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If you are anything like me and have eyes bigger than your bank account, you need to find ways of cutting costs, and being a savvy shopper. I drool over the pages of Elle, Vogue, InStyle etc. but if I wanted to buy one or two of the pieces they feature (even under their budget buys), I would have no money for food when rent and utilities are paid for. Tis’ the sad truth, but a reality, and if I want to indulge in some retail therapy, I need to be smart about my money.

If you’ve been a visitor of the fabulous life of a natural disaster for some time, you probably have realized that I buy a lot of pieces from Forever 21. This is because it’s affordable and they have an abundance of both trendy items and classic items (yes, they have some classics).

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I really try to avoid the ACTUAL Forever 21 store if possible and do most of my shopping online. This is because:

1. Whenever I go in there I feel overwhelmed by, let’s call them, the “younger generation” (and perhaps the more “appropriate generation”, if we’re being honest).

2. Having so much inventory makes it hard to find things I’m looking for, especially in high traffic times, when the store inevitably can get a little disorganized. Also, big, packed stores give me a bit of anxiety (I get this at most department stores, it’s not specific to Forever 21). It is significantly easier (and more time efficient) for me to sort out and find what I’m looking for online.

3. I usually spend more than I want to because I see little things that catch my eye (usually accessories or a cute t-shirt, that I will maybe wear once, if ever). Every little thing adds up and before I know it I’m spending $100 at Forever 21 on a blazer and a number of other little things I really don’t need. If I’m spending $100 at Forever 21 on a blazer, it kind of defeats the purpose of shopping at Forever 21 for a classic style blazer…

4. I can keep my shopping cart open as long as I want. I often let my items sit in my shopping cart for a full day before actually purchasing anything. I feel that 12-24 hours is enough time for me to decide if I REALLY want/need something. Is that weird?

5. I also like to to see how the models wear the clothing online and what they pair the pieces with. It definitely gives me a better sense of items when they are not smushed on a rack with various other things.

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Since I don’t usually shop IN the store…

I religiously read reviews and ratings for all the items I’m looking at. This is one of the most IMPORTANT things for me when shopping at Forever 21, or any online store for that matter. If I can try things on in the store, I can see the fit etc and that’s all fine and good. But when shopping online, reading reviews is paramount to finding out the quality, cut and fit, color, fabric etc. Also, when in doubt – if I by something that doesn’t fit properly – I return it or go to a tailor!

What I buy…

I tend to buy a mix of things at Forever 21 depending on what I need or want, I don’t really have set items that I always get there. I do find though, that I tend to like their blazers, some of their denim (I really like their denim cut-offs) and dresses. Because I like a little kitsch and whimsy in my style, I like to get some of their funny T’s (IF age appropriate. Or bordering on it. Hey, I’m not 30 yet), sunglasses and jewelry (but usually only if it’s under $10 – that’s my Forever 21 jewelry limit). As always, I make sure that each item I buy can be paired with at least 3 different outfits (just because it’s Forever 21, doesn’t make that different).

NOTE: I also think it’s important to know/be realistic about what you are really are going to wear. Just because it’s inexpensive, doesn’t mean you should buy it. I always try to remember this (although I haven’t always been successful).

Styling Note…

This really pertains to my general style aesthetic, but I do try to mix my Forever 21 clothes in with other retailers and include a lot of Vintage and Consignment.

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So there you have it folks. That is how I shop at Forever 21.

I’d love to know, do you shop at Forever 21? 

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