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do american eagle jeans run small

There aren’t a lot of closet staples that can get as much use (and look as good) as a solid pair of jeans. You can dress them down with sneakers and a t-shirt, or dress them up with heels and a dressy top.

Plus, let’s not forget that the right pair of jeans really has a way of making your butt look perfect. One of the most well-known brands for quality jeans is American Eagle. But are they made for the plus-size body?

And, when it comes to sizing, how do American Eagle jeans run?

Most wearers report that American Eagle jeans run true-to-size, however, this depends on the style of the jeans. Skinny jeans are tighter and don’t stretch as much, making them run a little small. American Eagle does offer stretchier jean fabrics that are better for the curvy and full-figured body. 

Next, we’ll take a closer look at the fit of America Eagle jeans and talk about which fits run big, small, and true-to-size.

Do American Eagle Jeans Run Big or Small?

For the most part, women who have tried on American Eagle jeans find that they run mostly true to size. However, certain fits do run smaller (like skinny jeans) because they are made from sturdier jean material that doesn’t stretch as well. This can be problematic for women with curves because of their unique body shapes.

Something that’s nice about American Eagle jeans is that the more that you wear them, the more they conform to your unique body shape. They’re also made from pretty quality materials, so if you do find a pair that you love they are likely to be one of your favorite staples for years and years.

That being said, American Eagle (as well as many other clothing brands) has been criticized recently for inconsistent sizing. This is a problem that exists all across most women’s clothing lines, both in between brands and sometimes within the same brand.

Whenever possible, I try to buy my jeans in-store so I can try them on first. Of course, this wasn’t really an option during the pandemic so sometimes you have to shop online. If you are shopping online, buy from somewhere with a good return policy in case they don’t fit.

How Does American Eagle Jean Sizes Compare to Other Brands?

Finding a jeans brand that works for your body really takes your wardrobe to the next level. There aren’t many non-formal occasions that aren’t perfect for breaking out your jeans, whether you’re looking for something cute and casual like jeans and a cardigan or jeans that you can flaunt confidently with a pair of heels.

While some plus size clothing brands make clothes that are ugly, there are brands that make flattering jeans. AE jeans do flatter the plus size body, but they are a little smaller than the same size 20 in other brands. (For reference AE jeans size 20 or XXL has a 38″ waist and 48″ hip).

When it comes to plus sizes, Old Navy Jeans actually go all the way up to a 4X (or size 30) that has a 54″ waist and 63.5″ hips. Additionally, their size XXL (20) has a 42″ waist and 51.5″ hip, so it’s roomier than size 20 in other brands. By contrast, Levi Jeans are smaller. Their maximum size is an 18/20 that has a 37.75″ waist and 46.5″ hips.

Torrid is another high-end clothing brand that offers plus sizes. Their maximum is a size 6 (or 30) with a 60-64″ waist and 72-76″ hip. Additionally, their size 20 is roomier too, having a 42-44″ waist and 52-54″ hip.

Different Styles of AE Jeans

There are a lot of different styles of jeans in the American Eagle line and that really changes how they fit your body. Styles include skinny jeans, bootcut, and flared and they offer low-rise and high-waisted jeans. Plus, they even have a “Mom Fit” line that I highly recommend for women with curvier bodies.

As a plus-size woman, I also find that the higher-waisted AE jeans are more flattering on my body than other versions. Plus, the fit of the jeans is designed to go around my waist where I’m narrower than my hips. This gives a better all-over fit and prevents a “muffin top”.

That being said, I also don’t like a fit that is too high because my body isn’t especially long. Some high-waisted jeans offer a little too much rise and can poof out and make me feel bulky.

Materials American Eagle Uses

In addition to the overall fit of the jeans, the fabric that they are made from really affects how comfortable the jeans are and how they fit on your body.

Some of their sturdier fabrics include 100% cotton denim and core flex materials. They are both rigid and soften with time, but the core flex materials give a little more when you sit and move around for better comfort.

American Eagle also uses classic stretch denim as well as super stretchy jeans with features like extended stretch and 4-way flex. These stretchier jeans are best for curvy girls, especially if you’re closer to a size 18-20 which are the highest sizes they offer.

Are American Eagle Men’s Jeans True to Size?

Like AE’s women’s jeans, men’s jeans come in a variety of fabrics with stretch that varies depending on the materials that they use. More rigid fabrics are going to be less forgiving and have less stretch.

The nice thing for the guys is that like most clothing brands, your sizing really depends on the number of inches around your waist. According to AE men’s size charts, their biggest size is 48″. In shorts and other pants, this is an XXXL.

This makes American Eagle a lot more inclusive for men than it is for women. While they do accommodate up to a 48″ hip size for women’s jeans, their largest waist is 38″. This makes them a good choice for curvier women, but they don’t always fit if you are fuller-figured.

Do American Eagle Jeans Shrink?

Most jeans are going to shrink a little bit in the wash. However, they don’t usually shrink so much that it’s impossible to get them back on your body and jeans have a tendency to stretch a little more throughout the day.

One of the nice things about AE jeans is that as they shrink a little, stretch a little, and shrink a little again, they start conforming to your body. This gives them a unique fit that supports your curves in all the right places.

Something else you’ll notice is that AE jeans’ cotton denim shrinks more than their stretchier fabric.

Do American Eagle Jeans Fit Plus-Size Bodies?

While American Eagle Jeans do offer sizes going up to a women’s 20 (which is a 38.5-inch hip and 48″ hip according to their size charts). So, while they will fit a curvier woman, they don’t really offer those extended plus sizes that some women need.

It’s always pretty surprising to me when manufacturers don’t offer those extended sizes because they’re missing out on a big market. The most recent statistics from the CDC say that around 41.9% of Americans are obese.

That being said, American Eagle jeans do have a body-positive message. They go up to size 20 and their lingerie brand, Aerie, has gained recognition for featuring curvier models on their website- without retouching their bodies.

Do American Eagle Jeans Look Good on Curvy Girls?

American Eagle is known for their jeans and they really offer a wide variety, which makes it easy to find at least one or two styles that look good on you. Here’s a look at some of the jeans that they have that might flatter curvier bodies.

With high-waisted options and more forgiving fabric, AE mom jeans and flex jeans are a great choice for a pair of jeans that are going to hug your curves in the right way.

What Sizes Does American Eagle Offer?

American Eagle comes in sizes all the way up to an XXL or 20. Of course, the actual sizing might vary depending on the stretch of the fabric and the cut of the jeans. Naturally, elastic waist jeans are going to have a roomier, more generous fit. Here’s a look at their sizing chart.

Numeric Sizing Other Sizing Waist Size (in Inches) Hip Size (in Inches)
00 XXS 23.5 33
0 XS 24.5 34
2 XS 25.5 35
4 S 26.5 36
6 S 27.5 37
8 M 28.5 38
10 M 30 39.5
12 L 31.5 41
14 L 33 42.5
16 XL 34.5 44
18 XL 36.5 46
20 XXL 38 48

Final Word

So, do American Eagle jeans run small or big? Some women find that American Eagle jeans are mostly true to size, though the fabric and style of the jeans make a difference in the overall fit.

AE jeans do offer women’s sizes all the way up to a 20 or XXL, but some jeans are a tighter, slimmer fit. Usually, their stretchier jeans are best for curvier women. The “mom jeans” line has plenty of curvy jeans in different styles, too.

If you are around a size 18-20 or smaller, I’d say it’s worth it to give American Eagle a try- especially if you can try the jeans on in-store. It really is hard to find that perfect pair of jeans as a woman and even more so when you’re curvy.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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