does shein run small

Does Shein Run Small or Big? Let’s Find Out

by jacky chou
Updated on

I was surprised by how cheap everything was at Shein; it is not every day that you come across good quality clothes at low prices. My interest peaked when I first found the retailer, and being as willing as I am, I placed an order to test the waters. So, does Shein run small? Here is my honest review of the Shein clothing and sizing options. But before that, what is the Shein brand?

What is Shein?

Shein is an online fashion retailer based in China. The company is well-known for its affordably priced clothing. Before, it was regarded as a drop shipping company rather than a retailer. On the other hand, the company does not design or manufacture apparel and instead sources its products from the Guangzhou wholesale clothing market.

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Shein ships across 195 countries, making it the world's largest fashion retailer as of 2022. Rumors have it that the company is considering creating physical storefronts to continue selling trendy clothing at rock-bottom costs.

Does Shein Size Run Small?

Shein's sizes are often smaller than those of western clothing. So to avoid unexpected shocks, we recommend ordering one size bigger. Besides, if you want to know your size in Shein, their site offers some techniques to measure yourself with a tape measure and change the results to your right size.

Furthermore, we encourage reading customer reviews and ratings. If there are any issues with the product's sizing, you will find comments in this section recommending that you buy one larger or smaller size than Shein indicates.

The good thing about Shein's comment section is that you can upload photos of the product once it has arrived. Most people do it, and the truth is that it's handy in determining how the apparel will feel and look on you ( size, sleeves, neckline, silhouette, etc.).

1. Shein Pants and Jeans

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Shein's jeans and pants usually run small. Also, they tend to be a little tight around the inseam and the thighs, so we recommend sizing up. They have a wide range of pants, but most have this issue. Hence, if you want the trendiness of Shein's bottom wear, you will need to remember this fact.

2. Shein Dresses

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Shein dresses also run small. In some circumstances, you may need to size up by around two sizes to have a better fit. This is most likely because Shein is a Chinese comapny, and its size may differ from what you are used to. Apart from the size, the quantity of various dresses in the company is quite outstanding.

3. Shein Tops and Shirts

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The sizing of Shein's tops is difficult to determine because of the company's inconsistency. However, Shein shirts tend to run small for most people, so it is best to size up when shopping from the brand. It is also wise to read the reviews before buying to understand better how their clothes, especially tops, will fit.

On the other hand, not everything in the Shein Curve category is a win. First of all, the sizing might be highly distorted. For example, I previously ordered a T-shirt in my normal size 16, which barely fits, but other shirts in the same size usually fit comfortably loose.

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Moreover, I once ordered a shirt in a 3X size (or three sizes up) because I wanted it to fit loosely, and it felt weird to purchase something in size much larger than what I am used to (it is quite the opposite of vanity sizing).

4. Shein Swimwear

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Shein swimwear usually runs roughly a half-size small. Therefore, it's wise to size up instead of a size down if you're in between sizes. Apart from that, if you don't mind your swimwear being a bit tight, you may even go true to size here. Ultimately, it all boils down to how you want the swimwear to fit your body.

Does Shein Sell Plus-Size Clothing?

Yes, Shein does sell plus-size apparel. There are sizes ranging from XS to 5XL, meaning there's something for everyone. Shein's plus-size apparel is attractive and stylish, and the brand always adds new styles to its line. Although most of their products are designed for smaller frame sizes, they provide a limited assortment of plus-size clothes. Some dresses, shirts, tops, bottoms, and even outerwear like jackets and coats fall within this category.

However, even Shein's plus-size apparel runs a little small. Therefore, if you're a 4XL in shirts, opt for the 5XL size for a better fit. But the good thing is whether you are looking for a casual or a more formal outfit, you will find it at Shein clothing.

What Are the Tips for Shein Sizing?

1. One Size Doesn't Necessarily Mean "One Size Fits All."

Shein has "one size," but this doesn't mean that it's a voluminous item that can accommodate any number of people. That said, it might be a size medium or a size XL. Therefore, always read the measurements to see if and how they will fit you.

2. Forget the Size You Think You Are

The Shein sizing is not the same as vanity sizing. Therefore, order one or two sizes larger than usual. The reason behind the sizing is that the store is headquartered in China, so sizing runs smaller.

3. Always Take Measurements of Yourself

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There are measurements for every apparel as well as measurements for the various sizes. So, don't assume you already know your measurements. Instead, get a tape and measure it against your body. For example, do you want space along the waist, chest, and shoulders?

4. Examine the Shein Model's Clothing Size

Shein often features a model wearing the clothes. The model's size and measurements are often provided. It allows you to see how an item fits.

5. Check the Images in the Review Section

The photos in the review section are handy for determining the quality and true color but not for size. However, photos of customers in the clothes are sometimes available for products many people have bought. And, because the reviews often include body size information, you can see how a certain size fits someone, which might help you determine how it will look on you.

6. Read the Comments

Some comments are quite handy and talk about how the item fits. For example, users can enter their height, chest size, weight, and so on. In addition, you can read the comments and see the sizes others bought and whether or not they worked well.

7. Look for Well-Rated Items

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If a lot of people have bought it, it's usually good. Shein allows buyers to post photos of themselves wearing the pieces of clothing, not only in the reviews. It shows how other individuals have worn a certain item. The section is located below the piece's details but above the comments. They are quite handy for determining an item's fit. The more you see the item from other buyers, the better your idea of fit and size will be.

8. Examine the Fabric Content

The fabric content of an item can be crucial in determining whether or not it will fit you. If, for example, the hips measurement is smaller than your hips, but the fabric is stretchy, you can be confident that it'll stretch an inch to fit you. Knowing the fabric content also lets you know if an item will shrink when washed. Moreover, if you're getting a dress or skirt, ensure the waistline is elastic.

How Do You Choose the Right Shein Size?

There are two main methods on Shein that allows you to check the size of the product you intend to buy, whether it's a pair of jeans, a dress, a sweater, or even shoes.

1. Use Shein Size Chart

The sizing chart is available on the Shein website in different places. You can find it by either tapping on the Size Guide on every product page or scrolling down the home page and clicking on Shein Size Guide.

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In the Shein size guide, you can choose from four different sizing measurements based on where you are located; you get options of US, UK, DE, IT, AU, EU, and BR sizes, and when you choose your region, the sizes and measurements change automatically.

The product measurements highlight sizes like length, shoulder, sleeve, waist, bust, cuff, and collar, but the measurements here will vary by one or two cm as they're all done manually.

2. Use Shein Fit Finder

Shein Fit Finder is a handy tool available for some products on Shein. The tool allows you to check which size will fit you well by calculating the measurements you enter.

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To access the tool, open the product page ( note that it isn't available on each page, and only some products have it, such as tops). Once you are there, next to the Size Guide is a link labeled "Check my Size," click it.

You'll be redirected to a new page that asks you to enter your key metrics, such as length, bra size, hip shape, belly shape, and fit preference. Then, based on your entries, the tool will give you the size of that product that fits perfectly.

If you are happy with the sizing, go ahead and add the product to your cart; if not, you now know what size is best for you. Then, you can return to the product page and choose a size, either larger, depending on the material, or smaller if you want a tighter fit.

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jacky chou


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