Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rant & Rave: Never 21

This is my first and (hopefully) last virtual rant. I try not to use my blog as a soapbox, but if I’m giving shopping advice, I need to toss in some real talk.

I hate Forever 21 with a passion I usually reserve for double-parkers and people who wear acid-washed onesies. I avoid this place like the plague for two reasons. (1) Until recently, they didn’t carry “plus sizes,” which in 21 terms means anything above a large. Their “large,” by the way, is about an 8/10. (2) Forever 21 is cheap in every sense of the word (see: acid washed onesies). Yes, their merchandise is inexpensive, but that’s because it’s poorly made—mislabeled sizes, broken buckles, ripped seams, you name it.



But the other day I had a genuine shoe emergency. My sandals broke on my way home from work and I wasn’t about to get on a MUNI train barefoot. The closest store was Forever 21, so I scrounged around and came up with one of their few pairs of size 10 sandals. I waited in line, paid my $12, and went to put on the shoes and head home.

Unfortunately, whichever poor child laborer they had punching the holes in their sandal straps had fallen asleep as his post. The first three holes weren’t fully punched, so I couldn’t buckle the right shoe. I tried to push the buckle through one of the indentations, but it broke to pieces in my hand. I tried to find another pair in my size: no dice. In fact, I checked every rack on every floor of the store looking for another pair of sandals that fit. I managed to find one, but it cost twice as much.


$11.80 worth of pure bull---t

I explained the situation to the sales girl (including my dire, MUNI-in-bare feet situation). She informed me that not only could she not discount the replacement sandals, she also couldn’t void the charges for the previous pair because I’d paid with my debit card.

So, an hour later, angry and still barefoot, I took their gift card for $12 and walked to a nearby Forever 21 where I found the same pair of sandals I’d originally bought. I waited in line again and discovered another little Forever 21 quirk: they cost $2 more there than they had down the street.

Obviously, that was my last Forever 21 purchase. Don’t be tempted by their prices! You’ll get so much more than you’ve paid for.


Maxi dress designed by Foley + Corinna and its Forever 21 "version" - courtesy of

P.S.: In case the child laborer link didn’t get your attention, here’s the Business Insider expose about Forever 21’s labor practices and intellectual property violations. And a great take on the topic by SHEI Magazine. Seriously, read them.


  1. love this post....I have been saying this for years about forever 21...a s**t load of crap.
    However, women who shop there should know that their pieces are strictly disposable fashion.
    I would suggest investing in quality, well-made pieces that will last for years.
    Shop Online for Tall Women's Dresses

  2. Couldn't agree with you more Ella! And good quality doesn't always have to cost a fortune. If you're willing to dig, thrift and consignment stores often carry well-made, brand-name pieces in wool, silk, leather, etc. And of course, online sales are where it's at!