October Obsessions

October is the ultimate month of Fall; the leaves start to change, boots become an everyday staple, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. Call me basic, but October to December is the absolute best time of the year. The weather is finally mild enough where you can walk across campus with a hot chai in the morning without dying of heat, and I couldn’t be happier.

As you can probably tell, I’m a bit obsessed with boots. I style them into as many outfits as I can, whether it’s with a skirt or pair of jeans. Fall is perfect, because it’s an opportunity to wear them in a wide array of outfits and still be comfortable with the temperature. I can honestly say I’ve worn a pair nearly every day this month! When I was home a couple weeks ago, I traded in my old black riding boots for a pair of Cole Haan’s I scored at DSW for only $120 (origninal $330). I can assure you that they will be put to good use.

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Another part of Fall fashion I adore is coats. My love of coats definitely comes from my mom. I’ve never seen someone be so excited over coat shopping, and I think that has rubbed off on me. During the Fall, often times my favorite part of my outfit is simply just my coat. Fall coats are absolutely perfect, because the weather is manageable enough that the coats are still fashionable and keep you warm without having to look like a giant marshmallow in a parka.

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Lastly, I can finally wear dark nail polish without feeling out of place. I’ve always been drawn to dark colors and jewel tones over pastels and neons, whether it’s for clothing or nail polish. You’ll always see me wearing plums, maroons, and  golds (with the except of pink, of course), but OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark will forever be the best nail color.

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Method to the Madness: How to Shop Forever 21

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As a Forever 21 employee, I completely understand how shopping here can seem overwhelming. Don’t let it scare you away! There are tons of diamonds in the rough to be found. Lucky for you, I’ll share my tips for mastering how to shop at Forever 21.

1.Carefully pick a day/time to shop!

This is one of the keys to shopping success at Forever 21. Certain times are much calmer than others making is much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, Saturday at 2 o’clock is bustling with shoppers and it’s harder for the employees to keep up with folds, go backs, lines at the register, etc. If you must shop on the weekends, I highly recommend going right as the doors open at ten o’clock. The folds are perfect and everything is in the correct place. Week days are also a great time to shop. The store tends to be slightly less busy and more shopper friendly.

2.Do your research

If you’ve never been on the Forever 21 website, take a look! They’re always promoting new arrivals, style deals, and the latest trends. If you’re not one who likes to dig through racks, save a picture and bring it into the store. Chances are a sales associate will know exactly where that item is and can save you major shopping time. Surprisingly, there is a method to the madness of Forever 21. The stores are split into specific shops, each of which caters to a different style. Sometimes they’re categorized by themes or celebrity inspiration making it easier to know exactly where one piece of clothing would be located within the store.

3. Don’t be afraid to dig

You’ll be surprised at the gems you can find if you take the time to go through all the racks. Although it can be tedious, they’re so are many hidden items you’ll be grateful you found. I’ve found great blazers, skirts, vests, etc. all for under $20 while digging through the sale rack. If you go at a time with less foot traffic, it’s not too hard of a task. Also, take a look for the visual racks. These are the items that have just been shipped in today. You’ll be able to grab the latest styles before everyone else and not have to worry about your size being out of stock!

4. Use one of the shopping bags

Most Forever 21 stores offer large mesh bags for customers to carry their merchandise around the store. Sometimes they’re located on a rack or ask one of the sales associates. They make digging through the racks and carrying all your style finds much more manageable! Another way to lighten your load is as asking a sales associate to start a fitting room for you. You can start storing items in the fitting room, so you’re not lugging around ten items of clothing with you while you’re looking through the accessories.

5. Know the exchange policy!

When one of the sales associates asks if you’re familiar with the exchange policy, always let them refresh your memory. You’d be surprised at how many people think they know the exchange policy then are surprised when a sales associate explains it to them. It’ll save you a lot of time and effort to know it is exchange/store credit only.

6.Read the labels

People often complain that Forever 21 clothing isn’t durable or high enough quality.    At the end of the day, take it for what it is. It’s extremely important to be familiar with the fabrics so you know how to best care for the item to make it last as long as possible. Many items are labeled as hand wash only. Another way to preserve your Forever 21 clothes are to use the gentle cycle setting, wash them inside out, or hang dry versus using the machine.