Home » Style + Shopping » The 10 BEST Tips for Shopping on Shein in 2023 + How to Wash Shein Clothing

The 10 BEST Tips for Shopping on Shein in 2023 + How to Wash Shein Clothing

Ever since I posted the outfit below on my blog over 7 years ago I’ve been getting questions about shopping on Shein.

“Is it safe to order from them? Are the clothes actually that good of quality? How long does shipping take? What is sizing like?”

So, I thought it might be helpful to make a post featuring my tips for having a successful shopping experience on Shein, plus the clothes I’ve ordered from them over the years, and how I wash my clothing from Shein.

sheinside skirt

I started shopping on Shein over 10 years ago after I noticed one of my favorite bloggers (A Clothes Horse) was featuring many items from them, and they were SUPER affordable. The skirt above was my first order from them, and it was just over $20.

Full disclosure, in the past, Shein had been a sponsor of mine and had sent me some clothing to feature on my blog. However, this post is in no way related to that. And as always, all opinions are my own.

What is Shein?

Before I get into my Shein shopping tips, I should probably explain what kind of store Shein is in case you haven’t heard of them yet! Shein is an online women’s clothing store based out of China. They feature fast-fashion pieces…meaning, many items will look similar to pricey designer pieces, but will be VERY inexpensive but also not as high of quality (obviously) as the original pieces. At first glance, Shein’s prices seem too good to be true, and there is always a negative stigma about ordering online goods from overseas companies.

However, if you follow these tips, you can have a fabulous time shopping on Shein!

Read next: Is Shein Legit? Honest Shein Review After $600+ in Orders

Shein Maxi Skirt
This skirt is from Shein!

*Disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Have Clothes, Will Travel gets a very small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

The BEST Shein Shopping Tips

1.) Look at Sizes for EVERYTHING & Know Your Measurements

The sizes on Shein’s website vary…A LOT. I am anywhere from an XSmall – XLarge, depending on the clothing item I’m ordering. It really does vary that much!

So, know your measurements before ordering from Shein. If you aren’t sure what your measurements are, take a look at this helpful article about how to take your own measurements.

Once you know your measurements, you’ll want to compare them to the Shein item’s body measurements, which you’ll see in the photo below. These are not the default measurements shown on Shein products – you’ll have to click “body measurements” to get the proper measurements.

Shein shopping tips - where to find the measurements on an item

Product measurements are the default setting on Shein items – which are the measurements of the product itself. This is good to know if you want to know the length of an item, for example.

2.) When in Doubt, Size UP

If you’re in between sizes on an item on Shein, and you’re not sure what to order…always size up. I have yet to have this method fail me. The majority of items do seem to run on the small side. (They also just recently started carrying plus sizes!)

Ill fitting Shein Pajamas do not buy!
These Shein PJs did not have any customer photos and ended up being WAY too small on me.

3.) Be Wary of Items that Don’t Have Customer Photos

Looking at the photos and reviews uploaded by customers can be very helpful in determining what an item will look like. In my experience, Shein items DO look like the product photos on the website – but there have been times when this has NOT been the case for me!

The PJs I ordered above did NOT have any customer photos when I ordered them… and I see why now. They didn’t look or fit quite like the product image!

4.) Check Shein Promo Codes

Shein is always running some sort of sale or promo code on their website. Be sure to check their homepage for the latest sales and promo codes before you checkout.

Another option is to use Rakuten to save you money on your Shein orders!

5.) Order Several Weeks Before Any Event You’re Trying to Shop For

Shipping on average takes 2 weeks. I’ve ordered from them while in the US, Japan, Australia, and Russia. No matter what country I was in my order took about 2 weeks. So, their shipping estimates are quite accurate.

However, if you’re trying to dress for a specific event, don’t risk it! Order at least 3 weeks in advance! Also, shipping costs are quite reasonable. It’s free for US orders over $9.90 and only $3.99 for orders less than $9.90. Click here to see other countries’ rates.

The photos above are from some of my favorite Shein orders – I LOVE Shein swimwear & athletic clothing.

6.) For Best Results – Order Swimsuits, Athletic Clothing, Skirts or Tops 

I’ve had the best luck with swimsuits and Shein activewear. (Their skirts and tops have also, generally, been of good quality in my experience.) My Shein swimsuits and workout clothing have lasted through countless wears and washings now. I am very impressed!

However, I’ve always been underwhelmed with outerwear and accessories from Shein, and my friend Shannon recently ordered their shoes. While they are nice-looking shoes, she, unfortunately, had the heel snap off after a few months of wear. So, I do not recommend Shein shoes, accessories or outerwear.

I also discuss the quality of Shein’s clothing by item in my Shein Review.

Transitioning a Maxi Skirt from Summer to Fall
One of my favorite Shein skirts.

7.) Adjust Your Expectations

If you’re someone who normally spends $30+ on a top and then you order a $9 top from Shein… there are going to be some noticeable differences in quality compared to what you’re used to. However, for $9, it’s going to be a quite nice top. Just don’t expect it to be on the same level as its designer counterpart or the $95 top you just bought from Nordstrom. I’m 9 times out of 10 really happy with the quality of the product I get based on the price.

8.) Be Aware of Shein’s Return Policy

Here is Shein’s return policy per their website as of January 4, 2023 

  • You have a maximum of 35 days from the date of your purchase to make a return. Your return package must be postmarked within 35 days after the purchase date. Returns postmarked after 35 days from the purchase date will not be accepted.
  • Return Shipping is free on your 1st return package for any order. You must use the return label (“Return Label”) we provide (See “How do I make a return?” section for details), then ship the return package postmarked within 35 days from the purchase date.
  • If you have already returned item(s) from an order but would like to make additional returns of item(s) in the same order, you can use the Return Label we provided, and a $7.99 shipping fee will be deducted from your refund.
    Please note that any additional returns must be postmarked within 35 days of the purchase date.
  • Click here to read the full Shein return policy.

The first time I returned something to Shein, they actually told me to KEEP the clothing and refunded me the value of my order in 24 hours! (See the pink highlighted part below.)

Shein return credit.

9.) Wash your Shein Clothing Before Wearing

Personally, I think it’s a good idea to wash ANY new clothing before you wear it. This is especially a good idea, though, if you are buying clothing that is made from polyester or nylon, as the dyes used on these clothing items can cause allergic reactions, according to dermatologists. (Most of Shein’s clothing is made from polyester, too.) Washing your new Shein clothing can help prevent any unwanted allergic reactions to the dyes used on the clothing.

How To Wash Shein Clothing

Now, you do have to be careful when you wash your Shein clothing. This is how I’ve been washing my Shein clothing over the years…

Washing Shein Dresses, Tops, Skirts, Swimwear, and Other Delicate Items

I wash these items on COLD and GENTLE Cycle. I do NOT dry these items. I hang them up and allow them to air dry. I also recommend using a mild detergent when washing these items.

Then, if there are any wrinkles, I use a steamer (not an iron) to get rid of the wrinkles. Some of the materials Shein clothing is made of will melt if you are using an iron and are not careful! So, I prefer using a steamer.

Washing Shein Exercise Clothing

Now, I am super hard on my exercise clothing from Shein. I wear it on a weekly basis, and I sweat like crazy. So, I wash these items on WARM and a Normal Cycle on my washing machine. However, I do NOT dry my exercise clothing from Shein either. I hang it up and allow it to air dry. My exercise clothing from Shein is holding up very well despite this abuse, too!

What I Wore to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo Shein Floral Maxi Dress
This is a dress I ordered from Shein that is also available on Amazon

10.) Shein is also available on Amazon

If shopping on Shein is still a bit intimidating for you… you CAN order Shein on Amazon now! The selection of Shein clothing on Amazon is not as good as it is on the Shein site. However, you will have access to Prime shipping & free returns then!

My Shein Orders Over the Years

Looking through my blog, I have A LOT more pieces by Shein..more than I realized. So, I’m only going to chat about my top 6 favorite pieces, and then I’ll make a gallery of all the items I have. I’m also going to show the one and only time I had an order not match the photo on the website. (I get questioned a lot about whether the items look like they do on the website, so I can definitely say yes, except for one time several years ago.)

You can click here to see all my blog posts featuring Shein clothing.

1.) Tropical Floral Print Ruffled One-Piece Swimsuit

I actually love all of the swimwear I’ve ever ordered from Shein. This swimsuit I had packed for my recent trip to Turks and Caicos, and I got so many compliments on it. It’s true to size and great quality! It’s super comfortable to wear too.

Click here to shop this suit. Click here to see the outfit post it’s featured in.

2.) White Eyelet Midi Skirt

JORD watches outfit

I’ve had this midi skirt for over 2 years now, and it gets A LOT of use. It’s versatile, it’s held up well in the wash and I am pleased with the quality, especially for the crazy low price tag.

Click here to shop it. Click here to see the outfit post featured above, and click here to see all the ways I’ve styled this skirt over the years.

3.) Color Block Shirt Dress

Stylish & Comfortable Exploring Outfit

This shirt dress is honestly probably my most used Shein piece. I wear it for EVERYTHING. Corporate events, dinner dates, parties, exploring, everyday life, etc. I’ve had it for a couple of years too, and it still looks like new, despite all the washing it’s gotten over the years.

Click here to shop this dress, and click here to see the outfit post pictured above.

4.) Floral Maxi Dress

What I Wore to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

I’ve had this maxi dress for years and have worn it on countless adventures! It works great for hot weather, as it’s breathable, but can easily be layered for fall. (You can see how I style if for fall in this post or in this post.)

Click here to shop this dress, and click here to see the outfit post pictured above.

5.) Exercise tank top and leggings

I am super impressed with Shein’s activewear section! The tank top and the capris above are from Shein, and they are AMAZING quality. The tank top is really soft and breathes well. (It runs a little large, though.)

However, the leggings are my favorite. These are just as good of quality as a pair I had ordered from Nordstrom last year, and these Shein leggings are less than half the price. I like that the Shein pair also has usable pockets! Just note, they are a heavier fabric, though (which I, personally, like).

Click here to shop my tank top. Click here to shop my leggings.

6.) Tropical & Floral Striped Mesh One Piece Swimsuit

A sun hat and swimsuits are the most important clothes to bring to Turks and Caicos!

This is another swimsuit I had packed for my recent trip to Turks and Caicos that I absolutely loved. The neck is a little bit scratchy but other than that it was comfortable to wear all day hanging out on the beach and snorkeling. I get a lot of compliments on this one too!

Click here to shop my swimsuit. Click here to shop Shein swimwear.

My only item that didn’t match the website photo…

Shein black dress

This dress looks A LOT longer on the website. In reality, it’s quite short. The material was also a lint magnet and always looked kind of wrinkled. This one I ended up donating to charity.

Click here to see it on the website, and click here to see the outfit post above.

shein dress
This looks a little different than the dress I’m wearing above…

Check out all my Shein pieces in the gallery below!

You can see all my Shein outfit posts by clicking here

Click here to shop Shein.

Have you ever tried shopping on Shein before? What was your experience like? And if not, would you consider trying this site? Let me know in the comments!

6 Tips for Shopping on Shein + My Orders Over the Years
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  1. Sana Ahmed says:

    The quality is good and the price is reasonable thanks for sharing your experience it is really helpful and information.

  2. Mimmie Human says:

    Great post and lovely images and clothing. You are photogenic. Well done!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh gosh, thank you so much!

  3. thechicvibe says:

    These are some great online shopping tips! I always feel like it is so helpful to share these experiences because every shop, brand is different. xo

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you! That is very true! Every store can be a little different.

  4. My Sister's Keeper says:

    Wow! I love your fashion sense! Great post and very helpful!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post!

  5. AnaFlorentina (@AnaFlorentyna) says:

    Babe, your first two outfits are WOWWWWW
    That blush skirt I love, I am gonna get it. Was it too long? What is your height?

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! And it’s way long on me. I’m 5’5″ and am wearing nearly 3-inch wedges under it lol. I would definitely suggest getting it hemmed.

  6. laveremis says:

    I’ve fallen in love with SheIn too. I was very skeptical at first, but wanted to try it because it carries so many unique pieces and small sizes. So glad I did! As long as you understand what you’re getting, it’s very fun!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That is so true! They carry so many unique pieces, but you have to understand there is some truth to “you get what you pay for.” As long as you adjust your expectations accordingly, it’s a lot of fun to shop there!

  7. She in has some amazing bargains! I always look at the reviews to see how the clothes look on other people, this is such a useful guide to the website 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! Oh yes, the reviews can so helpful! 🙂

  8. Michelle (@dressingwstyles) says:

    I actually really like shopping at Shein and your advice for shopping at the website is so true. I have a day job that sometimes requires me to dress a bit fancy. Instead of spending tons on purchasing dresses, I usually hop on Shein and get half a dozen dresses for the same price!

    Great post! x


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear you have good luck shopping with them as well! You can’t beat those prices!

  9. Life Of A Med School Wife says:

    Your advice is spot on! I love Shein a lot. I have gotten some amazing pieces, you so true you have to watch your sizing. I’ve noticed in skirts I especially have to size up. I always read the reviews a ton before I commit to ordering. Their return policy is great though.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Yes, you’ve gotten some great things too! And that’s good to know about their return policy. I hadn’t tried to return anything yet. I’m really glad to hear it’s great!

  10. I’ve ordered a couple of things from Shein and have liked them all. But you do have to be careful. The nice thing is if you don’t like it, it’s not like you spent a ton of money on it. And that can even happen on high priced items….
    Great review, Lindsey!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That is very true too. Thank you, Jodie!

      1. Great post! I purchased a top once from Shein that was identical to one from Zara that they’d sold out of. It was pretty good. Fun to see your many outfits!

        1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

          Thank you so much!

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