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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Summertime = Yoga Time!

#AerieREAL girls brought their sunshine & Chill. Play. Move. style to NYC last week & flowed right into summertime at Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga. See how we spent the longest and sunniest day of the year!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

#AerieREAL girls came out in full force to ring in summertime.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

A little morning rain couldn’t stop Cassey Ho of Blogilates! She kicked off the day with a 100 squat challenge.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Thousands of yogis came to hang at our tent in Yoga Village to recharge and find their #AerieREAL aura at our photobooth.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Yoga Vida Co-Founder, Hilaria Baldwin, hosted an #AerieREAL talk focused on her experience with yoga and how it changed her sense of self.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Aerie and AE Senior Manager of Digital Creative, Catherine Gignac, also happens to be the best booty-kicking yoga teacher we know! She joined us for the second year to lead an #AerieREAL Empowered Flow class.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Peace, love and side plank with Aerie Senior Manager of Styling, Erin Collins-Rittling!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

#AerieREAL Role Model and gold medal gymnast, Aly Raisman, started the afternoon with an #AerieREAL talk and 3-minute meditation.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Iskra kept the #AerieREAL love going and challenged the audience to take part in her mirror challenge.

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Get thousands of yogis to meditate in the middle of Times Square? Our stylist does it all!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Kickboxer and celebrity trainer, Kendra Smith, geared up for her kickboxing segment!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Summertime = Yoga Time!

Nama-stay #AerieREAL!

Looking to shop our Chill. Play. Move collection? Check some of our faves out here!

Stylist’s Picks: Borrowed From The Boys

Borrowed from the boys… and better for the girls! Erin’s favorite new Real Soft® Oversized Tees have the super-soft, worn feel of a boyfriend shirt, but this one is made just for you. If you like the oversized fleece from our City Sweatshirt collection, you’ll love these tees for summer. Oh boy this is true Aerie comfort!Stylist’s Picks: Borrowed From The Boys

Stylist’s Picks: Borrowed From The Boys

Switch out your coverup for a tee to cozy things up with our Smocked Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit and Easy Short.

Stylist’s Picks: Borrowed From The Boys

AE’s Ne(x)t Level Denim Shorties + Real Soft Oversized Tee = better together. Tie your tee for a twist and get castaway feels with its cool distressed details!

 

Stylist’s Picks: Borrowed From The Boys

Love worn embroidery makes these shirts feel lived in and personalized from day one. Pick from solids or graphic embroidery and wear them all summer long!

 

 

Stylist’s Picks: Red, White & New

You have a lot on your plate this 4th of July. There’s beaching, there’s barbecuing, there’s fireworks. All that fun calls for some spectacular outfit changes. See our stylist’s faves below!

Stylist’s Picks: Red, White & New

Playful Pops

Start your day with stripes and playful color pops on our High Waisted Bikini Bottom and Binding Perky Triangle Bikini Top. After a quick dip in the pool, there’s nothing better than a cozy Fleece Tank to warm you up. Gola’s Specialist Sneakers will add the final pop of color you need to wake you up and start the day. Your combo may just be so bright you need some Purrrty Sunnies for shade!

 

Stylist’s Picks: Red, White & NewStarry Swim

For a packed day, you’ll want some sporty swim that moves at your speed. Pair our Binding Voop Bikini Top and Bikini Bottom with our Go Logo Baseball Hat for a quick beach volleyball match. When it’s time to head to the cookout, stick with your stars and our High Neck One Piece Swimsuit. It’s great to wear as a bodysuit with our Lace-up Fleece Shorts while you chill in the yard all afternoon!

 

Stylist’s Picks: Red, White & NewFun Under The Fireworks

Let’s not forget the best part of the 4th—the fireworks! Our Plush Fleece Short and Zip Hoodie will let you snuggle up on your blanket while you watch the show. Don’t forget to show off your Star Sunnies as the sun goes down. If you’re not ready to let the day slip away from you just yet, take off your sweats and you’ll be ready for a dip in our Binding Voop Bikini Top and High Waisted Bikini Bottom.

Want more of Erin’s stylist picks? Check them our here!

DIY Yoga Mat Holder

Summertime is ALL about relaxation. You don’t need a vacay to get away—get a reminder to get your flow on with a pretty holder for your yoga mat! Zen up your meditation area with this cute shelf that doubles as a storage spot for your mat.

DIY Yoga Mat Holder

Here’s how:

  1. Start with a simple shelf that goes right onto the wall.
  2. Using a drill, make four holes in the shelf: two on one side and two on the other.
  3. Cut two equal lengths of rope, 20 inches each.DIY Yoga Mat HolderDIY Yoga Mat Holder
  4. Glue the ends of each strand to keep them from fraying.
  5. Thread the ropes through the top of the shelf, knotting at the ends.DIY Yoga Mat HolderDIY Yoga Mat Holder
  6. Hang your shelf in your go-to mediation spot.
  7. Top with plants, books or your an essential oil diffuser.
  8. Place your yoga mat through the hanging loops.
  9. Namaste!DIY Yoga Mat Holder

Want more of our DIYs? Check out some of our faves now!

It’s #CallYourDoctorDay!

June 12 is Call Your Doctor Day! For the 2nd year in a row, we’re teaming up with national non-profit Bright Pink to raise awareness for this important holiday. This year, Call Your Doctor Day is focused on empowering you to see your healthcare provider as a partner: you + your healthcare provider = dream team!

It’s #CallYourDoctorDay!

In honor of Call Your Doctor Day, Bright Pink has two tools you can use to prepare for your appointment:

  1. Get help scheduling your well-woman exam and get up-to-speed on what to expect at your annual by visiting BrightPink.org/Annual.
  2. To help guide a powerful provider-patient conversation, go to AssessYourRisk.org and complete Bright Pink’s breast and ovarian risk assessment quiz before your well-woman exam. Use your quiz results as a conversation starter with your doctor.

By preparing to have conversations with your healthcare provider at your well-woman exam, you can be your own best health advocate!

It’s #CallYourDoctorDay!

Scheduling an annual well-woman exam, even when you’re healthy, is critical to maintaining your breast and ovarian health. Your annual is also an opportunity to build a relationship with your healthcare provider, ask him or her questions and talk about your personal plan for preventive care.

Bright Pink can help you build a strong partnership with your provider. Not everyone feels comfortable going to the doctor–and that’s OK! Bright Pink provides information, resources and tools to support you on your path to your best health. Part of that journey should include conversations with a healthcare provider at your annual.

 

 

 

 

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Stylist’s Picks: Hit Print

Who doesn’t love a matching set?! Our stylist is always a fan. In pretty prints and light and easy shades, Erin’s latest Chill. Play. Move.™ loves are ready for summertime. See more of her favorites below!

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Shop the look: Aerie Twist Front Fleece Tank | Aerie Chill Padded Plunge Bra | Aerie Move High Waisted 7/8 Leggings

Our newest, summeriest print comes in the most AHHH-mazing fabric! Try our Move Leggings with 4-way stretch and moisture-wicking fabrics. Match it with this Chill Padded Plunge Sports Bra.

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Shop the look: Aerie Chill High Neck Sports Bra | Aerie Chill High-Waisted Leggings

Go logo! Rep your Aerie logo with our new Chill High Neck Sports Bra and matching Chill High Waisted Legging with burnout details. Don’t forget the fleece—this new logo style is a major summer love.

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

Shop the look: Aerie Baseball Hat |Aerie Padded Plunge Bra |  Aerie Chill Graphic Legging

Make a graphic set with our Chill Graphic Legging and Baseball Cap. Tie it all together with a neutral Chill Padded Plunge Bralette.

Stylist's Picks: Hit Print

So many leggings, so many set possibilities! Stock up on easy mesh, pretty prints and supersoft cotton for a happy booty all summer long.