Real Talk With Sarah Herron

Sarah Herron founded SheLift, a non-profit that empowers girls with physical differences to discover confidence through outdoor adventures and body-positive mentorship. Read on to learn more about Sarah and SheLift’s story and what makes her #AerieREAL!

Real Talk With Sarah Herron

What inspired you to start SheLift?

Growing up as an early 2000’s teen, we only had TV and magazines to idolize our favorite entertainers and role models. There was no Instragram, or platforms for connection that removed the barrier of real human condition. Magazine photos were always photoshopped and the models we saw rise to the top were always impossibly skinny and perfect. I never saw a single women in the media who resembled me or my body. I had one arm, I was chubby and as far as I knew I was completely alone. I compared myself to those I saw and developed disordered eating and depression. I was in my twenties before I ever saw a woman with a limb difference in a movie and it was Bethany Hamilton in Soul Surfer. A few years later I set out to find love on ABC’s The Bachelor and quickly discovered that for millions of women across the world, I, too was the first woman they’d seen on TV that they could relate to. I wasn’t sure how to react or mobilize the groundswell of women coping with physical differences in a world that judges them by appearance. So I continued to do my thing – I got active, I got healthy and I shared my successes and my feelings to Instagram. When I discovered that my accomplishments in outdoor recreation and community directly correlated to my improved confidence and mental health, I realized this was my angle to make impact. I started SheLift with a mission to normalize differences by empowering girls with physical differences to improve self-acceptance and confidence through outdoor adventures and body-positive mentorship. SheLift provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences to young women with differences to help them live authentic lives and connect with others.

We just returned from a fundraising retreat in Mexico last month where 20 women – of different age and ability – came together to connect, share and conquer their obstacles. Over the weekend we went on adventures and practiced self-care and discussed the things that make us different but beautiful. You can read more about the trip and ways to join a future retreat here.

Real Talk With Sarah Herron

What advice do you have for someone looking to overcome a challenge in their life?

The best advice I can offer someone trying to overcome a challenge is to seek connection. When we keep our story and our struggle bottled up, we cannot rise from it.  When you share your struggles out loud (with a trusting support group), you’ll be surprised how many other women come forward saying “oh yeah, I feel that way, too!” There’s empowerment in simply knowing you’re not alone.

SheLift provides mentors for girls involved. Who is your role model and why?

My role model is my friend Debbie. I initially met Debbie through her husband Joe, who I worked with. Debbie is a personal trainer and was looking for new clients and Joe knew I’d be up for the challenge. Immediately I loved working out with Debbie because she didn’t approach training like a drill sergeant or with a bootcamp intensity. Instead, she coached that the importance of fitness and training is to become stronger and healthier and that that doesn’t mean exerting energy to the point of exhaustion. More simply put, Debbie didn’t make me fear fitness. As I continued to train, Debbie and I formed a strong friendship – she was coaching my body and my mind. Every week we would discuss the importance of positive self-talk and overcoming self-limiting beliefs. Despite my best effort to dismiss Debbie’s compliments when I was feeling “fat” or “ugly,” she always reminded me that it’s important I practice good mental health as well as physical health. Debbie is only a few years older than me, but she is a mom and an entrepreneur on a mission. She is empowering postpartum mom-bods to love the skin they’re in. She’s turned her passion of instilling “beauty is strength” into an online training program for moms called “Tough Mamas.”

Real Talk With Sarah HerronWhat makes you an Role Model?

I’ve never liked calling myself a role model because the truth is, I’m still human and I am very much imperfect. I never set out with a mission to lead or set an example, I just started living my life as an authentic person and that seemed to catch on! It’s part of my emotional makeup to want to help girls be the best version of themselves and to discover their self worth and strengths. Despite how many inspirational quotes I read or preach, I believe women are wired for personal struggle. So when people ask me what makes me a role model, I guess I’d say it’s because I’m the non-role model, role model. I’m just a person trying to get through each day like the next. I have strong days and healthy days but I also have bad days and fat days – and that’s OK. At the end of the day, I hope that by sharing my story, other women will realize they’re not alone in their journey.

How does the #AerieREAL message align with SheLift’s beliefs?

SheLift is about empowering women to live their most authentic lives. This means encouraging girls to embrace their imperfections and the qualities that make them unique and lovable and to let go of self-comparison. Through social media, I am trying to pull back the curtain on what differences look like. If there’s more visibility to size, shape, disability, etc, we begin to normalize differences and reject beliefs that only skinny is pretty. The #AerieREAL campaign is leading the same mission. It’s so important to be showing impressionable young women that bodies aren’t perfect! Putting photos of un-photoshopped women in media will help other women realise “Oh, her stomach looks like mine!” or “omg, she has stretch marks, too!” and ultimately help reduce eating disorders and depression. We’re both on a mission saying “It’s OK to have imperfections and you’re certainly not alone.”

Real Talk With Sarah Herron

What makes you #AerieREAL? Comment below & tell us! For more Real Talks, see here!

 

INTRODUCING AEO CONNECTED

NOT YOUR AVERAGE REWARDS PROGRAM

Look, we get it. Rewards programs can be confusing. In theory, the benefits sound great. In practice, you’re never quite sure you’re doing it right, or where you stand with points. We’ve spent the past year working with our teams and shoppers like you to put together a program that’s truly unique. AEO Connected launched last week, and in case you haven’t had a chance to check it out, here are just a few of our favorite perks.

IT’S FREE. And super easy to sign up in store, online, or on the app. Once you’re in, we’ll send you email updates on your Reward status, exclusive offers and more. No forms to fill out, no wasted paper, just Rewards sent straight to your email.

There’s more free where that came from! FREE JEANS & BRAS are one of the best perks you could get. For every 5 pairs of jeans you buy, we’ll give you one free. Same deal with Aerie bras. Plus, you’ll earn points for every dollar you spend, and once you reach a set number of points, we’ll send you a Reward that you can use in store or online, just like you’d use cash money. The best news in all this is that your points will NEVER expire, so you can redeem them whenever you want!

Ok so, we’ve got free jeans, free bras, points on every dollar… still not sold? How about an exclusive birthday discount? AEO Connected has that too. And if you’re REALLY serious about style, we have different access levels for all kinds of shoppers. So the more you shop, the better your perks. We’ll automatically bump you up into the right level depending on how much you spend, and let you know when you qualify for things like bigger Rewards or 24/7 free shipping. Plus, get even more when you combine your AEO Connected account with an AE or Aerie credit card.

For the complete rundown on how new AEO Connected works and rewards you for shopping for your favorite brands, visit us in stores or at AE.com/aeoconnected

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What Is Denim: Your Ultimate Denim Glossary

 DENIM FIT SPECS

Denim Glossary Fit Specs

Denim Glossary Fit Specs

RISE

The measurement from the top of the waistband to the bottom of the crotch seam. In other words, it’s where on your hips the jeans sit. Every body (and every one of our jean fits!) is unique, but, generally a “high” rise will sit near your belly button and a “low” rise will be closer to your hips. Source

Denim Glossary Fit Rises

INSEAM

The measurement from the bottom of the crotch to the bottom of the hem.

Denim Glossary Inseam

WARP

The vertical threads in a fabric. Source

WEFT

The horizontal threads in a fabric. Source

Denim Glossary Warp and Weft

WASH

The result of washing and rinsing denim to remove excess dye. Source

Denim Glossary Denim Washes

DESTROYED, DISTRESSED, DECONSTRUCTED

Purposely marred for a well-worn, vintage appearance. Source

Denim Glossary Destroyed Distressed Deconstructed

HEM

The bottom of the jean, which has been folded back and sewn down to form an edge

STEP-HEM

A raw hem that’s shorter in the front than it is in the back. Source

RELEASED HEM

A deconstructed hem that has been unstitched and unfolded for a frayed look and added length. Source 1  Source 2

Denim Glossary Hem

DENIM FABRICATION

Denim Glossary Fabrication

100% COTTON (see also: HERITAGE)

100% cotton denim. This rigid, durable fabric softens over time.

CLASSIC STRETCH

Our original soft, stretchy denim.

DENIM X

Denim with an upgraded stretch that retains it’s shape and won’t bag out. Natural fibers give this denim a super-soft feel for increased comfort.

DENIM X4

Revolutionary 4-way stretch means fit from every direction. Top-to-bottom warp stretch lifts your booty and gives you the feeling of longer legs, while side-to-side weft stretch contours the leg.
These forces work together to increase retention, which means these jeans won’t bag or sag, so your butt looks great, wear after wear.

CORE FLEX

Core Flex is designed with just enough stretch to give a little when you stand up, sit down, pull ‘em on or off. It has the same look and feel as 100% cotton denim, with increased flexibility for added comfort.

EXTREME FLEX

Our most flexible jean might also be our most comfortable. Designed with the max amount of stretch for ultimate comfort. Extreme Flex denim truly moves with you, and bounces back to hold its shape after.

FLEX 4/360

Revolutionary 4-way stretch means this denim moves with you in every direction. Top-to-bottom warp stretch moves up and down with you, while side-to-side weft stretch gives you room to sit or step.
The bottom line? Jeans have never been more comfortable.

HERITAGE (see also: 100% COTTON)

100% cotton denim. This rigid, durable fabric softens over time.

SELVEDGE

Premium denim bound with a “self edge” so it doesn’t unravel. You’ll know it by the trademark white and blue taping under the cuff, on the edge of the coin pocket, and on the back of the belt loop.

We’ve upgraded ours with just the right amount of stretch to make them even more comfortable. Source

Shop your favorite AEO Jeans HERE and show us how you wear them with #ICAN (or #WeAllCan if you’re with friends!).

Denim Glossary Fabrication

Denim Glossary Fit Specs

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Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

Castaway your cares and take only your beachiest essentials—this is castaway summertime style! Even if you’re on a busy beach surrounded by everyone you love, you can still dress like a castaway on your own island. Take our stylist’s tips and remember… less is more!

Stylist’s Picks: CastawayStylist’s Picks: Castaway#1 Wear Your Lightest Layers

Your newest swim is all you need, especially when it’s your fave Super Scoop One Piece with new ring details. Add an easy castaway Muscle Tank and shady Panama Hat and you’ll be golden.

 

Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

#2 Find Lost & Found Treasures

Add little touches of lost and found treasures like rings and rope to get in the castaway state of mind. Swim and shorts are all you need. No shoes, no problem!

Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

#3 Less Is More

For island living (or at least dressing like it), less is more. Wear a beachy, breezy, scarf-inspired coverup over your swim. Keep the castaway going with the rope halter tie.

Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

Stylist’s Picks: Castaway

#4 Update Your Beach Basics

We know you can’t be in your swim ALL the time… so we added all new updates on your fave after-beach basics. Wear our button-down Real Soft® Ribbed Henley Tank and add our all-new Castaway Lace Padded Longline Bralette and matching boybrief underneath for castaway style beyond the beach!

To see more of our stylist’s picks, read on here!

 

DIY Key Lime Yogurt Popsicles

All the best key lime pie flavors—even the buttery graham cracker crust—in cool, creamy popsicle form? Yes please! Made with Greek yogurt and sweetened with honey, these popsicles are also a secretly healthy treat. DIY Key Lime Yogurt Popsicles

DIY Key Lime Yogurt Popsicles

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 2 limes, zested

DIY Key Lime Yogurt PopsiclesWHAT TO DO:

  1. Crush graham crackers in a ziplock bag or food processor until fine. In a small bowl, combine with melted butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, honey, lime juice and zest. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture evenly into popsicle molds, with 3/4 inch room left at the top.
  4. Lightly sprinkle graham crackers onto each popsicles, patting down to ensure they stick.
  5. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until solid, around 4 hours.
  6. Enjoy!

DIY Key Lime Yogurt Popsicles

 What’s your fave cool down snack on spring break? Comment below & tell us!

It’s International Women’s Day!

Aerie women change the world. In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re honoring game-changing #AerieREAL women across the globe. Today, we’re also launching styles designed in collaboration with our #AerieREAL Role Models and supporting causes close to their hearts. 100% of sales of limited-edition styles designed with Yara, Aly, Rachel and Iskra will be donated to movements that matter:

It's International Women's Day!

100% of sales will be donated to Innocence Project, a special cause that works to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated.

It's International Women's Day!

100% of sales will be donated to Darkness to Light, a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse.

 

It's International Women's Day!

100% of sales will be donated to I AM THAT GIRL, a non-profit that provides leadership, social & personal development programs for high school & college girls.

 

It's International Women's Day!

100% of sales will be donated to NEDA, a non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders.

It's International Women's Day!

Show your support this International Women’s Day and wear what matters to you! Share your photos with #AerieREAL and help raise awareness for these amazing causes.

 

 

STYLIST’S PICKS: LEGGINGS ALL DAY AERIE DAY

Is it really ok to wear leggings all day long? Our stylist says yes! Here’s how.

From class to coffee to workouts to happy hour, wear your leggings through it all (even if you skip the workout for a hang out!). Stick with Erin’s tips and stay in leggings all day Aerie day.

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LEGGINGS ALL DAY AERIE DAY#1 STOCK UP ON THE TRENDS

This season is all about mesh insets, cute prints and matching sets. Say mesh yes to our Move High Waisted Leggings and a low-key Camo Tee and Play Strappy Back Sports Bra underneath. Pack up AEO’s Wander Leather Mini Backpack to carry you through your day.

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LEGGINGS ALL DAY AERIE DAY

Psst… want to know what’s in Erin’s gym bag? She’s all about the essentials:

Aerie You Do You Water Bottle to stay hydrated.

Yuni Shower Sheets, Batiste Dry Shampoo and a Sleep Over Stick to freshen up after a workout.

Two spritzes to send you off on the rest of your day: Little Moon Clear Mind Mist and Spark x Iskra eau de parfum.

 

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#2 ADD SOMETHING EXTRA

Always accessorize! Add jewelry, a baseball hat, sunnies or a fun bag to make a basic leggings outfit more fun. Our fave black Play Real Me High Waisted 7/8 Legging and easy Denim Fringe Tank turns into a next-level look when you add our Purrrty Sunnies and Beach Scarf.

 

4

#3 DRESS IT UP

You can be all kinds of sporty in our Chill High Neck Sports Bra and High Waisted Legging burnout set, but add our Open Cardigan and it’s a whole new look!

 

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#4 KEEP MOVING

Breathable Move Leggings easily take you from workouts to working it out and about. It helps that these Move High Waisted 7/8 Legging also have a fresh, new wear-with-everything pretty print. Add a white Tie Front Tank, Play Strappy Back Sports Bra and AE Denim Boyfriend Jacket, and you’ll be set for wherever your day takes you.

 

 

Which is your fave leggings look? Comment below and tell us!

Introducing… An All-New Aerie Store Design!

 

 

Get in here, beautiful! Our brand new store design brings the feel of an indoor market to your mall. With personalization on our extra-special printers and more DIY fun, our new stores are Aerie like you’ve never seen it before. Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC is home to the first all-new Aerie, and there are more new designs coming soon! We talked to the brains behind our amazing new store design—Senior Director of Aerie Visual Lauren Cabral and Senior Director of New Store Design and Fixtures Michael Smith—to get the story behind our new design and her ideas for future Aerie homes. Read on for more!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Yes, our new stores come with an Insta-ready wall!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

How would you describe Aerie’s new market store design? 

LC: Our overall concept is based off of an indoor market…it’s BRIGHT, comfortable, open and welcoming.

MS: All stores are designed to showcase product and should at the very least provide a pleasant and convenient  shopping experience. However, in my opinion, the best stores designs are an embodiment of the brand, reflecting the aesthetic and attitude of the product while engaging the customer at an emotional level. We want our Aerie girl to feel at home in the store. It should be her oasis at the mall – a place to hangout, relax and shop with friends. After all, the space was designed for her.

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What is your favorite part about our new stores? 

LC: I need to pick the top 3— it’s too hard to pick just one.

  1. The storefront! Our experience bar in the window brings a fresh & fun approach to the leaseline that we hope our customers will LOVE!
  2. The fitting rooms! They are designed to feel like a really cool mid-century modern apartment. It’s very cozy in there. ☺
  3. DIY and personalization!  We’re excited to bring seasonal concepts to life in a new way through custom printing on the Anajet printer and our DIY market table.

MS: If I have to pick one, I think it’s the fitting room area. I hope that we have provided a place that, while still integrated into the sales area, feels like a sanctuary. We combined the architecture with visuals to create a more relaxed space where our customer can interact with her friends and the sales associates. It’s a space where she is encouraged to try new things.

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What do you hope to bring to Aerie stores in the future?

LC: Creating new, exciting DIY opportunities and events are at the top of the list! Oh, and can’t WAIT to ADD more Aerie stores!!

MS: I’ll wait for our Aerie Girl to tell me. The nicest thing I heard about the new design was from a sales associate in our Crabtree store. She overheard a customer say that she wanted her first place to look just like the store.Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in visual design?

LC: Good design is all about problem solving; it needs to be beautiful and functional.  Attention to detail is super important too—working through a project to understanding symmetry, color and contrast are all key—but must be carefully curated to avoid clutter and overload.  Lastly, be prepared to be wrong; you never know till you try!

MS: Inspiration is everywhere; never stop looking, never stop learning, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you see something you like, make a note or take a picture. You don’t know where the next great idea is going to come from – and you never know when something that you saw 10 years ago is going to inspire the perfect fixture.

Also, it’s not just about going to a good design school. Sometimes it’s about real work experience and learning from the people you meet along the way. I spent 5 years in design school but never felt like a real designer until my first season as a Christmas extra in a large department store. I was surrounded by incredibly talented people who had limited budgets and a deadline. Best experience ever….

Introducing... An All-New Aerie Store Design!