Shhh.... It's a Secret...

Admit it. When you saw this bag you wanted to hide.  You wanted to kick it. You just wanted it to go away!  This little yellow bag has elicited this kind of response from so many people I know, I had to address the embarrassment, shame, and utter humiliation that this bag causes grown azz women.  I even overheard a few fashion bloggers at the IFB conference whisper, "Forever 21" when asked where they purchased so-and-so, almost always followed by "they have some great pieces" as justification for actually thinking of shopping there. A few weeks ago, I convinced one of my best friends (who shall remain nameless lest she kill me) to go to the Forever 21 at the local mall, and she reluctantly agreed. With a few conditions: The store had to be far from our home, it had to be EXTRA early (we were the first ones there practically), and I had to promise not to tell anyone.  Her rationale: She is over 40 (she looks like she is in her 20s), has a daughter that is actually 21, and she makes too much money to be in Forever 21.  And lastly, she is a grown azz woman!  But I convinced her to try it out, and she was pleasantly surprised.  She didn't know that they had nice pieces for both work and play, and she didn't realize that she truly didn't want to pay top dollar for extra trendy fashion items.  She purchased several items that look great on her, and just when I thought she was over the whole embarrassment thing, she shoved the entire bag into my purse and made me carry it through the mall. 

Recently, I have featured several items from Forever 21 on the blog.  Against the self-imposed rule I had created against Forever 21, I have had to acknowledge that although the Full-Figure clothing market has greatly expanded, there are still very few brick-and-mortar clothing stores that cater to the plus-sized consumer.  I consider myself a person that prefers trendy over classic style, but trying to locate quality, trendy pieces has become increasingly harder.  The world wide web is a godsend to curvy ladies everyday, but sometimes I want my wares immediately!  

I am not 21, nor do I want to be Forever 21, which is why I feel self-conscious every time I walk into the store.  It is with pride, ahem, that I recognize that almost all the females in the store are young enough to be my daughter.  It is with pride that I convince myself of the cost-effectiveness of shopping a low-end retailer like Forever 21.  Who needs to pay hundreds of dollars at a reputable shopping destination when I can purchase an entire outfit (including shoes, earrings, and bracelets) for under $50.  It is with pride that I like to think myself cool, edgy, and hip enough to actually be purchasing the same thing a middle-schooler next to me is purchasing!  But then I get on my grown woman ish, and the conversation I have with myself berates me for allowing myself to partake in the disposable clothing cycle that defines this generation.  This 'fast fashion" is killing me.  But then I see a denim jacket with faux leather sleeves calling me, and I give in.  Sure, I would have paid hundreds for it, but why?  Why, when I can have it for less than $30.  So until retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue (who have taken their plus-size offerings out of the stores and only sell them online), and designers like Marc Jacobs recognize my fabulousness although fat, I am stuck with Forever 21.  But I absolutely refuse to carry that bag around...


  1. Part of this is easy to overcome--bring your own fashionable, reusable bag when you shop.

    But I sympathize--I ordered an item online this weekend (they're about the only retailer right now with an affordable and simple windowpane sweater), and even though it will be coming to my house and only my postman would know I felt self-conscious.

  2. I love this!!! It is so true. I am not a big Forever 21 fan when it comes to their clothes but I actually made my first purchase yesterday of a nice skirt and bag so I hope it goes well. My 13 year old daughter loovvess this store so I totally understand how you feel about shopping there. The one thing I do love about the store is their accessories. But this was a good piece to write about and funny.

  3. Ladies!!!! I am dying! I knew I wasnt the only one out here that felt this way. Yay for feeling this way and going with it anyway...


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