Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chicwish Review

I am not being compensated in any way by Chicwish. This purchase was paid for by myself, and the opinions here are based on my experience with the company. I purchased two novelty print skirts.

This was after an hour of ironing. I'm afraid the wrinkles may never come out. That's what happens when items are shoved haphazardly into plastic bags, and shipped across the globe.

I rarely purchase new clothing, and I'm not a fan of, "fast fashion." That said, I'd heard great things about Chicwish, and thought I'd give it a try. At over $45.00 each these aren't exactly inexpensive, free shipping or not. I know we're not talking about designer couture here, but I have some expectations, really minimal ones I must say.
 Expectation #1-there won't be threads hanging all through the seams. I was nervous trimming them for fear the whole skirt might come undone, put together as it was with little more than an overlocker. That's OK on a tee shirt, but not on a skirt.
 Expectation #2-The pockets won't be shredding where the poorly done stitching missed the edge.
 Expectation #3-The seam should not pucker-and with a scenic print, it really ought to match up. Oh, and more threads were left hanging.
 Expectation #4-The waistband should be sewn on better, and not already be coming un-stitched. We won't even discuss how crappy the fasteners are (quite crappy).

 How cheap is the fabric? Well, you know those wind-sock things people hang in their gardens made from nylon? The skirts are like that...but not nearly as nice. I'd stick them on a pole in the garden and call it a day, but the neighbours would think I was too cheap to buy a quality wind sock.

Sometimes I need to remind myself why I wear vintage. I understand that the quality just isn't what it used to be, but this is nothing more than garbage. Over-priced garbage. I shop at discount stores like K Mart fairly regularly, and I can tell you that the quality of the clothing is far superior to what I got from Chicwish, for much, much less money. I bought a beautiful floral jumpsuit at K Mart today for a whopping $12.00 There were no hanging threads, the pattern matched, and the hems were even all around. As a bonus, I didn't have to wait three weeks for it to arrive-in a crumpled state that washing, steaming, and ironing couldn't manage to correct. I've also had great experiences buying from ASOS, which is doing essentially the same thing as Chicwish-they just do it better. Junk like I was sent from Chicwish is inexcusable, even if it cost a dollar.

Mostly, I'm annoyed with myself because I should have known better. I know some bloggers have been happy with the items they've received, and written glowing reviews but I'm sorry to say, my experience was terrible. Sure, I could snap some passable photos of the skirt, but I still need to wear it-and it is unpleasant to wear.  At the very least, the zipper should not be sewn to the pocket! As it is such a faulty zipper, I know it will soon need replacing, and I can put it in correctly. I don't mind fixing vintage clothes I buy at the thrift store, but retail shouldn't require major overhauls before wearing.

On a positive note, I now have a skirt to match a beer stein, and matching skirt. Doesn't everyone have a beer stein of Neuschwanstein?
 Any beer in there?

 Nein. Just a postcard, and a receipt from Mader's . "Come for the spaetzle, stay for the gift shop!"
Mr. ETB lived in Germany for a few years when he was young (his Dad was an army doctor, and they were stationed there for a bit). He's visited Neuschwanstein, but was bored with it. He really didn't enjoy his time in Germany. They lived off base in a small village to get the immersive experience, and he still didn't manage to learn any German. I grew up close to the Illinois/Wisconsin border. I think I got exposed to more German culture there, than my husband did in Germany. I'm a little sad I can't make it to Milwaukee for Germanfest, because I could really go for a beer and some dancing. I've got the right skirt, that's for sure. 
Roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun...
Yes, I look like a barrel of something in this pleated monstrosity of a skirt. The pleats aren't stitched down, and the skirt lining is little more than a bunched-up, foofy, puffy mess. I'm tempted to remove it and wear it with a proper crinoline instead-it would at the very least make me look less like a barrel (of fun, of course). My hips are large enough-I don't need to add several inches to them. 

 A close-up of the print, and a look at my borage starting to bloom.
 Rear view of the print.
I'm afraid I won't be ordering from Chicwish again. Be warned, should you decide to do so (and I really advise against it) the sizes run absurdly small. This is a 2X.

Building an obscenely expensive castle in Bavaria for your composer buddy to stage his performances can get you labelled, "insane." Forking over perfectly good money for clothes that look like they were sewn by a grade six home economics class on their first project is equally nuts, castle print or not. Save your money for a dinner at Mader's, and something nice from the gift shop.


Bibi said...

Oh dear. How disappointing.
Before I moved to the Far East I used to dress very 50's - it suited my VERY hourglass figure better than most 'current' fashions.
Mostly I shopped thrift but another favorite of mine was eShakti. They offer custom tailoring & quite a few retro styles. I ordered a couple of maxidresses from them last in 2012 & was quite pleased with the fit & quality.

Bibi said...

Oops! I forgot to add eShakti's tailoring is done in Chennai (south India).

Beth Waltz said...

Perhaps not up to wind-sock standards, but could the skirt manage curtains? Odd bits of fabric serve their time at the kitchen sink window in my household. (The current incumbent is yellow point-pleated satin stuff that still bore a $33/yd tag on the remnant I purchased. I call it "Tribute to the Beales".) A few beer steins on the window shelf und hier das ist!

Curtise said...

Oh dear. What a shame. I know you can't expect fantastic quality from fast fashion, but the flaws you've highlighted are inexcusable and shoddy. I'd be sending the damn thing back! That said, the print is cool, and it does match the stein, so there's that...
Yep, makes me happy to shop vintage! xxx

Connie said...

I can see why you ordered the skirt because it really is cute. And you do look pretty. But such a bummer. I spend hours on websites just pretend shopping so thanks for warning me about chic wish in case I was ever tempted to dust off my credit card.

Goody said...

I've heard good things about them for custom fits. If I decide to buy something reatail again (doubtful) I will look into it.

@Beth Waltz
"Tribute to the Beales" is priceless!

I would have sent it back, HOWEVER...although their site lists a return address in California, it turns out you must ship it back to CHINA for a refund. The forty bucks it would cost to ship wouldn't really be worth it.

It is so nice to hear from you! I hope you're well. I'd stay away from Chicwish if you get in the mood to shop.

Helga said...

I haven't heard of "Chicwish", and I certainly won't be rushing to have anything to do with them!
Ugh, I haven't bought anything new except tights and a bit of underwear in YEARS because of the lousy quality out there. I used to make a sport of occasionally going into a flash shop to spot the shitty sewing, but can't be bothered anymore. I may buy the odd chain store garment secondhand-and only then do I feel I get what I pay for!
Yeah, I have clothes older than myself in better condition that what's hanging on some shop racks. What the hell, every now and then a gal is entitled to have another bash at shopping new! I'm bummed for you that you got so ripped off.Lesson learnt!
I do love the print of that skirt, and it's improved with the stein and the yumcious blouse! Beer! Makes you feel queer! I'm no good at drinking the stuff, so don't think I'd do too well at any German fest! I don't mind a bit of sausage, however! (OOOER!)

Sue said...

What a bugger about the skirts being so shoddily thrown together. The pitfalls of buying on line I guess, I have had similar disappointing experiences. Apart from that the border print is pretty nice so I can see why you went ahead with the online buying. Back to the thrift shops for you young lady, where things are priced to sell and not piss us off!!

Propagatrix said...

Aww, Mader's! The only place in the world where I would eat something called "liver dumpling soup."

Goody said...

Heh, sausage...

I made up for it today at a thrift store where I bought a lawn chair for $3.00 That's my idea of shopping.

OK, someday we'll do a road trip to Milwaukee, but you've got to keep me away from the gift shop.

Mim said...

I'd be really wound up to have paid that much and then be so disappointed with the product. I tend to steer clear of obviously cheap brands - either the stuff is poor quality, or I spend ages wondering about the poor sod in Asia who clearly go paid pennies 'cos all the cost went into the materials. There are a few UK repro brands who a lot of people rave about but whose quality I really can't abide...

Real vintage: quality AND value!

Goody said...

I'm hoping the money they saved on cheap materials is going to the workers-but probably not.

alisha said...

I had the same awful experience. Although, I just got my chicwish skirt in the mail and haven't had a chance to iron it yet. Beautiful print, but the wrinkling is atrocious... Hopefully, I'll be able to iron it out, but it will be especially difficult given the messed up pleating. :(

Goody said...

I'm sorry it didn't work out for you either-I was sort of hoping my experience wasn't typical.

If it makes you feel any better, I saw a fashion article at the Guardian that said the wrinkled look is in ;)

Jenn Baerg said...

I am sorry you had an unfortunate experience but I am so thankful for your detailed review. Something about the site had been bothering me even though the skirts looked beautiful and the cost is better than the 100+ ones Nordstroms is selling. The windsock description sealed the deal for me. Thanks.

Goody said...

@Jenn Baerg

I'm glad I could save you some money. At least with Nordstroms, you know what you're getting (and if it needs tailoring they can take care of it for you.
If you can sew, I do see novelty fabric like this in stores that I'm sure you could run up in an hour or two.

Thanks for letting me know the review was helpful. The Internet is a big place and I have little idea who I'm reaching.

Charmaine M said...

My shit experience with Chicwish..

So I ordered 3 skirts (2 XS & 1 S) on the 1st of March for a costumed event about 3 weeks prior to the event. I paid express shipping of $20USD and checked in 10 days time and it was still being processed and not shipped. Their reason was due to the size S not available and has just been restocked. It was then immediately shipped off with a confirmation that all 3 were available. On the 14th of March, I was refunded money for one of the skirts without any advice apart from paypal. I emailed support where they advised that the size S is defective and could not be sent - If this was the case - then why not replace it? something obviously dodgy going on as Im sure they would have had more than 1 S considering they just restocked. Also, why would you advise that the S is available online when it clearly wasnt? I was honestly fuming at this point as I was given what it appears to be another lie. There excuse this time was there was miscommunication from their warehouse in China and only 2 skirts were sent.

So the package arrived on a Tuesday or Wednesday with only the two skirts - honestly the skirts were nice but the XS was so big for me also - I am a size 4-6 and it is a size 8 (sizing guideline in the website not helpful!)

I demanded a full refund and argued that due to the fact that 3 skirts were not delivered - a full refund including express shipping paid of $20USD + shipping costs to return the 2 skirts were to be refunded - one of their online representative confirmed this was fine and to use the cheapest shipping.

To break it down - I paid $159.62AUD and was refunded $43.53AUD for the size S. This means a total of $116.09AUD was remaining and I paid $19.25AUD for shipping = $135.34AUD to be refunded in full.

So after so many emails to and from - they decided to only refund me $87.08 AUD - and to give me a $15USD gift card - when I have clearly told them that I would never shop there ever again! I am still in the process of trying to get the remaining of $48.26AUD to be refunded however they now say that I should pay for the shipping as per their policy - EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ALREADY AGREED UPON THAT THEY WILL BE REFUNDING ME THE FULL AMOUNT - So in the end they are complete liars!

I seriously think you should shop elsewhere - this shop is a complete scam!

Goody said...


I really do appreciate you taking the time to post this comment. Looking around the web, the company has handed out so many freebies to bloggers talking up their products that negative reviews seem to fall off the first few pages of Google. I agree that there are better places to spend money.

That said, I'm sorry that happened to you. Thank you for sharing your experience-hopefully it will spare someone else the same.

Jessica Low said...

I wish I had read your blog before buying off them!!
Love the windsock description, I likened my skirt to a parachute - although you wouldn't trust that material if you were to jump out of a plane!
I returned my skirt and they never refunded me, and kept going back & forth with me in emails until all of a sudden their response was "it has been 180 days since your purchase, your PayPal case is now closed, we can only give you store credit". So so dodgy!!

Estelle Varcoe said...

Thanks so much for all your Chicwish comments.... you just saved me heaps of money. Closed all tabs. Will keep looking at Australia's Reloved stores instead. :-)

An Historical Lady said...

They sent me an item significantly different from what was pictured. I had paid for expedited shipping, which they ignored and sent at their convenience days later. It was NOT shipped promptly. I had asked customer service about the item before ordering and was assured it was a long TUNIC, as pictured. What they sent me was a cropped top with different sleeves and coloration. They did not respond to my return request and request for a label. I shipped the item back to the seller the next day, with all tags and paperwork attached, and in the same package, at my own expense. I sent it to the address for returns that they list on their site. I then filed a Paypal claim to get my refund. Today the seller contacted me directly which is not allowed, and told me I could NOT have a refund, and to drop my Paypal claim! Seriously??? This is exactly why I filed one. I did NOT respond, of course. have tracked the return, and they will have it today. Hoping to get my refund from Paypal. DO NOT BUY FROM THESE PEOPLE. The items sent often do not look at all like those pictured and their customer service is non-existent!

Goody said...

@An Historical Lady

I'm sorry you had such a terrible experience with them. Thank you for taking the time to write your comment. Hopefully with this thread will warn off a few people from spending money with them.