‘I love shopping online for clothes, but only from places that I’m familiar with their sizing’ – Brendon Urie
It all started with my sudden need to own a yellow blazer. A blazer being something I consider a staple wardrobe item and with the summer at least trying to creep in, it stood to reason I would need to add a yellow one to my collection. My attitude to shopping and clothes has always been quantity over quality and Primark has ruined any ideas I ever had of the value of clothes, thanks to them, I now hate buying something that had more than 1 digit on the price tag. So I took myself over to ebay to try and find the perfect yellow blazer for 99p.
My search didn’t bring up all that much and nothing was really catching my. What was coming up in my side bar though was a smorgasbord of blazers of all different colours, from China, for £3.26. The cheapskate in me was certainly interested.
I’d heard loads of horror stories about ordering from China, particularly about the sizing but also about the quality of the stuff. I even read that someone ordered some leggings and there was a dead cockroach sewn into the inside seem. Grim. Still £3.26 is not to be ignored and bugs in my gusset was a risk worth it at that price. I added a lovely sunshine yellow blazer to my basket and figured it was so cheap I’d splash out on a few more things from the seller’s store (in this case it was topcolorful2015) might as well make that Chinese postman work for his money. As well as my coveted blazer I also got a green lace dress, a white t-shirt with sparkly red lips on the front and grey crochet detail top altogether with postage totaling a princely sum of £22.80.
The main tips i’d read about ordering from China online was ignore everything they say on their listings about the sizing and go about 2 sizes bigger than what they recommend. So I did just that, bearing in mind the stuff I was ordering wouldn’t look too bad if they were on the large side but utterly unwearable if they were too small, I erred on the side of caution. Being a member of the ’13’ club (i.e my annoyingly shaped body nestles perfectly between a UK 12 and 14) I ordered all my garb in what they were saying was a UK 16-18, which in most cases according to them was an XXL. I placed my order on 29 June 2015 and I waited.
And I waited, and I waited, and I waited some more, then eventually on 23 July 2015 my cheap package of joy thudded through the letter box. So, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, here’s how it all looks:
1. Green lace tunic dress (£1.99)
Green and lace it is, a dress it isn’t. Still wearable as a top though and fits width wise so counting it a semi success
2. White sparkly lip t-shirt (99p)
Suffice to say trade descriptions would be interested it taking a look at this t-shirt, what’s supposed to be a sexy come hither lip bite, actually looks like a drag queen’s snarl. The quality is extremely poor as well, it’s not the crisp white cotton fruit of the loom t-shirt as depicted in the picture, it’s off white and practically see through. This one’s getting filed in the B1N sadly.
3. Grey crochet detail top (£1.60)
Sadly it doesn’t quite give me the slouchy city girl look like the pretty lady in the picture, it would be good if it fell off my shoulders a bit more, but I do have shoulders wider than the average human and it does still fit so a thumbs up!
4. The yellow blazer! (£3.26)
The positives are it fits! Woo! This is probably the biggest success out of the haul, which is great seeing as it was the reason for making the order in the first place. The negative is it’s made from a material that’s akin to that of a cheap fancy dress costume (in this case I think it would be an airline stewardess). As long as I don’t stand near any open flames, under a hot light bulb or walk too quickly, I’m sure it will be fine!
So there you go, one dud but a few successes, all in all not as bad as I expected. If you’re thinking of ordering from the Far East, here are some things to bear in mind:
- Completely ignore their sizing guides, they are wholly inaccurate
- Check their feedback; there’s often hints in there about sizing, particularly in the negative comments ‘i’m a size 12 and Large is too small etc’ might help making your sizing choices
- Postage bumps the prices right up so where as my items cost around £7, postage was £14
- They also don’t combine postage, so there’s no real advantage to buying multiple items at once
- Delivery takes about a month so don’t order anything you may need in a hurry
- The quality of some items is very, very poor, it’s all synthetic material, nothing is soft or cotton, but at the end of the day, it’s cost you pennies, so that’s to be expected