Over a year ago on Instagram, I started using my #whatididntbuy hashtag to share my thoughts on the real-life fit of pieces I tried on that I might not like for myself, or be able to afford at the moment, but someone else might love.  Many brands that offer plus sizes do so in only a handful of stores around the country, so not everyone has the opportunity to try before they buy.  Since then, I’ve gotten a ton of great feedback on the tag, with many women telling me they decided to buy or not to based on my #whatididntbuy pics.  I know not everyone is on IG (but if you are, follow me at @curvily), so I am adding it to the blog.  With direct links to the product, its now easier to shop, too!

Now on to this batch of pics from my latest trip to Forever 21 in Union Square:

The solid black midi dress (above) was a good length on my 5’4″ frame, hitting just below the knee, as midis are meant to.  The fabric is a bit thin, but it was only noticeable where it stretched across the chest, and with the right black undergarments, it could work.  For $16, it has the potential to be a versatile work to weekend piece – worn with a high neckline cardi at work, and with statement pumps for happy hour.

This “Matelassé” fabric is decidely more substantial than the stretch jersey on the midi dress, and it takes the peplum silhouette straight into fall and winter.  Flattering is not my ultimate goal when it comes to fashion, but this dress is undeniably so.  On the day I stopped in F21, I was wearing the end-of-laundry pair of undies – you know, that pair that doesn’t quite fit right and pinches in some spots and is loose in others, but you still keep around for those days when you just can’t bring yourself to go to the laundry room.  And this dress still looked good!  I’d say that’s a testament to its fit.  If you anticipate going to any holiday parties this year, snap this dress up ASAP.  The darker red is currently only available in stores, but the fire engine version online is a true statement maker.

The Matelassé Peplum Top is made from the same textured fabric as the peplum dress, but with a graphic cutout and mesh neckline detail.  I love it, and the only reason I didn’t purchase it on the spot was because I’d already exhausted my shopping budget for the week.  I’ll be back for it as soon as I get paid though, because I can see it worn so many ways: With dark skinny jeans and bright flats; with a fun graphic print pencil skirt; with a cropped blazer and skinny slacks for work, and more.  One way I would NOT wear it is with these Distressed Cropped Boyfriend Jeans (maybe this is a good place for a disclaimer: The clothing combinations in my What I Didn’t Buy posts are NOT outfit suggestions unless otherwise stated – I’m just trying on the interesting pieces that are available, which can lead to some strange combos, like this dressy top, deconstructed jeans and slip on sneaker deal.  Always look for actual styling suggestions here in the text!)  As for these jeans, I was not a fan.  Forever 21+ denim is typically pretty true to size for me, and these were too fitted for a boyfriend style in my usual size.  The distressing was also doing too much for my taste.  If you like them, they are available in four different washes here.

I have been loving rompers (or “playsuits” for my overseas readers) this summer, and this bright and cheerful paisley patterned option was just calling my name.  The price is definitely right, and the color palette is just as vibrant in person as online, but the fit was a bit too tight around the belly for me.  I think it would work with some light shape wear, but the idea of Spanx under a romper just sounds like a restroom nightmare waiting to happen!

Which #whatididntbuy piece from this trip is your favorite?  Would you like to see more of this feature?  Let me know below!