Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Short Guide to Shopping on AliExpress

Hello my deers! I often get questions on my blog and instagram about where I buy mori kei fashion pieces online, and in all honesty, I'm not the best to ask about such things as I thrift most of my clothes. However, I do occasionally but mori clothing from AlieExpress, so I thought I could share what I know about buying from the sight in order to help other mori folk looking to find some unique pieces online!

First, let's talk about how to find mori clothes on AliExpress. There are a number of search terms that you can use to find what you're looking for. Mori girl is always a good term, and will come up with lots of great pieces, but you can also search for the specific items or fabrics that you're looking for, such as lace skirt, a-line dress, pinafore, natural shirt, etc. Keep in mind that it may require more than one search to come up with what you're looking for, and it may take a while to browse through all of the options, but don't get discouraged! With a little bit of patience, I promise something will come up!

Once you've found the item you've been looking for, there are a number of things we should look at before we add it to cart. First, and most importantly, you should look for ratings, both the ratings of the user selling the items, and the ratings for the items themselves.

To check the ratings of the seller, you can scroll down until you see the seller's name on the side. Underneath their name, there will be a rating in the form of a percentage of some sort, as well as detailed ratings that you can look at. You will be able to see how long the shop has been selling, and what their usual ratings are for quality, shipping, and communication.

Checking the ratings on an individual item is just as simple. There will be a star rating for the item at the top of the page which will give you a basic idea of the quality of the item. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the page you can also read comments on the individual items to find out even more information. The English in these comments can occasionally be a little strange as the site uses an automatic translator, but it can still have useful information and occasionally pictures of the item to give you an idea of what you're looking at.

After looking at the ratings, it's important to look at the descriptions for each item you are considering purchasing. This is because some items may be sent at random from multiple color selections, or may be made out of strange fabrics, or a number of other things. It's also equally important to read through the description in order to know the measurements of the individual item. This is especially true for AliExpress because the items will be in Asian sizes, which are very different from European or American sizes. By reading the description and the specific measurements, you can make sure you are ordering a size that will actually fit you. It's also beneficial to measure yourself and keep your measurements somewhere on hand in order to compare them to the measurements in the description. Additionally, when it comes to sizes, be wary of items that say one size, as these items often run around a small or medium size, or even smaller occasionally.

Another thing to keep in mind when ordering from AliExpress is the long shipping times. As the items are most often coming from China, it can potentially take a long time to reach you, sometimes even a month or more. Especially if you order during Chinese New Year! Therefore, unless you pay extremely high amounts for fast shipping, it's going to take some time to receive your item, so its best to plan accordingly.

One other thing to remember is to be wary of super cheap items. Basically, if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is. Remember that things will be cheaper on AliExpress than in department stores, but they won't be too cheap. For instance, you could find a decent dress for $10 USD, but usually, quality items for mori kei will be around $20 USD and up unless it's on sale. If a dress is $5 USD or under, it's probably cheap quality and no good, and not worth wasting your money on. However, if you're reading the details on items and paying attention to the ratings, you're likely to weed out these items before this point. But it is good to keep this in mind when you shop!

My last piece of advice is this: remember that Aliepress is sort of like a Chinese eBay. So treat it with the same amount of skepticism you would have whilst shopping on eBay. Be a smart shopper, think about each item you are purchasing critically, and you'll be good to go. Now have fun shopping, and I wish you the best of luck finding your next mori piece!


  1. Thanks for this! I'm about to start ordering from AliExpress. Another thing to note is they have a ton of listings of the exact same item for wildly varying prices from different sellers, so def do a price-sorted search to make sure you're finding the best price. ~K

  2. Really helpful post! I order from Taobao/ebay/aliexpress, so this kind of info is great.
    Another thing to note: asian sizing is usually based on a person whose height is 5'3"-5'4" for medium, with a small breast and hip width. If you are taller, pay special attention to shoulder width and sleave length. It may be difficult to find pieces that have length without being excessively baggy (even for mori kei) if you are tall and thin.

    Other things I learned:
    0 "cotton linen" is usually cotton woven in a linen weave, not a cotton-linen
    0 An expensive modern polyester can be softer and more breathable than a super cheap cotton piece, if you are ok with with sythetics
    0 assume all fabrics traditionally made if silk are rayon, even if they say they are silk, unless they list the pe0rcentage silk.
    0 look for listings that show close-ups of the seams.

    1. Ooh all of those are great suggestions! I hadn't realized about the standard sizing thing, so that's very helpful for me! Thanks a lot for your input!

  3. Have you try'd Etsy at all?

    1. Yep! I love etsy! But for mori clothes, I don't usually shop there. It's usually way too expensive for me to afford. But I love getting handmade accessories and other things there.