Cider clothing review: My Honest review + pictures of what I bought. Are you wondering whether this giant fashion store is legitimate and trustworthy? I know how you feel, as I felt the same before ordering clothes from ShopCider, so I decided to share my honest review after I tried and tested their clothes. Plus, I will share photos of how I styled the clothes I bought from Cider. So step in and grab a cup of coffee as I’m about to make some light into this controversial clothing brand.
Cider is one of those brands that everyone seems to know, but no one really knows anything about it. Just like Shein, it is a digital-first fashion brand, which means that Cider does not have any offline retail branches and exists entirely online. And of course, their pretty clothing ads will capture the attention of many fashionistas, including myself, that’s why I decided to try their clothes, so you don’t have to. Or you might, after reading this Cider review.
Cider clothing review: My honest review + pictures of what I bought
We are all constantly targeted with these “haul” videos on TikTok and YouTube and neat ads in our social media feeds. Online shopping with its digital brands seemed to be so new and fresh back in the day, but now you hardly get excited when you hear about another fast-fashion brand going viral. It is simply because they are all the same!
But the cider clothing shop seems to be entirely different! At least, that is what their ads and endless “ruthless reviews” say. And to tell the truth, their designs do seem different from what Shein, Romwe, and such are pouring into our social media feed 24/7.
So, is Cider really some exciting news in online shopping? And, what is more important—is it legit, or does this attractive marketing campaign only want to lure you to another scammy website and steal your credit card information?
After investigating and shopping at Cider, this store is not as bad as it seems, or at least its reputation is. So, without further ado, let’s explore the Cider brand and see if it lives up to the hype around it, I will show you what I bought from here, how much I paid, and how well Cider clothes fit. But first let’s go through a bit of the ShopCider clothing history, so you can have a better picture of this brand.
What is Cider? The dark underbelly of a viral brand
Like many online brands that now reign on social media, Cider was founded in 2020, the year when online shopping became the only way to shop for millions of people worldwide, and clothing manufacturers realized that retail as we knew it fell victim to COVID and they needed to look for new markets.
Many people believe that Cider is an American brand with headquarters in Los Angeles. This is only partly true. Cider does have an office in Los Angeles, but the brand itself, as well as its inventory, comes from Guangzhou, China, just like many other popular fast-fashion clothing brands.
The viral brand with a playful name, Cider Shop, was founded by four friends according to Crunchbase: Chinese businessmen Michael Chen Wang, Fenco Lin, and Yu Oppel (the fourth founder prefers to remain anonymous). Michael Wand, by the way, was also the person behind the famous fashion rental app “Ycloset.” This business closed with a massive scandal back in 2021.
It is an interesting detail since all the complaints and concerns that eventually led to Ycloset`s shutdown are also sometimes noticed in Cider. It looks like this apple didn`t land too far from the tree. But let`s not jump ahead and continue exploring the Cider clothing brand.
The business model of Cider Company
Remember how I told you that cider is not what you think it is? Here is why: Most people believe that Cider is a direct-to-customer fast fashion brand like Zara, H&M, UNIQLO, and such. It means that a brand is supposed to have a team of designers and an in-house production line that manufactures each new collection.
But it is not how Cider really works! In fact, Cider Shop is a marketplace, an e-commerce platform where numerous global manufacturers showcase their products under the umbrella of a carefully curated marketing campaign aimed mainly at digitally native Gen Z.
What does it mean for us as consumers? On the one hand, we get a wider inventory and an almost endless choice of styles and designs. But at the same time, the quality of the items is extremely uneven. And you will see it in the reviews. In the same order, you can get several items of surprisingly high quality and something that definitely won`t live up to your expectations.
Is Cider actually Shein?
As soon as you realize that Cider seems to come from the same “mothership” as Shein and has a suspiciously similar business model, you will instantly become curious whether Cider Shop is just another sheepcoat of the notorious fast fashion mogul.
The answer is no. Currently, there is no evidence that Shein and Cider are related in any manner. However, since Cider shop sources its inventory from numerous Chinese manufacturers, there is a chance that the two online retailers may sell you clothing made at the same factories.
In other words, Cider is not Shein, or like Shein, but both companies share common DNA, so their products are very similar, or not. Another important thing they have in common is the shipping which is pretty fast, despite negative review from other buyers, or maybe from their competition.
The secret of Cider store – How Cider clothing became a phenomenon
So, why do we need another China-based clothing retailer, you may ask? Especially if this company basically sells us the same stuff as any other. The answer is pretty straightforward: everyone wants a piece of cake, especially when the established habit of online shopping puts our overconsumption on steroids.
However, kudos to Cider Clothing; the brand really found a new approach to selling us fast fashion from China.
As I have already mentioned, Cider is aiming mainly at Gen Z and younger Millenials, an audience that does not really connect with the ideas of minimalism and capsule wardrobes. Today`s fashion is all about aesthetics and vibes, which is exactly what Cider’s auditorium is looking for.
This approach definitely worked great, as digitally native Gen Zs are a much more active audience that helps a brand go viral with little-to-no effort. For example, it took Shein almost 10 years to gain 2 million followers on Instagram, while Cider hit this target in just a little over a year! Pretty impressive, isn’t it?
Cider is focused on aesthetics
The culture of “aesthetics” took over our social media several years ago and does not seem to go anywhere. The main idea of this approach to lifestyle is that you simply have to get your “starter kit” in order to keep up with the crowd that attracts you.
So, if you are a cottagecore girl today, you will need at least three romantic dresses, linen skirts, and cotton tops. A clean girl won`t leave the house without her hydraflask and neutral sweatshirt. And, of course, you cannot consider yourself Dark Academia or Old Money without a cardigan and a pleated skirt.
The aesthetics culture is a great way to make us buy and spend more, and Cider made this concept perfect! The Cider website allows you to “pick your mood”, which is a smart way of dividing their endless inventory into style groups, making it so much easier to navigate. In other words, you pick your aesthetics and collect your “starter kit.”
Is Cider fast fashion?
Cider is indeed fast fashion. When you sell mass-produced items and change the design every season, it is indeed fast fashion. A classic clothing brand sticks with the same design, or produces a limited number of garments. Usually niche/indie or luxury clothing brands are classic compared with fast fashion brands such as Cider, Shein, Romwe and so on.
Cider is an ethical revolution in fast fashion. Or not
So, you have cute, colorful designs that appeal to different crowds, low prices, and a carefully tailored marketing campaign. Is it enough to become a popular brand today? Not really! As we all know, our social media feeds overflow with ads and haul posts from endless digital-first brands.
So, how did Cider make people talk about them and choose their clothes over seemingly the same items from Shein? The answer is simple: sustainability claims. And if you think that sustainability is a slippery slope, where most brands usually fail, Cider took this game to a whole new level!
Is Cider sustainable?
The Cider website has a “sustainability” section in the menu, which is a collection of all the “eco-friendly” cliches you may think of. Starting with pictures of a girl on a beach, she claims their plastic packaging is unique because you can use it again to store stuff in it. Like in any other plastic bag, really.
Cider takes pride in its “Zero Tolerance Policy”, which is, in fact, a list of all the imaginable violations of human rights and ecological crimes. The brand claims that each of its suppliers is obliged to comply with their policies but does not demonstrate any documents or other proof that this policy is implemented in any manner.
Instead, Cider gives us a list of their suppliers. Well, “list” is a bit of a loud word, as there are only 3 names in this list. Yes, we are supposed to believe that tons of clothes and accessories sold through Cider are manufactured in just three factories.
However, here you see pretty comprehensive information about those factories and pictures of employees who look happier than Jeff Bezos during the holiday season.
The most interesting part of this list of suppliers is the “Ethical Certification” part. It looks pretty promising, indeed. However, if you try to google the factories, their actual certificates, and the organizations that supposedly provided them, the only website where you can find any relevant information is the Cider website.
We don`t claim that Cider lies about their suppliers, ethical practices, and certifications, but it would be useful to see at least one clickable link that would really connect the dots.
Is Cider a made-to-order brand?
ShopCider does not mention it directly on their website, but it is heavily marketed as a “made-to-order brand.” What does it mean? A great example of made-to-order businesses are manufacturers of wedding and evening garments. There is no point in producing 200 costly items when the demand is unpredictable. That is why your local wedding store has those “sample” dresses, which give you an idea of the model, materials, and fit. When you like something, they make a dress for you.
Brands that work according to the made-to-order model are usually luxury clothing brands that use expensive materials in their designs and want to be sure they will sell. Cider is probably the first brand in history that proudly calls itself an affordable fast-fashion company and simultaneously markets as a made-to-order company.
On its website, Cider calls it “smart fashion” and does not claim directly that each item is only manufactured after you place an order. They simply claim that they follow customer reviews very closely and present only models and designs that get the most positive feedback. But so does every brand!
However, claims about made-to-order items are widely spread among obviously sponsored blog posts and not-so-ruthless Cider reviews. This means that Cider definitely knows what those reviewers are telling their audience, and they approve (or even encourage) such claims.
Let`s do simple math. When you make an order from the Cider website, it will take about 10–14 days for the package to reach your door in the United States or Europe. This time gap is exactly the argument used as proof that all items are manufactured only after you make an order. But if you have ever ordered anything from a Chinese retailer like Shein, Temu, or Romwe, you know that 10–14 days is actually the normal shipment timeframe for them.
Does it mean that there is someone sitting in China right now waiting for your order, ready to produce and package it within 24 hours? And if so, how does Cider manage to keep prices at such an affordable level?
The answer is simple. All those claims don`t have much to do with reality. Cider vaguely speaks about “smart fashion” on its website, while admirers spread the idea of made-to-order fast fashion on social media. Once something goes wrong and people really start doing math and asking questions, the Cider brand will, of course, say that they have nothing to do with those claims or the people who make them.
In the meantime, the idea of a revolutionary, sustainable fast fashion brand that makes clothes just for you sells really well!
Where does Cider ship from
As discussed above, Cider ships from China. Unless they have warehouses around the world where they store their clothes to cut down the shipping time, they mainly ship from China. At least that’s what shows when I checked my tracking number when I bought from ShopCider.
Shopcider website review
While many compare Cider with Shein and such, Cider has a different approach to communicating with their customers than other Chinese retailers. While most of those fast-fashion websites and apps look like quest games where you constantly spin the wheel, collect some coins, and win prizes in lotteries that you didn`t even know about, Cider has the dignity of leaving you alone and letting you do your shopping with irritation pop-ups.
It helps the overall shopping experience. Also, the menu has a convenient navigation where you can choose between different parameters that really help you narrow down your search if you want to get a general impression of the brand and not shop for a particular item.
Cider shopping experience – General overview + What I bought
Now that we have spilled some tea and learned some interesting facts about Cider let`s talk about the shopping experience in general. After all, no matter how concerned you may be about the ocean and environment when you see a cute top for $5, your finger clicks “check out” on its own!
Ok, so I have discovered this brand recently through some ads on social media. Curious, I had to check the store, and I was rapidly captivated by the cute clothing at the Cider store. I’m a big fan of aesthetic outfits too, and because I was looking for some outfits for the spring/fall season, I put a list together and bought the items as soon as I pictured in my mind how I would style them
As I always advise you, buy clothes only when you envision how to style them. Or you know exactly where you are going to wear them.
Nevertheless, browsing items at Cider clothing store is very easy, and once you decide on the final list, spin the wheel from their website to get a discount coupon. If you order a few items, this coupon can save you a big chunk of money. Therefore, you can see from the images below that their coupon has saved me £20,91. A very generous discount compared with many other clothing stores. Besides, I get free shipping too.
So I placed the order on the 11th of February, and they shipped the items on the 19th of February. Surprisingly, I received the parcel in the UK on 25th February. In total, it took 14 days for my Cider parcel to arrive, which is very good, given that the items are coming from China. I guess I was the lucky one, as many complain that they haven’t received their parcel, but we have to look at the story from both angles. It is not always the store to blame for lost or damaged parcels.
Now back to my Cider outfits. As I promised, I will show you how I styled them. Below I created this boho country outfit which is a mix of clothes from many retailers. Starting with the hat is from Amazon, the same as the plaid jacket, the Jeans are from River Island UK, the beige crop blouse from Cider, and the cowboy boots are from DreamPairs.
And below is another spring outfit that is not the best but definitely chic and effortless. I styled the Suede Solid Pleated Mini Skirt ( only L and XL sizes left at Cider store) with a basic t-shirt from Shein, as well as the hat, sunglasses, and bracelet. Shoes from DreamPairs. I hope this outfit will inspire you and will help you get a better view of Cider clothes.
Below is the gorgeous Floral Bowknot Corset Midi Dress from Cider, which isn’t made with the best material, but it is true to size, fits well, and looks stunning, exactly as seen in the pictures. I had a very busy year, and couldn’t manage to shoot content with the rest of the clothes, but will update this page as soon as I do. Meanwhile, keep a look at my Instagram page, as I feature outfits regularly there, and direct my followers to the blog page, where you can read the review in detail.
Now let’s go through the main parameters, such as inventory, prices, sizing, shipment, and return policies, and see what shopping with Cider feels like.
Cider clothes prices
Prices are exactly what you expect from a Chinese retailer—much lower than most fast-fashion brands have to offer. You saw the same price tags on the Shein website and the Zaful app. It is probably because Cider is technically the same kind of retailer that places huge orders and has an enormous negotiation network, forcing manufacturers to lower their prices below all limits.
Cider clothes quality
Believe it or not, prices and quality go hand in hand. Miracles don`t happen in the world of retail, and when you buy a $10 swimsuit, you probably should not expect it to last more than one season. Although Cider has customers` reviews under each product, they are, of course, all selected. Not that Cider clothes are bad quality, but not great either. Just the minimum standard that you should expect from a fast-fashion store.
My opinion is backed by the Trustpilot or any other review platform where you will see that people mainly admit that the items bought from Cider don`t last for too long and sometimes lose their shape and color entirely after just one wash, but it looks like the poor quality of items bought from such retailers is the “new normal” already.
Surprisingly the items that I bought from Cider didn’t shred after I washed them, but I only wear them once to be honest. So I cannot tell exactly how they will look after I wash them 3-4 times.
Regarding sizes and overall inclusivity, Cider seems to be a pretty good choice if you struggle to find clothing for your body type at other brands. Cider starts its sizing at XXS and has a special “curvy” section where the sizing goes up to 4XL.
Regarding the clothing size at Cider, I was reluctant that they might not fit well. Yet another surprise is that their clothes are actually true to size. Maybe a tiny bit smaller, but aquarate in general. Having said that is not a bad idea to check the size guides and measurements of every item before making an order to avoid disappointment.
Cider Shipment and return
According to the Cider website, shipment to the United States and Europe takes about 8–10 days. It indirectly confirms that items from Cider simply cannot be made to order.
Nevertheless, according to reviews, the actual shipment takes at least 14 days, and there are a lot of cases when packages don`t come at all. It probably does not mean that Cider steals your money and runs. The company looks pretty legit, and the payment methods are secure. But Cider Shop chooses the most low-cost shipment options, which probably means that your package is not the top priority for the logistics company.
You can choose “express shipping” and pay an extra $20 to receive your package in just 5 days. But, unfortunately, the reviews from other buyers show that in many cases, express shipping takes precisely the same time as any other.
By the way, keep in mind that in its terms and policies, Cider states that the company is not responsible for any delayed or failed deliveries, as well as any damage that can happen to your items on the way.
Cider return policy
To return the item that did not live up to your expectations, you will need to request a return label on the Cider website or app, contact customer service, and follow their instructions. According to the return and refund terms and policies, you have 14 days from the day you received your package to decide whether you want to return any of the items.
In this case, you will have to pay for the shipment yourself and expect a refund within 25 days after Cider confirms that they received the package. Luckily, I didn’t have to return any time to Cider as I loved every single piece, and they fit nicely on my body shape.
But not everyone was as lucky as myself. Some people are surprised at how expensive a shipment to China can be. While Chinese retailers send packages in bulk and, therefore, get special discounts from the logistics companies, once you want to send something there, you will have to pay the full price, which is not worth it. Although some retailers like Shein will allow you to keep the item you want to return, I cannot share the same experience at Cider shop.
So is ShopCider legit?
The answer is yes. Cider is a good brand and legit; otherwise, I wouldn’t have received the clothes that I bought from them. So if you want to order from their website, just consider the shopping time, as it might take a little longer depending on which country/state you reside.
Do I recommend ShopCider clothing?
I actually do recommend Cider for those looking for cheap clothes that have an aesthetic design. I understand that not everyone can afford to spend $50 for a mini skirt or t-shirt. Therefore, if you are looking for trendy clothes, Cider might be a good option. On the contrary, I don’t recommend Cider to people who want to buy high-quality clothing that are eco-friendly and sustainable.
This clothing brand definitely has several downsides, but it is not a scam. Cider is a legit Chinese fast fashion retailer with everything we love and hate these companies for.
To its credit, Cider really came up with a slightly different approach to selling fast fashion and built a thorough social media marketing campaign, which created an attractive image of Cider as a clothing brand for stylish people who want to make a statement.
However, it is a good old online fast fashion brand with questionable sustainability claims. So, if you were looking for something different from Shein, Zaful, Romwe, and such, keep on looking, as you will probably find the same outfits in all these stores.