400 Lux

I have a few items in my closet that are YEARS old but they remain on my Favorites List and this dress is one of them. I bought this treasure 7 years ago from Forever 21 during my freshman year at MSU (SPARTANS—GO GREEN!) for a formal event. I had ZERO cash (not much has changed) and needed to come up with something for less than 20 bucks (my last 20 bucks to be exact).

I scoured the racks of F21 for quite some time until I saw this dress in the “I didn’t want to buy this but I tried it on” mass. I fell in love with the purple and gold bohemian paisley and for $16.80 (I still remember the price because I was so stoked, ha), I was out the door with a huge smile on my face. Over the past 7 years, I have worn this dress to more formal parties, operas, elegant dinners, and weddings than I can count. I always get a ton of compliments on it and people are shocked when they find out I bought it at F21 because it looks much more expensive.

Personally, I think F21 gets a bad reputation (and it’s not just because I shop there all the time). I am not gonna lie, there is a  TON of really cheap shit that looks like it will fall apart with one wash, BUT there are also a lot of really cute, stylish clothes that take a little bit more time to find, but are well worth for the price. It’s dresses like these that go to show that if you spend the time hunting around, all you need is 20 bucks in your pocket to make you look like a million. Sending love n’ good vibes ❤ Maria

PS– Sorry you all have to witness my horrific tan lines. One unexpectedly sunny day without SPF later and I’m two-toned.

Dress- F21; Wristlet- Coach; Shoes- BCBGMaxazria from DSW; Bling- F21

Photography: Kristin Motschall