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Forever 21

Fashion Fads

Sometimes you have to wait at great lengths at Forever 21. Never go on a weekend when the lines to the dressing rooms and cash register drag twenty people deep. Your best bet is a Monday night when the lines are more manageable and the stress levels are in check. Logistics aside, Forever 21 has landed opposite of The Gap and in defiance of Sarah Jessica Parker's "Just Khaki" look. Here you will find three floors of in-style clothes that knock off every possible trend on the runway.

The first floor greets you with its soaring loft-like ceilings and cluster of chandeliers to showcase hundreds of styles and cuts. Here you will find your casual looks that include embroidered sandals, denim minis, camouflage wrap skirts, gypsy skirts and camisoles in every shade and pattern imaginable. The selection of the latter is astounding and ranges from white silks to peachy lace to pink paisley or floral prints. The best buy on First Floor is the metallic gold straw cowboy hat for $10.80.

Save your energy for the Second Floor. It sports looks that are athletic, beachy and sassy. After you pass the wall of lace thongs ($3.80 and up) you can find soft yellow corduroy minis, stark white Italia sport jackets, and crimson yoga pants with racer stripes. Along the balcony edge sits an array of tees with defiant slogans such as "I'm just not that into you" or "Plenty of Fish in the Sea." Your best buy on the Second Floor is a rainbow striped canvas bag with red braided handles for $14.80 and it beats any Chinatown red, white and blue plastic bag.

Alas on Third Floor, the disco or house beat that resonates on all the floors, gets you in gear for the night out. Here the Grecian theme definitely takes off in strapless, pleated baby doll dresses of pink, aqua, sea foam and lavender. In the back are endless versions of the little black dress. Or else opt for the tuxedo white pants and countless halter tops adorned with sequins and lace in every rainbow color imaginable. Your best buy is the striped tube top made of silver sequins and bunched black lace for $19.80.

Another thing about Forever 21 -- the inventory turns over constantly, much like fashion fads. Although the lasting power of some of these looks can be short-lived, the low prices feel good.