Is Romwe legit? A review + shopping tips for similar sites

This year, the lid was kinda-sorta blown off a string of clothing websites based in China. Buzzfeed covered the story, and many familiar, cheap sites, Romwe among them, were mentioned. Is Romwe legit? Are any of them legit? Is it all just a scam?

I’ve shopped at some of these sites in the past, Romwe and Shein among them, and while I do think there is definitely a higher risk associated with shopping from these foreign, cheapish sites, I also think that getting a great deal shopping at these websites is absolutely possible.

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First off, here are the sites mentioned in the article I have personally bought clothing from (this post is sponsored in no way, even though I have worked with a couple of these brands in the past). I have shopped at: Romwe, Shein, Choies, and Sammy Dress. I have not bought clothing from Rosewe, Rosegal, Zaful, or TideBuy. Here are some tips!Read More »

I’m doing the no-buy challenge for April! Here’s how…

Last year was a bad year in terms of saving for me. I tried my hardest to be frugal, but considering I went on several trips, one overseas, the saving thing was so not for me. I was also shopping fairly heavily, which was great for fashion posts, but not so much for the wallet! Enter: the no-buy challenge.

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Fashion // Maybe this year

Every year, I look forward to what I’m going to wear for Christmas Day. All my life, I’ve loved to dress up on special occasions, and even on occasions that aren’t that special for obvious reasons, but that feel special to me. I like to dress up just for the sake of it.

So this year, I put together this outfit culled from the presents I received on the day and some affordable pieces from Marshalls and other stores like that. I love how this outfit is sparkly, cute, and chic, but also comfy and affordable. Hope you like it! It would also be a perfect choice for New Year’s Eve!

I also did my eye makeup in a very fun way—with rhinestones on my lids. I got the idea from my favorite beauty vlogger Chloe Morello, who got it from Kylie Jenner’s Halloween costume this year. It was not so easy gluing jewels to my eyes, but hey, the end result was totally worth it. 🙂

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sweater from Marshalls (Abercrombie & Fitch), shoes, necklace, and shorts from Easy Pickins

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Thrifting haul

New York City boasts hundreds of little thrift stores, but luckily I’ve got one two minutes away from my suburban home, tucked at the back of a teeny church. It’s called Red Door Thrift and I’ve haunted it many times looking for discount furniture, clothes and books. It’s open only for three hours four days a week so I always have to plan my visits.

Last year I found a powder blue chest of drawers there for a mere $18. I also found a pair of vintage cowboy boots that were sadly not my size, and countless books. Inside:IMG_0457 IMG_0450 IMG_0453 IMG_0452

I especially love the books: best sellers, out of print editions of classics, all kinds of genre fiction, big literature anthologies, and more abound. And best of all are the prices. I got six books for $4.50! That beats my 10% B&N discount for sure!

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Haul:

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1. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green $.50 
2. Candide, Voltaire $.50
3. The Toilers of the Sea, Victor Hugo, $1
4. Mrs. Arris Goes to Paris, $1
5. Highland Folktales $1
not pictured: a copy of Romeo & Juliet “No Fear Shakespeare” for my tutoree!

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Love cheap books.

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Bookstore Hopping | McNally Jackson Books in New York

It’s been a WHILE since I’ve done these fun little bookstore spotlights, and it’s because I’ve been so busy with all of my three thousand jobs. Recently I had a day off so I hopped a 6 to Manhattan and did some exploring. I’ve been wanting to visit this bookstore, McNally Jackson, for a while, and I took the opportunity. It’s nestled on the corner of Mulberry and Prince Street in Soho/Nolita. The space is quite large inside, decorated cleanly with wood floors, wooden bookcases, meandering aisles, a lower level, and a wide selection that’s very well stocked. Plus: it has a full cafe and seating area with a menu that boasts a variety of coffee drinks, teas, and a good lunch menu. Noise level is perfect. Decor? Excellent. I’d highly recommend this place for two reasons: you’ll find the book you want (and then some) and you’ll have a nice time reading it in the cafe. I know I did.

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Inside, the decor is rustic and features something that I absolutely adore: books on a stick. Skewered books hang from the ceiling above the cafe, something I officially disapprove of because books! but in reality it’s really awesome. The wallpaper in the cafe features images of book pages, just in case you forgot this is a real-deal bookstore. What’s also cool about the cafe is that they have banquettes set along the back wall with a retractable deskette that unfolds like a book, to hold your coffee of choice and perhaps a notebook. I went in here with some notes and set my coffee on this little wooden desk, and was at peace.

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I love the selection. They have art, design, architecture, photography, bargain books, an amazing Children’s Section (which too few bookstores have anymore, and which I love perusing), a huge History section, Mythology, and they do something really awesome with their literature: organize it by country. I love that, especially considering I was looking for Gogol and Dostoyevsky and found a neat little bookcase labeled RUSSIAN LITERATURE. Hey thanks, McJ.

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But the coolest bit of this bookstore is the Espresso Book Machine. Espresso. Book. Machine. They have their own freaking printing press, which they call the Espresso Book Machine because it prints books really fast. Get it? Eh? I love it. You can buy blank notebooks that have been freshly pressed and self-published works. Really cool.

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Address: 52 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

Go check it out.

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Fashion | Winter Song

Winter white and my usual pop of color. I’m reverting back to a romantic style in my outfits that almost disappeared in the last year, but it’s always interesting to see how style changes over time, and especially when it changes back.

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kimono from Marshalls, necklace c/o Mondaynoon, boots from DSW

Fashion // I'll Follow The Sun

ALL OF THE BRIGHT COLORS! I love bold colors and surprising combinations. I wore this to my family’s Thanksgiving extravaganza, which lasts for about twelve hours and consists of appetizers, a pasta course, turkey with a zillion sides, fruit and nuts, a couple dozen desserts, and then about an hour into our turkey coma comes second dinner: hot stuff like baked clams and the leftovers from our appetizer course. So we basically don’t stop eating from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Welcome to my Italian family.

A lot of old stuff in this outfit, but new combinations really liven up old clothes. IMG_9581 IMG_9583 IMG_9584 IMG_9587 IMG_9589 IMG_9590

skirt from Charade, top from Garage, shoes borrowed from my sister, gold leak necklace from Aldo

Fashion // Gravity Happens

I’m not sold on this dress. I love the style of it but I’m not crazy about the length and the fit. I got it from Sammy Dress, and the prices are so low that you definitely pay for the quality, you know? I wore the dress with my Jordan Baker necklace from Halloween and some new boots from Yesstyle:

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necklace from DSW, boots from Yesstyle, dress from Sammy Dress

Fashion // Wildest Dreams

This outfit is an extreme example of repurposing old clothes. Almost every single article of clothing in this outfit is two-plus years old or a hand-me-down. The boots are from ~2011, the top is from my sister (I salvaged it from her Goodwill pile), the mustard jacket is also ~2011, and the skirt must be from 2009 or so! It’s mad old. I used to wear it at least once a month in college. And the scarf is my mother’s.

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It’s always a challenge putting together solid outfits on a tight budget, but it’s also fun and extremely satisfying to leave your bank account alone and just rummage through your own closet.

boots from Marshalls (Adrienne Vittadini), top from Garage, skirt from Forever 21