It is a story as familiar as day. A story of a woman traveling to a more scenic and cultured country in search of purpose and clarity. If you don’t remember, you watched it on Eat, Pray, Love, courtesy of the lovely Julia Roberts.
For Houston-bred sisters Erin Breen and Katie McClure, this is their real-life story with only a slight difference. Instead of going to Indonesia, they went to India to find their inner self and purpose together. And instead of coming back with a hunk of a man (hello Javier Bardem), they came back with a fashion company.
Dresses found on Mirth
Mirth was the baby that was born out of the inspiration the sisters got from India’s sights, sounds, and fashion. The vision was clear after the trip- they wanted to start a business centered around the caftan, a loose-fitting, comfortable garment ideal for every occasion, from long flights to beach days and even errands.
The caftan was inspired by the traditional dhoti and lungi worn by Indian men and is now of the most beloved forms of maxi dresses in the world. It is light, soft, comfortable, and classically beautiful, thanks to the decorations on the front.
Though Mirth was started in 2014, the first official collection came out in the spring/summer of 2016 with six unique designs, all inspired by and sourced from India. The line was primarily handmade fabrics that tell a story about the artisans with every color, print, and texture. Each of those designs is an easy wear that you can throw on with a pair of sandals and go to the beach or dress up for dinner with some heels and a clutch.
As if creating ethical employment, education, and pride for the women artisans of India isn’t enough, Mirth donates a portion of each sale to different children’s charities in Jaipur, India. Since then, the two sisters have continued to go back and forth between Houston, Texas, and India to source fabric, check in with the artisans, and make new collaborations that are mutually beneficial to the people of India and Mirth as a company.
Though the company mainly focuses on maxi dresses, specifically caftans, they also stock beach cover-ups, pyjamas, and robes, tops, jackets, and bottoms all inspired by the Indian caftan. The bottoms include long flowy skirts, beach pants, and shorts. As their website says, Mirth creates modern resort wear using heritage textile methods. Prices on the site range from $160 for beach short outfits to $300 if you want a caftan dress.
Maxi Dresses with Pockets
Women caftans do not traditionally have pockets. They are simple garments that hug your body comfortably and the only decorative items are on the bust area if any. But since Mirth makes a modern version of the caftan, they have tried to incorporate what the modern woman values, starting with pockets.
Pockets add an elegant vibe to any dress and give waist/ hip structure to something as straight cut as a caftan. They also provide somewhere to put your hands for warmth and comfort, as well as your keys and lip gloss if you don’t have a purse.
Many of their caftan dresses have pockets, especially the straight-cut ones with no built-in belt. It was pleasantly nice to see that most caftan cover-ups on the site also have pockets because not everyone wants to head to the beach with a handbag.
That said, caftans have the allowance for you to add pockets if you want. All you have to do is open the seam, add some pockets, and sew around it. Nobody will know the pockets were not there originally.
How to Buy Mirth Caftans
Before we go into shipping, how do you order a caftan dress from Mirth? Well, the company has stock in several reputable boutiques countrywide, including goop, Brooke Feather, SOLEAMOUR, Saint Cloud, and Everything But Water. They also have physical shops in California, New York, and India.
If you are not in Texas or any of these other cities, you can order directly from the Mirth website after creating a customer account there. Look at the available dresses, especially the NEW category, and proceed to place your order. You will be directed to select measurements, color, payment method, and location.
Shipping and Returns
Once that is done, Mirth ships to all US states, and their shipping is absolutely free. The staff typically packs and ships the packages within 2 days after order placement if the dress is already at the store. However, the rest is up to the shipping company, so it could take anywhere between 4 days to 3 weeks. If you need the shipping time to be expedited, however, you will find a quotation at checkout. Mirth also ships internationally to Europe, Canada, Mexico, china, and japan. International orders ship through DHL Express, USPS, and UPS, and you will find the shipping rates at checkout.
According to the website, Mirth gladly accepts returns within 21 days after shipping. You’ll receive a refund to the payment method you used or get a chance to do an exchange. If you bought a dress using a gift card or store credit, the refund you will get will be in the form of store credit. All returned merchandise must be unworn, undamaged, unwashed, and have the tags intact.
To initiate a return, visit the Returns Center on the website, enter your email address or order number as well as your shipping address zip code, and start the return process. For exchanges, you will be guided on how to do it once you select exchange instead of return. Please include the packing slip when returning the items.
Mirth Customer Reviews
There are no Mirth reviews on sites like Trustpilot, Sitejabber or review.io. This is not surprising because many high-end stores, including Monkees MP aren’t reviewed there either. But if you want to know if you can trust Mirth as a brand and their clothes, there are plenty of reviews about them on other blogs.
These reviews mostly surround particular caftan dresses as the customers rave about how soft, beautiful, and high quality they are. Every Mirth piece on Etsy has received 5-star reviews, and everyone pointed out that their customer service is awesome. The fact that so many physical and online stores are carrying the brand and getting behind it is also a testament to how well Mirth caftans are doing.
Having tried at least two dresses from the site, we confidently give Mirth a 5-star on quality, fast delivery, and definitely their customer service.
The story behind how Mirth came to be, what they do, and the company’s impact on India’s artisan community is nothing short of amazing. That alone was a great reason to get behind those two amazing sisters, besides their extremely soft, comfortable, and beautiful dresses. Mirth as a website is also clean, easy to navigate, and minimalistic. The company only deals with one type of clothing, with minimal variations, so you know what you are getting when you go there, and there’s no confusion. If ever there was a legit online boutique, Mirth would be holding that plaque.
Mirth as a brand deals with modern resort wear from heritage textile methods. This includes maxi dresses with pockets, caftans with or without pockets, bikini sets and cover-ups as well as beach-worthy skirts, shorts, and pants. The entire brand features distinct fabric, print, and color because they are handmade and sourced from the same place.
By definition, maxi dresses are floor-length, body-hugging women dresses mostly worn in summer due to their light, free nature. Caftans fall under this category, except they came from India and have long, flowy sleeves. Caftans were originally worn by men in the Middle East before they got the body-hugging, decorated look that makes them feminine wear today.