I’m going to go ahead and give myself the title of The Best Forever 21 Shopper (ever) and dare anyone who knows me to challenge this self-proclamation. This is one of the most dangerous places for my clothing/accessories addiction; I can never walk in there without finding something  that I convince myself I absolutely need.

Typically I find shopping in Forever 21 in between retail seasons to be difficult. And, in typical fashion I found myself scoffing at long sleeve t-shirts folded next to denim shorts on a day where it reached 96 degrees in New York City. I did (also in typical fashion) find some amazing summer dresses (and more!) for the office, weekend galavants and occasional nighttime strolls.

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[/box] This floral dress ($29.50 at Forever 21 Stores) is great for summer time; the sweetheart neckline is always in style and the buttons up the dress are absolutely adorable. When its hot outside its always best to wear loose clothing; this dress combines that theory with a slight cinch at the waist, slimming at your narrowest while flaring out slightly to keep you cool. I found this quarter length burnt orange cropped jacket ($24.50 Forever 21 Stores) literally shoved on a rack in a corner; if you’re in the mood to pick you can truly find some hidden gems. A Forever 21 Tip: If its “one of a kind” on the rack, don’t hold so closely the sizes that appear on the tag. I’m usually a medium in just about everything but this jacket is actually a size small and fits fine. Accordion pleated skirts have been my go to recently- I just love a knee length pleated skirt with a pair of wedges. This black dress combines a low back trend (not pictured) with the accordion pleats at the bottom. Also the dress cinches the waist similar to a skirt. I paired this dress with the burnt orange jacket and a nude patent leather belt ($2.50 at Forever 21 Stores). The necklace is a Forever 21 find from the winter months- which I found later was a “knockoff” when I stumbled upon a similar one at Bloomingdales for quadruple the price. Can you believe this was only $19.80? It may be 100% polyester and lined with a too thick for summer slip, but the pattern and fit were too good to pass up. The dress itself came with a string belt of the same pattern, but I added the same nude patent leather belt to narrow the waist even more. The straps are adjustable which will come in handy for wearing it unbelted as well- bring the neckline down a little bit when wearing in the style of a potato sack (which, seriously, I love) to give it some shape and skin to balance out the loose fabric. Finally, no summer dress find would be complete this season without a cute white dress ($24.90 at Forever 21 Stores). This American Apparel knockoff (I have it in pink from last season) keeps with the lace trend for summer, the color white, and a flattering fit and length. I’m 5’6, with a reeeeally long torso and always have problems finding dresses of an acceptable length at Forever 21, but this piece is mid thigh on me. I paired it with the nude patent leather belt, the burnt orange blazer and I’m ready for Monday morning! [box border=”full”] Enter your email address below to get our latest fashion updates. [/box]

Written by Ryan
Ryan is a southern guy now living in New York City. From business to casual, his style covers a broad spectrum. He loves a great suit, but also appreciates the freedom of an un-tucked shirt and letting loose. Find him on Twitter at @RyanShell.