Forever 21 & Other Stores You’re Too Old For

Since my parents were on vacation, I needed to step in and cart my sister around town. Joy! As I sat in the school’s parking lot, wondering what was taking her so long, I took notice of her classmates and this was confirmed:

Adults should not be wearing the same things as high schoolers.

Re: moms wearing their daughters clothes and age appropriate stores in general. I’m sure you’ve seen this before…a hot mom thinks just because she’s the same size as her teenage daughter, she should wear her clothes, or shop at the same stores. My intention here isn’t to bash these women, but more so to address a shopping identity problem. How do you select a retailer? You might shop from the boutiques on your favorite street, see an online ad that piques your interest or search the selections of your nearest mall. From what I have seen in my clients, people tend to be brand loyalists and it’s usually out of convenience. Think about it. It is much easier to continue buying underwear from Victoria Secret than to try messing around with sizes of a different brand. Foundation pieces aside, how do you know when it’s time to jump ship, cross over to the dark side, find a more ‘mature’ brand?

Saying good-bye to your old standbys usually happens gradually…and then snap! You’ve moved on completely. Let’s compare it to a job, for example. You’re starting to feel it isn’t you anymore. Sure, at one time it was a great fit. Then somewhere along the line, you begin to cringe before starting your work day (i.e. looking in your closet). You tell yourself you need a change (different clothes) so you start browsing around at other employers (stores). You’re not quite sure what you would like, but it gets to the point where you’ll try out anything to be somewhere else (paper bag dress & stilettos?).

A rule I like to follow is: if my high school sister and her friends shop there, I do not. It’s really as simple as that. Along with the frightening feeling of being a twin of someone who can’t yet drive, there comes a point where quality becomes more important. I know that the reason many women continue to shop at stores long past their time (hello, F21) is because of price. Getting older means spending more money on…well, everything. So wouldn’t it be great if you could continue buying tops for $18 and jeans for $30? Alas, that would mean that you are still wearing pieces that last only 3 washes and/or going to parties in which you know you will be doused accidentally, yet expectedly with vodka.

A couple of comments in response to Lena’s style wisdom: We would love to hear your thoughts too!

1- Besides too much makeup and wearing the same hairdo as you did in high school, few things make you look older than clothes that are too young for you.

2- I love Forever 21…and as a 37, almost 38 year old, I always feel a little guilty when I am in there. And then I remind myself that it’s FOREVER 21! If you are willing to dig through the racks and stacks there, you can find things that are age appropriate and classic in style. A lot of the clothing is very trendy, and regardless your age, not all trends work for everyone. I will continue to shop there but always with a discerning eye and sometimes ask myself, “Is this age appropriate?”. Usually, if you have to ask, it’s not.

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