"You always look so cute and polished in your pics and then I'll read that some of your pieces came from Forever 21 or Target and I'm so confused! I can never seem to find good, expensive-looking clothing items or handbags at these places,
but know they are out there. What's your secret?"
- Email from Laurie (a super sweet blog reader)
I firmly believe in mixing quality, higher-end pieces with less-expensive finds to achieve a complete look. The modern professional woman does not need to spend a fortune to look current, chic and beautiful. This is the main premise to my blog.
I have featured Forever 21 pieces here, here and here and I honestly don't think that you would be able to tell that each piece was less than $20. But if you don't believe me, maybe you'll trust a few examples from some of the most established bloggers there are:
At 2012 New York Fashion Week, Shea Marie from Cheyenne Meets Chanel dons her Forever 21 leopard print coat.
A quote from her post from NYFW, " I brought all these expensive jackets with me but I have been wearing over and over my amazing bargain find from Forever21."
One of my favorite style bloggers, Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook rocked this black sheer asymmetrical dress from Forever 21 on her blog recently.
A quote from her post: "Before purchasing it, I was visualizing how many ways to wear it. I think it would be a comfortable beach cover-up for summer and a great dress to layer underneath a cropped cashmere sweater with tights for autumn."
Marionberry Style's Rules for Success at Shopping Forever 21:
1) Give Yourself Time
I don't step foot into a Forever 21 unless I have at least a half hour. Period. I need time to wade through all the fluff and find the pieces that are in-line with my style, trends, and wants.
2) Remember Thy Age
This cannot be stressed enough. If you are 35, put the sequined pink tube top down and slowly step away from the rack.
No really...with each piece you find you will need to ask yourself if it truly is an age-appropriate selection.
3) Try it On!
This may surprise some, but I refuse to purchase from Forever 21 on-line.
Because these items are so inexpensive, the quality is often what I refer to as "suspect." Therefore, I want to inspect the stitching, fit, color, fabric and quality. The only way to truly do this is to take the time to try the pieces on myself.
4) Weekdays > Weekends
The racks are more organized, clothes are nicely folded and there aren't as many pesky 21-year olds getting in your way.
5) Look for Trends + Layering Pieces
Forever 21 is amazing for finding on-trend items. For instance, colored denim is "so hot right now" and you can find it in a multitude of colors starting at $11.50. Printed jeans, asymmetrical skirts (a.k.a. mullet skirts), and great color block basics are all current trends that are available in a wide variety of colors and cuts.
And finally...think of this as the "Golden Rule" for shopping at Forever 21:
Ask yourself one question, "Would my ___(insert style icon here)___ wear this?
If the answer is no, then put it down and continue on your quest.
Thank you Laurie for the email and for asking such a fantastic question!
Do you shop at Forever 21? Are there any rules you'd like to add to the list?
XO - Marion
PS - If you haven't already, today is the last day to email me your Color Blocked photos! Just send a photo to email@example.com to be included. See here for complete details!