I wouldn’t go so far as saying American Eagle is an American institution but when it comes to making great fitting, affordable jeans, they are right up there with the best.

So, when it was announced last year that AE would be discontinuing their jeans in sizes 22 and 24, the plus size community as a whole took a collective sigh. Now, a user on Reddit did comment that “American Eagle told me this wouldn’t be permanent” and when I saw this it did give me hope, but here we are, over a year on, and AE only carries jeans up to a size 20 both in-store and online. What seems to be more alarming is the user claims their representative told her to “try the 18-20 jeans as they’re really stretchy.” Newsflash: we’re fat. That’s why we liked the larger size jeans, because they had the ability to stretch over our big bums and tummies. Try being a fat girl and having to “size down” and then tell me how that goes.

why i loved ae’s jeans

So I actually used to work at a local AE store pre-pandemic and it was amazing to see how inclusive the brand was. They stocked sizes 0-24 in jeans and you’d get such a breadth of customers coming in.

The quality of their jeans is really good. They can withstand the thigh rub due to their stretchy feel but they still keep you really warm in winter. As a size 22 tall, they were literally perfect for me and for a while their high-waisted skinny jeans were the only jeans I wore. I felt vindicated that such a powerful brand was making normal clothing that fit me.

Looking for alternatives? Well, I have several other pairs of “go to” tall plus size jeans now, which you can find in my recent article.

setting a precedent

Unfortunately, this is another step in the wrong direction in the strained relationship between mainstream brands and women of size. But, should we be surprised? Just recently, we saw the backlash Abercrombie received for promoting a plus woman wearing their clothes. Everyone involved, from the wider society, to the fashion industry, to designers, still has a ways to go before big brands can normalize fat women wearing their clothes.