Friday, June 10, 2011

Forever 21 Wants Me to Die from the Horrible Stench of Their Clothes

Seems like bad smells will be the death of me this year.

After talking to folks at my local store and scouring teh interwebz for useful info and finding none, I'm here to see if anyone out there can solve this mystery for me: why do the clothes I order from Forever 21 smell like they were soaked in a vat of chemicals for approximately one month before being wrapped and sent to me?

My guess: because they are.

I know that clothing manufacturers treat clothes with chemicals (formaldehyde?) for various reasons, mainly to prevent mildew (if it's made of natural fibers and being shipped from far away, namely, Asia) and so they don't wrinkle and stay looking good. I habitually wash all new clothes before wearing them.

But man, the clothes from F21 beat everything - the smell is SO strong and terrible, unlike any I've smelled on any clothing, ever. I can't even identify it - petroleum? A pesticide? Acid? I have no clue. I've never noticed the smell in the stores, though I've read some blog posts where people have said they have. My problem is with the items I order online that arrive in plastic bags. I've had about three items arrive over the last year with this stench. This last order I placed last month contained one item (it's not even everything in the order) that's been by far the worst. It was sickening. I can't even describe what it felt like to touch that thing (the smell stayed on my hands for a few hours after touching it for a couple of minutes), much less smell it. Horror. Pure horror.

Oh, we should pause here. Because it just occurred to me that I should address something: why the hell am I buying clothes from Forever 21?!

Because some of their stuff is cute and cheap and trendy. And I'm a clotheswhore. That's pretty much it.

I should have returned it. Because oh yeah, I kept it. (What the hell is wrong with me?) I was going to return it, but the truth is, it's such a pretty shirt. That's dumb of me, right? To cling to the stinkerific shirt because it's so darn cute? I'm just so powerless in the face of cute cheap clothes...

But I did, I kept it. I devoted a whole 15 minutes to my dilemma - keep it or send it back - and was leaning toward "send it back," when my perverse, masochistic side kicked in, and I thought: I can beat this. I can find a way to get rid of this stench and enjoy my cute-ass sheer floral $17 shirt. I will conquer this poisonous smell and win!

I basically hung the shirt up and put it in the garage, far from human contact, to air out. Two weeks later, you can barely notice the smell! See? I'm winning! Forever 21 won't kill me yet!

Next up: a few dozen rounds in the washer.

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Posted by Tere @ 6/10/2011   | |


  • Anonymous Lea posted at 6/12/2011 2:42 PM  
    A while back, we plus-size women had a similar problem with jeans from Lane Bryant. I heard that washing the offending item with vinegar can help.
  • Blogger Aaron John Curtis posted at 6/13/2011 8:38 AM  
    I made the mistake once of biking to work in a new shirt that hadn't been washed. The stench was nearly unbearable, and I had to explain that it was not MY stench.

    Thankfully, there were some leftover promo t-shirts from our last Daniel Silva event. Otherwise, I would've been pig pen all day.
  • Blogger Blue Wit posted at 6/13/2011 5:20 PM  
    Decisions, decisions, DECISIONS. Aaargh. Lol.

    Stinkerific is the second-best word I've heard all week, btw.
  • Blogger The Crazy Suburban Mom posted at 6/15/2011 1:50 PM  
    You know first, you're right about everything and second I've seen a lot of clothes recently that say - wash before wearing supposedly so the dye doesnt come off but now that I'm reading this post I think its what youre talking about. Its not to was the dye off, but the toxic waste.

  • Anonymous Anonymous posted at 8/10/2011 10:44 AM  
    you should have returned it, they would have sent you the same extact one, or a return on the purchse.
    please support me and my auctions! sign up today!
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