This is one of my most asked questions from readers and real-life friends. They see me wearing clothing from websites such as Chicwish, Shein, Romwe, Zaful and Rosegal – and want to know about ordering from these stores. They are often intimidated by the selection, worried about the long wait time or scared that they’ll order one thing and receive something else!
|Dress: c/o Chicwish / Bag: c/o Nine West / Earrings: c/o Le Chateau / Watch: c/o Bulova|
I have worked with companies that have sent me clothes – but have also ordered clothes myself – so I have experience not just as a blogger, but as an anonymous customer too! I’ve put together my top 5 tips from ordering from these clothing sites, so that you’ll be as happy with your clothes as I am!
1) Get your measuring tape out – this is the SINGLE most important tip for ordering from these websites. Although they’ve gotten better about matching conventional US clothing sizes – there is still a lot of variation – an “S’ can sometimes be oversized and other times it will be too tight! Measure your bust, waist and shoulders – and have this information handy when you place your order – I haven’t had a sizing mishap since starting this. It may seem like a pain but you only need to do this once! Don’t have a measuring tape? Look up the sizing info of a clothing item that you already own – and just use that as a guide!
2) What you see is NOT always what you get – while some clothing sites are more reputable (Chicwish is higher quality but also slightly pricier), others use stock photos of clothing, and the items you receive are made of inferior fabric. For example – there are a lot of ZARA dupes on these sites. Sometimes they are identical to the original (such as this jacket – I’ve tried on the ZARA version and it was the same) but other times they’re not as well-made. I ordered the Shein version of the green ZARA kimono, and its fabric is thinner and the print is not as vibrant.
3) Look for pictures of real people wearing the clothes – as mentioned above, sometimes the stock photos can be deceptive. The best way of seeing how the outfit actually looks is to find photos of customers wearing them. Shein has one of the best ways of showing this – under each listing you can find a Customer Reviews section with photos. I don’t think they selectively edit this because you will often find brutally honest feedback (this fit too tight in the shoulders/ the fabric is very thin/ the arms are too short etc). Even if you’re purchasing from another site (i.e. Rosegal or Romwe) you can look it up on Shein. (Don’t quote me on this, but they all seem to source their products from the same place.) Other places to find pics of the item are on bloggers and on the brand’s page on Instagram – you can scroll through their tagged photos for more pics.
4) Some items are AMAZING finds – a lot of my favourite outfits come from Chinese clothing sites. People ask me if the item is designer – and I get a little too excited sharing the amazing bargain I scored. I’ve been asked if this skirt is from Kate Spade or Ted Baker. This pink dress is such a great dupe for the Self-Portrait one. I ALWAYS take this white dress on holiday – it looks so fancy but is easy to wash-and-wear. This blush pink sweater was such a popular style last winter – and it still looks really good despite being laundered many times. I could go on – but I’ll just share one last fave – this cape blazer is just so chic – and looks as good as the day I received it.
5) Sometimes you get what you pay for – Expensive doesn’t guarantee good quality, and cheap doesn’t always equate to inferior products. But sometimes the lower price you pay has a hidden cost – most items from Shein/Romwe take 3 weeks to arrive (Chicwish usually takes 1.5 weeks). For some products, the workmanship and fabric is inferior (but I’ve found this to be true at H&M and Forever21 too). I’ve also blogged about how these shoes had a strong chemical odor – which makes you worry about what you’re putting on your body.
I wanted to include advice on how to differentiate between amazing finds and inferior products – but it was SO hard to narrow it down. I feel like I’ve developed a sixth sense from years of buying fast fashion – and now I know which fabrics and styles to avoid. But I’m always happy to share feedback on items I’ve ordered myself. With regards to returns – most places have a US mailing address that you can ship your order back to, but to be honest, I haven’t made any returns because the cost of shipping from Canada to the US seems to be more trouble than the refund I’d get. (UPDATE: I have actually made several returns to SHEIN now – and it was an easy process – I mailed the package to a US address and within several days I received a refund. Yes, I’ve had to pay return shipping myself, but it’s actually not too bad, and better than holding on to clothing I wouldn’t wear).
Hope you found this post helpful – and please let me know if there are any other topics you would like me to cover in a post – I’d love any suggestions!
DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post.