American Eagle at TJ Maxx

@julietsfinds/TikTok Idealphotographer/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘It’s not just the clothes’: TJ Maxx customer in shock after finding American Eagle sweater

'I have questions.'


Eric Webb


Posted on Feb 23, 2024

Technology has not yet advanced enough to enable time travel—as far as the general public knows, of course. However, one recent viral TikTok uncovered a portal to the recent past: The racks at T.J. Maxx

Creator Juliet’s Finds (@julietsfinds), who brings thrifting, shopping, and reselling content to more than 185,000 followers, recently documented an Obama-era relic on a Biden-era trip to the popular off-price retailer. 

The video has more than 632,000 views and about 22,000 likes.

Juliet captioned the video, “I have some questions for American Eagle and TJ Maxx.” In the TikTok, she showed viewers a (pretty cute, honestly) white sweater with colorful snowflake designs. The creator examined the tags, which reveals it was a “jegging sweater” made for American Eagle. One manufacturer’s tag said “09/14,” presumably indicating that the garment was made in 2014.

“I need to know, what exactly is the supply chain for American Eagle in 2024?” Juliet asked.

She continued, “It’s 10 years old, and it’s at TJ Maxx for $20. I sold this sweater used like five years ago.”

“I def worked at AEO in like 2015 when we sold that…” one commenter wrote. Juliet replied, “I feel like this sweater is unlocking a lot of core memories today for people.”

Another commenter wrote, “i immediately recognized this from the last winter season i worked at american eagle. gave me goosebumps.”

“It’s an antique! A bargain at twice the price!” a comment read.

“No bc I just bought low rise hollister jeans at Marshall’s last week that are from 2010!” someone added.

@julietsfinds I have some questions for American Eagle and TJ Maxx 😂 #tjmaxxfinds #americaneagle #shopping ♬ original sound – Juliet’s Finds

Another viewer wrote, “tj Maxx is literally my mom hoarding pieces saying ‘it’ll come back in style.’”

One person added, “that’s how [T.J. Maxx] is… like a garage sale.”

“It’s not just the clothes. They’re selling stuff I bought in 2014 all over the store. It’s made me really question the pricing,” someone else wrote.

A few viewers had theories about how a decade-old garment showed up in the store. 

“I KNEW IT … I said they had a warehouse somewhere full of clothes from the early to mid 2000s. Just sitting. Waiting,” someone commented.

“Some people are reattaching tags to used clothes and returning them to TJ maxx and other stores,” another person commented. A fellow viewer replied, “I used to work at a TJ, has someone do this to me with a return. They reattached current tags to their old clothing.”

“Department store cancellations, a manufacturer making up too much product, or a closeout deal when a vendor wants to clear merchandise at the end of a season = tjmaxx inventory,” a viewer chimed in.

One commenter was thinking pragmatically: “It’s still cheaper than at Goodwill.”

The same sweater seen in Juliet’s video is going for similar prices on reseller websites like Poshmark and Mercari.

In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Juliet said, “This is the first time I have ever found something so old. I have found 1-2 year old items but I knew from owning this sweater in the past, it was 5+ years old!”

The creator told the Dot that she was surprised that the video resonated so much with viewers. “People are commenting about having the sweater 10 years ago, or seeing similar things happen at these types of retailers,” she said.

Juliet added, “I think it’s awesome that this was at T.J. Maxx. I was [so] shocked when I found it that I had to share. I love that they put it on the rack for sale! I just want to know where it has been for the last 10 years. What stories could this sweater tell?”

The Dot also reached out to T.J. Maxx and American Eagle Outfitters via email. 

T.J. Maxx’s website explains some of its merchandising process. “We take advantage of a wide variety of opportunities, which can include department store cancellations, a manufacturer making up too much product, or a closeout deal when a vendor wants to clear merchandise at the end of a season,” the website reads.

The retailer’s website continues, “Most of our merchandise is fashionable, current season styles. A small percentage is past season, or timeless classics, which we also offer at amazing savings to you.”

So, while the exact route of Juliet’s jegging sweater from American Eagle’s past to T.J. Maxx’s present remains a mystery, the off-price retail supply chain offers a few possible explanations.

In other recent T.J. Maxx news, one reseller on TikTok said he can turn a profit by buying women’s clothes at the store.

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2024, 7:22 am CST