Recently, Forever 21 closed on Glasgow Buchanan Street. Although I never really shopped there too often (maybe hardly anyone did, that’s why it’s closed) I still disliked the idea that now the only way to buy from the American store is online.
In my eyes, Forever 21 was just another version of H&M or a slightly more expensive New Look. Both are shops that I don’t mind but would really be more of a last resort for a dress, jeans or a new top. To give them their due, Forever 21 were very reasonably priced and I have previously bought a couple pairs of pyjamas, two jumpers, and a jacket from them. However, these were all because I couldn’t find what I was looking for anywhere else.
For starters, the shop was ridiculously big. Three large floors all connected by three large escalators. It was pretty amazing how much stock they had. By the time you got to the top floor it wasn’t unusual that you were there only one there, bar a few members of staff. Whenever I spoke to someone about the shop it was always, “Oh, it’s so hard to find anything in there. It’s too big.” And it was.
However, if you knew what you were looking for and had the time (and patience) to scour the three floors then you would probably like the store. The large amount of stock meant that they catered for a large amount of people. Along with a plus size range, sportswear, pyjamas (and I think maternity if memory serves me right) they were good at selling different styles. Whether it was edgy band tees versus cute print 12-year-old girl tees, or preppy skirts versus cool-girl baggy jeans, Forever 21 had it all. They also had the best pyjama range I’ve seen on the high-street as they were quirky, comfy, and pretty cheap. Think better quality than Primark but not quite as good as Topshop or Zara.
Yes, now they are gone I miss them. I had only been in a handful of times but I realise I took the store for granted. However, there is still the option to shop on their online website. And that brings me to something I have recently learned about myself… I don’t wanna shop online!
I don’t know if I’m just being old-fashioned or subconsciously think that what you buy will never be as good as the picture. There is just something about online shopping that I can’t stand. I think it’s different with websites such as Amazon, where as long as it says “New” then I’m down, as you can’t really go wrong with CDs and DVDs. But, if it’s clothes – just no!
I love the idea of going into a shop and seeing the clothes and trying them on. What if it’s made small or it’s too big and I could go down a size? What if it’s a weird colour? What if it’s a weird material? I feel that a few photos of a size 6 model in professional photographer lighting is probably not how the item of clothing is going to look on me.
In the back of my mind I also think about how often shop mannequin clothes are pulled and pinned back to look good from the front in the display but not from behind. A few years ago I bought a jacket from ASOS and it looked pretty fitted on the website but when it arrived it was so baggy and just hung from me. Maybe it’s that experience that has caused my hatred for online shopping?
To me, the fun is taken out of clothes shopping when you just jump on a website, credit card ready, clicking the buy button based on a few images. I have friends who buy clothes in a few different sizes in the hope that one will fit and they can send the others back. It’s sort of like going into a changing room except that you pay for all of the items first and then return some. That’s too complicated for me. I like to know what I’m buying and that it will be comfortable and fit properly.
I might just be stuck up and picky but I don’t want to take away the magic of walking into a clothing store, seeing what’s new, trying on anything I like, purchasing lovely little items I’ll have fallen in love with but probably won’t need, and then parading down the high-street with my 5p shopping bag. Is there anything wrong with that?
Online shopping is great. It’s practical, easy and a super lazy way to spend all of your money. But for me, clothes shopping is best left to the clothing stores!