Charlotte Hannah
May 10, 2013

Abercrombie & Fitch to Plus-Sized People: You Don’t Belong in Our Clothes

When I was in high school, only the cool kids – the popular, conventionally attractive kids with wealthy parents – wore Abercrombie & Fitch. Now it all makes sense! Store CEO Michael Jeffries only wants those so-called “cool, good-looking people” to wear his store’s bland prep-wear. That’s why A&F only makes women’s clothes up to a size large, and men’s clothes not much larger. Because plus-sized people can be neither cool nor good-looking, you see.

Jeffries gave an interview to Salon back in 2006, which for some reason is making the rounds now, in which he really did say the things written on that graphic up there. If you read the interview in its entirety, which I suggest you do, it becomes very clear that Jeffries is unhealthily obsessed with both his store’s salespeople and customers being “great-looking kids” (actual quote) and with the whole concept of youth and beauty in general — perhaps because he possesses neither. And in Jeffries’ mind, beauty and thinness are inextricably linked.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s clothing sizes for women range from 000 to 10. Its men’s shirts go up to an XXL, though its pants only fit up to a 36-inch waist, which isn’t exactly huge (the store considers this measurement an XL). It’s clear that A&F caters to thin customers only. In case that fact wasn’t clear enough, keep in mind that A&F once sold this shirt:

While other retailers, like H&M, are beginning to focus on plus-sized offerings, A&F and its delusional CEO remain firmly rooted in the notion that thin is the only way to be – and that anyone larger isn’t welcome in A&F stores. But, as Ashley Lutz at Business Insider points out, with a majority of shoppers buying clothes fitting the “plus-size” label, that strategy isn’t likely to work for much longer.

And why not use your purchasing power to hasten their demise? Just like the free market allows Jeffries to market his store’s clothes in such a contemptible way, it also allows you to send a message by refusing to buy them. I’d suggest that, whether you can fit into the store’s clothes or not, you don’t give your money to Abercrombie & Fitch.