Forever 21 is called that for a reason. In college, I bought something at Forever 21 every time I walked in. Now, I'm lucky if I purchase an item every fifth visit. Forever 21 stays on top of the trends for young people faster than they can develop, and unfortunately 21-year-olds seem to really like crop tops, incredibly short shorts, and other things that either can't be worn in a professional setting or simply aren’t intended for an older body. And, obviously, when you're only paying $14.90 for a dress of indeterminate fabric, the quality leaves something to be desired.
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It's okay to shop in “mom stores”. Contrary to what your teenage self might tell you, it's okay to shop in the same stores that your mother does – especially since stores are changing their demographic all the time. Some of my favorite pieces come from stores like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic, both of which I wouldn't have dreamed of stepping foot in 10 years ago.
Jeans are not one size fits all. Just because Gap jeans look great on your best friend doesn’t mean they’ll look good on you. All bodies are different, and all jeans are cut differently. Some pairs may only fit you in a size up, and some may just not fit your body at all. Take the time to try on as many brands as possible and find the company and style that most compliments your body type, and stock up next time there's a sale.
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The fitting room should go fast. If you need more than 30 seconds to decide if you like an item you've just put on, it’s a no. Even if you're a generally indecisive person, you'll always know in your heart right away if something looks good or not.
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