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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Forever 31 : A Dear John Letter to Forever 21 & Abercrombie & Fitch

To My Sweet Darlings,

Let me just start by saying that it’s not you. It’s me. I’ve changed. You haven’t. I don’t blame you necessarily. I am not sure how to put this into words but I will try as best I can. I’ve tried to hold on for as long as I could. But the truth is that my needs have changed and you haven’t changed with me. Sadly, as a result, I am no longer able to comfortably visit your shops greeting the happy young attractive well-groomed but funky staff only to try on clothes that are poorly made, fall unflatteringly to accentuate my ageing curves, sagging arms, tummy strained by childbirth and just plainly remind me of a time gone by.  

I quite literally need more, and that is something that you are unable to give me. I need more support, a more carefully cut pattern and lines that compliment, not to mention a more forgiving return policy and an alterations department.

Abercrombie, I am especially hurt by you. Most recently, I walked passed a new store opening where you had some early twenty-something bare-chested male models posing for pictures. Walking passed with my two girls just shy of turning 3 & 4, one of your models walked towards us, “Mam. Would you like a photo?”

“No thank you!” I politely responded trying to absorb the first time I’d ever been called “mam.” But I guess that to a young attractive 23 year-old, a 31 year-old pregnant woman with two kids, is pretty much ancient. Ah well.

That was the moment that I realized this break-up had to happen.

I will always have incredibly fond memories of you. I will forever remember the thrill of walking into Forever 21 when I was 14 years old with my mom and then continuing to into my late teens and twenties to buy “fashionable and cute” 7 dollar tops and 2 dollar belts to compliment tight black pants for Saturday nights out, week after week. I’ll never forget my favorite Abercrombie tees and the extra extra short brown corduroy shorts I so proudly rocked while at university and until recently, I still stashed in my ‘skinny’ drawer.  Being young and relatively poor wasn’t easy but you filled gaps and you brought me happiness and distraction. You made me happy then. But it is over now.

Goodbye for now. Well that’s until my children desire your clothes. And at that point I will become a mere bystander in the cyclical love affair that you will continue with the next generation of young gals.

With love, Gabriela aged 31

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