Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another Flash Sale at J.Crew Factory {30% off everything & free shipping!}

"Thanks!" to  many of you, who shared the following email & promotion from J.Crew.

J.Crew Factory is offering 30% off and free shipping with promotional code TICKTOCK. This offer expires today at 3PM, EST. The fine print includes:

*Offer valid on purchases made at on August 21, 2014, 11:00am ET through 3:00pm ET. Offer not valid in J.Crew or J.Crew Factory stores, at or on phone orders. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases and cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with any other offer. Offer not valid on men’s suiting and footwear, boys’ shoes, women’s puffer vests or third-party branded merchandise. To redeem, enter code TICKTOCK in the promo code box at checkout. Free shipping valid on orders shipping to the continental U.S. and U.S. P.O. Boxes via economy shipping (6 to 8 business days) and to Canada via standard shipping (4 to 7 business days). Return requests must be made in accordance with our return policy. Limit one promotional code per order. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada only. Terms of offer are subject to change. 
I feel like prices might be a little better at brick and mortar factory stores... However, it is definitely worth checking out. Especially since they are offering free shipping too.

Can we take a moment to admire the outfit above? Is it just me, or is it simply perfection. Such a great, clean way to wear such a fun sweatshirt. It's such a polish look.

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? If so, please share!

What I Heart at Madewell

"Thanks!" to Catherine (in this post), who came up with a great post topic:
Hi Alexis, can you share some of your favorite styles? And do they run true to size? I am liking more and more their clothes, but have found in the past they run too small...
It's no secret, but I have been coming around on the Madewell bandwagon. When J.Crew first introduced their sister store, I thought, "that's nice". However, I never felt the clothes were really for me. I could always manage to find one or two items, but it was definitely not a go-to store. Well, things have changed. Lately, I have been turning to Madewell *instead* of J.Crew. I know, I know... scandalous! ;)

I thought I would pick a few items that represent the reason why I think Madewell is pretty awesome.

The first item is Madewell's Skinny Skinny Jeans in Nightfall (item A2279). I never thought Madewell's jeans were that great, especially since that was their "thing" from the very beginning. However, consider me a believer this year. They are blowing the competition out of the water with all their styles and fits. The Skinny Skinny Jeans in Nightfall are the *most* comfortable pair of jeans I ever owned. They also look great after multiple washes and don't sag out after long periods of wear. No joke, I bought a back up pair just in case. ;)

The next item is the Outbound Jacket (item 42249). This jacket is the kind of item that looks great on anyone and everyone! The cotton is both sturdy and soft (sounds weird, I know) that makes it feel like it is well-worn and will last forever (sounds weird again, I know!) The jacket looks so amazing thanks to its gorgeous collar (you just have to try it on to see how great it frames the face).

I should start off by saying that I own J.Crew's Downing Tote in English Saddle and I adore it! It's an absolutely gorgeous bag and I get compliments on it all the time. However, I really wanted a darker version too. I wasn't feeling the Downing Tote's Navy option so I turned to Madewell's the Transport Tote in Navy (item A8097) instead. The bag is a great size (just like the Downing Tote) that literally allows you to carry everything without feeling like you are carrying everything (the bag is so refreshingly light!) Plus, it has an attached zippered pocket that is actually roomy enough to carry keys or a phone (something the Downing Tote does not offer). I know it's a simple bag, but I really feel like it is one of those bags that will stand the test of fashion times.

As far as sizing goes... I think Madewell is all over the place. I am way more consistent in J.Crew's offerings than in Madewell. When it comes to Madewell, I am pretty much a size 2 or extra small in dresses, but I vary wildly in jeans (anywhere from 27 to my normal 29). I rely heavily on customers' online reviews to get a sense of what size I should get. Thank goodness those are there too!

UPDATE: Madewell is offering 20% off select styles using promo code HOTANDCOOL. This offer expires August 25, 2014.

What are a few things that you love from Madewell? Are you loving Madewell more lately? Please share! :)

JCA "Help Style Me!" Weekly Post

This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"

Please share your J.Crew item (either that you own or are thinking about getting) that you would love help creating an outfit with.

Also, please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel free to include links to your blog (where you incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance! :)

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to LOVE with J.Crew" post, a place to share our favorite experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a positive situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including stellar experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quilted Puffer Vest {Retail versus Factory!}

Both J.Crew and J.Crew Factory came out with Quilted Puffer Vests for their respective Fall 2014 collections. I thought it would be fun to break down the two versions and see which one JCAs like more. To borrow a phrase from GigisGoneShopping, a "smackdown!" of the two.

Excursion quilted vest (item B0109; $120.00)

J.Crew retail's current version is a copy of J.Crew retail's 2013 Excursion Vest. When it comes to sizing, it runs large for most customers. I am normally an extra small/size 2 and find the extra extra small fits best.

  • It has a side pocket in addition to the button covered pocket
  • Quality: It is always better from retail.
  • Color: Comes in both chartreuse and bright ivory this year. Both colors have not been done in vests before.
  • Those gold snap buttons are not my favorite. I don't know what it is about them, but I am not a huge fan. Mind you, I do own two versions of this vest with the gold buttons.
  • The zipper is only one way. The two way zippers from 2012 are much easier to wear.
  • Limited number of colors this year. Last year, there were more choices. Not sure why this year there are only four. :(

Factory quilted puffer vest (item 92465; $98.00)

J.Crew Factory's current version is actually a copy of J.Crew retail's 2012 Excursion Vest. When it comes to sizing, same scenario as the retail version: size one down.

  • The side pockets are more streamlined with the vest. Plus, there are inside snaps on this version that help keep stuff inside. Awesome little feature! (The retail version from 2012 did not have inside snaps, nor did Factory's version from 2013.)
  • Quality: I compared this version with my vests from retail 2012 and could not tell the difference. 
  • Colors: The factory version comes in a lot more colors. Including red currant and olive moss, both of which have not been used before.
  • Two way zipper- love this! Enough said.
  • Quality: It's from Factory. I can't tell the difference from the retail version, but I know J.Crew cut costs somewhere. I don't know where, but it's somewhere... ;)

From my comparisons above, it is clear that I am hearting the Factory version a bit more. It's not to say that I don't like the retail version. I do! I just think the Factory version wins out.

What are your thoughts on the puffer vests from retail J.Crew and J.Crew Factory? Do you have any additional pros or cons that you would add to the lists here? If so, please share! :)

Quick Poll: Which puffer vest do you adore?

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Melissa@AllThingsSimplified & Wendy (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew had an update to its website (click here to view online).

There are some new arrivals for men (click here) & women (click here). {wahoo!} It looks like Crewcuts (click here) has been updated, but not the J.Crew Collection (click here).

The AUGUST catalog (click here to view) is still up. However, the latest SEPTEMBER catalog is not. As mentioned by several JCAs, J.Crew posted several images of the newest catalog over at Pinterest (click here to view).

This time around I was able to find a lot more items I am excited about. My top picks are:

Polka-dot flannel shirt (item B0958; $88.00): I don't need another polka dot button down. However this one looks super nice and super cozy. Perfect for Fall!
Shattered print dress (item B0080; $138.00): I love the print and length on this skirt. I can't wait to try this one on!

Sophie Plaid loafers (item A9808; $138.00): Just look at them, the plaid print is gorgeous!!!

Two-floral scarf (item B4114; $55.00): The print, with the pop of royal blue trim, is so beautiful and screams Fall to me. This one is mine!

Can I just address the issue about skirts. I have been complaining for quite some time about the need for some more lovely-print, knee-length skirts from J.Crew. I don't care for the pleated versions they have been rolling out lately (pleats are trouble for me to maintain). The only skirt I bought in the past year from J.Crew was the Patio Skirt in Photo Floral. More of those types, pretty please!

Also, J.Crew is offering 25% off select styles with promo code SHOPNOW. Items online will be marked "25% Off With Code SHOPNOW" on the item page. This offer expires August 25, 2014. There will also be free shipping on all orders placed today too! This offer expires today, August 20, 2014.

"Thanks!" to Wendy (in this post),who let us know that J.Crew credit card holding customers can take an additional 20% off Crewcuts items using promo code CARDSHOP. Customers need to use a J.Crew credit card as payment for the code to work. This offer expires September 15, 2014.

What items are you most excited about and why? Which items are you surprised (or not surprised) to see? Which items did you hope would be included? Were you expecting a bigger roll-out? Also, did you receive the latest catalog? :)

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Weekly Share: Other JCrew-like Retailers

This is the weekly "Other JCrew-like Retailers" post (similar to the "Off On A Tangent" posts), where we can share our finds from other retailers that have offerings similar to J.Crew (like Anthropologie, LE Canvas, Gap, BR, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and the like.)

If you have recently encountered items that are similar to J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including experiences with certain merchandise pieces, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

Dress Like J.Crew, But Can You Smell Like J.Crew {answer: yup!}

Some exciting new additions are making their way over to J.Crew... J.Crew is set to launch two new fragrances!!! The following is from Elle (click here to read in its entirey):
J.Crew Launches Fragrances With a 1940s Feminist Twist
By Megan Cahn

August 15, 2014

We know we're not the only ones who feel this way: Open a J.Crew catalogue and you want to live in its pages—to go on the idyllic Indian/Balinese/English countryside vacation in the perfect not-trying-too-hard outfit with the most ruggedly handsome dude. The world of J.Crew has always been Instagram-perfect before there was Instagram. It's completely alluring, so today's announcement that J.Crew will be adding fragrance to its world just seems right.

Jenna Lyons and Co. worked with fragrance developer Carlos Huber, who creates scents that "restore the olfactive experience of a particular time and place" at his small-batch perfumery Arquiste, to create J.Crew's first two fragrances, No. 31 and No. 57. “Fragrance is not something we know a lot about, so when the opportunity to work with [Huber] arose, we knew it was time to do this,” Lyons told WWD.

The scents, out on August 18, are meant to evoke a very specific moment in time: January 5, 1943. This date marked the opening of the “Exhibition by 31 Women,” the first all-female modern art show in the U.S. Curated by Peggy Guggenheim and displayed at her Art of This Century Gallery on East 57th Street in New York, the show featured works by Lee Krasner, Dorothea Tanning, and Frida Kahlo. Of course, there was also a fabulous opening night party to celebrate the show, heralded as the "party of the decade." Huber describes the scene to WWD: “Guggenheim had oak chairs so patrons could sit down and admire art. The walls, floor and ceiling were all done in wood....There were Manhattans, negronis, and gin-and-tonics—all these cocktails that were popular during that era.”

J.Crew's new scents are meant to conjur up the excitement of that night. No. 57 evokes the warmth of the wood and glow of the party (aged whiskey, cinnamon bark, labdanum and vanilla), while No. 31 reflects the crowd and the cocktails (red vermouth, eau-de-vie accord, Bulgarian rose, and damson plum). "Each scent has a unique feeling and will attract many different women," Tom Mora, head of J. Crew women’s design, says in a release. "The scents are strong in their own ways, and after experiencing them, our customers might find that they love both; it’s a very personal thing."

J.Crew has dabbled in beauty before, but this foray into fragrance certainly seems like it will be a lot more memorable.
The Arquiste for J.Crew fragrances are available in 1.7 fl.oz ($78/£78) and 0.34 fl.oz ($25/£25) bottles. I read elsewhere that they will be available starting August 20th at J.Crew stores / online (and September 23rd at the J.Crew store in London).

J.Crew has dabbled in the scent game before. They came out last year with the Men's D.S. & Durga for J.Crew Homesteader's Cologne (refer to the "Don't Just Look Like J.Crew {smell like it too!}" post). For Women, as D*ska (in this post) mentions, J.Crew had a self titled perfume a super long time ago. A quick search on eBay found several bottles of "Sea Glass" by J.Crew (or should I say, So J.Crew!)

This new product seems like a good extension of J.Crew current offerings. They already offer makeup and hair accessories, so why not perfume? Plus, a lot of other retailers like Banana Republic and Zara, offer their own signature scents. So it's a pretty common move too.

I am curious what it will smell like in person. I already feel like I own too many bottles of perfume, but I can always make room for one more if it smells right!

What are your thoughts on this new product extension? Are you excited about smelling like J.Crew now too? ;)