Real talk: shopping at Forever 21’s Time Square location is like battling a fire-breathing dragon — it’s an exercise in futility. As we walk in and out of the cumbersome store (sometimes) with nothing but a headache, we can’t help but wonder: why did we even bother?
Despite the addled layout of the store’s seemingly infinite inventory, New York Times critical shopper Jon Caramanica found three friends willing to take on the mission of shopping at Forever 21. In the end, they realized the feat was not unlike “grocery shopping.”
The article is a must-read, and Carmanica’s observations on the store’s charm are so hilariously true it sent chills down our spine. But in the interest of being service-y, we’ve taken the liberty of highlighting our favorite parts here.
On the store’s overwhelming size:
This Forever 21, one of four in Manhattan, is big enough to lose a friend in and cry helplessly over it, as one young girl did on my first visit, soliciting help from an adult waiting in a fitting-room line, who looked irked to lose her place.
On the store’s sartorial sensibilities:
Eyeing her from the line was a young woman wearing cardboard-color ankle socks under black slip-on sneakers, a brilliant flash of orthopedic style, and the only genuine stroke of fashion I witnessed in both visits.
On the soundtrack:
Fleur put on a surprisingly elegant pendant with white feathers ($10.80) and absent-mindedly began walking around the store while overhead speakers quietly spit out songs by Vampire Weekend and Dirty Projectors — or perhaps, by Chinese and Vietnamese bands that sound almost the same but cost a lot less.
On prom dresses:
We made our way to the prom-wear section: rosettes, rosettes everywhere, even on the black one-shoulder jumpsuit on the mannequin, like formal wear for the gym. Of the Forever 21 subcultures, this was the worst, thoughtlessly thick fabrics draped by a curtain-maker.
I tried on a pair of saggy dust-colored jeggings ($26.90) that didn’t want to get on and, once on, didn’t want to get off: a literal interpretation of the sign that blared, “GET YOUR JEGGINGS ON.”