The a.n.a. brand of women's clothing is a JCPenney exclusive that was introduced in 2006. The initials "a.n.a." stand for "a new approach," and the creation of the private label did represent tactics that the department store chain hadn't tried before. It was JCPenney's largest brand launch to date (simultaneously introduced in all stores across the country) and it showcased the company's commitment to keeping up with current fashion trends by evolving products based on demand. The brand specifically caters to women who are looking for basics with a little more style.
JCPenney was founded in 1902, when James Cash Penney entered a partnership to open stores under the Golden Rule moniker. A few years later, he bought out his partners and ventured out on his own to continue opening stores under the JCPenney name across the country. The chain had its retail heyday in the 1960s and '70s before seeing business start to decline a bit over the last several decades. Today, the company operates more than 1,000 stores nationwide and is one of the country's top department stores by revenue. JCPenney introduced its first house brands back in 1914, and these private labels have become an integral part of the company's overall business plan in the last decade.
One of the most important facets of the a.n.a. brand is its ability to evolve as trends change, but its overall categories generally stay pretty uniform. In women's tops, you'll find fashion tees, blouses, button-down shirts, henleys, tanks, camis, scoopnecks, v-necks, and more. Detailing on clothes varies, but most shirts are designed to add a little flair to traditional basics. Sweaters, cardigans, and ponchos are also available for layering, and the brand offers stylish jackets and vests to complete your outfits. For more functional outerwear, you can choose among parkas, down jackets, wool coats, and more.
In bottoms, jeans are available in popular styles like bootcut, skinny, and jegging. Other pants include leggings, ponte pants, palazzo pants, capris, and crops. Assorted skirts and shorts are also available for warmer weather. Dresses are mostly designed for casual wear or for going out. The brand prides itself on catering to women of all different shapes and sizes, so it has maintained petite, tall, and plus sizes since day one (making it the first JCPenney brand to do so). a.n.a. also offers stylish maternity clothes in several different categories.
JCPenney got some heat when it first introduced a.n.a. because many people were quick to point out that its name could be confused with the dangerous pro-anorexia movement. Luckily, the clothes from the brand actually support a much healthier body image and are a favorite among average-sized women who are frequently discouraged by apparel from other manufacturers. a.n.a. takes steps to shorten the length of time between clothes being designed and hitting store shelves, so its styles are always fresh and on-trend. Even so, the brand doesn't ever cross the line into being too "trendy," so clothes will appeal to most women. We give a.n.a. 4.5 stars out of 5.