Thought Catalog

How To Shop At Forever 21

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Shopping at Forever 21 is not easy. The clothes are of questionable quality, made from materials no one has ever heard of, it’s disorganized and you’re probably going to leave disappointed. Yet in spite of this, girls keep heading back for more, hoping that one day they’ll hit the jackpot. While I can’t promise that you’ll find the perfect dress for that dinner thing, I encourage you to follow this handy guide for a positive and rewarding Forever 21 experience.

  1. Check out the Forever 21 website. Dang, there’s some okay stuff on here. You could definitely wear that skirt to work in the summer.
  2. Head to the store with a few items in mind but forget all of them when you arrive and look out onto the disorderly sea of clothes before you.
  3. Walk around really slowly and sift through the racks. Nope, no, this might be alright, definitely no.
  4. Become distracted by a weird pair of overalls and accidentally walk into a table display.
  5. Wait, is that the skirt you were looking for? It’s a lot more… yellow than on the website. And what is this made of?
  6. Pick up some items, including a few things you would never try on anywhere else. Whatever, these high waisted zebra print pants are 16 bucks, and no one you know is here to judge. You only live once, right?
  7. Get hustled into a dressing room by a disinterested 18-year-old sales associate.
  8. Wait, where are you supposed to hang your stuff? Whatever, this is Forever 21. Toss it on the floor.
  9. Try on your items and find something wrong with each one. Flaws include too short, too wide, see through in weird places and really tight in even weirder places.
  10. You chicken out on the zebra pants, but find something that doesn’t fit too terribly. I mean, it’s not the best, but you always wanted to try colored denim and it’s 12 bucks. Whatever, you’re doing this.
  11. Return 80% of your items to another disinterested 18-year-old sales associate.
  12. Make a final lap of the store searching for any last hidden gems. Find none.
  13. Get in line and have a crisis. Do you really need this? I mean, it didn’t look awful, right? Maybe with the right shoes. But like, is it really worth 20 dollars? And are you actually going to wear it or are you only getting it because it’s cheap?
  14. Dump the necklace and off the shoulder t-shirt into the discount sandal bin next to the checkout and never look back.
  15. Get called up and dump your items on the counter almost aggressively, giving the sales associate a look that says Yeah, I’m doing this. So?
  16. Whoa, 87 bucks? That added up quickly. You probably didn’t need those pants but it’s too late now.
  17. Feel a small wave of regret as you swipe your debit card.
  18. Leave the store feeling defeated even though you just bought two pairs of pants, three shirts and a pair of Rayban-like sunglasses. Yeah, you didn’t do great this time, but next time… next time you’ll find something great. TC mark
image – Thrilsmee
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  • http://twitter.com/kmsyes Karen Seifert

    And never get your money back because they only do store credit. Jerks.

  • Mamajamerson

    You nailed it!

  • Alison

    100% truth. 

  • Anonymous

    SO accurate.  Love this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1271070228 Megan Nicole

    Glad to know I’m not the only one hahahaha, this was fantastic.

  • Mele

    So true it hurts.

  • Kasey

    #6: No one you know is here to judge, but we employees are judging you for wasting our time. We can pretty much tell before you try something on if you’re actually considering buying it. 

    Thanks for doing #11. We hate you when you leave your shit in the fitting room. 

    #14 = automatic hate.

    • Krista

      Gosh I HATE people who make me do my job

      • SP

         I don’t work at a retail store and I hate when people leave shit in the fitting room. It’s the ultimate “the world revolves around me” move. Have more respect for other people. Just because you CAN leave it in there for someone else to pick up doesn’t mean you should. The same reason you don’t dump all your soup/pasta sauce/pepper/gravy all over the table and make a huge mess when you go out to eat because it’s the busboys JOB to clean up the table. It’s a lot harder for someone to go in and clean up after your unnecessary mess than for you to take the small effort to just carry your shit out with you, the same way you brought it in. Clearly your parents didn’t give you a solid sense of pride or morals – or you just chose to ignore it. How anyone can walk out of a room with all their shit all over the place is beyond me. If I drop something looking through a rack – I pick it up, if I bring something into the fitting room – I take it out with me, but maybe I’m the exception to the rule.

      • gg

        A ‘solid sense of pride and morals’ has no place in a Forever 21.

      • Jordan

         Uhh I honestly thought workers would prefer me leave in there, assuming that all the ‘tried on’ clothes were somehow treated different than the other ones haha.

        And I figured that, not for me specifically, but for the population of shoppers in general, that leaving clothes in the fitting room allowed them to be put back where they were supposed to and not some random shelf somewhere in the store.

        Lessons learned, I guess.  Kinda want to blame this on being a guy, but I’ll just take it :).

      • Jessica

        you’re right in a way, because it is even more of a hassle to be closing and find 80 items of clothing in the wrong spot. but i think what they’re referring to here is bringing the clothes out of the room and handing it to the fitting room attendant (if there is one). the fitting room is extremely circumstantial. having worked retail for 2 years, i can understand fitting room frustrations for employees. but, i can also understand fitting room confusion for customers

      • KN92

        I thought by “return 80% of your clothes to the fitting room attendant” she meant that she only decided to keep 20% of what she tried on, not that she left the other 20% in the room. I mean it really wouldn’t make sense to take back most of your clothes but leave a couple of items in the dressing room…

      • KN92

        I thought by “return 80% of your clothes to the fitting room attendant” she meant that she only decided to keep 20% of what she tried on, not that she left the other 20% in the room. I mean it really wouldn’t make sense to take back most of your clothes but leave a couple of items in the dressing room…

    • Margaret Thatcher

      You get paid by the hour! More messes=more hours=more money. Or, that’s how it always worked when I was in retail. I liked it when people left messes, because if they did it during the day it would mean that I didn’t get bored, and if they did it late at night, it’d mean I could justify going for coffee.

  • Dogz

    this is my life at every store i shop at………….except the ones where i can’t afford anything

  • http://www.nicholeexplainsitall.com EarthToNichole

    leaving your stuff in the fitting room is better than hanging it up in some random corner of the store.

  • Wit Dickman

    that is one remarkably poor choice of a first sentence. keep cranking out the mediocre writing!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q32JPDQJTRI73NSNHWS3YVS4ZI MikeT

      Wit Dickman as a username sure raises the standards high!

    • Mamajamerson

      Is it really? I found it to be a clear and concise statement of thesis. 

    • Wit Diggler

      Speaking of poor sentences, try using a capital letter.  Dick.

  • Angel

    that’s why i shop at ross

    • mp

      My word, how do you shop at Ross? That’s a horror story there.

  • http://twitter.com/georgiawisdom Georgia

    Thanks, bros!

  • SP

    The last step is returning whatever you bought a few days later, only to get the store credit and start the cycle all over again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hannah-Moire/100002582319456 Hannah Moire

    Am I the only person who doesn’t have a hard time find a load of clothing at F21 that I not only like but actually fits? I do have how unorganized it all is. The store in my mall used to be a move theater so it’s just a big giant overwhelming mess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hannah-Moire/100002582319456 Hannah Moire

      *hate

  • Anna

    you are a retail worker’s worst nightmare

    • Gypsy

      lol no, she’s not.  I’ve had women come in literally five minutes before the store is closing, and then, when we pulled down that grate-thing like, halfway to indicate — hey, society, our hours are OVER, they decided that that meant it was their PERSONAL SHOPPING TIME.  so then they’d meander through the whole store, and we weren’t allowed to tell them to get the fuck out, they’d try on half of our shit, and leave it rumpled on the floor in the changeroom, and waltz out, thirty minutes after we supposedly ‘closed.’

      ahhhhhh sooo much bitterness coming from me right now.  I will never work retail again.

      • Anna

        ugh yup, that’s happened one TOO many times to me

  • natalieasaurus

    i have to be well-rested, well-fed (with back-up snacks in my purse) and mentally prepared for a shopping trip to forever 21.  basically, i’m like a 6 year-old child.

  • http://twitter.com/LauraSaysSo Laura

    love that you took three separate instances to be an asshole to the people who work there. on behalf of everyone who works in retail, thank you for leaving your stuff on the floor in the fitting room (don’t forget to bring all the empty hangers to the attendant), thank you for dumping stuff you don’t want in a bin three feet from someone capable of putting it away (why politely inform them you aren’t interested anymore when you can make a mess for them to clean up later?) and thank you for treating your cashier like she personally insulted you for entering the store  (bonus points if you act like she made up the return policy herself for the express purpose of pissing you off).

    thank you so so much.

    • kari

      I believe one of the points she made was that there wasn’t any place to HANG the items, so she had to leave them on the floor.

    • Charlize

      Maybe if you’d improve your writing skills, you wouldn’t have to work in retail any more.

  • whenimthere

    victory for the leisure seizure.

  • James

    lol I’m emailing this to my girlfriend. she hates that place, yet insists on consistently making the trek through that hell. girls are weeeeird.

  • Babs

    TOO TRUE. I’m thinking about stashing this article in my bag so I have easy access to some inspiration the next time I plunge into the depths of Forevs.

  • Georgiewogie

    People can literally get pissed off and rile up about anything on this site. My word commenters!

    • Anonymous

      I’m surprised that you’re surprised.

  • p00p

    Hit the nail on the head- this is probably the most accurate article yet! Geez.
     

  • http://cathyespiritu.wordpress.com/ Cathy

    Here in the Philippines however Forever 21 is VERY MUCH patronized. If you’re wearing that label then it means you’re fashionable, cool and all. Personally I don’t think it’s that bad, the clothes are of okay quality and are not tossed on the floor. The sales associates meanwhile are very alert and friendly. :)

    • JassyBea

      I’m not surprised. In North America, people feel a lot more inclined to behave the way that this article suggests. People here are a lot more privileged than they can admit to, but you can see it in the way they just toss the clothes or the way the attendants treat customers. It’s really not like the Philippines – you’re a lot more careful there and appreciative of the goods that come before you; here, it’s what’s expected. So unfortunately, this article does perfectly describe how people shop at Forever 21 (and other stores), and living in North America, I can’t deny that I have similar actions as well.

      • jam

        You rule. This is so true

  • Anonymous

    Simple formula for forever 21

    Amount you payed for item = how many days that item will last before it breaks/ shrinks/ discolors. 

    • beatrice

      LOL

    • http://goldenday.tumblr.com/ Kia Etienne

      this is just too valid

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6CIEKVM6YPRFBMFIJPTXSHAHTI ɐıɹoʇɔıʌ

    Laughing so hard, such a great article- Literally describes my EXACT shopping trip to Forever 21 every single time I go there.

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