March 20, 2011

Today's Everyday Fashion: Secrets of Shopping at Forever 21






































We established how much I love rainbows last week, so there's no need for me to explain why I had to have this Forever 21 dress! :-) You guys also know that I am a frequent Forever 21 shopper, but it can be an overwhelming and frustrating store to shop at, so I though I'd share my tips and secrets for finding the best deals!

1. Shop online first. Shopping at a Forever 21 store can be soooo overwhelming. Shopping online can be frustrating because items don't always fit like the picture. Do what I do: shop online, then head to the store to check things out in person. This will help you navigate your way through the store and find things you like, but it will also help you avoid buying a bunch of stuff that doesn't look great in person.
2. Check new arrivals daily. The other frustrating thing about Forever 21 is that items sell out really fast. To find the best items, check new arrivals daily. The really good stuff only lasts for an average of 2 days.
3. Check online quantities. Want to make an online purchase, but need more time to make a decision? You can check how many are left in stock by adding 20 (the maximum quantity) to your bag. If it says out of stock, then there are less than 20 remaining and so I wouldn't wait much longer to order. You can also see the exact number that are in stock by selecting quantities until it no longer says "out of stock."
4. Return whenever you want. Forever 21 does not offer refunds (they only give you store credit). They also don't take returns after 21 days. But what you might not know is that you can get around store policy by EXCHANGING (not returning) an item whenever you want as long as the tag is still attached. (one exception: jewelry is final sale) This is NOT the official return policy!! But if it's 6 months later and the tags are attached - take it to the store and make an exchange without the receipt, I've done it many times!
Update 5/16/12 - While I personally haven't shopped much at Forever 21 over the past year, I have heard numerous reports from readers that their return policy has changed. This little exchange trick I used to do was never the official policy, however, it sounds like they are cracking down now and this trick has not been working lately. 
5. Check for quality. Forever 21 offers shirts and dresses that are 100% silk for under $35. These higher-quality items have a special tag that specifies 100% silk and are the ones to go for, since other stores charge at least $80 for a silk tank top!
6. Compare prices. Don't fall victim to the mentality that just because you are in Forever 21, all of the prices are great. They seriously overcharge on some items - so take a second and think about the item you are purchasing to make sure it's worth what they are asking.

Occasion: Lunch date, shooting promos for my upcoming show on Izon Orlando!
Dress: Forever 21, $20
Cardigan: Gap, $18
Belt: Gap, $40
Shoes: Guess/DSW, $20
Earrings: Banana Republic, $15

59 comments:

  1. Great tips!! Thanks!! I had never thought to do the quantity trick before.

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  2. TheCheapGirlHayleyMarch 20, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    AMEN to all of these. I either have amazing luck or walk out empty handed. Good to know about the online shopping!

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  3. OMG I was so looking for that dress when I went Friday, but they didnt have it in yet! It was ok, because I found 3 other things in its place! F21 is def one of my must go to stores when I go to the mall.

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  4. Another great outfit! Love the colors!!

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  5. Shanna, like BananaMarch 20, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    I'm a first time commenter and just wanted to say, love your style and love your tips! You are a shopping girl after my own heart :)

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  6. These are fabulous tips, I am a avid shopper at Forever 21 so these will come in handy!

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  7. jseverydayfashionMarch 20, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Thanks for commenting Shanna! Glad you have you on the blog! :-)

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  8. Thanks for the tips! Thanks for the heads up on checking the quantity that helps a ton!!

    Janice
    (Couture and Crayons)

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  9. Fab tips! I love Forever 21, but I always get overwhelmed when I'm there. The online preview totally solves the problem!

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  10. Great post! I esp. liked the tip about shopping online for styles you like and then checking them out in the store. I recently bought an awesome trench there for under $40. The quality is a lot better than I expected.

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  11. I love Forever21, but it definitely is an overwhelming place. Thanks for the great tips!!! I'll definitely use them.

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  12. Awesome tip about putting 20 in the shopping cart!
    And I like going to Forever first thing in the morning before everything has been tossed around. Much easier to shop when it's organized!

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  13. I get overwhelmed by F21 also. Sometimes I find good stuff but can hardly find it in my size. When that happens I usually check it out online. Great tips BTW. And I absolutely love the shoes! I just started follow, too!

    Complex Cardigans

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  14. Oh my goodness--such a good idea! Forever 21 definitely overwhelms me, so online shopping here I come!

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  15. Thanks for the tips! The first time I went into a Forever 21 I had to turn and walk back out. I'm wayyy to Type A to feel comfortable in there. Now I'm a little better but I still have a difficult time finding things. My problem is that if I find something online that I want to check out I can't ever find it in the store!

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  16. Wowwie Wowwie Wow! I love that dress! I have the same frustration with forever 21, so thanks for the tips!
    http://work-it-blog.blogspot.com/

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  17. brilliant tips! and the outfit is lovely :)

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  18. exchange tip: technically, forever DOES have a 21 day exchange policy. Even if you have the receipt, don't show it so you can exchange after longer periods of time!

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  19. Great tips! I love Forever 21 but sometimes I just get so overwhelmed in there I just leave

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  20. Great tips! I have never gone into an F21 in my own city b/c I can only go on the weekends and of course it's a zoo. I love the tip about checking the quantity.

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  21. OMG that is so cute!! I can tell it would scandlously short on me so what do you think of it as a tunic over skinnies or leggings?? BTW...everytime I go into F21 I walk out empty handed and saying to myself, "I hate this @%^&$$# store!!" because I get so overwhelmed so thanks for the tips!

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  22. That's what I was trying to say in this post. I'll re-word, thanks. :-)

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  23. I'm so excited to know that they'll exchange after 21 days! I just found a few things hidden in my closet with tags still on them. Spring clothes here I come :)

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  24. It's pretty short on me too but I just went with it. :-) This could definitely work with denim or leggings though! Have the same feeling about F21, I have to be in the right mindset or I can't even go in there, haha!

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  25. everything about your outfit just works. gorgeous!!

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  26. KimberlylightfootMarch 21, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Well it doesn't look "too short" on you at all, it looks great (of course!) but my legs are looooonnnngggg so things can look obscene on me real easy. lol

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  27. Did you buy that dress recently? Would love to have that for an upcoming trip with my hubs!

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  28. jseverydayfashionMarch 21, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I bought it in the store last Wednesday, but it's no longer online.

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  29. Love that dress! Thanks for the tips - I love shopping at Forever21, and these will definitely help!

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  30. Love this outfit. The dress is adorable, I love the pattern and colors in it! I especially like the look with the cardigan, seems to pull everything together. Ahh, I miss the days where the nearest Forever 21 wasn't 40 min away...

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  31. Love the dress and thanks for the tips!

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  32. This is some great information about shopping at Forever =) I definitely do #1 and #2 because like you said, shopping at Forever 21 can be sooo overwhelming!

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  33. Evidently my F21 won't exchange without a receipt. The lady told me they had a modified exchange policy over the holidays but it's over now :(

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  34. just wondering if I can get more of an opinion on what everyone else has found with regards to the exchange policy - I found a few items in my closet with tags still on them, but they're definitely out of the 21 days! the only problem is my closest F21 is a few hours away so I don't want to drive there if I won't be able to get credit. has anyone else had luck getting credit without the receipt?

    also, thanks J, love the rest of the tips! I shop online at F21 a lot (and miss out on items when they sell out a lot!) but never thought about checking the quantities.

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  35. Love that dress - I like the outfit better with the cardigan added, but I'm also an avid cardigan lover. Thanks for the inspiration, especially on days when I have no clue what to wear!

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  36. Laura, I've definitely heard mixed things about the exchange policy since posting this. I know for sure I've done it before, but I can't recall the last time I exchanged without a receipt/past the time period, so it's possible that they have gotten more strict. The official policy is that you need a receipt, so it might not be worth the drive if you have no other reason to go there! Hope this helps!

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  37. Everything you said is 100% true about F21! I never thought about that filling up your online cart idea to see if you should purchase now or you can wait. I always wait, and never get them before they sell out! And F21 is definitely THE most overwhelming store on earth! LOL

    http://shoesnjules.onsugar.com/

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  38. They have this dress back In stock on the website today!!

    http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=FOREVER21&category%5Fname=top&product%5Fid=2080466856&variant%5Fid=014&showBack=OK

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  39. Woo hoo! I meant to add that as one of my tips - sometimes they bring items back in stock! :-)

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  40. Hey J, does this dress run true to size? I can never decide if I'm a M or L at Forever... Thanks!

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  41. jseverydayfashionMarch 30, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I bought a size M and I'm generally a size 0 or 2 in dresses at Gap, LOFT, etc. This might technically be a shirt, but I wanted it to be long enough to wear as a dress + it has a tie so you can adjust the waist size so I went with the M. :-)

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  42. This information is false and misleading.  You can only exchange with a receipt and within 21 days. 

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  43. jseverydayfashionJuly 25, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    If you are referring to #4, please re-read. I state that that is NOT official policy of the store!! It's just a little insider tip that you can often break the rules and return things way later without the receipt. I'll go back and put that part in ALL CAPS so everyone knows that isn't store policy!

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  44. This is an adorable outfit, 100% my style for a hot summery day. I love that dress and what a nice cardigan that goes with so many things. I am one of those people that hates shopping at Forever 21 and finds it frustrating due to the big messes, the store not really being organized, and of course their bad return policy but nice to hear that you can get around it by exchanging things even months later. Next time I am at a Forever 21 store I will think of you and apply some of your rules.

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  45. When forever 21 online says an item is out of stock how long until the item is back instock?

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  46. Not every item will come back in stock, but if it does it usually takes about 1-3 months for it to show up again! Keep checking the "new arrivals" section.

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  47. Thank you so much for #4, I will try to return my merchandise at the store without reciept. They refused to take back or exchange or store credit since my return date expired couple of days back. Appreciate your tips :)

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  48. fuck i wanted this amazing beauty and the beast clock necklace from forever 21 and it out of stock :( im sad now ; any ideas thaat maybe i can get that necklace somehow please and thank you(:

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  49. Can you exchange something for another item as long as they are the same price?

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  50. It has been a long time since I shopped at this store (bought 1-2 things in the past year, and made no returns) so I'm not sure of their policy anymore! I would ask the next time you visit though, it never hurts to ask.

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  51. What if the item you looked online is not in stores? Can you ask the employees to order it for you?

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  52. F21 is not able to order an item for you, but they should be able to look it up and tell you if it is in the store if you give them an item number. They can also check other stores (by calling them). 

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  53. Forever 21 s return policy is no goood !!!They dont take anything back without a reciept !!! not even to exchange !!!! Boycott Forever 21 

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  54. The Managers Of forever 21 are Rotten !!! No Recipt no return even with the tags attached and the garment in season !!! Be very careful if u should decide to shop there !!! They dont take nothing back without a reciept !!! And are very rude about it !!! DO not shop at Forever 21 stores for Gifts !!! They do not exchange even for Christmas Shopping !!! I was treated very poorly by a Manager !!! I think consumers should Boycott Forever 21.

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  55. I actually called F21 at a mall to see if I could exchange items with their tags on and she said yes. She even took down my name. So as long as they have the tag on them, there is a possibility. It's better to call and ask before going in and choosing items that you want.

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  56. shop somewhere else.....return policy is obnoxious

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  57. be glad when they go out of business

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  58. Hi J's... could you please give us an update on this article? Tha'd be wonderful! Does F21 accept exchanges on final sales items clothing specifically)? Best regards J's! :)

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