I Tried Plus-Size Shopping At American Eagle — Here’s What I Found

A few months back, some people in my local plus-size trading group kept on recommending American Eagle as ‘the place to go’ for jeans. Me, the skeptic, was highly dubious of this recommendation. In my head, all I could think about were my evenings at the Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga during high school.

I would go shopping with my friends, and American Eagle was ‘the’ place to shop.

But times had changed since I was 17 years old. For starters, I was no longer the size 16 I once was and now was a full-fledged plus-size (size 18/20, respectively) and would consider myself an apple shape. I really didn’t think this brand, whose entire marketing ethos was appealing to the ‘average American’, would genuinely want to put clothes on a body like mine. But guess what? It does!

While the store doesn’t offer a full range of sizes, there was more selection offered here than at Old Navy which made me shocked. Also, the sales rep greeted me immediately and helped me find a bunch of outfits to try on, without even looking twice at my size or shape. It felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone, to be honest.

So after she consulted with me, we pulled together four different outfits, here are my thoughts about shopping plus-size at American Eagle!

Outfit #1:

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Floral pants, size XL – $49.95
Light yellow knitted top, size XL – $34.95

Before we went into the change room, the sales associate told me that most of the items in the store had a loose fit, and she talked to me about the fabrics. The pants were made from a light cotton material, which would be perfect for the spring and I was in LOVE with the pattern! The yellow knit shirt was soft on the skin, and didn’t fit too tight. I did find it a little loose in the arms (for my liking) but overall, this outfit combo was a huge hit for me.

Outfit #2:

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Varsity crop hoodie, size XL – $49.95
Black curvy regular jeans, size 20 – $64.95

So prior to heading into American Eagle, everyone was raving about the jeans, so I knew I needed to try them. I scooped up this semi-cropped hoodie to go along with them to give me a sporty look. Overall, I loved the feel of the sweatshirt. Now let’s talk about the jeans! Man oh man, was I disappointed. They fit quite perfectly in the waist but other than that, they were baggy all over, causing weird bunching on the leg and near the crotch — not great. 

Outfit #3:

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Light blue paper bag pants, size XL – $44.95
Eggplant soft tee, size L – $29.95

The sales associate told me these were her favourite pants, and I was almost positive I had spotted them on Sarah Anne, a plus-size blogger’s Instagram before. I thought I’d give them a try and paired them alongside an eggplant-colored soft tee. The pants were a bit tight to get on, but once they were on, they were totally fine to move around in and super comfortable. Since I sized down in the shirt, I found it hugged my hips and all my curves just the way I liked. My only concern was: would the item hold up in the wash?

Outfit #4:

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Black ripped denim mini-skirt, size 18 – $59.95
Oversized white knitted sweater – $54.95

When I originally saw the skirt on the rack, my eyes bulged out of my head a bit. The sales associate said, “Trust me, this is going to look dope on you.” She was not wrong, but also it’s not as short as I anticipated. I thought for sure we were going to have a Britney moment, and I was worried as all hell. The over-sized sweater was comfy as hell. I am not a huge sweater person and I was into this.

Overall, the shopping experience was great — like a lot more positive than I was expecting.

In denim, the retailer carries up to a 24 in store and only an XL in tops, dresses, and some pants. Because so many things were oversized, it was good to try things on. For example –  I tried on a size 16 skirt and fit into it but it was TIGHT so a size 18 felt way better. If you, like me, needed convincing to go shop at American Eagle, hopefully, this does it. 

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