My On-Off-On Again Affair with Forever 21

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forever-21-ootd I’ve to be honest, the last time I probably shopped crazy at Forever 21 was during their first year in the country last 2010, when I was coincidentally 21 years old. I was still in college, obsessed with fashion (that I even interned for one of Manila’s biggest fashion magazines!) and no shop churned out trendy pieces faster than Forever 21 then. I considered the place my second home. Fast forward four years later, I’ve “evolved” in my way of dressing – triggered by my pregnancy – as I couldn’t just wear anything then anymore. I shied away from trendy pieces which I carried with me even after giving birth. Walking into Forever 21 after a year of not going clothes shopping, I didn’t feel at home anymore. I was LOST. I thought to myself, “How the hell did I manage to see all these clothes in one visit and go through them as if it were just counting peanuts?” I was just so overwhelmed by rack upon rack of clothes that after the nth rack, everything just looked all the same to me. To think that before, I was able to glide through those halls and find my way to the different sections smoothly and surely. forever-21-ootd-3 Since that time, I had a realization that I now prefer just basic, classic, timeless pieces with a modern touch (cut, fabric, etc). You know, those you can still wear 5 years after without anyone telling you, “That crop top is sooo 10 years ago!” And since I associated Forever 21 with being trendy, hip and fast-paced in terms of trends, I felt alienated and rarely visited anymore. A few weeks back, Forever 21’s PR firm reached out to me to send me a gift box from the brand. It took me a while to respond ‘cos I thought to myself, “Oh lord, what if they send me fishnet tights and neon cropped tops to do OOTDs of!” (okay, my thoughts weren’t THAT specific but you get what I mean). So while I was a bit hesitant, I still accepted as I was hopeful for the their new A/W collection pieces which they said they’ll be sending over. And well I figured, neon colors and cropped tops are surely not A/W pieces, right? LOL. forever-21-ootd-2forever-21-ootd-4
OUTFIT DETAILS Black Pleather top* White super soft skirt* Studded Shoes All from Forever 21
FOTD DETAILS Makeup by MAC Cosmetics MUA: Anacleta Paredes

Like Old Lovers Reunited

Well – can I just say that I loved the pieces Forever 21 and ARC PR sent me? Probably more so because I didn’t expect I’d get pieces I would actually pick out myself! The black pleather tank with the sheer back is something I would buy instantly because it’s a black loose tank (with an edge because of the firm pleather fabric) and something I can pair with pants, shorts, you name it. The softest white mid-length skirt I’ve ever touched is something I would buy but probably think through first because being a mother to a hyperactive toddler has made it impossible for me to wear skirts. But for events and dinner dates with the husband, it’s perfect. Especially since I’ve graduated from wearing bandage (mini) skirts (oh God, I wore those like pants before!). I also received silver accessories – a cuff and a selection of rings – I wasn’t able to wear with this look, but they would go well, I imagine. I have to show them to you guys because it’s the first time I get to try those trendy “midi” rings that’s all the rage what… for a few years now? LOL.

Few Thoughts

So I guess my learnings here are 1. There are Forever 21 pieces that aren’t too too trendy and fashown-y (those you can only wear when they’re on trend, but once they’re out of the catwalks and runways of fashion week, bye bye – fast fashion – as it’s called). 2. You just have to be patient to sort through the numerous racks, I guess. 3. If you’re iffy about the quality, well, it’s the same for almost every high-street brand as they virtually have the same factories in the same countries (even the most-anticipated brand opening here real soon and my other favorite fast fashion stores like Blanco, Stradivarius, etc.) and go through the same quality testing (which some of the others even fail yet still continue on with). 4. They key is learning how to take care of them (a.k.a when washing), if you want to, of course. To extend their wear, I either hand-wash them or machine-wash but separating them first and then putting them on delicate mode.  Anyway, I’ve rambled on more than I should’ve. Thanks again Forever 21 and ARC PR for the F21 gift box!

Do you shop at Forever 21? What do you usually shop for, if yes? I also have a Php3,000 F21 GC giveaway to run soon so do stick around if you’re interested!

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  1. September 29, 2014 / 12:55 pm

    I knew you’d look perfect in this ensemble, Shari! I am so glad you liked it! ^_^ I got so kilig when I saw you at the event wearing this, hihi. Great post, too! See you again soon! 🙂

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:10 pm

      Krissy!! Thanks so much for reigniting the spark F21 and I used to have 🙂 So glad to be able to discover relatable pieces again for me! Thanks for picking out this ensemble for me – galeng! Sobrang me lang, like Tellie said above 🙂 Love ya Krissaaay!

  2. September 29, 2014 / 1:40 pm

    I do agree with you – I was an avid shopper at F21 during my college days and isn’t it ironic that I stopped shopping when I started working there? Haha being in the store every single day and seeing all the stocks before everyone else has made me realize that they all look the same. However there are a number of classic pieces as well – usually they’re the ones I’d shop for after my shift! Or something that really caught my eye. We were required to wear F21 at work after all :p

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:12 pm

      Oh my, I could imagine seeing truckloads of F21 clothes everyday. I’m sure you felt that everything looked the same – and if not, it’s so hard to keep up with what you want to get because there’s so many you forgot about the first ones you wanted already. Right? hehe. Not a bad problem, though! 😉

  3. September 29, 2014 / 1:47 pm

    This outfit is so you though! And you look hot in it! Good job @krissyfied:disqus 😀

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:13 pm

      SHYUCKS. Thanks Tellz!!! :* :* And yes, galing ni @krissyfied:disqus pumili!

      • September 30, 2014 / 1:37 pm

        Yiheeee thanks twinnie and Shari! ^_^ Pwede na pala ako maging personal shopper haha ;D

  4. Thea Denesse Fernandez
    September 29, 2014 / 2:00 pm

    Love your look so much! Perfection from head to toe! If this is what I’m going to see when I go to Forever 21 then I think I would have a hard time choosing which one to buy.

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:14 pm

      Thank you Thea! And ahh yes, the tyranny of choice in action when you step into an F21 store 🙂

  5. Yanna Yullie
    September 29, 2014 / 2:01 pm

    Awww love the outfit and the makeup.. So effortless beauty .. What lipstick shade are you wearing? Love the color so pretty 🙂

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:14 pm

      Thanks Yanna! Wearing MAC Fastplay lipstick 🙂 Ganda ng shade! My first time to discover it!

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:14 pm

      Thanks Cesca!

  6. September 29, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    From that top to the shoes everything is stunning gorgeous super chic!! I told you already how much I loved it on you! 🙂 Especially the tank top! Such a clever piece! I love it! Your makeup is very pretty too.. just right for the look! All over WOW! 🙂

    Divya | TheConscienceFund

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:16 pm

      AWWW thanks Divya! I love the tank top, too. Very basic but with a bit of edge to it so it’s not too boring. And shucks, thanks for all the sweet words! I’m blushinggggg :* :*

  7. September 29, 2014 / 2:59 pm

    It’s hard to bend when wearing skirts then you have to run chasing toddlers. I stopped wearing them gradually na rin. I love this OOTD. So chic and classy. I visit F21 pa naman, the last time I went there I bought a pair of high-waist denim shorts. Stay glam!

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:18 pm

      Hard to bend, run after the little one, sit down in the middle of the mall in case you get knocked down by a running toddler – you name it! I reserve my skirts for me-time days na lang 🙂 And oh my — I just a bought a pair of high-waist denim shorts from them the other day too!!!

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:18 pm

      Thank you Janine!!!! Well, it’s the first time it makes its appearance on my blog 😉 On my instagram, I’ve “announced” it already hehe 🙂

  8. September 29, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    I too have a here and there feeling about them but for the most part I really am glad they came to singapore. Because without them there is no big shop or brand for teens to go shopping here without spending $50 on one thing! I personally do not buy basics from them, it’s overpriced here but simple dresses, body con, even party dresses and nice tops those are the kinds of things I really enjoy buying from them. Jackets too can be really affordable and nice from them but not blazers but faux leather ones.

    • September 29, 2014 / 8:24 pm

      Here in the Philippines, some pieces are priced significantly higher – like that of Zara TRF. So you can get maybe two things with $50. Average around 3? When on sale though, everything cray cray so $50 can get you 4-5 things. The party dresses, I agree – when I need to attend a party, it’s one of the places to go to get those 🙂 How’s F21 pricing compared to H&M over there btw?

  9. September 29, 2014 / 4:15 pm

    Wow, those pieces are stunning on you! They just look lovely and very classic, yet still modern. Forever 21 is actually coming to where I live (we don’t have a F21 store at the moment) so I’m super excited to check them out!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    • September 29, 2014 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you, Tasha! 🙂 Oooh excited for you – I remember how I felt then when F21 was still about to open here!

  10. September 29, 2014 / 6:21 pm

    I’ve never shopped at Forever 21, but I heard good things about them. I was having such an on and off relationship with Mango, until I just thought “hell, they’re too expensive for me either way” 😀 I love the items you picked. Especially the pleather top. You’re a doll!

    • September 29, 2014 / 9:28 pm

      Mango is my go-to store for when I just want to buy something I know I’ll like. Thank Keiti! Forever 21 has good stuff, you just have to plough through the mounds of clothes and racks to find them haha. 😉

  11. Meg
    September 29, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    Love you outfit! So simple and chic. 🙂 Yes i believe there are non-trendy pieces and good quality items in F21. I have a few ones myself. 🙂

    • September 29, 2014 / 9:29 pm

      True! I guess I was just focusing on their ability to churn out trendy pieces fast more that I lost sight of their more subdued pieces.

  12. September 29, 2014 / 7:26 pm

    same same. i have a love/hate w/ f21 too. a lot of the things seem really poor quality and too young for me but there are always pieces i see on people and am in love with. i think you really need to root around to find really good items but sticking with basics is a great way to cut down on costs.


    A Beautiful Zen

    • September 29, 2014 / 9:31 pm

      Agree. You just gotta plough through the mounds of clothing, yes? But you have to have time to go do that – and most of the time, I don’t! That’s why I preferred to go to stores that have a minimal amount of items I can choose from so I don’t get overwhelmed. For party dresses though, F21 doesn’t disappoint!

  13. Raven Ang
    September 29, 2014 / 7:49 pm

    I love shopping at Forever 21 when I’m at other countries (i.e. HK, Singapore) because it’s a bit cheaper there. F21 is my go-to place if I need a dress for a party.

    • September 29, 2014 / 9:32 pm

      You’re right – another reader below said they make great party dresses and I remember it’s one of the first places I visit when I need a dress right away for an event. 🙂

  14. September 29, 2014 / 9:55 pm

    F21 is my go to place if I feel trendy, but most of the time, I’d skip it if I’m thinking of buying items for work. This really freshens up the whole “f21-trendy” thingy, and gives another perspective for those who has the same impression on the brand. 🙂

    • September 29, 2014 / 10:41 pm

      Thank you Jhanzey for your thoughts, much appreciated! I had the same thoughts as you prior to this so I’m glad I could give another perspective and take on the brand for those of you who have similar preferences in clothing as me 🙂

    • September 30, 2014 / 4:55 am

      Kim! Thanks and great seeing you too, fellow short-haired Juro girl 😉 Hehe. Short hair super fits you, though! 🙂 Keep the length!! #iponiponnatayo

      • September 30, 2014 / 1:36 pm

        Sali ako dyan sa #iponiponnatayo hashtag hahaha! ^_^

  15. September 30, 2014 / 12:36 am

    I get too overwhelmed when I enter F21. I also look for classic pieces that I can wear in the office or outside. I mostly buy from the department store, but they only have few items that I like. I want to be fashownable too like you. <3

    • September 30, 2014 / 5:01 am

      I’m not fashowwwnable at all Juvy noh! And yes, overwhelming is the word. I find there are a lot of nice pieces in the Dept Store rin, sometimes lang almost same price as F21!

    • September 30, 2014 / 4:53 am

      V!! What browser are you using? I can’t see this so I don’t know how to fix this!! As in this is from the homepage? Thanks for telling meee!

  16. Katsy Faustino
    September 30, 2014 / 2:19 am

    I get so lost in Forever 21 that I end up not buying even if I have GCs. They do have more classic pieces though which just needs to be seen so I really should wade into the store soon. Your look is a perfect example of the F21 clothes that can be used by a not so 21 female aka me

    • September 30, 2014 / 5:05 am

      Katsy, thank you for thinking so! 🙂 I know right, sobrang dami! I think they could’ve separated their sections into different store concepts altogether. That way, the not-so-21-females (a.ka. us) wouldn’t be so lost inside the F21 jungle looking for those classic pieces they have.

  17. September 30, 2014 / 8:07 am

    I used to also get lost in Forever 21 until the part of me that wanted more wearable clothes (especially for the office!)

    • October 1, 2014 / 3:59 pm

      They have wearable clothes naman, just hard to really sort through the sheer amount of trendy items 🙂

      • October 1, 2014 / 9:01 pm

        I know, but I’m lazy to search haha

  18. September 30, 2014 / 8:36 am

    I love this look. It’s classic, yet trendy. Forever 21 is an overwhelming place to shop and the items they have are either a hit or miss. I do like buying some of the trendy things from them, but basics and timeless pieces, I splurge on those.

    Aissa // tea in january

    • October 1, 2014 / 4:10 pm

      I agree! I do get some trendy items once in a while, but F21 also has good classic pieces I’ve bought from way back and it’s still alive now (4 years and counting!) 🙂

  19. September 30, 2014 / 11:47 am

    I actually worked at Forever 21 for awhile and working there got my foot in the door to merchandise styling for a different chain. There is a huge amount of super trendy pieces and the timeless ones are scarce but can be found too. I especially like their Love 21 line, which isn’t too trendy, and some of my friends wore their maternity line as well. I like shopping there every now and then. I feel like I can splurge since the prices aren’t bad at all!


    • October 1, 2014 / 4:19 pm

      Oh yes, the Love 21 line! I dont know but I think they should do more sections or separate their pieces more efficiently. Everything seems to just be scattered all over 🙁 I can’t go through the store without feeling lost. Here though, they have reasonable prices but they also have Zara-level prices so it’s kinda in between. Really depends on what you’re getting!

      • October 2, 2014 / 12:34 am

        I hear you about the stuff being scattered! I actually prefer the smaller Forever 21s because there’s less room for that kind of mess!

  20. September 30, 2014 / 11:59 am

    You look ravishing, Shari! Rawr!
    I LOVE FOREVER 21! I only discovered them this year and I’m kicking myself that I waited so long. I thought they were a store for teens and, well, 21 year olds, but I was so wrong! I absolutely love their clothes and accessories and think the quality is pretty fantastic! Some of my favorite clothing items are from there. People are always shocked when they ask where something came from and I tell them Forever 21 because they think it’s a trendy teen store. It IS, but they truly have something for everyone. Have you seen their coats and sweaters?! NEED ALL. 🙂

    • October 1, 2014 / 4:23 pm

      WOW thank you Kristen!! :’)
      I know right, I felt the same way too. I thought it was too trendy for not-so-21-year-olds to wear but I was wrong as well. I mean, there are still great finds for us there! We just have to scour through 🙂 I get asked the same question as well and same reaction – they’re surprised that it came from F21. I think they need to work on their sectioning though! I would love to not feel lost when I’m inside:)) And yessss, their sweaters!!

  21. Coco
    September 30, 2014 / 1:38 pm

    Super model, you look amazing xx

    • October 1, 2014 / 4:23 pm

      Toooo kind, my Coco love. Thank you!! :*

  22. September 30, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    I agree; Forever 21 has a HUGE selection that can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you like. As for me, I go straight for dresses. I love dresses! But I go to Uniqlo for basics.

    • October 1, 2014 / 4:23 pm

      Their dresses are really nice, I agreeee! 🙂 I dont usually shop at Uniqlo, though :S Maybe I should look more!

  23. September 30, 2014 / 11:52 pm

    Love you hair in these photos the length really suits you.
    Also…..I like your new blog layout but I kinda miss the old one 😉

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

    • October 1, 2014 / 3:57 pm

      Hanh!! What layout are you talking about? 🙂 Im curious! The one with the slider below the header? And thank you for the sweet comments on my hair! 🙂

      • October 1, 2014 / 6:50 pm

        Yes I liked the slider but also like the simplicity of this layout too 🙂

  24. October 1, 2014 / 3:59 pm

    Right??? So many choices, you end up not choosing anything! First world problems, much. Haha! But I love that we feel the same regarding this. I wish they sort out their ‘styles’ and separate/section them more efficiently. I have the same feeling when I’m looking for a particular style, it’s so confusing going from rack to rack.

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