3 Must-Know Tips for Shopping Online at Forever 21

Forever 21 is the answer to so many of our fashion prayers: it’s cheap, has a great mix …


This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.

Shopping online at forever 21

Forever 21 is the answer to so many of our fashion prayers: it’s cheap, has a great mix of basic and trendy clothes, and you’re bound to find at least one cute item every time you shop there. However, sometimes going into the store can be mayhem- clothes strewn everywhere and long lines at every counter.

Thankfully, their online store has hundreds of items available at the click of a mouse. It’s a treasure trove of awesome- if you know the tricks to shopping there. Here are some essential tips on how to score at Forever 21’s online shop.

Shop Often:

Forever 21 New Arrivals

Most stores change their inventory every few months, and therefore their online stores are very similar day-to-day and week-to-week. But according to a Forever 21 sales girl I know, F21 stores go through 20% of their inventory every week! What does that have to do with online shopping? Well, essentially, Forever 21 has new items every day. I’ve seen especially cute skirts sell out in every size in two days!

How can you avoid missing out on a must-have item? Make sure to check the website every few days. If you do see something you like, make sure they have it in your size! Sometimes, an adorable shirt will show up on the ‘Tops’ page for weeks and weeks- and only one size will be left! Basically, if you see something you love, put it in your shopping bag ASAP, and if you still really want it a few hours later, then snap it up!

Pay Attention to Hemlines:

Short Hemlines at forever 21

Forever 21 has lots of adorable tops and tunics that the company masquerades as dresses, and vice versa. Many of these “dresses” are seriously short (or in the case of tops, WAY too long). Although I’m only 5’3″, I once ordered a dress that was 30 inches from the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the hem… and it barely covered my butt!

How to avoid too-short dresses and too-long tops? If you live close to a store, try on the dress/skirt in person to see how long it is on you. If you don’t live near a store, have a measuring tape handy so you can measure a favorite skirt/dress to see how long it is in comparison. Then pay attention to the measurements listed on the website carefully! It can be so disappointing to get an item you weren’t expecting, so make sure you know what you’re getting before you buy!

Combine Shipping with a Friend:

Forever 21 Shipping Rates

Shipping is almost always free at Forever 21 with a purchase of $75 or more. Although that’s a lot of money, it’s only about 4 items! That’s why after finding a few things I love, I combine the order with a friend or two. It drastically cuts down shipping costs, which run at $8.95 (or the cost of 1/2 a top) for a basket containing $50 (but less than $75) worth of items! You’ll definitely find at least one person who needs a new pair of yoga pants or a cute party top, so it’s worth it to combine and save on shipping!

Be Creative with Your Shipping Address:

Forever 21 Checkout form

For some reason, Forever 21 doesn’t recognize my address at school, even after I’ve toyed with it for hours. If this also happens to you, you have a few options. You could find a friend who lives off-campus and have your items delivered there. Or you could just be creative with your address! Last year, I found the magic formula for my particular building was:

My Name Here
456 Main Street
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

(Where #123 is my room number and 456 Main Street is the street my dorm building is on – not my real address for obvious reasons!) If that doesn’t work, try shipping it home or to a relative close by so you can get your new purchase ASAP!

Your thoughts?

What other tips do you have for shopping online at Forever 21? What have your experiences been with the store? Tell me in the comments!

34 thoughts on “3 Must-Know Tips for Shopping Online at Forever 21”

  1. This is so true! Especially the part “Shop Often”. There are many, many times posts on CF come up with a really cute top or bottom from Forever 21 and I go to buy it and it’s just not there anymore or it’s only in one size! So I definitely agree with checking up on websites like that every couple days because there’s ALWAYS something new on it.

  2. thanks for all this information. I’m on forever21.com so much that it comes up more than Facebook. Sadly, right now the website is having a technical glitch…eh

    BUT thanks for all the tips. I never realized you could ship with a friend. And I too toggled around with how to get them to ship to my college and it worked finally.

  3. Don’t try to look through each page or you’ll be searching for hours and it will feel overwhelming, look through the first couple pages and because it’s Forever 21, you’ll definately find something you want. My experiences with the store has been that shipping is very expensive like you mentioned in the article. I just ordered some faux nerd glasses that were approximately $5 and the shipping costed almost double the thing I was actually ordering!!

  4. I like your tip to keep a tape measure around, not just for length, but for their sizing chart! I’ve noticed some inconsistency in their sizing….I wear a large, but some of the tank tops don’t fit, while a dress will or vice versa.

    If you can’t try it on, always click for their measurement chart. Also, if you wear a large like me, you should check out the faith 21 line as well. The smallest size for that line has almost identical measurements as a L from the original line, and they sometimes have really cute items (I always look for items I want to fit a little looser, like flannel or oversized cardigans)

  5. I also love F21 and window shopping on their website is quite fun. But I was wondering if you had any advice for determining the quality of an item you are considering to buy. I realized that it’s impossible to really know unless you see it in person, but are their fabrics to stay away from?

  6. I agree with Shelby – Forever21 is very hit or miss with the quality of their items and that is my biggest deterrent for buying something online from them without seeing it in person first. But I’m always too busy to make it to the store! So any tips on how to determine quality for their online items? If Forever21 had customer review for their items, that would probably be helpful…. but I guess that’s not really practical if you say they have as high of a turnover as they do.

  7. i really cannot believe that this is a post on one of my favorite sites or that these rather obvious “tips” are all you came up with! i like to come to collegefashion for new/trendy ideas and shopping often at forever21 is hardly a new or trendy suggestion! as much as i love f21 sometimes and for some items, it’s hardly the best place to build a good wardrobe because along with the low low prices comes lowwwwww lowwwwww quality. i know must college students can’t afford to shell out a ton of cash on clothing all the time but buying lots of cheap, cheap-looking clothes really isn’t the answer.

    i don’t disagree with what you’ve said here, but i really don’t think it merited a post here because none of it was new information for the average f21 customer and it doesn’t actually do anything to help you shop the online store.

  8. Yes, I check the “new arrivals” almost daily since they ALWAYS get in new items. I hate it though when I see something I love and it’s gone a few days later!

  9. I love Forever21.com! However, like stated, I hate surprises with the hemlines!

    I’m 5’3” also so I’ve been shocked a couple times with what ends up shipping to me in the mail. I wish this was published sooner because I just bought new stuff Saturday! (although it hasn’t been marked shipped yet.. I have no patience and I’m going back to college Sunday! Crossing my fingers it gets here on time for once.)

    Thanks again!

  10. Hey guys! My advice when buying higher quality items from F21:

    -Don’t buy anything with sequins, beads, studs (even buttons) etc… Some of these ornaments come off after each wash, so after three washes, your top/dress/skirt will be unwearable

    -I’d avoid ruffles/anything “body conscious,” as these can look cheap if done incorrectly. Also, anything that looks shiny in pictures will look pretty cheap in-person (http://www.forever21.com/images/large/74043043-01.jpg1)

    -This may be a personal thing, but I try to not buy anything with a zipper. As many of you have stated, the sizing chart at F21 is really inconsistent. I have some items in my size that are too big (and they came with a zipper,) while I’ve bought some things in my size that are way too small! Furthermore, as F21 uses cheap zippers, even things that fit can be a pain to zip up!

    Fabrics: I usually buy rayon/cotton dresses, and I would definitely avoid polyester and faux leather, because those can look bad if used incorrectly

    I guess this is common sense, but if you really want to buy a basic ‘investment piece,’ then go somewhere else. F21 is especially great for ‘trendy’ items or items you might not be wearing in a year. I do have a pair of jeans from my junior year of HS (I’m currently a college sophomore) that I’ve washed countless times that isn’t falling apart yet..

    When it comes to hemlines [for dresses] (I’m 5’3, fyi):
    30 inches: tunic length/don’t wear this on a windy day
    32: mini length (short, good ‘party’ length, something that you can wear with tights to class)
    34-36: work/class appropriate, this either hits right above my knee when I’m standing, and I can pull it over my knees as I sit down.

    Ah this turned into something much longer than I’d thought but I hope it helps! I shop the most at F21, and I’ve usually been pretty lucky when it comes to my purchases, so I hope this will be useful to you guys!

  11. I love this, particularly your extra advice in the comment. I hope you do this with more stores, this is really helpful–buying online is such a gamble, and I agree, I’m particularly interested in advice such as which fabrics to avoid and such.

  12. anna–

    I too am a M-L at forever 21, closer to the M side depending on what type of item it is (M for bottoms, L for tops or dresses because I have a larger bust), and I’d say stick with the same sizes for wet seal.

  13. I like the article, but Iā€™d LOVE to see a follow-up with more tips! The combined shipping tip is the best one, but I think most people who shop online already try to do this. Something about the quality (as in the previous comments) and their (crazy) return policy would be appreciated.

  14. Forever21 is not for petite women. I’m 5’1 and 100 pounds and I hardly EVER can find a dress that fits properly from Forever21. They don’t carry many XS and sometimes even the XS is too big! My advice to those who are petite like me is to check out the girls department (and this goes for any store that sells kids clothes). That’s right…the CHILDREN’S department, and get the XL or the size that’s meant for 12-14 year old girls. It’s cheaper and fits much better, and a lot of clothes made for kids can also pass as women’s – basic styles and patterns. I’ve bought many basic dresses from the kids department in Forever21 and H&M. Just make sure it isn’t too juvenile looking!

  15. i treid putting my address into the address box thing but whenever i press check out it keeps telling me that the address i put in was incomplete.. what do i do?
    i live in appartments and i put my apartment # then my street then the city state and my zip code but if keeps telling me it’s incomplete!!

  16. I’m so annoyed, it says that it’s free shipping on up to $50 and I have $57 in my cart and it even has ‘free’ written when I look into my cart. Yet when I go to place my order it gives my the full shipping charge of $119. Why?

  17. Hi,
    Does anyone know how the sizing at Wetseal is compared to Forever21? I don’t have a Wetseal near me, but I’m a M-L in Forever21, so what size would I be in Wetseal terms? How about Alloy? Thanks!

  18. Random, but does anyone know if clothes from the Faith 21 come in Forever 21 or Faith 21 packaging if you order online? Normally F21 sends a bubble package thing with the logo stamped on it.

    Also, do you know if you can combine orders between the two sites?

  19. I also think Forever 21 deserves a shout-out for its great plus-size division, Faith 21. It’s only online right now, last I checked, but it’s got some really cute stuff. šŸ™‚

  20. There is this really awesome blog http://www.forever21report.com that used to do reviews and real life photos of f21 clothing on real girls.

    It was so cool and useful…. but they seem to have abandoned that blog šŸ™

    If we all leave comments on there, maybe they will come back! it was so helpful!

  21. If you leave near a store and shop there often you can order up to $75 (the free-shipping line) and return the things you don’t like or want for store credit.

  22. What amazes me is sometimes when I go out at night… it’s obvious that some girls are unable to distinguish the difference between a top and a dress that you’ve mentioned here. You know ladies… if you’re almost flashing your hoo-ha just by walking down the street, that should be a pretty good clue. =/ Anyway, good post. You touched on a peeve of mine. šŸ™‚

  23. BA CAREFUL at Forever21.com!!!
    My sister had her credit card info stolen from there, I think they’ve been having problems with that for a while!!! They had a notice up on their website for the longest time!

  24. Kate,

    I know 100% that you can combine orders for Faith 21 and Forever 21. They are the same site, just a different tab.

    About the packaging, not sure. I would guess they come in the basic F21 package, especially if they are combined. I couldn’t imagine they would spend the extra money to produce special shipping packages for an extension brand – but you never know!

    Hope it helps!

  25. If you leave near a store and shop there you can order up to $75 (the free-shipping line) and return the things you don’t like or want for store credit.

  26. @Samantha- I’m sorry you had such a poor experience with their customer service! I’m curious as to what happened- they’ve always been really pleasant with me!

    @Kate- You can combine baskets with Forever 21, Faith 21, Heritage 1981 and Twelve by Twelve, and they all come in the bubble wrap packaging.

  27. I like forever21. My only challenge is shipping outside to other countries. Also, a review of the items will be so useful.

    This because just like every affordable site, it is either a hit or miss.

    This are great tips though.


Leave a Comment