AE X IT GETS BETTER GUEST POST: BRANDON KLOUDA, AE ASSOCIATE

For the fourth year in a row, AE is proud to support the It Gets Better Project by donating 100% of sales of our annual Pride collection to the nonprofit, which uplifts, empowers, and connects LGBTQ+ youth around the world. But inclusivity starts from the inside out, which is why we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on what equality, individuality, and a better future mean to us.

We kicked off our series of guest posts about love, acceptance, and how it really DOES get better with our Global Brand President, Chad Kessler, and have followed up with posts from associates across the country. Now, Brandon, a store manager in Iowa, shares how the first step to loving others is loving yourself.

 

SHOP WOMEN’S PRIDE    |    SHOP MEN’S PRIDE

BRANDON KLOUDA

Store Manager in Sioux City, IA

Working for a company that accepts you for who you are has truly made me love coming to work. The amount of support I have received from everyone at AE has truly made me feel welcome and able to be myself. The fact that we support LGBTQ+ communities at AE has a special place in my heart. I spread the word of such support and reach out to people to tell them that AE is a safe and amazing place to work.

I would tell my younger self that it does in fact get better. Coming out as gay and being a single dad scared me to death. But the amount of support I got from family and peers has been overwhelming.

Brandon and family

The best advice I’ve received is to be yourself and love yourself.

I celebrate me by being the best version of who I am and accepting the fact that there is nothing wrong with me.

Love yourself so you can love others.

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Share it with #ItGetsBetter @americaneagle to show your support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the world!

 

 

 

AE X IT GETS BETTER GUEST POST: JEN WARREN, AE ASSOCIATE

For the fourth year in a row, AE is proud to support the It Gets Better Project by donating 100% of sales of our annual Pride collection to the nonprofit, which uplifts, empowers, and connects LGBTQ+ youth around the world. But inclusivity starts from the inside out, which is why we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on what equality, individuality, and a better future mean to us.

We kicked off our series of guest posts about love, acceptance, and how it really DOES get better with our Global Brand President, Chad Kessler, and have followed up with posts from associates across the country. Now, Jen Warren, an associate in Kansas, shares how important it is not just to stand by LGBTQ+ communities, but also to educate allies.

 

SHOP WOMEN’S PRIDE    |    SHOP MEN’S PRIDE

JEN WARREN

Operations Clerk at Distribution Center in Ottawa, KS

I am an openly gay, 34-year-old, AEO employee at the distribution center in Ottawa, KS. I have worked for AEO since October 2006. I love nothing more than to be able to come to work and know that my job is not in jeopardy because of who I am.

I could not be more proud of who I work for because of AEO’s support of all people, not just LGBTQ+ people. Obviously, that hits closest to home for me, but I appreciate ALL the equality in our workplace.

Jen and her nephew

Times have certainly changed in the last 15 years since I came out. I can’t imagine having to come out before then. I am very happy that kids these days have far more opportunities to be successful with programs such as It Gets Better, which is supported by AE’s Pride collection.

Educating allies is just as important, if not more important. Educating parents of gay children is so important, too, especially in these parts.

Jen getting a pedicure with friends

Let me tell ya! I believe AEO’s policies have helped turn around a few employees on their feelings about homosexuality. I was born and raised in Ottawa, Kansas. It could use all the education it can get on LGBTQ+ rights. AEO helps the case!

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Share it with #ItGetsBetter @americaneagle to show your support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the world!

 

 

 

5 New Fall Faves: Back-To-School Outfits for Her

New school year. New must-haves. Check out these 5 styles handpicked by our stylist for your back-to-school outfit rotation, including must-have jeans, tops, and accessories. Start by planning all your new looks around your favorite new fit – Curvy jeans. They’re in stores and online now in sizes 00-24… ‘cause it’s not about size. It’s about SHAPE.

Shop Women’s Tops & Bottoms

AE Curvy Mom Jeans

Curvy Mom Jeans

The relaxed, vintage-vibe Mom jeans you love – now in a Curvy, stretchy fit you’ve been asking for. Not really into Mom jeans? It’s all good. With tons of styles including skinny, flare, and wide leg jeans, you can find the jeans that make you feel the most amazing.

AE Plaid & Flannel Shirts

Plaid & Flannel Shirts

Play with proportions this fall. Plaid and flannel shirts go both oversized AND cropped so you can change up your style daily. Wear your flannel unbuttoned with a graphic tee underneath, or change up your look by wearing it around your waist for a throwback ‘90s vibe.

AE Curvy Jeggings

Curvy Jeggings

An instant classic for a reason, and that reason is your booty. It’s never looked so good in this fit that’s made for curves with more room through the hips and thighs. Curvy jeans come in high-waisted, super high-waisted, and highest waist designs that pair with your favorite cropped and fitted tops.

AE Henley Sweaters

Henley Sweaters

What’s better than a cozy henley shirt? How about a cozy henley sweater? These tops have that collarless, button-up neckline you love and all the warmth you’re going to need. Want other just-as-awesome layering options? Crewneck sweaters, cardigans, and denim jackets.

AE Bucket Bag

Bucket Bags

Big enough to stash all your stuff. Chic enough to make you feel like the boss you are. Toss in all your school essentials and you’re ready for the day. If you need more storage space, try a backpack to tote bag!

 


 

Want to be featured on the site, blog or social media? Show us your first day of school outfits on Instagram & Twitter with #AExME or #AEJeans @americaneagle.

 

 

Back To (School) Basics: 5 Fall Outfit Essentials for Guys

Don’t stress too much about your back-to-school outfits. Keep things relaxed and looking good with these fall must-haves, including comfy joggers, stacked jeans, and super-soft tops.

Shop Men’s Tops & Bottoms

AE Stacked Skinny Jeans

Stacked Skinny Jeans

Comfort you have to feel to believe, designed to show off your sneakers with a trending stacked look. These jeans have a longer inseam to create the stacked effect, so just order your usual size.

AE Graphic Tees

Graphic Tees

Repping your vibe’s never been so easy with bold colors, super-soft fabrics, and graphics featuring your favorite logos, musicians, and pop culture moments. Graphic t-shirts come in different styles like drop-shoulder and standard, plus unisex fits made for sharing.
AE Hoodies

Hoodies

Stay warm. Pop a hoodie. They’re just right for early mornings, cool days, and late nights. Go with a classic pullover or zip-up hoodies, or keep things lighter with a hoodie t-shirt.

AE Joggers

Joggers

The relaxed-fit, tapered-leg jogger you love. Now in throwback nylon made for making moves. And if you’re not into the nylon look, we’ve got lots of other joggers in khaki, performance fleece, and cotton fleece fabrics.

AE Men's Underwear

Men’s Underwear

The softest. The most comfortable. The most you. Whatever fit you’re into – boxer shorts, briefs, trunks – we’ve got you covered. Stay fresh this semester with new prints and colors.

 


 

Show us how you rock your back-to-school outfits on Instagram & Twitter with #AExME or #AEJeans @americaneagle, and you could be featured on the site, blog, or social media!

 

 

School Uniforms Your Way

Polo shirts, button ups, and khaki pants are a tried-and-true staple of school uniforms, but they don’t have to be boring. Start with the basics, add personal touches, and BOOM. You’re ready to kickstart the school year your way.

Check out AE guy’s shirts and pants and girl’s tops and bottoms to make your school uniform more YOU this year.

AE Backpacks

Marco? Polo.

If polos make you think of middle school, think again. American Eagle polo shirts and rugby shirts are updated with new colors and designs to be simple yet classic, sophisticated yet easy. Wear-with-anything polos and rugby shirts are right for all your uniform outfits. Just pick out your school colors and you’re set.

AE Polo Shirts

Button Up Your Look 

You know an on-trend look when you see one, and button-up shirts are no exception. These shirts have all the details you love – a classic collared neck, button-up front, and long sleeves you can cuff for a more casual look. Choose different colors and prints in super soft fabrics that feel good year-round.

AE Uniform Button Down Shirt and Long Sleeve Oxford Button Up Shirt

Bring Your School Spirit

Style isn’t just about where you are, but where you’re going. Whether you’re a freshman with goals or a senior with your eyes on the prize, Tailgate’s college t-shirts help show off your school pride. And with soft fabrics and bright designs, these tees feel as good as they look.

Tailgate College T-ShirtsAE Men's Pants

 

Whatever you call them, we’ve got ‘em. AE guy’s chinos come in skinny, slim, Athletic, and bootcut fits (plus so many others!), so you can feel like yourself even when you’re not wearing your favorite pair of jeans. And girl’s khaki pants come in jegging, Curvy, skinny, wide leg pants, and many more fits so you’ve got lots of options for every day of the week.

 

There’s no wrong way to wear your khaki pants. Choose from dark washes to lighter khaki tones. Then roll up the hems to show off your shoes, throw on a belt, or tuck in your shirt to put a unique spin on your uniform style.

A+ Accessories

Accessories are an easy way to personalize your uniform. Guys, freshen up your look with a baseball cap, watch, and a pair of glasses. And girls, add a scrunchie, printed backpack, and some colorful school supplies. Ta-da, you’ve just achieved A+ style for the semester!

AE Back to School Accessories

 

 

 

AE X IT GETS BETTER GUEST POST: TALIA HOLLIS-ELWELL, AE ASSOCIATE

For the fourth year in a row, AE is proud to support the It Gets Better Project by donating 100% of sales of our annual Pride collection to the nonprofit, which uplifts, empowers, and connects LGBTQ+ youth around the world. But inclusivity starts from the inside out, which is why we’re taking this opportunity to reflect on what equality, individuality, and a better future mean to us.

 We kicked off our series of guest posts about love, acceptance, and how it really DOES get better with our Global Brand President, Chad Kessler, and have followed up with posts from associates across the country. Now, Talia, a district team leader, shares her journey, including growing up in rural Tennessee, coming out to her mother in 1998, celebrating her first Pride in San Francisco in 2002, and meeting the woman who’d become her wife – it was love at first sight!

 

SHOP WOMEN’S PRIDE    |    SHOP MEN’S PRIDE

TALIA HOLLIS-ELWELL

District Team Leader in Tennessee

When I saw the AE windows for Pride this summer, I started crying. I was blown away with how all of AE will have this presentation. I called my wife and told her about it because I was so moved. We talked about our own history and disbelief that the world has come so far.

Our story started in the ’90s in rural Tennessee towns. I moved to Nashville for university and decided to come out to my mom in 1998. My wife came out to her family just the year before. At the time she worked as a high school band director and her principal asked her to resign. These were not easy times for our community.

Talia Hollis-Elwell

We met in 1999 and it was love at first sight. We will celebrate 20 years together this August. Our first Pride was in San Francisco in 2002. It was unbelievable to see a city come out in such force to support the community. I can’t describe the feeling, but it was joy and excitement mixed with a feeling of sorrow that we couldn’t be ourselves every day at home.

Talia Hollis-Elwell and wife

Fast forward to 2015, when SCOTUS passed gay marriage. I was working in rural West Virginia, teaching a business class to a group of store leaders, when I received a text message from another team member telling me gay marriage was now legal. I whooped with excitement and told the class. Then I sent a quick text to my now-wife, telling her the news and asking if she would like to get married in a month, on our celebrated anniversary. She agreed. In many states like Kentucky and Tennessee, there was controversy about giving out licenses and allowing courthouse weddings. We were so nervous the state would find a way to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision. Luckily that didn’t happen. We told our families of our plans and they came out to support us in full force, many flying in from far away to support us on our day.

Talia Hollis-Elwell's Wedding Day

To me, Pride, is knowing who I am, being who I am, and being comfortable talking about it. All I have ever wanted is to say “my wife,” and have that phrase understood and accepted. Every day now, I live that feeling I had at my first San Francisco Pride, and AE supports that feeling. Our value of “individuality” means just that to me as an AE employee.

We are all individuals. We are American Eagle.

Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours? Share it with #ItGetsBetter @americaneagle to show your support and inspire LGBTQ+ youth around the world!