by Anna Karsten

Where to Buy Stylish & Affordable Dresses

Believe it or not, I was never into fashion brands. I never cared whether I was wearing something from Prada or something from a small store in Mexico. I like to dress stylishly, but I’ve always hated spending over $500 for a clothing item.

These days, being an Instagram personality (or influencer as some prefer to call it) isn’t helping, as most girls tend to change their outfits for every photo and stories of unboxing and shopping trips seem to be praised (not that I agree with this part). Where does everyone get money for it, one would ask?

As you might have noticed, most of the time I wear dresses when I travel. I’ve always found pants slightly less comfortable than dresses, and I somehow avoided the ‘elephant pants’ backpacker fashion. Some jeans are way heavier to carry in your suitcase than a few dresses. I get asked the question “Where are all of your travel dresses from?” very often through my Instagram and emails.

Where Do I Buy Stylish & Cheap Travel Clothes?

Travel clothes are usually more expensive than those without the word ‘travel’ in them. Clothes that I use for traveling need to be comfortable, wrinkle-free, lightweight and easy to wash. Plus, it would be nice if I use a dress, shirt or romper to dress up or dress down.

Over the last couple of years, I tested more and more clothing companies and quickly found a few favorites that combine feminity with practicality.


SheIn is my number one store these days. It’s very cheap, and they often have the same exact clothes that you can elsewhere, but for a small fraction of the price (I don’t mean fake copies, but it’s THE SAME.

I even compared the quality of SheIn clothes with other more expensive brands and I swear – it’s the same exact material with the same sewing. It looks like they came from the same factory (which is probably what happened).

While the clothes are cheap, the quality isn’t actually bad and I can’t say the same thing about items from fast-fashion shops like Forever21 or H&M. I have some SheIn dresses for a few years and they’re still good.

I usually get the 95% Polyester & 5% Spandex clothing, occasionally Rayon. Cotton tends to wrinkle more, so even though it could look great I avoid it (ironically, cotton is also not more sustainable than polyester). 

At 5’7 and 117 lbs I order most items extra smalls, or small if that’s the smallest size available. For swimwears, I usually get size medium, according to measurements listed on the website.

Best for: dresses, tops, rompers, accessories.

Return Policy: Returns with SheIn within the US are free, quick and painless. I’ve never had an issue and they always refund on time.

Here are my favorite items:

SheIn Dress – $33
Lulus Jacket – $97

SheIn Dress – $16
Amazon Handbag – $32
Amazon Shoes – $35

SheIn Jumpsuit – $34

SheIn Dress – $28

SheIn Jumpsuit – $15

SheIn Dress – $8

shein dress

SheIn Dress – $18

ShowPo & HelloMolly

Australian brands have cute & well-priced clothes. While HelloMolly tends to be the leader with their cute dresses (they have a great Instagram campaign), I personally prefer ShowPo as they often have the same items, but about 20% cheaper than Hello Molly.

I tend to order size 4 from both brands and they usually fit. However, I’m only 5’7 and a lot of dresses from Hello Molly are way too short in my opinion.

Best for: dresses, sweaters, shoes.

Return Policy: Both stores’ returns aren’t free and work only for store credit, but once you’re ok with that it works just fine. Never had an issue and they process everything quickly.

Here are my favorite items:

ShowPo Dress – $60
Lulus Shoes – $29
SheIn Bag – $7

HelloMolly Dress – SOLD OUT. Similar here for $60.

HelloMolly Dress – $85

ShowPo Jumpsuit – $30


Lulus has beautiful dresses that can be used for a formal setting or city exploring. After all, I even got my wedding dress from Lulus for just $89! They tend to ship within 2-3 business days so your clothes arrive in 7 to 10 business day.

I usually wear XS size. At 5’7 most of their maxi dresses and pants have to be altered, as they’re slightly too long.

Best for: dresses, sweaters, shoes.

Return Policy: Although I like Lulus, their return policy is quite strange and unfair. You can return your items for free for store credit or cash-back, but if you used a discount code for purchase they take it off your return, which is absolutely ridiculous. For instance, your items were $100, but you used a code for $20, so you paid $80.

When you return an item that originally costs $50 (so it would come down to $40 after the discount code), instead of giving you $40 back they’d deduct the entire discount from the items you’re returning – so you’d only get $30 back.

Here are my favorite items:

Lulus Dress – $49
Amazon Suitcase – $143

Lulus Dress – SOLD OUT. Similar one here for $84.
SheIn Shoes – $26

Lulus Shoes – $99

Lulus Dress – $89


I started shopping at BooHoo back when I lived in London as they were always offering something slightly different than other brands on the market. Their clothes are lightweight and rarely get wrinkled.

Best for: shirts, dresses.

Return Policy: Returns aren’t free, but haven’t experienced problems. Everything processed just fine and I got my refunds quickly.

Here are my favorite items:

BooHoo Dress – $19

BooHoo Dress – $38

BooHoo Dress – $14

BooHoo Dress – $14


I was reluctant to try ChicWish, but I’m glad I did. Their shipping takes a while, but their clothes are vintage and cute. Sweaters tend to be slightly heavy, but they’re very warm.

Best for: skirts, dresses.

Return Policy: Returns aren’t free, but they just implemented a new returns system so it’s painless and easy.

Here are my favorite items:

ChicWish Skirt – $45

Brown Coat Dress – $67 (sold out)


I have to admit I was quite hesitant to order anything from Yoins. The company had pretty bad reviews and clothes seemed way too cheap. However, so far Yoins has not disappointed.

Here are my favorite items:

Yoins Swimsuit – $14

Yoins Dress – $23

Yoins Dress – $33

Yoins Shorts – $17


Amazon is a good place to buy affordable clothes for women and men. I like that returns are easy and you can usually rely on other people’s reviews.

Return Policy: Amazon returns are always great.

Here are my favorite items:

Amazon Jeans – $75
Lulus Shirt – $46

Amazon Dress – $19

Amazon Dress – $33

Amazon Two-Piece Outfit – $18

Amazon Two-Piece Set (sold out)- $75
Amazon Stud Shoes – $114

Amazon Dress – $19

Needle & Thread

There’s no denying that dresses from Needle & Thread are gorgeous, but at the first look they’re also insanely expensive. However, fear not – twice a year they have a massive sale and you can buy selected dresses for a fraction of the original price.

Here are my favorite items:


Mosquito is a Polish brand that offers many cute dresses and other clothing for Polish prices, which means a few times cheaper than those from the US. The quality is amazing and I never had to return anything yet.

Here are my favorite items:

Skater Sweater Dress – 80 PLN ($21)

Wrap Skater Dress – 60 PLN ($15)

Cheap Dresses

Any questions? Ask ahead in the comment sections below!

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