Bright lights. Overcrowded fixtures. Bad, bad, clothes. Everywhere. This is often the situation when you enter a Forever 21 store. The sheer number of bad pleather leggings and neon animal-print blouson tops is enough to send any fashionista running the other direction.
However, the recessionista looks beyond the piles and racks and rows of bad, to the hidden, unexpected gems that lurk just on the other side of that pair of red denim hot pants. It takes skill, believe me. There are so many things in F21 that look great on the hanger and terrible on your body, but also plenty of things that look questionable until you try them on.
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The honest fact too, is that F21 is a hit or miss situation. I've walked in there, looked around and walked out empty handed in under five minutes many times. But every now and then, I go in, find two arm-fulls of potential deals, and walk out an hour and a half later, $100 poorer and utterly pleased with my new purchases.
Last week was one of those trips.
$34.90 at Forever 21
I saw this fair isle cardigan in a sea of mountain/plaid/wooly items. It was buttoned all nicely — and hanging up completely out of my reach. Seriously, so high up. Leave it to F21 to put everything I want most in as difficult a place as possible.
$5.80 at Forever 21
Hoot, hoot, this was a no-brainer. I love a good piece of animal jewelry, especially when it's only $6.
$17.80 at Forever 21
This sparkly little tee was also hanging way out of reach. I had to jump and tug and it was a huge production. Anyway, it was totally worth it.
So . . . how did it all turn out? Here's a few outfits I've tried out so far with my new purchases:
Ray-Ban aviators; BDG flannel from Urban Outfitters; F21 cardigan; gray deep V t-shirt from American Apparel; ski leggings; ski socks; Hunter Wellington boots.
F21 ring; Sarge.
F21 top; BP long tank; homemade cut-off 7 For All Mankind shorts; Urban Outfitters floral tights; Target ballet flats; Zoey.
Feeling inspired to make a run to your nearest F21?