How Forever 21 Helped Me Mature

In my younger years, I enjoyed spending money I didn’t have even if it meant that I was no longer able to afford food, gas, etc., just so I could grab a cute pair of shoes. Tonight I realized that I’ve matured a lot in the last year or so. Here’s how I came to this conclusion: Saturday is New Year’s Eve. You’re probably aware of this. Originally Chris and I had big plans to go to New York City. We were going to spend $90 bucks on a cover charge to a bar/club, and we’d spend several hundred dollars to fill my SUV with gas on the way there and back. I was excited because we’d be seeing our friends though, so the financial costs were justified. Due to a series of events, those plans changed. At first I was bummed, but I’m realizing that financially this was probably a wise decision. I know that if these plans fell through a few years ago I probably would have been pouty in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve. Now I’m able to see it from a financial perspective and appreciate the money I’m saving. Is this maturity? I think so. And I like it.

Here’s another example of my newfound financial maturity: I’m a firm believer that a New Year’s Eve ensemble should be fun, festive, and make you feel great. To accomplish this, last year I spent $150 on a New Year’s Eve dress. I’ve worn the dress several times since then, but I decided this year I was not going to spend that much cash on an outfit. I’ve had a gift card to Forever 21 that my friend gave me for my birthday and I’ve been meaning to use it for forever (no pun intended). Now was the perfect opportunity. I elbowed girls out of my way (okay, maybe I’m not totally mature) as I sorted through racks and racks of sparkly tops and dresses. I wanted my outfit to be somewhere between “Yay! Festive!” and “I’m a human disco ball!” I finally found a great top. It didn’t make my heart sing when I first spotted it, but I realized that paired with a blazer and cute shoes/accessories it will be a great outfit. Here’s what the top looks like:

I like the color because it’s an interesting mix between a dark brown and black. The front of the shirt is sheer so I’d wear a tank top underneath it. If I were super bold I would wear a bandeau top underneath it and call it a day, but I’m not and I won’t. I’m making this a classy affair. The back is different from the front, which is also kind of fun. See:

This picture makes the shirt look more brown, but it’s definitely black. This will be a much more low-key ensemble than last year’s, but I really like it. It’s comfortable and fun and after I used the gift card it cost me four dollars. It was an all-around win. Forever 21=financial maturity and fun tops.

How do you approach your New Year’s Eve outfit? Do you like to splurge or save? Where will you be welcoming 2012?

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