How to Shop at Forever 21
.... or Charlotte Russe... or H&M... or any other low-priced, trend-centered store in the mall.
Here is a quick guide to making it in and out of stores like Forever 21 with everything (or at least most of the things) you need and your sanity still in tact.
1) Don't shop with a list of specific items in mind. This is one of my thrifting rules as well. It is SO hard to walk into a store with a 100% rock-solid idea of what you want. It is way less stressful to shop with a general idea of what you are looking for, i.e. you know you want to try out the colored/patterned skinnies trend, but don't go into the store specifically looking for a pair of red cheetah print skinnies. You will be way annoyed after searching for specifics. Let yourself be surprised.
2) If you see something you like, pick it up in your size. These stores tend to be huge and stuffed and you may forget where you saw things, so it is better to just grab them when you see them and if you don't like them by the time you get to the fitting room, leave them with the items that the store associates will be returning to the sales floor. On that same note, don't just hang stuff around the store. It adds to the chaos and takes time away from associates that they could be using to help you put outfits together!
3) If you are really and truly not finding what you are looking for, ask an associate for help. Many people who work in stores work there because they like to play with clothes. If you find a pair of pants and can't for the life of you figure out what to wear on top, ASK! I can guarantee you that 95% of the time, a store associate will be more than happy to make an outfit or two for you!
4) Save accessories for last. Yes, I know that they are fun and sparkly and exciting, but because of the high level of theft, you are often not allowed to take jewelry, belts, hats, etc. into fitting rooms with you. Store associates will usually ask you to set them aside, but when staff shifts change or during high volume times, your accessories may get mixed in with things to be put away and all the time you spent picking things out will have been a waste. Save yourself the trouble and pick out jewelry and such once you have completely finished in the fitting room.
5) If you are unsure that you want to buy something after you've left the fitting room, ask an associate or store manager if you can put it on hole for 24 hours. That way, you can shop around, think about it, and come back later and not have to go digging through the store to find everything again. This is also super important because many stores like Forever 21 have an exchange or store credit policy. No matter how much you argue, they will not give you your money back.
Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, H&M are wonderful places to go to try new trends for relatively little money. I hope that this guide gives you some insight on how to survive your next trend-restock adventure!
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