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How to Shop for Expensive-Looking Clothing at Shein: 10 Hacks

Updated: Apr 21

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SHEIN is definitely one of my favorite online retailers to use when I want to hunt for affordable fashion. That being said, it is also the most difficult retailer to shop from (IMHO) because for every singular well-made, quality piece you find... there are roughly 100 poorly made, cheap-looking items.

But fear not, while it is difficult and time-consuming it is certainly not impossible. Shopping for expensive-looking clothing at SHEIN can be done by putting in the work. I've been shopping this retailer for years now and have gathered a few tips to help you find those rare, diamond in the rough pieces that'll make you look like a million bucks without actually spending a million bucks.

Don't have time to browse for affordable quality clothing?

Follow me @thefinerefine on LTK, Pinterest and Instagram for updates and designer-inspired finds at SHEIN, AMAZON, H&M and more! I do the browsing so you don't have to ;).


Haven't shopped SheIn or Romwe? Want a 10% off promo code? Check them out using my code here.


10+ steps to find Quality Clothing at SHEIN


01. Filter by Category

I very rarely browse Shein. In order to truly find what I want I have to be on a mission. So filters are your best friend for this. Narrow down your search and limit your inspections to only the items that check off every box. So start your filtering by whatever it is you’re shopping for: a skirt, a sweater, a dress, etc...

I filtered by "women - tops" below and found a whopping 995 products. Way too much stock to go through so continue filtering in step #2.


02. Filter by Fabric

how to shop shein elegant fabrics to choose

This is a list of the more expensive-looking fabrics available on SHEIN.

There may be more of these depending on what's added to the store but for the most part these are the tried and true fabrics I tend to opt for to ensure some level of quality to your options.

*Note: Polyester is a tricky fabric... it can either look very expensive (depending on the fit) or very cheap.


03. Filter by Color

As a rule of thumb you should really only buy the colors you look best in or the colors that fit into your wardrobe.

Ie; Neutrals, Black, White, Grays.


Filter by the colors you look best in. If you haven't found these colors yet I suggest finding your complementary colors here.

This narrows my search to 24 tops in the fabrics selected and only in the colors that really fit into my wardrobe and complement my skin undertone.


Related Read:

Everything you need to know to jumpstart your journey towards dressing better and feeling more like yourself through style confidence.


04. Know your Measurements

SHEIN’s sizing guide varies for every single piece of clothing so you won't always be a medium, so have measuring tape handy so you can verify your measurements and choose your size accordingly. SHEIN sometimes provides garment lengths and other useful information that can help you determine whether the item will fit.


05. Read the reviews and zoom into those pictures

The devil is in the details. You can tell if a product will look cheap by looking at the details:

  • Where the seams are placed and how straight they are.

  • Misaligned prints

  • Closures: Crooked zippers vs invisible zippers

  • Uneven stitching

  • Raw edges

  • Crooked hemline

  • How sheer the material is

  • Cheap plastic buttons

  • No lining

Here's an example:

The belts pictured below are both SHEIN and both cost around $6.

  • Belt A looks more expensive.

  • Belt B looks cheap.

It's all about training yourself to look at things in detail...

Black croc leather belts cheap vs expensive

06. Know what you're in for and be prepared for alterations

SHEIN is mainly a low-quality fast fashion brand so KNOW that you're not going to get long-lasting pieces but rather pieces that look better than what they cost. I can live with that for the price. Besides, sometimes all you need to do to make your little cheap blazer look more polished is to switch out the buttons or take a little stitch somewhere. Styling can work miracles too.

Some of the categories with better quality here include Earrings, belts, and scarves.

Mine are all in perfect condition after a TON of wear.

** You may even need to alter belts (adding another hole) thankfully I bought this super handy belt hole-puncher gadget on Amazon and I can't believe I never owned one of these before !!



07. Save with Honey and get Cashback with Rakuten

The only thing better than SHEIN's incredibly low prices is that you can stack on the savings! SHEIN always has an extra 20% off code (code changes so you have to do a little bit of searching) but most of the time I use Honey.

Honey is a wonderful website that's free to join and automatically tries promo codes for you at checkout and then chooses the best one for you.

Honey has a TON of SheIn promo codes! get Honey here.

Rakuten is also a free website that gives you cashback just for using their links to stores and then sends you a check in the mail. No strings attached!

Get Rakuten here.

Rakuten usually provides 2-8% (cashback) at SheIn. (*% varies)


08. Be on the lookout for designer-inspired products

SheIn is notorious for not only duping luxury designer-inspired styles but also for duping more affordable retailers like Zara, Mango, and Reformation to name a few.

Whether this is entirely ethical or not, most of us will never truly buy luxury brands (even if we could affford it) so why not buy something designer-inspired-ish.

If you're trying to find a Zara, Mango, Aritzia or Reformation dupe on SHEIN use keywords.

I found most of these Reformation dupes by using the search box and entering very specific details for example: "midi black slit dress".

I post expensive looking finds and designer inspired dupes on the LTK app and my instagram. Follow @thefinerefine on both and I'll do the hard work for you!

Click the Picture below to follow me on LTK!


09. Use SHEIN points

SHEIN awards you $0.01 for every point you earn shopping and interacting on the site or the app.

How do you get points:

  • Updating your profile

  • Purchases

  • Reviews

  • Picture uploads

I usually have another $2.00 taken off my purchase using my points.

Sign up to start accumulating points here.


10. Pay $2.99 for return insurance

In case all goes wrong with your shopping trip, purchase return insurance so you can easily make free returns if you need to, SHEIN will provide the shipping label.

**If you don't purchase this insurance your return shipping fees may be as expensive as your item.


11. Download the Shein app and follow:

#SHEIN and #SHEINGALS on social media

Downloading the SheIn app and following their hashtags on social media allows you to get points, participate in contests, discover new items, and receive alerts for flash sales.

Download the app here.



Follow me on LTK, Pinterest and Instagram for even more expensive-looking finds from affordable retailers like Shein, Amazon, H&M and more !


Related: Amazon Favorites: Designer Dupe Sunglasses


Haven't shopped SheIn? Want a 10% off promo code? Check them out using my code here.

Have any other tips/hacks for shopping SheIn?

Comment below!



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