See What Happened When I Purchased $100 of Kids Clothes-A Mom’s Review of SHEIN Quality

There comes a point in the life of every Clothes Horse Mom when she finally breaks down and places an order at You’ve seen the Shein ads. All those images of gorgeous, flowing tea-length dresses and cropped chunky sweaters. They promise you that a fashionable life of ease and cool staples awaits, all for $11.90.

And all of that awaits your kids, too. All the latest children’s clothing trends are on SHEIN, copycatting major fashion players within seconds of their new fashion drops.

Thus it was a stroke of curiosity more than impulsivity. I wondered what the quality of kids clothes was going to be like. Was the pricing completely too good to be true, or a total rip-off?

Spoiler alert: the quality isn’t Badgley Mischka or Stella McCartney.

Here are the SHEIN kids garments I got and how I rate the quality.

I purchased 11 different SHEIN clothing items totaling $99.09, with taxes and shipping included. I purchased 5 dresses for my 3 year-old-daughter and an assortment of different tops, bottoms, and rompers for my 10-month-old son. (I should also note that I got 5% cash back from my total purchase for shopping on through Swagbucks, making it as though I really spent only $94.14.)

Item #1 Butter Yellow Short-Sleeve Dress with Peter Pan Collar and Shirred Bodice for $12.60

The dress is a lighter shade of yellow in real life and the fabric is quite thin – the SHEIN product photo doesn’t capture the garment’s transparency.

Verdict: 3 of 5 Stars

Review: Made of very thin cotton, muslin. Semi-transparent. Stitches are large. The shirred bodice isn’t Boden quality smocking, but still a nice feature. The peter pan collar with embroidered detail is even cuter in real life. Will be cute with T-strap shoes. Might buy a slip to wear underneath.

Item #2 Wheat-Print Short Sleeve Dress with Teal Twill Trim Yoke Collar for $10.80

The dress is more wheat colored than peach colored in real life, but still very cute.

Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars

Review: One of my favorites. This dress is made of thicker, sturdier cotton in a cute retro print. The stitches are smaller and neatly made. The thicker twill fabric in a contrasting color is very nice touch on the yoke collar. The dress isn’t lined. I wasn’t expecting it to be, but that would have bumped up my rating by half a star.

Item #3 Retro (1930’s) Blue Floral Print Swing Dress with Ruffle Collar for $9.90

This retro print dress matches the SHEIN product image quite well.

Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars

Review: I love the 1920’s and 1930’s vintage feel of this dress. The print is fantastic, and I’m already plotting out future quilting and crafting projects with the fabric. It’s semi-transparent, but with the busy print that doesn’t bother me. I was expecting thin, lightweight material. The hidden zipper is a nice touch. With a cardigan and tights, she can wear this into fall.

Item #4 Short Sleeve Plaid Dress with Criss Cross Open Back and Ruffle Edge Sleeves for $8.10

The dress color is a much darker shade of blue than what is pictured on

Verdict: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Review: I would give this 2.75 stars, but I’m already splitting hairs at 2.5. I love the open back. The color is much darker than pictured online but I still do like it a lot. The flutter sleeves and plaid print are cute, and with tights and a cardigan my daughter can wear this post-summer. The fabric is very thin. And while the stitches are neat and uniform, close up they are white and rather large.

Item #5 Long Sleeve Light Pink Cord Dress w Polka Dots and Embellished Collar and Cuffs for $11.70

The dress matches the product image very well. In fact, the well-lit SHEIN image on the left is a more accurate representation of the dress color.

Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars

Review: This dress is cute, but it was listed as corduroy fabric so I was expecting textured vertical lines. Instead it’s just a soft, thick polyester feel. The fabric is sturdy and relatively thick. It’s very well stitched and lots of nice extra embellishments. I would rate it higher, but the fabric isn’t 5-star quality and I think there should be more seam allowance along the bottom hem.

Item #6 Three-Piece Baby Boy Outfit with Button-Down, Shorts, and Bow-Tie for $8.10

This 3-piece ensemble matches the product photo very well, although the shorts do arrive a bit rumpled.

Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars

Review: If you want a cute outfit for birthday pictures or Christmas cards, this little ensemble does the trick. The shirt doesn’t wrinkle. It’s listed as cotton-spandex, but the texture feels smoother like a thicker nylon-polyester blend. Think something Greg or Mike would wear from the Brady Bunch, but without all the shine. The elastic-waist shorts are made of a cotton-twill fabric. The stitches are large but well placed. The fabric feels stiff and starchy, but that’s helping the shorts keep their shape. A run through the washer will fix (or ruin) that.

Item #7 Nautical Themed Muscle Onesie for $4.00

This nautical muscle onesie looks exactly like the product photo on SHEIN.

Verdict: 3 of 5 Stars

Review: The fabric is nice and soft, and the colors are crisp and bright. This looks like something you’d find at H&M. I would give it a perfect score, except the squid looks like it’s going to crack and peel badly if it goes through the washer. After the squid starts to crack, it’ll just be a layering piece.

Item #8 Short-Sleeve Cream Romper with Black Geo Print and Banana Appliqué for $5.40

This romper does match what the product photo, however the white snaps are much more visible in real life than in the product photo on

Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars

Review: The material feels like a cotton bamboo blend, but material composition is 95% cotton 5% elastane. Padded banana appliqué is great and I like the mod black print and front open snap. The material isn’t too thin and has a lot of give. The snaps are plastic and look cheap. I am worried they are going to break off during diaper changes. Fingers crossed.

Item #9 Darker Acid Washed Stretch Denim Hooded Romper for $9.00

The romper in real-life matches the product image (left) very well although it’s more blue than black.

Verdict 5 of 5 Stars

Review: Denim stretch romper in dark blue acid wash. My photo makes it look more blue than it really is; it’s much closer to the product photo. The material is thick and cozy with lots of stretch. The zipper is sturdy. This is a super well-constructed piece that I am excited for my son to wear. I wish they had it in my size. On par with quality I’d expect from Gap even though this doesn’t match Gap’s style aesthetic.

Item #10 Knit Gray Romper with Matching Bonnet for $9.00

This set matched the online photo extremely well.

Verdict: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Review: This grey cotton knit romper is sturdy and well constructed. It’s a thicker knit fabric, like a lightweight sweater. It’s not as soft as cashmere like more expensive versions, but I’ll confess: my baby doesn’t deserve the best and the softest. And just in case your baby doesn’t deserve the best and softest either, but you still want a hella cute romper for Instagram-worthy pics, you need to buy this ensemble now. I would give it a 5 of 5 stars, except the buttons do look cheap.

Item #11 Knit Oatmeal Short Overalls with Matching Bonnet for $9.90

This set is slightly darker in real life than in pictures, but the same quality and cuteness is there.

Verdict: 5 of 5 Stars

Review: These knit overalls with a matching bonnet make me want to stop everything and go do a woodlands themed photo shoot. Now. The textured sweater knit material is acrylic, but still reasonably soft. And the buttons do look cheap. Despite some small flaws, this piece is so incredibly adorable I couldn’t possibly score it lower. I am sure if I’ll replace the buttons or not since they are firmly in place. I might try it on my son and then decide – I have a feeling once I see it on him, I won’t care.

If I Like Buy Sell Trade Clothing Resale Groups, Why Did I Buy Kids Clothes?

1) Firstly, it’s because SHEIN is made in China so I thought the brand deserved a fair shake.

SHEIN and similar clothing brands get maligned for being “cheap made in China crap” – a paraphrase of every concern I’ve ever heard voiced about that brand. Even among liberals, in a woke age.

High-end products, green products, and products of questionable safety are made everywhere. Yet somehow “toxic”, “unsafe”, and “cheap” are adjectives reserved (specifically) for Made in China products. Let’s re-think how we view “Made in China” as being such a negative. Most of your closet comes from China – think Burberry, Nike, J. Crew, Levi’s, Old Navy, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Many high-end European toy companies, like Hape and Brio Toys, manufacture your children’s eco-friendly, made-of-birchwood, uber-green toys in China. Even LEGOS are made in China.

2) Secondly, I was selective about what I bought from SHEIN.

Several years back I purchased an array of $9 pants and $6 blouses from a third-party seller on Amazon. To call the garments cheaply made and paper-thin is an understatement. Thus, I was afraid to try SHEIN. I’d already been “ripped off” by an obscure Chinese company. I realized that was completely xenophobic.

I purchased items with good scores (at least 4 of 5 stars) and helpful, detailed reviews I could read. I also avoided products made of rayon, viscose, or polyester. I find cheap versions of these fabrics to drape poorly and wrinkle easily. I looked for items or fabrics described as “thick”, “knit” or that were made of cotton, jersey, corduroy, or denim.

3) Thirdly, I had reasonable expectations about SHEIN quality.

SHEIN clothes mimic the high-end styles you see from more expensive brands, but when they are a fraction of the cost you cannot expect the same quality.

As a grown-up woman with two kids (and scabby legs and cellulite), I wasn’t quite willing to shop for myself on SHEIN. The gamble, of winding up with a paper-thin dress held together by two-inch stitches and my sucked-in waistline, seemed too much. A semi-transparent dress on me is a liability, but a see-through cherry-print frock on a toddler? Less problematic.

Final Thoughts on Buying Clothes from SHEIN

While they don’t have great clothing resale value for Buy Sell Trade groups, go ahead and give SHEIN a try. Just don’t order yourself a $17.90 chiffon dress for your wedding shower only to later lament, in tears, that the dress literally ruined your day because you looked nothing like Kate Middleton.

Those SHEIN ads of gorgeous, flowy clothing in shades of bronze and honeydew are tempting. Place that order. Just be smart about it. Keep in mind the color shade could be a bit off. Look for heavier fabrics on well-reviewed items with close-up pictures.

And remember, any garment price tag ending in “.90” is not going to be duchess quality.