I was so excited to discover another Indian Fashion Retailer online especially since they operate in Australia which means I know my rights as a consumer. Albeit they may order their fashion from India, by operating their business in Australia they are governed by Australian laws such as the consumer law. If anyone has shopped in India you know just how inconsistent that can be!!! Therefore knowing you have rights as a consumer takes out some of the stress, as boy oh boy do I have some bad shopping stories about India.
There are the few retailers in India that are fantastic offering quality goods and provide exceptional service. However when shopping online those are very far and few apart, with many retailers offering cheap knock offs and next to nonexistent service. Once you have departed with your hard earned cash there is just no way to even get a refund for misleading advertising or faulty goods, even if it is blatantly obvious that the error was their's. This is because India is way behind when it comes to protecting consumers rights.
Which is why I was so excited to find an online retailer in Australia. Don't despair if you're not in Australia you can still shop with them as they offer worldwide shipping. You just won't have the same recourse as other consumers should the worst case scenario ever occur. But you will be relieved to know that FabricOz actually are very prompt with communication and should try to resolve any issues you may have.
Another reason I was excited is because they offer AfterPay which allows you to pay over four fortnightly installments rather than up front. As you probably already know shopping for Indian Fashion can be very costly. Especially if it is for a special occasion such as a wedding and you need to buy a different outfit for each ceremony. So it is nice to know that you can spend up to your AfterPay limit and pay for your purchase over four fortnightly installments. Here is what you can expect shopping with this Indian fashion online retailer.
What Is FabricOz?
According to their about us page on their website, FabricOz is an online shopping store that sells 100% authentic Indian and Pakistani stitched to order, custom fit and designer Salwar Kameez, Lehenga, Jewellery and Sari worldwide. Their mission is to provide an online shopping experience for Indian & Pakistani Dresses, Jewellery and Sarees. Their unique offer will bring you a made to order dress to your door in no time.
What Do FabricOz Offer?
FabricOz offer an array of women's Indian Fashion from different styles of Salwar Kameez such as Pakistani Suits or Punjabi Suits, Lehenga Choli, Saree's and Indian fashion jewellery. Unfortunately you cannot purchase fashion for men or children, it only appears to be for women. I was impressed with the array of styles they had available in both classic and modern fashion. Furthermore they offered not only standard sizes but also had custom measurements for all styles. Now for me this is important as I have always been bigger busted and in Indian Fashion am considered a plus size because of this. Most Indian Fashion retailers for example Utsav Fashion, also offer a great selection of modern and classic fashion though just not for plus size women, which is essentially women who are size 12-14 or more. It's as though they assume that once you have curves you suddenly have no sense of fashion.
I ended up purchasing a Pakistani Suit with lots of embroidery and a few embellishments as you will see in the photo below. It is difficult to see in the photo however the entire front is embroidered except for the sleeves. The back of the kurti has the same fabric as the sleeves. The fabric alone was $169.00 AUD and if you would like it stitched it costs a further $25.00 AUD. I decided to put the order on AfterPay therefore I only had to pay for one quarter of the total purchase up front and then each fortnight after had to pay the other three installments. The size I ordered was considered a size 3XL which measured as 44 inches around the bust. Now that just makes me feel like I'm a whale after sharing that! For the kurti length I selected 36 inches long which brought the length to around my knees. Then for the pant length again I selected 36 inches long as I have short legs and I like to have the pants sit at my ankle rather than touching the ground.
How Long Does It Take To Arrive?
FabricOz like most other Indian Fashion retailers import their fashion from India therefore they advise that shipping can take 2-3 weeks. I received my order within 2-3 weeks therefore you need to ensure you order early if you need it for a special occasion.
Now I did have a dilemma with receiving my parcel as unfortunately, despite providing the correct address, they incorrectly addressed the parcel. It was just so lucky that I followed this up with Australia Post immediately once I noticed the tracking details had been updated as delivered and I hadn't received anything as yet. This is another reason I am excited to find a retailer in Australia as Australia Post work with retailers to reimburse missing packages.
Australia Post were fantastic at resolving the issue for me and immediately investigated it the minute I complained to their resolutions team. The postman remembered thankfully that he had delivered the parcel to my neighbour a few doors down. I was able to later that evening drop by and ask if he had it and he thankfully hadn't opened it. Not everyone knows their neighbours so this still isn't good enough that FabricOz made such a little yet massive error.
I complained to FabricOz who didn't do much other than apologise and offer me free stitching on my next order. That essentially is $25 off in the event I decide to shop with them again. By Indian shopping standards that is fantastic but by Australian shopping standards I don't believe that is good enough. Especially when competition is so aggressive and every retailer is vying for your hard earned cash. Although I wasn't happy with the resolution I must say they were exceptionally prompt at responding to my complaint. I emailed them in the evening and I awoke to a response the next morning.
Did I Get What I Ordered?
The most critical moment is when you open the package with baited breathe hoping that you received what you ordered. Luckily for the most part I received exactly what I had ordered as you will see in the photo. The fabric, stitching and embroidery were all as advertised, though unfortunately the embellishments weren't. There were no latkans on the corners of the dupatta and the strings of beads that should have been on the bottom hem of the kurti turned out to be one small bead attached every 10cm across. The same beads were also used on the hems of the sleeves. Considering the amount of money paid you would expect a little more attention to detail with the entire product and not just the fabric and embroidery. The embellishments were the one point of difference that made me select this more expensive outfit over a less expensive outfit with more embroidery and no embellishments. In the end I essentially paid more to receive the same product.
One thing to note about shopping for Indian Fashion is that all retailers will use the same photo's usually from designer's which they usually try to replicate. The photos are not actually advertising their own fashion as you would expect from Australian fashion retailers. Now this makes it difficult to know what you will actually receive and if you should waste your time. The fabric and embellishments are also sold separately by different wholesalers. The fabric is replicated in accordance to specifications, such as the photos from designers, and packaged to include the dupatta, kurti and pants. The embellishments then need to be sourced from other wholesalers who specialise in beads. This is why researching Indian Fashion retailers is so important before committing to a purchase as you just don't know what to expect.
FabricOz had this to say about why the embellishments weren't as what was advertised or weren't at least very close to what was advertised:
With regards to the embellishments, what happens is that we do not receive these embellishments (hangings, tassels etc) as part of the product package which comes with fabric material only and no accessories. What we do is try to match the outfit as much as possible with the model photos so that there is least amount of mismatch between the finished product and model photos. Sometimes this is obviously not easy but we try as much as practically possible. This is also mentioned on our FAQ page under quality section questions. I know it is not always clear on the product page and not everyone gets to read FAQ but this is a limitation we have to deal in rare cases and unfortunately your order was one of those. We were not aware that you specifically liked those hangings otherwise we definitely would have made it match much more.
As a retailer I would expect that they provide as much attention to detail on every single product they sell. Surely it wouldn't be that difficult to stitch strings of beads along the hem even if it wasn't the same style of bead. That is why I was so disappointed as the advertised kurta didn't actually have difficult embellishments but just one hem with strings of beads hanging and four latkans on the duppatta. Although there was a lack of embellishments the outfit was stitched beautifully, I could not fault it.
How Did It Fit?
The style I had selected was a loose style of kurti therefore the fitting was incredibly spacious, just the way I like it at the moment. After giving birth I need to be able to hide my mummy tummy! The measurements of the pants were in proportion to the size of kurti I chose, which meant the waist was a little loose. Yet they were tight fitting around the calf muscles just ever so slightly. Which seemed strange as I would have thought that someone who is considered a size 3XL would not just be large at the top but also the legs. Though I am glad as I do actually have slimmer legs, so I just need to have the hems let out ever so slightly so that I don't rip the fabric.
Would I Recommend FabricOz?
Albeit my first shopping experience with FabricOz was rather dramatic I would give them another chance. Though if I again experienced any issues I don't think I would go back for a third time. I can only hope that the lack of attention to detail with regards to the postage was a once off. If you decide to shop with FabricOz and purchase an outfit with embellishments make sure to include comments. That was the advice from FabricOz so that they are aware to take more attention to detail with the embellishments. Again I don't think that is right as they should pay attention to detail on every single item they sell.
Overall I would still recommend FabricOz as they have a great selection of fashionable Indian attire for women, and offer custom measurements on all their fashion. Also, despite the embellishments not being as advertised, the rest of the outfit is exactly as pictured. Which is rare when shopping online for Indian attire since every retailer uses the same model photos.
You can find FabricOz at https://www.fabricoz.com.au/
Have you shopped with FabricOz before? What was your experience like? Be sure to leave your comment below in the comments field as I'd love to hear from you!
If you're shopping in India then be sure to read my article My Top 5 Shopping Apps To Use In India.