Date night: Forever21 Floral Peplum Skirt


F21 skirt (old). Shop floral peplum dresses here for <$20, here for <$35, or here in petite
H&M; shell + clutch, Theory blazer, Hermes belt, Prada sandals, necklaces c/o Stella & dot

Just a quick post showing an outfit I wore out to dinner before the heat waves hit. This skirt from Feb 2011 was one of my last purchases from Forever 21. Remembering how rarely I wear my F21 items (and how quickly they fade/fall apart after wash & wear) encourages me to always walk out of that store empty-handed. I see others with good finds from there, but don’t have much luck myself. floralpeplum1
This pretty skirt was a “steal” for $15.80 and thus, I brought it home even though it didn’t fit. I took it to my tailors for an assessment, but couldn’t bear to spend $25+ to have it taken in (the peplum made it too hard to alter myself). I then tried shrinking it in the dryer, which faded the vibrant colors. In 17 months I think this was my first time wearing it, and the awkwardness of holding up the waist with a belt and constantly adjusting makes me not eager to wear it again…

I’ve worn peplum silhouettes for a while (including this recently re-discovered TJMaxx find from 2010), and am very excited to see it make a widespread appearance this year. As mentioned in my recent video, it creates the illusion of hips, and gives off a playful, flirty look that’s perfect for date nights.
I have so many online orders lying around at home waiting to be reviewed, but work has been relentless lately. I hope to resume those types of posts soon and also do a closet cleanout : )

Readers – Do you still shop at Forever21? What is your strategy for sifting through the junk & discovering good finds?
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  1. That skirt looks really gorgeous on you and I can't tell that it doesn't fit you properly. The belt really does its job on this one! I actually love shopping at F21, I come away with some great finds from there. I do have to spend a good amount of time in there to look through everything and make sure I try on each item before I buy though. It's a great place for inexpensive trend pieces!

    xo, Yi-chia

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  2. Monkey wrote:

    I've never shopped at F21 but I used to shop at H&M; until I noticed the exact same thing you mentioned. For some reason my H&M; clothes would shrink or twist weirdly in the wash and that would be it. In the end, it's never as cheap as I thought it was since I barely got any wear out of it. That said, I do have one simple black dress from H&M; that I've been wearing for years and it's still going strong, so it's hit or miss. For me, there have been enough misses for me to stop shopping there completely.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  3. R.L. wrote:

    Too bad about the poor fit, but I love the colors and would have never thought to pair it with a peplumish blazer. It's been over a year since I've shopped at F21. Thankfully the overwhelming store and no returns policy keep me in check, lol. Can't wait to see what reviews you have in store for us 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  4. shirley wrote:

    What I like about F21 is that they offer huge selections of low quality but inexpensive items. When you buy them, you feel so good walking out. However, after careful 30 minutes of trial at home with your other clothing, they don't look as good. What I hate about F21 is that they don't offer refund at all. Only store credit or exchange only. So unless you're sure to spend the money in F21, you'll not get your money back if you changed your mind.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  5. Unknown wrote:

    Like most folks on here, I like buying basics like bright color tanks there. I do have some items from there that I love, like scarfs, $1.50 canvas bags, other accessories, and I love the way these shorts fit:;=btms_shorts&ProductID;=2000045515&VariantID;=

    I've bought them over the years in 3 different colors (gray, bright blue, and red) and 2 of them have been with me every summer, through a lot of washes for 3 years now. I prefer them over H&M; shorts in the same style and fabric, because the H&M; seemed to shrink differently, making it not so comfortable after a couple of washes.

    I also love their simple cotton stuff like bodycon skirts, jersey dresses..etc.. Cheap and fun summer wears that I don't mind getting wet or dirty in.

    My tip for F21 store is to examine the fabric carefully. Even if it's cheap, don't buy it unless the fabric is decent. My experience has been that some of their items are with great fabrics!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  6. Janki wrote:

    Since I'm way older than 21, I feel like a weirdo shopping there. I am always waiting for a SA to ask if I'm shopping for my child. I recently discovered the treasure chest of thrifting and because of those prices ($8 for a two piece Ann Taylor suit, once saw a Theory set for $4!) I can't seem to justify the prices at low end retail stores.

    Also, I know I'll never pay to alter a F21 piece, so it'll just be awkward fitting and not flattering since I'm so petite. When I buy my thrift pieces, the price (and the crazy value) make it ok for me to cough up the money to alter.

    As stated before, I love how you mix bargain and splurge items in your look. Hope you had a great date.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  7. Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  8. Nelah wrote:

    Love the burst of bright bold colors, the colors are pretty and very eye catching especially when pairing with white.

    I try to avoid Forever21 as much as i can these days. It has been at least 6 months since i bought my last piece and felt their prices have gone up while quality has gone done even worse. Their fabric on most items are ridiculously thin. I felt like i was wearing a paper dress. I still enjoy some trendy pieces from time to time but will have to fight the temptation and save up my pennies for something with better quality.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  9. Kimberly wrote:

    I have found the best luck at Forever 21 by going into the store when I have a lot of time to sift through everything. I also am careful to inspect the seams and construction as some items are much better quality than others. And, when all else fails, if I don't find clothing I love, I head over to their jewelry section! 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  10. Suzie Q wrote:

    You look cute! I wouldn't be able to tell that the skirt was too big on you. I shop at F21 for trendier stuff since I splurge less on trends that may last just 1 or so season. I just try to purchase items that seem like better quality there and pass on the ones that don't seem to be.

    Suzie Q

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  11. Karoliina wrote:

    I think that this is amazing outfit! You look very great (as always). 😉

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  12. Yin wrote:

    I agree with you, both H&M; and F21 have horrible wear quality. 2 washes and it's done. However, the accessories in f21 are nice and thats what I mainly go for.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  13. I do find things from Forever 21, so far the quality has been ok, I think it's really a matter of coming accross the right piece at the right time.

    Sometimes I would go in the store and won't find anything at all!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  14. Iveta wrote:

    You are so cute, this skirt and shoes are wonderful. I love love love….soooo nice:)

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  15. sophié wrote:

    hello again! I do not shop at F21. In fact I never go anywhere near the shop – even if the window displays look good, the fabrics they use are so god awful, I d never wear them. You are very photogenic so you look good in the skirt, but thank you for your honest assessment. I could not bear to spend that much to alter for fit either and I would nor wear something uncomfortable so thank you again. Nice to have some impartial views.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  16. so on sunday, Tina went to return a F21 order but since she was a day late, they said she needed to exchange it for something. so she said, "can you help me spend $50?" I said, "sure." 30 min later, we reunited. I came up w/a necklace & some cheapo sunglasses. she came up w/a chevron printed shirt. We're literally still $20 short. We made another round. Came back after another 20 min of sifting through XXI, same items. hahahah. then we literally had to rack our brains trying to find ANYTHING worthy of another $20. It was seriously a hard assignment that wasted 1hr of our day.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  17. Kat wrote:

    I very seldom shop there now. It's hard to find good clothing for less. I end up going back to H&M.; And even though its "not that great" either, it's still holds up MUCH better than F21. Actually, I think at least one part of my outfit a day is something from H&M…;

    However, the F21 skirt looks cute from what I can tell on my end of the screen 😉


    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  18. Such a cute date night outfit Jean. The citrus floral prints is so perfect for these warm summer nights and it's peplum too? Love it even more! xo

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  19. Kristi wrote:

    I love the print of that skirt! That's a cute summer date night outfit.

    I agree with you on Forever 21's quality– you really have to comb through the racks to find something worthwhile. I save my visits to F21 for ambitious early weekend mornings (e.g.: when my bf is golfing, haha). The store is organized, the sales associates tend to be less flustered and more helpful, and most people are not crazy enough to shop that early in the morning so the store is practically empty. 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    woops, i meant *READ (lol)

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean!

    Discovered your blog a few weeks back, and have been an avid fan since.

    Just wondering if it would be possible to get rid of the "CLICK HERE TO RID MORE" button at the end of each post, and to just lay out the whole post. Just cause it's easier for us to read through the pages, without having to click on anything to 'read more'. Especially when we're reading from tablets or our phones, makes it very difficult to keep going back to the original page after 'reading more' if that makes sense lol. also, some lazier readers may just skip 'reading more' altogether and zoom through.

    Just a suggestion. Otherwise, LOVE your fashion taste & advice! keep it up …
    i've purchased 2x CHANEL GST (black & beige) because of you since! 😀


    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  22. It looks beautiful! I love how your mind works!!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  23. Michelle wrote:

    Glad you were able to resurrect this skirt! It looks cute with those shoes! You know me…Forever 21 is a rarity for me. I get annoyed with the crowds of people and all the clothes to sift through! But like you said, I do see so many others wear stuff from that store that I feel like I am a looney for not giving it more of a chance. But I am usually on a time limit, and there are other stores I would rather be in.

    Hope work settles down for you soon! Have a nice week! 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  24. Megan wrote:

    F21 really is a hit or miss… I like to invest in the classics but only buy trendy "of the season" items from F21, just for fun. I think that's the only way to do it! 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  25. Theresa wrote:

    I'm not a fan of peplum because it doesn't suit my curvy body, but I love the print on that skirt!!

    Where F21 is concerned, I actually love that place because I can go in there and get lots of BASICS without spending much money. With that in mind, though, I almost never browse for anything really special, but I've always had success when I go in looking for staples/basics like solid tees, casual and dressier skirts, basic makeup to try, and especially jewelry. I'd recommend going in next time with only your very basics in mind and seeing how you make out. 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  26. You look soo pretty! The dress suits you very well, I’m in love with your style!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  27. Love the print of your peplum skirt so fresh and feminine.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  28. Kiwi wrote:

    That skirt is so summery and so cute

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  29. Kelsey wrote:

    this skirt is just so absolutely beautiful!
    kw, Ladies in Navy

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  30. Forever 21 is def store to shop for pieces that I don't mind messing up and experiment with.

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  31. newpetite wrote:

    I do browse at F21, but haven't found anything that I've fallen in love with.

    Love the last pic with the blazer on!

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  32. Alice wrote:

    Extra Petite,

    You have a lovely blog, I've been following for a few months now and really like it. But there are a few things (ok, really just one) that I would like to bring to your attention. While it's nice to see bloggers shopping at affordable stores like Forever 21 and H&M;, we must be aware that fast fashion is not sustainable. This article ( may not be the best on this topic, but I hope you might consider our problem at hand.

    Just thought you might be interested as you seems to be a very thoughtful person!


    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  33. *seen

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  34. I haven't purchased anything from Forever 21 in the longest time… over a year or two now. It's not even just the quality that irks me, but the way everything is displayed online AND in store. There's too much going on and I'd rather not spend so much time in their stores or on their website. Plus, the styles barely appeal to me anymore. The only time I'll let myself purchase from F21 is for their $2 camisoles! They have the cheapest ones in various colours that always do the job. 😀

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  35. I shop there only if I happen to see something I want to try on online. I am a big fan of "Love 21". I buy some basics from there, but like you've mentioned, their articles typically last only a couple of washes. Only about 25% of the time do I find what I spoofed online and bought at the store. F21 dresses are cute, but never fit our petite form, so it's always a no-go on most dresses.

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  36. this is totally how i used to feel. their love21 line seems to be much better quality than any of their other lines. but it also runs a half size bigger than their normal sizes so you would probably have to alter them. i am a trend whore (lol…that sounds bad) so i love to buy inexpensive pieces from places like f21 & hm so i don't spend a lot of money on things i know are pretty much just for fun. but i ONLY shop f21 online…it is WAY too overwhelming & time consuming to go into the actual store! =)

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  37. Diana wrote:

    I always marvel at the things other people seem to find at Forever 21, but I'm with you…I don't usually have luck, myself. I think there are a couple things I wouldn't mind buying from there (super trendy stuff), but I generally try to shop elsewhere since I feel a little too old for it most of the time. 😛

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  38. Miriam wrote:

    what a pretty date nite outfit! great f21 find!

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, I love your outfit, and those shoes..LOVE THEM. Where did you get your necklaces from?

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  40. I have never shopped at Forever 21 — I just can't stand the mess, and you can tell at a glance that most of their items aren't exactly quality.

    Still, I think this skirt is very pretty on you!

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  41. I love how you incorporate designer accessories with fast fashion! It totally elevates your outfits.

    I still go to Forever 21 for dresses or skirts. I swear it's one of the few places that have dresses and skirts that fit me. It's usually a hit or miss at Forever 21 though. Plus, I have to be in the mood for a good shopping hunt.

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  42. Anonymous wrote:

    At F21 I usually bulldoze my way through and only pick up what catches my eye instantly since there is way too much merchandise to sift through, not that the quality warrants much of a careful sifting anyhow. If it doesn't fit perfectly, it's an immediate reject because I know I will never put in the time to do alterations. I usually shop there for fun stuff–vacation wear (just so I have peace of mind in case of lost baggage), very casual wear, or a quick substitute for a trend I want to try out or to use while I wait for higher quality items to go on sale. I would say I have the best luck in the jewelry section. I think of it as a fun challenge to find something worthwhile at F21! And if it doesn't work out, at least you can exchange it, and so much merchandise always comes through the store that I always eventually find something to replace a dud. 🙂

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  43. I remember this skirt from last year and am glad it has reappeared in a post! It makes for a beautiful date night skirt – fun and flirty! I only started shopping at F21 after seeing cute finds in the blogosphere, but usually only make accessory purchases – belts & jewelry mostly. Sometimes to dissect for other things or just to have a fun, trendy piece that doesn't need to stand the test of time.

    Ooh, would you do a post on closet clean-out? As in how you decide to throw something out / curate your closet. I tend to be a bit of a hoarder so would appreciate any tips 🙂

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  44. Elle wrote:

    Forever 21………how I loathe (but secretly love) thee.

    I have been trying to undo this mistake that I made about a year ago, when I bought a few HUNDRED dollars worth of f21 clothes, for some time now. At the time I thought I would have no problem spending the money but to my credit I returned everything that wasn't eighty percent perfect so I still have quite a bit of store credit left. To this day I still make a weekly purchase at f21 that I return the following week and all I have to show for it are pictures that I took for el blog but am too lazy to edit and publish.

    I did have a few lucky finds lately so am on track to quit this horrible addiction aka forever 21. Wish me luck!

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  45. forever 21 for me is one of those stores that i buy my basics at. for example a black body-con skirt. even though it's not the best quality, for $5 i dont mind buying a couple. but then again, i've been falling for h&m; over and over again recently 🙂

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    Forever 21 is usually hit or miss for me, but when I do bring something home, it becomes one of my favorite wardrobe pieces!

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  47. Irene Yu wrote:

    That's a good question and I guess for myself it's the clearance rack or bust. F21 can be pretty overwhelming so I just focus on one section of the store. Check out my new blog for other bargain tips 🙂

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  48. eliz wrote:

    I don't really buy work clothes at F21 I usually buy my "fun clothes" there…….but I always look at their items online before I bother going to the store…so I can see if there will be anything I would potentially buy.

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  49. Anonymous wrote:

    You know, if you've a Papaya store near you, it carries styles similar to Forever 21, but the quality is significantly better.

    Posted 7.9.12 Reply
  50. Charlie wrote:

    LOL. Jean! I have the same thought process as you! I go in hoping to find something that catches the eye only to be displeased by the quality of it afterwards. I don't have the best luck but loves seeing how you & other fashion blogger do manage to steal some deals!

    Cannot wait for you to do your other reviews on online ordering! I'm always so skeptical about sizing and how the outfit can look great online vs on person.


    Posted 7.9.12 Reply

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