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Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update


Fashionable Reader, a reminder that this is not a sponsored post. I don't do sponsors. Which, in this case, turned out to be a good thing. Insert dramatic music here...

So, my eShakti chronicle of the ordering process is in a different blog. It went OK. I hemmed and hawed over hemlines and necklines. Some of the site's UI was annoying.

1. My first bit advice? It is better to know what you want and have it all worked out before ordering, because changing anything later is a pain.

My Selection


So, if you remember, I wanted dresses to match my two coming covers:

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience UpdateGail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update
November 2014, March 2015

I ordered these:

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience UpdateGail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update

I ordered the teal with short sleeves and a modest V neckline and the lilac with half sleeves and a wide scoop neckline. I also ordered this one on impulse, no modifications possible except a slightly shorter hem.

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update

For all the dresses I entered custom measurements and paid the $8 fee to have each tailored to my top heavy figure.

What happened next? The Good


At first, because I put a note in about my concerns over the neckline of the lilac I had a very good experience.

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update

Two days after I placed my order I received an email from eShakti  with a note and a picture telling me exactly how low that neckline of concern was.  How awesome is that? It turns out it's about 8.5 inches down from the sternal notch, which is way too low for me. I don't even own a bra with a neckline that low!

2. Second bit of advice: utilize the notation box for your order if you have any concerns. 

So What Happened? The Bad


I wrote back asking that they switch to the boatneck or the smaller scoop. I asked her opinion on which she thought would work better with the added sleeves. I guess it seemed like I was leaving it up to her to choose. We shall see what happens, for she did not write back again. (*note from the future, it came with the boatneck and is awesome!)

3. Be very clear with your wants and have a back up plan on customization. 

I then received an update on my delivery, which was now three weeks from my order date. So that was good to know, if longer than I wanted. If I order again, to be safe, I should leave at least a month before my event.

4. If you have a particular event in mind order at LEAST a month ahead of time to be on the safe side. Because I what happened to me next, I should say a month and a half if you have no other outfit back ups and need to re-order.

The Ugly


Then I got a notification that they were out of the fabric for the dress I needed for the soonest event, the teal.

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience UpdateGail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update

I had decided on the original dress because it zipped up the back and was so entirely customizable, also it looked to be the best color match to the cover. But, in the end, I'd really prefer it in a deeper jewel tone, so I'm thinking of seeing how this order goes, now, and waiting to determine if they get it in a new colors for the Fall.

It's a risk because they could have nothing to match at all, and I did have two back up options:

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update
Would look so cute over a corset

Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience Update
Has some stretch and may fit best



But since I have the time, I think I'd rather see the results of this first eShakti order. I made a note to revisit another order in the fall, a month and a half before the book tour for Waistcoats. That's assuming I like the dresses.

However, things continued to spiral.  

I got a notification of the refund but it was not for the full amount of the dress. I wasn't certain whether this had to do with the coupon (which was for the first order, not three dresses, and thus shouldn't be effected) or the custom tailoring. In either case, I wrote back, included the original receipt, stating that I should be refunded for the full amount. 

Silence.

Four days later (two business days) I call customer service.

Fuzzy hold music for five minutes and then I was forced to leave a message. This is not looking good, ladies. 

And Good Again


They called be back near the end of the day and all is well. It was my mistake entirely and they explained how the billing and return credit worked. It turns out that they had given me, at check out, even more of a discount than I originally thought. So hey, that's cool!

The next day they finally responded to my email with the same information. I'm now much happier with the company.

4. Sometimes they will apply special offers even if you don't know about it or ask.

Next up, Fashionable Reader, I will let you know when the two dress arrive how they look and fit the Rack. Yes, I will try to post pictures, although they may be selfies.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

Today, Fashionable Reader, I present to you outfits, vintage pieces and retro looks that match the cover of the fourth Parasol Protectorate Book, Heartless.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

 This cover has Alexia looking very girly in front of Woolsey Castle wearing a fetching purple combination the background mostly greys. Here are a few picks from my closet to go with this cover.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
A casual look pairing a plaid BCBG fishtail pencil skirt ($50) with a jersey cowl top (Marshalls $20) my favorite cream textured Via Spiga peep toe stilettos (Nordstrom Rack $50) a vintage green bag (Hubba Hubba $35) and a jellyfish bracelet, gift.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
A more formal option with a print blouse (Kohl's $20), floaty Donna Karen skirt (now gone), bow earrings (can't remember), Miz Mooz boots (Nordstrom Rack $75), cream hat (Bone Marche $15), a vintage vinyl purse (moon Zoom $20), white gloves ($20), and a silver chain rose necklace, gift.

A few little pieces to go with this cover.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 Retro bathing suit. Very flattering.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 Ombre tights. I really want some of these. 

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Prabal Gurung Spring 2012
Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1940s Dress Clips  Sotheby’s

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1939 La Sirène  Charles James  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1910s Earrings   1stdibs.com

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Octopus tentacle handkerchief, gift from a reader.

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
Flower arrangement from Mum's tea party.

And now . . .

Something for the characters to wear!

For Lord Akeldama...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1770s  The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For Alexia pre-Biffy...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1872-1876  Manchester City Galleries

For Alexia post-Biffy...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1878 Charles Fredrick Worth,  The Kyoto Costume Institute

A gift for Alexia from Conall...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1870s Bracelet  Sotheby’s

For Ivy after Timeless...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1883-1889  The Goldstein Museum of Design

A hat to go with it...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1909 Dinner Toque  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Some sparkles...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1880s Suite   Christie’s

And a fan...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1885-1895 Fan The Metropolitan Museum of Art

And for Evilyn...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1885  The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
 1900  Toque  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Something Prudence to wear...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1899  The Victoria & Albert Museum

And for underneath...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1890s  Augusta Auctions

Something for Lady Linette in the Finishing School series...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1840  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Something for Sophronia...

Book Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger
1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

Instead of the Dickens Fair, Fashionable Reader, I managed a quick drop by at Borderlands in San Francisco last weekend. They very kindly came to my rescue. Since I wouldn't actually be visiting Victorian London I elected to decline the planned steampunk cover look in favor of more sensible wear. I opted for purple, cream, and black.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

Purple and I have a long and checkered history. I used to hate it. I associated it with the leggings and oversized sweaters my mother wore in the 80s. But now I've come around. I even did my nails to match.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
My preference is for short, oval shellacs. 

It was raining in the City, so boots were a must. Here's the outfit breakdown:

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

I use an app called StyleBook to create my outfits. Someday we will talk more about that if you are interested, Fashionable Reader? Anyway, you can see from above that I use it to show all the possible combinations for a given outfit (for example I have three black skirts that work with this top, several different shoes depending on the weather, and different hats to make it more or less fancy).

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
From top down: Hat, Bon Marche Thrift Store, Sonoma, $7; jewelry set Dark Garden Unique Corsetry, Dickens Fair, $25; Madman signing pen, gift from a friend; shirt, Kohls (buttons sewn shut) $10; sweater Kohls, $15; belt Haight Street, $15; skirt Valencia St. thrift store, $7 (buttons added); boots, Miz Mooz, $100; gloves, vintage shop, $10.

That cream hat is quickly becoming one of my favorites. And how excited was I to finally trot out the Kohls sweater? Can you believe something so vintage came from the junior section of a department store, and goes over the Rack, and isn't wool? It reminded me of this set:

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
1955 Sweater Set Christian Dior The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Speaking of wool:

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

I picked this skirt up super cheep intending mainly to wear it with a corset of mine (hence adding buttons to match) but I find myself really gravitating towards it this winter.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
Dark Garden Custom Corset c. $1000

Perhaps it's that the shape is very hip right now yet still pleasingly 1940s. Perhaps it's that it seems to fit me really well. It is lined, except the waistband (a fault all to common in wool garments) so I do have to wear an undershirt (or a tucked in shirt) to protect my tummy from the dreaded wool rash but otherwise I love it. Some other ways I'm thinking about wearing it . . .

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

I also have an allergy to nickle earrings. Generally this means that I always buy danglings (rather than posts) so I can replace the hooks with silver or gold. Unfortunately, these ones are posts. They must be a pretty low alloy because it took several hours before my ears began to ache, but ache they did, so these earrings are out. (The clear nail polish trick doesn't work for me.) Sad, because I really liked the set.Now the hunt is on for new earring to match! Perhaps I will modify a pair of stemapunk earring to take the pearl drop part. Hummm. DIY plotting!

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

The shirt I chose is a bold purple rose print. If you, like me, are slow to accept purple print is a good entry point. Although, with the Rack, I might be better wearing a print on my bottom half. 

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
 Second image is Giovanna Battaglia

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
 1952 Mainbocher The Museum of the City of New York; 1960s Vintageous

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
Christina Hendricks in Vintage Carolina Herrera

 The sweater over the shirt is a heather knit.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
 Heather knit sweater; Trina Turk Belted Heather Tweed Dress

Purple, like most colors, has a wide range of shades from cool to warm, and from dark to light so it will suit any complexion. So saying "I don't look good in purple" isn't really a good excuse. It is perfectly fine to say "I don't like wearing purple." This is similar to not liking Brussels sprouts ~ own it baby! I feel it is perfectly appropriate to dislike colors illogically. I, for example, don't like yellow. Blech!

That said, I have gone out and found some temptingly beautiful purple pieces for your consideration.

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
Hermes leather bracelet at hermes.com

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
Giovanna Bataglia; H&M Dark Purple Coat

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
 1914-1915  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design; 1910s Evening Dress  Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arketektur, og Design

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoGail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
 1900-1905  The Goldstein Museum of Design; 1900 Pendant  1stdibs.com

And if those last two images don't convince you to try purple, nothing will.

And now, for the characters!

For Sophronia after Etiquette & Espionage

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
1860s  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For Ivy Hisselpenny in Soulless

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
1872–75 purple dress by poteidia

For Rue in Prudence
Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
1890s  Kerry Taylor Auctions

For Primrose in Prudence

Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San Francisco
1896 Ball Gown Jean-Philippe Worth

Retro Rack is also on facebook where I post additional images and fashion thoughts.
Gail Carriger's  eShakti Dresses Arrive, Gail's Report!Gail Carriegr and eShakti ~ Custom Dress Shopping Experience UpdateGail Carriegr Talks eShakti ~ Shopping, Ordering, & MeasuringGail Carriger in San Diego in Purple & Cream at ConDor 2014Then & Now ~ Midnight PurpleGail Carriger bids Happy Retirement, My PrettiesThen & Now ~ Lavender HandbagBook Outfits ~ Heartless Purple by Gail Carriger Gail Carriger Purple & Black In San FranciscoThen & Now ~ Purple Swirls

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