Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ask & Answer: J.Crew Suiting

In one of yesterday's post, there was a great conversation concerning J.Crew suiting. I thought that it probably deserves its own post. So please feel free to ask any questions if you have any about J.Crew's line of suits- from their Super 120's to Italian Wool collection. For those with personal experience, please feel free to answer those questions- it is great to hear the views from several people in order to get a better perspective on the issue.

I personally own three suits from J.Crew (2 black and 1 charcoal). These are the only suits I use because the material, structure, and fabric are fantastic (I just don't want to wear anything else!) I find the style and cut of my suits to be timeless and well worth the investment (after all, J.Crew suits are not exactly cheap!)

I have found that the suit jackets tend to run large (that or I like a more fitted look on top). Therefore, I end up buying a size smaller (I am size 2 usually, but for suit jackets I am a 0). Both my black suit jackets (Super 120's & Stretch Wool Elliot) are one button. I think it looks better over a two- or three- button jacket (but that is just my preference again).

I have found that I am true to size when it comes to pants. I do tend to favor the wideleg in suit pants- the material drapes much nicer and has a more professional look (in my opinion).

Also, one suggestion if you are thinking about buying a suit from J.Crew: buy the jacket, pants, and skirt. The skirt is usually an afterthought but a really great piece to have in your wardrobe. You end up getting more usage from the suit jacket by having it paired with both the pants and skirt (it is like having two suits!)

So what do you think of J.Crew Suiting? Is it worth the price? Do you own any pieces? What are your experiences with their suits? Do you prefer one-, two-, or three-button suit jackets and why? Do you have any questions about the suiting collection?

19 comments:

  1. What a great post! Although I never own a Jcrew suit, but will soon (just order one last night!), I can only comment on the Super120s material. I bought a dress from that collection last year and that was the main reason why I decided to give Jcrew suit a try. It is well worth the money. If you are concern about pricing, I usually do spot the Super 120s collection often in the sale section. The description for the fabric as "smooth texture" and well "drape" is true. The sizing for the dress was true to Jcrew size. I bought a P0 and was really happy with the length (I'm a short 5'3).

    Has anyone have any experience with the Super 120s Ludlow wide-leg trouser? I was thinking about getting that as well but was afraid it might be too wide or look too overwhelm for my body. I'm 5'3 106lbs.

    Alexis, I'm glad you mention buying the WHOLE set (jacket, suit, and skirt). Makes my Jcrew credit card feel a little bit better about splurging.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Friedwonton! Congrats on your recent purchase!!! :)

    I actually have the Ludlow wide-leg trousers and they are fantastic! (I am 5'8 in height, but think they would look great on someone with any height.)

    The whole set is really worth the extra investment. I think if you are buying just one suit, the best advice is buying all three pieces (includes the skirt) and in black (which is timeless year round).

    You also have a great point about the suits being on sale. That is actually how I bought all three of my suits. :) (But even on sale, they are still pretty expensive!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi friedwonton, I was wondering about how the wideleg would look on me too! I'm also 5'3" (and convinced that I'm shrinking). I was worried it might make me look too stumpy, so I bought the classic fit trousers instead. I figure you can't lose with those.

    And great post, Alexis! Thanks for addressing my concerns. I did end up buying the whole 3-piece set. I'll let you know how it works out when it gets here!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amy congrats on your purchase as well!!! Let us know how they work out once you get them and try them! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I purchased the "italian wool pinstripe" suit at full price last year, with the 3-button jacket. Since I bought all three pieces (over $500), and it needed to be tailored to fit, it was by far the most expensive thing I've bought. Still, I've found it to be worth it. That particular cut was extremely flattering. The 3-button jacket cinches in the waist, and looks quite professional. The fabric was also outstanding...smooth and comfortable, yet it rarely wrinkled.

    This year, I purchased the prima wool suit on sale. Though the retail price of this is actually higher than that of the italian wool, I was pretty disappointed. The wool felt a bit rough, the one-button cut was less than flattering, and the lining lacked the fine details. Though the entire set was less than $200, i sent it back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Anonymous at 3:19AM! Sorry to hear about the Prima Wool Suit.

    You describe a good point to learn from: for some items you just need to see and try on in-person.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a Wool Crepe suit in black, with both the skirt and pants in addition to the jacket. The pants are lined, so it's a good winter suit, and I love the skirt for the warmer months. Size 0 pants needed to be hemmed for me (almost 5'4" plus heels). I love the suit. I get compliments on it whenever I wear it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oooh, I hope the Super 120s pants suit I ordered last week fits OK. I'm a petite, but my size can tend to vary depending on the type of clothing. Does anyone know if the petite suiting runs true to size?

    And just how "gray" is the Coal? Sometimes the coloring on the website and catalog are different than the actual product itself...

    ReplyDelete
  9. So my suit arrived in the mail yesterday and it fits! Yay :o) I have to say that I was slightly disappointed with the coal color though. It's darker than what's shown on the website and I almost though it was navy. But I like the fit and the feel (although the unlined pants are a little scratchy around the knees, but I'll live), so I think I'm going to keep it. Gonna go take a look at the matching skirt now...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Does JCrew ever offer a different suit skirt style than the pencil? I can't recall ever seeing anything other... and I think it'd be nice for other body types if they offered a skirt that flared a little, so as to hide the not-so-nice-to-look-at bits :o)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Sue.Bee- come to think of it, I don't remember another choice except for pencil. I am sure there had to be an A-line thrown in the mix at some point. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am really mad that J.Crew only has pencil skirts now. My favorite suit that my mom bought me when I started law school is a J.Crew black wool gabardine and I love it, but I can't get it in any other colors because they only make pencil skirts. They used to make a fabulous a-line skirt and a pencil skirt to go with each suit, but apparently now they only care about skinny girls. I haven't seen an a-line suiting skirt since 2006.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Five tomatoes! Although I like pencil skirts a lot, they aren't the most flattering on my figure. I too would like to see J.Crew bring back other styles in terms of suiting skirts. Much like you, I really like (e.g. prefer) the a-line skirts. Hopefully J.Crew will re-introduce skirts for suiting (and soon!) :O)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Okay, I have a couple of gripes about jcrew suiting. First, why do they only carry two types of suits in stores (stretch wool and 120s)? Its pretty frustrating, especially considering jcrew's shipping isn't exactly cheap and you just never know how a suit will fit. That being said, I own two jcrew suits. One is in the wool crepe collection, its in dark chocolate and I have the skirt, jacket and pants. The color is great, but to warn future suit buyers...wool crepe catches lint etc quite a bit. It has an open weave and is a little hard to maintain throughout the day. I don't konw if its just on the chocolate is shows more, but I wish I had know that before I bought it.

    I recently purchased the 120s collection and love it. The material is well worth the money, in my opinion. However, the pants are unlined. When I asked the sales girl about it, she said it was bc the material was so soft that it didn't need a lining. That may be true, but it could still use lining to prevent someone from seeing the pockets. I might take it to a tailor to have that taken care of.

    Now I'm trying to convince myself to fork over the addition $120 for the shirt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love love love the Super 120s fabric. Have a suit and 2 pants. (Right now they're on final sale. The wide legs are not that wide after all, esp if you are not terribly skinny. I don't think it will overwhelm someone small. they are surprisingly wearable. but then again, I am 5'4ish, 130ish. They really do need to bring back the A Line skirts.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would like to buy a J.Crew suit and am trying to decide between the stretch wool and the Super 120s. I want a seasonless black suit that I can wear all year round and will be buying the jacket, skirt and pants. Does anyone have any suggestions for the fabric and cut that might work best? I have a pear shaped/curvy body (think Beyonce) and am 5'4", so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Monique- I'm dealing with the dame dilemma now!

    I want to buy and suit and I'm pear shaped too (a little more America Ferrara). I'm thinking of going with the super 120s 3 button in coal. My friend who used to work at jcrew said the 120 is seasonless (good) and very nice fabric. She said the navy or coal are a good choice and less harsh then the black. I think I want the 3 button, because according to what not to wear, I need a high stance to secure the girls! Also it says the 3 button hits low hip (as opposed to the 2 button high hip) and I have a long torso, so i need as much length in a jacket as I can get. I'm considering ordering tall, but i'm not sure yet.

    Anyone have any input on the tall sizing?!

    thanks - Emily

    ReplyDelete
  18. Does anyone know how the quality of the super120's material in the suit jacket compares with the similar grey jacket sold at Banana Republic?

    ReplyDelete
  19. I hope you are still maintaining this blog, because I have a question about the lining, and I can't seem to find an answer! Can anyone tell me what material the lining in the suit jacket is? I am trying to replace all of my polyester suits with higher quality ones, and I am hoping the lining in the 120s is silk, or at least some other natural fiber. Polyester linings tend to stink!

    ReplyDelete

Dear J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados: Please feel free (and encouraged) to share your thoughts and opinions. :) However, please note that this is still a personal blog. So comments that are considered inappropriate (e.g. obscene, racist, homophobic, personal attacks, rude, and just plain mean) will be removed.

And now back to J.Crew! :)