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We’ve talked some mid-to-high-end luxury shopping on the blog this week and now it’s time to talk steals at the other end of the market.
Every three years or so it’s been tradition for me to go to American Eagle and pick up a new NYC-themed hoodie. Their hoodie sweatshirts are the best — soft underlayer with a thick, warm top layer. These special NYC-themed sweatshirts are only available at their 34th St Flagship and each time I go they’ve moved them to a different spot. While hunting around for their latest home I noticed more and more cute stuff around me, and eventually amassed quite a fitting room full of cute, inexpensive, preppy chic items.
One fitting room session later, I was coming home with two huge shopping bags of new pretties to wear for Fall, having spent less than $300 on more than 6 outfits! Such is the delight that American Eagle can be when they’re on their design game and right now they are on. My girlfriends who are moms tell me AEO (American Eagle Outfitters) is a popular topic of conversation in their mommy groups for how practical and inexpensive their clothing is. Right now, you can take 30% off your purchase when you buy one web exclusive item (there are many in this post!) with code SHOPFALL.
Aside from their hoodies, I find that their jeans are true highlights. They have tons of styles to choose from…about a billion washes…and they run in many, many sizes and length options. They are curve-friendly too, though I size up for a good fit. I usually need a 14 in their jeans, and a 12 in the tomgirl styles. You can see one style on me in this OOTD post. Right now AEO is offering a Buy 1, Get 1 50% off promotion on their jeans!
Looking AEO’s website (and their sister intimates brand, Aerie’s site) I see tons of cute looks, like the outfit above featuring the Waffleknit Boyfriend Cardigan ($50), the Lace-Paneled Tank ($40) and the Denim X Hi-Rise Jegging ($50) in Ice Woman. I’ve got a few more looks from the site I like below followed by several outfit ideas of my own.
For sizing reference, I am a 14 in their jeans, a large in their tops and a medium in their cardigans, unless otherwise noted.
To be sure, buying from American Eagle is not a long-term closet investment. Like a Zara or a H&M or that ilk this clothing lasts a couple to a few years with proper care. I always wash AEO stuff on delicate or the quick wash cycle — not because I’m afraid of it falling apart but rather because I’ve noticed their stuff is prone to shrinking. I dry it on low to damp dry and then hang it to finish the drying process. Is this a pain in the butt? You betcha. But it’s worth it to me because this stuff requires such little upfront investment and with a bit of TLC, the clothing can last quite awhile.
Another area to set your expectations in is materials. You won’t find 100% silk or cotton here for the most part; nearly everything is some kind of unholy poly/nylon mix. That said, I still find that AEO’s stuff feels soft and wearable compared to other stores where those materials feel scratchy or uncomfortable.
Take the Soft & Sexy Plush Boyfriend Cardigan ($40), above. This cardigan is a mix of rayon, nylon and spandex. Normally that combination would feel scratchy and rough against my skin yet this cardi feels quite nice and extremely soft! It’s one of many very soft and pleasant-feeling items AEO has right now. Further down in the post we’ll talk about the softest pair of jeans I’ve ever tried on!
I also find it very easy to layer at AEO thanks to a mix of solid tank tops and camis aplenty with tons of flannel and plaid shirts and simple layering pieces. The Ahhmazingly Soft Plaid Boyfriend Shirt ($45), shown above in purple, is one of more than 10 colors this truly fluffy and comfy top comes in. Throw on a cami like the Soft & Sexy Plush Ribbed Tank ($20) underneath for a beautifully contrasting neckline. I’ve got another idea for the plaid top towards the end of this post.
Most all the sweaters at AEO are simple yet pretty right now! I absolutely adore the AEO Mixed Stitch Cable Sweater ($45, above in light brown) and have an outfit idea for it in cream. I took a large in this sweater because the cables down the front looked better in a large than a medium on me. Another sweater winner is the Aerie Lace-Bottom Sweater (now $30) which has beautiful lace trim along the bottom.
Below, I’ve put together 7 outfit ideas featuring AEO and Aerie beauties.
American Eagle tends to carry many degrees of the same color and complementary colors. So you’ll find pinks from orangey to pinkest pink, purples from dark to light and so on around the color wheel. This makes it very easy to assemble coordinating outfits that are very put-together!
I’m also delighted by their shoe selections, especially their massive selection of booties. To my surprise and satisfaction, they are more comfortable than expected and well-made. I tend to put these insoles in my shoes these days which help a ton.
We need to talk about the jeans in this look because as their name suggests, they are very soft. I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw the label but a store associate assured me they’d feel great on. She was so right! They felt beyond soft, almost like velvet but without that look. They look like jeans. Stretchy and comfortable, you can size down in these. I take a 12 in them.
The AEO Embroidered Camo Parka ($100) is lovely from the front but you really need to see it from the back to fully appreciate it! The K-Swiss Surf & Turf Sneaker ($65) are an unexpected touch; like many retailers American Eagle is collaborating with more third party brands as well as carrying them to up shopper loyalty. You’ll also see Tretorn and Dolce Vita make appearances in this post.
I’m delighted to see the ultimate in preppy in my book — varsity sweaters — back in style. In the 90s I wore these constantly as was the fashion and it’s one of just a few trends I’m happy to revisit. Now, how about a velvet varsity sweater to combine two of my favorite retreads of the season?
Aerie has many cute bralettes that make fun layering pieces under tank tops. I was surprised by how well the Lace Grl Power Corset (now $18) holds me being a 34DD; I wouldn’t wear it on its own but I almost could. It’s like a fairly supportive sports bra.
You’ll find some undeniably adorable coats at AEO right now too; this Fleece-Lined Hooder Bomber Jacket ($100) above comes in three colors and might be my favorite. I’ve layered a whole bunch in this particular outfit and you could easily discard one of those layers if it’s too much for your personal taste.
Rounding out this fun outfit ideas post is a triple-layered look that’s sure to keep you warm, happy and stylish all Fall long! I’m very much enjoying what American Eagle has to offer — below are my picks from their current assortment. Have you shopped AEO recently?