If you remember anything about shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it’s probably a dimly lit store with an overwhelming cologne scent, blasting music and shirtless male models. Nowadays, the brand has moved far away from its previous image, which was proudly exclusionary.
After a full overhaul of its marketing strategy, expansion of size offerings for its clothing and more inclusive approach to model selection, Abercrombie & Fitch is officially cool again — and it’s certainly worth a consideration as you prep your fall wardrobe and holiday shopping list.
“We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends,” former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries famously said in 2006, according to CNN. “Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
The brand, which previously relied on sexualized advertising and refused to produce women’s clothing above a size large, has done a complete about-face since that time. (The Netflix documentary "Watch White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch" details the company’s former culture of racism and discrimination.)
After Jeffries left his post in 2014, the company decided to do away with the previous marketing strategy, a CNN article from the time reported. Fran Horowitz, Abercrombie’s new CEO, declared in 2016: “We are a positive, inclusive brand, with a nice sensibility, very different from what they encountered in the past.”
A scroll through Abercrombie & Fitch’s website today proves this to be true. The brightly designed website displays a fresh, modern clothing selection with its once-iconic moose logo nowhere to be found. More diverse (in size and ethnicity) models don clothing available in a wider size range, including a dedicated curve line (an additional 2 inches through the hip and thigh) for women’s jeans and pants. The offering of basics, loungewear and coats evokes the vibe of a sophisticated yet down-to-earth adult in their 20s or 30s.
The strategy paid off. In January, Abercombie reported that its women’s segment was on track to deliver its highest holiday sales period ever, and its men’s division was growing, too, according to CNN. The brand planned to open around 10 Abercrombie stores a year over the next three years, which would bring its total count close to the 285 stores it had a decade ago.
After sampling a variety of the brand’s new offerings, including the curve bottoms, we can confidently say Abercrombie’s new, more inclusive and modern slate of clothing is a worthy investment for your fall and winter wardrobe. The layering tops make great winter wardrobe workhorses, while the loungewear is cozy and well-made.
The slightly cropped cotton-polyester sweatshirt has a cozy, lived-in look thanks to its roomy silhouette. It can be zipped up or down to adjust for warmth, and it pairs perfectly with the matching sweatpants or any pair of leggings or jeans.
The relaxed fit of these warm-but-not-hot cotton-polyester fleece bottoms makes them perfect for lazy days around the house, running errands or cozy travel. The elastic high waist allows for added comfort.
The slim-fit mock-neck top, available in four neutral hues, makes for the perfect goes-with-anything layering staple. Wear the modal-blend item under your favorite crewneck sweater or on its own.
Available in 23 colors, the cotton-polyester hoodie comes in regular and tall lengths. It can be coordinated with the brand’s matching sweatpants or shorts or paired with jeans.
This elevated topper is made from a soft tweed fabric, which has timeless appeal. A gold button-up front, front pockets with button closures and a curved hem add interest.
The ultra-high-rise pants are made from a luxe vegan leather fabric, which elevates any outfit with its added sheen. Still, the relaxed silhouette (available in four length options) and stretch allow for a comfortable fit.
Made from suiting fabric with a baggy fit through the leg, these pants offer an on-trend look that can be dressed up or down. They’re made from a machine-washable polyester-viscose-elastane blend.
With a classic suiting fabric on one side and luxe nylon quilting fabric on the other side, this reversible bomber coat is two for the price of one. It features a cropped length, zip-up front and ribbed collar, waistband and cuffs.
Available in 10 colors and patterns, the wool-blend coat has a classic tailored fit. The luxe interior lining, front button closure, back vent and side pockets elevate the look even further.
For an easy layering staple, try this long-sleeve top (available in six neutral hues), which has a slim fit designed to be easily tucked into your jeans. It’s made from an ultra-soft, brushed jersey fabric that gives a casual seamless look.
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Talia Ergas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.