F21 problems

I haven't gone shopping in 6 months. I know, gasp, but it is what it is. I finally decided enough is enough, so I went shopping yesterday for a few new things. After my victory of not having a meltdown while jeans shopping, I decided to walk into the tweenybopper jungle of Forever 21. I feel almost a little ashamed to admit I still shop there occasionally, but if you have the patience to wade through the deep sea of crop tops and pleather leggings, there are some gems to be found. Some of my favorite sweaters and tops have come from there. However, most of my energy in that store goes toward trying to figure if it's a shirt, a hat, a dress, or a scarf. The stylists that come up with these things are on acid while desiging. Of that I am sure.

The other problem with F21 is that when I'm in there, I feel less like a customer and more like a chaperone of the other customers. I see screeching, brace face 12 year old girls holding up dresses that wouldn't fit over half of my butt, and it takes all willpower to not yank it out of their hands and give them a mom lecture, "excuse me, young lady, but that is highly inappropriate. Go find yourself a turtleneck." I start to feel more like I signed up to babysit pro bono and less like I'm shopping for me. The longer I shop around kids twice my age, I start to question why I'm in there. I mean, should I be shopping at a store, admiring some of the same dresses as a girl who still doesn't have her driver's license yet? No. Probably not. But if there is one thing I've learned in my mid-twenties, it's that most girls my age all still shop there. I don't want the age-appropriate J Crew's cookie cutter clothes, and I certainly will never pay that much for a t shirt. At one point yesterday I reached for a tribal print sweater like oh, I can totally rock this, until the 15 year old 6' blonde wearing size  -2 pants gave me the one eyebrow I'd like to see you try to pull that off look. Excuuuuse me! 24 year olds can he hip and happenin' too, ya know. Plus, I can totally drive, I don't have homework anymore, and I live with a boy. So there. 

The age difference seemed even more prevalent yesterday. The only person older than me in the store was a middle-aged woman trying on clothes over her clothes in the middle of the store. I thought I had found another older person, until I realized the girl in question was just an employee who had purposely dyed her hair grey. I've just stopped wondering.  It is truly a jungle in there. A jungle of black crop top shirts covered in gold studs and printed polyester prints that only the Fresh Prince himself could pull off.

Not only did the majority clothes make me mourn for society (except for the Batman leggings, which I still want), but the music. I already stick out like a sore thumb by being out of high school, so I might as well start wearing ear plugs to top off the look. After a sold 45-60 minute of sifting through the crap and silently judging the girls dancing to that horrendous Royals song, I walked to the dressing room, where I had the following thoughts:

+Would it be the end of the world to put a chair in here? Or to at least sweep the floor?
+This dress it too big on me!!??!! A F21 dress that's too big? SKINNY ALERT.
+This dress is the same size and way too small. FAT ALERT. Also, I think I'm stuck. No really. I can't move my arms HELP.
+A sweater is not supposed to look like this on a human being. Do they know girls have boobs? And hips?
+Wait...why are the buttons on the opposite side of this shirt? Why is this shirt actually long enough to be worn in public? Something is off here...THIS IS A MEN'S SHIRT. A men's shirt. But....would it be weird if I bought it....?
+This cardigan is perfect and overpriced and I'm buying it because I need to walk out of here with something for my troubles.

I walked out of the dressing room sweating and sore like I had just run two miles, clutching my two victorious sweaters like they were buried treasurer I had been searching for at the bottom of the sea. And James got to sit outside on a bench and read a book. In the end, we both won.


  1. OHHHH. MICHELLE. On Saturday when Alissa and I went to pick up her computer, we unfortunately had to park in the mall parking lot outside of Forever 21, and had to walk through that hell hole to get to the mall. I don't know about your Forever 21, but ours is MASSIVE. Like, I get lost in there on the regular- massive. It's the worst. We HUSTLED from the parking lot entrance to the exit of the store and I think I held my breath the entire way through. NOT MY SCENE. Too many youths.

    Those Fresh Prince pants, though, look MIGHTY comfortable. I might wear those in the comfort of my own home, not going to lie.


  2. wow, a book. my husband sits outside with his iphone.

    We no longer had F21 in our mall. I shop at TJ max mostly. and Ross. And Goodwill. Nothing like going through other peoples junk with the the one women with 2 crying, dirty kids and the other women who looks like she needs a bath...

  3. Haha I love this a lot because the F21 in Boston makes me feel like dying and also like I'm 97 when I go in it. Unfortunately, there are no Forever 21s nearer to me than Boston. The closest one is in Maine, and it's never ever crowded (just horribly unorganized) because in Maine, you're only cool at LL Bean.

  4. This. All of this.

    I always feel so old when I go into a Forever 21. And so unhip. haha

  5. I took my 16 year old sister in law to F21 last time she was in town... she is 5' 7", blonde, size -2 & a volleyball player at her HS... and SHE acted too old/good for F21... meanwhile I found cute sandals to buy, and she rolled her eyes at me. It was strange.

  6. Hahah. I'm confused when I go in there too... Is this a shirt? Dress? Coverup? Do I wear a shirt under it? What?!?

  7. I go there less and less. BECAUSE I AM 30 YEARS OLD. But I cannot live without their cheap ass prices and accessories!

  8. This is how my husband and I felt walking into American Eagle the other day. For some godforsaken reason, my mom got him an AE gift card for his birthday. He doesn't shop there. We quickly found out they don't even have pants in his size... and he isn't that big. Soooo I got stuff. But we got all kinds of weird looks.

    Old Navy foreva.

  9. I'm 19-turning-20 in about 20 days and I still shop at teen shops in the mall. I look young for my age (Asian genes!), standing 5'1 and have A cup size boobs which pretty much means I can still dress like a teenager :P I don't go out buying cartoon shirts and One Direction shirts but some of the teen stores have more "mature" styles without the ugly prints, YOLO Swag prints all over them. Forever 21 is a place I'd go last because I just can't stand the underage girls shopping there and can't stand how they try to fit 10,000 pieces of items into their store. However, like you said, if I ever do suck it up and put some patients into sifting through the racks, I'd probably find something worth buying.

  10. Oh gosh, I am dying over here. You crack me up! Shop online my friend, online. Then return stuff to the store. That's my plan of attack any way.

  11. You crack me up girl. LOVE this! I feel the same way...taking earplugs to F21 is a great idea:) hahahah! (and ps- that's like the only place I shop cause it's CHEAP! Target's getting too pricey for me, hehe!)

  12. dude... I have walked into a F21 exactly 2 times in my life, and both times made me feel like my face was going to turn into ground zero for the pimple invasion of the century, and like my body was going to spontaneously un-develop. It was uber-disturbing.

    Then again, I started shopping at Ann Taylor when I was 22, so my version of age appropriate is so skewed that it isn't even funny.

  13. Forever 21 is one of those places that I always wish I had locally so I could actually try stuff on before I buy it...and then we go on vacation somewhere and I go in there and immediately remember why even when I did have one locally, I still shopped online.

  14. bahahaha. We're on the same wavelength -- I wrote a really similar post today.

    This was the best -- "most of my energy in that store goes toward trying to figure if it's a shirt, a hat, a dress, or a scarf." I may or may not have snorted.

    I actually have found some pretty good stuff at Forever 21, but I have to have a strategy. My closest store is at the Mall of America, which makes it even more of a zoo. I will only go at exactly 10 am on a weekday, and only to the Love 21 section (which is the old people section).

  15. That store stirs up so many awkward and angry feelings in me. I haven't been there forever, but I remember it as "Oh this is cute, this is weird, I don't know what this is, I'm old." Which is what you said, but you said it better.

  16. It's so refreshing to find articles like the ones you post on your site. Very informative reading. I will keep you bookmarked. Thanks!


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