Thursday, November 6, 2014

What You Should Know When You Buy Asian Clothes Online


I love fashion styles from places like Korea and Japan. Sites like YesStyle sell wonderfully cute clothing and accessory styles that were made for the Asian marketplace that I don't see much at more mainstream American shops. I also often see Asian fashions for sale on sites like Amazon, eBay or other sites that might seem at first to be "American" (like RoseGal), but aren't. How can you tell? If you see pics where the model is Asian, the measurements are in centimeters (rather than inches) or the shipping is from an Asian country, like Hong Kong, those are some hints that the clothes might have been made for the Asian market. Other than style, why is this important?

The sizes tend to be a Lot Smaller!

I often read reviews, especially on Amazon, for things that I can tell was made for an Asian market (having an Asian model is a good clue, being shipped from Hong Kong is another) that will have reviews like, "This was made for a child! Not an adult!" Actually, it wasn't made for a child. The average Asian woman is going to be smaller than the average American woman, so their clothes are too. Although...not to the degree of them being "child sized" (I think that reviewer was just kind of silly).

Although I am an American, I actually am sized more like an Asian (especially in the aspect of having a small bust, ahem), I am 5' 4" and on the too thin side, so the size difference in clothes is not as much of a problem for me. But for many others it will be.

A size Large made for someone in an Asian country is going to be a lot smaller than a Large made for someone in the United States or other Western fact it is more likely to be what you'd consider a Small (although it might be more like what you consider a Medium).  So you must pay attention to the actual measurements given. Yes, they will most likely be given in centimeters and if you are from the U.S. this may seem confusing to you. But you can use a conversion tool such as this one to convert the measurements from cm to inches.

Paying attention to the measurements listed on the webpage means you must also know what your own size is. No guessing. You can either purchase a tape measure that shows centimeters on it (so you don't have to convert cm to inches) or get a "regular" one and convert the measurements. You can read how to take your measurements here.

If measurements are not given, you should seriously consider not buying it. Something listed as a "One Size" is probably going to be small.

If you are on the smaller side for an American you have a better chance of finding clothes from these sites that will fit. If you aren't then you might be out of luck. :(


The other thing to be aware of when buying Asian fashions is that they are often being shipped from Asia. And that can mean really long shipping times. It's probably not going to arrive in a week. It may take 3-4 weeks. Pay attention to what the website (or seller info, in the case of sites like Amazon or eBay) says about shipping times so you aren't caught by surprise.

Related to this is how holidays can affect shipping times...and I am not talking about Christmas. Things like the Lunar New Year may mean many businesses are closed, which results in delays in shipping.

Here is what it says about shipping on's website to give you  an example.

"Annual Chinese Public Holidays: Chinese Lunar New Year (usually in February), Labor Day (1st May every year), Chinese National Day (1st October every year). Please note that all delivery times will be affected during these times of year as the service from all our suppliers and logistics operators will be disrupted. There is often a delay of 3-4 days and sometimes even longer. We sincerely apologize for any delays caused during these periods and kindly ask our customers to be patient."

Quality and Reviews

Pay attention to Reviews. Many sites may not have reviews on individual items unfortunately, but if they do take advantage of them. When it comes to bad reviews it might not actually be a bad item...the reviewer just might not know what you now know about size and shipping. If they are complaining about the size you know that you just need to pay attention to the measurements more, and order a size up maybe (if available). If the bad reviews about the item are about Quality however, then it might be better to pass it on by.

You should also check out reviews of the website you are ordering from. Going to Google (or Bing, Yahoo, etc.) and typing in the name of the website plus "reviews" will often bring up useful sites with reviews. Just be aware that people, in general, are more likely to post bad reviews than good reviews. There are places that I've had good, and even great, experiences with, that reading reviews on them might make one think they are "evil" when they aren't. I guess I am trying to say that a site might not be quite as bad as it seems, but still the more bad reviews there are the more it should make you think carefully about buying from them. Try to use your best judgement without being overwhelmed by others negativity.

Even though I link to many sites that sell stuff from Asia, I'll admit that not all of them have the greatest reviews. The one I trust the most is YesStyle. The others I still like, but I may be more cautious with them when it comes to quality and customer service.

I hope this info has somewhat helpful. (Sorry if it was a bit too long and boring.)

This post contains some affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

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