Forever 21 Petite-Friendly Items Review

If it appears that I've been shopping a lot lately...that is correct. I'm having the winter "blahs" and am craving warm weather and cheap, fun items. Yesterday I popped into Boston's new 4-story Forever 21. Two hours later, I left the store $73 poorer but had 6 new pieces to keep me happy for the time being.

1. Watercolor Floral Peplum Skirt - $15.80, Size S
To me, H&M reigns far supreme in the realm of cheap and trendy fashion, because they actually carry more than three size options! F21 garments usually come in just S/M/L, and S is hit or miss on me. This skirt is big on me, but I love the color and ladylike shape. I would definitely not pay to get this taken in, but thankfully Kileen mentioned that it should shrink in a hot wash & dry because the material is mostly cotton.
Zipper back closure:

2. Lissette Woven Shorts w/ Belt - $17.80 - Size XS
In the summertime I love oversized tops and short shorts. One way to make short shorts appear less skanky (and hopefully more chic) is to have them be higher-waisted. Thus the viewer sees more material than if the shorts were low-rise. I found these in XS in-store, but I see online only has S. I love the lightweight chambray material, the pleats, the cuffs, and especially the striped belt that I'll be wearing with lots of other outfits.
 In person, the striped belt is a navy and khaki color.

3. Woven striped top - sz S ($19.80) and 4. Charcoal legging pants - sz XS ($15.80)
This top is a new, new arrival, and I was dismayed by the higher price. However, the material is a woven fabric instead of a tee-shirt like cotton material, so it felt nicer, and I can see it holding up better than F21's cheaper tops. I will wear this tucked into higher-waisted pants, skirts, and shorts.

I love skinny bottoms so I'm very excited to add these high-waisted (seems to be a trend in this post!) ones to my wardrobe. I can't find the pants online, but here's the shorts version which I actually love very much.

5. Heritage1981 Pleated skirt - sz S ($10.90) and 6. Brown/gold ring - sz 6 ($2.80)
This skirt comes in several colors in XS online, but the smallest I found in store was S. An XS would be perfect for someone my size. This is a super simple pull-on skirt, but I was drawn to the pleat details and two side pockets. It looks a LOT better with a belt over the waistband. I foresee a lot of wear with bright/print tops and neutral shoes this summer.
Just another (very) cheap vintage-y looking ring to add to my F21 collection:
Now for two "misses." I wanted to get these French Terry Pants in XS ($15.80) but they were SO snug I could barely get them up my legs. I liked the soft material, the functional back pockets, and they made the bum look good...but sz XS is recommended only for teeny tiny ladies. This yellow linen skirt in S ($13.80) is a nice way to brighten up a wardrobe, however it was too big and not worth alterations.
Although I spent a small fortune on clothes that I may or may not want to see again in two seasons, I'm happy with my acquisitions and can't wait for warmer weather. I'll leave you guys with some pairing ideas for Spring:

Readers - Which items did you like? Please share any good recent finds from F21!


  1. I just love everything!!! Your style is just great!!good picks!

  2. My favorite is tha awesome peplum skirt...I don't think it would be flattring on me though at all :( I'll just have to live vicariously through you when you wear it lol!!

  3. My fav out of the whole bunch are the shorts! I have never been able to find shorts that look somewhat decent on me- I just feel weird in them..LOL

    Great finds :)

  4. jean-- i love the off the shoulder top! it look so sexy on you. i like the skinny black pants with the buttons too and the shorts. i saw it in store the other day and was going to try it on and was dissuaded by my bf, i think he has something against big buttons! argh! i ended up getting t-shirts for the gym instead. boring... lol!

  5. Those shorts are fabulous! nautical and they'll look great paired with wedges or flip flops. I'm so jealous of your two story F21, but I'm also grateful that we have one at all ;) hee That yellow skirt might fit me pretty good since it's so loose on you. I'm going to check it out. Have a great Weekend!

  6. $73 for six items is a great deal! Great finds! I especially love the skirt! You will definitely get a lot of wear out of the shorts...I love the chambray. :)

    Thanks for the make me feel more inclined to give F21 another try. :)

  7. Mygoodness - $73 dollars for all of that?!? I'm loving the skirt, shorts and striped top, they look amazing on you!! You're making want to visit my Forever21 ASAP......... bad bad bad! ;) Hope you have a lovely weekend Jean!

  8. I love those colour pairings, especially the yellow and blue! Very springlike.

  9. I am SO excited about your new FINDS! Super excited! I loove the floral skirt and OMG I've never ever worn shorts ever in life, well workout shorts don't count, but I have purchased a few shorts but never looked good in them and never wore them out. I'm going to look for those shorts you bought! They look amazing on you! I may have to go one size up now that I am 10 pounds heavier. Since I left my teaching job to find another one I just can't seem to get as much exercise as before. By the way, I loove your vintage looking rings! :) <3 April

  10. Great picks Jean! I really like the skirts,shorts and the vintage ring. I love F21 rings and the prices :)

  11. wow, so many great finds that i don't even know which would be my favorite. i will definitely have to check out my F21 for that floral peplum skirt and really hope that a hot wash and dry will fix it. i usually don't have any luck in skirts that are size S and usually will only buy something if i see it in XS, which is not that common unfortunately. I'm also really loving that off-shoulder top on you. the pattern is again super pretty and the off-shoulder look is so super hot on you.

    i can't wait for spring to come around too! :)

  12. I like EVERYTHING, the striped top doesn't look good on its own but it somehow came to life on you. The charcoal legging pants are my favorite and I wish I can pull them off but I have a heavier bottom and tights legs don't flatter me. They look great on you though! I love the skirt too, such a fun spring color! Good gets! Thanks for the review and awesome pictures.

  13. The yellow linen skirt is too cute! It looks similar to the one I got last summer. Pockets on skirts are always an added bonus as well, which is why I love the navy blue one you purchased :)

    <3, natasha

  14. I like the floral skirt, shorts and striped shirt! I like your comment about how high-waisted shorts look less "skanky". Makes me think about getting some! Too bad it's going to be cold in Boston for quite a while longer... right? :(

  15. I really like the striped top and the peplum skirt! I don't think the skirt would fit me though - I'm a few inches taller than you, so I find that a lot of the skirts at F21 are a little too short for my taste.

  16. I'm looking into buying those woven shorts with the belt... I'm a size 4, 5'5...should I get a small or medium?

  17. Great reviews! I just bought a few things from F21....their xsmall and small is a hit or miss sometimes....I always seem to go back to returns things because they don't fit right

  18. OOOOh Cheap and CHIC -

    Aaaah you waist is so tiny Jean! That Peplum H&M skirt is killer cute, I love how vintage-y it looks!

    Seriously, I love warm weather clothes the most - can't wait until all the snow melts here in Texas...*sigh*

  19. I love that H&M skirt! Great price, too :D Minus the leggings, I notice that your F21 items are all wrinkly =\ (but you can obviously fix that!!)

    I honestly haven't stepped foot in a Forever 21 store in ages. I even recently unsubbed from their mailing list. As good as some of the prices are, their quality is a major turn-off for me. I can't even imagine going there for basics anymore!

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  20. I actually love everything you bought:) The floral skirt is so springy and pretty, perfect for warm weather. The shorts are great too! I've been wanting a pair of high waisted shorts so I might have to check these out. I love the striped top tucked into the high waist pants too. I always have such trouble finding pants that fit me. The ring is really cute too. I can't stop myself from buying their jewelry because it's so cute and cheap. The navy skirt looks perfect to wear on a casual warm weather day. Forever21 is always a hit or miss for me. Sometimes you really can find amazing things but other times everything is just cheap looking or wacky. Also, size small doesn't always fit me. It really does depend but is worth checking out! I need some spring clothes:)

  21. Hi
    I'm a new reader to your blog and really enjoying your finds!
    For me, definately the shorts are my favourites - classic ones like these that fit you so well are always, always worth it.

  22. LOVE LOVE LOVE that peplum skirt and woven shorts! Excited to see the skirt in future OOTD posts - the colors and print are just PERFECT. I wish the yellow skirt had fit better because it would have been gorgeous for spring/summer.

  23. The woven shorts got to go.

  24. you are so tiny! all the outfits look adorable on you, especially love the peplum skirt

  25. I still LOVE that skirt! It's so great for spring...even if it gets old after that. I love those high waisted pants as well. There's something about high waisted things, I think they're so sexy XP

  26. I really like the yellow skirt, it should probably fit me! That striped top is calling to me too. I love the colours of hat peplum skirt but definitely too "young" for me! ;)

  27. Love the floral skirt :).

  28. I really like the striped top! I love stripes, just so effortlessly chic.

  29. Nice finds! Do let us know how the shrinking goes on the peplum skirt. I probably wouldn't have thought to try those things on in store, but somehow you make everything look so good! I almost stopped by F21 this weekend too, but did good and stayed away since I'm trying to curb the impulse purchases.

  30. i must go find a pair of those shorts now. they area pretty great

  31. Loved the floral skirt, I think it would look better and more proportionate emphasizing a tiny waist if it was sitting at the naval level rather than on the hips. The navy shorts and navy striped top is lovely too!

    I have a question concerning petites and platform type shoes.

    I know one of the biggest rules when it comes to choosing shoes for petites or those with shorter legs is to avoid ankle height boots/shoes or ankle strapped high heels. It cuts of the length of your legs, but one can get sick of always wearing the same black stiletto black pumps and it's nice to have a chunkier more platform type heel/boots for stability and just to enjoy a change in style.

    I bought these pairs: (I trimmed off the leather fringe detail on the front) and these they're both lovely BUT I'd say I don't have the skinny stick thin legs and being petite they're not miles long either so I feel also with my petite frame they look rather large and clumpy on me and then they also cut off my leg length.

    I wonder if petites will ever be able to pull off platform boots especially since they're all the rage now or maybe they're just not meant for us?

    I know some petite bloggers out there who manage to look amazing in platform shoes fashiondistraction, sara+linh, phi style are a few from the top of my head so maybe it's doable you just gotta find the right pair.

    I was thinking maybe the "they're too clumpy and large looking" opinion was just due to over thinking. Like when you stare at your penciled in eyebrows too long and think they're too dark, or when you stare at your nose too long and think it's too big for your face kind of thing.

    Also the boots are a size to half a size too large, so that might also be a factor. My feet at 21.5cm (8.5inches long) and according to the sizing an 8 is 24.5cm with 1cm diff between each size making a size 5 apparently 21.5cm. I guess I'll always hope for shoes to fit me but for now it seems like the children's department and is my only properly fitting options!

    Sorry for the long winded comment, to sum up my main question really is can petites wear platform boots?

  32. I am really loving the Lissette Woven Shorts w/ Belt on you! I like high waisted shorts as well. They do look chic for the modern woman. I'm not so much into short shorts.. they do appear a bit skanky on me at least :p I don't know, it's been awhile since I wore a pair of shorts so I can't say :p The belt is a nice touch - truly love it :)

  33. yes I always see that you have new clothes everytime I go to your blog! I do love first skirt and mustard yellow skirt on you though!

  34. Thank you everyone for leaving your thoughts!

    @Ping You must try on the legging pants! Or the short shorts version of the pants. I can easily see either of them on you.

    @Callandra I think the yellow linen skirt could easily work its way into your eclectic wardrobe, but you might find it to be a bit short.

    @April Shorts never? Oh my you are missing out! Since you're working out to tone those legs why not show them off to the world : ) And I don't think you'll have to go up one size...the waist on these are loose on me but I'm keeping them up high with the elastic belt.

    @kileen Vicky mentioned to watch out for fading when washing and drying in hot water, so I'm actually hesitant to do that now. Oh well it's not too bad as is! I'd hate to see the vibrant colors fade.

    @Elle You're right, the striped top looked plain on the hanger but I loved it draped over the shoulders : ) And some of their skinny bottoms are way too tight in the calf area even for me, but these legging pants aren't bad!

    @Erica Your comment made me sad Erica, lol! Especially seeing the San Francisco bloggers wear shorts this past week. Yes these will go into hibernation for about 5 months...bleh!

    @Rinny Agreed...look at how indecently short it is on the model!

    @Katy Hi katy - it's actually hard to say because the waist of the XS are a bit loose on me. I didn't look at how the S and M compared. The waist of an XS measures 13 inches across the top...not sure if that helps!

  35. @Ms. E. Too bad they don't return for money...just store credit! It's pretty smart on their behalf but unfortunate for us shoppers.

    @The Little Dust Princess It's true their quality is not so great..but I go now with the mindset of just finding stuff to wear a handful of times : ) Also their rings have held up nicely for me. A gem fell out of an earring but it was easily rubber cemented back together, lol!

    @fashionforteens I wish they would offer XS for all their items, not just random 'select' items! And I agree their jewelry is addicting, but although "cheap" per piece it does easily add up : )

    @Jackie Thanks for help voting on the keep! I went back immediately after work to get them : )

    @PetiteXXS Unless you're in the mindset to browse aimlessly and dig and be pushed and shoved amongst middle schoolers bigger tan you, I would not recommend going in lol.

    @Jani I actually really like both pairs you linked to! But they are definitely shoes for those with an edgier style (not me) and I do not know your style and haven't seen your body type. Did you try pairing them with dark, skinny denim, or bottoms in a color that integrates well with the color of the shoe? For example, black leggings or skinny pants with the first shoe, and neutral colored bottoms or tights with the second pair? I know short booties and ankle straps don't do petite legs any favors, but I'm still personally a big fan of them. It does suck that they didn't come in a size small enough for you. You should post photos in the alterations needed forum ( so fellow petite gals can help you decide!

  36. Those shorts are so cute, i want them! I saw that yellow skirt a few days ago, it looked a little big so I didnt try it on.


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