WIT :: a Dear John letter

Dear Forever 21,

I think it’s time we saw other people.

I know, I know, you have been loyal and true to the end. You always provided the best deals, the fastest shipping, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find another skinny jean that fits me better for $10 anywhere but from you.

It’s not you; it’s me.

Lately, I’ve noticed that your offerings have skewed far away from my body type and my advancing age. I know you’re only trying to keep up with the trends and be current, but 14-inch bodycon skirts just aren’t doing it for me, no matter how much I love my legs. And cropped tops? Um, no thank you. No one needs to see my unsightly stretch marks, even if they are a badge of mommyhood.

I’d been thinking about this for some time. Whenever the Daily Dose of New Arrivals appears in my inbox, I have been immediately sending it to my trash without even clicking. And when I go on Mad Hunts, I’ve found myself leaning more toward thredUp, Target and eBay instead of you.

I think the nail in the coffin had to be my last purchase, however. It was your 50% Off Sale Items sale, usually a time for great rejoicing in this non-Nordstrom Anniversary Sale affording heart of mine. I browsed your pages into the wee hours of dawn and eventually settled on six items, all for the low, low total price of $52.25.

What a steal!

And the package came promptly four days later. I tore that yellow bag open as if it was a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and I was on a time-of-the-month feeding binge. Ten minutes later, though, I was left bereft.

Of the six items, only three passed muster. The other three were sad disappointments. That may sound like pretty good odds – 50/50 – but when I invest one fifth of my monthly budget on you and all of them are Final Sale items and therefore non-returnable, then the odds don’t look so choice.

The sad thing is that I still really admire your aesthetic, barring the short skirts and cropped tops, of course. I would wear the three items that didn’t work in a heartbeat. If they fit. But they didn’t. And I don’t know if they’re worth a trip to my master tailor.

Speaking of my tailor, that’s another reason we may not be right for each other anymore, F21. I find myself calling her more and more to alter your items and that just subtracts even more from my budget. I used to tell my daughter that I will be “forever 21” which is how I can still shop your wares, but maybe it’s time to admit that we’re just not good for each other anymore.

So, I really think we need to break up, Forever 21. If you need to have reasons, please see the following exhibits:



Exhibit A – Love the apron pockets, the cutout bodice and the colorful print. But the Large was too small, pulling across my boobage in an unsightly, ill-fitting way. I may end up cutting the top off and just rocking it as a skirt, but that’s gonna cost me, isn’t it? And I’d lose that fun cutout detail.


Exhibit B – Is it a dress? Yep. Does it fit more like a tunic on me? Yep. I could wear it as such, but it’s that awkward length where you’d know it was originally a dress. An easy fix – perhaps a run through the dryer? – but the print and cut and material don’t lend this to being a tunic in the first place. And I’d have to belt it and I don’t do belts.


Exhibit C – I should’ve known better. It already looked slim fitting on the very waif-like model, but I was seduced by the shift cut and modster vibe. This dress is not only too short, but will require much Spanx-ing and sucking in to make it look even vaguely Twiggy-esque. And fuggedabout washing it. I may just re-gift this to someone come Christmas.


I am still planning on rocking the other three items below. I will think fondly of you when I do. But I think I am now going to unsubscribe to your emails and block future notices from you so you can no longer tempt me.


Thanks for a great run, F21, but I think you’ll be much happier with a younger, taller, waifier crowd. This curvaceous, Rubinesque woman of a certain age will have to go elsewhere for her fast fashion fix.

Tagged ,

11 thoughts on “WIT :: a Dear John letter

  1. […] in point #1: the dress. Purchased last August and part of my Forever 21 crisis, it had been in a sack ready to be donated since that day and I’d honestly forgotten about […]

  2. I just love the creativity with which you write your posts! Your blog always makes for an interesting read 🙂

  3. Loved this! I actually broke up with F21 years ago when I realized that I was way, way, way too tall to wear anything they offered as anything other than a skirt.

  4. jenortega says:

    Great piece of writing. A humorous Dear John letter would be a great writing assignment for your students!

  5. I agree with Patti – the first dress would be a cute skirt. Could the second dress be cut shorter to become a blouse?

  6. Patti says:

    Sadly, I broke up with them too. Although their cheap, cheerful jewelry still pulls me in. These dresses look so cute – I think re-working as a skirt might be fab. xox

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