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Abercrombie had a psycho dress code (for its accountants)

Many remember Abercrombie & Fitch, the leading apparel brand for the suburban rich teen who never bothered to find out their maid’s last name, as this ridiculous shop that hired shirtless models and refused to buy a size up to have in stock as a large. As a result, the company also became notorious for the countless lawsuits that this discriminatory policy provoked. What these plaintiffs failed to realize, however, was that A&F was very inclusive of imposing their draconian standards of beauty on all employees, regardless of rank or background.

It turns out that Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Cult Manson But Get It Hot” brand applies not only to their clothes but also to their corporate culture. In the Aughts, business partners hot enough to survive the hiring process had to face an extensive, ridiculous, “Look at politics.”

; This guideline covered everything from a dress code (A&F brand clothing only) to haircuts (no “extreme styles” like highlights) to acceptable fingernail lengths (1/4 inch or less or you will be fired).

Iflwlou / Wikimedia Commons
The ABCs of Abercrombie & Fitch Selling: Always Be Without Clothes.

More unusual, the company also imposed a similar look policy Head office staffwho were not allowed to wear black or purple and only had to dress in A&F clothing. Of course, A&F wasn’t crazy enough to then hire models / lawyers or model / HR managers, which resulted in a corporate office whose professionals looked like their midlife crises had synced. Even more humiliating was the plight of oversized employees. With their own brand refusing to stock anything larger than methhead, several female employees suffered the outrage over wearing men’s jeans, while heavier male employees had no choice but to squeeze into an A&F Large.

“Hey, do you have quarterly sales for the zip-off cargo pants? I need them for my presentation.”

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