MT#1: The Best Bargain Shopping Guide (Part 1)

This summer is the first time in my life where I have had to provide for myself. With an extremely tight financial situation, it seems like it would be so difficult to buy quality (and even designer) items and be fashionable without spending a large quantity of money. Yet, over the past couple of months, I have found some of the best ways to save a lot of money and still look fantastic! I think now I have mastered the art of bargain shopping! I figured it would be very appropriate to post my findings, tips, and opinions on my blog! The stores that I am going to be reviewing are Forever 21, Wet Seal, H&M, Ross, Marshalls, Kohls, local boutiques and consignment shops. Because I am going to be reviewing so many stores, I am going to break up the Bargain Shopping Guide into three parts. In this post, I am going to write about Forever 21, Wet Seal, and H&M! When I also get a chance, I am going to post images of what I bought from each store, so you can get a better idea of what I am talking about and what to look for.

3 stars – $ to $$ – Shop Forever 21 Online.

A lot of people choose to shop at Forever 21 and for good reason too. They have adorable, fashionable clothing and for dirt cheap! They offer a variety of styles of chic clothing for different people. Forever 21 has soft, feminine pieces in pastel colors and lace, but also studded and leather articles for those with a more edgy style. Forever 21 definitely has something for everyone. However, you have to search rigorously through the clothing. The store is usually a disaster with clothing mixed up everywhere. You also have to look at the material of the clothing. Some materials are not as durable and will not last very long. Also, some colors will fade rapidly. The clothes are priced cheaply for a reason and however, you can still find durable pieces if you need to take some time looking at the texture of the material. The same thing can be said about the jewelry. Sometimes the coloring of the metal jewelry will come off after a couple wears (like on this pretty ring I bought). But this doesn’t happen all the time! Just be conscious of that when you buy stuff! One great thing that a lot of people don’t know is that Forever 21 offers a lot of other collections within the company, even including a maternity line, a kids collection for girls and boys, men’s clothing, and plus sized collections. Unfortunately, these lines can only be found online.

At a Glance:

  • Cheap prices
  • Decent quality
  • Variety of styles
  • Disorganized store
  • Watch out for fragile fabrics and fading colors
  • Adorable tops, skirts, and dresses

Get the Most for Your Buck:

Be sure to check out the sale rounders. (They are usually towards the back by the dressing rooms.) You really have to look hard, but there are usually some good items tucked back behind the ugly floral peasant shirts and polk-dot sweaters that are all on clearance!

My Recent Buys: fake eye lashes, large ring, stud earrings

Spotlight: Love and Beauty Cat Eye Fashion Lashes

I have to rave about one product from Forever 21 that I am completely obsessed with— the Love and Beauty Cat Eye Fashion Lashes. They are incredibly cheap, $2.80, which is why I decided to buy then. They turned out to be the best fake lashes ever! They are made out of this peculiar nylon, plastic-y material that allows you to wear them multiple times and clean them! I’ve worn them probably 8 or 10 times already and they still look amazing! I went back to get more, but, of course, they didn’t have any. (I am pretty sure the company changed the packaging and they are the equivalent to these.) These are worth the couple of bucks! They are a fantastic, durable quality, and easy to put on!

1 star – $ to $$ – Shop Wet Seal Online.

Wet Seal has drawn in a lot of shoppers because their clothes are curiously similar to Forever 21’s and are also priced the same. Personally, I have never been a big fan of the store for several reasons. I find the quality of the clothing worse here than at Forever 21 and even more disorganized. Even though it looks like a tornado went through the store, there’s always a lack of merchandise. I can never find anything that I remotely like because there’s not that much to choose from! And when I do, it never fits because the sizes run so small! I would have to say though that the store is fun to browse through. I use it to get inspiration sometimes because the outfits they put together are cute.

At a Glance:

  • Cheap prices
  • Cheap quality
  • Sizes run small
  • Disorganized store
  • Lack of merchandise

Get the Most for Your Buck:

They have fantastic sales occasionally! So watch out for those! And they usually have their clearance rack, which is “buy one, get one for a penny.” (It would be a steal if I could find things I liked.)

My Recent Buys: scoop tank dress

Spotlight: Scoop Tank Dress

I can’t complain about Wet Seal too much though because they saved me around 30 bucks recently. I found this dress at Nordstrom that I loved. It was a blue striped scoop tank dress with cut knotted cutouts on the back. And it was $40. (Pictured below.) For Nordstrom, it wasn’t as pricey as other things. I put it on hold and decided to spend the day thinking about getting it. I stumbled into Wet Seal for fun and to my astonishment… I found the exact same dress at Nordstrom, but in green and for $10. I tried it on and it looked fantastic. So I got it! This is the only other thing that I have bought from there other than a t-shirt years ago that faded and shrunk badly after one wash. I was so excited that I saved money and got the same dress I wanted!

2 stars – $ to $$

H&M is chic store with an array of styles; it carries fashionable business clothing, flirty dresses and shirts, beachwear, and edgy clothing. Like Forever 21, the quality of their material is decent and the prices are cheap. I love their clothing and I want to buy more clothing there, but I find it frustrating most of the time because of their color palette. H&M’s clothing has a distinct look, which mostly comes from their choices of color; they have an extremely muted color range. Most of their clothes come in flesh pinks, dull grays, and musty purples. Even though the colors are beautiful, they do not flatter pale or ivory skin. Being a redhead, it’s only natural that I have porcelain skin. At H&M, I find so many items I like, but the colors wash me out. It’s disappointing to continually pull things from the rack and find that they aren’t flattering just because of the color. One of the coolest things about H&M though is the designers they have featured. They have promoted designs from Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Madonna, Roberto Cavalli, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo, and Sonia Rykiel.

At a Glance:

  • Cheap prices
  • Decent quality
  • Variety of styles
  • Clean store
  • Well-stocked
  • Muted color scheme
  • Colors fade
  • Wide selection of tops, dresses skirts, jewelry, accessories

Get the Most for Your Buck:

I just discovered the magic of their sales. As of right now, they are having a huge store-wide sale with items half price. I got a shirt for $9 and two pairs of sunglasses for $3 a piece!

My Recent Buys: white shirt with gold leopard print, white tank top, two pairs of sunglasses


One of my all time favorite dresses that I owned came from H&M. It was a light-weight black dress with a little embroidery detail at the bottom. I wore the dress all the time and sadly, the color faded badly until the black looked like a weird blue. The color faded probably because I loved the dress too much! And of course, I can’t find a picture of it because I got it a couple years ago.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: A Note from AE Author « Alexander's Eyes

  2. Pingback: The Best Bargain Shopping Guide (Part Two) « Alexander's Eyes

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