Before recent years, when I thought of Abercrombie & Fitch, I was reminded of trips to the mall as a pre-teen, skirting past the shirtless models to wade through tanks and graphic tees while pop music and perfume circulated around me. On most of these shopping excursions, I would try on a few ill-fitting tops, then leave the store empty-handed, feeling worse about myself than I did when I entered.
And judging from my recent chats with colleagues and friends, I wasn't alone in that. If you came of age anywhere in the 2000s to early 2010s, you may have similar memories of the brand.
But Abercrombie has come a long way since those days when its moose logo was plastered across all its tees and sweats (in case you're wondering, the brand actually ditched the mascot a while back). In the last few years, it's made a shift from the low-rise denim, too-tight tanks and graphic shirts that it was once known for, instead making elevated basics that appeal to people of all ages and flattering jeans that come in a range of sizes to fit many different body types.
And people have taken notice. Clothing from the brand has shown up across social media, racking up more than 743 million views on TikTok. And last year, search interest for the brand reached a five-year high.
Much of its increased popularity can be attributed to the long-needed rebrand that happened in 2016 (the year before, Abercrombie & Fitch was named the most-hated retailer in the U.S.). At the time, Fran Horowitz, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch said in a press release, "Rather than buying clothes that symbolize membership in an exclusive group, today's consumer celebrates individuality and uniqueness. Our new brand reflects that confidence and independence of spirit as well as our own dedication to a more diverse and inclusive culture."
Since then, the brand has introduced more inclusive sizing, including its much-loved Curve Love line (previously, Abercrombie & Fitch did not offer sizes above large) and featured models with a range of skin tones and body types in campaigns and across its site. And it's clear that their inclusion efforts have paid off. In 2021, its operating margin was the highest it had been in over a decade, and in the third quarter of 2022, net sales for the brand had increased by 10 percent compared to the same time the year before.
All that to say, the brand is back with a vengeance — and better than ever. And many members of the Shop TODAY team eagerly jumped on the brand's revival, stocking up on everything from high-waisted jeans to body suits, and proving that it's not just for the teens anymore. And that those negative experiences that we might have once associated with the brand are officially a thing of the past.
Here, we asked our staff to share some of their favorite items from the brand.
Best Abercrombie jeans and pants
Multiple Shop TODAY editors count themselves as fans of the brand's viral '90s jeans, and Associate Commerce Editor Kamari Stewart says that she specifically likes this pick from the brand's Curve Love assortment, which are designed with extra room in the thigh and made to help minimize waist gaps, the brand says. "They're my favorite pair," she says.
This style features a crossed waist, which some shoppers say makes them extra flattering. Others note that the unique waistband makes them smaller than your average jeans, so you might want to consider sizing up.
Associate Commerce Editor Danielle Murphy says that this version of the brand's '90s jeans might be her "favorite pair ever," (yes, they're really that good). The stylish pants come in multiple styles — including leather and carpenter-esque versions — and are available in a range of sizes, from extra short to extra long, to fit a range of body types.
Francesca Cocchi Zabloudil, Branded Commerce Editor for Shop TODAY, owns these jeans, which are currently on sale for under $60. Featuring Abercrombie's highest rise, the pants are said to have a vintage feel with built-in stretch for comfort.
While the A&F Sloane Tailored Pant that Commerce Deals Coordinator Victoria Herlocker says are her favorite pants for work (she has two pairs) are currently sold out, we found this similar pair that's great for anyone looking for office-appropriate pants. Pair them with a button-down or a casual tee for the perfect workday look.
Jen Birkhofer, Vice President of Commerce for NBC News and Shop TODAY says that she was influenced by the team's love of Abercrombie's jeans and bought these leather pants from the brand. "I wore them over break and my friends all told me they looked like they cost thousands of dollars," she previously revealed. She added that they're "super cozy and lined," but because of that, they can be very warm, so they may be more suited for the colder seasons.
In case you didn't know, Abercrombie has an activewear line, YPB (which stands for your personal best). And Cocchi Zabloudil says that she loves the athleisure pieces in the collection, specifically these flared leggings.
Best Abercrombie bodysuits and tops
Aside from jeans, Abercrombie's bodysuits are arguably another one of the brand's most popular staples. And Cocchi Zabloudil is a fan of this one, which has a square neck and trendy seamed details along the front. There are limited sizes available, so you'll want to grab it while you still can!
"This Abercrombie bodysuit has quickly become my go-to pick for every occasion," Shop TODAY Editor Julie Ricevuto says. "I often wear it with dress pants to work (the high neckline gives it a classy feel) or with a skirt for a night out." She adds that the fabric is thick and is slightly compressive, without feeling too tight, which she says "helps promote an ultra-flattering fit for all body types."
"The bodysuits are winners," Stewart adds. She owns two, which she wears whenever she goes out, "because they're perfect," she says. While the ones that she loves are no longer available, we found this popular option with a near-perfect 4.8-star average rating. As one stylist previously told us, bodysuits can be flattering for every shape and are perfect for pairing with high-waisted jeans, shorts and skirts. Not only do they create a natural shapewear feel, but they also help you avoid constant re-tucking or adjusting.
Cocchi Zabloudil is also a fan of this tank from the brand's YPM collection. The flattering top has an increased chest width to fit those with larger busts. According to the brand, it features a compressive and supportive fabric, so it's perfect for workouts or casual wear.
Best Abercrombie swimsuits and cover-ups
"I'm petite with a large bust, so shopping for bathing suits that are cute, supportive and actually fit me properly in both the chest and the band has always been a challenge," Cocchi Zabloudil says. "I was so excited when I discovered Abercrombie's Curve Love swim line because it's specifically designed for cup sizes D-F across the entire range of sizes (XXS-XL). Plus, the suits are so stylish! I wore one on my honeymoon and felt so comfortable and confident."
While the one that she wore is no longer in stock, this top from the collection is nearly identical. It features adjustable straps and an underwire for extra support.
If you want to show a little skin during your next beach trip, Assistant Partnerships Editor Lauren Witonsky says that she loves these cheeky bikini bottoms. They're perfect for pairing with the above top or mixing and matching with any neutral top from your collection.
Whether you're escaping the winter weather for a tropical destination or planning your summer getaway, you'll want to add this coverup to your packing list. Another one of Cocchi Zabloudil's picks, the versatile top can be thrown over a swimsuit to take you straight from the shore to lunch at the beach-side cafe.
Take a note from Cocchi Zabloudil's and complete the look with these matching pants. They have trendy side slit details and an adjustable waistband for a customizable fit.