Can You Guess If These Styles Are From Forever 21 or H&M?

SHOPPING

Alex Wittman

6 Min Quiz

Image: Forever 21 / H&M / Forever 21

About This Quiz

How well do you know your fast fashion? You may think you know your trendy mass-market retailers, but this quiz is harder than squeezing into a bodycon dress. YKTV. We want to see how many of these styles you can correctly identify. Tell us: Are these lewks from Forever 21 or H&M?

Okay, it needs to be said: fast fashion isn't awesome for the environment. Everyone has pretty much agreed on that. But we'd be lying if we didn't admit to having a few things in our closet from Forever 21 and H&M. After all, where do you think we acquired our extensive collection of graphic tees? All our cropped jackets didn't just magically appear out of thin air! What can we say? We have designer taste but an outlet-mall budget.

The news that Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy has a us feeling for real nostalgic. So, we're inviting you to take a not-so-sustainable walk down memory lane with us. From scarves and belts to jeans and sweaters, we're challenging your knowledge of all things cute, trendy and cheap. Can you guess if these styles are from Forever 21 or H&M? Don't forget to pass this quiz along to your fashionista friends!



That's some next-level coziness. Can you guess where this style is from?

Yuh, this lewk has Forever 21 written all over it. The American fast-fashion retailer is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. We shopped there long before we were 21 years old, and if we're being honest, long after as well.

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Oh yes, all the boho vibes. Can you name the store that dropped this style?

We could tell this was H&M from, like, a mile off. H&M stands from Hennes & Mauritz AB. It's actually a Swedish company — or, at least, that's how it started out. Now, H&M is big global.

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Matching sets are such a mood. Which retailer is responsible for this lewk?

Around the world, fashionistas know Forever 21 for its trendy pieces at cheap-AF prices. But, what about this retail giant's beginnings? In 1984, Forever 21 got its start as a little store called Fashion 21.

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Funky layers for days.Can you name the brand that gave us these fashions?

When Forever 21 opened its OG location under the name Fashion 21, the store was just 900 square feet. Today, the average store size is over 38,000 square feet. That's a lot of clothes to keep folded!

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Neutrals are classic. Can you guess where this style is from?

While some fast-fashion retailers focus only on women's clothes, H&M markets to women, men, teenagers and children. Seriously, there's something for everyone at H&M! You can buy clothes for the whole family.

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When in doubt, add a belt. Which brand gave us this lewk?

Forever 21 has all your fashion needs covered — including accessories. Since opening in 1984, Forever 21 has expanded its brands with clothing lines like XXI Forever, Love 21 and Heritage.

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This model looks winter-ready in that fluffy number. Which retailer did these clothes come from?

At H&M, snugly threads are a priority. With stores in more than 60 countries, we're curious if this jacket was available in places with a warm climate. FWIW, fashion is fashion regardless of the temperature.

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Bold colors for bold fashionistas. Can you guess where this style is from?

H&M has been creating bold lewks like this one since 1947. Yuh, you read that year right: 1947! Errling Persson founded the company and opened the very first store in Västerås, Sweden.

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Look fresh to death while sipping your coffee. Can you guess which retailer these threads came from?

In its early days, H&M focused primarily on women's clothing. In fact, the first store was just called Hennes, which is Swedish for "hers." It wasn't until 1968 that the letter "M" joined the party with the acquisition of a menswear retailer called Maurtiz Widforss.

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A giant scarf is always appropriate. Who gave us this fresh lewk?

We have a soft spot in our hearts for big scarves. Like, if it can't double as a blanket, we're not interested. Forever 21 took the scarf trend and ran with it. The retailer produced them in pretty much every print, pattern and color you can imagine.

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Ugh, our school dress code forbid tube tops. Can you guess where this style is from?

The '90s are back, baby! Or, at least, they were at Forever 21. For better or for worse, the retailer released a slew of tube tops and bike shorts to mimic the looks coming down the runway. Since some say trends are cyclical, maybe fast-fashion retailers should keep all their excess product to put back on the racks 10 years from now.

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Show off your shoulders! Can you name the store that dropped this style?

As cute as its off-the-shoulder tops are, Forever 21 hasn't existed without controversy. From labor practice issues to copyright infringement, the fast-fashion retailer is no stranger to making headlines for not-so-good news.

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Slay, even in the rain. Which retailer is responsible for this lewk?

H&M wouldn't want you to get your cute clothes wet, so of course, the retailer sells umbrellas too. Tbh, it's hard to think of something we can't buy at H&M. It seems to have absolutely everything! In 2008, H&M even started selling home furnishings.

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Yaas, living for this office style. Can you name the brand that gave us these fashions?

Since the last century, H&M has been helping people look professional on a budget. In 1974, the company was listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (try saying that five times fast).

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The bigger the hat the better. Can you guess where this style is from?

We've put together many a vacation lewk with the help of Forever 21. But, so far, we haven't had the chance to take a trip to the country where Forever 21 founders Do Won Chang and Jin Sook Chang were born: South Korea.

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Huh, her knees must not get cold. Which brand gave us this lewk?

The holes in jeans have gotten steadily bigger since Forever 21's first year of operation in which the company earned just $700,000. By 2013, the more than 480 Forever 21 stores brought in an impressive $3.8 billion.

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Trench coat love. Can you name the store that dropped this style?

We love H&M for trendy yet affordable outwear. It might not keep us warm as say a North Face parka, but the brand's sleek designs are a whole lot more flattering. In this trench coat, we'd look right at home in London where the first H&M store outside Scandinavia opened in 1976.

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Adorable floral! Can you guess where this style is from?

Hopefully, someone sent flowers to Forever 21 after the company filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2019. The company announced it would be closing 178 of its U.S. stores.

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Here for all the denim. Which brand gave us this lewk?

Now, this a lewk 2000's Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake would be proud of. Even before the pop stars donned denim on the red carpet, H&M was selling its products online. That was way back in 1998!

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This lewk would be right at home on the set of "Clueless." Can you guess where this style is from?

Not even matching sets could save Forever 21. After the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection, it announced the company would close most of its stores in Europe and Asia. Yikes!

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True friendship is rocking the same color palette. Which retailer did these clothes come from?

H&M sells its clothes (neutral and otherwise) in just about every corner of the globe. In 2013, the retailer opened its 3,000th store in Chengdu, China. We hope people there like basics because H&M has a lot of them!

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We still love a good cross-body bag. Which retailer is responsible for this lewk?

When it first opened, Forever 21's marketing strategy was to target the Los Angeles Korean American community. Many of the retailer's early designs were similar to those seen in South Korea.

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We can't even with these '90s vibes! Can you guess where this style is from?

When it started out, Forever 21 only sold women's clothes. But, scared to miss out on 50% of shoppers, the retailer later expanded to sell menswear. However, women's fashions are still Forever 21's primary focus.

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You know, the perfect clothes for when you're casually BMX-ing with your BFFs. Can you name the brand that gave us these fashions?

For the most part, no friend group is made up of girls or women that all wear the same size. Fortunately, everyone can shop together at Forever 21 since the retailer also offers plus size clothing.

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OMG, we almost forget about argyle. Can you guess where this style is from?

We're not sure how Karl Lagerfeld felt about gaudy prints like argyle. In 2004, the famous fashion designer collaborated on an exclusive collection for H&M. It was sold in selected company stores.

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We bought so many vacay outfits from this retailer. Which brand gave us this lewk?

As much as we love Forever 21 for being cute and cheap, it wouldn't be right not to mention some of the lawsuits the retailer has been involved in. According to Forbes, Forever 21 has had a mind-blowing 50 copyright violation lawsuits brought against it.

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Buttons are beautiful! Which retailer did these clothes come from?

In our humble opinions, buttons are a thing of beauty and H&M agrees. Young designers of the same mind have a shot at the H&M Design Award, which is an annual design prize for fashion graduates.

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Prints and patterns FTW. Can you name the store that dropped this style?

Yuh, we knew this was Forever 21 the second we looked at it. Imagine threads like these filling up the largest Forever 21 store which is approximately 162,000 square feet. All those patterns would make us dizzy!

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Lol, plz tell us that chain comes with the pants. Which brand gave us this lewk?

Forever 21 is on a mission to make sure you never lose your pants. Just kidding! The retailer's vice president of merchandising said a key part of Forever 21's mission is to "empower customers to be confident with the bodies they have."

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Tbh, we're not really sure if that's a cape or a coat. Can you guess where this style is from?

Apparently, coats that doubled as capes were a good business back in 2016 because Forever 21 was the fifth-largest specialty retailer in the United States. We're guessing that changed in the years since considering the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

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Grungy chic tho. Which retailer did these clothes come from?

H&M really knows a thing or two about street style. It's really no wonder the retailer is one of the leaders in the fast-fashion industry. The H&M team sees something on the runway and gets it ready for the racks in next to no time.

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We need more yellow in our wardrobes. Can you guess where this style is from?

Yes, that's Forever 21! The retailer kind of has a thing for yellow. It even extends to their recognizable shopping bags. Have you ever noticed the Christian Bible verse printed near the bottom? The verse John 3:16 is a nod to the founders' religious beliefs.

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All black everything. Can you name the brand that gave us these fashions?

When in doubt, wear black. Amirite? H&M sure thinks so! Even though the retailer got its start in Sweden, the United States is home to the most stores. There are a whopping 543 H&Ms in the USA.

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Nothing bad about plaid. Which retailer is responsible for this lewk?

Leading up to Forever 21's September 2019 bankruptcy protection filing, women's fast fashion was a booming business. In 2016, Forbes reported Forever 21's founders had a net worth of $4.4 billion.

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Stripes for every season. Which retailer did this outfit come from?

From stripes to polka dots and everything in between, you can find people rocking H&M's fashions all over the world. There are stores in as far-flung locations as Cyprus, Macau and Tasmania.

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Jeans are always a good idea. Which brand gave us this lewk?

Perhaps one of the stranger retail traditions, every time a new H&M store location opens, employees perform a choreographed dance for the press. A DJ makes it a little less weird, but no cap, it's still weird.

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Sunglasses complete every lewk. Which retailer did these clothes come from?

So, just how fast is fast fashion? Well, H&M can introduce a new product to stores in just two weeks. Wow, no wonder it seems like everything is brand new each time we set foot in H&M!

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Don't be afraid to mix and match. Can you guess where this style is from?

You don't have to be 21 years old to shop at Forever 21. That's a relief! According to the retailer's website, its clothes are for "anyone who wants to be trendy, fresh and young in spirit."

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All the accessories. Which retailer is responsible for this lewk?

H&M doesn't want to be just another fast-fashion retailer. The brand wants to be part of the solution and do its part to save the planet. In 2013, the company started a garment collecting initiative to help reduce waste. Got old clothes? No matter the brand, you can drop them off at H&M to be recycled.

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Big leopard-print stans right here! Can you guess where this style is from?

Like its fellow fast-fashion retailers, H&M has had its fair share of negative press. In 2016, reports surfaced that H&M suppliers in Cambodia and Bangladesh were operating factories with sweat-shop like conditions.

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