American Eagle says that no one is wearing bras anymore
- People aren't wearing bras anymore, according to American Eagle's executive creative director.
- This is because items like bralettes and crop tops have become popular as outerwear.
No one is wearing bras anymore. At least, that's what execs at American Eagle say.
"Girls are wearing bra tops out," Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of American Eagle and its sister brand Aerie, told investors at the company's earnings call Wednesday. "So, there is no need for bras, and we're focused on that and how she is wearing her intimates."
Aerie sells lingerie, loungewear, sportswear, and pajamas. Because it largely targets young shoppers, its lingerie focuses on items like bralettes and lightly-lined bras.
But trends are changing and people are wearing underwear differently now. "The whole category has shifted," Foyle told investors. "The whole feeling is lowers and intimates."
Items like bralettes and crop tops have become popular as outerwear in recent years, removing the need for traditional bras. British Vogue reported that at The Daily Front Row's Annual Fashion Awards last month, many guests opted for bralettes, generally styled with long skirts or trousers.
Victoria's Secret – a major Aerie rival – even has a page on its website dedicated to bra tops that can be worn as outerwear, with items such as corset tops and an embroidered balconette bra. Lingerie retailer Pour Moi also has a selection of underwear labeled on its website as "worn to be seen," including bustiers, bralettes, and lacy body suits. Though both of these companies seem to be selling racier styles.
"It's less of the peek-a-boo tactic and more of a substitution for your typical wardrobe staples," InStyle reported about the trend, noting how it differed from the 1990s and 2000s phenomenon of having underwear peak through from under your other clothes. "It is the act of wearing underwear as regular, everyday clothing, but it doesn't have to be as scandalous as it sounds."
The pandemic caused a shift in attitudes towards underwear, too, which has impacted bra sales. Lockdown led to a jump in sales of loungewear and bras were cast to the back of closets as people prioritized comfort. As the economy reopened, some people continued to shun their bras.
Foyle noted that, though there was less interest in bras, there was a growing demand for sports bras by Aerie's activewear range, Offline, as demand for athleisure continues to boom.
Aerie, which has nearly 300 standalone stores, made up nearly a third of American Eagle Outfitters' sales in the first quarter.
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