Forever 21 in 2022

A friend wore the cutest open back dress to lunch with me the other day, and the conversation naturally drifted to what bras to wear with the myriad backless tops and dresses available this season.

Nu bras generally work well for me in the cooler months, but sweat renders the adhesive much less effective when temperatures rise. What my friend recommended was for me to try the Breast Lift Tape from Forever 21 with my backless bras, and I promptly went online to order it.


I can’t remember exactly when or specifically why I stopped shopping at Forever 21. I might have simply grown tired of the cumbersome return process, and also decided I aged out of the fast fashion retailer.

I managed to find an old gift card and got to browsing. I was heartened to see several brand collaborations (Herve Leger, Barbie, and Sports Illustrated), as part of an earnest rebranding effort. I ended up ordering the aforementioned Breast Lift Tape, two necklace sets, and a few clothing items that looked promising.

But my most recent order is a stark reminder of why I haven’t shopped at F21 in so long. The quality still leaves a lot to be desired (though might be considered premium compared to the likes of Shein): materials that are partly or mostly acrylic; wildly inconsistent sizing; and the cargo mini skirt arrived with a faulty zipper (though I do want to emphasize that the customer service experience is vastly improved; I was immediately refunded after submitting “proof” of the issue).

I probably won’t be back for a (long) while, even though my experience was, on the whole, neutral.

Are there any retailers that you no longer shop at?

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2 Comments

  1. elena wrote:

    i also haven’t shopped there in forever (ha) – but I tried going into one on a lark and I didn’t like anything I saw at the store. everything felt very poor quality (more so than I remembered) and not my style (lots of revealing crop tops). I chalked it off to me being old and crotchety 😉

    Posted 6.7.22 Reply
    • Elle wrote:

      I think this issue that you described–about not liking anything you saw in stores–is persistent for and inherent to Forever 21. It might have something to do with how merchandise is organized/displayed/styled, but I don’t think the issue is wholly about product quality, though poor quality certainly contributes to how poor the shopping experience is. Because the quality at H&M and Zara is not ostensibly better, but they manage to pull me back somehow. I think I am just feeling nostalgic for the early aughts. :/

      And out of curiosity, where have you had luck shopping lately?

      Posted 6.7.22 Reply