Thursday, 22 November 2012

From China with Love: Cut Price Fashion Review

I’ve shopped on ebay for years but I always used to be sceptical about buying from China. While the vast collection of eastern fashion always appealed to me I was concerned about the quality and sizing of garments and worried about items being lost or delayed in the post. Then a few months ago I spotted an owl pendant that I’d been unable to find on the high-street, at just over a pound including international shipping from China it seemed too big a bargain to pass up so I ordered it and prepared myself for a long wait. Amazingly it arrived in well under two weeks -a lot faster than the 28 day estimate. It was carefully packed in a padded envelope and the quality was on par with what I’d expect from fashion jewellery sold in the UK.

Since then I’ve purchased other jewellery, stationary, electronics and even a ball gown from China, while not every transaction has been perfect any problems I’ve had have been minimal. Recently I bought one item that arrived damaged and another that just didn’t turn up, in both cases I found the sellers very friendly, approachable and eager to help. They both acted quickly to solve the problem, offering my choice of replacement or full refund.

My latest purchases are a studded collar shirt for just under £10 and a ribbed bodycon skirt for an incredible £2.85. I was delighted when they both arrived last week within a couple of days of each other. The shirt is so pretty and versatile –I can imagine layering it under sweaters or pairing it with a simple blazer and coloured jeans. I’m really happy with the design and the quality, the chiffon fabric has just the right level of sheerness and has some weight to it so it hangs beautifully. The collar too has been embellished with high-quality riveted metal studs, I can’t imagine them coming loose or falling off with use. My only minor quibble is that despite being quite narrow at the shoulders the body of the shirt is very boxy, I’m considering slimming the sides a little for a better fit. The shirt was described as ‘one size’ and measures approximately 14’’ at the shoulders and 18’’across the body. It is 22’’ long and the sleeves are approximately 20’’. It can be found on here. 

I am equally happy with the bodycon skirt, the colour is beautifully rich and the simple design will work with everything from a blouse to a graphic tee to a sweater. The thick woven material has a really nice feel and I think the addition of the pleating detail makes the skirt look a lot more expensive than it was. The fit however highlights just how different Chinese sizes can be from western ones. Described as a size ‘S/one size’ the skirt measures a mere 10.5’’ at the waist and just over 12.5’’ at the hips, although the fabric does allow it to stretch a couple of inches this still makes it smaller than the average UK4. If you need a petite fit like me buying from China can actually really work to your advantage, but I’d still recommend checking measurements very carefully before buying or if in doubt asking the seller. If you’d like to try the skirt it can be found here.

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