This time of year is usually when I get new clothes because I've come to the US and I hit up the shops that I can't visit, or afford in the UK. My favourite is Abercromie and Fitch. I just love the clothes there! Navy and preppy are two adjectives that would describe my wardrobe, so naturally A&F is a great shop for me. I used to shop there in high school, oh so many years ago! I often wonder if I'm actually too old to shop there, but ya know what? No one gives me strange looks when I go in there, and I actually can afford to shop there. I love the pumping loud music, and dare I admit it, the smell of Fierce, their signature scent. You can smell the Fierce as you approach the shop, and all your purchases usually smell of Fierce for at least the first wearing. It sounds kinda sad, but that scent really makes me happy now! I blame classical conditioning, ha ha.
Yes, we have A&F in the UK now. There's one shop in London, but it's so not the same. First the prices are way jacked up in the UK. Yes, I know the prices are pretty steep at A&F to begin with ($50 for a womans polo, $30 for a graphic tee, $70 for a sweater/cardigan) but in the UK they are even more so. That plaid flannel shirt that costs $69.50 in the US costs £70 in the UK. RUBBISH. Second, the flagship store in London is gorgeous and lush, but super popular, and since I don't live in London, whenever I've been on a Saturday, there's a massive queue around the corner just to get into the store. NO WAY! And lastly, you can't access the US website from the UK and the UK website prices are expensive, but orders are still shipped from the US (I assume, I've not ordered online in the UK) as the shipping fees are insanely expensive.
Okay, so A&F want to maintain that luxury brand appeal. I can dig that, but that doesn't mean I'm going to fall for it. So I only shop A&F in the US, and pretty much only the sales around Christmas and New Years. The couple of days before and after Christmas they mark everything in store down to 50% off. They also do the same on the website! I'm pretty sure A&F in the UK do not do this.
My top 5 Rec's at A&F?
1. The cardies are gorgeous! I literally bought like 20 last year, which I am still wearing so I only picked up two this year, but they are so lush! They range in price from $50 to $200! Yikes, but if you get 50% or 40% off, they're a great deal. I've found that mine really hold up and look adorable. I literally live in these at the moment.
2. Skirts. They have so many different types I guess it's not really fair to pick such a wide category, but I have been buying their skirts for years! From lace to delicate floral prints, to pleats, and to wool, there's always a skirt I covet at A&F. These can run pretty expensive, so I recommend getting them on sale, but I have managed to nab a skirt or two for as little as $20 each in the sales! The only other downside I can see to these skirts is that they are pretty short. This isn't a problem for me, as I'm short and I always wear opaque tights with them, but may pose a problem if you live in a warmer clime.
3. Skinny Sweatpants. I love love love these sweatpants! Described as 'skinny fit, all the way down' these are so cozy it's unreal! Now, I do not have a perfect butt or legs, and I would not like to wear these out in public, but they are cozy PJ and around the house bottoms for me. The skinny fit is my favourite because it hugs the leg all the way down, and since I'm a shortie and that bottoms extend a good few inches past my ankle, these wrap around my foot, covering my entire ankle. I love it. So warm and snuggly. These retail for $58.
4. Hoodies. I have so many A&F hoodies, I don't even wanna count! Okay, maybe not that many, but I do love them! Admittedly I find the need for hoodies more when I lived in California than I do living in the UK, but these are my fav hoodies. Why? They are thick and nice quality. They are not cheap and start at $58, but again, if you get them in the sales, not a bad deal, especially as they last forever!
5. I had a hard time choosing my fifth and final recommendation, but decided on polo shirts. It was a close race between polo shirts, camisoles, and graphic tees. Polos won out for me because the A&F polo is so well known. They always have tonnes in the guys' section, but I've noticed over the last few years less and less on the womens' side. Sad Face. I can really rock a preppy polo, so I love it when they have them in classic colours like navy or red. Although I'm totally digging the green below. These are $50, but yes, you can snag them in sales, which I would recommend.
Weirdly I found that a couple years ago they changed the sizing on the female polos. I used to always wear a medium, but a few years ago I got a couple mediums without even trying them on, flew back to the UK and then, bam, disappointment! They were way too big. Now, I know Americans in general like to wear clothes loose and baggy, but that's so not the Abercrombie look. Since then I have been buying a small in the polo shirts to solve this problem. I would definitely recommend trying these on and making sure you're happy with the fit! Also, the colours can be deceiving on the website. I ordered the red one recently expecting a bright true red, and actually it's kind of a neon red. Sorta bummed about that, so it's going back. Not that I don't like that red, it's just I have one from A&F from last year, LOL.
Have you hit the sales at Abercrombie & Fitch or your favourite shop? Did you get anything good?