A New Era in Fashion—How Abercrombie & Fitch Saves Needless Suffering

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Image from Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of FaceMePls

Last Friday, I wrote a post about how Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO Michael Jeffreys’ message hurts us all, no matter how fat or thin, pretty or ugly, rich or poor, popular or unpopular. Yet, upon closer inspection, I am compelled to retract my statement. In fact, I think Jeffreys’ should be given serious consideration for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Bear with me.

The Birth of Fashion

At one time, early in human history, clothing served to protect humans from the elements and keep them warm. But, what many of you might NOT know was that everyone looked the same, running around in somewhat smelly saber-tooth outerwear.

It was really Ug who came up with the first line of saber-tooth necklaces to accessorize these early, boring designs. Ug later inspired Og to use the teeth of a boar as bracelets. Not only could one look smashing day OR night, but boar-tooth bangles gave the wearer the opportunity to brag and take credit for killing said object of accessory.

Og, being  brilliant entrepreneur, soon realized men of the tribe could also give gifts of HATS made of feathers to their mates for more nookie.

This was the beginning of fashion status, because any dude who could find a basket of clamshells and heaping handful of shiny rocks to trade Og for a feather-hat had a happy mate (and, of course, more nookie). Wifey could look better than all the other females while chewing on mammoth hide to make blankets…and maybe even some more fashion.

Og noticed that deerskin dresses were NOT exactly slimming, so the invention of the “belt” soon followed. The “belt” was just what human males needed to tell which of the tribe’s women had the best birthing hips.

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Original image via Cliff1066 Flikr Creative Commons

Fashion For the Ugly

As centuries passed, fashion was a privilege of the wealthy and helped distinguish between classes. BUT—and this is WAY more important—fashion was made to make ugly people pretty. See, the “blue-bloods” (royalty) believed it was best to keep everything in the family  *wink, wink* and, within a few incestuous generations, the royal families looked like they needed a banjo and some moonshine to go with the crown and scepter.

How else could the King Charles II of Spain distract from his face long enough to make more ugly royal babies? FASHION.

Boy, I hope she looks at this big red bow instead of my FACE.

Boy, I hope she looks at this big red bow instead. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Fashion Evolves into Art

As time went on, fashion still had the purpose of distinguishing social status and that hasn’t changed. It also had the purpose of making ugly people, regular people, pretty people and even gorgeous people look WAY BETTER. Why be pretty if you could be STUNNING?

In fact, the mark of a real designer is the clothes can make anyone look good.

But some fashion designers decided that the use of lampshades, mousetraps and Slinkies in clothing design was under appreciated. These designers couldn’t use models who looked like Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren to wear these designs, because we’d be too distracted by these models’ beautiful faces and curvy bodies and wouldn’t see the strategically placed Vita-Mix in their hats.

Thus we see models evolve into poofy-lipped coat hangars. We wouldn’t be looking at the 6’3″, 110 pound model and so we’ll appreciate the use of tin foil and paperclips as a skirt as art.

Ice Bag Hats are All the Rage

Ice Bag Hats are All the Rage

Thus far we can see fashion has had numerous purposes:

Shelter from the Elements


Beauty Enhancement


And this is Why Jeffries is One of the Brilliant Minds of Our Times

Jefferies has used his company Abercrombie & Fitch for an entirely new purpose, previously unexplored in fashion (more on that in a moment). First, let’s see how A&F stacks up on the “Fashion Litmus Test.”

Protection From The Elements

Since all clothing protects from the elements (even the hat made with a pipe wrench, Saran Wrap and deer antlers) A&F fits this purpose. Wear an A&F hoodie to keep warm or an A&F hat to keep from burning your nose at the beach. Fair enough.


Okay, with their ridiculous prices, it does limit the demographic of people who can purchase said items to those with money (or to those willing to lose their hearing to purchase a tank top). Thus, it’s safe to assume that A&F fits the second purpose of fashion. Being better than other people.

Ah, but the third….

Beauty Enhancement

By his own admission, Jeffries’ admits their designs have no power to make average people look better. He contends that A&F seeks only beautiful people to wear A&F clothes, that he wants “models” in their “fashion.” Plain, ugly, boring, unpopular, fat, shy, individualistic, or poor people need not apply.

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Straight from the horse’s….mouth. Yeah, mouth. (Meme from FB)


I think we can all agree that A&F is not going to give Chanel, Prada, Versace, or Bulgari any real competition.

A&F and Its “Models”

First of all, Mr. Jeffries’, in case you are unaware of this fact, models are supposed to be PAID to wear the clothing for a designer. Thus, freeloading off the beautiful people is just in poor taste. For the beautiful, popular people out there, I sincerely hope you will see how you’re being used (and at least demand a discount).

And…make sure I have this correct.

Since A&F clothing can’t make regular people look better, and Jeffries’ doesn’t want over 67% of the United States wearing them, essentially what Jeffries’ wants is for gorgeous people with six-pack abs and killer bodies…to PAY exorbitant prices TO HIS COMPANY to model for them for FREE.

Man, that is pretty sharp. And to think, all these other designers have been actually paying models all these years. Wow, I sure hope the other designers don’t catch on to this indentured servitude business model.

No, Really, Jeffries IS a GENIUS

Aside from figuring out a way for beautiful, popular people to pay his company to model for free, Jeffries has given a new purpose to fashion…one never properly used before.

Fashion As WARNING Label

Hey, we have warnings on cigarettes, alcohol, and even food. There are warnings on medications and even a warning not to blow dry our hair while showering. Yet, to this day, we’ve had no proper way to label narcissistic jerks with the emotional depth of a sea cucumber.

A&F is here to help humanity.

Think of all the time and money we will save!

A&F Fashions will Revolutionize Dating

Guys, you won’t have to waste time taking a gal to a $100 dinner to watch her treat the staff like they’re dirt on her feet. Her A&F blouse was an easy warning label to take her for a quick $4 Starbucks coffee instead…until you can pretend your dog died and get the hell out of there.

Gals, no more wasting weeks or months to see if a guy is kind and has a good heart, thus boyfriend material. If he’s still sporting A&F after all this? Probably going to be a tough relationship. There won’t be enough room in the front seat of his car for him, his artificially inflated ego, and you.

So prepare to move on and date other good-looking popular guys who refuse to be used as free models. OR…get used to riding in the back seat…and walking three steps behind…and sharing all the mirrors. And if a huntsman knocks on your door holding a box and a knife? Your date’s realized ur prettier than him and it’s his way of “breaking up.”


Abercrombie & Fitch Making Life Simpler for Us All

Think how easy it will be to spot the mean girls in high schools, the jerks at sporting events, the bullies in bars? Since the attitude of A&F is clearly, “We wear this because we are better than you” we won’t have to waste any time or emotional energy dealing with self-deluded @$$hats.

Three Cheers to Abercrombie & Fitch!!!

Thank you for making our lives SO much easier. We are so busy these days and so much is expected with balancing work and school and family. It really does take a lot of emotional energy to weed out the narcissistic @$$clowns in our lives, but you….you *sniff*…you have saved us.

If we now date some guy or gal with a wardrobe from Abercrombie & Fitch, we are no longer going in blindly. Thank you for your contribution to humanity. Sure, we could give a Nobel to someone who cured CANCER, but Jeffries’ figured out how to properly label jerks.

Tough choice, I know.


Use of this clothing has been known to cause extreme swelling of the head, an unusual paranoia about gaining weight or being seen without makeup. Wearing these designs can cause bullying and a consuming need to feel better than everyone else. A&F designs are merely articles of clothing and are not meant to fulfill emptiness in your soul. If you choose to wear A&F clothing and experience any of these symptoms—mocking of fat people, picking on poor people, over-obsession with level of popularity—please stop wearing immediately and consult a friend or acquaintance who wears Wal Mart clothes for a reality check.

All right, I am finished picking on Jeffries’. At least this has been good for important lessons in life and a good laugh. We all can use more laughter.

I always liked A&F clothes, but this stinky attitude that’s now been attached to them? BOO! HISS! We can want to look beautiful without throwing others under the bus. Beauty is all around us, and hopefully more companies will start seeing that.

What are your thoughts? For the pretty people, do you think you should at least get a DISCOUNT instead of being used as free models? For those of you who previously liked Abercrombie & Fitch, does Jeffries’ attitude make you want to donate your A&F clothes…but then you’d feel sorry for whoever bought them?


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  1. This whole piece was just hilarious..but you had me at the billboard picture from the start. Thanks for the visual..this old grandma appreciates it!

  2. Reblogged this on Chronicles of a 40-something Nurse Wannabe and commented:
    I didn’t think it was possible, after her first brilliant post on A&F, but Kristen Lamb, just blew it out of the park! With humor. Class act!

  3. And, just think of all the money the company is saving on advertising. Every unsuspecting person buying their shirts with Abercrombie & Fitch blazoned across the front does the company’s advertising for them. Profit and cost-cutting in one!

    I bet the shareholders love that.

  4. This is genius. What gets me is even IF you’re willing to put on a gas-mask, a spelunking helmet and flashlight, and ear plugs to get into the store, you may not be able to fit into THEIR size 6. Since there is no regulation on women’s sizes (I have 4 different ones in my closet that all fit perfectly) they’ve made theirs even smaller – thus further eliminating their clientele and helping to destroy the body images of girls everywhere. I use the term “girls” because I pray that a self-respecting woman who wants to spend $50 on a t-shirt will at least have the sense God gave Cher and go to Macy’s or something where you don’t come out smelling like high school and shame.

  5. As a shopper who was humiliated by a snobby salesperson at Banana Republic for daring to think I might find a skirt over a size 10, I thoroughly appreciated your comments on A&F. I have been in the door of their shops – albeit with a sleeve over my nose so I could breathe without breaking out in hives – when my daughter was about fourteen or so. We shopped the sale racks. She says she likes the fit of their jeans, but they fall apart and aren’t worth the money. So, we haven’t shopped there in about seven years and had no intention of doing so even before you brought their mean girls advertising campaign to our attention. Unfortunately, there is no cure for stupidity. Except to keep one’s mouth shut. An important concept this guy didn’t learn in high school. Guess he was busy making fun of everyone who didn’t meet his narrow concept of beauty. Pffft!

    • Lanette Kauten on May 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm
    • Reply

    I personally think A&F clothes are boring, and if the people in them are just as boring, then that serves as a warning label. Caution: Shallow, boring person inside. Actually, if I’m going to make a fashion statement, I’d much rather accentuate my curves while wearing enough color that it looks like a fairy threw up on me.

    1. “Fairy threw up on me” – you too huh!?! LOVE IT!!!

    • AMMahler on May 14, 2013 at 12:30 pm
    • Reply

    Hilarious! Oh the snark! I loved it!

    • angael0 on May 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm
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    Lovin the ice bag hat.

  6. I’m cracking up. Also, thanks for alerting me to the issue so I feel I’m justified in hating A&F for more than just being the ultimate hipster brand that also tries to be cool. It’s like, what are you even trying to do here? Ugh.

  7. I’m so glad my size 12 curves can’t (and will NEVER) fit into any of their products.

  8. Love it! I also skip out on Fridays Restaurants for telling me years ago that they only hired beautiful waitresses (I was on the cute side. Definitely not sexy. What were they selling again?) and Islands, the latter who refused to serve a children’s portion to a friend who had a DOCTOR’S NOTE after having her stomach stapled.

  9. Reblogged this on Sarah Solmonson and commented:
    A follow-up to the awesome post about Abercrombie & Fitch. Thank you, Jeffrey, for saving us, you are far too kind.

  10. So, speaking as someone dressed entirely in Wal-mart/second-hand store fashions, may I suggest those who can wear A&F clothing spend their money on food instead?

  11. I’m snorting, you actually took me to laughing so hard I snorted! Kristen, you crack me up!!! Thank you for the laugh, I need it to break the tension from the thriller i’m working on today.

    1. Hey at least A&F is great comedic material…kinda like shooting fish in a barrel, though, LOL.

      1. MMmmmm… yes, that is a good point. LOL. 🙂

  12. Genius, Kristen. lol

  13. Love your wit, Kristen!! I can’t believe you were able to top your last post! You are awesome, and though I’m glad you had a break, I so missed your posts last week! Okay, I’ll stop talking in exclaimations.

    I hate wearing “labels.” You know what I wore to church last Sunday? I can’t remember. It was either McCall’s or Simplicity. I made the dress a good 13 years ago while attending college, and I still get compliments on it. So, sorry if I’m a bit old fashioned, but labels are just not my thing. 😉 Good thing I have AF to warn me when I’m talking to someone who probably won’t see things the same way (or any other way but their own).

  14. I’ve been reading this article aloud at work, and it’s got half the staff rolling on the floor laughing. Thank you for brightening our day!

    1. Thanks for telling me and brightening mine :D…

      1. I also found this on Facebook, and I had to share! My one regret is that it will give people the wrong idea about those unfortunate homeless individuals. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/abercrombie-and-fitch-homeless-brand-readjustment_n_3272498.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

  15. Where’s a Like button when you need one…

    1. Er…there is one up there, right below the post. 😉

  16. I’m pretty sure I would have missed this blow up if you hadn’t written about it, mostly because I’ve never given A&F much more than a passing thought. Years ago I made the mistake of walking into one of their stores, looking at the price tag on the t-shirt, and at fifteen realized that I didn’t want to pay $30 for a t-shirt that advertised for them and did little else. I’m a huge fan of freedom of speech and freedom to run your company as you please (within reason, of course), but I also think that words have a great amount of meaning. Internal beauty should always be worth more than external, and for someone to look down on someone because they don’t look a certain way… Well, I do hope it impacts their sales.

    • Thomas Linehan on May 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm
    • Reply

    I guess you just had to get that out of your system. Do you feel better now? lol

    1. I totally DID! I couldn’t resist *shuffles toe in sand*…and, yes, I feel better :D. COME ON! Who can’t make fun of this? And deny us all a good laugh?

  17. lol… I love it! So so true, and you know something, I’ve thought that all along anyway about A&F. Obviously when a designer only offers 2 sizes: 0 and Anorexic, they’re going for one demographic only, which doesn’t include me or anyone I know.

  18. I need a “Honk if you like Kristen Lamb” bumper sticker!

    1. LOL. Thanks *blushes* I just like making y’all laugh. Life’s too short not to have fun.

    • LD on May 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm
    • Reply

    Agreeing with everyone else–this post is GREAT!! 🙂

    Personally, I’m a ROSS fan. I just pick out whatever looks good on me. I get tons of compliments ALL the time! I reply, “Thank you, it’s from ROSS.” (hint – hint – you can look great & even use cash to buy clothes, no credit card debt.) As long as I have clothes, they fit, and they don’t cost much, I’m good.

    I care WAYYYY more about sponsoring starving, dying children in other countries, as well as my own (I sponsor 5 right now + other missions) as well as rescuing children from the sex slave industry (that sickens me). I didn’t choose to be born in a wealthy country; others didn’t choose to be born in torment with little/no chance of survival. I was graciously given much–not to indulge myself–but to help others. That’s what I invest my money in, because it’s eternal. 🙂

    1. I’m a Ross fan, too! It’s the only place I can afford to get maternity clothes that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

    2. AMEN.

    • Melissa Lewicki on May 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    • Reply

    I think it was Hercule Poirot who commented that he was fortunate to have enough money to satisfy all of his needs and some of his caprices. Me too. And, my caprices will never lead me into a AF store.

    Great post! Thanks, Kristen

  19. Howled over the line about the blue bloods beginning to look like they needed moonshine and banjos instead of crowns and scepters.

    I love when you let your snark off leash to play. I just added satire to my what-I-know-about-Kristen skills inventory.

    One niggling question…

    Is there an implied correlation between your ice-bag-as-hat-head and the glass in your hand?

    1. Jenny Hansen’s trunk lid slammed down on my head and gave me a nasty gash. Nearly had to go to ER, but decided ice and wine was far cheaper, LOL.

      1. OW! I hope you’re ok.

        1. That was last summer at RWA and I was fine. Nearly needed stitches…nearly. Was super glad not to have to go to a Los Angeles ER. Ice, some wine and was back teaching the next day. The mild concussion just made me funnier :D.

  20. Great piece. That said, I’m no fan of Wal-Mart either. We consumers need to think long and hard about our addiction to the fashion industry. It’s shallow and our love for having soooo many clothes (made inexpensively) is what killed so many of those women in that horrible factory fire a few weeks ago. I think all of it is redinkadonk. Shame on us all.

    1. Hey, I buy my clothes from Salvation Army most of the time. Too lazy (and cheap) to shop, LOL. But I agree? How many clothes do we really need? And what TANK TOP is worth $50. Really?

  21. Great piece of writing as usual… You’ve called Jeffries down so eloquently. Do you think he’ll get it? 🙂

    1. Nah, but at least we had fun :D.

  22. No, no, you’d be doing the world a favor by donating your A&F clothes…so then we’d know to avoid those who bought them… And still laughing over your post…

  23. Enjoyed your post! You almost have me convinced that we need people like Jeffries around to break the mold for the rest of us. I posted last night about my problems with A&F. I disowned them back in 2003. I linked to your previous post because you summed up all that is being said on this issue perfectly.
    On another note- I just finished “Hello Blog?” So much help. So much to do. Thanks for all the information and encouragement. I would be lost without it! I am busy implementing my list of to-do’s. Amy

  24. Now they are getting lots of free publicity from you. Genius!

    1. Probably not the kind of publicity they would like.

      1. They sound like the type of people who would make the most of ANY publicity!

        1. Eh, let them. They get publicity and I get great blog content. Fair trade.

    • Katharina on May 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm
    • Reply

    That is just hilarious! I’m from Australia, so A&F aren’t as big here but we have equivalents. Have to go and clean up the scrambled eggs I snorted over the table while reading your post.

  25. Great post, Kristen! There are no more words to be said…except, thank goodness my teenager thinks that store is a complete waste of space. What was the thing that turned her off? The ads of half-naked people. Smart girl.

  26. Brilliant post, Kristen! Now I know why we don’t have A & F in Australia – there are enough idiots here without having to import more!

      • Katharina on May 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm
      • Reply

      Sad but true 😉

  27. I missed all the brouhaha. Thanks for the entertaining summary. You’re the only one who writes long posts that I actually read. Hm. That may not have come across as a compliment. My A&F clothes are cutting off my circulation ad I’m getting light-headed. I did mean it as a compliment though. Ouch! Someone get me a can-opener!

  28. If this wasn’t so awful, it would be really funny. Great post!

    • lucewriter on May 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm
    • Reply

    Most brilliant post I’ve ever read . . . by anybody.

  29. great..fashion exist to dress well the ugly. Your writing is inspiring

    1. Noooo, it was created to dress the ugly or none of the ruling class would have EVER had offspring. Have you LOOKED at a history book? Beauty comes from within. No accessory or piece of clothing can create authentic beauty…which is why people like Jeffries deserve to be mocked.

  30. Great stuff! Have you received any hate mail from A&F attorneys? Not to worry. I’m sure fashion commentary is protected under the First Amendment.

    1. Nah, they’d just chalk it up to a bitter fat lady who is jealous she can’t wear their clothes, LOL.

  31. I always knew you have a good sense of humor — I didn’t realize how funny you can be. All in a good cause, of course.

    1. I have a dream to one day do stand-up. JUST ONCE!

  32. Ha! Pure brilliance. And yes, now I am totally conflicted about my A&F clothes. I don’t have a lot–couple t-shirts and some sweat pants–but the sweat pants are my total faves and now I feel morally obligated to shred them. Won’t be wearing them in public any time soon, that’s for sure. And DEFINITELY will not be buying anything new from them.

  33. So true! It really does help point out the douche bags! I have never been a fan of their clothes, even at my most thin. I have never understood the desire to wear clothes that has any label platered all over it. Hello, that is free advertising! No, thank you. It’s the same reason I won’t buy a LV purse (cuz it has nothing to do with the crazy prices!) or any other brand that has it’s name everywhere. I find it to be boring, too. I think shopping at places like Ross and TJ Maxx, sorting through and picking out pieces to put together is much more fun. And, it can show people’s own sense of style. That is what I like to see. Anybody can go buy an outfit straight off the rack if they have the money. There is no creativity in that. The one time I ever talked to a guy in an Abercrombie shirt I took a can of spray foam and turned the F in Fitch into a B, because that is what I thought of his stupid shirt. And him for wearing it. Thanks for making us laugh, as usual! 🙂

    If I had any Abercrombie stuff I would wear it unshowered and with ratty pajama bottoms. And, yes, I’d go into the store.

  34. WOOT! Previous to A&F labeling the jerks we had to do sooo much work. I’m stoked! No more wasting my time or my kids time trying to decide who we want to hang with. 🙂

  35. Bravo, Kristen! Best response yet to the A&F debacle. Let’s all of us go into their stores looking like crap! Thanks for your courage, K.

  36. Kristen, I love your blog. This post reminded me of Erma Bombeck, an author from yesteryear and a newpaper columnist. How about a syndicated column for you? Or do they still do that?

    1. Great compliment….humbling. I don’t know if they do that anymore. I think bloggers are kind of taking over that form of writing.

    • Tanya Cienfuegos on May 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm
    • Reply

    this was a golden post! It also gave me a brilliant idea, writers, listen up! Anyone who writes anything set in modern day, use A&F as a way to demonstrate how shallow and horrible a character is. It’s instant ‘show, don’t tell’.

      • Lara on May 16, 2013 at 7:31 am
      • Reply

      I think that’s great idea! And I’ve got an almost-cadaver thin shallow character who can pull it off. Thanks, Tanya, for the first scene work of the day.

        • Tanya Cienfuegos on May 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm
        • Reply

        Success! You’re very welcome. XD

  37. Back more than ten years ago I was able to buy black blue jeans OFF the RACK, which fit and no hemming, from a Wal-Mart Supercenter, but not dress pants. I needed white blue jeans for work washing dishes at a corporate hospital. My boss said that no blue jeans and no T-shirts to wash dishes in a kitchen cafeteria. She agreed to black blue jeans with hospital type white slip-on tops and later multi-colors. I had to go to the local dry cleaners, which hemmed dress pants for five dollars, back then.

    Growing up in a Catholic private grade school I often discussed the days after creation. I did not buy into the eating the apple and all of sudden man and women were ashamed of their bodies and needed clothes. I believed in God the Creator and the Holy Spirit mentally taught the first man and woman to survive which included needing clothes for the environment. Of course genetics and our parents and TV commercials took over in teaching the bare necessities.

  38. I think Jeffries’ attitude stinks and it really bothers me someone would have so little tact to publicly say such a statement. I’m not an A&F shopper, but am grateful for people like you who reveal the truth about stores like this. I think many stores are forgetting consumers can cause change and don’t have to do business with less than reputable companies.

  39. I didn’t have to wait until this guy opened his mouth and stuck his foot in. I wandered into an A&F store once for about two seconds. I looked at the price tag on the teeny tiny expensively-distressed t-shirt and thought I’d happened upon an overpriced goodwill store. When I saw the torn up jeans next to it, I knew I wouldn’t have to check back later for new arrivals.

    • Gwen Stickle on May 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    • Reply

    Great post! Great sense of humor! I agree with Nin Ashmore. Erma Bombeck would be so proud!

  40. Abercrombie & Fitch used to sell sporting goods, didn’t they? Wasn’t Rock Hudson’s character in “Man’s Favorite Sport” a salesman in the fishing tackle department at A&F?

    I can guarantee that they have nothing in my size…

  41. Wonderful piece. Really perked up my morning. Thanks.

  42. I’ve always thought A&F clothing were tacky, overpriced rags. I remember asking a friend while window shopping one day, “Do people actually wear that stuff? In PUBLIC?”

  1. […] want to spend too much time on the whole Abercrombie & Fitch debacle, but Kristen Lamb had another great piece this week on the dustup. Worth the read just for the entertainment […]

  2. […] Kristen Lamb brings her acid wit to bear on Abercrombie & Fitch. Prepare to ROFL. A New Era in Fashion–How Abercrombie & Fitch Saves Needless Suffering […]

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