10556339_714549518599273_5260874842158624485_nfirstxforever-forever21-relaunch2firstxforever-forever21-relaunch4I never quite understood the fascination with staying 21. You’re barely legal in some places and are only really teetering on the brink of adulthood, probably still not garnering respect with a college-party frame of mind (see: #YOLO – or is that for an even younger demographic?) I just didn’t get why anyone would want to be forever 21 that is, until my friends started having babies and sending out wedding invites. True story.

So I guess being 21 has its perks like an excuse to try out trends with wanton abandon – most of which happen to be revealing some sort of body part (yes,crop tops I’m talking to you.) It also allows for experimenting with certain personas – schoolgirl, rocker chick, Coachella-regular without the judging eyes of both those below 21 and way past it. Not that I’m saying those over 21 can’t do these things, don’t get me wrong. I myself am regressing. But the older you get the more you’re seemingly expected to look regal. Blame it on society, not me.

I guess it is precisely why the store that allows anyone of any age to wear absolutely anything (and kind of embodies the whole staying 21 notion) has been welcomed with open arms. I’m kidding. It’s not because of that. Everyone shops at Forever 21 and loves Forever 21 because they have amazing finds at even more amazing prices. That they have a huge selection is really just a bonus. Now, while sartorially, 21 is an age I’m not sure everyone would want to be in, the store most definitely is.

Forever 21 first grazed Philippine shores four years ago and admittedly, I was feeling selfish and didn’t want to share a favorite with most of Manila. But after the pros defeated the cons (read: accessible favorites versus my weird only child logic), I found myself a store regular. The first store in Megamall was renovated recently and a #FirstxForever re-opening ensued.

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Backstage, I was lucky enough to have been made up by my favorite, MAC Cosmetics. Sat in Byron Velasquez’ chair and before I knew it I was transformed. We (well, he, mostly) patterned the look after the models’ who were showcasing the Pre-Fall collection. I absolutely loved my make-up – especially my vampiric lip. Now, if I was any good at taking selfies, you would’ve seen about 5. In succession. Lucky for you, I’m not.

Still, I paraded my newly done face at the show grounds where a styling contest ensued and after, the Pre-Fall collection showcase. Sweaters, plaids, breton stripes – the looks were styled with prep school undertones. After was pure chaos – each newly-renovated square foot occupied by a shopper hell-bent on snagging amazing deals.

Myself included. I was a little too preoccupied with the prospect of new clothes that my snaps were limited. But hey, that’s my cue to tell you to visit the store yourself, check out the new look, new items and be tempted by each displayed piece.

Good luck. You’ll need it. Happy shopping!

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 Win 3,000 worth of Forever 21 GCs here.