Top Tips for Buying from Chinese Clothing Sites like Chicwish, Romwe and Shein

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!

Top Tips for ordering from Chicwish, Romwe and Shein
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!

Chicwish Pink Brocade Maxi Flare Dress

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.

Top Tips for ordering from Chicwish, Romwe and Shein

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.

Top Tips for ordering from Chicwish, Romwe and Shein

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.

Top Tips for ordering from Chicwish, Romwe and Shein

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.

Top Tips for ordering from Chicwish, Romwe and Shein

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.


  1. Honey_R.L.
    October 9, 2017 / 9:51 am

    I just placed one order on SheIn and I'm putting together another one on Gamiss. I realized that sizes vary A LOT and measuring is definitely your best friend here. Great tips! Also, I really like what you found on these sites, some great pieces (especially the white blazer)xo Honey – blog Royal Lifestyle – Twitter – Instagram

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      October 9, 2017 / 6:50 pm

      I've never heard of Gamiss before – will have to look it up. And yes – measuring is a pain but it makes such a difference!

  2. Gina Daily
    October 10, 2017 / 1:20 pm

    These are great tips! I did a similar post awhile back and #1 and #3 are on my list and my essentials as well! I do also think most of these (maybe not Chicwish- not sure on that) are all shipped from the same warehouse but for whatever reason have different storefronts. Even my orders from Romwe will say SheIn on the mailing label. Go figure! I was reluctant to try these brands at first but now I come around and found SO many great pieces at killer prices…I'm hooked! But I agree it takes some skill and practice in identifying the best pieces. Also, if you have any US readers…I don't find shipping takes quite as long for me as it does for you. It's not fast by any means but sounds like it varies quite a bit by location!Gina || On the Daily Express

    • Ella Pretty Blog
      October 12, 2017 / 2:14 am

      That is so strange how they're all linked yet have different website and prices! I found the cutest swimsuit from Romwe that I bought for my Greece trip. I'm still trying to master ordering clothes from Amazon – you've nailed it!

  3. Regine Karpel
    October 11, 2017 / 10:29 am


  4. beautygirl24
    October 17, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Thank you for these tips! I haven't tried any of these sites but out of all of them, I'm most drawn to Chicwish. It looks much higher quality than the others! I need to measure myself first of course…something I need to do anyway!

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