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: BIKINIS & BEACH FLEECE

Bikinis + beach fleece = all you need all summer long. Mix and match your cool-colored swim together to make a suit that’s all you, then layer your easiest beach fleece on top. That’s it! Erin is all about a fun mix with this suit—combining stripes on top and a pretty palm print on the bottom. Tie it all together with our newest beach fleece: this cropped favorite with inside-out details at the sleeves. Just three pieces are all you need for a full day (and night!) on the beach. See some of Erin’s favorite details and shop this look below.

STYLIST’S PICKS: BIKINIS & BEACH FLEECESTYLIST’S PICKS: BIKINIS & BEACH FLEECESTYLIST’S PICKS: BIKINIS & BEACH FLEECESTYLIST’S PICKS: BIKINIS & BEACH FLEECE

Shop the look: Inside-Out Beach Fleece | Gauze Twist Headband | So Fly Aviator Sunnies | Cross-Strap High Neck Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom

Want to see more of our stylist’s picks? Check them out here!

Real Talk With Steffi Lynn

#AerieREAL girl Steffi Lynn founded Have A Nice Day, a hand lettering and illustration company. This year, we partnered with Steffi for numerous events and new store openings to help bring color and customization to our Aerie stores. Read on to learn more about Steffi, her business and what makes her #AerieREAL!

Real Talk With Steffi Lynn

How did you first become interested in lettering and design?

I first started in illustrating in high school and started doing lettering once I started attending Pratt in 2012! I’ve always been curious about illustrated typography so it was nice to be able to learn a skill that I could do both in!

What advice do you have for other creatives who are just starting out?

To not be scared to try new styles! I feel like people get stuck wanting to have a certain look to their brand and forget to experiment!

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and what inspired your designs for Aerie’s windows?

I have and am constantly inspired by nature and I think it was a perfect fit to incorporate that into Aerie’s #AerieREAL!

Real Talk With Steffi Lynn

Photo by Meg Farrell

Real Talk With Steffi Lynn

Photo by Meg Farrell

You have worked on several projects for Aerie. What has been your favorite so far?  

Illustrating and designing the store windows is definitely my favorite so far! I love projects that incorporate multiple materials.  All the illustrations/lettering are flat but I got to do layers with acrylic and wood which makes it more dimensional and turns something simple into a more intriguing piece.

 What makes you #AerieREAL?

I’m not afraid to be myself and not scared to take action to achieve my goals! I love what I do and I express myself through all of my creations to try to bring joy to everyone around me!

Real Talk With Steffi Lynn

Want to learn more about our new store design? Read more about them here!

 

The Bras Of Summer!

Summer outfits, meet your new fave bras. Convertible, comfy and cute, these bras make it easy to style your summer looks. See 3 of our must-haves below!

The Bras Of Summer!

Sunnie Bandeau is back! Get unlined, underwire support in the Real Soft® fabric you know and love. Wear it with straps for an easy tank bra, or remove them to wear it with your fave summer rompers.

The Bras Of Summer!The Bras Of Summer!

Have a low-arm tank? Show off some lace and wear our Sunnie Longline Strapless Lightly Lined Bra underneath—the XO lace details are made for a  pretty peek-a-boo. Keep Sunnie Strapless in heavy rotation and rock it with every wardrobe change this summer: you can wear it with both straps, 1 strap, cross-back straps or strap-free!

The Bras Of Summer!

The Bras Of Summer!The Bras Of Summer!

Ditch the tank and rock your Castaway Lace Longline Bandeau as a top! This cotton-lined bralette is a go-to for hot summer nights. Wear it on its own or let it peek out from tees and tanks. Add the straps to let the pretty rose gold hardware show!

The Bras Of Summer!

The Bras Of Summer!

Want more of our summer must haves? Check them out here!

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIM

Memorial Day is coming and you know what a long weekend means… more time to rock your swim! Kick off summer with Erin’s fave mix and match suits. Stripes, florals and solids in all your warmest summer colors give you endless options—mix them up or match them together and make a suit that’s all you! You only have to pack a few pieces to have a new suit option for every day, and don’t forget an easy pair of shorts and a pretty coverup for running around after the sun goes down. Get inspired with Erin’s faves below and get packing early!

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIM

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIM

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIM

Shop the look: Aerie Embroidered Beach Bag | Aerie Crochet Trimmed Coverup | Aerie Cross-Strap High Neck Bikini Top | Aerie Bikini Bottom

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIMSTYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIMShop the look: Aerie Straw Baseball Hat | Aerie Short Sleeve Sweatshirt | Aerie Triangle Bikini Top | Aerie High Cut Cheeky Bikini Bottom

STYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIMSTYLIST’S PICKS: LONG WEEKEND = MORE SWIM

Shop the look: Aerie Metallic Floppy Hat | Aerie Triangle Bikini Top | Aerie Cheeky Bikini Bottom | Aerie Lace-Up Easy Short 

You Got It From Your Mama!

Here’s to our role models! This Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating MOM—your original role model. To get ready, we brought our #AerieREAL Role Models and their moms together for an extra-special shoot. Find out what Iskra, Yara and Aly got from their mamas and share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

See behind-the-scenes fun from the shoot and read our #AerieREAL Role Models’ stories below!

Iskra Lawrence with her mom, Wilma

Iskra: “Her gift is that she’s grateful and excited for each and every single thing in life. That’s really really wonderful and so happy and positive to be around. You show me what unconditional love truly means.”

Iskra+Wilma_2

SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cross-Strap High Neck Bikini Top | Aerie Muscle Tank

Wilma: “I think for moms out there, it’s really important to always be positive, to bring a positive vibe each day, to tell your children how much you love them, how much you do appreciate them. Just be happy.”

Iskra+Wilma_5.jpg

SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Cut Out One Piece

Yara Shahidi with her mom, Keri

Yara: My mom is one of the biggest influences in my life. Part of it is just watching her maneuver through the world. Being able to be in your presence, I’ve watched you maneuver through the world without compromising. You’ve always been very honest and open with me.Even being able to see the times in which you’ve struggled has made it so I embrace myself and I embrace the moments when I don’t feel my best. And rather than glossing over those, you’ve taught me to really live in those moments and figure out how to grow from those moments rather than feeling as though I have to attain some random idea of perfection.”

Yara+Keri_3

SHOP THE LOOK: Aerie Strapless Ruffle Jumpsuit

Keri: “I feel like one of my jobs before I had her, before my husband and I manifested this creature, was to know that we were depositing goodness. And for her to reflect back and say ‘geez thank you’ without me whispering in her ear “name me a role model” is honestly more than I could ever ask. So I’m honored.”

Yara+Keri_5

SHOP THE LOOK: Distressed Cable Sweater | Lace-Up Easy Short | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Cut Out One Piece | Denim Fringe Short

Aly Raisman with her mom, Lynn

Aly: “No matter what I do, no matter how crazy everything gets, I always look forward to coming home & just being grounded & having that balance. Family is the best place for me, so I feel very lucky.”

Aly+Lynn_2

SHOP THE LOOK: Smocked One Piece Swimsuit | Long Sleeve Striped Shirt | Triangle Bikini Top | Bikini Bottom | Striped Kimono

Lynn: “Be confident, be supportive and kind, and just really love yourself.”

Aly+Lynn_5

SHOP THE LOOK: Triangle Bikini Top | Macrame Scoop One Piece Swimsuit | Macrame Top

Share your story! Tell us what you got from your mama or what you hope to pass on to your kids with us @Aerie #AerieREAL.

DIY Sea Glass Bottles

Brighten up and add castaway vibes to any space with these DIY beauties! See how to make your own below.

DIY Sea Glass Bottles

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Clean, empty glass bottles
  • Sea glass spray paint
  • Rubber gloves
  • Paint tarp or newspapers (optional)

DIY Sea Glass Bottles

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Soak off any labels on bottles and wipe away all residue.
  2. In a well-ventilated area, lay down tarp or newspapers.
  3. Put on gloves and spray a light mist of paint on your bottle from about 2 feet away.DIY Sea Glass Bottles
  4. One coat gives a natural look, two coats will have a more opaque, saturated look.
  5. Let them dry.
  6. Fill with sand or plants, or leave them empty—up to you, castaway!

*Note: Just in case you don’t already know, do NOT drink from the bottles once you paint them! Decoration only.

Want more DIYs to fill up your summer break? Check them out here!