Skip to content
Advertisements

Posts tagged ‘Forever 21’

ways to wear: black tee at work

Tom loves the WSJ. I find it to be a miserably dull little paper (except for Rachel Bachman in the sports section, love her) with its stupid little drawings, and no, my resentment has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t understand 90% of the subject matter inside it. Anyway, the WSJ covers fashion but in the tone of an intellectual talking about tv–the paper wants you to know it’s slumming. Maybe that’s why the fashion in the WSJ always seem two seasons behind. Just the casual observation of someone whose wardrobe is 80% J. Crew. I can only imagine how lame the paper feels to someone who actually knows something about clothes.

Point being, you know the power suit is well and truly dead when the WSJ says it is. A few weeks ago they ran a story on the death of the power suit, accompanied by photographs of some hideous alternatives. I have suits for court, but I hate them. They are uncomfortable, hot, and mannish, even when there is a skirt involved. ESPECIALLY if there is a skirt involved. I don’t know why that is, but it just is. Plus, people think suits are easy to coordinate, but they aren’t. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to put under the suit that won’t make me look like a corporate drone, and it’s usually for naught.

Give me separates any day, especially cheap ones. I bought a slinky but fitted crewneck at the Gap a couple months ago and have been wearing it to work a lot. It was actually at Gap Body and on sale, so I have a nagging suspicion that it’s actually the top half of a pajama set. Whatever. Anything to avoid wearing a suit.

No one at work is going to give you a hard time about wearing a maxi. At worst they will think it looks weird, but look, genius is never understood in its own time. And long skirts are genius, because they are elegant, offhand, and comfortable–all at the same time.

Paperbag waists look so cute but I find them challenging. Cinching with a neon belt makes it a little easier.

Black with navy: do it. These shoes: buy them. They are walkable and not hideous, which IMO is the best you can hope for in a work pump. This pose: not serious. Happy Tuesday.

Advertisements

ways to wear: high-rise jeans

With jeans, I’m always looking for the perfect blue.  A true blue without any gray or green, and not a lot of distressing.  Browsing the markdowns at Revolve, I found it, in a J Brand wash called Lotus.  And marked down to $85!  The problem: the only style the color came in was a high-rise flare–a cut that, when done wrong, can be cruel enough to put you off jeans altogether.

But what’s this blog for if not to challenge myself?  Spring is in the air and I’m tired of my skinnies.  And the jeans reminded me of my all-time favorites, a pair of vintage Levis 517s that I had in high school.  The $85 J Brands felt a little like fate.

Pantywaist

There are a few reasons why high-rise jeans are so dangerous.  First, the potential for camel toe.  Sorry to get all personal, but the issue of camel toe needs to be addressed.  If you don’t know what it is, google it, but not if you’re at work.  My personal theory for why camel toe happens so often with high rise jeans is because you tend to hike up high-rise jeans, and when you hike too aggressively, that’s when the camel toe happens.  Second danger: pancake ass.  To be Asian is to be at one with the pancake ass.  I could write a book about pancake ass.  High-rise jeans present a high risk of pancake ass because they create the illusion that your butt is longer than it really is.

I think the temptation with high-rise jeans is to wear something longer on top to cover some of the rise in the back so your butt doesn’t look so long.  But if you’re feeling like a challenge, try pairing a high rise with a cropped sweater.  The whole point of a high rise is the 70s feel, and you miss out on a lot of that if you just cover up the waist.  And for me, the pairing seemed to create curves where I don’t really have any, so that’s an added bonus.  Be careful what you layer under a cropped sweater.  Too long, and you’ll ruin the look.

Or Don’t Tuck

If you’re reading this and you just can’t get behind the tucking in, I hear you.  But consider this: a pair of high rise jeans is better than a pair of Spanx for slimming, if you’re going to be wearing the jeans under tops that you don’t intend to tuck in.  The high rise will cover your stomach and kind of tighten up the area, so they are a solid choice for pairing with tops made of slinkier materials (like jersey–God I hate jersey).  Just make sure to get the sizing right.  If they aren’t tight enough, they will just add more material to the belly area, instead of sucking you in.

Back to Basics

At my core, I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl.  But the t-shirt has to be right.  I hate tight necklines and the sleeve has to be short, but not too short.  The t-shirt below has been my standby since law school.  I have it in four colors.  I wear it to bed, I wear it to work out, and now I wear it with my high-rise jeans.  It’s also actually $22, not $24, but it’s been a long weekend and I’m too tired to fix the price in the photo below.  The tri-blend fabric is especially good with the high-rise because it underscores that 70s vibe.

Other stuff I intend to wear these jeans with: a tight black turtleneck with a big earthy necklace over it (think Ali McGraw).  Or belted, with a chambray button-down, for a little denim-on-denim action.  I’ll lose the boots when it gets warm and wear them with wedges and a tank.

Have I convinced you even a little?

ways to wear: color at work

Color was big in 2011.  And the fashion editors are saying color will continue to be big into the spring.  Since they’ll be around for a while, let’s figure out a way to put those brights to work at the office.

I own a lot of orange-red because I find the color very easy to match with other colors, and you get a lot of bang for the buck in terms of drama.  I focused on that color in this post, but any of these looks would work well with other brights that might be sitting in your closet.  If you’re shopping for some color, try cobalt, mustard, or fuschia–all versatile brights that pair well with neutrals.

Nice ‘n Easy

I’m a lawyer, but I’m a plaintiffs’ lawyer, and plaintiffs’ lawyers generally don’t like to look like we spend too much money on our clothing, or that we think about clothing at all.  So I can get away with more casual looks at the office.  The outfit below comes in handy when I’m bloated and/or can’t bear the thought of heels.

J. Crew sells a merino version of the boyfriend sweater above but it retails for almost $90.  I bought the sweater at Forever 21 in three colors for less than $50 total.  “But they’re polyester, Yoona.”  For $50, I don’t care if they’re made of plastic ketchup bottles.  And let me just say this: if anyone at work is standing close enough to you that they can tell that your sweater is made of polyester, that’s not right.  Just my legal opinion.

Colored Pencil

My husband generally doesn’t notice my clothing, unless it looks new or expensive.  But he notices every time I wear a pencil skirt, so I try to throw him a bone and wear one from time to time.  This one is my favorite.  J. Crew is making pencil skirts in all sorts of colors, in wool and “double serge” cotton, which is apparently fashion-speak for “hideously overpriced.”  If you want proof that J. Crew never changes their clothes, please note that the skirt below was purchased four years ago.  There’s something comforting in that, I guess.

Casual Friday

I imagine if you’re one of those lucky SOBs who have a creative job, or even better, if you’re your own boss, you could dress like this even when it’s not Friday.  For the rest of us, the colored jeans probably have to wait for casual days.  But boy, given my investment in colored jeans, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to dress them up and disguise them for work.

A note on the jeans.  First of all, they were on sale at Nordstrom for $99.90 but all I paid was $20 after cashing in a Nordstrom note and a gift card.  I imagine that’s not that interesting to you, but I feel like I should get a shopping medal.  Secondly, I’m a J Brand girl, but these AGs are something else.  They are made of a thicker denim that holds like a dream.  I’ve worn them for four consecutive days and the knees haven’t bagged out.  That’s like, unheard of.  And I love the color, which is a deep green-blue.  The perfect foil for orange-red!

How are you wearing brights at work?

ways to wear: boots

Everyone has a fashion blind spot.  Mine, generally, is shoes (and bags, but I’ll save that for another post).  The problem is that, like some Amish farmer, I believe that any shoes that I buy should go with everything in my closet, and they inevitably never do.  So I don’t often buy them.   I have friends that buy different shoes for almost every outfit.  I admire that kind of commitment and attention to detail.  But I don’t have the space, and I need that money for jeans.  So I always try to find shoes that will work in lots of different contexts.

In the summer I wear one pair of shoes: my Birkenstock Gizehs (in Golden Brown).  Go ahead and mock them, but understand this: this shoe goes with everything you could possibly wear when the weather is warm, with the exception of bridesmaid dresses.  I buy a new pair every couple summers and call it a day.  But during boot season, it’s a lot harder to get away with one pair, especially because boots come in so many tempting variations.  I think I’ve worked it out, and have found four pairs of boots that I have been wearing with everything this season.  Best part?  The styles are relatively timeless, so I imagine I will be wearing them through this March, and the next.

The Clog Boot

The clog boot has been going strong for a few years, and given the monetary investment involved, it’s a good thing they’ve stuck around.  The thing I like about them is that the wooden platform lengthens your leg but is way more comfortable than a traditional heel, which raises the back of your foot and puts all the pressure on your toes.  That’s not to say that they are comfortable.  If you want to approximate the sensation of walking in clog boots, I suggest tying your feet to a couple bricks.  They also come with ridiculous instructions, including the suggestion that you not walk in them in the rain, and that you re-adhere (using superglue) any wood chips that you inadvertently knock out of the wooden soles.  In other words, they are a stealthily high maintenance shoe.  But I like wearing them a lot, especially with flowy skirts, for the contrast.

The Chukka Boot

My friend Jack does something related to basketball at Adidas–I’m still not sure what–but I know that whenever I see him, I like what he’s wearing, and even better, he looks like he hasn’t put too much thought into any of it.  Most of that, I attribute to his shoes, because he, like me, lives in his Clarks desert boots.

I have two pairs of these, and they are beyond beat up because I wear one color or the other almost every day.  They have single-handedly ruined my feet because they have zero arch support, but my feet are a small price to pay for a shoe that goes with every pair of jeans and cords that I own.  If you believe that you only look good in heeled shoes, nothing I say here is going to change your mind.  But I would urge you to give these a try.  The cut of them is extremely flattering because they stop right below the skinniest part of your ankle.  For some reason, these boots seem especially flattering if you wear your pants short, like me.

The Riding Boot

I am finicky about knee boots in two regards: I don’t like a lot of metal, and the shaft height has to be exactly right.  The gold buckles on the pair here are not my favorite, but they do make it easier for me to dress them up for work.  If you have any muscle in your calves, as I do, be careful that the shaft of the boot covers up the widest part of your calf.  Otherwise, the boots may give the illusion that your legs are thicker than they are.  The pair here have an 18″ shaft, which is about 4 inches taller than most knee boots.  The red zipper is totally a bonus.  I love them.  I wear them with sweater dresses and minis, like the buffalo plaid one here.

The Shearling Boot

My impression about the Gap these days is that the less interesting their clothes become, the more interesting their shoes get.  For years, the Gap produced ballet flats and other seasonal shoes that you wouldn’t expect to last more than a year.  Recently, though, they’ve been coming out with cool boots in real leather.  They are also priced like real leather, but I also feel like I’ve never been to the Gap when all their merchandise isn’t marked down 30%.  My feet get cold in the winter, but I have resisted Uggs this long and have no intention of caving now.  These are a good concession–they have the shearling but the silhouette is refined enough that I can wear them with my skinnies and skirts.

Take care of your boots and they will last you a long time.  I cover mine in all-weather spray, and am religious about sticking boot shapers in my knee boots, to prevent folding of the leather.  My favorite pair of Fryes are four years old and look pretty new, thanks to those boot shapers.

forever 34

Merino sweater, Forever 21 ($24); Olive poly maxi skirt, Forever 21 ($20); Clog boots, Hasbeens ($400 retail, but scored mine for $149 at Aritzia)

My first blog post, and I’ll get right to the point: if you aren’t already, you should be shopping at Forever 21.

I should begin by stating that I don’t believe in age-appropriateness when it comes to fashion.  It’s clothing.  Have fun with it.  There are things you should hesitate to buy at a Forever 21 (e.g., anything with “lace,” grommeted clothing, and probably, underwear), but for the most part, the store will feed your craving for fast fashion, and satiate you for cheap. Put another way, if the choice is between paying $19.40 for an acrylic sweater at F21, or buying a $78.00 acrylic sweater at T.B.D., I’m going to go with the first option every time.

I do realize Forever 21 is owned by ultra-conservative Christians, which makes me feel even weirder about how many of their t-shirts say “I’m going to steal your boyfriend” on them. But those Christians are Korean (like me), and can really knock off a Marni necklace, to boot. Bottom line, when I can leave a store with a bag full of clothes for $50, I will happily ignore the fact that “John 3:16” is printed in tiny letters somewhere on that bag.

A few tips for those new to F21:

1) If you see something that catches your eye, pick it up and take it with you.  Because if you don’t, I can guarantee that you will never find it again.

2) Love 21 is the line that is cut a little looser and generally seems to have a more grown-up aesthetic.  Some stores have separate Love 21 sections, others have the line mixed in.

3) Don’t let the glare from the ten shades of fake gold scare you off from the accessories section.  My go-to for cheap hoop earrings and cuffs.

4) Don’t be afraid to alter for the perfect fit.  Will you feel dumb bringing in clothes from F21 to your tailor?  Guaranteed.  But with what you saved at the store, you can spend a little extra cash to get the fit just right.  In the photo above, I shortened a maxi skirt about 10 inches to show a little ankle between the hem and the top of my clog boots.

5) Don’t get me wrong: 95% of the clothes at F21 are indeed terrifying.  You will need to work to unearth your treasures.  Go with a friend and tag-team.

Ok, you say, maybe I can find a fun outfit for date night there, but I can’t find work clothes there!  But you can!  I’m a 34-year old lawyer and a harried mom of two–if I can do it, so can you. When I see a trend, and I’m not completely convinced of it, I will usually hit Forever 21 first to try it out. This fall, I’ve had a hankering for skirts, and not the short kind. I mean the long, Catherine-and-Heathcliff, swish-when-you-walk kind of skirt that you can wear with knee boots and a cozy sweater. I’ve posted three outfits, all of which I’ve worn multiple times to the office this fall, most of the components of which were sourced from–you guessed it–Forever 21.

Rust wool-blend sweater, Forever 21 ($20); Paisley rayon-blend midi skirt, Forever 21 ($20); Faux suede wedge boots, ASOS ($50)

F21 mixes well with basics in your closet. If you have a black sweater and knee boots, this is an easy look to pull off, and allows you to flirt with the 70's trend. Missoni-style midi skirt, Forever 21 ($15); Merino v-neck sweater, Club Monaco ($68); Leather knee boots, Steve Madden ($140)