Can a Plus-Size Person Wear Abercrombie & Fitch in 2024? Our Editors Put the Brand to the Test

A lot has changed since the early aughts

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abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: abercrombie and fitch product images and five editors wearing their clothes
Paula Boudes for PureWow

If you were a teen in the early 2000s, odds are you remember Abercrombie & Fitch’s dominance of the cultural zeitgeist. Whether you were flocking there to get your hands on moose-emblazoned polos, guiding your mom through the dimly lit store to the sale rack (while simultaneously talking her out of a cologne-induced headache) or avoiding the place altogether, it was hard not to have a strong opinion about the brand, good or bad. As noted in the popular Netflix documentary, White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, millennials who once revered A&F for its popular styles grew to detest it for its fatphobic marketing, racist T-shirt designs and offensive former CEO. But after a rebrand in the early 2020s, Abercrombie & Fitch appears to be in the midst of an inclusive renaissance.

To find out how much the store has really changed since the days of our youth, five of our plus-size editors tried a range of items to see how well they fit. Read on for our in-depth reviews, recommendations and honest Q&A.

The 10 Best Jeans at Abercrombie & Fitch, According to PureWow Editors Who Tested Them All

abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: throwback marketing by abercrombie & fitch
Paula Boudes for PureWow

What Memories Do You Have of Abercrombie & Fitch?

It’s not too surprising that our editors felt A&F was out of reach for them as teenagers, both due to sizing and cost. “I remember the store being very dark, the salespeople being wafer-thin and unreasonably beautiful and worrying that I’d be judged for what I was wearing before even stepping inside,” recalls PureWow Assistant Editor Delia Curtis. “I also remember being very sad when trying things on in the dressing room, realizing that I couldn’t fit into the pieces that I so desperately wanted to have. So even if they were within budget, they weren’t viable options for me.”

“To be honest, I only ever wore tops from there because I felt like their jeans didn’t fit me right, because I’m much shorter than their models/target demo and have curves,” remembers PureWow’s Operations Director of Branded Content Rachel Gulmi. “It’s funny but also sad, because when I shopped there, I was in the best shape of my life from playing sports seven days a week and just being young, and even then, I could feel the pressure of not fitting into their style.”

It wasn’t just a matter of the clothes not fitting us properly, though. The store’s branding was based on a very specific type of beauty that felt exclusionary by nature. “I always felt like Abercrombie was made for ‘fit’ bodies,” notes PureWow Editorial Assistant Courtney Mason. “In middle school, someone gave me a gift card and I remember thinking, ‘What am I going to use this for?’ Even the picture on it was a shirtless guy showing his abs. I ended up spending it on their fragrances.”

“In high school, my friend was obsessed with taking photos with the models that use to stand in front of the store,” adds PureWow Associate Editor Chelsea Candelario. “I always felt self-conscious and out of place standing beside them.”

Even if the store’s preppy styles weren’t your vibe, it was still easy to feel left out or uncool if you didn’t fit their demographic or couldn’t afford their clothing. “I had wealthier friends who would wear layered polos, frayed denim skirts and scalloped leggings to school on the daily,” recalls PureWow’s Food Editor Taryn Pire. “This wasn’t a look I envied, but then, it was the epitome of cool, and while I tried to be genuinely happy being a contrarian, sometimes I wanted to feel cool, too. My friend’s dad once gave me an olive-green Abercrombie polo with an oversize pink moose on the chest as payment for babysitting. Even though it wasn’t something I would’ve bought myself, it became my go-to for parties, picture day and other occasions when I wanted to feel accepted.”

Despite a healthy dose of collective skepticism, our editors admitted they were excited to see how A&F’s new clothing would fit them as adults. Not only has the store supposedly changed for the better, but we’ve also grown since our teen years. “I’m older now, so my perception of clothing and how I feel about my body has changed,” explains Candelario.

Read on for a breakdown of four different categories that our editors tested and reviewed.

abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: five editors in abercrombie & fitch jeans
Paula Boudes for PureWow

1. Jeans

  • CC: “The sizing chart was confusing, so much so that I tried two different sizes. The first was too short, even though in other jeans it’s my perfect size. The second pair was way too big. Once I got the size right, the jeans were comfortable and showed off my curves. However, the short length isn’t short at all. It pools at the end, stretches out and looks too flared for my liking. I’m also not a fan of the thick fabric. I did appreciate the wash and how they fit my body though.” Chelsea is wearing the Curve Love Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean, Medium Wash, Raw Hem ($89)
  • DC: “The jeans are a delight! I’m short, so I was nervous about the length, but the 32-inch inseam is perfect. They’re comfortable in the calves, thighs, hips and crotch. They have a relaxed fit and are only extra roomy in the waist. I use a belt because they do have a bit of gapping in the back. Because they’re made with male bodies in mind, they sit higher on my body. These are some of my most comfortable jeans. I also love the wash; it’s dark yet worn, making it look vintage. Having curvy thighs makes shopping for jeans a nightmare, but these fit my curves and create a laid-back silhouette. I also hate when jeans hug my body too tightly and these offer room in the legs and waist, so I don’t feel constricted.” – Delia is wearing the Men’s 90s Straight Jean, Black Wash ($80)
  • RG: “Admittedly, I’m very picky when it comes to denim and when I find a brand that fits me well, I stay loyal. I was a bit overwhelmed when picking out a pair because there are so many washes in each style, but I decided to go with the one my sister swears by. I loved the medium wash. They have the perfect amount of distressing and aren’t too light or dark. The fit seemed true to size, except I have a bit of a gap in the back. I’m still not the biggest fan of high-rise jeans; these are a little too high for me but not enough to make me want to return them. I got them in the short length, and they come right to my ankle, but I wish they had the extra short in stock because then they would’ve fit exactly how I wanted. Only being five feet tall, I really appreciate when stores offer extra short. The quality of the denim is very nice and doesn’t seem to stretch out after wearing.” – Rachel is wearing the Curve Love Ultra High Rise Ankle Straight Jean, Medium Wash ($90)
  • CM: “I honestly wasn’t a fan of the jeans. I wanted to like them but every time I tried them on, I just felt frumpy. There’s gapping in the back around the waist, and they were a little awkward-fitting and tight in the crotch. I even sized up because I was skeptical about the sizing.” – Courtney is wearing the Curve Love Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean, Medium Wash ($89)
  • TP: “At first, I was happy that they were comfortable in the waist and not excessively bunched at the ankle. But after wearing them for a while, it feels like there’s too much fabric. The crotch area hangs low on me, and the butt’s extra fabric doesn’t do my shape any favors. I’m 5’5”, and according to their size chart, I should wear a regular inseam, but I was swimming in them and needed a short. So, you may need to troubleshoot, especially if you order online, to find the right size.” – Taryn is wearing the Curve Love Ultra High Rise 90s Straight Jean, Medium Wash ($89)
abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: five editors in abercrombie & fitch tees
Paula Boudes for PureWow

2. Tees

  • CC: “I really like the tee. It’s very comfortable and fits like a glove. The fabric keeps it snug and warm, and it really snatches my waist. I accidentally got deodorant on it but was able to clean it no problem. The armhole size is a choice (it’s tight around the armpit area), but overall, I can see this tee being a staple in my wardrobe.” – Chelsea is wearing the Soft Matte Seamless Baby Tee, Black, $35
  • DC: “I think this fits nicely. It’s oversize as described. The material is very soft, and I can see myself lounging in this top. I love the high crew neckline. As someone who likes to cuff their sleeves, I found it a bit challenging because of how soft the material is. The stretch is nice and makes for a great French tuck. I think you’d also be able to twist and tie the bottom if that style was something you wanted.” – Delia is wearing the Oversized Essential Tee, Black, $25
  • RG: “I would not classify this as a T-shirt; it’s more of a light sweatshirt. The material has a bit of weight to it and it’s very soft and luxurious. It’s comfy, not too oversize and a bit nicer-looking than a typical long-sleeve tee. The sleeves aren’t too long, and I really like the banded wrists. I’m a little worried about it pilling or pulling as I wear it but hopefully, it’ll stand up to everyday life.” – Rachel is wearing the Long-Sleeve Oversized Cozy Cloud Knit Crew Tee, Black, $40
  • CM: “The tee was the best thing I tried. It’s extremely soft and comfortable.” – Courtney is wearing the Essential Easy Tee, Light Heather Grey, $25
  • TP: “It’s incredibly soft, cozy and flattering. But if you have a bigger bust, consider going a size up. I like that it doesn’t ride up as much as my other crop tops. I wear it under sweaters often and with high-waist jeans.” – Taryn is wearing the Essential Baby Tee, Black, $25
abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: five editors in abercrombie & fitch sweaters
Paula Boudes for PureWow

3. Sweaters

  • CC: “The sweater isn’t my favorite. I got my regular size, but it’s way too big. The baggy look makes me appear boxy and doesn’t show off my curves. I was expecting it to go past my waist, but it felt very bulky. I do like that it’s very comfortable and cozy though.” – Chelsea is wearing the Tuckable Easy Turtleneck Sweater, Green, $80
  • DC: “It’s incredibly soft and the pattern with elevated stitching was flattering. I like that it has a full-coverage, structured turtleneck. If worn for longer periods of time, I’d wear an undershirt to avoid scratchiness on my skin. The body and arms are a bit long, but I think that’s because it’s from the men’s section. Because of the length, it also makes for a nice French tuck. Overall, I love the fit. It’s very comfortable and can be dressed up or down.” – Delia is wearing the Men’s Turtleneck Sweater, Light Brown, $80
  • RG: “I’m surprised I like this sweater because I don’t typically opt for turtlenecks. I had to fold the neck down because it was coming up way too high, but the material is comfortable, not itchy, and I like the relaxed fit. The sleeves are a little too long. The green color is much prettier in person than in photos. I’d order this in multiple colors for winter.” – Rachel is wearing the Tuckable Easy Turtleneck Sweater, Green, $80
  • CM: “I really like the sweater. However, I do feel like it’s a little bulky around the neck.” – Courtney is wearing the Tuckable Easy Turtleneck Sweater, Green, $80
  • TP: “I love this sweater. It’s a bit loose and extra warm and cozy, which is how I typically prefer them. The material is good quality and makes for a slightly more elevated look. I like that the fit and sleeves are roomy without the sweater being excessively long.” – Taryn is wearing the Wedge V-Neck Sweater, Taupe, $70
abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: five editors wearing abercrombie & fitch dresses and cardigans
Paula Boudes for PureWow

4. Bonus Item

  • CC: “The dress is so cute and chic! Dresses with back zippers always make me nervous, so I decided to size up. It’s a big baggy at the bottom, but the top portion fits nicely. The neckline and straps lay well without being too tight or bulky. Also, as someone who’s petite with a large bust, I appreciate the full coverage. I love how it accentuates my curves, and the color is beautiful. It sits right above my ankle. I can’t wait to wear it for upcoming occasions and am happy that it doesn’t need alterations.” – Chelsea is wearing the Stretch Satin Column Midi Dress, Burgundy, $130
  • DC: “This is by far my favorite piece. It’s buttery soft and I’ve been living in it for weeks. The pattern is neutral enough to work with everyday fits, but unique enough that it can stand out as a statement piece. The sleeves are pretty long, so it might fit better if I’d sized down, but I do have a larger chest and didn’t want to worry about it not fitting or pulling in the wrong areas. It’s very roomy and I was complimented a bunch over the course of the testing period. As someone who doesn’t always opt for cozy everyday wear, I think it’s elevated enough to make me excited about wearing comfy clothes out and about.” – Delia is wearing the Men’s Stitch Patchwork Cropped Cardigan, $90
  • RG: “Because of my height and body type, it’s really hard to find dresses that I like. I hate mini/short dresses, so I usually go for midis. I thought this style ran large and I would’ve been better off in one size smaller in the petite length (I got regular because they were sold out), because it’s too long on me. However, the material is a nice, thick quality and it has pockets! The only thing I don’t love is the neckline. It’s so square that you can see my bra by the sleeves, which means I’d probably have to wear a strapless bra, and who likes wearing those? Maybe the correct size wouldn’t have that problem though.” – Rachel is wearing the Emerson Poplin Puff Sleeve Midi Dress, Blue Floral, $120
  • CM: “The dress is OK. It was one of the few items left in my size that I could possibly work with. The shorts underneath are a little tight.” – Courtney is wearing the Traveler Mini Dress, Onyx, $69
  • TP: “I adore this mini dress. I ordered an XL at first because I’m always worried about dresses being too short when they have to accommodate my bust and stomach, but I actually preferred the large. The XL had some gapping at the arms; the L fits snugger and falls shorter. Both are super flattering, and I like that the full-coverage design shows off my bust and holds it in place without me having to worry about my boobs falling out all night.” – Taryn is wearing the Shell Vegan Leather Mini Dress, $80
abercrombie & fitch plus-size review: abercrombie & fitch rebrand
Paula Boudes for PureWow

Takeaway: Can Plus-Size People Shop at Abercrombie & Fitch?

In short, yes—but our editors had mixed feelings about how much progress the brand has actually made.

“I’m very impressed with A&F,” says Candelario. “I’m not too sure about the jeans sizing and some clothes [run] bigger than others, but overall, I think they’ve come a long way.”

“I was pleasantly surprised,” adds Gulmi. “I think the sizing was fair and inclusive. I love that they offer multiple lengths. It always makes people feel good when they can shop for realistic sizes because we aren’t all 5’10” with a model body type.”

“I think they still have a lot to work on when it comes to sizing,” says Mason. “Their tops and dresses sizing stops at XXL and the pants at a 37. After trying the pieces, this rebrand feels slightly performative. The fit felt very off. There’s more to creating an inclusive brand than (barely) extending the sizes.”

We also want to note that it may be tough getting the exact fit you want for certain items (especially in stores versus online), and you may need to make a few returns before getting the size just right.

“I’m glad they expanded their sizing, both in terms of their clothing and the models in their marketing, but I don’t know that they actually adjusted how certain items are designed with bigger bodies in mind,” asserts Pire. “The jeans in particular were disappointing, and in some respects their sizing charts feel inaccurate or scaled to smaller bodies. It took ordering two sizes for nearly all my items, despite taking my measurements and following the size charts. Also, shorter lengths and larger sizes were consistently sold out across categories during our testing period. I can see it being a challenge for some plus-size people to shop at A&F.”

I’d love to see them offer larger size options in stores, not just online,” adds Curtis. “That would make it easier for plus-size shoppers to try things on and not have to wait for a size to be delivered, just for it to potentially not fit. But I also think their new look and feel makes people more comfortable asking for different sizes, shopping in opposite categories and finding what works for them.”

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...