Rethink This: Abercrombie & Fitch

It’s time to rethink the brands we’ve deemed “out.” This month, we take a look at a mall staple that has recently undergone a major makeover.

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Welcome to Rethink This, a monthly column where I revisit once popular stores and brands that have fallen by the wayside in the hopes that CF readers will see them in a new light.

a&f logo
Official Promotional Image

Oh, Abercrombie & Fitch.

Once the pinnacle of mid-aughts Americana-cool, the brand has recently fallen on some hard times. After reports on their “discriminating” hiring practices and a Supreme Court case striking down their discriminatory dress code, you were hard-pressed to find people who would openly admit to wearing Abercrombie. 

Now that controversial CEO Mike Jeffries has left the company, A+F has slowly been turning over a new leaf. Would you be willing to give the store another chance? Read on for our take:

a&f screenshot
Official Promotional Image


Founded in 1892 in New York City, A+F spent the better half of the 20th century as a luxury sporting goods store. After declaring bankruptcy in 1976, the brand eventually ended up under the control of The Limited, who transformed Abercrombie & Fitch into the teen retailer we see today. Fortunately, Abercrombie has done away with the hypersexualized marketing that has defined the brand for so long, and is putting more emphasis on trendier clothing.

Within the last year I’ve noticed a remarkable change in A+F stores. While t-shirts emblazoned with ABERCROMBIE still exist, their presence in stores and online has significantly decreased in favor of graphic shift dresses, flattering bathing suits, and festival-ready shorts.

Abercrombie & Fitch Outfits

With the exception of two items, the following outfits are all comprised of Abercrombie & Fitch merchandise. In order to avoid looking like a Laguna Beach cast-off, try to stick to urban neutrals that give off a sleek, edgy vibe.

Mix It Up

Abercrombie mixed prints outfit

Dress, Shirt, Sneakers, Sunglasses, Hat

For a casual afternoon spent shopping with your girls, this black-and-white check shift dress is the perfect base to start your outfit. I’ve added the plaid top to bring in a little bit more color, dimension, and ’90s flair. Pro tip: tie the shirt around your waist to accentuate your figure in an otherwise shapeless dress.

Since they go with everything, everybody needs a pair of basic white kicks in their wardrobe. This pair from Superga is a little bit pricey, but in the end they are totally worth it. Finish off the look with chic sunnies and a wide-brimmed fedora to help shade you from the sun.

Cropped and Loving It

chic abercrombie look

Top, Bottom, Bag, NecklaceSandals, Lipstick

Although there are many notable items in this outfit, the standout piece to me is the wrap-front skort. What better way to tell your friends that you’re down for anything than with a multi-functional item? Let your midriff breathe in this grid print crop top, then throw on some t-strap sandals.

Accessorize your look with a Southwestern-inspired statement necklace that brings in a touch of brightness, as well as an on-trend bucket bag. Polish off the monochromatic look with a matte fuchsia pout.

Let’s Go to the Beach

Abercrombie beach look

Top, Bottom, Bikini Top, Bikini Bottom, Sandals

I don’t know why I was surprised, but I was absolutely blown away by Abercrombie & Fitch’s denim and swimwear options. The basis of any good beach trip starts with the bathing suit, and this graphic black-and-white bikini set is perfect.

These distressed high-rise shorts serve as a great cover-up, and so does the graphic tank. For the finishing touch, throw on embellished sandals that will look fashionable, even when covered in sand.


When was the last time you shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch? Did this post change your view on the brand? What are some other brands/stores you believe other CF readers should “rethink”? Let us know in the comments below!

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