Friday, May 1, 2015

Sheinside: Overview + Hits & Misses # 1

Today's topic is a little different. If you follow style blogs then you're probably familiar with Asia-based fashion sites. They become very popular as of late. You might also notice I feature items from them often. In this post, I will be sharing my thoughts on these sites as well as a few shopping tips.

Why I shop there:
1. Unique and trendy: I get bored easily shopping the typical mall brands (especially living in a small town with limited options)
2. Petite-friendly: Since they are based in Asia, most items are cut to fit a smaller frame.
3. Affordable: I am a true believer in affordable clothing. I rather put money aside to fund my next handbag than spend it on a pair of designer denim. That's just how I am.

Sheinside is one of the overseas retailers that I work with regularly. They first contacted me in July 2012. I've been working with them on and off for almost 3 years. Even though I feature their items regularly on this blog, I do follow a "standard plan" behind the blog to determine if an item is worth mentioning. I get that it's not easy for bloggers to criticize courtesy items. At the same time, it's not fair for you guys when bloggers give c/o items a positive spin just because they got it for free. Believe me, it's not hard to make a crappy item look good in photos. That sparks a new idea! - Why not showcase both hits & misses? Readers then can decide for themselves if they like or dislike the items.


A few tips when shopping at Asian-based fashion sites:
1. "Shop" frequent: The sheer number of items on these sites can be overwhelming. I usually spend 5 minutes in the morning to quickly look through their "daily new" section. If there is something I like (usually 1 or 2 items), I bookmark the links. When it's time to go back, I only need to revisit those links instead of clicking through hundreds of items.

2. Always check the measurements: It's very important to always check measurements under each item. I use this site to convert cm to inches.

3. Read online reviews: Always read online reviews as well as check out photos from real customers. It's always a good thing to see how a particular item would look on a person. I notice oftentimes they use stock images from Zara and ASOS.

4. Keep your expectations low: Like mentioned previously, their stuff is super affordable (between $10 - $40). Because of that, you cannot expect much out of it. If your expectations are higher, I highly recommend that you DO NOT shop from these sites. However, if you are OK with the quality of clothing at F21/H&M then there are certainly pieces that pass the expectations from these sites. I firmly believe that it's not fair to associate Asian-based retailers with cheap items.


How I determine if an item is worth mentioning:
1. Select every item myself: I always make sure to choose pieces that represent my true personality and style
2. Carefully check out pictures/material/measurements/reviews
3. If the item turns out to be what I expected, I will certainly feature it on my blog
4. If the item is not what I expected, I will send it back or put it in the donation pile.

With that said, I am starting a new series called "Hits & Misses" featuring items that I recommend as well as items I do not recommend. I certainly only feature items that I would personally wear. I only recommend 2 out of 5 items from the last shipment I received from Sheinside.

Items I do recommend:
Striped dress (buy one get one 50% off today) - the material feels thick and well-made. Also, fits me relatively well (size up to a M) - See how I style it here
Mint sweater - super cute, the length is perfect for someone my height. The knit material feels nice and not cheaply made. I have worn both items multiple times


Items I strongly do not recommend (links below are non-affiliate):
- Floral blazer: Looks shiny in person, cheaply made, sleeves fit awkwardly, unlined, the lapels do not stay put
- Printed scarf: The material is super thin, no dimensions were specified on the site
- Sunglasses: Kept falling off my face. I slightly adjusted the nose pads and finally threw them in the trash. I probably need to stay away from their accessories from now on.

Receiving c/o items is one of the perks of having a fashion blog. However, I try to be as honest and open as I am with my recommendations. Hope you find this post helpful and happy Friday!


LIVforstyle said...

Thanks for the tips. I will have to check out this brand.


caitlyn said...

I have been reading your blog for over a year, though I don't think I have ever commented. Just wanted to commend you on starting this series on Hits & Misses. Honestly, some style blogs read like advertisements for Sheinside. I understand that blogs might be a significant source of income for some people, but when a majority of posts are singing the praises of c/o items from Sheinside, the blog loses credibility in my eyes. So thank you for being upfront about the "misses" that inevitably happen to all of us.
I enjoy reading your site because of you feature items from all price points and you aren't afraid to mention when items don't work out for you. Keep up the great work!

Sydney's Fashion Diary said...

@caitlyn Hi Caitlyn! I truly appreciate your feedback. Authentic and original content is certainly hard to find these days when it comes to fashion blogs. Finding a balance can be challenging but I'll try my best to be open and honest about what I post.