copy cat

a few weeks ago, I did something I know better than to do– I willingly bought clothes from a sketchy website in China, fully aware they were unlikely to fit or look at all similar to the photos. crazy? yes. insane? probably. but ANYTHING FOR FASH-SHUN (and potentially a good deal).

it all started when my girl marlien rentmeester of le catch posted the pic below of her in a printed zebra bathing suit from fast fashion site shein.com, a sort of forever21 type website based in China she sometimes features.

the inspo

this snap intrigued me to peruse the site for other bathing suits for a girls trip I had planned, which ended down a rabbit hole across the entire site. eventually I thought “what the hell!” and after watching several bloggers review the site on youtube (and ensuring they took PayPal so my credit card info was secure), I took the plunge on a plethora of <$10 bikinis, cotton dresses and trendy tops– then waited to see what arrived.

given my very low expectations (I chalked this up as a fashion blog “research experiment” of sorts for you, my lovely readers), I was pleasantly surprised by the process, the customer service, the shipping speed, and a few of the items I kept. I ordered a total of 14 things to qualify for the free expedited shipping and ultimately returned about half of the items. some were hilariously, jokingly bad, including one jacket that REEKED of glue and this awful wedgie-making one piece which went straight in the trash (swimwear is all non-returnable). but I also found some really cute steals, including this striped dress and this high waisted bikini— a knock off of a much more expensive L*Space– that I took on vacation to the caymans last weekend and all my girlfriends on the trip promptly copied. it actually can’t be beat for $9 (I purchased with a 20% off code) and also comes in green, which I now want to get as well.

in keeping with an honest review, I will warn you that most of the quality sucks, some fits are weird, and the fabrics feel cheap — you are buying $10 clothes– so buyer beware. these clothes are pretty much the definition of disposable fashion. I also feel very guilty about the questionable conditions of the factory workers making these inexpensive clothes (a theory of mine that is completely speculation and not based on fact) and about the larger impact of “throw away clothes” on the environment, which is waste I try to refrain from contributing to. but the shopping experience and customer service really surprised me (my order shipped the next day and the return was easy and processed very quickly), so I hate to speak so badly about the company. they also have a points system where you can earn discounts for writing reviews, which helps you narrow down what to buy based on other people’s comments.

with these factors considered, the website is unlikely to be my new “go to” but I would order a few things in the future. so if you are looking for a fashion adventure and are willing to roll the dice, you can find fun, trendy items to mix in to your wardrobe. check out real life snaps of the items I kept below…

high waist bandeau bikini
embroidered peasant dress



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