Forever 21: A Mother's Shopping Experiment

Can a forty-something volleyball mom be Forever 21?

We admit it -- we've tried to find clothes at this trendy, inexpensive store in Scottsdale Fashion Square, but each attempt found us walking out empty handed, frustrated by the lack of organization and contemplating whether a martini at Modern Steak would take the edge off the extreme sensory overload. So we did what we usually do when we're puzzled by the latest trend we don't understand -- we looked to a teenager for enlightenment and dragged her shopping with us.

Frankly, having a teenage stylist oblivious to the Forever 21 chaos was genius. With her tenacity, and a little over 2 hours, we were able to find three outfits that were comfortable, age-appropriate and could be easily mixed into the existing wardrobe. And it's cheap, did we mention that yet?

Let us offer a few hints to spare you some of our frustration:

  1. Leave any hang-ups about your size at the door. The clothes run small and the hemlines are short - do yourself (and the rest of us) a favor and go up one size. Or two.
  2. Do not fall in love with ANYTHING on a mannequin. The fact that it's on display guarantees it's been snapped up, sold out and is forever unavailable to you. And no, they will not sell you the last one. We begged and pleaded for a $9 necklace on display and were told by the management that "Company Policy" does not allow them to take it off for a customer - ever. 
  3. Bring patience and an open mind. And a teenager. Ignore the messy clothing racks and lack of salespeople, don't try to understand the merchandising logic and be prepared to wait in a long line for the co-ed dressing room.

Trust us, your aggravation will soon be replaced with smug satisfaction when you finally pay for your purchases and leave with a wallet just a little lighter, and money for that second round.

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