H&M vs. Forever 21: A Study

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.forever211


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


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? 


31 thoughts on “H&M vs. Forever 21: A Study

  1. Sometimes Tals- LOL! Chicos cracks me up but I’m not gonna lie, buying a size 2 from their weird sizing scheme is awesome. I always like J Crew, Bananna Republic and the Gap. Like you don’t already know.

    • Lol Tals and Chics are cool in that they make people feel skins. But yeah JCrew, Banana and Gap are the best because they aren’t TOO expensive, but they have good qual.

  2. unfetteredbs says:

    Forever 21 is my living nightmare. I get a headache just thinking about it. But my teeny bopper digs the store so I endure. Well not really, I stand outside the store and wait. At least she can shop in peace.

    Coolio new look. Looks good.

    • Haha! Teeny boppers are perfect for Forever 21’s clothes. They have the body type that would actually work with what they offer. That’s nice that you tried to endure the chaos that is that store. Good mom! But yeah I think you made a wise decision by standing outside.

      Thanks girlfriend!

  3. KMart is where I shop because it’s the only place within walking distance.

    One time I gave a girl bad directions to an H&M. I feel Forever 21 owes me some type of compensation.

    Do you shop at those thrift shop things ever or do you refuse to wear clothes girls died in?

    • I can’t believe KMart is still a thing.
      Giving people bad directions is my specialty. Forever 21 is just the worst. However, I managed to find a couple items from there recently so I can’t hate on them too much.
      I can’t shop in thrift stores simply because I don’t like looking through racks. I don’t like TJMaxx for that same reason basically.

  4. This post was very educational and I feel that I can now identify with a small part of female US culture.

    I remember quite liking Banana Republic when I was over there, although French Connection was annoying as it is over here.

    T-shirts with “FCUK This” were faintly amusing when they first appeared in 1998 but it got a bit daft and rubbish soon afterwards.

    • I’m glad you liked this post Michael! I’m honored that you took the time to read such a girly post. But yes, now you can relate to females much better and quiz them about which stores they prefer.
      Banana Republic is a quality store. You have good taste! French Connection is nicer in England than it is in the states, I feel. The whole FCUK thing totally lost it’s appeal after a couple years. You’re so right!

  5. Forever 21 is seriously for kids. I can’t even think about stepping into it unless my best friend wants to. I think that was the one and only time I did go there. For me, I’m more a Dynamite girl. I think 60% of my clothes is from there. The other stuff is random places like Blue Notes, Smart Set, a few things from Walmart, some clothes of Hong Kong shopping, oh and Esprit when it still existed in Canada. Haha!

  6. I shop wherever I can get Levis that fit.
    And extra points to the store that has a good (and affordable) selection of hideously glorious Hawaiian shirts.

    After reading this post, I feel like I’ve been eavesdropping. Or spying.

    • Do you wear any Tommy Bahama shirts? I feel like he does the Hawaiian thing a lot, but maybe more toned down than the ones that you typically wear! If we ever did a blog meetup, I would be able to spot you from a mile away, I’m sure!

  7. Agreed! H&M is the clear winner.
    Although with pricing, sometimes more expensive things end up being cheap. Saw a $100+ shirt that was SO thin, so flimsy and see through…tsk tsk with that price tag!

    • $100 for a t-shirt is so ridiculous! Yeah I totally agree with you about H&M..sometime s they can get a little pricey. Why is life so tough!? 😉

  8. H&M for sure! Forever 21 is a recent phenomenon here, only to be found in the bigger cities, perhaps even just one. But the quality of the clothes seems so awful…! I don’t think I could stand wearing them an entire day. You do see a lot of young girls walking around with a F 21 bag.
    I’m sticking with the good old Swedish H&M with stunningly great quality clothes (for that price!). Up here we had a very, very chaotic H&M for way too long. Now he’s way cleaner, neat, but the clothes started to suck :(.

    • I agree with you! Forever 21 is extremely cheap and it shows in the clothing quality. A lot of people do shop there, but I feel like the crowd for that store is becoming younger and younger.
      I think most people prefer H&M because the prices are decent and the clothes are nice.That stinks that your H&M’s clothes started to suck. Maybe when they get some new clothing shipments in, the selection will be better. Here’s to hoping!

  9. Pingback: H&M | Maha Ezine

  10. Jasmine Singh says:

    I am a student at The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada and I was wondering if I could use the images on your blog for my report.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Jasmine.
      You can use these pictures as they are not mine to begin with. I think I got them off of google, so I’m not sure what the procedure is for crediting them.


Comments are great, eh?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s