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Updated September 20, 2021
There comes a point in the life of every Clothes Horse Mom when she finally breaks down and places an order at Shein.com. 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 Shein.com kids clothes was going to be like. Was the pricing completely too good to be true, or a total rip-off?
Amid a sea of SHEIN clothes reviews, here’s one mom’s review.
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 kids clothes 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 Shein.com 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
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. Usually an expensive feature, you can find cute dresses and tops with Peter Pan collars starting at $8. Will be cute with T-strap shoes. Might buy a slip to wear underneath.
Note: While you can find Peter Pan collared garments ultra cheap, I’m more inclined to find ones priced $13 or $14 and up to be higher in quality, like this denim tiered ruffle dress with peter pan collar I’m obsessing over… This may be my next indulgence.
Item #2 Wheat-Print Short Sleeve Dress with Teal Twill Trim Yoke Collar for $10.80
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.
SHEIN twill dresses are priced a bit higher, but generally you’re getting a thicker, sturdier fabric. Obviously, reading Shein reviews (that are detailed and helpful) and looking at close-up pics will be your best barometer of garment quality.
Item #3 Retro (1930’s) Blue Floral Print Swing Dress with Ruffle Collar for $9.90
Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars
Review: I love the 1920’s and 1930’s look of this dress. I’m a sucker for retro, and SHEIN has plenty of vintage inspired dresses. 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.
Update: Three months out, and my daughter still really loves this dress. I hate ironing, so I’ve tossed then in the dryer on gentle with a damp wash cloth to take out the wrinkles. A nice perk of buying a sub $10 dress is you no longer fear the dryer.
Item #4 Short Sleeve Plaid Dress with Criss Cross Open Back and Ruffle Edge Sleeves for $8.10
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.
You can find other open back dresses on SHEIN that have more structure. But then again, at age 3, she doesn’t have a lot puckers and and lumps she’s self-conscious of.
Item #5 Long Sleeve Light Pink Cord Dress w Polka Dots and Embellished Collar and Cuffs for $11.70
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.
There are plenty of choices for cord dresses on SHEIN, many of them in earthy tones of bronze, brown, rust, and wheat. If I were to buy another cord dress on SHEIN, I’d go for a different color palette.
Item #6 Three-Piece Baby Boy Outfit with Button-Down, Shorts, and Bow-Tie for $8.10
Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars
Review: If you want a cute baby boy 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
Verdict: 3 of 5 Stars
Review: SHEIN has hundreds of cute onesies for cheap. On this onesie, 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.
Update: The squid hasn’t peeled! Somehow this onesie got lost at daycare. When or if it makes its way back home, I’ll let you know how it’s holding up.
Item #8 Short-Sleeve Cream Romper with Black Geo Print and Banana Appliqué for $5.40
Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars
Review: There are few things more adorable in life than a textured baby romper. SHEIN baby rompers and shorties aren’t, perhaps, as buttery or silky soft as Kyte, but they’re still a great budget alternative.
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
Verdict 5 of 5 Stars
Review: I love a denim romper – for babes, kids, and moms. No ironing required! Structured fabric! SHEIN has around 100 to 200 denim rompers for kids and babies on their site. (Unlike other product categories, where there are thousands of options to sort through.)
This denim stretch romper is in a shade of dark blue acid wash. My photo makes it look more blue than it really is; it’s much closer to the SHEIN.com 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.
Most of their denim rompers are priced closer to the $15 to $18 range, which makes sense given denim is a thicker material.
Update: Henry wore this romper once and it fit super cute – especially with his hair combed up into a faux-hawk. Dad, however, hated the look. Said it reminded him of Pony Boy from The Outsiders, or a greaser. That said, the fabric and zipper quality were good.
Item #10 Knit Gray Romper with Matching Bonnet for $9.00
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.
There are hundreds of adorable knit baby rompers on SHEIN, many with matching caps and bonnets.
Item #11 Knit Oatmeal Short Overalls with Matching Bonnet for $9.90
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.
Update: There are new baby jumpers and shortalls cropping up all the time on SHEIN. But 3 months after I purchased this set, it’s still going strong on SHEIN. I think it’s a testament to the quality of this product that it’s still selling well on a fast fashion website. Many high-end garments don’t have this type of longevity, and would be price-slashed into oblivion by now.
If I Like Buy Sell Trade Clothing Resale Groups, Why Did I Buy SHEIN.com 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 highly rated yet honest SHEIN reviews (at least 4 of 5 stars), looking for reviews that were detailed, helpful, and written in English.
Three dozen perfect reviews mean nothing if there’s no qualitative data being shared about the garment’s look, cut, color, feel, and quality.
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 kids 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. The savings are there. You can find the latest fashions at a fraction of the price from upscale designers, and there is always a free shipping promo code or other coupon deal.
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.
Here are the 10 Cutest Things to Buy Right Now on SHEIN Kids (at 20% off too).