What are selvedge & raw jeans?

selvedge jean animation

What are selvedge jeans?

When you see words like “selvedge” or “raw” on our jeans, it basically means they’re like the pure, untouched baby angel of jeans. Selvedge simply means “self-edge” and you can tell by the band that runs along the inside edge of the seam. It makes the denim stronger and keeps the fabric from fraying. Raw means no processing, no washing, no nothing. Just pure blue for you. Selvedge and raw also mean (most importantly) we are using some of our most premium, authentic denim. Each pair of jeans is simply cut, sewn, and delivered to you as is.

Why should I try them?

Over time, raw  jeans mold to your body so that any softening, fading, or distressing is truly unique to YOU! That means once you break them in, they’re one of a kind. (Bonus—traditional raw jeans are pretty stiff but we’ve upgraded ours with a hint of stretch for extra comfort.)

assortment of denim

How to care for them:

  1. Pre-wash them. Because these jeans have never been washed before, to prevent the dye from rubbing off on your other clothes, we recommend turning them inside out and washing them with cold water in a separate load.
  2. Wear them…a lot. The more you wear them, the better they’ll look and the softer they’ll feel.
  3. Wash sparingly. Like most denim, washing them sparingly will extend the life of your raw denim. We recommend using only cold water and hang drying every few months.
Per usual, we’d love to see how you’re breaking them in. Share how you wear your raw denim with #AEJeans @americaneagle and you just might see yourself on our feed!




Find jeans you love in YOUR size!

If we had it our way, it would just be called “sizing” and everyone would have one. But rest assured, when you come into one of our stores for “your size”—we’ve 100% got you.


The proof? Our models! The majority of which were real people with real frustrations about jeans just like the rest of us mere mortals. Here’s what we heard on set:



“…my body is very long, but (American Eagle’s) a nice job of framing everything from waist to ankle. I was just really astounded b/c I had never delved deeper into American Eagle to know that you guys catered to extended sizes.”



“You shouldn’t feel like you’re forced to wear like, stretchy things all the time to actually be comfortable.”



“Sometimes it can be very frustrating to shop for jeans…I put my legs into two jeans and start jumping for a few minutes until I’m sweaty, trying to fit…that feeling is very frustrating…with American Eagle I already know exactly the size and exactly what’s going to fit.



“I barely find long enough ones my size, but American Eagle has been coming through.”



“…as a “plus-size” woman, jean shopping can be pretty terrible…. when you do find that pair that really look good, you almost like, dance in the fitting room. That feeling…it’s phenomenal…”



“You can’t feel good if you’re wearing pants that make you feel uncomfortable, because then that’s all that you’re thinking about.”



“It’s easy to find jeans that work, but it’s not easy to find the PERFECT jeans, and I want the perfect jeans. I don’t want my jeans to feel forced…. I want them to feel like they’re a part of me…”


So say goodbye to words like “plus”, goodbye “extended”, goodbye “big & tall”—we don’t speak that language. Our jeans are inclusively sized to fit every single unique body. Below is a breakdown of our sizes:

For him:

Waist sizes 26-44”
Lengths from 28-36”

For her:

Short, Regular & Long in sizes 00-20
Extra Short in 00-14
Extra Long in sizes 0-14





A few ways we’ve been working on sustainability.

Nowadays when it comes to talking about the environment, it can be as intimidating as bringing up religion or politics at Thanksgiving dinner.

But we all have to start somewhere, and we’d like to begin by sharing a few things we’ve been doing to minimize our impact on the environment and a few goals for the future:


Any paper wrapping materials, packaging or bags you haul your AE goodies will be made entirely from recycled paper. Not only that, our plastic bags will use 75% recycled materials.

We are moving to only using viscose made from raw materials from non-endangered forests. Additionally, will only be using 100% more sustainable cotton and 50% recycled polyester.





We are working with our denim laundries to decrease water usage by 30% less water for every pair of jeans we make and recycle 50% of the water that is used.





We are reviewing our packaging to decrease the amount of plastic and other materials being used in shipping.






As of this year, we’ve reduced energy consumption in our stores by 30% by switching to LED lights and a more efficient heating/cooling system! Naturally, the American Eagle team is hard at work thinking up ways we can cut back on energy consumption in our offices, factories, and production facilities, too.




We know we’ve still got a long ways to go but we just wanted to let you guys know that we are committed, ready and excited to make this one of our top priorities of 2018. Like we said, this is only the beginning.






level of stretch graphicWe know that shopping online can feel like a bit of a gamble – especially when it comes to jeans and pants – so, to make things easier, we’re breaking it down. Below, find your cheat sheet to all the different levels of stretch we offer – from least to most stretchy – along with a few quotes from real girls we asked to try each one:


RigidThe classic. No stretch whatsoever—lightweight and soft with a vintage look and feel.

Feels like someone’s already broken in my favorite vintage jeans.”


Super Stretch – Moderately stretchy, but made to feel like real jeans.

“…extremely soft and flexible but still feels like denim”


“These have a true denim feel.”

“…seemed the most like jeans, rather than leggings”


Ne(x)t Level – Our most advanced, innovative stretch. Never bags out or loses its shape.

“Contoured to my curves”

“They kept their shape all night long”

“…fit me like a glove without being constricting. Absolutely in love with these jeans”


Dream JeanTHE stretchiest, softest, most legging-like AND all-around supportive jeans we offer.


“I love that this jean feels durable and comfortable at the same time.”

“Amazingly soft…like wearing leggings”


And lastly, for the visual learners:

level of stretch diagram





Our design team always uses real customer feedback to help create the season’s newest jeans. This year, we thought it would be fun to send our jeans to a random NYC couple who don’t wear American Eagle jeans.

Background info:
Location: Brooklyn, NY
30 year old male – Touring musician/drummer
30 year old female – Freelance writer

The last time I wore American Eagle jeans was somewhere in the 2000s. I know this because, like everyone else in my high school, I was watching “The O.C.”—a show about beautiful teens being sad despite being rich and beautiful (this teen trope was new at the time). Like many, I wanted to be Marissa and Summer—always layering AE polos with hand-sized jean skirts. So naturally, I would regularly go to the store to copy their exact looks.

Fast forward to present day, my boyfriend and I are asked to test out some of the new jeans because we are skeptical. Two reasons why: one, we feel way too old for American Eagle jeans and secondly, we don’t think they’ll fit or look good on us. After all, the last time I wore a pair was when we, as a society, agreed that low-rise jeans on girls were THE thing and flared jeans on boys were cool. (We were wrong.)

But after a reddit deep dive of “surprising” rave reviews, we figured the Internet can’t be wrong.

Still, I feel pessimistic but I am relieved that the box of jeans has no low rises in sight. My man is not a jean wearer so he was just happy to try on a variety whereas I, on the other hand, only requested high-waisted fits because they’re my favorite. Nevertheless, I was still shocked to find so many different high rises. I’ll start with mine, from most stretchy to least.

1. High-Waisted Jegging – The Dream Jean
These felt the least like jeans—insanely smooth and stretchy against my skin but I would never have known just by looking at them. They really felt like second skin but looked like jeans. I’m not crazy about super skinny jeans but I will say that my butt looked UH-mazing in these.




2. High-Waisted Jegging – Super Stretch
Usually, I really really hate jeggings. They tend to look cheesy and cheap. All the fake whiskering and the strange grid-like fabric just scream “jegging!” But these look and feel like real jeans—durable, thick, and incredibly well made. Good job, AE!




3. High-Waisted Jegging – Ne(x)t Level
You’re going to have to try these on for yourself because they feel unlike any other jeans I’ve tried. Insanely stretchy but in a way that holds you in. They’d be great for going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, a night of dancing, or a long(ish) flight. Tight, not restrictive. I’ve gotta say that I’m not a destructed jean girl (these went all the way down both legs) but because of the incredible stretch, I didn’t feel like an exploding can of Pillsbury biscuits.




4. Mom Jean – No stretch
Hands down my favorite pair. As someone who has blown $200+ dollars on a pair of vintage jeans, I feel like such an idiot for not knowing these exist. They feel like someone’s already broken them in for me which, if you’re familiar with how rigid and uncomfortable vintage jeans are, is truly a blessing from the denim gods!




1. Slim – Ne(x)t Level Flex
At this time, my boyfriend was very distracted by my sexy Ne(x)t Level destructed jeans so he just nodded and agreed with my assessment.




2. Slim Straight – Extreme Flex
He was scared of these because “extreme stretch” and “slim” aren’t exactly the type of words he’d ever want in a pair of jeans. But they weren’t tight. They just sort of held onto his body better, if that makes sense. Again, “verrrry comfortable” and “feels amazing” were phrases he threw around a lot.




3. Slim Selvedge – No stretch
These were my favorite on him. He wasn’t used to the slightly roomier, relaxed fit but I loved them. So clean, so minimal, so Tokyo. They were just cool. These felt the most “raw”. No stretch whatsoever but the deep, rich indigo shade is so on point. Will simply have to force him to wear these to feed my female gaze.




4. Dad Jean – No stretch
“They feel so good!” is all he kept saying. Like, a lot. He would not shut up about how great they felt. He said they were also the softest jeans he’s ever put on and they felt “almost as comfortable as sweatpants.” I thought they looked cute but what do I know. Apparently, nothing since I’m the chump who spent $200 dollars on jeans.




In the end, I was shocked that we both didn’t feel “old,” plus we both found a fit that we loved that made us look and feel, well, expensive and that’s pretty much the best-case scenario when it comes to jeans.






If you’re in the NYC area, you can now customize your jeans for free at our Union Square store with any jean purchase. Not much of a DIY-er? Don’t worry—a steady-handed American Eagle Jeans Maker will be there to guide you, tell you what options you have and, overall, make your jean dreams come true.

Three ways to take what we make (our amazing jeans) and make them yours:

You know that leathery patch that’s always on the back of jeans? It’s technically called a jacron and you can get a different back patch sewn on in (almost) any color you want at participating American Eagle stores. It comes in both small and large sizes plus, you can get it embossed.

assortment of American Eagle jacrons


Come up with something clever to get stamped on your new back patch or, better yet—if you have siblings that regularly “borrow” your clothes, get your name stamped on it so everyone will know they’re a thief!

American Eagle customized jacron


Splatters, stripes, polka dots…the Frasier skyline—really, anything! Ask and you might receive. (Pro tip: This especially comes in handy when you want to add an extra personal touch to a friend’s gift.) Show the world (read: humbly brag about your new one-of-a-kind custom jeans) by tagging #AEJeans. You could be featured on our account and even end up in our next campaign.

Painting/customizing American Eagle jeans