Granted the store can be overwhelming, and most of it is geared towards the younger (no curves) crowd. But with a little time and some handy tips, you can flush out the golden nuggets. I tend to focus on trendy pieces and flattering silhouettes.
For instance, this top has special touches like a pleated bottom and cuffed sleeves, with a flattering neckline and banded waist. I'd wear this with black pants and big gold earrings.
|Pleated Top, $19.80|
|Studded Collar Sweater, $22.80|
I don't think I'll ever tire of polka dots, but would be ready to ditch this bow-tie after a week. Just check to see if it's removable, or easily cut off. This top would be adorable with every color in your closet.
|Polka Dot Shirt, $19.80|
Always a fan of stripes, especially in black and white, I'd pair this with a floral skirt and bright, solid-color blazer.
|Striped Satin Top, $14.80|
Their tops are great for layering under jackets and cardigans.
|Waterfall Tank, $19.80|
|Essential Colorblocked Dress, $19.80|
|Essential Circle Skirt, $15.80|
Wrap dresses are great for creating a more custom fit.
|Retro Print Wrap Dress, $24.80|
Two years ago I went against my better judgement and tried on a pair of their skinny jeans (I never buy their pants). So imagine how shocked I am to still be wearing and loving them today! I had to try on a lot of frogs to find my prince, but I do that with jeans that cost 15 times as much!
|Classic Skinnies, $10.80|
|Classic Denim Capris, $10.80|
I asked two of my most stylish blogger friends to weigh in on their Forever 21 tips.
Natalie at Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers said,
"The main thing I look for while shopping at Forever 21 is solid colored items. I feel like their prints can get cheesy and cheap looking. For the most part the solids are great basics to mix in with your higher-end wardrobe items. Case and point, I just bought this blush colored blazer for Fall. It was a great solid neutral color and only $29.00. Score!"
Chassity of Look, Linger, Love has a similar opinion about mixing.
"It goes without saying that you have to dig. I bypass anything that looks cheap or teen-ish. But once you do discover a great find, don't be afraid to put it with your designer items in your closet. It's all about pairing your high and low end items together in a way that creates an eclectic and layered look. Here I've paired my F21 horse print blouse with some better quality items from my closet."
"F21 is also a great place to find seasonal trends that you want to participate in but may not want to invest much in. This past weekend I dropped in to my local F21 and found this acid washed jean tunic. As you can see I'm uncertain at first (and I can see your side eyes), but for $29 I'm willing to give it a shot this fall."
There's no question both these ladies will work those pieces, and no one will know their real price tags.
Here are some more tips for helping you navigate Forever 21, both in-store and online:
When shopping online, look at every picture of a potential buy. Many of the pieces will be cute from the front, but have a shocking cut-out in the back, or crazy bat sleeves.
Check the material content. Nothing is going to be silk or quality cotton, but if you're buying jeans or something fitted, you'll want a bit of spandex or lycra.
Skirts and dresses look best when lined.
Don't judge the fit by the picture. The majority of the models are 5'10", so a skirt that falls mid-thigh for them, might hit you at the knee.
Check the measurements for the best fit. I tend to size-up in everything but their more 'luxe' Love 21 Collection.
If you like it, get it. Because it won't be there when you go back.
Unless you're built very straight, stick with shapes more forgiving of curves...like flowing tops and a-line bottoms.
When shopping in store, check out the mannequins. The merchandisers usually put the best looking pieces on display.
If you like it, try it on! You may be surprised!
Don't force it, half the time I walk out empty-handed.
Don't forget about their amazing accessories department!
Still not convinced? Check out some of my favorite outfits with F21 pieces here, here, here, and here. Do you shop Forever 21? What are you favorite buys and tips?