I’ve thought about this topic for a while now. Both stores have recently been erected in close proximity to my home. I’ve taken note that while most people have preferences about which stores they like to shop at, almost every female between the ages 15 and 40 will stop in both H&M and Forever 21. Whenever I see someone in either store below the 15 year-old end of the spectrum, I’m disturbed. But it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as seeing someone enter the store that is way beyond the 40 year-old range. Like, Talbots is just around the corner, yo. Regardless, they are popular stores and have become almost interchangeable.
Finding clothes that not only fit, but also compliment our body type is a life long struggle for most women. I have found that Forever 21’s sizes aren’t as accommodating as H&M’s are. H&M has, by far, a better selection of sizes ranging from XS-3XL and Maternity. Forever 21 recently (within the last couple of years) added a plus size section which also goes up to a 3XL. However, not all of their stores include the separated plus size department. So for the rest of the people that shop there, they must indeed have the bodies of 21 year-olds…forever.
For most people, quality isn’t an important factor in their shopping sessions. It is for me, but that’s only because I have standards. Forever 21 likes to sport material with no give, unfinished hems, and scratchy fabric. Jus’ sayin’. To be fair, you are paying a much cheaper price than most stores when you shop at Forever 21. Bad quality = good prices = happy high schoolers. For people with a little more ca$h money, I would suggest H&M only because their clothes are slightly more expensive. Rightfully so. Of course, they aren’t of the same quality of higher end brands by any means, but they definitely feel better and look better in general. H&M offers a large selection of work-appropriate pieces, and I for one think it’s important for your office clothes to look nice. Unless you don’t work in an office. Then throw on some overalls and get to work. (Obviously jobs either require skirts and blouses or overalls. No in between.)
Your eyes are probably rolling to the back of your head for this one. Really? Organization? Yes. If a store isn’t organized, I can’t feel comfortable shopping in it. During my high school years, I remember my local Forever 21 as a disaster zone. Like, it literally looked like a bomb went off in the store. Clothes were everywhere. If you found something you liked, good luck finding your size and good luck finding anyone to help you. Now of course with their growing popularity, Forever 21 has stepped up their game. However, their dressing room floors are still as filthy as they were the day that I turned 17. Dust everywhere. And only 5 items allowed in. WTF. H&M has clean dressing rooms and extremely flattering mirrors. And more importantly, their store is organized to a tee.
This is probably the only category that Forever 21 excels in. Their variety of clothing items and accessories is vast. They just pack a lot of clothes into that building. However, their styles are mostly appropriate for the younger generations. H&M kind of breaks up their store into different sections. Like, one section for the high schoolers (meanwhile these clothes could still be worn by older folks…but they just have a younger feel about them) and another section for the more “mature” fashion conscious group. I like how it’s set up and that everything isn’t all jumbled together.
Overall, I would come to the conclusion that Forever 21, though offering a grand selection of items and tempting prices, falls short of H&M by not producing better quality clothes, various sizes, and having messy stores.
Where do you shop?