Customizable Dresses for Awkward Bodies Like Mine

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remember when i went to portland fashion week and had no idea about fashion? this is still true.

part of my struggle with fashion is that i’m kind of a giant. you may not realize this in my photos on the blog, but i’m actually 5’9, with the hubs being 6’4! if and when we have children, they too shall be giants. i know that’s not crazy tall because i have lady friends who are 6 feet tall and they have an even harder time but still, there are some legs and torsos happening over here.

here we are towering over some of our toastmaster leadership friends at the international convention in ohio two years ago!

IMG_8753other times things like this happen…ha! this was taken in 2009, look at my baby-face husband!

short ravery

anyways, it can be hard for me to find pants long enough or skirts and dresses that don’t fall awkwardly on my legs. i also have the wingspan of an eagle so long-sleeved things often expose my wrists and that is just indecent. oh, and michael phelps and i have similar shoulders.

here’s another little fact about my body…i’ve basically had ‘child-bearing hips’ since i was 14 and went through puberty (though i’m still waiting for my chest to develop) and a smaller waist. when i buy dresses, i usually have to get them tailored to either be let out in the hips or taken in around my middle. i know, first world problems.

however, i found a new to me clothing company through another blogger (thanks amanda!) and i present to you eShakti, a completely customizable clothing store with sizes from 0-36 so all women can find and wear cute things!

it was sort of like they read my mind because not more than 2 weeks after finding this and clicking around on their website, they invited me to try out a dress for myself!

what i love about them is that they have a TON of different unique patterns to choose from as well as more toned-down options of clothing too. even cooler, you can actually create a fully custom dress!

eshakti screenshotyou can even change the sleeves on your dress to none or a full sleeve. because i know nothing about clothes, this also educated me and i found i really like ‘capsleeve’ things and really dislike ‘bracelet length’ –back to indecent wrist exposure.

you definitely need your husband or partner or someone more than a stranger (unless it’s a tailor) to help you if you decide to do a custom measurement.

they have a really handy tool to use that explains quite clearly how to take an appropriate measurement

eshakti custom measure


my husband was more than pleased to help with the measurements for my dress and offered to do this daily if necessary. he’s a kind gentleman.

the only tricky thing is deciding what dress to settle on because they have more choices than the breakfast aisle at costco. i opted for a dress that i might not normally pick out my own to attempt to expand my fashion-sense and it just arrived! i have some other dresses queued up as potential christmas presents or when i just need a new dress because sometimes i can be girly. i looove it!

fashion the new wifestyle portland chelsea


when i put this on my husband said “you look like the ‘new girl’ girl!!!!’

after i corrected him and said “you mean, i look like the ‘new girl’ woman,” i couldn’t help but agree and then channel her for my attempt at fashion blog modeling.

fashion the new wifestyle chelsea avery eshakti

that’s right…my hand is in a POCKET, which i love because this is where i can store snacks and my phone.

i might be ghostly from the flash in the below photo but i had to include it because we raaaan so i could jump on a bench and take this photo with the portland cruise boat in the shot.

fashion the new wifestyle chelsea avery


i also shortened the length of this dress via the customization feature because who doesn’t want to show off their knees, right?! the dress fits great in all the areas but we must have measured slightly incorrectly in my shoulder width because it’s a bit tight up there (and i’m a sloucher so i may have been slouching when the hubs was measuring). measure standing up straight and do it a few times to make sure it’s correct. it’s still wearable, just a bit snug.

our pup sugar got to come along for the fashion shoot and i will let you know right now that this dress is dog friendly and approved. she is totally smiling for the camera too-look close!

fashion the new wifestyle portland dog


as we were walking and my husband was taking photos of me, a nice older couple visiting from new york offered to take a family shot for us! isn’t that the sweetest and nicest? we sure thought so.

the paranoid part of my brain thinks twice about handing an expensive camera over to strangers but i figured i could outrun them.

fashion the new wifestyle chelsea and ryan avery

eShakti is offering a special 10% discount to new wifestyle readers by entering “thenewwifestyle” AND you can even use this with their normal offer of $25 off your first order after you register with them! this offer is good until 11/7/14 so jump on it!


a few things about this special code of ‘thenewwifestyle’

  • 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.
  • this discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
  • not applicable on previous purchases.

most people usually have parts of their body that are awkward so it’s important to find clothing that is comfortable and you feel confident in. even though i talked about how my body is a little awkward compared to the normal ‘sizing’ things in clothes, i am grateful that it functions the way it’s supposed to. overall, i feel more comfortable in my skin than many other points in my life so yay for self-acceptance and love!

i am in colorado for a long weekend and while i love it, the weather needs to stop raining because i came here for the 300+ days of sunshine and currently it’s spitting from the sky. however, it’s still friday, i’m still in colorado and i get to spend time with my parents and soul friend so yay!


1) how tall are you?
2) do you find it hard to find clothes for your body type?
3) self-love time! what’s your favorite part of your physical body? (i like my legs and my teeth)

*i received this dress for free in exchange for reviewing it, but all opinions are my own!


  1. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    October 10, 2014 at 8:07 am

    whoa what a cool concept! And a dress with pockets? YUP sold. that’s the best!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…How to Quit Your Job Without Crying

    • chelsea

      October 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

      i think so too ashley!! anything with pockets and i’m also sold! i mean…access to snacks constantly?! done.

  2. Pebby Garner

    October 10, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I’m 5’3″ tall and full figured…it is extremely difficult for me to find clothing that I like and look good in. I definitely have body image issues big time! The best feature that I like about myself though is my eyes. I have blue eyes but people tell me that they change color depending on what I wear. And Chelsea, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!!

    • chelsea

      October 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

      i’ve been there too pebby and it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you can’t find clothes that fit right! your eyes sound magically and very cool that they change to compliment what you’re wearing! thanks for the compliment pebby and SO ARE YOU!

  3. Paula Howley

    October 10, 2014 at 9:13 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress. That is something I would have picked- simple but BOLD. Love it.
    I am between 5’4″ and 5’5″ but who knows, I may be entering shrinking territory soon
    Yes I do find it difficult to find clothes for my body- I want clothes that show how trim and sexy I am but as soon as I put them on, they shows my BODY instead!!! btw, I should mention I put out the cash to join a gym in sept and I have been going faithfully and I am seeing results and can’t wait for next spring when I can wear what ever I want.
    My hair and my boobs. hands down. people still comment on my hair on a daily basis. Not so much the boobs anymore. lol
    Paula Howley recently posted…Welcome to our 2014/15 Head Start Players!

    • chelsea

      October 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

      simple but BOLD is what i was going for, paula! we are so similar jeeez.

      congratulations on putting cash AND energy into going to the gym and love that you are seeing results on your body! working out totally helps my mental health even more.

      i also totally laughed out loud that people comment nowadays only comment on your hair and not so much your boobs. haaaaa. i’m totally going to compliment them next time i see you (which is sadly not with the hubs in 2 weeks 🙁 )

  4. Danielle (@TheLifestylePrj)

    October 10, 2014 at 9:15 am

    I recently got a dress from eShakti too and love how customizable everything is!! You made me laugh out loud by saying you have the wingspan of an eagle! I can totally feel you on that one… my sister and I share that trait which she so eloquently dubbed gorilla arms haha. “Bracelet length” is the worst for me too (I’m 5’8” and always have trouble with sleeve length).
    Danielle (@TheLifestylePrj) recently posted…Travel Route Through Central America Part II

    • chelsea

      October 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

      glad you’re loving eShakti too, danielle! the customization is amazing! haha i love gorilla arms and totally have that too 🙂 yeah i totally don’t understand ‘bracelet length’ at all but i suppose some people want that!

  5. Debra

    October 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Love the dress Chelsea! Now that I have shrunk down to 5’2″ and am basically the size of some elementary school children, I find it very
    difficult to find clothes that I am not swimming in. Believe me, this too is frustrating. Not sure I can find a favorite part of my physical self but all in all I have come to love and accept who I am.

    • chelsea

      October 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

      thanks debra-i’m really like it too! nooo don’t shrink anymore but hilarious comment of ‘basically the size of some elementary school children’ haaa. i bet it would be hard to be short too because i bet you also don’t want to wear children’s clothes! i am glad you have come to love and accept who you are debra-that makes me smile 🙂

  6. Rachel G

    October 10, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’m of average height, and you’d tower over me! 😛 I’m 5’5″ and Angel’s 5’6″, we’re perfect for each other! 😛 Actually, slightly in response to the comment above, I periodically find great deals in the children’s section. I think everyone can relate to the problem of finding clothes that fit–“Junior’s Section” clothes fit me, but when I want to shop in adult clothing stores, I’m out of luck because for the most part, they literally don’t make sizes small enough. Almost all of the dresses I wear to work are from eShakti. And they’re almost all too big because I like to fondly believe I am a certain size…or else that I need ‘growing room’…and maybe I don’t, but hey, loose clothes are really comfortable!
    Rachel G recently posted…A Rainy Vacation

    • chelsea

      October 13, 2014 at 11:22 am

      oh you guys are the perfect height together! i suppose there are some hip and fun things in the children’s section-i have a friend who can buy sports bras for like 1/3 the price in that section! score! that’s great that you have so many dresses from eShakti- i really like mine!

  7. Joe Shaw

    October 10, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    1) 5’11”

    2) No. “Buikt like a refrigerator” is a common body type in the men’s section. Although there was that one time I played all the female roles in a comedic version of Hamlet…It was darn near impossible to fin a dress for that one. Not too many women are built like refrigerators.

    3)I kinda like being bald. I never/always have a bad hair day!

    • chelsea

      October 13, 2014 at 11:24 am

      haha ‘built like a refrigerator” and the first thought that popped into my head was “they just don’t make ’em like they used to” joe! i can only imagine that it would be a bit tricky to find a dress for you but sounds like an excellent rendition of ‘hamlet!’

      good positive outlook on that baldness too!
      chelsea recently posted…How to Throw A Birthday Party for a Dog

  8. Christina

    October 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Cute post, Chelsea. And even cuter dress! (Zooey Deschanel is my spirit animal.) I love buying stuff online so I’ll definitely be heading over to eshakti (especially with those hella good discounts). Thanks for sharing!

    1) 5’1″
    2) Finding bottoms that fit is the WORST. I’m short but my butt, thighs, and tummy are…curvy. It’s incredibly frustrating to shop for bottoms because many retailers don’t sell short lengths. I’m usually too lazy to get things hemmed so I just roll my pants up, but with some items (like maxi skirts) I have no choice.
    3) Despite my derriere’s largeness it is one of my favorite physical attributes. I have to agree with you on teeth (no braces, hooray!).
    Christina recently posted…Fashion Throwback [Woman in a Romper]

    • chelsea

      October 13, 2014 at 11:27 am

      haaa she’s your spirit animal christina, love it. she is pretty dang adorable and smart! glad you’re going to check out eShakti- i think you will LOVE them because it’s very zooey 🙂

      ugh i hate shopping for bottoms and especially jeans too and for similar reasons except i usually have high waters! rooock it on that derriere “it’s all about that bass” popped into my head! no braces?! lucky lady! i didn’t have crazy teeth but i did have an overbite so braces stuck to my teeth for like 1.5 years!

  9. Stazi

    October 11, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Hullo! I can completely empathize with clothes not fitting! I’m 5’11” ish and before I got pregnant was 38-29-44. Shirts ride up all the time because my hips are way wider than my waist, and jeans manufacturers seem to think that if you are tall, you must also be wide. I also love cap sleeves (to show off my muscles haha) and too short sleeves are the worst! Three quarter I like, not high water version on sleeves.

    Clothes and shoe shopping is awful. I prefer clothing swaps with my friends to have fun and donate the unwanted stuff.

    Favorite body part is my waist (was my waist, thanks little velociraptor growing inside of me) and my collarbones!


    • chelsea

      October 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

      oh yeeeah you totally get it, stazi and those dang shirt rider-uppers! i hate that. yay for guns-show em off!
      it is TOTALLY the high water version on sleeves-i can get down with three quarters too though. fine line and opinions about sleeve length! glad i’m not alone! clothing swaps are a super smart idea!

      yay velociraptors growing inside you 🙂 ha that’s amazing!