Why Abercrombie Is My Favorite Place To Shop As A Mid-Size Woman
I came for the Curve Love jeans and stayed for the elevated basics that fit my body just right.
Last year, while aimlessly scrolling on TikTok, I saw a creator describe her body as “mid-size.” I’ve worked in fashion retail for years, but this was the first time I had heard someone accurately describe the dilemma of being too large for some straight-sized brands, but too small for the plus-size range. As a size 10/12, this is exactly where I fit in (or don’t fit, more accurately). I followed all the mid-size influencers I could find and it didn’t take long for me to stumble across videos raving about Abercrombie & Fitch.
Growing up, Abercrombie & Fitch represented everything I wasn’t: white, skinny, and wealthy. As a teen, I never felt welcome in the dimly-lit mall stores, with their pungent cologne and low-rise jeans that weren’t made for my body. But to my surprise, in 2022, the company is now on the other side of a major brand metamorphosis. They ditched their shirtless, white male models for people diverse in ethnicity and size. The clothing changed from preppy and surfer-chic, to off-duty-model realness. Gone are the days of the omnipresent A&F moose; the brand’s new era focuses on trend-forward closet staples that craft a sophisticated look.
I liked what I saw while browsing the website, but I still wasn’t convinced that their clothes would fit me. In the past, Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t even list women's XL or XXL on its size charting and they only offered women's pants up to a size 10 (their former CEO notoriously made disgraceful fat-shaming comments). The rebrand, however, included changes to their target consumer, and now they offer up to 3XL in some items, as well as a dedicated fit category called Curve Love for shoppers whose hips are much larger than their waist. While the brand still has a long way to go, it no longer caters exclusively to the super skinny.
After learning this, I decided to give the brand another try. Not only did the Curve Love jeans fit my mid-size body perfectly, but the quality, look, and feel were exactly right. I soon found myself venturing out of the jeans category and exploring what else they had to offer — one year and hundreds of dollars later, my A&F pieces are often what I grab first when getting dressed. If you’re mid-size, like me, and aren’t sure where to start, here are some of my favorite looks from their fall collection.
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Vegan Leather Pants & A Cozy Crew-Neck
I never imagined myself owning a pair of leather pants — I thought they’d be too tight, too uncomfortable, and too hot. But these faux leather babies are a dream and even more comfortable than A&F jeans (not kidding). Plus, they offer these pants in Curve Love too. I opted for the dark brown color to put a twist on the classic style and paired them with one of Abercrombie’s Sunday Crew sweatshirts in a L for a Hamptons-inspired look that still feels cool.
A Long-Sleeve Shirt Dress & Shearling Jacket
Everyone needs a quick, easy outfit that looks chic no matter what — this long-sleeve shirt dress is that for me. I have trouble with buttons, because of my large chest, but the button-through detail solves that problem of giving me the button-up look without button-up problems. This dress runs small, according to reviews, so I sized up to an XL and it fit perfectly.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s outerwear is not to be slept on. I bought this cream-colored, sherpa-lined coat from last year’s collection and it has held up quite nicely — even though I wear it all the time. Do yourself a favor and take a look at this season’s lineup for a similar version.
A Sweater Vest & Jeans
By now, you know that A&F jeans do not mess around. From baggy to skinny and everything in between, there’s no storage of styles to choose from for a size 10/12. I’m still holding onto summer, so I went for this light wash, slim-straight jean and v-neck sweater vest for a typical transitional fall day. I also wore my favorite poplin button-up shirt from A&F in a size L. Though I wore it open for this look, I love this top because, it leaves no gaps when I button it all the way up.
Leather Coat & A Mini Skirt
When I need a bodysuit, the first place I go to is A&F — from basic, seamless designs to styles with intricate cutouts. I wore this long-sleeve style with their mini skort. I’ve shied away from mini skirts for years because they’d rise up in the back no matter how much I sized up — so I was excited to try out a skort for the first time in 20+ years. I picked up an XL, but to my surprise, it was too large. I’ll definitely be getting another variation of this skort in a size L.
I bought this vegan leather jacket specifically to pair with this outfit. Once again, I never imagined I’d wear one, but this trench fit perfectly. It even passed the button-up test.