Abercrombie & Fitch bans black clothing, because it is just too ‘formal’

Abercrombie & Fitch has to be just the most ridiculous damn company on earth. Really. First of all, their clothes are so heinous that they don’t even show them in their advertisements (see above!). Second, I have never understood why would you pay so much money for clothes that make it look like you are going camping? Camping is not fashionable. Camping is the opposite of fashionable, unless you are in Troop Beverly Hills.


(OMG, there is just not enough Shelley Long in the world these days. Or Shelley Duvall. Not enough Shelleys all around! But I digress.)

In addition to their admission that they just don’t want “fat people” wearing their clothing, the sad little mall store that no one buys anything from anymore has instituted a company-wide ban on the color black. Not in their stores, not in their offices, and not on their plane. Why? Because it is just too formal.

Anyway, here is their hilarious explanation for the ban, which, oddly, extends to winter coats that are not even worn inside:

“Abercrombie & Fitch does not sell black clothing and discourages wearing it at our home office and in our stores, because we are a casual lifestyle brand and feel black clothing is formal. We have nothing against black clothing and feel it is perfectly appropriate for things like tuxedos.”

I would like you to know that I am writing this, whilst sitting on my couch in a black wifebeater and blue running shorts. I AM SO FORMAL RIGHT NOW. Totally ready for my close up, Mr. Deville! Perhaps I should have accessorized this ensemble with a top hat and monocle.

Unsurprisingly, this is far from the weirdest policy Abercrombie has ever had. An anonymous source tells me that, at least when she worked there, employees were required to wear all Abercrombie all the time– and not just any Abercrombie, stuff from the front of the store. Things that were not on sale or older. They also had to wear Abercrombie flip-flops, even in the winter. Keep in mind, that most of the kids who work there are making minimum wage and A&F clothing is ridiculously expensive for what it is.

This kind of policy is actually very unusual for a retail store. I spent quite a bit of time in high-end retail, and have never, ever been required to purchase anything from a store in order to work there. In fact, I had a clothing allowance.

Even creepier still was the fact that when people came in to drop off a resume, employees at her store were required to circle A if the person was hot, B if the person was cute, C if the person was ok and F if they were ugly, in the Abercrombie & Fitch logo at the top of the page. If someone good-looking came in, they were supposed to offer them a job. Oh, and employees were discouraged from saying hello or being friendly to customers, which, given my background, I think is straight-up ridiculous.

These ridiculous policies and statements, along with the fact that A&F has been putting out the exact same unfashionable clothing, year after year, since at least 1996, are probably at least part of the reason the stores stock is plummeting and their sales are down 13% this year. Which I think, proves something I’ve always thought– which is that there is nothing less cool/casual than trying really hard to be cool/casual.