Real Talk With Erin Drischler Of The Garment Project

Erin Drischler founded The Garment Project, a non-profit that aims to empower women recovering from eating disorders by providing them with new, size-less clothing, individualized for their healthy bodies and lifestyles. We got to know Erin and the story behind her incredible non-profit—read on for more.

Real Talk With Erin Drischler Of The Garment Project

 

What inspired you to start The Garment Project?

I wanted to start telling a different story. There were so many years where I felt stuck in a loop as the ‘sick girl’. I decided that I want to be a voice for those who feel that same hopelessness. For me, clothing and sizing was a huge part of my eating disorder recovery. Returning home from treatment to a closet full of clothes that didn’t fit my body or soul is a struggle that not many in recovery think of prior to it staring them in the face for the first time. Between my fiancé, Jordan, and myself, our careers, hobbies, and talents seemed to give us the expertise needed to try to make a difference.

We recognized that there needed to be a way for someone to maintain their focus on recovery and not their size, even when finding new clothes. We decided that partnering directly with treatment facilities would give us the information we needed about each candidate Garment works with in a private and healthy way. From there, we needed to give each individual a unique shopping experience. Garment created an online tool that allows us to make a new, personalized shopping page for each candidate containing only items in our inventory that we believe matches both their needs and lifestyle. With the help of hard-working and talented people, we believe Garment will change the recovery process and a lot of lives along the way.

Can you tell us a bit more about the power sizing in clothing can have over women and what they can do to overcome it?

Each time I went through treatment, I would learn new skills or bits of information that would improve some of my behaviors and way of thinking. I would usually leave with a feeling of confidence and that I had worked hard to make important changes in my lifestyle. Yet I would find myself in the same place: back at home, day one of no longer having the security of an inpatient treatment team, trying to get ready for class. I was alone in my room staring at a closet full of clothes that no longer fit my body or recovered lifestyle. It was a terrible feeling.

For a long time I used clothes to fuel my eating disorder. It isn’t uncommon to use clothing sizes as benchmarks. I kept and used my old clothes as a means of body checking, or seeing if weight had been gained or not. After several cycles through the treatment loop, I had been convinced to throw away my scale. My eating disorder didn’t need a scale anymore because I had my ‘sick clothes’. I remember one dress in particular that would reveal my current weight based on how it fit. I didn’t have the financial stability or even the courage to box everything up and start over.

Clothing and fashion are personal and powerful ways to express yourself. It is exciting and the easiest way to express your individuality. I was missing the thing I used to love about getting dressed each day. I wanted to be able to pick my outfit based on my mood or whatever side of my personality was stronger that morning, but I was stuck with a wardrobe that had so many negative associations attached to it that I couldn’t feel confident about anything that I had to choose from.

What’s next for The Garment Project?

We are focused on bettering our service and expanding our reach. This year, we are going to be working hard to spread our message and let people know that we’re a resource for people who have done amazing work for themselves and are learning how to lead a healthier life. Of course, Garment is always learning and growing too. It’s a priority for us to be able to expand our service to men and hopefully we’ll make significant progress on that this year as well.

What makes you #AerieREAL?

It took a few years of practice and slips, but I have a completely new relationship with food, my body, and myself. My eating disordered thoughts once consumed my life, paralyzing me from living a life I was proud of. I am three years into recovery and I still feel pride and excitement when I catch myself in control. I eat when I’m hungry and until I am full, and I always order exactly what I want. When I look at a photo of myself, I no longer examine every dimple or imperfection. I am able to see the happiness on my face because that’s what is most important to me now. I learned how to be more patient with people I care about, and forgive others when they might not have met my expectations. The food finally came second to the relationships, which was one of the most important steps in accepting my recovery.

Living this recovered life had not only led me to accept my body and soul, but truly love and embrace what I have to offer. I’m proud of my recovery and the messy, motivating experiences I went through. It is important to us that we be champions of recovery and show those that are struggling how beautiful recovered life can be.

 

Want to learn more about The Garment Project? Check out their website here.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

STYLIST’S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

Show your support! In honor of #NEDAwareness week, Erin styled 3 looks featuring our limited-edition NEDA tee & undies, with 100% of sales of each item benefitting the non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders. This week, these are more than just 3 outfits. They’re 3 ways to love yourself, just as you are!

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#1: WEAR WHAT FEELS GOOD

Bralettes are always the obvious choice when you want to wear something that makes you feel good. Put this Padded Plunge Bralette under your Limited-Edition NEDA Tee, wear your fave jean shorts for sunshine and accessorize with our Denim Baseball Hat and So Fly Aviator Sunnies.

 

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#2: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Chill. Play. Move. Leggings are always the best way to show yourself some love. Tie up your tee and pair it with our new printed Move High Waisted Legging, and wear our Play Strappy Back Sports Bra underneath to be ready for whatever your day brings.

 

 

STYLIST'S PICKS: LOVE YOURSELF!

#3: LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN!

Bring body positivity to the beach and beyond! Sport your Super Scoop One Piece Swimsuit even more proudly by wearing your NEDA Tee on top, and add our super soft Denim Short on the bottom when you’re out of the pool. And remember…. for every unretouched swim photo you share with #AerieREAL, we’ll donate $1 (up to $25K) to NEDA. Because EVERY body is a beach body.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

We met Nia last year, and since then she’s been inspiring us with her honesty about natural beauty, insecurities and confidence. Nia’s curls were always huge part of her life—she co-founded the Go With The Fro Tour, a movement to empower women with natural curls—but when she realized that her hair was starting to define her, she knew she had to let it go. We talked to Nia about that process and what she learned from it. Read on for more from this #AerieREAL Role Model!

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

You’ve recently changed your look! Tell us why you decided to cut your hair.  

I knew I wanted to let go of my hair when the image of the woman I aspired to be wasn’t who I was. I was bored of looking the same every day just for validation through social media. I felt unhappy and drained but I couldn’t figure out why until I listed all the things I felt were holding me back. I wanted a fresh start and to completely step out of my comfort zone to finally see myself. I feel amazing, I feel so confident and free.

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

What did you learn in the process?

That you should never remain in a career, relationship or friendship just because of the comfort. I could’ve remained talking about hair just because it was what I built my brand on but it wasn’t what I was truly passionate about anymore. I also learned that some people will be in your life just because of how you look which is sad but it made me appreciate the people in my life who love me for me. I also learned that I used to spend way too much time doing my hair because I can now sleep for an extra hour!

 

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

#AerieREAL is about standing together and feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin. How do you personally identify with that message?

I have never felt more confident and comfortable in my skin as my comfort used to lie within my hair. I hid all of my insecurities underneath my hair because people always gravitated towards it. At first it was fun being known for my hair but I couldn’t keep up with the image of always having to look the same, I felt obliged to always wear my hair out for the gratification of others and thats when I knew I was no longer living for myself. I now identify with it through acceptance of my natural beauty, my intelligence, my kind soul and my ability to always evolve.

Real Talk With Nia PettittWho is your role model and why?

My role model is the older version of myself. We all have this idea in our head of who we want to be and sometimes we never know how we are going to get there. Whether that is a healthier version, a smarter one, a version that is more stylish or more happy. My version is a woman that doesn’t allow likes to validate her worth, that is free with herself to be herself at all times and never feel like she has to be in a box.

Real Talk With Nia Pettitt

What makes you an #AerieREAL Role Model?

I no longer look at my flaws as flaws. I look at my stretch marks as lines of love from girl to woman. I look at my acne scars as reminders to stop stressing over unnecessary things. I look at the hair which grows on my skin as a blanket and my belly button as a cool and unique part of me. I am an #AerieREAL Role Model because I understand that the natural me is the best version of me.

How do you stay true to yourself? Comment below & tell us what makes YOU an #AerieREAL Role Model.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Love The Swim You’re In Is BACK!

For the third year in a row, we want #AerieREAL girls everywhere to LOVE THE SWIM YOU’RE IN! Last year, you helped us raise more than $15K for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).

Check out some inspo from the amazing photos YOU posted last year.

This year, our campaign is back and bigger than ever! This spring and summer, we’ll donate $1 (now up to $25,000!) to NEDA for every unretouched swim photo or video you share with #AerieREAL. Start sharing and YOU could be featured on social or in our store windows this spring and summer!

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and start sharing! Tell us why you love the swim you’re in, and encourage your friends to share, too. Because EVERY body is a perfect beach body..

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s All Love For Our New Wireless Bra

Our newest wireless bra is here! The Starts With You Lightly Lined Wireless Bra offers everyday support with natural, gentle shaping. 0 wires = 100% comfort! That’s exactly what bra designer Lauren had in mind during the design: “Our customer always inspires us, and we wanted to offer her a super cute, comfortable everyday bra with support.”

It's All Love For Our New Wireless Bra

It's All Love For Our New Wireless Bra

 

What makes our new wireless a must-wear for every day? Lauren says, “This bra has everything—comfort, support, and cute details.  It also has a J-hook so she can wear it as a racerback!” This versatile bra comes in a ton of colors, back strap details and pretty logo lace styles. It's All Love For Our New Wireless Bra

To make our newest bra comfy AND cute… it’s all in the details! Lauren told us which are her faves: “Cute lace trim, split front straps, and a mesh wing with wide elastic definitely make this bra stand out.”

It's All Love For Our New Wireless Bra

Shop our newest wireless in Aerie stores and online now, and keep an eye out for more wireless styles coming soon!

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cozy Night In

Cozy nights are the best nights! #AerieREAL girls Noelle Downing and Rachel Martino cozy up with hot cocoa and their favorite Aerie PJsCozy Night In

“Rachel and I both love the holidays oh so much and decided to have a cozy night in to watch some of our favorite holiday movie! We cozied up in all of our favorite Aerie goodies and it was heavenly! They are so so comfortable and also super cute. I honestly am just in love with so many pieces from Aerie- from socks to glitter bralettes! I’m wearing these buffalo plaid pants that fit so cute, a *light up* holiday hat, and these adorable pom pom slippers! You can even change out the poms making them also such a cute gift!”

Cozy Night In

“Also as you probably know Aerie is all about the body positivity movement and so am I. I love that they have the Aerie real campaign that shows real girls without any sort of retouching. It’s so important to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin and I adore working with a brand that celebrates that!”

Cozy night in

Post your PJ pics with #MyAerie for a chance to be featured!

Tags: , , , , ,