Forever 21

I am typically disappointed anymore when I walk out of Forever 21 nearly empty handed, only a few sparse items in my shopping bag.

When F21 first came into my life in 9th grade (circa 2001), nearly everything in the store (save for anything in the painfully tacky camouflage/fishnetty-zippered-goth/glitter princess/printed baby tees sections which, in my local F21, occupied much of the left-side of the store) begged for me to buy it with my folks' hard earned cash - and I never even broke the bank. My past purchases from Forever 21, while not extremely high quality, were typically above and beyond their under-$20 price tag. I'll be honest: I still own some of the pieces I speak of, which is another testament to how great F21 was, way-back-when.

I don't think I'll ever turn my back on Forever, because I can always find at least one worthwhile item to wear for any occasion when nary can one be found elsewhere. The extensive assortment of trendy, modern styles is more than I can ask of most other 'affordable' women's clothing stores at the mall (ie; Charlotte Russe and stores like Vanity & Rave that occupy random spots in the mall for just a split-second's time before disappearing.) Sadly though, as I mentiond before, I've had only small successes lately in scoring wardrobe-worthy duds at the ol' $10-$20 price points. F21's price tags almost seem as though they were assigned to items completly at random - very obviously low-quality items sometimes cost $30-$40, while other, better quality pieces (like the soft-as-cashmere cardigan I bought today) are tagged at $15 and under. Such confusion is matched by the chaotic atmosphere inside the store - especially on weekends - with racks and racks of disheveled clothes, most of which are out of place or have been ripped and snagged by ferocious deal-seekers or the last flippant girl to try them on. (And by the way, why do they re-hang that stuff?! It's just going to go in the desolate sale-section at the back of the store, forever into the abyss of unwanted apparel.)

I will credit Forever (and it's XXI counterpart) with having brought in some unusually sturdy bags, a collection of fashion-forward shoes that rotates seasonally, and a separate section of higher quality items. And to emphasize that I haven't completely given up yet, I'd like to share my excitement in having found three awesome, big-ass rings rings today from among NINE brimming bowls full of them. Not a single one of the hundreds of rings for sale was left unturned as I held on hope that I'd find at least one diamond (read: plastic) in the rough. I actually found a few more, but I'm not much of a pinky-ring wearer, and their disproportionately large selection of size 6 rings will only fit on that one. Size 8, plz! And keep 'em coming!

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