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Abercrombie & Fitch: No Wonder they get Sued

Updated on December 27, 2009

I work at Abercrombie and Fitch. The brand is very popular I am sure everyone knows about them. The style is "classic". Jeans, t-shirt, things like that. I don't wear or like the clothing personally but many people seem to. Here's the thing about working there... I would say its equivalent to working in hell. That's a little harsh but not that far off.

The Dreaded Look Policy.

Abercrombie found a way to judge and make everyone feel bad about themselves all the time! The look Policy means you have to look "natural" all the time. There are a set of rules for boys and Girls.

  • Girls: For the women you can't wear Nail Polish or have any sort of fake nails. So don't waste your extremely small paycheck on getting your nails done. You will be forced to take off your nails or the colorful polish. If your black don't even think about dying your hair any shade of blonde. Its not "natural" because there is no way a black women can have naturally blonde hair. Especially in the world of Abercrombie. I recently dyed my hair light brown but the dark brown roots started to come in. I heard the managers talking about it in the back. Which wasn't a surprise. You can only wear navy or gray. NO other color is aloud unless it is part of the set outfit you can buy for 50% off. Lets see..50% off a 60 dollar shirt and 70 dollar jeans. Oh and one more thing. No make up what's so ever. I am not one of those girls who wears a ton of make up. But for the girls who have terrible acne, Sorry. Everyone will know about it
  • Boys:No facial hair. It ruins the whole pretty boy thing and boys also have to wear navy or gray.

The pay isn't that good and neither are the hours.

You hardly get enough me to afford that dumb outfit in the first place. So you end up spending most of your money of the cloths you buy to work there and make money. It is absolutely ridiculous. And the employee discount doesn't make a dent in the prices.

I know I work there. But it's because times are tough. I have a hard time working at this store because It goes against everything I believe in. Pornographic pictures cover the walls. With no regard to people's feelings toward these images. The music is so loud people can't hear you. Customers often complain about this but their complaints aren't met. Worst of all the smell is unbelievably strong. People with allergies are screwed in there. No other way to put it. I know a lot of people complain about there jobs, But I just wanted to write what everyone thinks but doesn't dare say.


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    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 2 years ago

      Exactly! I couldn't have said it better my self. Thank you for reading

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      This was a very nice read. I enjoyed this article. I admire clothes and attire that bring out the naturalness in a person. Life is about being real unless you're performing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 3 years ago

      I have of course gotten a new job since I wrote this hub. I also have done research and looked into different law suits still going on at Abercrombie. I understand their views and that I wasn't the right fit, which I am actually thankful for. Thanks for the comments all!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Can I just say "O my'.....I do not shop there for a number of reasons mainly because my taste in clothing has changed since I was much younger.

      It does seem like an environment I would would not be comfortable to work in.

      Angels are on the way to you once again today ps

    • mr-veg profile image

      mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

      Nice confession :) Hope you find a better satisfactory job girl :) ... Take care.. And hopefully you can send me some discount coupons to use ;)

    • profile image

      Darwin 3 years ago

      I think we all have differences and I think we're lucky that we have the job :) mwaah mwaah

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 3 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      This is such an unusual hub. There are some stories about why the company has such controversial policies for staff and such a negative image in the public arena. And this is from a long time back. I think their clothes are nice.

      But it is sad that some women like you have had bad experiences working in A&F. When a company lose staff and starts wondering why everyone is sick of working there, it's probably too late for that business.

      I have switched jobs a few times due to mostly management attitudes, and people and internal politics. I work in a great company now where I am appreciated, paid well and treated fairly.

      I hope things are better for you now. Well done on starting Pretti N Pink. Follow your heart. You'll get there. :_

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 4 years ago

      Yes! I remember the call ins..ugh that was awful. I do not understand how the system works there. I worked there for three years and just thought it made no sense. I hope you get more hours soon!!

    • profile image

      katie 4 years ago

      I work there now and the dress policy is a bit ridiculous. Especially since I am an impact worker not a model. I was offered the modeling position but decided id try out working in the back first. Im a mixed race girl and I understand the hair thing. I like my co workers and my managers are okay , it's the hours I have to complain about. I get no hours at all. I got the job 3 months ago and I have only worked twice. Its really annoying because they'll only put call ins on my schedule but thy always tell me they don't need me to work. Its very frustrating!

    • Courtneyguerrero profile image

      Courtneyguerrero 4 years ago

      I would love to work there although I might spend my paycheck there cause I'm obsessed with there clothes haha BUT anyway about pornographic images I find that a joke no one makes you shop there hell we have karls jr and there erotic commercials that we can't control say something about that.

      Everytime I shop at abercrombie I'm always treated so kind and never ever feel uncomfortable .

      And there clothes in my opinion are priced extremely fair and they always have great sales .

      And rules are rules no matter were you work!! And if you don't like there rules go else where.

      Not that hard ;))

    • profile image

      A&F 5 years ago

      Not all A&F stores are the same. Personally my managers and co workers are awesome. I've been with the company for 2 years as a model. Yes it is a pain in the butt at times but what job isn't? Abercrombie holds its employees to a higher standard. We do more than people think and I believe they expect more out of us. Not only do they want you to look like your job title, a "model" but they also want the best service possible. A&F models have it easy on how we have to look. As a model in the real world if your agency says drop 10 lbs you do it if you want work. Abercrombie doesn't expect that. Each company wants models that represent their brand. And A&F is natural so if models want to dye their hair then go model somewhere that allows it. Also most associates don't intend on harassing customers by following them. We are honestly trying to help you find what you need while maintaining our room which is expected to be perfect. And I mean perfect. Basically we are always offering to help customers in order to avoid theft, avoid 5 hours of refolding, and just to be an all around good associate. Am I saying there is no prejudice in a company? No. We can't honestly say that about any company. Unfortunately it's the world we live in. But from what I've seen from the past 2 years the people are honestly just trying to help. Customers just don't understand why and they won't unless they work there. And as for the clothes, we aren't required to buy them. You can wear jeans from anywhere and a tank as long as the brand name or logo isn't showing. Go to wal mart and Payless if the clothes are too expensive. And lastly the photos on the walls and bags are not any worse then anything I've seen at Victorias secret and other high end stores. The company isn't perfect and I hope that it was just that location that is having trouble or maybe just my store is different because this does not describe where I work at all. I just want to offer another side to this story not cause an argument . Take it or leave it.

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for your comments. And They ppl who said I wasn't cut out are funny because they posted as a guest. They obviously don't have the courage to be hubpage members. :) Their cloths aren't even that great. and I now work at a daycare and adore it. Because children believe in the good and magic of this world.

    • Hope Forever profile image

      Hope Forever 5 years ago

      I dislike shopping at A&F simply because of the way the employees look at me. I'm not a size 00 and with the fact that their clothing seems to run small almost nothing fits. I know what it's like to work at a job you hate because you need the money. I worked at an amusement park for three summers straight and would have anxiety attacks every morning when I had to go into work. Sometimes we have to do things we don't like to. Which is in response to some rude people saying just quit. In this economy you can't. You need the money. I find it interesting that some people would go as far as to say that you're not "cut out" for modeling there. Not being cut out for something and being disgusted by the way things are run are two entirely different things. So maybe people should stop and think before they spread hate.

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      Oh god!! Girls one was HORRIBLE! I am glad you are having a good experience there though. :) thank you for reading this.

    • profile image

      minaar 5 years ago

      I currently work there and I love it there. I think it really depends on the store, but I guess I'm just stating the obvious haha. the environment at the one I work at is very friendly and relaxed. except girls 1 sucks and I hate it when I'm put there. you stand there for hours, and you do literally nothing.

      and I totally agree with you. the employee discount does NOTHING to lighten the price. 50% off on $107 jeans is still like $50 something. I only shop there when there are clearances or major sales. screw the employee discount. the on the paycheque you're making, no way you can spend so lavishly. but stores like aritzia is the same. quite literally your pay cheque goes right back to the store

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      Not cut out? hmm I am a professional model. I don't see the point in modeling for a company who still has the same ideas from when they opened in the 1800's. haha thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Meggg 5 years ago

      Honestly, I get what you're saying, but I agree with a former comment. I think it's good that they are turning people from a natural look. If people have acne, then so be it. I have it and I don't wear make up to cover it because I'm not going to lie to the world about what I look like. If someone wants to talk to me/wants to be with me, then they're going to take the whole package, not just this false image that so many girls/guys advertise. The guys, however, should be able to have facial hair, as that sort of conflicts with their natural image thing they have going on.

      As for the customer service issue, I never had that problem with Hollister or A&F. They asked me how I was when I came in, I said I was good, asked them how they were, and that was the end of it. I appreciated that. American Eagle, on the other hand, has a HUGE problem with this "following customers around." I hate going in there now and will literally only shop online for their stuff because I hate how harassed I feel going into their stores. I get asked if I'm looking for anything in particular, say no, and then they keep asking me if I need help the entire time when I just want to shop. Then, at the register, they will ask me - and I kid you not - over 5 times if I want to open a credit card after I repeatedly say no. They just keep pressuring. And I get it, they're supposed to open so many credit card accounts, but when someone says no once, twice, and three times, you should really drop it. I never had that problem in any A&F or affiliated store.

      Also, there's an easy way to avoid spending so much on those outfits that you have to wear. Shop the clearance online. You get 50% off of the clearance? That's a deal and you don't have to barely pay anything. My current manager used to work at A&F, but he had to leave the company because the location closed down, as it wasn't getting enough business, what with both a Hollister and a A&F store in the location - not because of bad treatment or anything like that. He loved working there and out of all the jobs, he said that was his favorite because he loved the people he worked with and yeah, the job wasn't perfect, but it's retail, what do you expect? If you don't like the restrictions of A&F, you can easily go work elsewhere in retail where they don't require that much of a dress code. But, again, as everyone already said, you're a model and models are expected to do certain things. It just sounds like you're not cut out and would rather whine about it, honestly.

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      It could be the difference of location. :)

    • profile image

      yomoma 5 years ago

      its a real easy job i don't wear the clothes and they don't discriminate... maybe its cuz im from San Francisco

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 5 years ago

      Nick and Trevor are to very arrogant opinionated blind fools. I worked there. I know the protocol. And guess what many Abercrombie locations are now SHUTTING DOWN. What happened to you Cynthia? How did they discriminate against you? :(

    • profile image

      Missy. 5 years ago

      Nick & Trevor, they don't discriminate? That's definitely false. Yes, it's part of the managers' and models' jobs to give you customer service. However, customer service is completely different from constantly following somebody. As we all are customers, I'm sure you would also know that customers enjoy their 'space' to shop as well. If I tell you the first time that I am okay browsing around, I really mean it. It's not a trick, I promise. I just like to shop in peace and take my time at it.

      Honestly, I refuse to shop there now because of such attitudes. The times I've gone in there, I've never had any problems with the workers, but I've seen how other customers were clearly discriminated against because of they way they looked physically. Even if I like a store, if I see and observe the workers, including the managers, treat somebody unfairly, I never go back (Don't get me wrong. There are definitely are the really nice workers too. However, there definitely are very snobby workers).

    • profile image

      Cynthia 5 years ago

      To Nick and Trevor,

      I am sorry to say....they do discriminate.

      and I am going to do something about that legally...

    • profile image

      Trevor Austin 5 years ago

      I agree with Nick. Abercrombie isn't for everyone. Be lucky that you have a job too. BTW, Hollister is the SAME way, being owned by the same company and all. If you don't like working there, then find a more suitable job.

    • profile image

      Nick Alexander 5 years ago

      First of all no one is forcing you to work there... and secondly I have been an employee there for the last 2 years and its part of our jobs as models to greet every customer and give them great customer service. Abercrombie isn't for everyone, but Abercrombie doesn't discriminate against anyone, they have a zero tolerance policy for that. To everyone who feels like the managers or models follow you around its part of their job to give you customer service and help you find everything you are looking for. IF YOU AREN'T PLANNING ON STEALING THEN THE STORE ASSOCIATES FOLLOWING SHOULDN'T BOTHER YOU! Quit bitching if you don't like the clothes don't buy them, if you don't like working there then don't work there. Simple.

    • profile image

      A&F 5 years ago

      OKay, so my hair is "natural" meaning I do not get relaxers or perms. My hair is curly/kinky and usually is in a fro. When I was hired at A&F my hair was pulled back on the sides sort of resembling a mohawk. Well this past weekend,I had my hair braided up on the sides and curled at the top. I was told I couldn't wear my hair this way because it was pulled away from the face into braids and was resembling a mohawk. OK! First of all, my "mohawk" wasn't extreme or sticking out every way like most mokawks are. Second, I did not sign any documents or read any material stating that I cannot have my hair this way. I had to stay in the stock room for 4 hours doing absolutely nothing because they didn't want me on the floor. When I did go on the floor to put those items pulled back out, one of the managers followed me around like some criminal. Why? I felt disrespected and I am not taking this lightly!!

    • profile image

      fluke! 6 years ago

      I just feel so insecure walking into there to, I mean people are always like, staring at you for no reason! Oh, the clothes are fine and all but, it is just too overpowering!

    • SummerSurf profile image

      SummerSurf 6 years ago

      Love Abercrombie clothes, but always feel so insecure walking into the shop. Everyone looks so pretty/handsome and makes ordinary folk feel insignificant. Thanks for sharing an insider view. It's good to hear a normal view from the inside. I've always been surprised how they've got away with their focus on image for so long, particularly in the non-discrimitive age that we live in.

    • profile image

      csigirlny  7 years ago

      Let me shed some war stories. Without a sad ending. I'll admit I dread Abercrombie. But only because of the gossiping managers, but I love my Co workers. We actually hang out. The look policy sucks, but its not terrible, would we really want our culture to revolve around fake looks? No. And you don't have to buy there clothes. So I don't spend my money on it. We're hired as models so don't expect anything less than a dress code. Quit. I love it. Not working, but the people. I know I'm big on customer service, guess your store just sucks. I love my store and my fellow Abercrombie models. I'm not a snob. And I'm an a&f model.

    • profile image

      AphroditeisAlone 7 years ago

      My boyfriend worked there for a while but couldn't STAND IT! I heard a lot of the same things you said and more everyday he came home from working there.

    • profile image

      JMWjack18 7 years ago

      I extremely love abercrombie kids, I wear it all the time. But at the same time I can understand why people think those things about A&F. One they get sued a lot because of their inappropiate image and because they are so busy worrying about there look that they don't care what other people have to say. Two there are a lot pornographic photos there because there "cute". How did a regular sport shop in manhattan turn into such a a preppy and expensive industry?

    • profile image

      Jessica Ojeda 8 years ago

      Wow! Very interesting. I had never noticed that the employees didn't wear makeup and I had no idea that Abercrombie was going for a "natural" look. Thanks for the insight.

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 8 years ago from Texas

      I have gone in there to buy something for my daughter and I swear they looked at me like, at your age what are ya doing in here and I wasn't waited on. I hate that store so I can't imagine working there those discrimminating sob's. GOOD HUB.

    • tony0724 profile image

      tony0724 8 years ago from san diego calif

      Maybe you should check out the Gap ! You are a very lovely young lady so I am sure you would get hired. I am lucky I am old so I do not have to worry about being fashionable anymore. Best of luck

    • Bredavies profile image

      Bredavies 8 years ago

      haha! I hate the job! THanks. That sketch was great!

    • wsp2469 profile image

      wsp2469 8 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

      of course ya work there, cutie. You're a cutie and they like cuties working there!

      I loved the MAD TV sketches on the store.