An honest, detailed and in-depth experience of buying jewellery from Wanderlust + Co
Yeah… I bought some more jewellery. 😳
Before you scold me, though, I have my reasons, and I hope you find this post interesting!
I had been eyeing the online jewellery store Wanderlust + Co for a while. I was going to try and hold off buying jewellery until our Europe trip next month, but I gave in and made a purchase just over a week ago, using a 30% discount code (I am all about the sales).
I have followed Wanderlust + Co on Instagram and been on their mailing list for a while. I can’t remember how I first came across the company, but it must have been from another fashion blogger. It was a while ago because I remember already knowing the company when it was my birthday last May.
My package arrived in the mail today. This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill review, as a lot of thought and research happened before I made my purchase. This review is quite detailed, but I hope it is useful, and that you consider doing a lot of research as well before you next purchase something online!
Thoughts before purchase
The style of Wanderlust + Co could be defined as casual and bohemian (boho) (mostly). Very minimalist pieces. Earthy stones, geometric shapes, and long dainty chains make up most of the jewellery. They love, love, love layering. I have to admit I am terrifyingly far from having the style of a ‘boho chick’, and not to generalise or put anybody in a box (myself included), but I find that as an Asian it is challenging to pull off a bohemian look. Asians sort of have their own way of doing it. If I were to do it, I would take a more minimalist, sleek and professional approach.
That said, I have loved boho-style jewellery for a long time, but bold colours or edgy pieces took precedence when I went jewellery shopping. I am keen to see what Wanderlust + Co can do for my style, though.
The number one question is the quality of the jewellery. I know it’s still costume jewellery, but a lot of the pieces in Wanderlust + Co’s store are plated gold, silver, or rhodium. The stones are usually Swarovski crystals.
If I look at the photos on the website, some of the pieces seem to be better quality than others. Others seem to look cheap. Rows of crystals look like they are set unevenly, but again, I can’t tell a hundred percent. Another thing I’m not a huge fan of is brushed metal, the kind of metal surface that has a lined texture. I feel like it cheapens the look of items (remember that really strange look of the old Mac interfaces?). Not all of Wanderlust + Co’s products are like this, though.
Many of the rings in the store are adjustable. Personally, I am very sceptical about any adjustable rings. It’s great that it’s malleable, but it makes me think that the strength of the ring can’t be too terrific. Then again, I suppose you’re not going to be adjusting it all the time. But keep in mind, pure silver is very hard and not very malleable, so it makes sense that these pieces are only plated.
The jewellery that Wanderlust + Co sells ranges from $10 up to around $90. Most new pieces seem to fit in the $40-$50 range, but when there are sales, you can pick up a bargain for about $10. Given my thoughts above on quality, and knowing I can buy real silver jewellery for $50 or less in Australia, I wonder why costume jewellery can be so expensive.
It might be that the pieces are very delicate, even though the materials used are not expensive. They might be more complex to make because some of them have quite intricate detail. In light of the ones with small Swarovski crystals, we know that Pandora charms are very small but can be very expensive because of the work and technology required to create them.
I wondered how unique the store’s pieces were. I have come across jewellery websites that have pieces I have seen elsewhere, and I know they must have been sourced from the same place (not surprisingly, it seems they are mostly somewhere in Asia). Wanderlust + Co has pieces that are branded with a ‘W+CO’ engraving, so because of that, I think they have rather unique pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. I even went as far as to search using Google for similar jewellery images. Nope.
After looking through some blog posts by fashion bloggers I realised that Wanderlust + Co were around from 2010 or 2011, and the style of their products changed. They used to sell very cutesy, quirky sort of jewellery, and they looked a lot like jewellery I had seen in other stores. I would describe them as typically Korean or Malaysian made – the Asian jewellery stores here seemed to stock jewellery with bows, patterns, and other chunky things.
When I first came across the online store, I noticed that a few sale pieces were hugely different in style from the rest of the pieces in the store. They were chunky, with a very ‘glam’ statement style, compared to the other delicate pieces. Perhaps old stock?
Intensive research for reviews and feedback
I decided to do some research about Wanderlust + Co. I wanted to hear feedback and read reviews from others. Unfortunately I couldn’t find much. I saw a couple of reviews that complained about delivery time being too long. I also saw many outdated blog posts from bloggers, where the style of the jewellery they purchased was vastly different to what is currently on the site.
Wanderlust + Co seems to be a popular brand of jewellery for use in subscription boxes, particularly JewelMint (which no longer exists) and RocksBox. I did see one blog post from a JewelMint subscriber, where a lot of the comments mentioned that the quality of Wanderlust + Co’s jewellery was cheap and terrible. Granted, it was at least a year ago, so perhaps it’s changed? I found a few RocksBox reviews that were positive, and I went so far as to look on Instagram for people’s thoughts – which were all positive.
I guess I decided to give in, and give it a go! It could be my favourite jewellery store, I could also hate it to bits. I purchased a handful of pieces that were on sale. I waited for a sale because part of me still questions the jewellery’s quality. Silver or gold plated does not necessarily mean the quality trumps other costume jewellery, as plating can fade with time, and the craftsmanship may be lacking. I have also owned costume jewellery that has lasted a lot of wear, so who knows. There’s only one way to tell at the moment.
Thoughts after purchase
I did see a tweet where someone complained about the shipping time. Wanderlust + Co’s headquarters seem to be in Malaysia, as that is where my package was shipped from. It took seven working days for it to reach me. Not bad – but Malaysia isn’t too far from Australia either.
The package arrived with no breakages, and the jewellery was beautifully and carefully packaged. Not only was the box wrapped with bubble wrap, but so was every piece of jewellery inside the box. The jewellery was packed in sealable plastic sleeves, which isn’t as impressive as some companies which spend money on organza bags, but it was still nice.
Shipping was free for orders over $50. Pretty standard really. I was pleased with both the shipping time and the packaging. I even got a catalogue and a promotional magazine in my package. They don’t send receipts in the mail to be kind to the environment, but they send catalogues, which seems contradictory… I assume they are on recycled paper?
I was concerned about quality. Well, I have to admit I’m a bit impressed. All the jewellery I purchased was shiny and well made. The pieces were delicate, as per the style, and the rings I selected were quite malleable. They look like they will last and not just break after one use. Because of the style of the jewellery, I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone thought the quality was bad. One of the pearls on one of the rings I bought wasn’t smooth in one tiny spot, but it’s not a big deal.
I only hope that the silver/gold plating for the jewellery will last. (I couldn’t get a better photo due to me taking this photo at night – sorry about that.)
So yes, I love all the pieces I picked out!
Was it worth the $160 I paid, though?
Not really. I bought all the pieces on sale (30% off, with some reduced further), but I don’t feel like some of them are worth $40 a pop. I feel like I will only ever buy from the store if there is a sale.
Beautiful jewellery though, and I can’t really complain about any of the pieces I bought. The only little gripe I have with one of them is the cuff being a bit too big for my small wrists. It’s adjustable, but does require a lot of adjusting. I love cuffs but I always seem to have the problem with them being too big. Maybe I will stick with chain bracelets next time.
I like all the rings (I bought seven!) very much and they will all get a lot of wear. You’ll see them in upcoming Fashion Friday posts. ;)
I actually would recommend Wanderlust + Co if you like the jewellery. The price point is a bit high, but there are sales every now and then (which is when I would recommend buying). If the jewellery is very much your style, shop around and see if you can get something similar for a bit cheaper. I found maybe one or two stores with similar jewellery to some of Wanderlust + Co’s styles, so I avoided buying too much (if any) of the jewellery in those styles.
The quality of the jewellery is not bad. Not gonna lie, it is pretty beautiful. I have yet to try wearing them, but as I said, I hope the plating doesn’t fade too quickly. But as with all jewellery, you should take care of it and store it properly.
Update (the next day): I wore two of the rings and the cuff today, and unfortunately one of the crystals fell off one of the rings. It happened when I was sitting down, no force applied, but the crystal dropped on the floor and I could not find it because it’s so small. :( I contacted the website and got a reply within a few hours (nice!), and sent photographic evidence as requested. I am guessing this is just a one-off unlucky occasion, but they said they will send me a replacement ring, which was really lovely of them. :)
Waiting over a year before I purchased anything? It was worth the wait. It pays to do research!
I would love to hear of any experiences you’ve had with making online purchases, jewellery or not. Did you do a lot of research? How long did you wait for a sale?
They don’t send receipts to be kind to the environment, but include a paper catalogue and use plastic bags and bubble wrap for each piece of jewellery? 😐 I don’t trust a company that claims environmental concerns only regarding receipts. If I spend more than 50$ on a product, I like a receipt.
I really like the style of Wanderlust + Co, but I know delicate and dainty jewellery doesn’t suit me. Geometric and stone style, though? I’m all about it. 😀
I don’t often buy clothing or jewellery online. My body makes it difficult, first and foremost–not because of my size, but because of my proportions. I have a short neck and thick wrists, so jewellery causes problms. I also shop by feel instead of style or price and like to touch and try on things before purchase. If I’m not comfortable wearing something, it doesn’t matter how good it looks! 😅
Before I buy anything online, I always research the seller. I once bought a backpack from a seller that had very strong comments on positive and negative sides. One of those Chinese and cheap “wholesale” type shops, advertising access to new release top-level phones. I took a chance on them, though, because I really liked the style and bags in stores were twice, thrice th price as this one with shipping. Surprisingly, the bag came (very, very long shipping time… over 3 months), and has been durable! The hardware on it leaves something to be desired, but the material and stitch work are incredibly sturdy.
I’m not too hung up on online sales, mostly because I try to seek deals at the get-go, and I don’t make big purchases online (over 50$ and I get reluctant). I’m cheap, I suppose. :P
They did send the receipts via email instead (I must have forgotten to mention that), but they did put a lot of effort into the packaging that did not seem entirely environmentally friendly.
I can agree with you there about geometric and stone styles! I think dainty jewellery looks better on me because I have a small figure.
There are some clothes I buy online, like t-shirts and tops. I can never trust buying something like jeans online because all retailers have different sizes and jeans and pants would give me a hard time if they didn’t fit, compared to tops. That said, I usually only buy online if I have tried an item on in-store, or if I am familiar with the brand. :) As for jewellery, I definitely love to try it on first if I can.
That’s great to hear about the bag!
I don’t really keep an eye on online sales or get sucked in by them, but if I have been looking at something for a while and it goes on sale, I definitely have a look and consider buying it. I am a bit cheap, too. :P I heard that buying things in cash makes us realise how much we are actually spending. I actually put a lot of things into my shopping cart when I shop online and I feel really ‘ugh’ about the final price when I see it. I am the kind of person who puts everything in their cart, looks at the price, then just abandons the cart. Obviously it didn’t happen this time, but I had $800 worth of items in my cart at the beginning. :P
Never heard of them till now. Some of their stuff looks kinda nice. Though I likely wouldn’t pay that much for them. At least you did the research though!
I’m noticing the Bohemian styling being more popular these days, whether it’s through jewelry, fashion, and even housing decoratives. I really like the way they layer their jewelry! It makes me notice the simplicity and styling ;).
Quality is always important when it comes to jewelry! “Is it worth spending this much for a bracelet that will tarnish??!” That’s my way of ruling out most temptations to buy bracelets from those chic stores… Along with the fact that my nose doesn’t like the smell of tarnished metal XD.
Pandora charms are perfect when it comes to pricing!– That is if you’re okay with silver charms XD. If you add any gold to it, the price skyrockets!!!
It looks like the company is up and down. I’m never a fan of international shipping because it takes forever for it to come @___@. I’m glad that you had no problems with shipment! For $40 per piece, I would agree that there are some better options like Pandora rings ;). I’m glad the company is standing behind their quality service by sending you a replacement ring!
My online purchases are usually through some big name companies. I bought stuff from smaller businesses like Etsy, and it was pretty good. *Waits for an attractive price tracking app*
Hi, I would like to know if you have any update about those rings. Wanderlust+Co just took out an offert of 3 rings for $20. Big deal imo, but I don´t know how good quality they are. Please, if you can answer me, it would be so helpful.
btw: sorry if I misswrote something, English is not my first language.
The new silver ring in the top right of my photo was the one that was replaced. The replacement one had a crystal fall out of it too – I think it might be because the ring is adjustable and adjusting the band of the ring would loosen up the crystals. The rose gold one on the right held up pretty well, I love it and still wear it. The others are still good and I have worn some of them quite regularly. They haven’t tarnished or changed colour. The rings I bought are very delicate and light though, so that is something to consider. It doesn’t feel like high-quality fine jewellery, but it holds up pretty well.
3 for $20 is definitely a good deal, and I’d go for it to give them a try. I can’t say the same about the bracelet and the bangle – the bracelet was a bit fragile and changed colour more easily so the gold rubbed off, and one of the triangles on the bangle snapped off when I bent it too much (it’s adjustable).
Hope that helps!
Do they ever rust?
Hey there! From my experience, a lot of costume jewellery will easily tarnish or rust after wear, but I actually found that this did not happen to most of the jewellery I bought in this post. The gold bracelet did, however, after wearing it only a few times.
I wrote this blog post in 2016 and I actually still have some of the rings. They have not tarnished at all and I was even able to wash my hands with some of them (but I wouldn’t recommend it since this jewellery is not made from real gold or silver). Since writing this blog post I have also bought a couple of bangles and necklaces from the website, and stored them in a cool, dry place, and I haven’t seen any tarnishing. In fact, some of the rings and the bangle I bought broke (because the jewellery is a bit fragile) before I even saw any signs of tarnishing or rust. It might differ with other pieces you buy from the site, though, so I’d still avoid wearing them in water or anything like that.
Using this to do my research! Thanks for the article <3 much appreciated
I’m obsessed with the La Luna necklace they have. I love the design on their site, especially the gold colored one, but I’m scared of getting it and being disappointed! It seems their necklaces pretty much never go on sale too, I’ve been checking since last year.