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. I LOVE that skirt!
    The colors are so vibrant, it's perfect! <3

    Posted 7.23.12 Reply
  2. Vogue Sky wrote:

    You look so lovely! Something about long skirts and long hair just looks so wonderful together! I feel weird in a long skirt with my short hair, haha.

    Posted 7.19.12 Reply
  3. lisacng wrote:

    I've never bought clothes from F21. I do see them as poor quality. Tho I love their accessories!

    Posted 7.13.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean

    Thanks for that. I don't have an Hermes store where I am, thus unable to try the different sizes, but your description has really assured me i made the correct decision in getting the size 80! 🙂

    Love your blog, keep it up. Can't wait for your updates everyday!
    Have taken a new love to fashion & mixing it up because of it 😉


    JC (5'2")

    Posted 7.13.12 Reply
  5. Jade wrote:

    You paired the skirt very well. At least from the picture, skirt looks nice. Now, I rarely shop at Forever 21. I have found myself going into the store and seeing really cute items, but then it just goes downhill in the fitting room. The fit is never right. I'm sure it's the quality of the fabric and how its made that makes most of their clothes ill fitting. Now with that said, I remember when the store first came out before it became so huge, I do remember purchasing couple of clothes from there. But then I was in High School and had very limited funds. I don't think quality was a huge concern for me at the time. 🙂

    Posted 7.13.12 Reply
  6. And by "barely fits" I mean it's too small for me to wear on low-slung jeans.

    Posted 7.13.12 Reply
  7. Hi JC – I'm not an expert on their sizing, but mine is 24mm in width (.9"). I wanted the wider one, but received this one as a gift and have to say I'm pretty happy with it! I got a sz 70 and it barely fits a 24 waist in low-slung jeans, even after I punched holes. So it depends on where you want to wear the belt…high up on your waist, or lower on the hips.

    Posted 7.13.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! 🙂

    U have totally made me a convert of the Hermes "H" belt.

    Am looking online for vintage authentic ones.

    Just wondering – what width size is yours : 24mm or 32mm. it looks perfect on your frame! 🙂

    Would size 80 fit on a Seven Jeans size 26 frame you think? Thanks.


    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  9. I would only buy stuff made of chiffon from f21, which are of better quality compared to those made of other fabric…also I won't buy piece that costs more than $25…and that you won't wear often like dress for clubbing or sth…and I won't buy more than two pieces one time…

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    I actually got the link from the GOMI forum thread for the "copycatter". I respect your decision to move on but just wanted to voice my appreciation for all that you do and let you know that incidences like that do not go unnoticed.

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  11. Wonderful look…sorry to hear about the skirt being such a drag but the design and style is super cute!

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  12. Hello Jean, I discovered your blog yesterday and spent the whole evening on it! I love your style, hope I will get some inspiration here 🙂
    Cheers from Prague, Katerina

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  13. Tara wrote:

    *bit more expensive, haha

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  14. Tara wrote:

    I think most people have a love/hate relationship with Forever21, and I myself have been let down many times by the low quality of their fabrics. I do like their boutique line though, and I have several pieces bought in the last year or so that have held up beautifully. It is a teeny but more expensive (think $28-$35 instead of $10-$15) but I like that line much better than any of the others. H&M; is still the old standby for cheap basics that will last a bit longer. And honestly, I get most of my clothes from Banana Republic after the clothes go on sale. I have a great BR next to my university and eventually everything in that store winds up around $12, so I'd rather wait and get something better made than spend it at Forever21 and stores like it!

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  15. It means a lot to me that you support myself and this blog, and took time out of your day to do so. I'm a bit blown away by your comment, and want to thank you for caring.

    As for the issue – I've made my efforts to address it privately, and would like to move past it, whether or not anything will change. I've realized that in the grand scheme of things – it's not worth it, and it distracts from what I love about blogging and sharing finds with this community. I moderated your comment to avoid possible negativity, and I hope you can understand.

    Posted 7.12.12 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  17. I can't justify spending hard earned money on F21 clothes, even if prices are cheaper. I used to like F21 because of the variety, but after having several items fall apart after a few washes, I resolved not to go there anymore. Another reason is that I need to look more professional at work, so I just bite the bullet and go for more expensive but top quality staples for my wardrobe. The amount I pay is worth it if I can wear them over and over again for long periods of time in different variations.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    How does the quality go F21 compare to HM or Zara? Any thoughts? I find myself going to F21 only because their sizes run smaller than other retailers.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  19. This pairing looks cute =)
    Great style!


    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  20. I prefer shopping online at F21 than I do in store. Some of their pieces have become favorites while some definitely get neglected. I just try to do a better job of buying something I know I can wear multiple ways – and I also look at the price point. If it's TOO low, I know it will usually fall apart of shrink pretty quickly.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  21. I am always completely overwhelmed when I go into Forever 21. And I agree, the quality of F21 items are below par. They fall apart or pill way too quickly.

    I have purchased some stuff within the past year and I find that if I peruse online first, it'll give me an idea what to look for.


    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  22. Jackie wrote:


    F21 is hit or miss for me. I hardly ever go in there…

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  23. MizzJ wrote:

    You look very cute, even if you were uncomfortable! Hmm I haven't had any problems (yet) with any F21 items actually. I think just avoiding putting them in the dryer helps for me as the heat does horrible things to clothes.

    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  24. jules wrote:

    you hair is getting so long jean!

    i think this skirt is really pretty, i'm sorry it doesn't fit you like a glove 🙁
    i have found quite a few good things from F21, but when i go i need a lot of patience & time. also i like to scour their website before i go!


    Posted 7.11.12 Reply
  25. roey wrote:

    I usually wait for someone else to find something and then ask them where they found it, or try to find it online, haha. I have ample patience when it comes to shopping in F21. It drives me nuts!! but I have found some good finds there. Too bad that skirt doesn't fit better, it's soo cute on you!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  26. Theresa wrote:

    You looks beautiful in the skirt! Must be a hassle though, if you have to keep adjusting it! Like Irene, I think f21 is overwhelming too; after 15 minutes in that store, I feel like I'm in a messy sea of garments! And you're right about the quality. The only things I purchased and kept from that store are the cotton tank tops (which last long), and a necklace whose metal changed color =/

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  27. Cute skirt. I mainly shop online at F21 because in store is usually too crazy busy for me or it looks like the store threw up clothes/fabric. I've been maintaining a Pinterest board of my hits & misses too so it helps to see what I buy. I tend to return a lot of pieces from them and scour the website… again for another great piece.

    I've actually had really good luck with their 100% polyester sleeveless blouses and may do a short blog post on them (always on the lookout for another with a similar cut in a different print). Since the running tab on my dry cleaning/alterations bill is over $600 this year it's nice to be able to launder my shirts at home and not worry that anything will happen to them. 🙂

    Conversely I hate anything made out of rayon by F21 as that is almost guaranteed to shrink and turn into baby clothes or indecent hemlines. I only got one wear out of some shorts and rompers that were rayon and now I shy away if I see that on the care tags.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  28. yeon wrote:

    no shopping at F21 unless i'm okay with "disposable" apparel, aka a trendy printed sundress for one season.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  29. BKLYNGIRL wrote:

    most of the quality at F21 is pretty awful, but I generally have some luck with things from the Love 21 line and some of the stuff from their premium denim line-it seems to run smaller than their regular jeans and is pretty true to size. I wouldn't call the styles "classic" but for my jobs in a design office and as a research assistant, trendy clothes are much more acceptable. However, I picked up this black unlined lace moto jacket in a size small at F21 about a month ago and had my tailor shorten and slim the sleeves- as well as take in a bit at the side seams. The material quality was pretty descent and the final product looks fantastic.;=2000033637&utm;_source=google&utm;_medium=base&utm;_campaign=product_feed
    I also have a black jersey maxidress with side cutouts that people swear is exactly like something from Halston Heritage- it needed a little work, but I've been wearing it out since Christmas and its held up very well.Sometimes you get lucky.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  30. Vivian wrote:

    I pretty much reserve Forever 21 for cheap finds that I know I'm going to ruin, like clubbing/bar dresses or basics. I'm surprised that you said that the colors on the skirt faded after you washed it, because it still seems really vibrant. That Hermes belt also looks good with everything, so jealous!


    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  31. You look beautiful!! And OMG, this skirt is beautiful.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  32. erin.marie wrote:

    Peplums are my favorite. I love the print of this one. very stylish outfit.


    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  33. Mary Ann wrote:

    Ooo, if you do a closet clean-out…post a blog sale! Would love to peruse…though I bet most of your stuff would be a tad small for me (though the tops might fit). Anyways, love the colors on the skirt, faded or not. 😉

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  34. Hi Jean, I really adore your belt and shoes, great items 🙂

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  35. i LOVE Forever 21… most of the time. I agree that the quality is hit or miss but I think I've figured out the quality and fit of certain items from trying so many (most of them are the same cut but just different print, colors, etc from season to season). I usually have the best luck with their dresses and get compliments on them all the time.

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  36. Eva Wu wrote:

    perfect! the peplum skirt is great!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  37. BEAUTY MD wrote:

    Cute! I just started a blog myself.. please visit!

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  38. Anonymous wrote:

    I always browse through F21 but I never end up purchasing anything. To this day, I own 1 necklace and 1 bow headband (I'm a sucker for bows) from that store because I've never seen an XS in store! Good to know I'm not missing out on too much haha. As for H&M;, I haven't had any of my items from there fall apart yet but for a while, it was my favourite store so I do own plenty of pieces from it. Will see how they hold up (:

    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  39. You look amazing. Love the peplum skirt on you.


    Posted 7.10.12 Reply
  40. Style Isle wrote:
    Posted 7.10.12 Reply

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