Thursday, June 11, 2015

Recent Forever 21 purchases review

Forever 21?  Yes, Forever 21.  I remember years ago, when shopping at an outlet mall, my husband asked me if I wanted to go into that store, and I totally mocked him for even mentioning it (as if he would know anything about it...).  But, many years later, when I'm that much older than 21, I've found new inspiration - often via other bloggers, I'll admit.  I've given it more than a second look, I've even purchased several things there.

Here's my latest batch of purchases.  I've been on the lookout for knit tops and tee shirts for a while, as lately my older ones have been hitting the dust at an accelerated pace.  Before I had the mentality: better quality, higher price equals longer-lasting tees.  Actually, nope.  Some of my highest-priced tee shirts from Boden and Neiman Marcus got those tiny holes at the lower front part almost immediately after purchase (caught on jean zippers, I guess?). And I've always been obsessed with whether a fabric would pill long-term with washing and wearing.  Now I figure I don't get that many wears out of a tee shirt anyway, so might as well plan on buying them more often.  So, the $8-10 price tag on these Forever 21 tops is right up my alley.  We'll see which philosophy I end up adopting permanently.

Oh, and this post isn't sponsored by anyone.  Just my little old opinion, in case you might find it helpful....

I bought the items below, plus one great blush pink/peach top that I couldn't find on the website. It's similar to the taupe tee, but a bit longer, with a box-pleat in the back, and a bit less swingy.  I've worn everything at least once (some outfit photos coming soon), so I can share a bit more than just having tried them on.

The taupe swing tee:

This is a very soft, smooth fabric, but it isn't sheer. It is quite swingy, so the bottom of the shirt is quite bit wider than the shoulders.  I love that the scoop neck is the perfect depth - not my usual boring crew neck  but not low enough I have to worry about modesty.  The hem is slightly lower in back and looks great under a blazer.  Downside?  It says hand wash, and when I got a spot on it (first day I wore it, wonder why I normally buy dark colors?), the Shout wipe I used didn't work on this fabric (cotton/modal, I think) and it left a slight water mark.  So the fabric is a bit delicate.  I guess I shouldn't have worn it to do household chores, go figure.  I bought my normal size (for other stores, too), so sizing runs pretty normal (although if your shoulders are larger, beware, it is fitted in the shoulders).

The faded charcoal tee:

This was a bit of a surprise buy, but I loved the faded, casual feel of the shirt and oversized fit.  I've been looking for a looser fit tee to try some different outfit ideas.  I tried my regular size and a size up to see which would give the fit I was seeking, and my regular size worked perfectly to achieve that.  It has the feel of wearing a boy's shirt, but it's shaped for a girl, and the length isn't so long like when you really buy a men's shirt.  The fabric is so soft and almost feels almost like it's been sueded.  My only complaints are that 1) it is listed as hand wash and 2) the over dyed quality of the fabric means you have to be careful the dark dye doesn't rub off on anything.  

This was only Forever 21+ item I bought.  I had been eyeing a similar top to this in the regular-sized section (here is a link, it is currently sold out), but the tulip back scared me away - not super practical.  So, when I saw this one in the store, I thought I'd try it on, although I've had no success with Forever 21+.

Here's the thing about Forever 21+.  There is a huge gap between a regular size large and a plus size extra large.  For certain items, I seem to fit exactly in the middle of those two sizes.    I need a little more room at the bust in the L, but the XL is swimming on me, especially in the shoulders.  Also, I don't understand why the same items can't be sold in the whole range of sizes  - without a giant gap between the regular large and the plus-size extra large.  Somehow there are certain items that come in S-L and different items that come in XL-3X.  I understand in certain styles how it wouldn't carry over well to a larger size, but a shirt like this?  Just sell it in the whole range of sizes, not either regular size OR plus size.

So, rant over.  I knew before I tried it on that this would be roomy.  At least the XL was better than the 1X, but it was still big.  However, because of the button back, it has the trendy feel of the tulip back top I had been looking at, without the impracticality of actually having the open back.  And the fabric is nice and drapey, and the front length is perfect, as is the slightly longer back.  The vent to the bottom button is long enough to be stylish without revealing too much (at least on my short-torso self).  I figure I can take the side seams in slightly, and consider taking in the shoulders if needed, as well.  That's 4 easy seams, I can probably handle that.  The shirt looks great with a mustard skirt (sneak peek in photo below, outfit post coming), and would look incredible with white skinny jeans.  I think it'll be good with fitted shorts in hotter weather, too.  This one is washable, too!  Hooray!

Sneak peek of star top reviewed above and open jacket reviewed below:

This was my spur of the moment purchase.  It was the only one I saw in the entire store, and at $42.90, was considerably over the normal amount I spend at Forever 21.  But, the fabric - a slightly textured soft microfiber.  The cut, a relaxed, drapey (could I use that word any more in this post?) open style - like nothing else in my closet.  And the light color, something I've been craving lately.  Perfect for summer in San Francisco - worn 3 times last week already!  Sizing on this one should be based on your shoulders.  I sized down one size (mostly because that's the only one that was available, but it's perfect for me, since the draped, open front is forgiving to a larger chest, and my shoulders are on the smaller size.  My only worry is that perhaps, in cream, it looks a little like a lab coat?  But, I think I can handle that for this little gem. 

Here's some other great items I've been eyeing at Forever 21, if you're interested:

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