It’s no secret that Amazon and I have a special relationship. It’s the first site I go to when I need to order almost anything, but especially clothes. I love that I can get name brands and discount items from the same place, and Prime shipping is life.
Lately I’ve been wanting to expand my work top inventory. I have a few button ups that always look professional, but I was wanting to go more in the blouse direction. So I headed to Amazon and decided to go for some nice-looking tops on a super budget…we’re talking under $20 from Asian retailers.
Here’s how the haul turned out and keep scrolling for my tips to finding keepers among all the cheap stuff.
This top has so many little things going on but still manages to look really nice and simple. It’s got little ties at the sleeves, a high-low hem, and a sort of faux wrap front that folds under at the bottom. I like that it hits lower on the hips, and I can see it looking really nice with simple work slacks. It’s very roomy and runs with an oversize fit. I’m wearing a size small for reference, and I would prefer it to be a tad smaller. You can see I wore a white camisole keep the V from being too low.
Unfortunately I had to return this top. Because I ordered it in green. Like a darker kelly green. So to see this blue (which I am not a fan of in the least) was really disappointing. I’m thinking about ordering it in a different color, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I had the same problem where the real life versus picture color are two completely different things.
This is the sweetest top. Super feminine with a bib ruffle and layering detail on the sleeves. The bib goes all the way around the top, and sits higher in the back. The most impressive thing about this top for me was the fit. The medium fit me perfectly. This is really easy to wear under a blazer or on its own to show off the details.
This one is a keeper, although I had a similar issue with this one as the first top…it’s listed as pink, and it is most clearly peach in real life. Even though I bought it for work, I’m really looking forward to wearing it with distressed jeans on the weekend. This top comes in a few colors, but I suggest sticking with the darker ones. I think the white and yellow could be a bit see through.
Update: I ended up returning this top later…I was excited to wear it initially, but never found myself reaching for it that next week. I’m usually quick to wear my new items, so that was a sign to me that it shouldn’t stay.
My favorite from the whole haul! This vibrant red bell sleeve top is trendy and the best quality out of all the tops I ordered. The material is a thicker so I feel confident you could get it in white without your bra showing through. And since the bell sleeves are 3/4 you don’t have to worry about getting your shirt messy when you eat chips and salsa (you know what I’m talking about if you read this post)!
I got a medium and it’s a really nice fit. Fitted enough that I could tuck it into a pencil skirt, but loose enough that I can wear it with jeans. I would say size up one if you want that kind of fit, size up two if you’re looking for looser. This top is definitely going to be worn for a night out with a statement necklace, jeans, and heels as well as with a pencil skirt to work.
The most disappointing top…and coincidentally the cheapest one of them all. I talked about this top on my Instagram story and mentioned the unflattering pregnancy vibe I got from it. I am not expecting and do not want to expect a baby anytime soon. This top looks like I am announcing to the world that there is a baby girl in my belly, complete with a hot pink bow on top.
That wasn’t all. I thought this top was going to be fuschia, but it turned out to be the most vibrant hot pink I have ever seen. It was kind of an assault on the eyes!
Inevitably there are going to be hits and misses, but how do you find more hits and make sure your misses don’t end up costing you? Here are some tips for shopping cheap clothes on Amazon.
1. Read the Reviews
This seems obvious…but do it! You can get so many good tips about the fit, quality of fabric, and color from reading through them.
- I try and look for reviews where people talk about the fit and what their own measurements are. If they’re close to mine it gives me a better idea of how the item will look on me.
- I also like to look for reviews where there are pictures uploaded.The camera doesn’t lie, and you can really see if the fabrics are see-through or not.
- Beware of the dreaded discounted item review. A lot of reviewers receive items at a discount in exchange or a review (they are required to note that in the review, usually at the end), and I’ve noticed that they sometimes provide lengthy reviews that list a lot of negatives, but still end up giving the item 4/5 stars.
- If you want to get an item that doesn’t have reviews, look and see if the same item is offered by another seller with reviews, so you can read those to come to a conclusion and choose whichever one is listed at a better price. The first blouse had a few different listings I compared before buying (like this one).
2. Use the Seller Size Chart
- It’s either listed as an item image or in the product description.
- A lot of these Asian retailers have really skewed sizing. Generally they run smaller, but it varies piece by piece. Don’t look at the generic Amazon size chart–it will steer you wrong!
- See what the clothing item is made out of to determine if it will have any stretch. The red bell sleeve top even had a note in the description saying the blouse didn’t have any give to it.
3. Have Color Expectations
- Besides the red top, every item I ordered turned out to be a different color than I thought it would be! This is where stalking those picture reviews really help.
- In general I would say don’t ever order white. Most of the times the fabric is see through and it ends up looking cheaper than what you paid for it.
4. Prime/Free Shipping + Returns Only
- Ordering only Prime products or those with free shipping and returns ensures that you don’t lose any money when something doesn’t work out. Because it will happen!
- Some Asian retailers have their own sites (like Shein) and they also sell a smaller inventory on Amazon. You will probably pay a little more for the item on Amazon if it’s Prime, but in my opinion it’s worth it for the peace of mind with returns. And you don’t have to wait a long time for shipping from China.
I hope these tips help you out with your next Amazon haul. I’d love to hear about some of your best finds (or maybe fails!).