I noticed that there were some of these guides already, but I wanted to add my thought on this.
I love A&F, it is my fave clothing and I have been lucky enough to have been to the USA one or more times a year since 2002 (when I first discovered the happiness that is A&F clothing). Every time I am over there I buy loads of items and spend more time than is healthy in their shops so I think I am quite experienced in their ranges and styles. As has been metioned, the items from the London shop are soooo expensive (I went in once and pratically weed myself laughing at both the prices and the people in there with armfuls of clothes) so I too look at items on Ebay to see if there is anything that catches my eye. A lot of the items do look genuine and I recognise them from the stores, but there are also those that look very suspect.
Some points to note:
- Up till the last time I was in an A&F shop (Nov 2007) and since I have been shopping there from 2002, they have never had any BLACK items, the darkest you'll get is dark brown, grey or navy but definatley no black (I have looked!)
- Items I own are made in various different places such as China, Vietnam, Macau, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Northen Mariana Islands(USA), Cambodia, Phillipines, Peru, Korea- however mostly they are from Vietnam or Macau-All of these were from USA stores & therefore genuine items so where the items are made may not be as defining as has been suggested previously. Although there were all multiple items at each location mentioned above. However none are made in Thailand and I notice a lot of items are selling from there. My husband went there and said it is rife with fake goods so I wouldn't be buying anything claiming to be designer from there.
- The sizes in the womens were mentioned in another guide I read and said that items that seem very small could fake be due to the country they are made in having different sized people to UK/US but just to point out from my experience, the A&F sizes come up small generally. E.g I am a size 8 UK however in A&F I will always go for a medium in tops/zippys/jumpers and I even have some larges in my collection as the smalls and X-smalls are really small!
- The sizes in tops will be XS/S/M/L/XL for women (the XL was only available from the USA not the UK store and it seems like they have ditched this bigger size now-but only going by a Google search and some forum information I found from the States. I will know definately after my Jan 2009 trip to NY), no actual numerical sizes, but in skirts and trousers and shorts you'll get the numerical sizes. If the item is from the States then you'll need to take about 4 off the size e.g. I take a size 2 in jeans from USA but an 8 in UK.
- Also there are soo many different label types in their clothes, I will try and add some pics of the ones I have as examples. They can be printed, applique, ribbon and others! Sorry is so small!
- Not all tops will have an embroidered moose, most do, those which do will have it at bottom right (as you look at the item) left as you wear it, or on the left breast. The moose is between 1.5 and 2 cm in height and will either be a contrasting or matching colour to the top.
- On zippy tops/jackets the metal zip pull should have a moose embossed or A&F or something to do with Abercrombie, all mine do.
I will add more things if I think of them ;)