Shein review: Is it safe to buy from?

SheIn review: Is it safe to order here?

Striped Sundress (18$)

A $13 bikini? Trendy dresses for $18, $23 or less? It might be the journalist in me, but I am a born skeptic when it comes to online shopping. If it sounds too good to be true, I steer myself firmly in the other direction. However, curiosity got the better of me with fashion retailer Shein… and guess what… I’m actually glad it did!

Are these items heirloom pieces? Certainly not. Is the fabric of the highest caliber? Nope. But, if you know what to look for, you can find some real fashion wins at Shein. I’ve placed several orders and have had a very positive experience. In fact, it’s now one of my favorite places to shop for trendy, of-the-moment looks. Note: This post is two years old, so I’ve updated links to show you similar garments. Items on Shein sell out very quickly.

That said, I did my homework to learn the “tricks of the trade” before shopping on this site and am sharing them with you today. This isn’t a sponsored post, just a place to answer your FAQs and to find an honest Shein review. If you are wondering about something I don’t cover here, please let me know!

  • I’ve detailed and rated all of the pieces I have purchased at the bottom of this post. [Note: This post is two years old, so I’ve updated links to show you similar garments. Items on Shein sell out very quickly.]

Shein ReviewShein white blouseShein similar blouse ($15 and my favorite Shein find!) | Denim Midi ($16) | Wedges

What to like: My Shein review

Trendy pieces are fun, but I refuse to spend a lot of money on them. Shein’s price point allows you to test out unique items and experiment with fashion without breaking the bank. You’ll find affordable adaptations of high-end designer looks. In addition, there is a HUGE range of options—it’s almost overwhelming. Is your style casual, edgy, classic, girly, punk? Whatever item you are looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find something that fits your needs AND your personal aesthetic.

Getting the right size 

In general, Shein pieces run small and short. Although it has recently added an impressive plus size line. Make sure you read the size guide, reviews, and take your measurements very carefully. Don’t just order your typical XS, S, M or L size. Also, keep in mind the sizing is NOT the same for all Shein garments. Measurements that might call for a S for one dress, might be a M for another.

I’ve found sizing for dresses, tops and swimwear fairly easy to get right. I would not buy pants, fitted shorts or pencil skirts from SheIn. It’s just too difficult to get the size right and I don’t want to deal with the hassle of a return.

Helpful hints:

  • Look at the “Size & Fit” section in the drop down tabs on the right hand side. This will provide you with the model’s measurements and additional fit information.
  • View the “Style Gallery” AND reviewer images. While the “Style Gallery” is great for inspiration, you need to keep in mind many of those images are professional photos, which may have been edited or enhanced. I find the reviewer images provide a more realistic look at the garment. Find a reviewer who has a similar body type. Does this item look good on her? Shein also lets people rate sizing.
  • “One Size” is more like S-M. Since SheIn items run small and short, you need to be very careful when ordering “One Size” pieces, especially coats. As an under 5′ gal, this hasn’t been a problem for me, but you may find hemlines a bit high if you are tall.
  • Don’t buy items shown only on hangers. It’s difficult to see how a garment falls and flows on a hanger or in a flat lay. If they’re not showing it on a model, there may be a reason for that. I’d steer clear.

How’s the quality?

Given the extremely low prices, I wasn’t expecting much from Shein, but have actually been pleasantly surprised. In general, I find the quality comparable to fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 or H&M. However, it does appear to vary between items. Some are amazing and others lackluster. That’s why it is SO important to read reviews and to really take a hard look at the garment photos. As you might expect, the fabrics tend to be on the thinner side (although some have really impressed me) and the dresses are rarely lined.

Helpful hints:

  • Study the images carefully. Zoom in to get a look at the fabric and materials. Take a close peek at reviewer images too.
  • No reviews? Buy with caution. In general, I shy away from garments that haven’t been reviewed. However, Shein constantly has new offerings, so you may simply be the first person interested in it.
  • Be realistic. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is. For example, you’ll see some elaborate-looking pieces on Shein and designer dupes. Don’t expect designer quality; you’re paying less than $25! I’ve found the more expensive an item is on Shein, the better the quality. (under $10 is meh… $15-$30 is good, $40 and above great)

criss cross back SheIn dressSheIn reviewX-back dress (similar) | ($11)

Other useful info

  • Pay attention to the flashing discount codes above the website’s nav bar.You can ALWAYS find a code available that will either give you free shipping or provide money off your order. You can also earn a 15 percent discount for registering with the site.
  • Shein advertises free returns. This is only partly true. Your first return is free, however subsequent returns will cost you $7.99 per package. You can also ship back items by using your local post office at your cost. **Important note: Swimwear, bodysuits, lingerie/PJs and accessories (aside from bags) cannot be returned**
  • Allow 2-3 weeks for shipping. I found a lot of online reviews complaining that Shein takes forever to ship, however I didn’t have any issues with my orders. They all arrived within two weeks. According to the company’s website and its news releases, since the upgrading of its Los Angeles warehouse it needs 10 days to ship to the U.S. and 15 days to reach Europe.

What I bought

The ruffle cuff blouse and striped sundress (linking similar piece are my favorite Shein pieces so far. I ordered a XS in the blouse and it fit perfectly. The detailing is much nicer than I expected. In fact, it looks like a very expensive, designer piece. I went with a S in the sundress and have been using it as a beach cover-up/day dress. It has the cutest back detail and the fabric offers an easy breezy linen-type look.

Rating (out of 5 stars): 5

yellow floral maxiSimilar SheIn Yellow Floral Maxi (21$)

Love, love, love this maxi dress! I can’t wait to wear it to a summer wedding. I ordered a S and found the fit true to size. The wrap style is figure flattering and the fabric has a nice stretch to it. The top is form-fitting, so if you prefer a less clingy style, I’d opt for a size up.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

orange bikiniorange scalloped bikiniScalloped Bikini ($14)

I was not expecting much when I ordered this suit. I figured since you were getting both the top and bottom for just $14, the material had to be super thin. Well, I love it! This bikini has padding on top, a really cute design, and while the material is different from what I anticipated, it IS thick and supportive! I’d order SheIn swimwear again.

Rating: 5 out of 5

scalloped hem blouseSimilar White Scalloped Blouse ($5)

This blouse is very pretty and delicate, but a tad underwhelming. I’ve worn it for multiple work occasions, but found the material thinner than I’d like. I ordered the XS, but would have preferred a S for a looser fit. Some of the seams were a bit off. Then again, it was only $13, so I wasn’t expecting perfection. The one I’ve linked to now is just $5. Be aware, you get what you pay for sometimes. The fabric will be thin.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

ginghamSheIn Gingham Belted Dress ($19)

This dress is so fun and flirty. I ordered a S. It is true to size and the perfect summer day dress. The belt and buttons really add nice detail and it feels well constructed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

polka dot dressDotted Dress with Bow Tie Straps ($18)

I found this dotted dress to be another winner. It has a retro vibe and nice stretchy material. While it is very comfortable, it is also very form-fitting. I ordered the small and should have sized up to a M, as I was hoping to wear it to work with a cardigan.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Please let me know if you have any Shein questions in the comments below. Happy shopping! Need more fashion inspiration? Follow me on Instagram for outfit and home decor ideas— Lindsay




  1. Cia Black | 3rd Aug 18

    I love that you shopped different pieces to give an overall review. I’ve never ordered from them because like you it seems to be good to be true. But this give me hope, maybe try it out in a small order. Especially the Swim wear.

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      Thanks Cia–I figured other women might have similar questions. It’s definitely worth a shot, especially since your first return is free. I thought the swimwear was quite impressive. One word of caution though, the bottoms tend to be more “cheeky” style, so if you are looking for full coverage you’ll want to look carefully. I found Shein has perfect suits for lounging poolside.

  2. Catherine Santiago Jose | 3rd Aug 18

    Wow, you have a great list of outfits from swimwear up to the dresses they are all looks beautiful and comfortable to wear.

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      Hi Catherine, thanks for taking a look. I hope this post was helpful. There really is quite a range of budget fashions available at SheIn. Is it perfect, no… However, I’ve found many items I really like.

  3. Nancie | 3rd Aug 18

    I’ve never heard of Shein. The clothes look nice, worth checking out. I’m not sure if they deliver to Canada. I’ll check out their website.

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      Hi Nancie, that is one of the cool things about Shein. It delivers internationally and has warehouses in multiple countries to speed up the shipping process. I spent the summer overseas in Australia and was able to place an order just like at home.

  4. Divya | 3rd Aug 18

    Am always checking this site, and adding items to a wishlist, bit when it comes to actually buying from this site there are so many questions running on my head, this was really helpful, thank you 🙂

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      Yes, me too… I really hesitated before making a purchase, but figured it was worth a shot. I think I spent several weeks browsing before actually making a purchase. I am NOT an impulse buyer, lol 🙂 I take forever to make a decision.

  5. Ann Snook | 3rd Aug 18

    I actually just heard of this site for the first time a few days ago. I am loving that yellow maxi dress . . . you look like Lana Del Ray in it!

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      Wow, love her and her style… I consider that a compliment, thanks!

  6. Holly | 3rd Aug 18

    Cool..I hadn’t heard of this brand before, but I LOVE that swimsuit!! Something to consider!!

    • laveremis | 3rd Aug 18

      The swimsuit caught my eye immediately! It’s so unique. Thanks for reading!

  7. Elizabeth O | 4th Aug 18

    Ive seen a lot about Shein lately it looks like such a great website and I think I will end up checking it out. It looks like you got some awesome bits!

  8. Sphokazi Dolo | 29th Sep 20

    Good Day. You look stunning in all of your outfits.
    I’m so scared to buy from SHIEN, I’m in South Africa.
    Is it safe to buy with credit card?? 😳💔 😭

    • laveremis | 29th Sep 20

      Hi there, thank you! That’s so kind. Yes, it is safe to use a credit card. Shein is a global company and caters to customers all over the world. I’ve purchased from SHEIN several times using a credit card and never had any issues. I’m not sure how quick shipping speed would be South Africa. In general, items arrive in about two weeks. Hope you enjoy it!

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