The second look we tried was a basic shift black dress.
Open back tank dress ($20, Aerie)
Nicola usually has trouble finding a shift dress at a straight size store.
Next up was this bell sleeve sweater.
"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.
Last up was swimwear. Nicola chose a suit modeled by Iskra Lawrence in Aerie's summer campaign.
"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.
It's clear that Aerie is not as body positive as it claims to be.
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.