30-Something in Forever 21


Have you ever had one of those days? A day where everything goes so wrong that the only thing to pull you out of your rut is a little retail therapy?

Well, this was one of those unfortunate Monday mornings. (Is any Monday morning fortunate?). I was rear-ended on my way to school, had a test at 8:30 am and a presentation at 10:30 am. By noon, I just wanted to give up. So, I headed to the mall. I had it in my head that buying some funky new clothes and accessories I would be able to change my state of mind.


I don’t know about you, but when I think of “funky”, I think of  Forever 21. Luckily enough, there was a huge new outlet at my local mall. It opened right before Christmas. It’s arrival came with much fanfare and hype. Plus, it is huge! It’s location takes up at least three mall retail spots. I decided that this unfortunate Monday would be the day I would rather remember as my first time at Forever 21.

Previous to the new location’s arrival, I was well-versed on Forever 21’s website. I have always been pleased with their selection, promotions, friendly emails and faster-than-light shipping. I am, by all accounts, a loyal customer to a company I have had no real interactions with. I could only assume that upon meeting face-to-face it would be love at first sight, right?


It was a dark, dreary Monday afternoon when I stepped foot into the outlet’s glare of the white light. I had money to burn and yet no sales people picked up on the smell of my smouldering pocket-book . I was not greeted upon entering the store. In fact the whole hour and a half I was in the store, no one asked me if I needed help or a changing room. It was bizarre.

I searched every rack and shelf for something, anything, that fit in to my “style”. My style being sexy- librarian- psycho-billy-momma. I’m really not that hard to dress. Really. Yet, somehow there was nothing that suited my taste or body type. It was very frustrating and disheartening.

All I saw were crop tops, hip-hop culture references I would deem borderline racist, t-shirts trying to be ironic in a world that cannot define the word irony and dresses that looked like the swatches of fabric my grandmother got when she wanted to re-upholster her couch. Gross! Ironic-Midriff-Baring-Gangster-Grandma looks good on NO ONE!

Who is doing their merchandising? Someone needs to pull their pretty bleach blonde So-Cal head out of the sand and do a little market research. Not every trend that works in Southern California is going to work in the Eastern North Atlantic.You heard it here first.

My last stop on my train wreck outing was the accessories. It was here, in the accessories department, that Forever 21 redeemed itself and didn’t lose their loyal customer. I found oodles of cute, fun and most importantly cheap earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair goodies. Not all was lost on this downtrodden Monday. I was able to find some cute and funky armour to help me defend myself on Tuesday.

I guess what I take away from my time at Forever 21 is; a long-distance, web-based relationship should sometimes just stay at a distance. Sometimes we are able to project what we want and need in a relationship on to the other party from afar. When, in reality, they could never live up to our expectations.  



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