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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Column: Forever 21 done right

Since its University Mall debut at the beginning of the month, Forever 21 has quickly become a Davis hot spot: Many have walked through its huge shiny doors in hopes of finding stylish new additions to their wardrobe. Three years ago – when a less fabulous first-year Mario lived in Cuarto and bought stuff from the old Gottschalks – a tapioca milk tea from The Old Teahouse was the hottest accessory a U-Mall patron could sport. Now, Forever 21’s infamous yellow plastic bags are all the rage and hang from the wrist of every satisfied customer.

On the day it opened its doors, the line to get into the store extended past Trader Joe’s and looped onto Sycamore Lane. The new store was a big, shining glass of water – just the quencher for the utterly dry fashion scene in Davis. And people were thirsty.

Personally, I hate to love Forever 21. For one, I love the convenience; I’ve visited at least once a week since it opened. My last few paychecks have secured me many cute necklaces and pendants complete with beads, lots of chains and feathers. I love feathers this season.

The store is jaw-droppingly enormous – I couldn’t keep my mouth closed at the sight of something so huge. My suggestion: take a shopping buddy or responsible adult along with you to avoid getting lost. Spacious and open, the never-ending store is not like every other Forever 21 where mild bouts of claustrophobia are just waiting to strike around every corner – this one’s really organized and clutter-free. If you haven’t had the chance yet, go see for yourself. Size really does matter.

But here’s what I hate about the Forever 21 in Davis: The clothes are all over the city! Think about it: Thousands of girls flocking to the one new store with the prettiest, most affordable clothes? Chances are you’ll run into your clothes on someone else.

Just the other day, I was strutting into the CoHo, very confident with how I looked in my newly purchased scarf, when I was bitch-slapped across the moneymaker with fashion’s toughest low blow – the same scarf wrapped around the neck of a different fashionista. Naturally, I tore that piece of crap right off and it now serves as a chic little lampshade. It was only $4.80 anyway.

The chain’s notoriously low prices make it really easy to get carried away in there. Ever cringe while handing your plastic little debit card over to the cashier? Yeah, I grew immune to that feeling a while ago – I revel so much in the low price of every individual item that I tend to forget how adding works. But just because things are inexpensive doesn’t mean you’re supposed to buy an entire wardrobe worth of garments. Never should an outfit be entirely comprised of just pieces from Forever 21 – that’s too much tawdry for one ensemble.

That said, I’d like to impart some of my finest advice: Forever 21 isn’t a glass of milk, so don’t dunk your wardrobe in it. Instead, treat Forever 21 like sprinkles added to a sundae – don’t over-do it, use just a pinch and sprinkle some pieces into your closet.

So if you’re planning a trip (or another trip, like I am) I advise to keep your focus narrow and your wallet happy by sticking to some of these versatile, bold and trendy pieces for spring.

Minimalist pieces

      Less is more this season, and a wardrobe make-under may be just what you need for a cooler, more confident you in the spring. Think clean lines, simple silhouettes and white – white is all the rage and Pretty tunics start at about $6.50 in the store and can be great cinched at the waist with a woven belt.

Gold fingers, wrists and necks

      Make a statement this spring with big, clunky gold jewelry. Whether you’re off for a night of clubbing or just feel like looking extra special around campus, pieces of gold in your ensemble add the perfect shine to your silhouette. Take advantage of the big jewelry section in the store – it’s a trove of low-priced bangles, chains and oversized rings that are crucial to spring.

Feathers

      You can love or hate her music, but you have Ke$ha to thank for introducing this avian-inspired trend that is now taking the runways – and Forever 21 – by storm. They come in every color imaginable and can add the perfect layer of spunk and edgy glam. My favorite type is the peacock feather, and if you catch me around campus, you’re bound to notice my new favorite headband with a stream of peacock feathers cascading from behind my ear down the left side of my neck. They look beautiful in the springtime sun. 

MARIO LUGO hates the limitations of word count – I can talk your ear off about fashion and I make the perfect shopping buddy. Get at me at mlugo@ucdavis.edu so we can do Forever 21 the right way. Don’t let bad fashion choices happen to you.

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