The buzz around Zaful seems to be increasing exponentially, especially with summer right around the corner. Youtuber’s, bloggers and even Instagram influencers are covering the brand left, right and center. If you haven’t heard of the company, they are an Asian based, fast fashion retailer that focuses on summer style clothing: with the main hype being swimwear.
Since I am going on a trip in just under a month I decided to test out the company, specifically their swimwear. I spend the majority of my summer at the lake either out boating, wakeboarding or just swimming in general. My usual swimsuits come from mid to high-end brands, ranging from “fashionable” ones to “athletic” use. It is safe to say that when it comes to swimwear, I know what works and what does not (for me at least).
While I need a new bathing suit like I need a hole in the head, I wanted to get a few more stylish ala vacation-esque type pieces. Finally, before I get into the review I want to say that I was not paid or asked to review this company, all of the opinions and experiences are my own and I also used my own cash-o-la for these swimsuits. Now onto the review.
The site, in general, is fairly straightforward in its layout. It does not by any means have the minimal appeal of a lot of my favorite stores, but you can find what you want without having to look too hard. I will say this, however, they have a lot of products and you can spend a lot of time looking through the different pages. Also, the pictures in general (in the bathing suit section at least) are just of the item, no people, which to me is a love/hate kind of thing. Sometimes it is nice to know what it looks like on a human being.
Knowing that the items were coming from China, I gave myself well over a month before Vacation to get here (I should also note that I chose the free shipping option aka: the slower option). I was actually surprised by how quick it all got here. In total, it took 12 business days and they supplied me with a tracking number so I knew exactly where the package was at all times.
The other concern I always have with receiving items from places outside of Canada is that 9 times out of 10 I am dinged with insane import/duty fees. This time, however, I did not have to pay anything for the items, though I think it should be noted that this is likely not the norm (just my experience).
Items Received: 1/5
I ordered 6 different bathing suits in total. Zaful was having a promotion that for every 4 of their “best seller” items you buy, you get one free. On top of that, there was a bathing suit that I really liked as well. Unfortunately, I did not receive all of the items I ordered and instead received a wrong and duplicate item.
Here are the items I ordered:
- Low Waisted Padded Scoop Bikini: Light Blue Size M – Received
- Low Waisted Padded Scoop Bikini: Burgundy Size M – Received
- High Cut Scoop Bikini Set: Army Green Size M – Received
- High Cut Scoop Bikini Set: Turquoise Size M – Received
- Patchwork Print Bralette Scoop Bikini Set: Red Size M – Received
- Textured Plunge High Waisted Bikini Set: Light Blue Size M – NOT Received
- Received Instead: Low Waisted Padded Scoop Bikini: Light Blue Size Small
I was actually pretty disappointed because out of all of the bathing suits I was most excited about the high waisted one and to receive a duplicate that was not even in my size was not ideal either.
I was actually surprised by the quality based on the first reaction and initial try on. It is definitely not at the standards of my high-end bathing suits (but for >$15 you would not expect it to be), but it could rival or be comparable to some of my mid-range ones. Do I think the bathing suit is going to fall apart after one wear? No. Do I think that this bathing suit will last you the rest of your life (or 5+ years)? No. Honestly, for a trendy vacation bathing suit, I am impressed.
Zaful has a lot of great styles and variety on their site. They have everything from barely there two pieces to high-waisted to one piece suits. Their styles are all very on-trend and it appears that they are constantly bringing in newer trendier pieces. I will say this though, a lot of the two-piece bathing suits that I purchased and saw online are not the ones you would wear around your family (or at least I wouldn’t) because they leave little to the imagination in the derriere region. But at least for tan lines or showing some skin, they are great (not that I advocate baking in the sun, I am definitely a ~60SPF kind of person).
The sizing on these bathing suits was inconsistent between the styles and even slightly between the colors. While I ordered a medium in each style, the bottoms in one of them (Patchwork Print Bralette Scoop Bikini Set) were just as small if not smaller than the size small bathing suit that they incorrectly sent me. The top however still fit, though slightly smaller than my other medium-sized ones. The different sizing between the colors varied slightly and I would chalk it up to how they were made.
I would say though, that besides the Patchwork Bikini and discrepancies in the sizes, the sizing was still fairly true to size for me, with the possibility that they are a bit on the smaller end. I am normally a medium in all suits, bottoms especially (Size 28-29 jeans) and they fit me well. I also like to keep in mind that bathing suits almost always stretch out when wet, so I would rather have them a bit small than a bit too large. With that said, I do not think that Zaful runs large by any standard.
Customer Service: 4/5
Since Zaful messed up in their shipment, I was also able to get the full Customer Service Experience. I am not too sure what the general consensus for others is, but mine was very good.
Once I figured out the correct spot to contact (they have 4 or 5 different contact methods), they were extremely quick at replying. They solved the problem after only a few responses and refunded me the money for the item I did not receive. They also notified me that I would not need to ship the item back (which was honestly great news because I did not want to spend the shipping the get it back) and could donate it or keep it, whatever I wanted.
My only complaint would be that I was still out the high-waisted bathing suit that I was most looking forward to owning. There also is not enough time now to ensure that it will get here before my trip, so yes I got the money back but still did not solve the fact that they messed up and I am out a suit I wanted (oh well not everything can go right always).
For the price you pay for these suits, the value is good. Because they are so “cheap” you can’t expect to have the most amazing quality. I also think that because they fall into a certain lower-end fast fashion shop category you also need to expect that your order won’t go off without a hitch, or at least do not expect absolute perfection. I do think that at this price point and for the items that did work, you probably would be hard-pressed to find something with this quality and on-trend.
All in all, I was actually pleasantly surprised Zaful. The quality was decent, shipping time was good, the value was there, customer service was fantastic and they were the “trendy” items I was hoping for.
I do still have a few issues with them. I am not overly keen on the fast fashion, lower end “trendy”, industry. I believe that a lot of the time their practices can be questionable to say the least and you cannot always guarantee that the products will be any good. I am still without one of the bathing suits that I was most looking forward to wearing and the sizing was slightly questionable between style and colors (not overly but still). They also lacked on person photos of the suits on the website, so except for the customer reviews that had them, it was hard to tell what it would look like on a human being.
However, when it comes to finding cheap bathing suits in the middle of winter that are “trendy”, it is not always easy and Zaful offers a solution to this. They are also a lower priced company that makes owning those “instagramable” suits achievable or just makes buying a more on-trend bathing suit affordable. I am looking forward to getting in a wear test on these in the water to see how they preform and honestly just to wear them in general because I do genuinely like them.
Stay tuned for Part II when I give a rundown of how they performed and share my final thoughts after some actual wear testing.