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The second look we tried was a basic shift black dress.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler

Open back tank dress ($20, Aerie)

Nicola usually has trouble finding a shift dress at a straight size store.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
"Along with the bralette, I didn't even give a second thought to buying this dress. Shift dresses like this aren't usually an option for me in straight size stores — the largest size is either too tight for a shift dress or doesn't cover my butt. This one, however, was absolutely perfect for me. I adore the small opening in the back, which gives you a little peek of the cute bralette," said Nicola.

I was actually pleasantly surprised to be able to fit into this dress, although, it was more of a bodycon dress on me.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
As I looked in the mirror, I could hear a voice in my head whisper, "Just 'cause it zips doesn't mean it fits."

Next up was this bell sleeve sweater.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
Ruffle sleeve sweatshirt ($ 28, Aerie)

"When I saw Jess picking this sweater off the rack, I had my doubts — this style of sleeve rarely looks good on me. But then I put it on and immediately realized I was wrong. I wasn't a fan of the color, but the sweater itself was SOFT AF without being too heavy. It's also roomy enough to throw over a swimsuit. But to be honest, given the size of this sweatshirt, I expected it to be much bigger," said Nicola.

Trying on the sweatshirt only enhanced my quadruple boobs.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
Even though I was able to move my arms normally, the fit was far from good. I asked the sales associate if there were any 2Xs in the store and she assured me that 1X was as high as they went.

It was finally time to try on some bottoms. We opted for the stretchiest item we could find.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
It didn't matter how much I tugged the cord on the drawstring waist, those shorts were not going up.

Nicola had better luck, but the shorts exposed her ladybits more than she preferred.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler

Last up was swimwear. Nicola chose a suit modeled by Iskra Lawrence in Aerie's summer campaign.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler
Piping one-piece swimsuit ($33, Aerie)

"Shout-out to Aerie's sales associates for being so supportive and kind to me while trying on swimwear. I received a hell of a lot of compliments when I stepped out of the dressing room, but I was not feeling this suit AT ALL. Unlike the way it looks on Iskra Lawrence in the promotional imagery, it became very transparent on me — especially around the breast padding. The way the suit fits doesn't support my breasts at all, and instead, they're forced to lay flat against my body. All in all, it's just not a cute look for me," said Nicola.

Swimsuits were out of the question for me because of sizing, but I found these cool sunglasses.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler

Win?!

By the end of our adventure, Nicola had pretty much gotten half of her summer wardrobe, while I waited for her by the accessories.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Jessica Torres

It was like high school all over again.

It's clear that Aerie is not as body positive as it claims to be.

aerie body positive
photo: Revelist/Brittany Fowler

Shopping here didn't make me feel confident — it made me feel left out and ignored. 

Aerie's commitment to unretouched ads and and body-diverse models deserves all the praise in the world, but if those ads don't translate to an inclusive shopping experience for consumers, what is it all for? PR and marketing, that's what.

Dear Aerie: Body positivity is not a marketing strategy to help your bottom line.

Do better.