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Welcome to Fifth & Finest, a forty-friendly fashion blog with zero frump. Have a nice stay!

Is SHEIN the next ASOS?

Is SHEIN the next ASOS?

Preparing for Burning Man three years ago, I ordered two maxi dresses from a random fast fashion online store. I recall they took several weeks to arrive (from China, I presumed) but when they did they were cute, comfortable and became wardrobe regulars for a year or so. After that they were relegated to at-home lounging, but they did pretty well for the cheap price tag.

That was my first SHEIN shopping experience. It wasn’t bad, but neither was it earth-shattering. And, accustomed to Amazon as I was, the long shipping time put me off ordering again.

Over the last 6 months or so, the emails I have continued to receive from SHEIN started to look a little more slick, a little higher in production values and just a little more appealing. So when I decided I needed a few more tops to add to the jeans I bagged during my fashion delivery box foray, I took a closer look.

Like ASOS (which went from a cheesy site offering celebrity knock-off outfits to a fashion behemoth stocking some of the coolest brands on the planet), SHEIN has massively upped its game. And, like ASOS, there is SO MUCH CHOICE. A mind boggling amount of choice, actually. Enough, maybe, to put you off looking due to sheer overwhelm.

Somehow I managed to decide upon and order 4 tops. I like all of them, which is quite a feat for online shopping. Check out my haul…

Wench Top

Thanks to The Reformation, these kind of tops (milk maid meets LA babe) are super on-trend. You know I love the Ref, but I’m not always willing part with $120 for a summer shirt, so I ordered this imitation. I really like the long sleeves, cinched waist and flowy fabric over the belly - a winner for those who don’t love their upper arms or paunch. The spots are also right up my alley and filled a polka dot-shaped hole in my wardrobe. It’s a keeper.

Wearing-SHEIN-polka-dot-wench-top.jpg

Pink Mock Turtle

I liked the pale hue and 60s vibe of this one, and again it had the advantage of arm coverage. Its 100% man-made fiber composition, coupled with the high neck, make it a little on the sweaty side, but provided I stay in air conditioned environments, I’m golden. Or flushed pink.

Wearing-SHEIN-pink-mock-neck.jpg

Eyelet Blouse

Nothing says summer like a white eyelet blouse (except maybe your hair getting stuck on the sunscreen on your shoulders). I love them, but the few brick and mortar stores I’ve ventured into this year haven’t stocked any. SHEIN to the rescue. The fit is a tiny bit off - roomy in the body and a little too snug on the arms, but overall it works. It was my 4th July choice together with jean shorts and a ridiculous red, white and blue light-up lei.

Wearing-SHEIN-eyelet-top.jpg

Longline Side-Split Shirt

I thought this was white when I ordered it, but it arrived cream. Fine by me, as I have very little in that color and the style works. Again, something about the collar is just a little wrong, but not enough to motivate me to return it. I think it’ll be a good transitional piece as the weather starts to cool down and I’m hoping a sweater over the top looks chic and not just like I shrunk something in the wash.

Wearing-SHEIN-longline-shirt.jpg

So, all in all, my SHEIN haul was a success. The total for those four items was $56.99 (shipping is free on order of $49 or more). Had I paid a lot more, I’d have expected better fits and quality but, for the amount I paid, these will do fine. As for how they wash and wear, I’ll update you in a future post.

Having done a little digging online, I want to point out:

  • You can return items to SHEIN for free, but I’ve never done it and don’t know how quick they are.

  • There’s a pretty slick SHEIN App for both iPhone and Android (very much like ASOS’s App!) which makes ordering and tracking shipments much easier.

  • They do ship some items from China (where the company is headquartered) but they also have facilities in California, New Jersey, Belgium and Dubai. Where your order ships from will, of course, depend on where you are. SHEIN’s website says they’ve really tried to improve shipping times but that you’ll receive it within 6-17 business days from the order date.

  • They sell online to over 220 countries (including the UK) and have websites specific to the US, Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Italy, Australia and “the Middle East”. Delivery anywhere else is considered an “international” delivery which may have an additional cost.

  • They do not mention on their website their production or labour policies or environmental impact (they only talk about quality and efficiency). At a guess, I’d say they’re probably not great. You pays your money and takes your choice.

  • Numerous online comments complain about the unpredictable fit of SHEIN clothes. They do have a size guide on their site and -as far as you can understand it - I’d encourage you to study it before you order. I didn’t, hence the slight mis-fits in my order. Not bad for what were basically guesses though (and not any worse than most online stores). You can also look at reviews/comments people have posted beneath the item info to get more of an idea of fit - they rate whether it’s true to size or not.

  • Students get a 15% discount.

  • I’m not an affiliate or brand ambassador etc, just a curious blogger!

Have you bought from SHEIN? What did you think? Let me know folks. And send pics, of course.


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