Why Abercrombie And Fitch Won’t Make Larger Sized Clothing

Abercrombie and fitch

Apparently, the reason the Abercrombie and Fitch will not make larger sizes is… because they really do not like larger people, very much. They certainly don’t want them wearing their brand. I wish I were joking on this one.

According to Business Insider:

Abercrombie doesn’t even list women’s XL or XXL on its size chart. Its largest women’s pants are a size 10, while H&M’s standard line goes up to a size 16, and American Eagle offers up to 18.
It’s not surprising that Abercrombie excludes plus-sized women considering the attitude of CEO Mike Jeffries, said Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail and CEO of newsletter The Robin Report.
“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis told Business Insider. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”
The only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL men’s sizes is probably to appeal to beefy football players and wrestlers, Lewis said.

The notion here seems to be the things that made on cool in high school are the things that should make one cool FOREVER. Basically, the only people who should be in Abercrombie and jocks and their cheerleader girlfriends. But as you get older that’s just… not true. I imagine Mike Jeffries would be pretty happy to see Adele or Queen Latifah or Oprah or any number of larger sized women wearing their brand.

Which, yeah, I’m pretty sure none of them will be doing that, now.

Picture via Abercrombie and Fitch

Share This Post:
    • http://thekimberlydiaries.com/ the kimberly diaries

      I had to go in A&F with a friend a few weeks ago to buy some clothes as a gift (obviously for people who do not live in America since no one in America wears Abercrombie anymore) and the salesgirl was such a little shit. She was taking half an hour to explain a coupon to a tourist (who doesnt live in America) and I asked if anyone else was available to ring. And she goes HOLD ON, and then no there’s not. I get that working in retail is not the most fun job since I’ve done it, but that is NOT an acceptable response. When you keep people waiting you apologize. SMH.

      • http://twitter.com/Kerenx Keren

        Abercrombie & Hollister are known to hire based on looks and looks alone. It’s not even a secret. Their job ads state that they’re looking for “young, attractive people” to be “store models.”

      • Anna

        Exactly. My boyfriend worked there for a summer and his official job title was “model” so that they could legally hire him based on looks alone. Wow.

    • Ollie_Cat

      Size 10 isn’t even big… I’m a size 6 (maybe sometimes a four.) I’m an avid runner and most people would consider me to be thin and in shape, though the last time I was a size 0 I was maybe 12 years old. I will never be smaller than a size 6, even if I was very skinny, because my bone structure is a size 6. Now, I don’t shop at Abercrombie, because it’s overpriced and I’m a size large, which is ridiculous, considering that there are so many bigger girls out there… who Abercrombie obviously doesn’t want shopping there, if they don’t make a shirt any bigger than to fit me!

      Also, from my experience, while H&M may carry up to size 16, I’m pretty sure I was about a size 12 last time I was there. That’s an issue within itself, that the sizes are so much smaller than usual.

      • Becca

        I’m a 2 or 4 in most stores, and a 10 at H&M. So I’m definitely calling shenanigans on their claim to carry “larger” clothing.

      • Tusconian

        In other countries they do have what would be considered a plus size section, though size 24 (which to an American should sound like about an 18 to 22, depending on the garment). For whatever reason, I’ve never seen it in the US, aside from a few swimsuits. But, H+M does not carry small sizes and “run small” (it actually runs standard if you believe most “standard” sizing guides; other stores vanity size like MAD) because it has some obvious image like AF. It’s a European company, and it sells the same clothes, marked very similarly, all over the world, and Europe in general does not vanity size their clothes to the same extent American companies, nor have the same demand to (especially since the European stores actually carry the plus-sized line). I believe British and Australian clothes use roughly the same size guidelines, though a 4 by American standards would probably be about an 8 or 10 anywhere else using a similar sizing format. It would be costly and nonsensical for a Swedish company shipping everywhere in the world to label the sizes differently or produce drastically different sized garments only to the US. Though again, I have no idea why they don’t carry the 14-24 line in the US because it would probably expand the customer base.

        Also, keep in mind H+M has several different lines of clothing that are sized differently. The Divided line runs significantly smaller than the normal line, because it is aimed at teenagers, who are generally significantly smaller than adults. Pants also run larger than skirts and dresses.

      • Eileen

        There’s nothing wrong with their sizing and labeling their clothes for Europeans – as you say, it’s a European company. But since a European 16 is more like an American 12, and an Abercrombie 10 is more like an American 12, Business Insider shouldn’t be implying that H&M carries bigger sizes than A&F does.

      • Tusconian

        They carry a wider range of sizes, and they do have a plus size line, so yes, they do carry larger sizes, though it would be difficult for an American to get them outside of New York. Also, mention was made that AF vanity sizes pretty drastically. That says a lot to me combined with the fact that they don’t want to carry higher sizes. They do not actually want the size 12 girls to stay away….they want the size 12 girls to come in, buy a dozen pairs of pants, and then run around saying that they wear a size 10. Which is the root of vanity sizing for all companies, but AF doesn’t have the same goal. They don’t simply want their larger customers to feel good about themselves and hand over all their money, they also want the reputation of not being a “fat store,” even though the American/AUS/UK manner of sizing doesn’t have any inherent meaning, and we might as well size them by color or with pictures of animals. Other stores, regardless of what size the clothes actually are, including H+M, don’t have this particular goal. They don’t care one way or another if an actual size 16 can wear their 16, but they aren’t worried that people will see a size 16 on the rack and then run fleeing because a size 16 might be seen wearing their same dress either. They’re selling more than jeans and t-shirts, they’re selling an image. And Abercrombie wants that image to be “no fat chicks.”

        Also, I’ll bet that the woman who wrote that article hasn’t ever set foot in either an H+M or an Abercrombie and thus has no idea how either brand sizes.

    • Jessieface

      I don’t shop at A&F bc it smells and sounds like a migraine.

    • Jen

      I’m an adult wearing size juniors 3 – sometimes a 0. I hate the A&F stores and am not a big fan of the clothes.

    • Eileen

      H&M clothes are sized smaller than average, and honestly, A&F are sized bigger. I’m a size six or size eight at most stores. I have about two inches of room at the waist in a pair of size six A&F shorts my aunt gave me when she got pregnant.

      I get so frustrated with A&F, honestly – because they make perfectly nice clothing that I would wear, and as an adult could afford, but their stores are carefully geared so that no one over the age of 15 wants to go in. It’s always very dimly lit, and you can hear and smell it coming five stores away. Basically, it’s a club with no dancing or alcohol, and who the hell wants that? No wonder it’s losing money.

    • Leah

      I don’t have a problem with stores catering to certain sized people. A brand is perceived as more valuable by consumers when there’s a “niche” for their product. The problem I have with the statements that A&F’s CEO made is that he bases the decision to market to a smaller woman as a social one, not as a business one. It’s highly offensive and really says something about the ego that is A&F brand. I never shop at their store because I prefer environments that don’t induce an asthma attack, but even if my lungs were to suddenly cure themselves, I still would not shop their for the sheer principle of the matter.

    • AMP

      I love how all of the articles I have read appear to be this woman’s perception of what Jeffries wants. But there are no direct quotes. Also please do not assume that everyone at anf “hates fat people”. The stores have a certain look but the home office is very diverse and friendly. Please don’t judge the thousands of people that work at ANF based off of some angry ladies perceptions of what she thinks she heard.

    • julianne

      i knew i hated abercrombie. I would sit in the corner and read when my friends dragged me there in middle school, it was no place for a dorky girl with cat eyed glasses. it gave me panic attacks AND asthma attacks
      give me vintage smoky/dusty smell of abercrombie any day

    • GMan_X

      How narrow minded. You’re all a bunch of cattle mindlessly following yet another of The Gloss’s self-absorbed bubblegum writers to graze in the pasture of ignorance. The author is not a real journalist; otherwise she’d have contacted the CEO for comment. Instead the author gets paid to get you all worked up about something that never happened by using quotes from third party hacks that can only speculate about what this store’s business model really is. Not a single quote or position came from anyone at A&F. Your all being shoveled loads of chum and like the whales you are, you surface to consume it.

    • Skinny and proud

      They shouldn’t make bigger sizes, ppl should become skinnier! haha!

    • confused

      How come no one is complaining about Lane Bryant not making sizes 0′s and 2′s, Target not making their clothes luxurious enough, and Oscar de la Renta always prices his designs within a range that average consumers cannot afford? Just wondering.

      Niche market? Everyone’s doing it.