motley crew this month, as you will see… with both highs and lows. First up, the highs!

The pretty:

I’ve been having my eye for awhile on Poshmark for this shirtdress from the 2013 Phillip Lim Target collection. When its price recently dropped at one seller’s page, I jumped on it. Thank goodness for Poshmark!

I still love this print so much, as I still frequently wear the peplum vest with this same print from Lim’s Target collection, as seen here. The print is both subtle and striking at the same time. “Second-look pretty” is how I describe it, as it takes a second, closer look to see all the details in the print.

Librarian for Life + Style | Phillip Lim Target dress, via Poshmark

  • Phillip Lim for Target floral shirtdress via Poshmark:  paid $19.80 (original Poshmark sale price, $22; original Target price, $39.99)

The practical:

I need to restock on foot inserts and sock liners, and I recently came across this company, Sheec, so I decided to give them a shot. (Also didn’t hurt that they were having a sitewide markdown at the time — perfect timing!)

Librarian for Life + Style | Sheec foot pads and inserts

If the sock liners on the right above look a little worn along the heel, it’s because I had already worn them with my patent leather brogues. I’ve also already worn the little foot pads on the left, which just slip on over your toes. That way, you can wear this one pair of foot pads with any shoes, rather than having to buy separate stick-on foot pads for multiple pairs of shoes. So clever!

The pair of liners in the middle, with the toe coverings and the clear straps, are meant to wear with slingback shoes. I have found this particular style of sock liner extremely useful, and I now need to restock after years of wearing out my old pairs of this same style of foot liner.

The powerful:

The afternoon after I watched the new Wonder Woman movie — which I loooooooved! — I bought this tee at our favorite local comic book store. It was, after all, Wonder Woman Day, and everything Wonder Woman was 20% off. (I also have a couple of outfits already in the hopper with this tee… I’ve been wearing it a LOT!)

Librarian for Life + Style | New Wonder Woman tee

  • Wonder woman shirt, DC Comics:  paid $16 (original price $20, 20% off sale)

The local:

I don’t need any more jewelry, but I just couldn’t resist these large — and light! — earrings made out of coconut shells. I came across them at a local neighborhood fair, and I’m always up for supporting local businesses and artists. The earrings were part of a set, so I got the entire set — and I even got a card with care instructions 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | New coconut shell necklace and earrings

The librarian:

I could NOT resist getting another card catalog tee when I saw that this design was still available online in my size. You’ve seen me wear a light blue version of this tee several times, most recently here. What’s odd is that the tee was listed as black online, as seen here (there are a few sizes left!) but I ended up with a dark grey heather tee. I don’t really mind, as it’s the design I love, but it was surprising.

Librarian for Life + Style | New library card catalog tee

  • Library card catalog tee via TopatoCo (there are a few sizes left!):  paid $21

The bright:

I went into detail in yesterday’s post about a recent pedicure featuring this new yellow shade of nail polish I recently picked up at Walgreens. I also couldn’t resist adding a nail art pen, just to try it out.

Librarian for Life + Style | Sally Hansen nail products, June 2017

Budget recap:

Total spent for this month: $109.68
Total savings for this month:  $49.39

Total spent for this year:  $654.15
Total savings for this year:  $475.13

Still spending more than I want to… I will rein it in next month, for sure!

What didn’t work out:

And now for the lows…

I chose a plaid shirt from the same Poshmark seller that I got my Target shirtdress from, in order to benefit from a bundle discount and savings on shipping. I’m usually a medium in tops. Alas, this cute buffalo plaid shirt did NOT fit. As in, I couldn’t even get it up my upper arms. I didn’t realize that Abercrombie & Fitch sizes ran so small. NOW I KNOW. Boo. 😦 But I will donate this, so someone else can enjoy it.

Librarian for Life + Style | Plaid shirt via Poshmark

I mentioned earlier in the month in my post about my new eShakti skirt that my first attempt failed at choosing a new, complimentary item from eShakti. Here are the details:

I initially chose a lovely black and white “mixed media” dress, with pops of pink in its “Eye of London” ferris wheel print. Sam and I dubbed it my “Audrey Hepburn dress.” The point of choosing a complimentary item from eShakti is to try out its custom-sizing options, so I sent in a bevy of extra measurements they’ve added to their sizing options, plus I tweaked the design of the top half of the dress to be a regular scoop neck instead of the wide ballet neck on the original design.

Librarian for Life + Style | Eshakti dress fit collage

The dress alllllllmost fit. In a first for me, the waistline of this eShakti dress was TOO SHORT. (When I’ve had other custom-sizing issues with eShakti dresses, as seen here, here, herehere, and here, it’s been because the waist has been too long. And if this dress had been too long in the waist, I could have easily fixed that myself considering the design of this particular dress. Oh, the irony.) Alas, it was over an inch too short in the waistline, which made this dress look and feel like a baby-doll dress. And that is NOT the style of the dress, as you can see in the model photo above. I did not feel good in the dress I received; rather, I felt awkward. Whenever I raised my arms to do anything, the waistline practically rose to my armpits. Just… no.

And that brings me to the communications fail. I immediately sent back the dress, with the enclosed returns label, and I also immediately emailed my eShakti contact with a heads-up plus pics of the measurements I had sent in versus measurements of the dress I received (hence, the pic above of me and my measuring tape). It took more than 2 weeks and multiple follow-up emails from me to even get a response. And that initial, delayed response read basically like a form email with instructions on how to send back the dress. Which I had already done. And explained about. In multiple emails. Over multiple weeks. 😦 I had been hoping to get the dress I had originally requested remade according to the actual measurements I had sent in, but that wasn’t an option. I did get to choose another item — and I ended up with a lovely skirt, which fit, thank goodness — but I was extremely disappointed in what felt like a lack of care shown with both the original dress and with the follow-up communications. And that’s honestly why I chose a flared skirt as the runner-up option, because I figured there was a lesser chance of messing up my measurements with a simpler design. (I was right.)

I have had a lot of success and joy in choosing and wearing eShakti items, and I’ve written about them a LOT on my blog over the years. I’ve also linked to many eShakti items a lot over the years, and I don’t get any affiliate income from those links. I have received multiple complimentary items from eShakti, and I have purchased many more items myself. I was a regular and loyal customer, and I was open about that on this blog. I still have, and wear, and will continue to wear, every one of my items from eShakti, which speaks to the overall quality of its clothing. And I still believe they’re a great combination of price and quality, with wonderful designs and beautiful prints.

But I now have to admit, after multiple disappointments with multiple items (which I have documented in detail over the years on this blog), I find that I no longer trust eShakti’s custom-sizing for myself. I sincerely hope that eShakti works for others who are reading this, but I have to admit to myself that eShakti no longer works for me. And I feel quite sad about that, actually, but I have to be honest with myself — and with you, readers.

Giveaways and gifts:

Which brings me to… a close-up of the complimentary skirt I DID end up getting from eShakti this month.

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

And to end on a happier note, I recently won a $25 JustFashionNow giveaway through the A Cup of Tea With Kelsey blog. Thanks, Kelsey, for hosting the giveaway!

Because I’ve been wary lately of sizing and online clothing sites (see above), I chose a clothing item that didn’t require any measurements at all! I chose a cheery-looking blanket scarf. One side has a deep blue background with red and white geometric shapes; the other side has a lighter blue background. As it tends to get chilly here at night in the PNW, even in the summer, I think this will be a versatile piece in multiple seasons! And y’all know how I love me some red, white, and blue! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | New blanket scarf, c/o Just Fashion Now giveaway

And last but not least, a good friend gifted me this super-cute striped Fossil tote bag that she had picked up awhile ago on clearance at DSW. She had actually gotten herself TWO Fossil tote bags but ended up only using one of them. This is a great tote bag, the perfect size for a work bag — and a great tote bag for the rainy PNW! The fabric is waxed, and it has a top zipper, so it’s super durable and practical. Also, stripes in jewel tones? IT’S SO ME. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Fossil tote bag closeup


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.

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New eShakti skirt | Teal + brown + white

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by eShakti to select a new clothing item from their site. I have worked with eShakti quite a few times over the years, as seen here and here, for starters. I ultimately selected a floaty midi skirt with a palm leaf-print design.

For the sake of full disclosure, I must point out that that this was my second selection for an eShakti item this spring; I will detail my failed first attempt in my monthly budget adventures post later this month. This post is also not sponsored by eShakti; although I was contacted by them to select a complimentary clothing item of my own choosing, there was no obligation to provide a review. I am doing so because I want to share my experience and photos with my readers.

I went the custom sizing route for the skirt, as you can see by the label and pics below. I’m very glad to report the skirt does fit. (Whew.)

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Fair warning, this is a photo-heavy post!

I like the wide and high-waist design of the skirt, and this design looks a bit retro to me. It is floaty and flippy, and I lost no time in twirling in my new skirt! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

The skirt is also lined, thank goodness, as the fabric is quite thin and lightweight. The fabric for both the skirt and lining is polyester crepe, which means I did have to use my static guard spray on the skirt, to make sure it didn’t cling throughout the day. (You can also read about my love of the static spray here in this “Everyday faves” post.)

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

As the skirt design feels both fresh and retro to me, I stuck with simple pieces to pair with it. I wanted the vibe to be soft and simple. Brown and turquoise remain one of my favorite color combinations, so I layered my brown cardigan over a simple white tank top. My tortoiseshell peep-toe wedges tied into the brown color tones, as did my vintage sunglasses.

My white tank top provided a nice backdrop for my gold bar pendant necklace. And my finishing accessories were my thin gold-and-pearl hoop earrings and my turquoise stud earrings. Ultimately, I felt pretty and feminine and comfortable in my new skirt and outfit today!

Librarian for Life + Style | Gold jewelry closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Librarian for Life + Style | New eShakti skirt + brown cardigan

Weather:  Sunny and warm

Where:  Work day that included meetings

What:

  • Skirt:  c/o eShakti, new
  • Cardigan:  Gap, old
  • Tank top:  Target?, old
  • Wedges:  Payless, old
  • Gold necklace:  Lulu’s, c/o giveaway, old

Shop my outfit:

exact skirt  //  very similar v-neck brown cardigan  //  very similar white tank top  //  similar peep-toe pumps  //  very similar gold bar pendant necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Turquoise midi skirt outfit collage

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My love of pockets + eShakti clothing

A few weeks after I started work at my new college library, a co-worker commented, “I love that you have so many dresses and skirts with pockets. Where do you find them all???”

My answer was immediate and simple:  “eShakti.” 😀

I have mentioned before on this blog about how one of the best things about clothing from eShakti is the pockets. Pockets are the default option on eShakti items; you usually have to opt out of having pockets when you order something. I frequently get compliments on my eShakti clothing items, and whenever I mention, “And it has pockets!,” the reaction from women is always so positive. We all want pockets!

It was fun, therefore, to look back through my archives and posts featuring the various items of clothing from eShakti I have collected over the years. The goal was to find pics of me highlighting the pockets in those eShakti items. Below is a collage of the results!

Librarian for Life + Style | Collage of eShakti items with pockets

Links to the original posts, left to right and top to bottom:

Top row:  Black plaid sheath dress  //  Grey knit dress  //  Floral print dress
Middle row:  Black cotton dress  //  Black knit full skirt  //  Black knit dress
Bottom row:  White-and-silver plaid shirtdress  //  Purple dress with sash (my first eShakti item, from 2012!) //  Red knit dress

So many pockets, so little time.. 😉

Do you love pockets in your dresses and skirts, too? Do you have any go-to stores or brands for dresses and skirts with pockets? Please leave a comment and share!


Note:  This post is NOT sponsored by eShakti. I am sharing my love of pockets and eShakti clothing, and I am also using this post to enter the “Something Happened” eShakti challenge, which is open through January 27th.


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Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

I mentioned in my monthly budget post this past week that I recently received a free “trial fit” dress from eShakti, so here are the full-length photos and personal thoughts about the dress and fit. OF COURSE, I wore the dress the first chance I got!

I wore the dress out on a weekend outing along 6th Avenue in Tacoma, including a stroll around Wright Park. It was a beautiful sunny summer afternoon to visit the beautiful 27-acre park and arboretum.

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

Details:

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

Librarian for Life + Style | Wright Park in Tacoma, WA

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

The setting

First, a little bit of history about the park and setting… The land for Wright Park was donated to the city for the sole purpose as a public park, and it is filled with artwork, including two lion statues gracing the entrance, as seen below. The lions remind me of the lions in front of the New York Public Library; the Wright Park lions are from Brussels. You can read more about the park here on its Tacoma Metro Parks page and here on the “History of Wright Park” page.

Librarian for Life + Style | Posing by the lions at Wright Park in Tacoma, WA

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

The dress

So onto my personal thoughts and review of my new eShakti dress, which I waited to do until after I wore it out in real life. First off, since it is a “trial fit” dress — it was made exactly to the measurements I sent in — the fit of the dress lives up to those expectations. It fits PERFECTLY, including around my shoulders and waistline, which had always been problem areas with eShakti dresses for me before. The sheath dress design also fits around my hips without being too snug, and it’s long enough for me to be comfortable in, hitting just above my knees.

The dress is made of cotton poplin, and I get why the dress is cotton poplin, as it’s most likely the most economical choice for a free garment. Poplin also wrinkles very easily, as you can see in these photos, and it rides up in front when I walk. (All of these are reasons I prefer cotton knit dresses over cotton poplin.)

It is a simple design, a classic sheath dress with short sleeves. I like that the sleeves aren’t cap sleeves, but proper short sleeves. The band of green at the waist and contrast stitching of white and yellow, as you can see below, warm up the black background of the dress, which is why I paired the dress with my cognac wedges and topaz drop earrings. And it is the contrast stitching that is the most interesting, and most prominent, feature of the overall design. No pockets — none would fit under this dress! — but there are bra strap holders, a practical detail I always appreciate.

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti, closeup

However, it is strange to me, being a woman, that the stitching on the top front half of the dress also serves to, well, highlight and draw attention to the bust. I mean, once I noticed that, I couldn’t see anything else. Right?!! It’s so distracting to me that I am seriously considering blacking in the bustline stitching on the front of the dress. And it doesn’t need that extra stitching around the bust — the white stitching around the v-neck and sleeves has enough visual interest.

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

Librarian for Life + Style | Trying out a trial fit dress from eShakti

Bottom line? It is a interesting dress and variation of an LBD that does fit me well. Thank you, eShakti, for asking me to participate in trying out a “trial fit” dress.

So what do you think? Is the contrast stitching distracting to you, or am I overthinking it? Have you ever had a dress customized from eShakti? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂


Full disclosure:  I received a dress made and customized specially for me by eShakti, but with no obligations or expectations to review the dress on my blog. I have chosen to provide a personal review for my readers, in order to be thorough and transparent about my clothing experiences.


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Monthly budget adventures (July 2016) | Month 3 of the ‘Let’s Be Shop Free for 3’ challenge

I have completed the third and final month of the “Let’s Be Shop Free for 3” challenge and Facebook group. The “3” in this instance stood for three months, so it was a challenge to be shop free (regarding clothes shopping) from May through July. The group and challenge was organized by Carrie @ A Lovely Little Wardrobe.

Let's Be Shop Free for 3 header

How did I do in the challenge during its final month of July? Since I was moving into our new home in Tacoma, Washington, during July — and moving is quite expensive — I didn’t have time (nor the funds) to shop at all for clothes during July. (When we did go shopping, it was for things like paper towel holders for the kitchen!) Therefore, this no-clothes-shopping challenge was very easy for me!

eShakti trial fit dress

But I did receive one new item for my closet in July, and that was a “trial fit” dress made for me courtesy of eShakti. Back in April, I was contacted by an eShakti representative who offered me a custom-made garment, free of cost, “in reference to your feedback mentioning the problems you have faced with your orders with us” and to “ensure that we would give you clothes that fit well.” What they’re referring to are my posts this past winter outlining the communication and fit issues I experienced with my plaid shirtdress, here and here.

To be fair, although I’ve had several issues with fit in the past with eShakti clothing, one thing I’ve never been disappointed in is the quality — particularly for the price points. If you’re a longtime reader (thank you!), you know that I have collected several eShakti items in my closet over the years and wear them regularly. I was surprised at eShakti’s offer and readily agreed to the “trial fit” dress, sending in my measurements and sample pics. I am happy to report that they have added several measurement categories, including shoulder to waist. (I first advocated for this back in this post from 2014.)

I had no idea what they were going to send me, so it was a fun experience opening up the package when it arrived at our new home in Tacoma. Behold my new “trial fit” dress from eShakti:

Librarian for Life + Style | Trial fit dress from eShakti

Librarian for Life + Style | Trial fit dress from eShakti

Later this week, I will have more outfit pics of me wearing the dress and a more thorough review, so stay tuned! UPDATE:  Click here for my review of this eShakti dress.

Budget Recap:

Total spent for this month: $0
Total savings for this month:  $0

Total spent for this year:  $86.45
Total savings for this year:  $389

Note:  This marks the THIRD time this year that I’ve spent $0 on my monthly clothing budget! 😀 How are you doing on monthly clothing shopping? Please leave a comment and share.


Linking up with Fran’s Budgeting Bloggers.