2.11.14

How To Shop: Forever 21

I remember the first time I went to a Forever 21.  It was my senior year in high school and my mom took me on a shopping trip to the King of Prussia mall.  I had been to France that summer and had seen a Parisian girl in a navy and white polka dot dress with red shoes.  For some reason, this is a big, big moment in my love affair with fashion.  I think it was at that moment that I was shocked by the unconventionalism of this look.  Red shoes?  This didn't match and yet... look at how perfect that girl looked!  My mom had seen the look in my eye and she knew that I loved that outfit.  For the rest of the summer, all I wanted was a navy polka dot dress with red heels.  When I went into that Forever 21, I found my dress, and I kept it until a couple of years ago when, through wear and tear, I wore a hole in the cotton fabric.

Forever 21 makes sure to be on top of the trends for a reasonable price.  If you want that fur vest, green military jacket, asymentrical skort, you got it.  You can always guarantee that there will be a dress you can wear out to make the guys swoon (get it, girl).  And you know that you can walk in there with a $50 spending limit and leave with at least one item.

But there are downsides - the quality isn't the greatest and the sizing isn't always appropriate.  You might not be 19 anymore, but you still are on the same budget as you were... so why must you be forced to the stores where you can get the same look for triple the price?

Here are my rules for shopping at Forever 21 even if you aren't 21:

1. Use Forever 21 for your trendy items, not your staples.  I really want a fur vest.  I will not be spending more than $30 on a fur vest, though.  While I have yet to see an outfit on a blog with a fur vest that I don't like, I have a hunch that in 3 years, that fur vest will not be seen once in a year.  Fashion sometimes is that way, and we have to accept it.  I love trying out trends and at that moment, I go to my trendy staple.


2. If you're shopping for professional wear stick to tops/pants - avoid skirts and dresses.  I love my dresses from F21.  Some are cute and adorable sundresses (my polka dot hi-lo dress, my pink flutter dress, my floral strappy dress, for examples) - but trust me, even at my fun workplace, they would look childish and inappropriate.
| Pants | Top | Sweater

3. But if you're going out - F21 has some of the best low price party outfits.  Things I've learned in life - if you plan on dancing for hours in dingy, dark places, don't wear your expensive outfits.  It'll make you cry in the morning if you're trying to figure out how to get that mysterious sticky substance off your $80 dress.
| Dress | Skirt | Shorts |

4. Check out Love 21.  It's a great addition to the 21 family with more realistic sizing.  The skirts and dresses are longer, the cuts are more flattering for all body types, and the quality is a smidge better.
| Dress | Skirt | Blouse |

5. Embrace the huge crazy chaos of the store.  It may seem overwhelming but forcing yourself to look through the racks tends to make you try things you didn't know you wanted.  You may not end up buying them, but at least you try.  And sometimes you find something awesome (like my white peplum top I loveeee).  OH!  And try on items.  Time-consuming, but more worth it with their sizing.

Forever 21 is great if you know how to shop there - and you find one in almost every mall - you never knew you were so freakin' fashionable on a small budget!

40 comments:

  1. You are right on the money when it comes to shopping at Forever21! I don't go in too often because it is a little overwhelming but it's so great for trendy items...I've actually been meaning to go in there to look for the cutest black dress my neighbor was wearing last week. Hopefully I'll get in there soon before the dress isn't there anymore.
    charity
    lifeafterbaseball.net

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  2. You are so right about everything! I try to avoid F21 precisely because the quality and sizing is often compromised, and I can't wear any of this stuff to work! Still, your selections make me want to check out F21 again... ;) I have a hard time justifying a purchase that isn't versatile or won't last long. But you're right-- if there's a trend I am absolutely loving and can't afford to purchase high-quality, this is a good way to get the look!

    <3 Daisy

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  3. I spent my summer in America this year and I was so excited about visiting Forever 21! But I was disappointed, and mainly because of the sizes! I wanted some denim shorts and I took in a mixture of smalls and mediums to try, in one style I couldn't get the medium past my hips and in another the small was way too big?! Also I had an encounter with a really rude staff member and I was always told American customer service is great! So there's my experience as a UK shopper haha! Great post though and if I ever visit again I'll bare these points in mind :) xx

    xbeccabe.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Aw, Becca! I'm sorry you didn't have a good Forever 21 experience! The sizes do stink. I definitely have to go in there with a mental attitude to not let the sizes turn me off (if you've ever been into a Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch, you will have experienced this as well). They tend not to be flattering, especially if the outfit is meant to be skimpy to begin with. I actually studied in the UK for a while, and don't let the "customer service" thing fool you. While it did seem that Americans tended to be naturally "nicer" than the Brits, I think your customer service was just as good. Like anywhere, you have annoying teenagers who think they're too cool and just trying to get paid to get drunk later. If you do visit again, give it another try - and maybe you'll find something great!

      - Sarah :)

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  4. Overall I love Forever 21, I've been positively impressed by their sportswear notably... I love your picks Sarah! Especially the yellow pants!
    XO
    Jeanne
    http://www.fashionmusingsdiary.com

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  5. I agree, I love Forever 21, I am so happy that we can now find it in some European countries!

    XX

    http://themirroronthewall.com

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  6. Such a great post! Love Forever 21.

    Heidi D.
    www.wishesandreality.com

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  7. El poncho me ha encantado!!!
    Un beso, Sarah

    http://cocoolook.blogspot.com.es/

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  8. Great post, thanks for sharing.
    http://sophialastyles.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. I agree with you on all of your points! I think F 21 is great for going out clothes and clothes that will clearly go out of style in a heartbeat. I tend to wear F 21 clothes when I go out because if something gets spilled on them, I don't care! I don't like buying day skirts/dresses because they are always extremely short - even with tights. They look unprofessional and plain tacky I think. Also I really like Love 21 - especially Love 21 blouses seem to be made of better materials. Oh an also, I like F21 tights - especially floral print ones. Affordable yet fun!

    - Deniz
    www.dressedupdeniz.com

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    1. Ooh tights! I forgot about those! I'm definitely making an effort to get cuter tights - that's a great point on F21 tights. Definitely looking there.

      - Sarah :)

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  10. Forever 21 has the best prices, and such cute pieces!

    God bless,
    XO, Claire
    Http://www.littlemissfashionqueen.blogspot.com

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  11. Great tips- I do love Forever 21 but am very careful when selecting pieces from there! I'm a huge fan of the LOVE21 line. I agree with you that it's a place to get fun, trendy extras- not staples you plan to keep for years.

    lovejoanna.com

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  12. Such a shame we don't have F21 in my country ;) xoxo
    http://stylesensemoments.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I guess you'll just have to come visit :)

      - Sarah :)

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    2. Well, I guess you will just have to come visit us!

      - Sarah :)

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  13. Even if i love F21 so much, i don't really shop there because of the price.

    Visit my blog: www.sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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  14. I'm a fan of Forever 21 but definitely careful when shopping. Great tips!

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  15. This is such a great post with so many great tips! F21 is definitely the place to go for trendy pieces! And I absolutely love your story about the polka dot dress...I wish I had an moment like that in my fashion history to recall!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

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    Replies
    1. Haha, I come from a very, very anti-fashion/girly anything family, so these girly moments are very big to me. While you can appreciate them, my family looks at them as yet another moment when they didn't understand what planet I came from haha.

      - Sarah :)

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  16. Great post and pictures

    Kisses Emina

    Blog: www.fashionbyemina.blogspot.com
    Instagram: http://instagram.com/eminamasovic
    Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12856043

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  17. Haha, I totally agree with you on F21, I have to go in prepared to try on 40 different items because the sizing is so off that half won't fit and of those that do not all will be flattering. It's a crazy world, but it is affordable! And great for 1 season trends.

    http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

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  18. Loved this post. Shopping at F21 can definitely be a zoo! it's been harder to shop there for me though--they used to have XS sizes and did away with them a year or two ago. Now most things are too big, unless I go for the "boyfriend look." :(

    Jen
    www.lifeunrefined.com

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  19. Fab tips - I completely agree that the trendy, wear-one-season items are great to grab there.
    xo Annie
    New England Romance

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  20. This is a very informative post. I agree that they have on trend clothing but quality most of the time is not there.
    xo
    Elmira
    http://www.wellputtogetherstylebyelmira.com

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  21. This is a great post!! Your tips are so on point - it is very easy to get caught up in all the choices, and sometimes you end up with pieces you definitely didn't need. Fabulous. x E

    Elizabeth Victoria Clark

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  22. Forever 21 always have some amazing pieces! Great tips!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

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  23. Forever 21 is awesome! Always find cool items there. Love these choices.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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  24. Loved this! Forever 21 sure does have the cutest outfits, but sometimes the quality can be rubbish:( Really liked this post, and I can see the effort you've put into it!:)
    Ariana // Thoughts Through a Teacup

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love shopping and live with anti-shoppers so I'm constantly trying to make fashion/shopping fun and enjoyable. One day I'll win them over!

      - Sarah :)

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  25. Such a good point. I feel like my things from forever 21 never last me very long at all. I love some of the items you chose for this post! Also, your story about France was so cute! I bet that dress was adorable.

    Denise
    www.fashionloveletters.com

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  26. Love your post. <3 On point and great tips.
    I also like shopping at F21. Thanks for sharing this.

    x, shekinahjoy.com

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  27. Those are stunning!! Love Forever 21 :)

    Please let me know if you would be interested in following eachother on GFC and Bloglovin.Would love to stay in contact.

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves
    xoxo

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  28. I am absolutely a fans of forever 21, their products are so chic and stylish (: x

    http://birdiethgirl.blogspot.com

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  29. I'm so incredibly sad we don't have Forever 21 here in Bosnia, because I absolutely love the store and their clothes. They're truly great.

    TRENDGALORE
    BLOGLOVIN

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  30. Great F21 tips- definitely key for picking up fast-fashion, trendy pieces (not so much staples)!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  31. Thanks for sharing such great finding! I also buy sometimes stuff which I won't to buy for my staples at this shop and I think the prices are really amazing :)
    Lovely greetings from Germany/Bavaria, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  32. This post was so helpful, I love Forever 21 although there's so much stuff it can get a little overwhelming at times!

    - Liz
    http://bit.ly/voguedout

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