The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, including the way we shop. While it can be convenient to have things delivered right to your doorstep, there are some drawbacks as well, especially when it comes to items or products that require fitting, like shoes or clothes.
I don’t have the typical Asian build, and even before COVID, it was difficult finding clothes in physical stores that would fit me right, let alone online. This wasn’t much of a problem, since I rarely ventured out during quarantine anyway. During Chinese New Year, however, it is customary to get new clothes (it’s symbolic more than anything) — which is why I tried to shopping on SHEIN for the first time.
Founded in 2008, SHEIN is a Chinese company headquartered in Nanjing. With its forward fashion and cheap prices, it has managed to attract a surprisingly large Western customer base of millennials and Gen Zs. It’s not uncommon to see famous Youtubers doing SHEIN ‘haul’ videos.
The website is responsive and intuitively designed, with neat tabs for the various categories, and further sub categories for different styles such as tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories, etc. Aside from Women, Men and Kids, there’s also a Curve + Plus section carrying plus-size clothing.
The pages are easy to navigate, and there are helpful filters on the left to help users look for specific items, such as according to sleeve length, pattern type, size, style and material. Clicking in to a particular item will also display the approximate measurements for each size, broken down into sections for bust, shoulder width, sleeve length, etc. If you’re looking for some photo samples on real people, scroll down to the comment section where users can post reviews and photos of themselves wearing the selected item.
After browsing around for what seemed like ages, I finally settled for a long-sleeved top (1XL) and a pair of shorts (0XL). The prices are fairly reasonable, but they’re not exactly the cheapest on the market. My orders came to about USD15.99, or about RM64.
The orders arrived quite quickly, within the week. They were nicely packed in resealable plastic bags.
If for some reason you’d like to return the items (maybe they don’t fit, or they’re damaged, or they’re not to your taste), you can return them within 30 days in new condition, and the company will process a refund.
The clothing runs big so you might want to order a size down from your usual. The shirt was quite comfy and warm, but it was too loose for me – I’ll probably wear this as pyjamas. The shorts were loose at the hips and tighter around the waist, but otherwise fit well.
So my first experience shopping online on SHEIN wasn’t too bad, but I wouldn’t say I was thrilled with the clothes, especially since I didn’t get to try them beforehand. RM64 isn’t expensive, but local brands like Padini can be much cheaper, and fit better as well. Still, they do have nice designs at relatively affordable prices, so it’s something you can consider when looking for your next outfit.
Have you purchased anything from SHEIN before? How do you find their clothes?