Swingy stripes + Chicwish shopping experience

striped a line full skirt2
Chicwish skirt (cut shorter) sz XS, Modcloth cropped sweater (runs small)
DIY scarf (very similar), MAC "charismatic" lipcolor

These photos were clearly taken before blizzard "Juno" hit - it's a whole different scene out on Boston streets right now! I wore this skirt out on NYE and wanted to share my first-time experience shopping at this company. I'm always looking for new brands and stores that are petite-friendly...oftentimes this search lands me on the websites of Asian retailers with whom I have a love-hate relationship. On one hand the styles are interesting, plus Asian sizing in general tends to run smaller. On the other hand, more often than not these companies seem to be notorious for long shipping times, poor customer service, and costly returns (from having to mail items halfway around the world) which pretty much trumps the positives!
striped a line full skirt
Such was was the case with Asian retailer Sheinside - I got two coats as gifts from there which I really love and wear often, but was bummed to hear from several readers that their customer service is very poor and that they might treat bloggers differently. As a result I've since stopped working with them until they can hopefully make strides in that department. Chicwish is another Asian-based company that reached out last year to work together, but I wanted to test the company out first as a regular customer...

Quality
Quality can vary from style-to-style based on my limited experience, so my best suggestion is the look closely and zoom into the images and look at the material content. I tried two skirts - this striped one which was average in quality for the price and a plaid one which I thought was really nice quality. The striped skirt is unlined, made of a neoprene "scuba"-like material with an unfinished hem, and has a thin little strip of a waistband. The plaid one was made of a nice and thick material and fully lined with a sturdy waistband. Despite the average quality, the striped one for me was the keeper as I thought the swingy silhouette was super fun and even Nick was generous with compliments on it. 
striped skirt yellow scarf rainy day
Sizing
Items that are offered in XS may fit someone my size without alterations. Not all items come in this size (here's all the ones that do) - hope they will do it for more items in the future! The striped skirt I'm wearing here is XS and the waist measures 24" around, similar to a US 00 or smaller. The plaid skirt was a sz S and measured about 26" around, perhaps equivalent to a US 0-2. The striped skirt is intended to be midi-length but because of the fullness and the horizontal stripes, I cut it to knee length. No real hemming was needed since the edges were unfinished, but I did reinforce the stitching on the bottom of each panel so that they wouldn't unravel.
chicwish skirt
trying on Chicwish plaid skirt in sz S (sold out, 2" pinned back), Converse shirt (similar)

Shipping
Standard shipping is free but takes a while (~3 weeks for me) coming from Asia so please be prepared for that. Tracking #s are provided, however I didn't get mine for over a week and had to email their customer service to follow-up. I paid for expedited shipping (supposedly 5-8 business days) and my package was not expedited, so they refunded the expediting costs at my request. Their explanation was that they were inundated with orders during the holiday season, and I provided feedback to disclose shipment delays upfront on the site and during the ordering process so that there's no surprises.
 
Returns
Done through the process of requesting a RMA (return authorization #) which you need to print out and package in your return. A U.S. return address IS available which is an awesome feature for an Asian retailer. PLEASE NOTE: I tested out this process and got my RMA the same day, however was instructed to return items to an Asian address which would've been quite pricey to mail items back to. I remembered seeing somewhere that a U.S. return address is available, so after writing to customer service again, I got a California-based address. I thought the process was a little misleading and their explanation was that sometimes the system doesn't recognize where the return requester is based. They also offer a merchandise credit equal to the amount of your return shipping costs up to $15.00, but I have not sent back any returns yet.
striped a line full skirt1
In Summary
Longer shipping times but there's potential to find cute, more unique items that fit on the smaller side. Customer service from my "fieldwork" seems to be pretty responsive and helpful so I would shop there again.

Please share any other petite-friendly international retailers that you'd recommend!

68 comments:

  1. Oh, they offer wonderful pieces in petite and you look again adorable! My favourite is the striped skirt, because I have a wear for stripes :)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  2. Gorgeous flare! Make me dream about summer already... I have tried purchasing a few products from different online retailers in this asian version of eBay called TaoBao in the past, but found their sizing to be not very accurate... Thanks for sharing this and I will probably give it a try this time!

    Julia || Closet de Jules
    Recent Post: Valentine's Day Cozy Outfit Idea

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  3. Loved the detective work!!

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  4. Lovely skirt, you look great!!
    ~~ Diana~~
    www.TheNeonFactor.com

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  5. Love the flare design of the stripe skirt, it looks very pretty and fun! Great that you have an overall good experience with online shopping from an Asian-based company too as asian designs does fit petite size very well!

    Prudence
    www.prudencepetitestyle.wordpress.com

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  6. Ahh I wish I had read this a few weeks ago! I just had to return 2 skirts to Chicwish and didn't realize there was a U.S. address for returns. $25 in shipping & nearly two weeks later, I'm still waiting for my return to be processed.. Thanks for the honest review! I love that striped skirt on you!

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    1. Hi Katy - I was hoping that my experience would be an isolated incident! That is unfortunate, and I will definitely pass along feedback to them to make the US return address more clear and accessible.

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    2. Jean,
      Do you think this look is appropriate for a 52 yr old? I recently purchased a dress with a similar flair. The neckline is a scoop neck and it is sleeveless. It fits well but I am not certain if the look is too young for me. Because I am petite, I can wear many styles that may not be age appropriate. I want to dress my age....fabulously for my age...but my age. Thoughts?

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    3. Hi Katy, we are sorry to hear that and we have sent you an email to follow your issue with some compensation offer, thank you!

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  7. Simple, fresh and beautiful :)
    says -- Anu from Finland.

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  8. Very nice skirt, I love stripes!

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  9. Love this outfit and the skirt is amazing! Nice blog you have!

    X

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  10. So in love with that skirt!

    http://www.bluelabelsboutique.com/collections/skirts

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  11. I love the striped skirt! And it's sad to hear that Sheinside treats bloggers differently from their other customers. :(

    Easy, Frugal Style

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  12. I ordered from Sheinside for the first time in December, after falling in love with a scarf from another blogger's site. I was really disappointed at the length of time it took for me to receive it! About two weeks in, I thought maybe it had been delivered to a neighbor or gotten lost. Finally about 3 1/2 weeks after I ordered it, it arrived. I have to say, the scarf is beautiful and so soft but if I'd had needed it for something I'd be out of luck. Not sure if I'll order from them again!

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    1. I guess 3 weeks-ish is normal coming from Asia, since my relatives mail me things from China and it can take almost a month! I do think they have nice items there (and it makes me sad as I really like my coats) as long as shoppers are well-informed of the long ship times and customer service issues.

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  13. Thank you for the honest review. It's sometimes hard to trust big name bloggers because they get better shopping experiences than the average joe due to their clout. I really appreciate you taking the time to vet this company from a non-blogger standpoint and sharing your findings. Maybe I will try out chicwish after all...

    www.marriedandbright.com

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  14. I always wonder if there are any US clothing stores in areas that there is a higher than average population of Asians (NYC, SF, areas of California, etc) that either import Asian clothing brands or have clothing that is sized more towards petites? I would love a shopping guide to either of those areas..

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    1. I live in the Bay Area of California and I find there are many more small sizes here than other areas. And they are often sold out. The same goes for shoes. I am a petite but not an extra extra petite so "regular" small person sizing works fine for me. But, I do think if one might have good luck shopping here and in SF since they buyers so realize many customers are of small frame in these areas.

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  15. Hi Jean,

    I've been following your blog for a while now and am always impressed by your outfits! You've certainly inspired me to make more of an effort. Might I ask where you got your shoes? It's so hard to find nice navy heels and yours are adorable. I love the bows!

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    1. Hi there - thank you for your kind comment! My shoes are from Zara and are old and the bows are clip ons.

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  16. Gorgeous look! I'm a petite myself and some of the regular sizes don't fit too bad as well. :)

    http://www.thepeculiartrouth.com

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  17. This look is so lovely on you! I just picked up swingy skirt from asos on super sale here: http://us.asos.com//ASOS/ASOS-Full-Midi-Skirt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4420081.

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  18. Hi Jean! I love this outfit! Thanks for always posting honest reviews. I've been following your blog for a while now and it's helped me tons as I am very petite like yourself! I've just recently moved to London and looking for petite friendly stores, would you happen to know of any?

    Xoxo,
    Karen
    Kensingtonwest.me.uk

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    1. Hi Karen - thanks! H&M and ASOS are european-based and I've had good luck from there as items run small. Boden is another UK-based store and they sell petites starting in sz 2P.

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  19. Thank you so much for the information, it is very thorough, I was actually interested in ordering on Sheinside, but I am not sure about it. This is very helpful!!
    Have a great weekend :)

    echo

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  20. I seriously appreciate your thorough and honest reviews! I love that you are choosy with the companies you work with- a lot of people are not like that!

    http://asequinloveaffair.com

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  21. Hi Jean,

    If you know sheinside.com, maybe you've heard of another similiar one called romwe.com? They share much of the same inventory and stock photos (ripped from elsewhere, e.g. asos, zara, etc.). They also share similar customer reviews, unsurprisingly :-( Chicwish, while smaller, definitely comes across as more personable and better managed. I'm your height and ~90 lbs and have ordered from Chicwish in XS. Long ship time is always a given from Asian stores, but my gripe is (for any of these asian shops) is that what you see is not necessarily what you get (boo), and consequently more returns if it's even worth it. It's a major detterent to pulling the trigger for me. And it also makes the measurement transparency bonus a moot point.

    ~datagirl

    PS. New J crew catalogue started to feature XXXS(both regular and petites)! Please post any good fits!

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    1. I haven't heard of Romwe...interesting, thanks for the heads up about it. And I don't even know what to think about J.Crew...why not revert sizing back to how it was just a few years ago and just label XS (which used to fit the same as the new 'xxxs'?

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  22. Hi Jen, can you share how you cut the skirt? Thanks!

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    1. Hello - I used a ruler and marked with fabric chalk how many inches i wanted to cut off. Then I simply cut it with a pair of sharp scissors all around the bottom.

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  23. Thanks for the honest review Jean!! I always get so disappointed when I notice my favorite bloggers change when they grow a following :( This is why you have consistently been one of my fav bloggers throughout the years!! <3

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  24. You are so awesome and amazing for doing "fieldwork" and testing out a company as a true customer to give honest review to be able to truly recommend it to your readers. Love the dress and the movement of it with the neoprene material. You look darling in the outfit!

    xo, Suzie Q
    StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  25. Both skirts are very cute! I've been eyeing on Chicwish for a while but hesitated to order from them. Thanks for sharing your experience, and now I am more willing to give them a go. ;)

    xx
    Yvonne
    http://tellmeyblog.com

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  27. I usually like your style, but lately feel that the outfits put together look cheap and low quality. Why not invest in versatile quality pieces.

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  28. I sometimes check out clothes by SheInside/Romwe on Amazon that way I can guarantee my money back if the products don't arrive.

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    1. Oh, I didn't realize SheInside also has their clothes on Amazon. I placed my first order with them last week, but next time I'll check out Amazon first. Thanks for the tip!

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  29. Thank you for the extremely helpful review, Jean! I've been hearing a lot about Chicwish and have been considering purchasing a few items from there. Your review was very thorough. I do want to ask where you got those navy blue shoes with bows you're wearing?

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    1. Hi there - they are Zara heels but old, and the bows are clip on shoe clips! You can make your own and add to any shoes.

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  30. Thanks for the review Jean. Never heard of ChicWish … so I went to their site and I just bought 2 dresses! "My Fair Lady Baroque Embroidery in Blue" and "Dreaming of Hana Printed" … Can't wait to get them!

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    1. The prints look so pretty! I'm curious how they look in person...hope the order works out for you!

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  32. Wow...I should've waited for your review before purchasing from Chic Wish!! I bought 4 skirts from them over the holidays as well and 2 of them were similar to the 2 you bought. I also paid for the expedited shipping and I can testify that it indeed did not come within 5-8 business days. I wasn't sure who to contact or if my complaint would've made any difference so I didn't do anything about it. I'll definitely follow up like you did next time! Also, I had to return 2 skirts and spent $25 on the shipping fee (already the lowest possible rate I could find)...wish I had known about the U.S. address! I'm really afraid that they're not going to receive it and I won't ever get my refund :( so one of the skirts I returned was actually very similar to your striped skirt except mine was plain black! I was really disappointed with the neoprene scuba-like material and the thin uncomfortable waist band, otherwise it could've easily been a closet staple for me! The skirts I did keep are much much better in quality - one is a white faux leather midi full circle skirt (with pockets!) and the other one is very similar to your plaid one (based on your description of the material) but with gold Royal pattern on navy background. The latter one is a bit loose on me as well because it's a size small (they didn't have XS for this one either). So I was wondering if you could elaborate on how exactly you pinned yours back because the material feels a little too thick to be using a safety pin and I'm not sure how to pin it so that it's not obvious from the back. It's also pretty long on me (hits halfway between my knee and ankle) so would you be able to provide any step by step instructions if possible on how I could hem it nicely on a skirt like your plaid one? Thanks!

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    1. For reference, here are the two skirts I ended up keeping:

      Faux leather white skirt: http://www.chicwish.com/faux-leather-full-midi-skirt-in-white.html

      Gold Royal pattern on navy background: http://www.chicwish.com/glorious-baroque-midi-skirt.html

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    2. Hi Eunice, when I say pin or clip back in the post it means I'm simply gathering it behind me to show the "intended" fit of the garment. I would definitely need to get professional waist alterations on the plaid skirt as I wouldn't suggest anyone wear something out just pinned. I don't do much of my own alterations anymore simply because a professional tailor does it better and also the hours I take to figure things out myself is worth the costs to have a professional do it. However if you search on pinterest how to do certain things "ie skirt hem tutorial' you will find a wealth of step by step instructions with pictures! I'm also disappointed to hear you didn't get the US address either. I've emailed them about that again and hope they will publish it transparently on their website.

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    3. Hi Eunice,

      we have sent you an email about the return after we saw your message and it seems your issue has been resolved? Thank you!

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  33. Hi Jean,
    I moved to Boston recently and would love to know the name of your tailor. It's so difficult to find a skilled one since not many people review their tailors online. Thanks!

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    1. Hello - I go to a tailor in Chinatown on Knapp St. He doesn't have a store name that I know of and only speaks Cantonese, but I have many non-Chinese friends that go to him for straightforward jobs and just communicate through gestures. He is located across from the grocery store on that alley/street, and you can see his sewing machine through the big window. His hours are supposed to be 10AM-5PM, but he tends to work on his own hours and sometimes closes up earlier FYI. He is out of the country for Chinese New Year but should be back mid-march!

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  34. Hi Jean,
    I'm a longtime reader, first time commenter. Love your blog and your style! Thanks for posting this information about Chicwish. I ordered three skirts on Black Friday as part of a super sale that included free shipping and received my items in 3.5 weeks. I wanted to return 2 of the 3 skirts and I also received a return address in China and it would have been $30.00 to return it. I was skeptical that I would receive a $15.00 credit for the return, and even if I did, I would be hesitant to place another order. I emailed them with a question related to the return and they never responded. So, I decided to keep the two skirts and maybe try to sell them. It's unfortunate because they have some adorable items!

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    1. Hi Kristie - that is a bummer that they never got back to you! I would give it one more try if your items are still unworn - even thought it's probably past the return date, they shouldn't have ignored your inquiry and given you the wrong return address.

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    2. Hi Kristie,

      we are sorry that if you did not receive a reply. We have sent you an email to kristiejcain@gmail.com to follow your question and we will solve it if you could get back to us. You can also simply return your parcel with the invoice to: CHICWISH, PO Box 3371 Daly City, CA 94015, United States and we will process the refund and return credit of $15 once we receive them back, thank you!

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  35. I haven't yet shopped Chicwish, but I did place my first order with Sheinside last week. I did notice while browsing products that a lot of reviews mention that it can take a while to receive products even if an item is marked "priority shipping." So I'm prepared for the lengthy delivery and am really hoping that everything fits so that I don't have to go through the return process. (I'm assuming Sheinside also has a US address for returns?) Depending on how this first order goes will determine whether or not I'll buy from them again. Another things I noticed with these sites is the lack of "real" product reviews. Especially with Sheinside. Reviewers leave one sentence commentary about how cute something is just to get points to spend on products. Drives me nuts because I'd like to know others' thoughts about an item before I order it!

    -Celeste
    http://wineandalines.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Celeste - I don't believe they have a US address for returns, unless that has chanced recently! I also was curious about how those reviews worked and whether they were from real shoppers!

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    2. Thanks for the reply! I got a portion of my order in and unfortunately not a single one of the items worked for me. Despite being petite myself, one dress was incredibly short, another was defective and came unstitched at the zipper, and the skirt I ordered was too small despite my dimensions falling within their one-size measurements listed for the item. So far I'm not impressed. I've emailed customer service for a return and a U.S. address. We'll see how that goes....

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  36. Hi Jean, just wanted to share that I recently purchased an evening gown from Light In The Box from China (I am a very petite classical pianist) and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the dress as well as the affordable price. It fits perfectly without alterations needed. It arrived just two weeks after placing the order during the holiday season. Their sizes start at XXS. All dresses are made to order and they also offer custom made dresses if you provide them with your exact measurements. And they have a return address in the US. I plan to shop from this company again.

    Marisa

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    Replies
    1. thanks for the tip, Marisa! I had never heard about them before and will check it out.

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  37. hi, i'm a non-blogger who has ordered from sheinside and i guess i just want to say in their defense that i had no problems with them and everything was as expected. yes, it's polyester city and the quality can be variable, but they have some amazing stuff you're not going to find anywhere else. Shipping takes a while but China is the other side of the planet and i think modern american society is a bit spoiled by amazon plus and that type of thing. Consider giving them another chance!

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    1. I mentioned above I actually really love my two coats from Sheinside. I also have no issues with poly for the price points or the longer shipping times.

      However the customer service issues I heard from readers were pretty disappointing. A few readers mentioned receiving the wrong item, damaged items, or items in the wrong size and no one ever responded to their emails to send a replacement, a refund, or to take back a return. Others mentioned spending a lot of money on sending items back and never getting a refund or response from CS. So while I think there are cute items there at a good price, it sounds like if anything goes wrong then you're out of luck. That's not good practice at all and hence why I'm hoping they will improve in that arena.

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  38. Your skirts are very cute! So lovely, you look like a princess! :)

    Chelsea

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  39. I love this swing skirt styled both ways! Lovely!

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  40. VERY helpful information. There's a couple of pieces I want to order from ChicWish but felt uncomfortable about it. I will be ordering soon and also posting my experience on my blog. :) Thank you again!

    http://beyondbasicblog.com/

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    1. Hey Meghan, I would suggest not ordering from Chicwish! I recently ordered from them and it was a disappointing experience :( The mint organza skirt I ordered was flimsy and tight. After returning the skirt in its mint condition, I still have not received a refund almost a month later. They only have a "support" email, and their listed phone number in my shipping order doesn't work. I really hope that this isn't Chicwish's usual operating standards!

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    2. I would like to update my comment: Chicwish did get back to me after I emailed their support team. I received my refund pretty quickly after that - it seems like you need to prompt them to get a refund. I really appreciated the fast response, but I will still be more cautious ordering from them in the future :)

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