Have you ever wondered if Shein is legit? Looking for Shein reviews? Today I’m talking about my eight years of experience shopping for Shein clothing and giving you all the tips on how to get things that are awesome. This post is not sponsored, but it may contain affiliate links. Don’t forget to SNAG 5 SECRETS FOR FINDING AMAZING THINGS ON SHEIN by dropping your email below.
8 Years of Shein reviews
I have been ordering things off of Shein.com for over 8 years now. This China-based website has been taking the fashion world by storm and continues to grow in popularity. Overall, the items on the site are hit or miss. But, over the years, there are a few tips I’ve found that have made my last two years of purchases almost always great.
There was the first oversized knit cardigan I ordered (and styled the cardigan in this old post) that was incredible quality, especially given the price, and is still going strong in my closet. And then there was this dress, which looked nothing like the pictures and just didn’t fit well at all.
And then there’s the top floral top I’m wearing in today’s post. I actually borrowed from my sister’s closet and was so surprised to find out she’d ordered it off of Shein! It also comes in a cute powder blue was only $12 right and is something I’d expect to pick up at Loft or maybe J.Crew Factory. Before we get into this honest Shein review, let’s take a look at the history of the brand.
History of Shein
Shein (formerly SheInside) was founded in October 2008 in Nanjung, China, with the belief that everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion. Shein’s mission is to bring customers on-trend styles at affordable price points.
In 2012 Chris Xu, an American-born graduate of Washington University, gave up his wedding dress business to buy the domain Sheinside.com. He rebranded to Shein in 2015 with his eye on overseas markets. Today, the fast-fashion brand has websites for customers based in the United States, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the Middle East, with numerous globally positioned warehouses. If you’re shopping in the US you’ll see different product images and have a different user experience than a customer shopping in Japan.
If you’re interested in finance, you might like to know that in 2020 Shein completed a round of Series E financing which gave Shein a valuation over $15 billion. Revenues are not disclosed but locally estimated to be over $10 billion annually. The U.S. is now Shein’s largest market and it was the most talked about brand on Tik Tok in 2020.
Is Shein Legit?
I know, a darling blouse for $12 when an almost identical one sells at J.Crew for $70 seems too good to be true. It is and it isn’t.
When it comes to Shein, you are paying for low quality, fast fashion. This isn’t always a bad thing.
Shein takes popular, trendy, higher-end items and makes a lower quality version of them for a much lower price point.
I love Shein for pieces that don’t have to be workhorses in my closet (cute summer blouses I may or may not want to wear again next summer, midi skirts I only wear every once in awhile to church, etc). For a dress you want to wear twice a week, all summer, for the next four years, ordering from Shein isn’t going to be your best bet. But for a top to wear to brunch with your girlfriends? It could be perfect.
Is Shein Safe?
Yes, Shein is a reputable Chinese fast fashion manufacturer that ships to over 220 countries around the world. It did have an information security breach back in 2018 but Shein does not sell your information. I have been ordering from Shein for 8+ years with no problems.
If you are worried about your credit card, you can use third party apps for payment. I often use something like Paypal when shopping on new sites.
When I originally started ordering from Shein years ago, things took almost a month to arrive because each order shipped directly from China. Now, they have a distribution plant here in the United States so many things ship MUCH faster.
Shein has a main warehouse in China and Hong Kong and then many fulfillment centers around the world. In the US, the main fulfillment center is LA.
How long does Shein take to ship?
Once you place your order there are usually 2-4 days of processing time before your order is ready to ship.
How long does Shein take to deliver?
If you are using standard shipping, most things take about 10 days to arrive in the US. I’ve had some items arrive in as little as 5 days (probably something that was in-stock in the US fulfillment center). You can use Shein’s shipping estimator to see how long it will take. They also offer tracking so you can see where your package is. The tracking info doesn’t update until the order has been processed and left the Chinese warehouse.
On average, things arrive on my doorstep within a week or two.
If you’re ordering from Shein for an important event, definitely give yourself plenty of time for the item to arrive.
They do now offer free shipping on orders over $49 and free returns. Sometimes I see them running promotions for free shipping with no minimums as well.
Where does Shein ship from?
Shein ships from its main Chinese warehouse or one of its many fulfillment centers positioned globally. This is why things can take up to two weeks to arrive or be on your doorstep within 5 days.
Shein Sizing Guide
Shein sizing has gotten more consistent over the years. When I first started ordering from Shein I found their items tended to run small and short compared to standard US sizing. Now, though, you are usually safe ordering your standard US size.
When it comes to sizing, the best thing you can do is read the reviews and pay attention to the specific measurements. A lot of the clothing pieces have waist, bust, and length measurements and I recommend taking your own measurements before ordering.
While it’s getting better, the sizing isn’t consistent across items. For example, if you were a small in one blouse, you aren’t necessarily a small in another blouse. This is where it is important to pay attention to the sizing guides and read the reviews.
Tips for Shopping on Shein
Okay, so Shein is a legit site. But how can you find really great items? With tens of thousands of items to choose from across so many categories, how do you find something you’ll love?
1. Read the Shein Reviews:
The BEST thing you can do to improve your personal experience with Shein is to read the reviews of items before you purchase. It is helpful not only to see if it has positive reviews, but to check the review’s comments about sizing, quality, material, and color.
You can find out if something is sheer, running small, or oversized from the reviews. It is also helpful to look at the images uploaded and compare those to the product pictures. Sometimes colors are a little off from product images to the customer reviews are a must-check.
I’d caution against ordering something without a review – you can always try it but you won’t be sure what you’re getting until it arrives.
2. Go for trendy clothing pieces (not classics)
Shein is a great place to dip your toe into trends. Thinking about peplum but not wanting to spend $80 for a top at Nordstrom? Just grab a top or two on Shein. Love the pom pom details on everything right now but know you probably won’t want to be wearing it next summer? Grab something from Shein.
The pieces from Shein are not designed to hold up to rough laundering. So, if you’re looking for the basic tee you’re going to wear with all your jeans this summer and then under cardigans all winter, invest in something of higher quality (like these two linked below):
- my absolute favorite thicker tee
- this one is only $15 but 3 times better than what I’ve ever gotten from Shein and is my favorite for a silkier modal tee (their pure silk tees are also phenomenal)
That said, there is a HUGE selection of fun, on-trend pieces to choose from in one place at Shein for a fraction of the price you’d find them somewhere else.
3. Stick with the Shein sizing measurements
Even if you’re usually an XS and you think the size guide must be wrong because on this top it’s telling you to order a L, believe the sizing guide. And remember, the sizes aren’t consistent across the site so keep your measuring tape handy and check the measurements for each item you add to your cart. It’s also helpful to check Shein’s reviews from customers about sizing.
4. Be ready to steam + hang dry:
Out of the package pieces are quite wrinkled and unimpressive but they clean up well. I typically hang dry delicate clothing and Shein pieces are no exception. Be sure to have a steamer on hand (this is my favorite one from Amazon) to freshen up your pieces.
I have favorite pieces from Shein that I have worn regularly for years at this point. If you aren’t super hard on your clothes and take care of them, these pieces can last you a long time (I finally replaced a trench coat I got from Shein after almost a decade!).
5 + 6: Grab the two best bonus tips :
Drop your email below and I’ll send you my two best bonus tips (and I link the $30 sweater set the CEO of J.Jill complimented me on at a store opening back in Boston thinking it was cashmere).
Best things to buy from Shein
Generally, I have had the most success with Shein clothes and tend to avoid shoes and bags. I have had good luck with some jewelry pieces and hair accessories as well.
- Coats (especially fun colors/ patterns that don’t have to be your warmest piece)
- Anything Trendy
- Anything where fit is less important (chunky sweaters, cardigans, and loose blouses have always been a big win for me!)
- Swimsuits (check out the full Shein swim review here)
- Maternity: Shein recently launched an extensive maternity line and I found a few gems while I was pregnant
Mini Shein Dress Review:
I bought this leopard dress for $20 and have worn and washed it over a dozen times. It dresses up well with heels and down with sneakers and a denim jacket.
It was very wrinkled right out of the box but it steamed very easily.
The dress is not lined but not see through. It comes in two colors and one of my most-worn Shein purchases.
Mini Shein Kids Review:
I have a full Shein Kids review here but I love Shein for cute trendy pieces my kids will grow out of in a few months. This blouse was under $10 and perfect for back to school pictures. There was a loose string I cut off when it arrived and other than that, it has been cute and comfortable for my 5 year old. The fabric is thin and almost silky with smocking detail at the top. The long sleeves are gathered at the wrist.
Mini Shein Sweater Review:
I ordered this striped pullover from Shein in 2021 and have worn it on repeat for the last few weeks. It is a knock-off of this more expensive Sezane sweater (a French brand I own pieces from and love). The sweater has a boxier fit, thick knit, and cute chunky buttons (I don’t always love Shein’s hardware but these buttons are great). It isn’t scratchy but isn’t crazy soft. This looks like something I’d buy at Madewell for 5 times the price. It comes in three colors and is under $20.
Mini Shein Shoes Review:
You can read my comprehensive Shein Shoe review here but shoes have been the worst thing I’ve ordered from Shein. I have tried a few different pairs over the years and they are consistently low quality, uncomfortable, and cheap looking.
This pair was on the better side and looked nice (while still being uncomfortable). I recommend avoiding Shein shoes. If you do order them, I have found they run true to size and a little narrow.
Mini Shein Blouse Review:
Shein is a great place to find cute, trendy blouses and deep discounts. I love this smocked blouse that was under $20. It is thin but not at all see-through. It is comfortable, runs true to size (I ordered my regular size but fit isn’t super important with this boxy top so you could go up or down and it would still work).
Mini Shein Swim Review:
I bought 7-10 one pieces from Shein last summer and this zip one piece was one of my favorites. It looks just like the pictures. The material is comfortable and stretchy. I love the zipper detail. The back has medium coverage and flattering high-leg cuts. This one comes in a lot of colors and I’m super impressed with the quality for less than $15!
A leader among fast fashion brands, Shein creates low-quality clothing and sells it at dirt cheap prices. These pieces are not likely to last for years of frequent wear.
Shein also doesn’t have permanent physical locations so they keep costs down by focusing mainly on the digital space.
Recent allegations against Shein have claimed that the brand uses child labor in production. I spoke with a research team investigating Shein for a documentary in 2021 who reported they’ve found no such practices.
These concerns come up because of Shein’s severe lack of transparency. Little is known about Shein’s production chain.
Shein does report on their “Social Responsibility” page on the shein website that “We strictly abide by child labor laws in each of the countries that we operate in. Neither we nor any of our partners are allowed to hire underage children. Any partners or vendors found to have violated these laws are terminated immediately and reported to the authorities.”
One concern here is that child labor laws vary significantly from country to country.
Shein is pronounced “She – inn.” It is two syllables and rhymes with grin.
Originally Shein launched as “Sheinside” and was later shortened to simply “Shein.” A lot of people pronounce it “shine” or “sheen” but the correct pronunciation is “she-in.”
Shein is always running lots of different coupon codes. You can find codes on the homepage of their website. Different college reps (who earn credit for sales) will also have unique coupon codes that they share on social media.
Shein can be good quality for the price but they are generally not high quality pieces. Most of what I’ve ordered is similar in quality to what you’d get at stores like Forever21. Some pieces are closer to Target or Old Navy quality.
Shein is a reputable online shopping retailer. If you’re shopping from the US they have a great return policy (free return shipping on the first return package from your order within 30 days). Shein is one of the fastest growing online stores (making the front page of the Wall Street Journal in summer 2021).
Shein is headquartered in Nanjing but they have moved most of their shipping to Hong Kong.
Shein has been operating pop up shops around the world (notably in LA, New York, and Miami). These are not permanent stores. To get a full view of what Shein has to offer, you have to visit their website. They add an average of 2000 new pieces to their website EVERY DAY.
Did you find this Shein review helpful? You Might also like these posts:
- Shein swim review
- 10 most worn pieces in my closet last month
- Is Temu Legit? A review after spending $100
here are a few favorites that have great reviews: