Friday, July 18, 2008

Time to Shine: J.Crew's Mature Models

"Thanks!" to ccbmum who let us know in the "J.Crew's Additional 30% Off on Final Sale" post about this article from Bloomacious, discussing J.Crew's latest move to use more mature models in their catalog. The following is the article (which can also be found in its entirety here):

J Crew will update more than fabric and hemlines this fall.
July 17, 2008

This year as the leaves start to turn orange and red, and the clothing catalogs fill your mailbox, you may note a subtle change.

As you flip through the pages you will most likely see women modeling clothes that look good on them! At least that's the plan for the J Crew catalog that drops in September. In their Fall 08 book, J Crew will unveil a strong section featuring model Pia Gronning.

A trend towards classic catalog models is certainly in the air according to most industry experts. "The market for older models has exploded," Ginni Conquest of Wilhelmina Models told writer Monica Corcoran of the Chicago Tribune in a recent interview on the subject. "It's our fastest-growing area, and it's a first for the industry."

In an article published yesterday Corcoran writes: "The trend is driven by the $2 trillion spending power of Baby Boomers—born between 1946 and 1964—who make up 26 percent of the population. After all, what middle-age woman wants to buy moisturizer from a model who's too young to order a martini?"

Or as I like to say, who wants to buy Chanel from someone who would look more appropriate in Garanimals?

The article the Bloomacious one refers to is "Time to shine" by Monica Corcoran published on July 10, 2008 in the Sydney Morning Herald. The article can be found here.

I personally think it is great that J.Crew is using mature models. This definitely has not been the first time J.Crew has incorporated mature models in their catalog. As many of you have pointed out, they have several unknown (like the one in the Paris image above) and known (like Lauren Hutton) mature models throughout their past seasons.

What do you think of J.Crew's latest venture with mature models? Are you happy that the demographic seems to include all aspects (in terms of ages) in their catalog?

130 comments:

  1. I like the idea. I used to be a J.Crew associate and many of the best customers were middle-aged and even elderly women who just want a little bit of sparkle in their wardrobe (aka, a leopard print belt, not a leopard print coat). it would not dissuade me, as a 20-something to buy clothing because it is marketed to all ages. I have worn J.Crew since I"m 15 years old and now I'm a 25 year old lawyer who wears J.Crew suits to work...and one day hopefully I'll be a 50 something year old lawyer who still has the body to fit into a J.Crew suit and flaunt it!

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  2. Anon:
    off topic. Just curious at what is your perspective as a former JC SA. Did you ever ever get displeased (annoyed) with sale /bargain shoppers? I would like an honest answer,please. I am a sale/bargain shopper. And I do pest my local SA for student/educators discount in addition to FS, and I call regularly and inquire about addt'l sales and such ( granted, I am very nice and curteous at all times). However, I feel that I get differential treatment depending on what I buy. If it's a full price item(s), I get treated better ( more attention, bottle of water at hand, eg .)vs if I am up to my ears digging at a sales rack. I still spend a substantial amunt of $$$ at JC, I just don't mind waiting for the sale and I end up with more items that way.
    So, do SAs discuss customers and respond differentky to what customers buy?
    As I said, just curiosity.

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  3. excellent question, i totally agree. I am like you and have also had the same experience. Poorer treatment because I am buying on sale or heaven forbid, returning. I was at the Jcrew store in the Hamptons once and I knew things were on sale but there were no sale prices, when I asked to check a price I got a DIRTY look. Plus, there is the cashmere "secret sale" they used to run....you had to ask and be on the inside to get information about cashmere promotions and you did not always get a straight answer.......why do they make it difficult? If it's on sale chances are I will buy it and probably buy more because I love all the colors......

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  4. Regarding the JCrew cover photo, she looks how I feel in some of JCrew's clothes. lol Sorry, it's Friday night :\

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  5. i think it's fabulous to have more mature models...you don't see that from other companies such as banana and anthropologie, even though women of all ages wear their clothing too. i think it's classy of jcrew to include older models...and it shows how classy their clothing can be...:)

    GAP tried to target older models with their spin-off Forth & Towne but probably failed because of just that...it targeted women who were 35+...like only women 35+ can wear those clothes? jcrew does a great job of designing clothes that are classic enough to be worn by everyone...

    now, if they could just fix their darn website!

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  6. ccbmum: I completely agree with you. I've been wearing J Crew since I was in college and now I'm 34.

    Also, a couple of years ago I turned my mom (55) on to J crew and now she loves shopping there and spends a TON of money with them, too.

    I'm thrilled with the thought of retailers broadening their perspectives on age (and size for that matter)!

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  7. on a side note, I have a new love! (Aside from my husband and my children) I have completely fallen for my new Monogram BR sleeveless bateau top! I used a 10% off coupon someone mentioned on a previous post and my LUXE card code for free shipping AND...it actually arrived...promptly...how novel!

    The fabric is DIVINE! Silk and cashmere blend and the color is to DIE for! It's EXACTLY what I've been looking for! SO CHIC! I highly recommend it!

    http://www.bananarepublic.com/browse/product.do?cid=9273&pid=583270&scid=583270022

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  8. anon @ 8:55 I'm a 42 year old lawyer who's been wearing J.Crew suits since I was a 25 year old lawyer, so does that mean I'm well on my way to being your role model? :-) Actually, I wear pretty much the same stuff I've always worn . . . and I tell myself I can still flaunt it!

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  9. Sally, I have a $15 birthday coupon from BR..I am going to try that item! Sounds fab. Thanks for sharing! I am so sick of JCrew right now I could scream...I used to purchase a TON a BR and I am back!

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  10. I am so happy to see that they will use "mature" models more often, but I would really like to see models in the 30-50 age range, as well. Didn't the article mention using actual customers as models? I think that would be a fabulous idea, as well...it would be really neat to see everyday "normal" non-model people in the clothes. :)

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  11. FFM, you are right. It doesn't have to run the extremes, from the teen/20something model to models like Carmen. I would like to see some models in our age group, 30's and 40's. After all, just from a purely economic standpoint, we are pretty powerful women!

    BTW, I still cannot get the JCrew sale items to load while using IE. It only works for me (and not that well, either, I'm afraid) on Firefox. Grrrrrr.

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  12. slastena & anon@10:05: I get the same treatment in my store as you do. I feel like if I am buying final sale or if I am returning something, I might as well change my name to Hester Prynne.

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  13. I'd like to see J.Crew use models in their 30s and 40s - not jump from 20s to 60s. I have no evidence to back it up, but I would wager there are far more customers in the 30s and 40s range than 60 and older... on another note, in the link to blog about "J.Crew's mature models" there is a picture of Helen Mirren in a bikini in the item below. All I can say is: Good for her. She looks incredible!

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  14. Ok...after re-reading the article, I'm not sure about the use of everyday women being used as models, but this is the statement that made me wonder in the first place:

    "As you flip through the pages you will most likely see women modeling clothes that look good on them!"

    Not sure why it made me think they would maybe try to use actual customers...wishful thinking I guess. Still think it's a neat idea, though. :)

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  15. Bless sexy mature women like Helen Mirren who revel in their changing looks and have not succumbed to the temptation of Priscilla Presley-like facial surgery. Helen Mirren is a goddess.

    Firefox, by the way, still makes no mention of the 30% discount on the sale page. So befuddling.

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  16. FFM, la belle helene & mary: i totally agree with you!!...i said that yesterday when i posted the article...i would like to see more models in their 30's and 40's...although it's still nice that they include an older generation...i think that most of jcrew's customers (at least a big portion of them) are in our 30's and 40's...:)

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  17. FFM: I love the idea of using actual customers! Doesn't gap do that sometimes?

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  18. We've got the disposable income, baby! (at least until the economy totally tanks, but this isn't the forum for Bush-bashing, as much as I'm tempted!)

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  19. kater: GAP does use actual customers...I know they hold contests for people to enter photos, and then a handful get chosen to appear in ads...I wish J.Crew would. :)

    ccbmum: we discussed this exact thing awhile ago about using more models "our age", remember? I wish J.Crew would listen to us. ;)

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  20. I think the model is probably those real-women Dove commercials that were (and are, I guess) so successful. I don't know about the whole proud, average middle-aged-woman-in-her-undies thing, though. If I have trouble with minis, imagine having to pose in a bikini! Yech!

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  21. FFM: yes, i remember!! :) i hope they are listening... we are free market research for them. by the way, did you ever watch that show "she's got the look" on BRAVO. it was a reality show about women over 30 or 35 models...

    there are a lot women in their 30's and 40's that are still looking pretty good...dunno what's up with not having more them be in catalogs...

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  22. BRAVO is awesome. Love Project Runway. Nice to see people on a reality show who actually have some talent.

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  23. i love project runway! but my all time favorite BRAVO show is Top Chef...:)

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  24. A lot of the 90's supermodels are well into their 30's now (Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Amber Valetta...) and are still out there modeling looking great. It seems like it's taking some retailers longer than others to get with the program.

    What I love about Helen Mirren, btw, is that she always looks appropriate for her age. Her gowns for events are very, very tasteful.

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  25. My fiance and I have been getting into Design Star on HGTV - it's a fun show. I also like Project Runway, though I haven't seen this season yet.

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  26. Top Chef is great, too, I think because you are watching people who actually have something to offer besides banal blathering about themselves. The participants are actually creative.

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  27. Count me in as another Project Runway fan!!! I've been watching from Season 1, and LOVE it!!!!! :)

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  28. I posted this elsewhere, too, but I would wear almost everything Laura Bennett from Season 3 designed, and also much of what we saw from Uli. I was disappointed that Jeff guy won season 3 - his creations were awful and he was such a jerk.

    Totally loved last season - Christian was a deserved winner. Tan creepy guy from this season is clearly trying to be this season's Christian, complete with catchphrases.

    Mary, totally agree about Helen Mirren. She always looks appropriate - and fabulous, from her hair to her outfits. Did you see the Queen? Loved her in that.

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  29. Anon at 10:05: that's horrible and very low-class of the CSR to do--I wonder if that CSR uses her employee discount when she shops at J Crew?

    I think appealing to the older market is a smart move on J Crew's part, as long as they don't let us young'uns forget how youthful and sexy the line can be. And as long as they don't up their prices too much. Maybe they will go the route of Ann Taylor and have a "younger" section and an "older" (read: more expensive) section?

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  30. yes, Helen Mirren always looks fabulous!

    Laura Bennett's designs were beautiful...hahaha, Tan creepy guy from this season is just that, creepy!

    when lauren hutton was in the jcrew cat. she was in her late 40's and i LOVED when they put her in the catalog! she just seemed to be so classy in the clothes...of course, they always put her in the more expensive stuff at the end of the catalog :)

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  31. Mary: I love those real-women Dove commercials. I also cried when I saw that Dove Self Esteem commercial with those adorable girls during the Super Bowl.


    I also couldn't agree with you more about not coming into the surgery temptation. I don't mind surgery, as long as its done tastefully. I mean, Priscilla Presley and Meg Ryan were such beautiful women. It's awful to see how they changed their faces for the worse.

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  32. Alexis: I love that commercial! I'm glad that some companies are actually promoting the fact that all women and girls are beautiful and unique...building self-esteem should be a top priority with them, as well. :)

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  33. alexis and FFM: that is such a great commercial! it does bring you to tears because that's how all women feel at some point!

    rachael: i agree with you about jcrew not forgetting the young'uns! after all, they have to get us addicted at a young age!! :) that's when my jcrew addiction started!

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  34. speaking of addictions...i'm more addicted to this blog than the jcrew site now...i haven't even checked it yet today!! yikes!

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  35. Doesn't the green skirt the "mature" model has on in the pic at the top of this post on the main blog site look like the Cotton Taffeta Belle Skirt? It doesn't come in green now, but I wonder if it is going to for this Fall and Winter...it looks so pretty on her...she's also wearing a turtleneck, which several of us on here will be looking for during the cooler months to pair with our Jackets...hmm...can't wait for that new Fall collection. :)

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  36. FabulousFloridaMommy & ccbmum: I also am happy that Dove (and other firms) are promoting that all women/girls are beautiful. It's a great commercial. :)

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  37. That green skirt is the silk taffeta skirt, from last fall ... came in a bunch of colors, including wine. It was very pretty. I'm hoping they bring back something similar this fall.

    To tell the truth, I kept a copy of fall 2007, and looking through it again, man, there is so much I'd order that I didn't get :-)

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  38. FFM & la belle helene: i just checked my paris catalog (yay, i kept it) and the "mature" woman with the skirt is in that one. i love looking that catalog but i actually did more damage (i.e. bought more) from the nov. and dec. ones...:P

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  39. I think it's a great idea for JCrew to use some more mature models, i just hope that they don't try and completely change the clothes. I'm seventeen and I love the jcrew minis and sweaters and things, but if they were to, for example, stop making the minis, because they weren't "mature" enough, I would be very dissapointed.

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  40. jennien, I'm sure j.crew isn't going to stop making minis. I think they've just figured out they draw a wide range of women, and want to appeal to all of us. One way is to use models that reflect more than the typical 20s range.

    ccbmum, the catalogues from sept-december of 2007 were some of the best ever, IMO. Between the locations and the items, they just totally hit home with me. And consequently hit my wallet :-)

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  41. last september through ddecember were my favorite catalogs, too. I'm not a big fan of their current catalog, though...

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  42. i, too, love the older models being included! their catalogs are so often fantastic, and the group shots and family photos are some of my favorites.

    on another subject, isn't everyone ready for a new home page on the site? i'm so tired of seeing those less-than-fabulous multicolored heels. refresh, please! :)

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  43. jennien, I'm with you - I'm tired of the variations on the july catalogue, too. But then I'm never as fond of J.Crew's summer offerings as I am of their fall & winter collections... :-)

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  44. I feel like I bought the whole Nov./Dec. catalog practically.....as I flip threw it again (great idea by the way) I feel like "I have that and that" my hubby said that was fine one time but I have got to curtail myself this year....I am hoping the new fall stuff is just OK, similar to last year, and/or that I like only one or two pieces...

    I am 39 and love shorter skirts...I don't feel I am "trying to hard". I get lots of compliments and I do look polished in them...not little girlish. I just look younger than I am for one thing and I guess that helps too plus my legs are my best feature at 5'10". Just my two cents worth...I can see me wearing them for at least the next 10 years...I actually prefer them to shorts.

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  45. I loved the summer stuff from 2006...sanibel camisole...was one/is one of my favorites...they had lots that year that I liked......not so much this summer...but I still have or HOPE TO HAVE some things coming....

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  46. To me, the definition of a classic isn't just clothes that will still look fresh and relevant in twenty years, but clothes that will look good on me when I'm 20 years older. I think that the older models are a fantastic idea. And the thing is, it doesn't look as though they're putting in a "token" mature model. She seems to fit in seamlessly. Well done, jcrew...(now if only you will work on the website and the longevity of your items!)

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  47. ccbmum: Didn't you post the link to all those archived J.Crew catalogs you found online? I can't remember which topic it was under, but that was really neat...do you still have it? It was back when we were talking about wanting J.Crew to put 30 and 40 something models in the catalogs... :)

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  48. FFM: that wasn't me...i don't remember seeing that post! although i'd love to see it also!! :) maybe alexis remembers?

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  49. OOPS! Sorry ccbmum...maybe it was Rach? I just can't remember now...it was awhile back...I knew we were talking about the older models, and for some reason I just thought it was you...SORRY! :)

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  50. Blumre, if you're reading this post, thanks so much for recommending the store in the Atrium mall! I went today and really liked it. The employees were so nice - I didn't get treated like a second-class citizen for buying sale items, and the manager promised to email the unpleasant woman in FL who wouldn't let me use my student discount on sale items. She even offered to apply the discount retroactively to my FL purchase. The selection was also pretty good at that store. I can't believe I've lived in Boston 10 years and this is the first time I've been there! :)

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  51. Ok...I found the post, and it was sue.bee who gave us the link...I think she is actually living in Japan right now temporarily for a teaching position. :) Thanks sue.bee for the link to the archived catalogs seen Here .

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  52. OMG what did Meg Ryan do??? I haven't seen or heard anything about her in ages...did she get plastic surgery? I wouldn't have expected it from her, she's so tasteful and classic with her clothing choices and everything. I love the movies where she plays opposite Tom Hanks, they are so good together, like You've Got Mail and Castaway...

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  53. i just found this blog and am reveling in these comments! thank you, fabulousfloridamommy, for posting the link to the archived catalogs! i just spent an hour looking through the photos, reliving many years and great memories of christmas sweaters and days of past j crew love! such a great treat. i hope j crew comes out with some chunky sweaters this season...

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  54. FFM and sue.bee: that link is awesome!! thanks! i missed that post the first time :)

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  55. off the topic of models, I'm going through sorority recruitment and need a dress for pref. night, I'm deciding between the super 120s and the cotton cady dress. Could anyone who owns or has tried on these dresses fill me in on fit, etc. please!

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  56. i love the cotton cady dress, im thinking about it for grad, unfortunetaly i haven't gotten a chance to try it on though, sorry

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  57. Ashley--first of all, as of last Friday, the super 120s sleeveless dress is on sale in stores for $49.99 less 25%, so it's much cheaper than on the web. Very long story (you can see my rant in the other threads) but you can't find it in the store, then you can call web customer service and they will give you the adjustments--if you are very insistent!

    As for fit--I am right between a 4 and a 6 and a regular and a petite. In J.Crew pants I wear a 6 regular and in dresses a 4 regular or a 6 petite, depending on the fit. I'm an hourglass with pear tendencies.

    In my opinion, the super 120s is a little skimpy in the hips (but that's my trouble spot). The waist is higher than the photo looks--it's a bit of an empire line. The waist is a little big but that's typical for me. I will have to have it altered. Also, the slit goes up all the way to the fanny. I will have to have it sewn down. So that's my $.02 on the fit.

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  58. Those back catalogs are a blast from the past! Amazing that the stuff really hasn't changed too much from year to year - but did you see some of those prices? Their denim skirt in 2001 was $48, now it's $88. Wow!

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  59. FYI I was in KOP last night and they had several tulip jackets in flameand citrus lime and BLACK SAN TELMOS - not sure of sizes - if anyone is interested.

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  60. ashley: I vote cotton cady. I have a few of them and I always get a ton of complements when I wear them. Plus its very fem-sorority-ish. I would have worn one for my rush if I could have afforded it back then. :)

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  61. oh and as for fit - I find that I am consistently a 2 in bottoms at J Crew so this is what I take in a dress. I have a little trouble fitting in up top in a two but I just make it:) If I were bustier I would have to go up a size. Normally I wear a 4 up top.

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  62. Ashley, to second Jcrewbug--and since we're in a thread about mature J.Crew models & customers :-) --I would just add that the super120s is very sober and business-y and one of the cotton cadys might be better for the occasion. As I mentioned above I'm a 42 yr old lawyer, and I got the super 120s for work.

    I have a couple of the cotton cady dresses too. I got the Janey in a 6 P and had to have it taken in quite a bit. The straps are very long so if I hadn't had it altered the bodice would have been below my boobs. It is great dress for festive day occasions and evening events that aren't super-dressy. It is pretty low-cut, though.

    I also have one from a couple of years ago, an A-line empire waist shift, very 1960s.

    I got my Janey very cheaply on eBay, so you may want to browse there.

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  63. Hi Rachael! If you see a picture of Meg Ryan, the most noticeable work she had was on her lips. Pic of Meg Ryan. I just thought she was so pretty when she was all-natural. I loved her in "You've got mail" too! :)

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  64. Loved looking through the old catalogs...I still have my crochet sweaters in petal pink and black from the early spring 2003 and people still stop me on the street and want to know where I bought them....I take super good care of my clothes....ah..the good ole days when I liked shopping online at JCrew.

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  65. anon at 3:39pm-I have the same sweaters circa 2003! One version in the pink and another in khaki, I think a different version. I don't wear them often but after pouring over the old catalogs-love it! I will wear mine asap! so old school.

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  66. caw, yes, I feel they are still in style and if people are stopping me...and I mean plural...they must like them too....I wear mine at least 1-2 times a month during the summer months.

    Also, I still love my JCrew gym sweats...I have the gray with the yellow ribbon on the sides...just barely starting to show some wear...

    I wish they still made their seamless cotton low rise underpants...they were so comfy.

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  67. I think the only reason I don't wear them is just because I buy NEW Jcrew! But with the website being what it is and the prices rising, I have to remember my oldies but goodies. What do you pair them with? Never got into the gym clothes, nor underwear. Those old catalogs are fun, thanks to who found them...

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  68. i found my long sweater coat from fall 2001, page 74. i still have it (the black one). i don't wear it anymore...not so sure about long sweater coats anymore but it's long and lean and so warm! as far as sweater coats go, it's a pretty taylored one...hmmm, maybe with skinny jeans...it's kindof like wearing a regular long coat...i'm going to go try it on again! :)

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  69. ccbmum-go for it! skinny jeans, ballet flats...
    I have some great shoes that I found in these catalogs, a bit pointy but I think they still work, ie. floral big bow flats fall 05 , pg 45, paige suede flats, pg 63 (not that old actually!)

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  70. Hi, I pair them with my JCrew summer weight jeans from the past 2003? too I think...I don't know..they had a seam down the front. Oh, they are so soft and fit so great....

    Also, I do still wear my sweater coats from JCrew. They had these heavy knit slim pants that I got in talls that I wear them with. I have the long hooded sweater coats in cream, light grayish blue, and a raisin color....I wear them around the house to keep warm and do still wear them out for walks...I live in Europe and do a lot of walking...it's only been 58 here...but by the way I still wore these in the US up until 11 months ago:)

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  71. P.S. Caw, the first part of my answer was for you about the crochet sweaters:)

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  72. caw: i looked up your shoes...so cute!! i still wear pointy toe flats...they definitely still work :)

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  73. anon-thanks for the info on the sweaters. I actually just dug mine out and threw them in the wash! Feel like I just went shopping.

    ccbmum-thanks for your input about the shoes, I have to say, I do get compliments when I wear them-and I like them too-it's good to refocus sometimes on what's in your closet, ha ha.

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  74. anon-thanks for the info on the sweaters. I actually just dug mine out and threw them in the wash! Feel like I just went shopping.

    ccbmum-thanks for your input about the shoes, I have to say, I do get compliments when I wear them-and I like them too-it's good to refocus sometimes on what's in your closet, ha ha.

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  75. Hi all

    Was away since Saturday afternoon but missed this blog! I was just looking at those old catalog links from FFM and I still have some of those merino wool sweaters, too, and still wear them. I think it just goes to prove what we've been saying in this posting--JCrew's style tends to be both timeless and classic, and provide us with the items we can turn to year after year in our wardrobes. I think it's awesome, and it's also great that we have intelligent women (and men, too) of different ages here on this blog giving such a rich number of viewpoints. So, thanks, ladies (and gents)!

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  76. I just wanted to second Hexicon on the super 120's dresses. I may have already posted this, but I will do it again. I called and told them that the Lenox store had them on sale for 49.99 plus 25% off. So, the CSR called to verify and gave me the discount plus the 15% educator's discount! They are waitlisted (the navy and black). So, I called again yesterday and they had the petite 8 in coal (the measurements are almost the same as the regular 6). The CSR was super nice and gave me 30% off, plus my 15% discount (it came to $35.00 before tax and shipping). I would agree that they are more business or work attire(from the look in the catalog). I am a Director at college, so I got them for work.

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  77. I clicked on some of the old catalogs--thanks for the link. (I''ve been out sick the last week and I really have a lot of time on my hands!)

    I've been a steady J.Crew customer since the early 90s, but I would say I didn't really become an Aficionada until around 2004 (that date probably also coincides with the decline of Nordstrom's Individualist department).

    I can't believe how DULL the earlier catalogs are. How on earth did they ever persuade me to buy anything? The more recent catalogs are so much more seductive.

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  78. mary: your comments are so true! i have a jcrew black merino cardigan that i have been wearing for years...in fact i wore it today :). if you haven't seen it already you should check out this post for some fun reading...it's hilarious! :)

    What's Your Oldest J.Crew Item in Your Closet

    hexicon: yes, the old catalogs are sooo dull compared to the recent ones! the poses are kinda funny too...but another thing i've noticed is that they don't have as many women/men posing together any more except in the weddings section.

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  79. The FIONA is available online in WHITE, SIZE 10, this morning...if anyone wants to risk it. :)

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  80. hexicon-totally agree with you about the dullness. And frumpy too!I think the change did happen in 2004 when Mickey Drexler took over too-I would have to say my addiction started when yours did.

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  81. Help...I just received the Kelly sweater jacket in the sour lemon stripe. What do I wear with it besides jeans and a white t-shirt? Any suggestions?
    J

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  82. FFM: do you think that J. Crew is making updates to the sale section in the a.m. again? I really miss those updates at 6:45 . ..

    MJ in VA

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  83. ccb mum:

    That is a hilarious post--I DO remember Outback Red and the safari period at BR...same period we had an Australian store called Country Road at the Short Hills Mall (it went under, unsurprisingly, but I still have a sweater from that place). I was just forced to get rid of my oldest item from J.Crew--a (boxy) tan corduroy jacket that I still got compliments on after like, gulp, 12 or so years (maybe more!!!). I finally had to throw it away because I had worn it so much the lining was shredded. Sob!

    And I do agree that the fashions at JC have become more exiting since Mickey Drexler took over. JC could be dull, definitely, but always reliable! I love the colors since Drexler took over--my new favorite is orange. The citron makes me look like I have jaundice, I'm afraid!

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  84. mary-going to that store in short hills was huge for me back in the day! i also recall the large jeep outside the BR stores and their safari tees each with a varying jungle scene on the back. Talk about changing, BR. Jcrew definitely uses more color now-lol about citron. how come the models look fabulous in it, but the rest of us look diseased? I love orange too and also their shades of pink, azelea, whatever funky names they call it.

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  85. You know, caw, going to the Short Hills Mall is STILL huge for me! Some things never get old! I think I remember safari paraphernalia at that BR, too...wasn't there like netting or something on the walls in the back, or am I cracking up?

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  86. MJ: I haven't seen a pattern so far...it seems kind of hit and miss with the updates, now. I doubt that they pick a permanent time now that they know that we know...

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  87. They updated on Friday between 8 and 9, I think, and the website crashed or something...perhaps they're holding off on any more big updates until they work out the bugs?

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  88. Anon 7:13 am:
    J,
    first of all congratulations on Kelly jacket. It is a great piece as it can be carried easily from spring to summer to fall. I have it also in same color, and here
    is my suggestion for the outfit.
    Hope it helps!

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  89. I think they just added a few items...

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  90. It's not much, and some of the cheaper items still come up $null, but there are a few more things.

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  91. This is a little OT:

    I am so bored with Jcrew right now. They haven't had a new item in 4 months. Even if something went on sale I wouldn't buy it. They still haven't processed a refund (for a jacket that disappeared into Jcrew heaven).

    I was excited to go to the store on Friday to see new items. THEY HAD NOTHING NEW. Everything that was in the store had been there for THREE weeks.

    I haven't even looked at their website all weekend. I am just bored with their lack of new items or at the very least new sale items. I am becoming disenchanted, which is really sad.

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  92. mary-if there wasn't so much traffic in ny/nj I would be at the short hills mall all the time too. Plus no sales tax in NJ! I think there was netting-so funny to think about.
    I am totally completely bored with Jcrew too!
    Slastena, love your polyvore outfits. That's awesome. Do more :)

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  93. Anybody get the "New Shoe" e-mail this morning? I was all excited, then opened the e-mail to see that it was still those hideous Penelope peep toes on the red background that's been on the landing page of jcrew.com for 4 weeks. Kinda funny, actually!

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  94. blumre: I completely agree...I am also bored with all the merchandise they have now, and the longer it takes to add anything new...the more I realize I CAN actually live without making at least one purchase a week or every other day, on some occasions. ;) I will be pleased if I actually receive the items I have ordered this past week, THRILLED if my gift card actually does show up, and completely AMAZED and RELIEVED if my CC actually gets credited all of the money they owe me, at this point. I don't even feel like buying anything else from them right now...I am frustrated and fed up with the entire situation. They need to get their act together, and give customers back their money...that itself is completely UNACCEPTABLE!!!

    slastena: that outfit is ADORABLE! :)

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  95. FFM: Ditto on everything you said, especially about the gift cards and the CC refund! They owe me a lot right now and I am so P.O.ed... Some new stuff would make me feel less bored at least. I 100% agree with you

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  96. silver_lining: Funny you should mention that email, as I posted about the exact same thing earlier this morning on the Weekly Exchange topic...here it is:

    Also...just got the J.Crew email about the Shoe Debut for those peep-toe Mary Janes they have had for a couple of months now, and are on the J.Crew Homepage...the email says they are "introducing" them, and a "debut" is for something new...how in the world do they consider this shoe to be new now? This kind of stuff gets on my nerves...don't entice me with an email claiming new items, and then show me the same old stuff that's been on the site for awhile already...it's almost as bad as leaving $null items in the sale section...almost...

    la belle helene also responded here:

    "FFM, I just got that email this morning, too - and my thoughts were the same. They're "introducing" it? Hmm, only to those people who haven't clicked on the website in weeks...seems pretty poorly thought through. Plus, isn't their fall collection finally going to be out sometime this week? "

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  97. Ahahahaha - I didn't even refresh the page to see the new topic before posting on this, as I found the e-mail just so irritating! Great minds think alike, FFM and LBH!

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  98. I got that email, too, and I'm very glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks those shoes are godawful. Just when you're praying for a coupon, or, just maybe, a something actually new...

    Slastena, Polyvore is awesome, but I'm so afraid that I'd become inextricable addicted to it, so it's total approach-avoidance for me!

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  99. caw--thanks for the walk down memory lane...I pass the Short Hills mall every day on the way home from work and have lived no more than ten minutes away for years and years now, so it's been a constant financial death trap for me! It's like a daily siren song, calling..."spend, Spend, SPEND!" I still remember I almost had a heart attack years ago when they announced the B&M J.Crew store moving in!

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  100. Mary,
    I know - when I saw the email was from J.Crew, before I saw the subject header, I hoped it was too announce a free shipping code in conjunction with debuting some fall items ... instead, it was just those unappealing shoes. I want some new items to look at, and a new photo shoot. I hope they went somewhere cool for their fall collection (though I don't think we'll know that until the Sept. catalogue).

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  101. The Shoe Debut Email, the sale items that are $null or show up as a different price, the promo gift cards that are cancelled, the CC credits that aren't posting, and the alluding to New Arrivals all remind me of the story of The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf...I am tired of being "tricked" by J.Crew, and just don't believe what they say anymore, at this point.

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  102. mary-i share your pain, many days in the week i work at an office where there is a B and M in WALKING DISTANCE. I can't NOT go in. And if I go in, I buy. Sad, but true.

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  103. Caw--

    Walking distance? I'd be dead in the water. Have to get two jobs. It's bad enough as it is!

    La belle helene--

    I know, I know, nothing new...it is a like a trick/tease, as FFM says! Instead, we're looking at catalogs from 2001! Scary!

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  104. I know! I have to condition myself to not walk down that side of the street. It's horrible. At least when it's a drive I have some control! I do feel sometimes that since they know me it deters me because they say "oh, it's her again" and I tend to buy 90% on sale...
    I totally agree that we are so bored with the current state of affairs that we have to resort back to 2001.

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  105. You know, in thinking about my local Short Hills, NJ store, there are sales associates who work there of all ages, 20's-50's, and they all wear the clothes and look great (and they should know me by name as I'm in there all the time--caw, I'm undeterred!).

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  106. FFM: What do you mean promotional gift cards are canceled? Really? So I won't be getting mine? That's terrible news!

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  107. Yes, I am proud / crazy to say that they know me by name at more than a few Jcrews. I love when the SA are totally jcrewified and are not teeny boppers. It's like a home away from home.........

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  108. blumre: My promo gift card for $50 that was submitted on 7/2 showed up as cancelled this past Saturday...that is one of the reasons I had called to speak to a rep that morning. Then a few hours later I received the email showing that an order for a $100 promo gift card to be shipped expedited had been placed...I am waiting to see if it actually shows up at my door (I HOPE SO). Do you have the order # for your Promo Cards? You can check the status of them just like any other order. :)

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  109. I only have an order number for 1 of them. That one was canceled because it was a refund and I picked it up in store. So I still got it, but not through the mail. But I have two $25 dollar gift cards and a $100 dollar gift card coming to me. I will call today and check on them... Or maybe I will just e-mail the manager who has been working with me.

    That is upsetting to hear yours were canceled! Frankly, I would be willing to pick up the promo ones in store too... at least then that would assure me that I will be able to get them.

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  110. blumre: Will they let me pick the promo cards up in the store? How do I make that happen?

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  111. FFM: Mine was a refund. i dont know if they would do it for a promo card. I just called up and said this is a refund and it should have been in my hand by now and this is fraud. Is there anyway I can pick it up in a store because it is upsetting to me that I don't have it by now. And the CS rep said she would call the store I was going to and when I got there they had one waiting for me. I don't think that is a regular thing. I think they only did it because it was a refund!

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  112. blumre: I see what you mean...I had at one point asked if they could just use the promo card they were supposed to be sending me towards the purchase I was making, and they said they are not capable of doing that...the gift cards are a completely seperate department, and the numbers aren't available on our profiles to use. I think it would be a smart idea of them to inplement something like that...just have the Gift Card number available on our profile page, so that we can use it immediately, instead of having to wait for a month or two.

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  113. Mary and FFM:
    thank you for the compliments.:)

    Mary,
    I have discovered Polyvore just recently and it is such a fun way to relieve stress. Moreover, it's a nice way to see how some ideas might work . There are so many great suggestions here on how to wear/combine J crew items,and I think Polyvore can help to record them. Also,when I look at sets posted by other J crew lovers,they inspire me to go out of my comfort zone and try smth new.

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  114. regarding the question about treatment from sales associates when buying sale/final sale items: i shop at the j crew in cambridge, mass, and the SAs are always very friendly and helpful. i just bought a bunch of items on final sale this past friday, and they couldn't have been more helpful. i was also returning an item without a receipt, and they spent a long time on the phone with the main office trying to find the transaction info, and they were so nice about it.

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  115. anon @11:41: I also receive excellent treatment from all the Sales Associates at my store in Orlando, even though I mainly buy on sale, and also make returns on just about every trip I make to the store...they are always extremely helpful and friendly. I personally don't think anyone should be treated with less respect or friendliness because they aren't buying full price...spending money is spending money, regardless of whether or not it is on full price or sale...they should treat all customers well, and it makes me sad to hear that not all stores or associates do this...they should really be reported...it's not right or professional.

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  116. FFM:
    You are truly fortunate.:) I think we already discussed it before: sunshine does wonders to people's attitude.

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  117. I agree, perhaps it's that year round warmth!I make many returns and sometimes they make me feel like a crook. Even though I have the receipt, the tags are on, etc. It's just I buy too much, impulse purchases I guess, but there is nothing wrong with a return. GEEZ

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  118. Well, I was silly enough to even think of placing an order just now, the items I wanted disappeared from my cart within about 30 seconds!

    I won't be using the gift card I got last month for a while, but have folks had any problems using their gift cards to place orders? Or is the ordering system so screwed up that credit cards are being charged nonetheless?

    I also noticed that the link to check gift card balances isn't working. Or maybe it's somewhere else on the website? Any feedback would be great, thanks!

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  119. Slastena, You rock! Thanks so much for the ideas(I may actually have to try and buy some on-line! UGH) J

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  120. Does anyone know if the Quincy top is on sale in B&M?

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  121. anon @12:13: I used a gift card to purchase 2 pair of the Capri Sandals last Sunday, and I received them this past Friday, so my experience in using one worked out just fine, but receiving one through the mail has been a whole other miserable situation. I think that using them once you have them is ok, though. Perhaps you should call the 800 number on the card to find out your balance?

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  122. ffm: thanks a lot for letting me know! I really appreciate it. I'm glad you got your sandals but it's really too bad your well-deserved gift cards have been so delayed. I hope you get them soon, or perhaps you can make arrangements to pick them up at a nearby b&m store? But I'm sure you have your hands full and JCrew should mail them promptly as promised!

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  123. Slastena: I love your polyvore outfits!! Do you have the Cleo in fushia? I am considering purchasing them but since I have not seen them in person and they are on final sale, well, I haven't ordered them.

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  124. anon @12:13: Thanks...I hope I get it soon, too. I think I am only receiving the $100 one, though, since they cancelled the $50 one...if I don't get it by Wednesday I am going to call CS to see if it will work to pick it up at the store. It would be worth the drive at this point. :)

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  125. I know theres a lot of disappointment right now with Jcrew but I just wanted to share a good experiance. Last week, someone from Jcrew called and left a msg that they were having shipping problems with Canadian orders, and therefore there is no ETA for the orders I had placed. The msg didn't reference a specific order number and I was worried b/c some of the items I had ordered (I had multiple orders o/s) were needed for an upcoming business trip (I'm leaving Saturday) and I had counted on the 4-7 business days standard delivery. The CS rep I spoke to consulted with the "Just Ask" department who approved complimentary expedited shipping to Canada using Fedex overnight which is NOT a service Jcrew normally offers. It did take a while on hold though (about an hour - hour and a half) while the CSR talked to distribution, confirmed the order numbers etc but it was worth it b/c I received my package today!!!!

    Also, part of my order was the Super 120s Sleevless Suiting Dress which I have to say, I absolutely love! Partly b/c Hexicon was kind enough to share sizing information, so I sized up (normally wear a 12 in button downs, 10 in normal shirts and a 10 in pants, but I sized up to a 14 for this dress since hips are my trouble spot and hexicon was nice enough to advise that the hips on this dress are cut very close to the body). It fits almost as if its been custom made to my body! The shoulders, bust everything is just perfect. A *tad* shorter than I would like (hits at the knee, I prefer wearing it slightly below the kneecap) and mine had no slit (I think Hexicon had a slit problem, mine just has a back pleat but no slit - does that make sense)? The neckline is very flattering and i absolutely LOVE the wide waistband. Just slims me out so well! So I would definetly recommend it!!!!! And for $37, what a great deal! I ended up getting it in all 4 colours. A bit excessive, I know but I got such a good deal and I know I can get a lot of wear out of these (I work for an accounting firm so these are perfect)

    Also I did purchase them in the bright azul and I love the colour, its not as bright as online. Looks great with a camel coloured sweater blazer / blazer on top!

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  126. Hdayton:
    I have Cleo t-straps in the lovely berry color. I got them FS and was not disappointed. They run true to size and I was surpised to find out that they are pretty comfortable ( my concern was stiff patent leather.) I am size 8 and M (w/ a widish tendency) width. The color is bright, but not neon and I absolutely adore gold insoles.
    How is you overall experience with J crew shoes? I bought Cleos w/out trying b/c of my previous positive experience with their shoes. My friend, for instance, cannot wear most of J crew shoes (they are not good fit for her feet). If you had purchased and worn sucessfully mary janes, or peep toes, then you would ,probably, be ok w/Cleos.

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  127. I need to clarify my response to Ashley about the super 120s dress--what I thought was a slit in back was really a pleat (it was stitched down for shipping). So I am no longer complaining that the slit goes too high--the pleat is fine.

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  128. Slastena:
    Thanks for your response! I have loads of JC shoes but I have noticed that this year the sizing has been somewhat inconsistent. My biggest reservation was the color (was it too bright? how will they look in patent leather?) You solved the dilemma, thanks!

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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! :)