My site always has been & always will be focused around saving money & finding affordable fashion. But, I've learned through the years (sometimes the hard way) that you haven't really scored a good deal if the item you come home with looks cheap or falls apart after only a few wears/washes.
We all know that Forever 21 is an amazing source for fast fashion - they have trendy styles at low price points with an overwhelmingly large selection. However, with the good also comes the not-so-good. I've personally fallen victim to buying pieces there, only to regret it later on because it didn't last through even one season. But, on the other hand, I have also found items that have held up for years and are still some of my most favorite to this day. After taking time to evaluate the difference between those that last & those that don't, I decided to share with you my findings & advice for how to carefully select pieces that will go the distance.
My first tip is to stock up on accessories! I have tons of costume jewelry from Forever 21 that looks so much more expensive than what I actually paid. During last year's NYFW, no less than 5 people asked me about my sparkling collar necklace: "It's Dannijo, right?". To prove my point, I've rounded up some of my current favorites from their site, which all look higher-end than they really are (no one will ever know!):
1) Pixelated Triangle Necklace // 2) Panama Hat // 3) Lucite Clutch // 4) Faceted Spike Studs // 5) Lucite Cuff
In addition to being accessory-focused, here are the other rules that I now follow to ensure I'm making a wise purchase when navigating their site/store:
1) Don't settle - If the fabric looks cheap, the seam shows signs of puckering or it isn't comfortable, put it back. Stay away from half-lined skirts, too-sheer polyester & anything with more than 50% acrylic in the label.
2) Alterations are key - If the fit isn't exactly perfect but everything else is good, smaller problems can easily be fixed with the help of an experienced tailor (waist nipped in, new buttons sewed on, sleeves slimmed, hem let out an inch). These little changes can go a long way towards making an affordable item look much higher-end.
3) Beware of faux - Make sure it looks & feels as much like the real thing as possible. Avoid vegan leather that has a super-shiny finish or faux fur with a straw-like texture.
4) Structure counts - I've had the best luck with pieces made of more substantial fabric like denim vests, chambray shirts, tailored blazers & wool-blend coats. The fit tends to be better & they also hold up more nicely after multiple washes. To that end, I've included a few of my top picks from Forever 21 that you can wear now + into fall, all under $40: