Unlike other shops which stock similar merchandise, the vibe is less pretentious, the clothes more affordable. I mean, I get that Topshop is all edgy and high-fashion and shit, but damn if I'll pay over $100 for a dress every. Single. Time.
Clothes in places like Topshop and River Island are also cut for people svelter than me, and I often spot a cute pair of trousers only to find out I either can't zip it over my hips or it gives me a serious case of builder's bottom (this means your line, Kate Moss).
Rather, I like F21's sizing concept of everything cotton-y and stretchable and just three sizes - small, medium and large. If you are a medium, chances are, everything in medium in the shop will fit you perfectly.
Also, the accessories rack is the shizz. Not for beloved F, the ratty "Freedom" line of Topshop with too-heavy earrings and over-priced bangles. The F21 at Somerset 313 stocks a seriously dangerous range of jewellery that makes me want to go mad like on Supermarket Spree, shoving every other beaded necklace and two-fingered ring into my basket. (I'm not kidding, if you look on youtube, there are entire videos devoted to the joys of F21 jewellery.)
I even brought my mother there and she went all starry-eyed with rapturous delight cooing "the colours! Oh, the lovely colours!". So I took advanatge of her melty state of bliss to trick her into buying me a new skirt and a dress.
I present exhibit A. I mean, that skirt was a little over $20.
Black tank - Uniqlo. Skirt - F21. Oxford heels - Paris.
Earrings - Bali. Quilted bag - Asos.com.
I wore the skirt for a night out because I just loved its swingy, flirty shape and the greek-y print on it. I also loved that the ties at the side came with bronze beads on them, something that in my mind seems very Mediterranean.
These were taken just outside a rooftop bar called Yin Yang, after which a bunch of hot young guys proceeded to get thoroughly, sloppily drunk. Good times.
These earrings, picked out by my mother in Bali, are also super cute, I think.
PS Just to clarify, I'm not actually anti-Topshop, I have loads of clothes from there, at least, the ones that will fit. I just wish sometimes they would give you a little less attitude and a little more bang for your buck.