I Hate a & F!

Updated on May 09, 2013
K.B. asks from Detroit, MI
32 answers

WHY, WHY, WHY? Why would any parent let their kid buy clothes from there if they realized what a pig this guy is?

This is more of a vent than anything, but I just don't get it! Why does a 7-year-old's swimsuit top need to be padded? Why do girls in middle school and high school need sexy panties with suggestive words on them? Why can't we just teach our kids to be less materialistic and less worried about what they are wearing, and instead teach them to be focused on who they are inside, and being good and caring people?

My husband was out and about the other day with our 5 year old daughter, and saw a girl that looked 13 wearing booty shorts and a t-shirt that said, "Party With Sluts!" Again, WHY? Why are there parents out there that think this is acceptable or appropriate?

Can we all just agree that we don't need to support companies like this with our money? Can we all just agree to be our chidren's parents instead of their friends and just tell them NO when they want to shop there?

If your kids are tweens or teens, where do you let them shop for cool-but-still-decent clothes?

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I just want to say too that this is why I am glad my daughter is going to a school that requires uniforms. Even on non-uniform "jeans days", there are still some rules - i.e. no spaghetti straps, no booty shorts, no pants or shorts with words on the butt, skirts still have to be a certain length, etc. She's only in kindergarten but I am already not looking forward to the day when I can't just dress her in Gymboree or Hanna Anderrson anymore!

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answers from Dallas on

Well, duh. They shop there so they can be 'cool' (sarcasm after reading the article).

Sadly, A&F wasn't always like this. Take a look at the dude (ceo) doubt he was ever a "cool kid" or a "beautiful" person that he is trying so hard to attract.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

I absolutely despise Ambercrombie & Fitch! They advertise sex, not clothes. And they're clothes are always smaller than normal sizes, which adds to young girls thinking that they need to be bone skinny to be pretty. It also incinuates that all the cool people wear their clothes, that's why they are so expensive. I have always dressed conservatively. I wil expect the same from my girls, I will not allow them to dress like sluts. Thats because I am their mom first, then their friend. I am already talking to my oldest (5) about good people and bad people and good touches and bad touches. She understands what I expect from her because I model the bahavior (and clothes) that I believe are appropriate. If she doesnt like how I do something, she can wait until she is 18, until then; my house, my rules. And I tell her that all the time.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree! I even hated A&F when I was in high school, long before it got so dirty. Their clothes aren't even a very good quality--often threadbare but so expensive. I always shopped at American Eagle Outfitters or County Seat when I was in high school.

8 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

ETA1: A&F is NOT owned by the same company as American Eagle - they are COMPETITORS....not under the same umbrella AT ALL. A&F is based in Ohio...AE is based in Pittsburgh and owned by the Silverman's. A&F is owned by Jeffries.

ETA: Jeffries is a "married" man. However, along with his wife, he has a live-in partner as well. He ONLY allows MEN - and young ones at that on his Lear Jet...and they MUST wear A&F clothes with cologne...so what do you expect from this type of person?


I GET you! But hey - it's the age of "equality" and "self-expression"...

It seems we have lost control of our children because many are afraid of CPS being called....or we will hurt Jane's feelings because she 'won't be like her friends'....like saying no to a cell phone....why does a 7 year old NEED a cell phone?

There is sooo much I could say...but hey...I'm Conservative...not saying I don't have a W. side - but I wouldn't walk around in a pair of sweat pants that cost $75 that say "JUICY" on the butt...nor would I let my daughter run around with a pair of pants like that....nor would I let or allow my daughter to wear something that inappropriate.

I don't know WHY parents would allow this. I really don't. Other than trying to be their kids FRIENDS instead of being a parent...or maybe the parents have no morals, values or concerns about it....lack of caring...who knows!! Just know stuff like that doesn't go on in MY house!

14 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I think if parents would stop shopping in these places and vote with their dollars, things would change. Unfortunately, the problem isn't so much the stores as it is the parents who allow it and buy it. So far we've escaped a lot of the materialistic mall mentality because I personally can't stand the mall and we very rarely ever go there. Plus we live in a place where not many people can afford it. My daughter so far has little interest in it, which I'm glad about. But there may come that day...

ETA: I do wish we had uniforms at our school, but we do have a pretty strict dress code.

ETA: And by the way, I don't think parents buy this stuff because they're afraid of their kids calling CPS - I think too many parents buy into it because they like it themselves! They're barely older than kids themselves! They don't see the problem with it and they can't separate popularity from propriety. They'd rather see their kids "fit in" than have a positive self-image and self respect.

14 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

We have had a family boycott of A&F for years. It started when they began sending out magazine/advertisements with "advice columns" promoting group sex, girls performing BJ's on multiple boys, etc. and using models who apears to be pubescent in highly sexualized poses. (A&F's response was that their models are all over 18 and their target market is college and 20-somehtings - oh that makes me feel so much better...?)(even though the models are selected because they look like they're 13 or 14). Their teen sales people are rude, the stores are dark, the product they sell is poor quality & high priced, the stores reek of hideous perfume, etc. Realize also that Hollister & GillyHicks are sister companies owned by the same parent company so they can still rake in profits from families who don't like the slutty A&F image and refuse to support it.

This is a message for us to know where our money goes and what kind of companies we support.

Before my kids got too tall we would instead shop at American Eagle. Similar styles, nicer people, better quality, better value. Unfortunately my kids are now too tall to get clothing to fit well and we have moved down the Mall to Eddie Bauer as they have tall sizes so that my 6'2" 13 year old son doesn't look like he's wearing his little brothers' clothing. ;o)

As a follow-up comment - when the kids become teens and come home from school wanting to wear what all the "cool kids" are wearing we parents need to take a stand, ask our kids good questions to let them think and come to their own conclusions and be the parents - not the friend who wants their kid to be cool above all else. I told my daughter a long time ago that the bait you use when fishing determine the kind of fish you attract. Once at a traffic light we saw a young teen wearing skimpy clothing walk across our path and saw the driver of another car, an older gross dude, just oogle the girl - practically with his tongue hanging out. My daughter, about 14 at the time was completely grossed out. I reminded her that you can't control who looks at your body - you can only control your own level of modesty. My daughter became willingly modest after that point... (but we've NEVER allowed clothing with anything on the butt (& are very conservative about what's across the chest on T shirts - we don't need to draw attention to a part of a teen's body that people are already looking at....!) We just need to be the parent.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I hate X but I couldn't tell you why. :p

Seriously took me a while to figure out you were talking about Abercrombie. Never set foot in the place! They use some repellant, I think they call it perfume, keeps me away. :)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am right there with you. When my kids were choosing clothes I never even let them go into those stores. Especially when they started selling Ts that said across the chest, With these, who needs brains!

It won't stop till people quit shopping there.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I do agree. The whole "we're so cool" thing panders to the lowest common denominator, namely, vapid self-absorbed people. Instead of picking and choosing from a retailer I find despicable, I simply don't shop there, period. They get NONE of my money.

But other brands do this too. Big name designers often don't offer larger sizes for the same reason the owner of A&F cited. They don't want the general public seeing a larger person wearing their clothes. A girlfriend of mine once worked at a boutique for an international designer: she was told which people she was to help and which customers to ignore (anyone overweight, anyone who didn't have a fresh manicure, a certain kind of jewelry, etc.). She eventually quit; she hated having to treat people like they were nothing.

If you care about how you spend your money and who it goes to, what it supports/puts forward, not shopping at A&F is a very simple, logical choice. There are a lot of places I don't shop for clothes, mainly because either the product is distasteful to my own sensibilities or because they use sweatshops for their product.

I don't know why anyone would think some of these clothes (as you described) are appropriate for their kids. "Party with Sluts"? For the parents who are allowing the overt sexual clothes (and I see it with both genders), I have to wonder if the parents haven't evolved past 'overgrown teenager with an attitude and love of shock value? I know a few adults like this, who have the "I can do what I want and I'll let my kids dress however..." -- I cannot say that those individuals are succeeding in life.

I also know plenty of kids (myself included) who used to sneak clothes out of the house and change at school. I did wear some very short miniskirts in my time. Fortunately, my son does go to a school which will call your parents and ask them to bring appropriate clothes!

With you 100%. :)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Some people don't care about bigger issues and only want what they want. It's why so many companies rake in gigantic profits despite deplorable actions. Lots of people don't care.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter will not shop there. I don't shop there. My SD doesn't shop there. We think their clothing is overpriced, inappropriate and their advertising is terrible. If that's "cool", I want my kid to be UNcool and to have her own mind and not feel like she has to be sexy at 7 yrs old. There are inappropriate clothes everywhere. IMO, you need to teach her what's appropriate, why, and why it matters how she presents herself. If she wants shorts that are so short her butt is hanging out, then the discussion needs to be about why she thinks that's a good idea. My SD wore some questionable outfits here and there (most teens do) but overall she made good choices for herself. Our rules were pretty basic - no exposed underwear (which includes too sheer outfits), no exposed private parts, and appropriate for the venue.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

THANK YOU!!!! I thought I was the only one who doesn't let their daughter dress like a little tramp!!!

I HATE that store, not only because of the clothes, but because of the music blaring out into the mall! I've complained to the mall manager and they claim they can't do anything about it.

As for clothing - I think the parents these days are so afraid of their children they let them do/wear whatever they want. I am NOT afraid of my children, my daughter does NOT go out of this house wearing trampy clothes and/or makeup. AND I'm not afraid to say NO to her!!!

My daughter is 15 and she, and a lot of her friends, will shop at Aeropostale - their clothes are very nice plus reasonable prices. Yes, they have some undesirable styles, but my daughter has enough self-confidence and respect of her body that she doesn't even want to wear those kinds of clothes.

While I totally agree with everything you've said, I'm afraid you're fighting a losing battle with other parents!! Until more parents teach their daughters to respect their bodies, I don't think anything is going to change!!!

Additionally, at the teen and tween ages, do we really need our daughters looking like tramps around the boys with raging hormones??? I think NOT!!!

Great question/vent!!!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Amen to uniforms! I wore one and my children will as well.

Forget the tweens, it's hard enough to find clothing that looks like "little girl" clothing without spending a fortune. I just invested a ton in rompers for the summer b/c my one year old doesn't need t-shirts with "sassy chick" on the front or heiny. I also had a dress made for an upcoming wedding b/c she doesn't need to look like a cupcake or cake topper either!

I took my niece (11) shopping for her birthday and she asked about Forever 21. Um... no. You aren't 21 yet so not happening. We hit up a huge sale at Macy's and Target for accessories.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I've only been in Abercrombie once and it ended up being the children's store...And it reeked of cologne and it was so dark in there I couldn't even see the clothes.
This was a few years ago when my oldest daughter was about 13 or so and we were just checking out the "teen" stores. Needless to say we don't shop there.

My teen girls usually get their clothes at American Eagle or in Macy's teen section.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I do agree and don't support these companies.

I think a lot of parents are just not paying attention and have themselves convinced that it doesn't matter. But what you wear does affect your mood and your thoughts and how your present yourself and what you think of yourself. I think a lot of parents are just superficial and thoughtless and don't know any better. They actually believe this is what life is all about. Poor things. and even poorer are their children and these children affect other children and these children will become adults and will affect society

It's very sad actually.

Doesn't have to be this way. People not only need to not buy these items but must also make their voices heard.

Remember too so many weak minded people fall for these things and many other mindless or crude things as corps. and advertisors have it all figured out with hiring psychologists, anthropologist, sociogolist etc. to weave their endeavors to get you to buy and to get the kids to want and buy, borrow or steal if they have to. It's really quite baneful.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

i don't believe in censorship or telling others what to do. if A & F offends you, don't buy there.
personally my kids have sweatpants and sweatshirts from there. they love them, i like the quality. almost all stores have things to be upset about.
my kids are tweens i guess. they shop at justice, gap, lands end, abercrombie, benetton etc. of course i decide if yay or nay, because i am paying.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have boys--but I totally agree! A few years ago they sold thongs in kid sizes...classy!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I've purchased clothing at Abercrombie and A & F. My daughter will occasionally purchase from Holllister now.

Just because you purchase something there does not make you some slut or hoochie. My daughter never wore padded swimsuits because although she will only wear a 2 piece, she chooses more coverage and no padding. So guess what..... she shopped for her swimwuits elsewhere. The t shirts she wore only had the A&F logo, no slogans and the jeans, skirts and jackets are good quality.

You can choose clothes that are inapproproate at ANY store just like you can choose clothes at AF, Abercrombie and Hollister that are appropriate. Sure, they have some things my daughter would not be caught dead in but they also have some good things.

At 18, right now she shops a lot at Nordstrom since she is on the BP Fashion board there and she picks up some cute items from H&M as well as a few other places.

Just because she has clothes from AF, Abercrombie and Hollister does not make her a hoochie. Actually she is quite intelligent and heading to college on an academic scholarship and just finished an entrepreneur class at school with her idea being the one chosen by a group of shareholders to purchase and put into place. She's no dummy and no hoochie..... nor am I.

Sometimes there are brilliant people if you just look past what they wear and don't judge them before getting to know them.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Rockford on

I'm not a fan of the store at all...overpriced, dark, and yes, some not so appropriate clothing! My hubs grandma went in there w/ her younger grand daughter and broke her ankle walking in because it is so dark!

My kids do like the label, (they are 13 & 14) but they both only have a couple of t-shirts...and they got them on sale. Or I found them at TJ Maxx! haha!

It's tough, because when kids do get older, they want to wear things you may not like, so it's time to choose your battles and decide what is worth fighting about! I don't mind spaghetti straps, but not for school...no low cut, no belly shirts, no super shorty shorts...There's a lot I don't like, and some I don't mind...but overall, I agree w/ what you are saying!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

HIGHLY offensive. They carry large and XL boy's clothing (for the jocks) but nothing larger than a 10 in women's. Way to stereotype. The CEO is a pig.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I am horrified by some of the outfits my granddaughters wear to school. I tell them if you dress I appropriately, you will attract all the bad boys. Dress like a lady, and will will attract nice young men who respect you. They think they are cool. I think it is disgusting.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I buy my kids clothing that fits, and is appropriate.
My youngest is very slim, with narrow hips, so A & F jeans are a perfect fit for her. Of course I only buy them on sale or consignment because they are way too expensive at full price.
I don't get the catalog, but what I have seen in the store is pretty basic. Other than the short shorts I would let my girls wear everything else. I haven't seen any sexy panties or swimsuits for little girls, but like I said, I only see what's in the store, maybe it's different online (?) My girls don't like bright colors and bling, they like basic jeans, shorts and t shirts in soft natural colors, and that's what makes up the A & F line, for the most part.
Sure this CEO sounds like a pig but it's his business and if nothing else he's being honest. If you don't think ALL clothing companies use sex appeal to market their clothes one way or another to girls then you're just being naive. There are plenty of "sexy" options at pretty much every store.
Have you seen the little girls' underwear at Sears, or Penneys or even Target? Some of it is just gross.
Bottom line, buy only what you want your kids to wear. When a particular type of item doesn't sell it goes away. That's capitalism.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I'm so thankful my kids could care less about fashion and wear hand-me-downs still. Yes, I tell them no to Walmart, so it would be no to these stores too. Thank goodness they have no interest yet. I also have trouble paying full retail prices, so I guess that takes care of that. Sorry kids, momma doesn't shop at the mall.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

My nephew used to wear their pants. His mom gave them to us when he couldn't wear them anymore. They were pretty good pants.

That was a pretty long time ago. I remember buying him a gift card at Christmas years ago, and the place was a bit "racy", but not so over the top.

Two years ago I walked into the store, and ended up walking out because the music was SO loud that I couldn't stand being in there. I didn't see the slutty clothes you're talking about, but I've never been back there.

I love school uniforms. I really do. I wish all public schools used them.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

It's none of your business or anyone else's how someone dresses. So why do you care so much? Just because someone shops at these stores doesn't make them have any less morals then you, for all you know this 13 year old hussy could be a straight A honor student. What's the old saying never judge a book by its cover?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

Don't you think your painting with a pretty broad brush here? My girls have clothes from A & F and they are still "focused on who they are inside, and being good and caring people". You are putting way too much emphasis and giving too much power to a brand name. My kids make great choices about what they wear and how they present themselves. We talk about it all the time and just because they occasionally wear a particular label it doesn't make them shallow or materialistic. They are just as likely to own a favorite shirt they got at a thrift store.

My oldest is on her first year of "non-uniform" school as a freshman in HS. We have never had to monitor what she wears, she is not into trying to get attention by dressing suggestively. She is very sure of who she is and has always worn appropriate clothing for the outing. No booty shorts, mid-riff showing shirts, super short skirts or sweats with writing across the rear.

A & F is owned by the same company as Hollister and American Eagle so I guess ALL the clothes in those store are out for you too. Most of the bathing suits and bras for tweens/teens have padding now days, at Target, Old Navy etc. You do not need to agree with everything a company does or stands for to purchase a sweater from them on occasion. I'm sure you purchase things from companies that do all kinds of things you would disagree with.

At this point you control what your child wears but you may feel differently about it when she's old enough to ask for certain things. You get to a point with kids where you really have to pick your battles. If you raise them right and with strong values it doesn't make a bit of difference if there's a little moose sewn on the front of their sweater. In a while they'll outgrow that trend and be on to the next. Don't you remember what it's like to be a teenager?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I Just finished reading where the CEO of A&F said they only cater to the cool kids and pretty people and that's why they don't make larger sizes. His way of thinking makes me sick! I shop mostly at Old Navy for my 8 yr old, occasionally Gap, and selectively at Justice (but she's a tomboy so its hard to find stuff there that she likes, except for thepanties).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

As to the possible 13yo wearing that - it *could* be that parent(s) don't know as she left the house in one outfit and changed after she got out. I say that as years back, I got a call from the school about my daughter being in something outside of the dress code (inappropriate if you will) - and I told them that she DID have other clothes as that was NOT what she left the house in - and also to tell her if she really wanted to try this again, I'd be her shadow at school .... Never got another call from the school over dress again as she knew I'd do it - and she also knew I knew many of the teachers!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I'm with you. 100%. If I'd had a daughter and she came home wearing a t shirt with that on, it would've faced certain destruction.

Much is peer pressure and the fact that people have become desensitized to what is in bad taste. I mean I guess the idea is why get uptight about wording when the world has worse problems. It's stupid that it's gotten this warped. And all sorts of social issues puts pressure on parents to ''let their kids be" otherwise these poor kids will become depressed because mommy and daddy won't let them fit in with their friends who wear equally demeaning clothes.
And the clothing industry wants to make money on this trashy mindset. Look like a runway model, look like Victoria's Secret so called angels.l...etc They glorify being hot and sexy so that guys will want them. And the end result is guys will want them, but for the wrong reasons. And then we end up reading about teen girlfriends who all team up and get pregnant and make themselves a nationwide sensation that everyone talks about. We see the real housewives glorified on tv. And some pretty sleezy programming, and think it's okay. ABC comes out with some real trash. And kids follow it. All the vampire shows....popular as heck. And the programs where moms want to turn their 6 year olds into prima donnas and divas. Let's remember JonBonet Ramsey.
It isn't just A & F. It's the media, clothing industry, entertainment levels, and the weak minds of the masses. It takes a strong parent to protest this garbage and make sure their kids understand what's tasteful and not.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

DVMMOM- This is an age old problem.

I specifically remember my mom being distraught because I wanted to wear oversized sweatshirts, leggings and slouchy mismatched socks in the 80s. Nothing immodest about it, but she said I looked like a clown.

Then in the late 80s when it was bleached/ sugar washed pants, with holes in the knees, and neon, and suspenders and oversized blazers with shoulder pads, poor mom was distraught again, she said I looked like I didn't know how to use a washing machine, and there was no way I was going to go about town with bleach stained pants. The sprayed out hair was gaudy too, but nothing too immodest.

In the early 90s, it was grunge. Ratty t-shirts, ratty flannel. No immodesty, but mom hated that I looked "like a hitchhiking lumberjack."

I remember she didn't care for the super wide legged jeans that came into fashion when I first started college. (not immodest either, but she said she couldn't understand why we took our style cues from elephants).

If mom had her way, I would have been in business casual, slacks, loafers/ smart slides or kitten heels, sweater sets or a modest skirts, paired with a 3/4 length coat, and a chain of pearls from age 12 on.

Took me 20+ years until my wardrobe choices aligned with her preferred look for me.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Well, we shop wherever there are clothes that are acceptable choices that the kids like and will wear.
Old Navy for some things
Belks (online--you can get some good deals on Izod rugby or polo shirts for older teen boys that are in men's sizes)
American Eagle
Aeropostale (daughter like a few things here or there, son isn't a fan really)

Or again, wherever we happen to see something they like and will wear. We've picked upstuff at JCPenny's. Or at Ross. Or at Target. Or TJ Maxx, too. My kids are more about comfort and the clothes, than the name/label on them. Except when it comes to Sperry shoes---they don't want any knock-off brand of topsider, although I must admit, the quality of the knock-offs is not the same with those.



answers from Detroit on

As a history buff, I found Jeffries' comments to be reminiscent of someone else looking to create a master race of pretty people in Germany a while back. "Mr. Jeffries - meet Mr. Hitler - you have a lot in common with him".

As a parent, I have control over what my child wears now and I don't find their brand and his views appealing at all (it helps that I'm also not a size 2 who views themselves as a toy for others to play with) ;)

Unfortunately, even if *you* won't spend money on the clothing, their supposed target audience (20-something) aren't under Mommy's purse strings any more and will keep the business flush.

The best we can hope for is that while raising our kids, we instill the value of worth in themselves and how to conduct themselves in a non-demeaning way. Coolness is not a pants size, hair color or anything like that. Coolness comes in so many different shapes and sizes and colors because it's what inside.

And, if they grow out of the size requirements, well, they may get irritated on their own and boycott the store as well for discrimination against the larger cool and beautiful people-one can only hope!

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