| Published on: January 12th, 2024
TL;DR: Romwe is essentially a subset of Shein, and just like the larger fast fashion giant, Romwe’s clothes and accessories are of poor quality and manufactured with questionable morals. Here are my key takeaways from this brand’s pros and cons:
- The designs are trendy, cheap, and plentiful.
- The clothing is of poor quality.
- The sizing is inconsistent, so knowing your measurements is essential.
My conscience hates fast fashion, but my weaker self occasionally succumbs. Here’s my story of trying Romwe and ultimately deciding it’s no better than other fast fashion retailers.
Recently, I found myself in an independent boutique in a small town in Upstate New York, which sold a mixture of used and new items. I found a treasure trove of cute shirts priced temptingly low.
So, I bought a few.
Only when I got home, I noticed that the tags read “Romwe.” My heart dropped. Isn’t that just a fast fashion company?
Sometimes, I come across a new online retailer with cute clothes at low prices and feel tempted. I’ll (wishfully) think, “Maybe this one isn’t as bad. Maybe things will be different this time?”
So, I wondered: is Romwe legit, or just as bad as the rest? I ordered an entire haul to test the brand’s quality, and now I’m back with another honest review.
- Their clothing is super affordable.
- The clothing is very on-trend and super up-to-date on what’s popular in the present moment.
- The shipping was surprisingly fast.
- Romwe clothes use low-quality materials, have an odd fit, and nearly all come with loose threads.
- Romwe has dubious ethics when it comes to human rights.
- Fast fashion brands like Romwe are wreaking havoc on our environment.
My favorite Romwe purchase
was the wide-leg jeans.
Although some pieces were cute and functional, many of my Romwe purchases were low-quality and ill-fitting.
What is Romwe? Is Romwe Legit?
Romwe is a fast fashion company. Regarding legitimacy, it’s a real company with genuine merchandise, and you can feel secure that they won’t steal your card information when you shop there.
Romwe has ties to the notorious retailer Shein. In some cases, Romwe and Shein’s clothes can be interchangeable.
I’ve reviewed many fast fashion companies, from Shein to Cider to Emery Rose and Halara. And I’ve started getting the sense that Shein is the omniscient villain behind many of these companies.
And in fact, Romwe and Shein are owned by the same parent company.
Even between separate companies, there are a lot of similarities between online fast fashion retailers that manufacture in Chinese factories. You’ll see a style on one website pop up almost identically on another.
The Romwe website design is similar to Shein’s. Still, while Shein breaks their vast inventory into different aesthetic trends, with options across the board of current trends, Romwe narrows slightly on a particular cutesy, frilly, cottage-core look.
That doesn’t mean that everything they carry looks like that – they certainly have some neutral looks as well – but the overall majority trends towards a frillier aesthetic.
These companies are very aware of current trends and have the means to produce an overwhelming bounty of merchandise.
On top of that, they have a habit of copying designs from higher-end brands and smaller designers.
Romwe Review: My Experience With Romwe Clothing
I ordered my Romwe haul at the same time as my Shein haul for my Shein review. The following week, boxes and soft packages arrived on my doorstep in a relentless downpour.
This timing certainly added to the impression that all the merchandise came from the same origin. However, what amplified this was that many of the items I ordered from Romwe had Shein packaging.
I also ordered some items from Shein that came with Romwe tags.
Overall, my impression of the products I ordered from Romwe matched my feelings about Shein. The quality is not high, which manifests in multiple ways.
In some garments, the fabric feels scratchy or stifling. In others, the material begins to pill after one wash, arrives with lots of loose threads, or the seams quickly deteriorate.
Sometimes, the fit is simply off.
On the other hand, I can’t deny that the clothing is cute, fun, and trendy. As long as the pieces fit decently, I still wear them a lot, like them, and get compliments. But none of this means that the clothing is actually good.
So, with that in mind, I’ll take you through my experience with each item I ordered.
Wide Leg Jeans
These Romwe jeans are relatively decent. They fit pretty well, and the button closure allows me to adjust the waistband when feeling fuller or make them tighter as the jeans stretch out between washes.
I cut the bottoms to turn them from 70s-style flares to more contemporary cropped wide-leg jeans. As I’ve mentioned, I’m short, and most standard pants are too long.
While I like these pants and wear them frequently, it’s also clear that they’re not high-end denim. The fabric is a little thin, and the zipper feels weak, so there’s always a slight gap at the top of the fly.
This pair of Romwe shorts is quite cute; they feature an embroidered mushroom detail on the back pocket.
As far as quality goes, they’re similar to the jeans. That is to say, they’re decent quality, but it’s clear they aren’t Levi’s.
Fit-wise, they are pretty good. The shorts’ inseam comes down low enough that they don’t ride up and can accommodate my wide hips and narrower waist.
There were endless Romwe dresses, and the selection process left my head spinning.
Eventually, I settled on this dress with a silky fabric and a watercolor-style mushroom print (I felt very ‘cottage-core’).
Unfortunately, it just didn’t fit right. The top was much too wide. I tried to alter it, but it still fits a bit oddly.
I wear it occasionally and get compliments because the print is undeniably cute. But the fit just isn’t there.
Pink lacy Kawaii skirt
I’m a fan of this skirt. The light, cotton-esque fabric is breathable, and the stretchy waistband means there’s little room for error regarding fit.
I wish it were a little shorter. Because I’m only 5’3” (on a good day), it fits like a maxi skirt, which I sometimes struggle to style in the fall and winter. I’d wear it more often if it hit closer to my mid-shin.
I’ve considered shortening it, but the ruffles mean it’ll be slightly more complicated than a simple hemming job. Still, for now, I’m satisfied with this one.
Pink lacy Kawaii cardigan
I’m a bit torn when it comes to this cardigan. On the one hand, it’s super cute. I wear it frequently and always get compliments on it.
But the quality is deficient – the acrylic yarn doesn’t feel too bad, but it’s quickly pilling and degrading. The lacy collar is scratchy, clings to the sweater, and bunches up easily.
But regardless, I like the way it looks, it fits well, and it’s comfortable, so I wear it all the time.
Green Gingham Knit Crop Top
This crop top is super adorable, but that’s about all I can say for it.
The knit was soft and stretchy when it first arrived, but it’s stiffened and matted up after a few washes.
It’s also just a little short. I don’t know whether I should blame the sweater or my own difficult-to-accommodate hourglass figure, but I find myself constantly tugging it down, wishing it covered just an inch more of my midsection.
But, even so, none of these detractors actually stop me from wearing it!
Black Platform Sandals
These shoes are stylish and comfortable, and they haven’t broken yet.
The clasps are a little fiddly, and the soles are such a lightweight foam that you can tell they’re cheap as soon as you touch them.
I ordered them in July and wore them often throughout the late summer. Once the weather turned, I stopped wearing them altogether; they’re really only for summer.
I’ve owned my fair share of cheap sandals, and based on my past experience, I’m honestly surprised they haven’t broken yet. But I doubt they’ll last through next summer. We’ll see.
Lime Wheel Earrings
As far as cheap plastic earrings go, these are a hit! But it’s also hard to go wrong. They’re supposed to look a little kitschy – they are, after all, plastic lime slices.
I like that the plastic is slightly translucent, but you can tell the painted details aren’t applied with much care or high-quality paint (but what else would you expect?)
Blue Gingham romper
This romper hasn’t worked out. The bust area was initially too big. I altered it a bit, and it fits better now, but the ruffly shorts have a tendency to flip upwards, and I end up feeling just a little too naked wearing this piece.
Black and white fuzzy purse
I have no complaints about this little purse. It’s fun, funky, and comfy to wear. It fits plenty of items and works well for a casual day.
It’s straightforward; there’s no lining, no inner pocket. But for what it offers, it delivers.
Green Retro Bikini
Surprisingly, this bikini is a winner. It fits well and offers plenty of support (which, believe me, is hard to come by). I like the print, too. It’s unique and attractive.
I own quite a few bathing suits, and by the time I got this, summer was already waning, and my swimming opportunities were growing scant.
I believe I wore it only once, so it may start to wear down with more use.
But for now, this is one Romwe purchase that doesn’t seem obviously cheap.
Romwe Sizing Tips & Fit
For me, Romwe’s sizing was super inconsistent. A few things fit well; some are slightly off, and the rest are essentially unwearable.
The clothing is ill-fitting in different ways; sometimes too tight and sometimes too loose. So, it can be hard to predict what will and won’t work for you.
My best advice – and this goes for all online shopping – is to know your measurements, compare them to the size chart for each garment, and size up.
You can alter clothing that’s too big, but there’s not much you can do when something’s too small.
Romwe carries sizes XS to XL. The website also has a curve and plus size section, with sizes ranging from 1XL to 3XL, equivalent to US sizes 14-18.
Romwe Return & Exchange Policy
You get one free return per order if you’re in the US. If you need an additional return label, it’ll cost you 7.99, and they’ll take that out of your refund.
So, if you get a bunch of things and want to return a few, it’s best to return them all in one package.
You can print a return label or use the QR code generated when you initiate the return on the website.
Items need to be unworn, unwashed, and purchased less than two months from your return request, and you can choose between store credit and actual money refunded to your payment method.
Romwe Discounts & Coupons
If you love to score a deal, you won’t have to search far and wide to find one for Romwe.
Romwe is constantly running sales, promotions, and discounts. At any given time, you’ll find them in the ‘Sale’ section of the website.
In addition to the general ‘Sale’ section, there’s a daily flash sale. There’s also a third sale subsection called ‘Quick Sale.’
Currently, the available ‘Quick Sales’ are ‘Winter Clearance’ and ‘All 10%-70% off.’
Additionally, several more deals are flashing at the top of the screen that advertise ‘Free shipping on all orders $19+’ and ‘App only 20% off.’
This retail strategy is part and parcel of the fast fashion industry, which emphasizes quantity over quality.
Words like ‘Flash’ and ‘Quick’ help create a sense of urgency, and incredibly low prices encourage you to fill your cart to the brim.
Where to Buy Romwe Clothing
You can find Romwe clothing in several places. First and foremost, it’s available on the Romwe website. You can also find the brand in abundance on Amazon and most of the merchandise on Shein.
Beyond that, Romwe items may pop up where you least expect them, evidenced by my experience in that small-town boutique.
Romwe’s products are so cheap that independent retailers use them for drop-shipping, and that’s why they pop up in places you wouldn’t expect.
Tips for Shopping on Romwe
If you decide to shop for Romwe clothing, I have a few words of advice:
- Opt for forgiving styles. Since sizing can be challenging to get just right, it’s best to avoid very fitted and tailored cuts because they’re more likely to be ill-fitting. Opt for stretchy garments, knits, and flowy dresses. Or just look for accessories and bags!
- Be strategic. Cheap, low-cost clothing can have a time and a place. Think Halloween costumes, theater props, etc. Sometimes, I’ll go the fast fashion route if I’m looking for simple basics you can’t get secondhand, like undergarments, stretchy tank tops, or socks.
- Remember that trends are fickle. This advice can go both ways. Suppose you want to try out a hot trend but don’t want to invest in something expensive that might look played out by next spring. Romwe can step in to solve that problem for you. Just remember, however, that constantly buying cheap, trendy clothing can be a destructive habit for the environment. When I dip into a current trend, I try to ask myself if I really like it and aim for trends that will likely have some staying power and pieces that can adapt as my tastes change.
FAQs About Romwe Clothing
Are Romwe and Shein the same?
Romwe and Shein are very intertwined. Shein orders come with Romwe packaging; Romwe orders come with Shein packaging.
Here’s the scoop: Shein and Romwe began as competitors. In 2014, Shein bought Romwe, and they are now both owned by the same parent company.
Clothing with “Romwe” labels turns up on Shein, and many Romwe items arrive in Shein packaging.
Is Romwe as bad as Shein?
Romwe is perhaps a little more under-the-radar than Shein and hasn’t had the same level of bad press.
But considering that they have the same owner and their branding comes so intermingled, there isn’t a clear line between the two companies.
As such, it’s safe to assume the sins of one are the sins of the other.
Is Romwe ethical?
By no stretch of the imagination could we consider Romwe an ethical company.
The cold truth is that there are inherent ethical violations in the fast fashion business model. Shein, in particular, is known to underpay and overwork their factory workers.
Being owned by the same parent company, Romwe almost certainly manufactures in those same factories.
Is Romwe a trusted site?
Despite sketchy ethics and cheap, low-grade products, I can at least say confidently that Romwe will fulfill your orders promptly. What you order from Romwe will arrive on your doorstep reasonably quickly.
If you’re concerned about your card information, you can pay for your order using PayPal, which will protect your identity.
Is Romwe a Chinese company?
Yes, Romwe’s headquarters is in China, and their factories are there, too.
Is Romwe considered fast fashion?
Romwe is fast fashion through and through.
Why is Romwe so cheap?
More than anything else, Romwe uses cheap labor to keep its costs down. The second major factor is low-grade materials.
There’s no genuine cotton, wool, or silk on Romwe.
Then, there’s the fact that they operate only online. So, there’s no brick-and-mortar rent to pay nor sales associates’ paychecks in countries with high minimum wage requirements.
Romwe’s low prices are the cornerstone of fast fashion’s economic strategy, which hinges on moving high volumes of cheap products quickly and relentlessly.
Is Romwe good quality?
While many of the Romwe pieces I ordered are cute and wearable, it’s also easy to tell that they use cheap materials and shoddy manufacturing.
Occasionally, there are exceptions, and certain products are (or at least appear to be) higher quality.
But, by and large, the answer is a resounding ‘No.’
How long does Romwe take to deliver?
There are three options for shipping: Standard ($3.99 or free after $29.99; delivered in under ten days), Economic ($3.99 or free after $19.99; delivered in under twelve days), and Express ($19.99 or free after $159.99; delivered in under seven days).
I had Express shipping, and it indeed arrived within the week.
Conclusion: So, is Romwe Clothing Worth it?
I won’t beat around the bush: no, it’s not worth it. Of the various fast fashion companies I’ve tried, Romwe’s quality is on the lower end (the overall worst is still Emery Rose, another Shein subsidiary.)
So, ultimately, even though the prices are super cheap, it’s not worth the effort.
Furthermore, it isn’t worth the damage it’s doing to the environment or the knowledge that people working too hard for insufficient compensation made these clothes.
That’s not to preach from my high horse – I wear fast fashion as I type this.
Even reputable, pricier brands are manufactured in foreign sweatshops, and the choices of each individual consumer have little sway over the complex effects of globalization.
So, you’re not a monster if you want some cute, affordable fashion. But the clothing’s poor quality is the real dealbreaker. Especially when other, better options exist.
Alternatives to Romwe
I’ve searched for brands that offer cheap, ethical, sustainable clothing, but every recommendation I’ve found is about ten times the price.
For example, I found an article recommending Reformation as a ‘great fast fashion alternative.’ The average Reformation dress is around $300. I mean, honestly, who considers that affordable?
The good news is that there is a better way, and it’s called thrifting.
Thrifting is recycling; it’s good for the environment and your budget.
If you don’t have good thrift stores in your area, or if thrift stores skeeve you out – no worries! I’m a big fan of ThredUp, an online consignment store.
ThredUp clothing arrives super clean and wrapped in delicate tissue paper. They offer a vast inventory of like-new clothing and accessories at supreme discounts, everything from designer labels to fast fashion.
You can filter by brand and easily find a Reformation dress marked down to a Romwe-level price.
You can even find Romwe clothing (plus Shein, Cider, and the rest) marked down to half the original price on ThredUp. So, if you really want to shop Romwe, ThredUp is a sustainable option.
If you’re looking for a mid-level option, Quince offers higher-end basics that use premium materials at below-average prices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elina’s offbeat, colorful sense of style has been a mode of self-expression for as long as she can remember. As a visual artist, she travels the world, and her shoes have to keep pace. With an upscale NY art gallery exhibition today and research adventures in Italian ghost towns tomorrow, Elina has high standards and prioritizes style, versatility, and comfort. Her online shopping addiction has led her to test dozens of shoes over the past few years, and she’s always up to date on the latest trends.
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