Sunday, May 3, 2015

Dream Dress & Dinner Theater


Many pictures and much news!
I was so thrilled when I received a product review invitation from eShakti - the unique online women's apparel company that specializes in customized clothing sizes 0 to 36! This is only the second offer I have accepted, as a blogger, and this one was not to  be missed. Short of having your own talented dress maker, this is the best option to have. The whole process of selecting and tailoring the dress to my wishes was smooth, easy and as much fun as playing paper dolls when I was a child. 

I was offered an opportunity to pick an item from many great choices and to customize either the size or the style of it. I decided to go to the max. I picked a style which was one of the most elaborate and one which I have wanted to try for ages - a feminine 1950s dress. I picked 100% cotton fabric, in a pattern and colors which feel timeless, yet whimsical and very "me". I see many options to style it with navy blue, aqua or teal, white, coral, deep red, green... you name it!

You can probably imagine how eager I was to wear it, when I received my order exactly 2 weeks after I sent in my measurements. At eShakti, you may either send in your measurements as I did or pick a size they offer, anything from 0 to 36W - which is amazing for anyone, but especially plus size girls such as myself, because we simply do not have as many beautiful clothing choices as regular size women. I opted for custom sizing and simply filled in the form with my measurements via their web-site, which takes you through every measurement, from shoulder width to bust, waist etc., step-by-step, with very clear instructions, so even if you have never done it before, you don't need to worry that you won't get it right. 

The first outing for my dress was a little theater in Gig Harbor (alas, we did not drive this adorable old automobile), and I will write about the great experience we had that night - we tried dinner theater for the first time, and it was just lovely. I was a little worried about wearing this style of dress for the first time - what if I would feel weird, formal, uncomfortable wearing it in public? Nothing like that! It is one of the most comfortable, easy dresses to wear that I've ever had, and needless to say, I felt like a princess wearing it - I felt beautiful and received tons of compliments which you can probably tell from my smirk. I don't even remember when wearing a dress was that much fun! Perhaps in my childhood when Mama ironed a pretty dress and braided my hair with beautiful bows? In any case, THIS is how it should feel, guys! THIS is how much joy our clothes should bring us! Every single time, THIS much joy! I only now really get it...

Other than custom size, I also opted for custom style, and just like I told you earlier, I went to the max and changed every single detail that I had an opportunity to change. You can see the original dress HERE, and I will tell you what I was able to customize (you don't have to, if you like the dress the way it is).

I opted for short puffed sleeves - out of 7 (seven!) different options.
I also changed the neckline and chose Sweetheart - out of 13 (thirteen!) different options.

The dress has body darts for better shape, the long belt is removable - I can easily skip it or wear it as a scarf or hairband. 

Please look at these beautiful fabric covered buttons on the back (I remember doing such back detail when I was sewing my own clothes) - so charming! The buttons totally surprised me. They are purely decorative - to get in and out the dress, there is an invisible side zipper. So buttons just add charm.

I also customized the length - made it knee length for a more flattering silhouette for me. 

The scallop hem is adorable - the aqua blue detail is embroidered!
I also have to mention that the dress is fully lined, but very breathable because of the fabrics used.
The dress comes with pockets, but you have an option to remove them if you don't like to have pockets (I obviously do like them).

I will add that eShakti offers not only dresses, but also blouses, skirts, trousers... not only in the 1950s style, but in other fashion eras, including great contemporary options. Prices are very competitive (dresses, I would say, generally from $60 to $140 plus a little fee for customizing, if you opt for it) - for a moderate price  you receive a custom item. I fullheartedly recommend this unique company, and will definitely be back for more beautiful custom clothing in the future. 

You, my friends and readers, are offered 10% OFF
with a code "writerscloset", 
if you order from 05/04/2015 till 06/04/2015

Please note:
Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  
Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
Not applicable on previous purchases.

It tickled us (Justin and I) that eShakti is based in Seattle too (with operations in NY, California and India). The name of the company means "power of Internet" as "shakti" means "power" in Sanskrit (read more in the article here). Justin wanted me to add that there is a huge opportunity to offer custom clothing for a male audience as well, waiting to happen. We would like to pass on to the folks at eShakti that men too would be happy to order quality custom clothing, in a variety of fabrics (many styles at eShakti also come in different colors), for such affordable prices. This is a great example of how Internet is changing people's life in so many different aspects... power of Internet, indeed!

So, just as I mentioned before, we went to dinner theater - both for the first time. I had no idea what to expect. We've been to Paradise Theatre before, but never to dinner theater. What happens is, you are seated one hour and 30 minutes prior to the show. The tables were for 6 people, and Justin and I shared it with four wonderful ladies, oldest of which was in her 90s! I think she said she was born in 1922, in the area where we live now, so there was lots of stories of the place in its earlier stages. (Her family knew closely the community leader of our little neighborhood, Jerry Meeker, a legendary Indian (Native American) - you can read more about him and our twin points neighborhood here.) They were the best company we could wish for! Charming, bright, friendly and not invasive in any way- I wish I had such social skills as these ladies. One of them used to work for this theater, and her husband taught drama. I think she probably was well into her 80s. Oh, all that talk and fears of aging - it's nothing when you meet such active happy ladies like our dear neighbors that night! The food was tasty and plenty to bring home for the next day's lunch, and our dinner (including dessert, you could also order a drink - wine, beer, fountain drink, coffee, etc.) was over before the show started, so no chewing and drinking while actors were on the stage, I was a bit worried about it - it would make me very uncomfortable. After the dinner was finished, we simply turned our chairs towards the stage (we were close to it) and watched the show. It felt wonderful - less formal that way.

We watched The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the play that brought him recognition in 1944, and it was just wonderful - I love "serious" theater, I truly missed it. The actors were fantastic! The Paradise Theatre is in its 15th year, and is now looking into building a new home. They started a campaign to raise $1.2 million. What a task for a small village theater! Every contribution will be greatly appreciated, so if you would like to help this wonderful local theater to build their new home, please contact them directly:

And this is a little comedy Justin and I happened to shoot before going out. Apparently, he did not catch my intention to take a cute photo of me kissing him, and I totally forgot that the camera automatically takes three pictures at a time - therefore, there were many funny shots! Justin wore his new clothes from Cabela's - they added great colors to their stock, and their quality is always great, but he can't say enough about this new line of their cargo pants, some wonderful improvements there!

Dress - courtesy of eShakti
Cardi - Ashley Stewart
Shoes - Josef Seibel (can't get enough of them)
Wicker purse - old, via TJ MAXX
Ring - $5 boutique find, years ago

Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday!



  1. A perfect dress perfectly made for a perfect outing. You look ever so festive and artsy. Love the pics of you and Justin.

    1. And a perfect first comment! :) Thank you, Glenda! Lots of love xxx

  2. That fabric is so fun! I think my favourite detail on the dress is the sweetheart neckline, obviously those custom measurements paid off because the proportions are perfect.

  3. The company picked the perfect model and you did such a great job putting your own ideas together. The perfect,pretty sunner dress from that sweetheart neckline to the contrast hem. Sounds like the perfect evening together, starting with the sweet kisses.

    1. Thank you, Jill! I loved this line: "Perfect evening, starting with sweet kisses". :)

  4. Congrats on this cooperation. The dress is absolutely fabulous and you made a great outfit. This is another my favourite outfit of yours. Hehe, cute photos with Justin:D

    1. I think it will be my favorite dress to wear! Thanks, my dear! xxx

  5. I love this dress! and eShakti too. You've chosen beautifully and you look like a million $$$$. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, xo.

    1. Thanks so much, Patti! What a nice compliment! :)

  6. That dress is lovely, the pattern and colours are so vintage-y and the fit is perfect.
    Love those pictures of Justin and you larking around and the orange Beetle makes me miss ours!

  7. Gorgeous dress Natalia! You've chosen wisely, both with the sweetheart neckline, the sleeves and the length. The colours are just fabulous on you, and the embroidery detail on the hem and the fabric covered buttons are matching your dress sense. Perfect and fun :-) And how lucky that you and Justin suit the same colours - you're a beautiful couple!

  8. Gorgeous dress and it fits like a dream. No wonder the compliments were flying your way. I have never been to a dinner theatre before and I'm relieved to know that the meal is finished before the production begins. It's great to have such support of theatre in a small community. Your dinner partners couldn't have been better!
    And finally, the last set of photos with Justin are completely charming! You are a striking couple and your clothes work together well even if you didn't plan it. Sometimes those photo misses turn out the best, like in this case.

  9. Time is the longest distance between two spaces....every time I read that line, I feel I'm about to cry. One copy of The Glass Menagerie is at arm's length as I'm typing this. I'm glad you enjoyed the play. I do think Williams was a brilliant writer and I was really saddened by his biography (that I recently read as well) is clear how much he loved his sister and how guilty he had always felt because he wasn't able to prevent her lobotomy, didn't know of it until it was too late....Beautiful play, but really I love all of his plays, even Camino Real that some people describe as a bit me it makes perfect sense.

    Speaking of the book page I shared, it is from a novel by Portuguese writer Agualusa. The novel itself hasn't been translated to English yet, I've read it in Croatian translation. Most Slavic languages have many similar words and I'm often surprised by how alike they can be. There were some attempts to create a neoslavic, something like Esperanto, a constructed language but one that every speaker of at least one Slavic language could understand. Interesting idea, some linguists are actually working on it.

    Now, about the is simply divine! The pattern is gorgeous and I like both the length and the sweetheart neckline. I'm happy to hear that you had such a pleasant experience with this online store. Today maybe things are available over the internet and that is more often than not, a wonderful thing! The details on the dress, such as those buttons, are fantastic! You look stunning...clearly this dress was made for you! very feminine and beautiful look. You and Justin make a sweet couple and it is nice to hear that you had a lovely dinner...and that you met inspiring people. When it comes to amazing woman in their eighties, my greatest inspiration is my grandmother!

  10. Very nice dress which matches perfectly to neutra tonel accessories! Funny set of photos (the last four )
    Have a wonderful week...

  11. Ha ha! Adorable photos : )

    I LOVE the dress! Great choice!

    I've wanted to go out to one of those Murder Mystery Dinner Theatres. Haven't managed it yet though. We have been to other dinner theatres but I agree...if you are eating while it is playing it can be distracting.


  12. What a lovely choice you made, Natalia - I think that may be the Perfect Dress for you! I love the neckline, and how it echoes the scallops in the print at the hem. And it clearly fits you exactly, so both you and eShakti did well with those measurements.
    Dinner theatre sounds like fun, and I love the sweet photos of you and Justin. xxxx

  13. Oh Natalia! what a dress! isn't is beautiful? I love the way you picked all of the components you wanted, you created a stunning dress (I love the neckline, the buttoned back, pockets.....everything!) you are stunning and the dress is perfection, no wonder you received so many well deserved compliments! - I totally understand the plus size issues,for me, finding a dress that fits properly is so rare (it's one of the reasons why I started making my own!) the dinner theatre sounds wonderfully intimate and I LOVE the pics of you and Justin! x x x

  14. Your dress is simply perfect. That shop is amazing. I don't usually buy online dresses or skirts, because I'm not sure about the fitting, but this is a great option.

    Jasmine xx

  15. You and Justin are so adorable! I wrote so much on the previous post I am keeping this short. Oh Oh Oh I love that dress! Great choice for style, colours and pattern. xoxo

  16. absolutely gorgeous dress, I think that 50's style fits you very nicely!!, and love the print, and how you picked a different neckline, and sleeves, and all those little details that make a dress comfortable!!
    obviously, pockets are fab!
    And such a lovely idea to have your dinner and then turn your chair to watch the play!, love that kind of things!