The Brands I Wore in Middle School Are Cool Again?

A few months back, I saw the cutest pullover on my IG feed. It was buttoned up along the neck and had quilted details. I was sold! I clicked on the LTK link to find out… it was from ABERCROMBIE? I hadn’t thought about that place since the last time I was at the mall and got a bit of the cologne in my mouth as I walked by the store.

I clicked through to the main website and stalked. The clothes were… cute? I was shocked! What happened to the super tight and bright polos and branded tees??? (still there, turns out, underneath the trendy stuff)

This inspired me to dig a little deeper and investigate the brands I wore in middle school – had they undergone a renaissance of their own? Turns out, most did. Here are my findings:

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The one that started it all, Abercrombie is a mystery to me. Yes, there are still the ABERCROMBIE & FITCH hoodies that we know and love(d), but there are also very stylish and chic pieces a la Madewell or Zara. I especially like all the different fabric choices that the Abercombie shopper has – chiffon, silk, velvet, cotton, sherpa, wool, you name it, it’s in an Abercrombie product. I came for the quilted pullover, but I stayed for the stylish skirts.


American Eagle

I am not going to lie to you. I have shopped at AE a few times over the years. My friend Tori frequently shops there, and I have borrowed many a top from her to wear out, only to discover when I took it off that it was from American Eagle. This led me to shop their big sales once a year or so, maybe getting a tee or two each time. What surprised me was the amount of athleisure options AE now has. They have sweatshirts built to cover your butt in leggings… HALLELUJAH.



I knew that if Abercrombie was *cool*, its sister company Hollister had to be right behind it. And it is, kinda, sorta. I definitely prefer Abercrombie’s new items to those from Hollister, but there were some notable pieces I really enjoyed. This just seems a tad younger than Abercrombie, and I would feel a bit weird walking into a Hollister store.



PacSun really had me refreshing the page, confirming that Kendall + Kylie items were indeed sold there. Spoiler alert, they are, along with other notable brands I have seen carried elsewhere. They even have Brandy Melville products in some of their stores! I like the chic casual vibes from these pieces and I definitely see the Brandy connection in each item.


VS Pink

The dog logo is still around, but if you can get past that, or just find items where it’s tiny, VS Pink is cute. I enjoyed the camo pieces in their fall line, as well as the newer pullovers and zip ups that don’t have PINK everywhere on the surface area. I look back on the days where I proudly wore PINK across my rear and thankfully only saw one such pair currently on the website. Overall, though, great legging selection and other comfy clothes.



I remember Windsor as the “cool store” that my friends and I would wander around without actually purchasing from, mainly because we could not fill out all the tops they stocked. Oh, how the tables have turned. I now worry my chest would not fit in many of these tops without breaking some laws. However, I reallllllly like the trendy blazers, pants and dresses I saw on the site, not to mention the comfy sweaters. Windsor made a big comeback, and still has the going out clothes I remembered it having, if that’s your vibe. Just be sure to check the chest sizing 😉


What stores did middle school you frequent? Any not on this list? Let me know and I can research them!


hi! my name is Caitlin, and I am a Midwest twenty-something, agency owner, thrifting pro and blogger who shares outfits, wellness, good books and so much more. I am so glad you are here - welcome to my corner of the internet!

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  1. Ashley wrote:

    This post is so captivating! I just had to read it. Honestly, I have ALWAYS loved Abercrombie. It never got old for me (but the kids’ section did lol).
    Xoxo, Ashley /

    Posted 10.8.18
    • Caitlin wrote:

      hahaha thank you! I am so glad I refound it, such cute comfy stuff!!!

      Posted 10.8.18

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