In the days before my sister left for Europe we made an excursion to Forever 21, because she couldn’t bear the thought of living with shoe remorse for a year. Confession time: this was my first experience in a Forever 21. That’s right, I had never been in one of these stores before. Well, I may have passed through one once as an entrance to a mall, but I can’t be entirely sure. In any case, this was my first real experience with the retailer. It was sort of a shock in a funny way.
My first thought when I entered the store: It looks like Burda threw up in here, and not in a good way.
Oh yes, excepting the dirndls, they had all that I scoffed at in the latest Burdas: ugly mustard colors, unflattering chicken thigh pants, yeti vests, southwest printed capes, and crazy woolen sweaters that looked like they had been knitted by Grandma. The 70s love child dust ruffle dresses, sack shirts, and 80s jackets. Every single style choice I had called into question all for sale under one roof.
Upon inspecting the clothes I was also slightly appalled at how cheaply it was made. I mean, having just finished a wool and silk coat, I didn’t expect anything to measure up to my creation, but the coats in the store felt like they would disintegrate in the wash. I think in the times before I sewed I would have enjoyed shopping a bit more, but now I just shake my head and the quality.
After this experience I am left with several questions:
(1) Does Forever 21 follow the Burdas and stock the store based on their styling, knowing that hardly any Americans entering the store would know the secret behind their ability to set the trends?
(2) Does this mean I have no taste since apparently everything I have scoffed at from the Burda offerings is now stylish?
(3) Has my ability to sew ruined my ability to buy ready-made clothes? Not that I bought clothing much in the first place, but at this point the quality has turned me off from the point of even wanting to pick it off the rack.
Much to ponder, but I think I will stick to my plans of sewing a nice classic wool coat for myself. Much better than looking like a yeti.