Wednesday, December 31, 2008

J.Crew's New January Catalog Online To View {yey!}

A big "thanks!" to Anon at 7:55 AM (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew's new January catalog is available online to view (click here).

Once again, Jenna Lyons has offered her picks (of "must have" new items) in the new catalog, as shown in the image below. Jenna mentions that "these are a few of my favorites for the season... new neutrals inspired by soft makeup palettes- nudes, pinks and champagne- and pops of bright, happy color (with just a bit of shimmer)." I am all for neutrals with a pop of bright color! :)

What are your favorite new items in the upcoming collection? What items are you surprised to see? Have you already seen some of these items at your local brick and mortar (B&M) stores? Do you agree with Jenna Lyons color palette for the upcoming collection? :)

J.Crew's Cardigan Worn Four Ways {pretty!}

"Thanks!" to Casual-Crew (in this post) who let us know that on the women's main page (click here), J.Crew is showcasing how a cardigan (click here) can be worn in multiple ways. What is really interesting is that the models are all J.Crew employees.

From the top, clock wise:

  1. "This isn't your granpa's cardigan."
    - Sarah, Stylist
  2. "With bright shoes and pearls- It's my go-to piece"
    -Vannell, Photo Studio Coordinator
  3. "My uniform: slouchy chinos and a long merino cardigan."
    -Molly, Designer, Women's Dresses
  4. "I always like to add a little shimmer."
    -Lisa, Director of Design, Women's Jewelry
I love that J.Crew asked some of their stylish staff members to wear similar pieces, but in their own unique ways- how creative!

SIDENOTE: For those wondering about that {beautiful} yellow and white dress that Sarah is wearing... that dress is made by J.Crew. In an older post (click here), there were some "sneak peeks" of both J.Crew and Madewell's clothes. One of the images (click here), shows that dress in three colors. The dress is the Solid silk chiffon Whitney long dress (Item 11429; $325.00).

What is your favorite look of the four? Do you own (or have tried on) J.Crew's long cardigan? If so, what are your thoughts? Would you recommend to buy? :)

Happy New Year! {celebrating with J.Crew?}

Happy New Year J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados!

I want to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful new year! {yey!} I look forward to celebrating the up-coming 2009 J.Crew collections with you all. :)

Marietta (in this post) mentioned that she "... really enjoyed reading everyone's posts on what they wore for Christmas... it would be great to see what people are wearing for New Year's Eve and Day! :-) ". I know I have mentioned this before, but I also really enjoy these posts. I find it interesting to see how other Aficionadas and Aficionados plan on wearing certain pieces, providing me wonderful ideas for future outfits. :) So for this post, what we are planning to wear during New Years Eve and/or New Years Day? :)

For today, I plan on wearing my newly acquired Berry-trim Astrid jacket in Charcoal (Item 96309; was $248.00, now $169.99- $99.99), with the Heathered French Market Tee (Item 94178; was $39.50, now $9.99) and a solid white v-neck (Item 10662; was $34.00, now select colors $14.99 ), along with a pair of Gap's "the perfect trouser jean" and the Becca Ballet Flats in Fog White Dot (Item 97022; was $140.00, now $59.99). For New Year's Eve and New Year's day, I will most likely be wearing my comfortable pajamas. ;)

What are you planning to wear this New Year (Eve or Day)? Are you planning to go "head to toe" J.Crew or parts J.Crew?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

J.Crew's Final Sale & Free Shipping Offer :)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Jeff, Naomi, & Anon at 3:04 AM (in this post), as well as K (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew has another promotion. {yey!}

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code JAN2009. This offer expires 1/4/09. Incidentally, I noticed many sale item prices have been *reduced*. {another yey!}

What are your thoughts on the current offer? Will you shop online or shop in-stores (to take advantage of the additional 30% off)?

Dear FFM: Help Put Together A J.Crew Outfit For Me

FabulousFloridaMommy (FFM) regularly guest blogs on outfits she creates with items that you, the members, request. :)
FFM has done it yet again! A big "thank you!" to FFM, who has created a fabulous outfit for numerous requests on styling J.Crew's "new arrivals" in the "Dear FFM: Help Put Together A J.Crew Outfit For Me" post!

To view the wonderful sets, click on the links below. (The name of the link relates to the request for an outfit.)


Are there any items from J.Crew (that you either own or are thinking about getting) that you would like FFM to create outfit ideas. Feel free to include additional info like: the climate/season you want to wear the item/outfit, as well as age bracket/lifestyle. :) After a few days, FFM will select a few items (from the feedback) to create a couple of Polyvore outfits with those items (which will then be posted for all).

What J.Crew pieces do you often wonder how to use in an outfit? What J.Crew items would you like to see an outfit created for (please include item name or item number)? Do you have any J.Crew items in your closet that you are unsure how to style with? Please, let us know! :)

Year-End Review: A Look Back With J.Crew

"Thanks!" to Anon at 1:01 PM (in this post) who suggested a great topic for a post: "...as we are nearing the end of 2008, how about a post on our favorite J.Crew item of the year? Or, perhaps we could list our top 3 as surely there would be a difficult decision choosing just one item as THE favorite." I think it is a *wonderful* idea to list our top (or top 3) items from J.Crew from 2008, that we consider our favorite(s).

My all-time favorite item from J.Crew this year is the the Victoria Ruffle, both the Shirt (Item 99694, $89.50) and the Cami (Item 99742, $88.00). When I saw these shirts in person, I fell in love with all those ruffles- especially around the collar! I think they are universally flattering as they look so pretty on everyone I have seen them on. :)

And for fun, I think my all time "questionable" item from J.Crew this year is the Bugle-Beaded Bug Pin (Item 11348; was $50.00, now $29.99). This particular pin has been discussed many times on this blog (refer to here and here). At this point, every time I see the pin I smile- could it be that it has grown on me? ;)

What is your favorite J.Crew item of 2008 (or top three if you can't decide just one)? ;) What is your favorite "questionable" item from J.Crew? What are some of the reasons behind your selection(s)? :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

J.Crew's Final Sale (Online & In Stores)

As many of you have noticed, including Anon at 4:49 AM (in this post), there is no new promotion for J.Crew today. I was actually expecting to see one. With so many promotions in the past two months, I think I have been "trained" to anticipate another offer for today. ;) Instead, J.Crew announces on their main page (click here), that the Final Sale is going on.

Incidentally, as many of you have mentioned in previous posts, several stores are carrying an additional 30% off their sale (which also seems to be final). At least the additional percent off is pretty nice! :) (Although, it's not clear how long the additional percent off will last.)

What are your thoughts on when another offer might be arriving? (Do you think another promo will happen soon?) Will you shop online or shop in-stores (to take advantage of the additional 30% off)?

The Great (Weekly) Exchange

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who want to swap/sell/share among yourselves. This post is where you can mention your items and outside listing/ auction site (like eBay and eCrater & the corresponding user ID). Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Individual members can also request in this post, items that they are looking for and interested in buying. :)

Please note that any transactions are independent of this blog. (Especially since you will be using an outside listing/ auction site like eBay or eCrater.) I have no dealings or interactions with any of the potential communication, listings, or transactions. :) Moreover, please limit comments about items to swap/sell/share to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Do you have any items you would like to swap/sell/share among yourselves through your outside listing/auction site? Is there an item (or items) that you are looking for and interested in purchasing?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this weekend to take advantage of the post holiday sales, the additional 20%-30 off sales, or to see some new holiday arrivals in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic! Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

Friday, December 26, 2008

J.Crew Sale Of The Season: Extra 20% Off

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Anon at 12:24 AM, Naomi, Jeff, & Mirna (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew is offering an additional 20% off final sale with promo code EXTRA20. {yey!} This offer expires 12/28/08.

Incidentally, I noticed early this week that several stores had lots of clothes ready to be shipped back to the main warehouse. I am thinking that in the next few days (or in the next week), the sale section will be {very much} replenished. :)

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer, or wait a bit longer (for better deals), or shop at their stores? If you are planning to stop by one of the stores today, please let us know if there are any great deals and/or promotions going on. :)

J.Crew Holiday Gifts {what is your fav?}

"Thanks!" to both ColetteNoelle and Ameilia (in this post) who suggested a great post topic: did we receive any J.Crew gifts this holiday? I think this is a great topic! In particular, if you receive J.Crew gifts this holiday, what is your favorite J.Crew gift and why (this way it is both fun and informative). :)

I did receive some J.Crew gifts this year. My absolute favorite gift isn't very exciting though (e.g. not much to review), it is the J.Crew gift card- which will allow me to purchase many goodies in the future (and I am thrilled about that!) :)

My second top gift is the Teagan Ruffle Swiss-Dot Top in ivory (item 99679; was $98.00, now $49.99). What is funny about this top is that I never gave it any thought until I read GigiOfCa's post (click here) with real life images of the blouse. Even though she felt it was not for her, I thought it looked absolutely lovely on her- which made me seek it out! The pros of the top are the ruffles, which are absolutely beautiful (and super-girlie, which I like), and the swiss-dot pattern/fabric. The cons are that the top is boxy (which is clearly visible on the side) and see-through. However, the pros outweigh the cons for me. :)

Did you receive any J.Crew gifts this holiday? If so, what is your favorite J.Crew gift received and why? Would you recommend that fav item for others?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Time {celebrating with J.Crew?}

Anon at 2:00 PM (in this post) asked, "Where is the "what are you wearing Christmas Day" posts??? Let's share!!! Merry Christmas!". So here is the post! :) What we are planning to wear during the holidays (Christmas and/or Hannakah). (I really like these posts. I love hearing what outfits Aficionadas and Aficionados plan on wearing. It's a great source of outfit-inspiration!)

I have to be honest, I am still not decided what I am planning to wear tomorrow (since I am staying at home, I can't decide to dress casually or stay in pajamas). ;) But for today, I am planning to go with the Snow-leopard Simone peacoat (Item 96475; was $260.00, now $149.99) with the white tissue tee turtleneck (Item 97644; was $39.50, select colors now $19.99), the Stretch Leightweight Denim Trousers (was $98.00, now $69.99) and my Juliet Patent-Leather Midheels in blanched almond (Item 96716; $198.00, in-stores for $129.99).

What are you planning to wear this holiday (Christmas and/or Hannakah)? Are you planning to go "head to toe" J.Crew or parts J.Crew?

Dear Aficionadas & Aficionados, Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados!!!

I want to take a moment to thank you all. I honestly believe this blog has the *best* members. This blog is great due to you, the members, and your willingness to share with each other- which is just phenomenal!!! I really appreciate all of your insightful and helpful comments, suggestions, and advice.

Lastly, I am really grateful for everyone's help in making this blog so wonderful to be a part of. :) And now back to J.Crew!

Product Review: Golden Roses {partie deux}

Another big "thanks!" to kitchy7 who provided wonderfully detailed reviews for several Golden Roses items. In yesterday's post ("Product Review: Golden Roses"), she provided {fantastic} reviews for the Golden Roses Renée Coat, Chérie Cami, and Pencil Skirt. This post is the continuation of the remaining {great} reviews:

Wool Flannel Golden Roses Dress (& Astrid Jacket)
Click here for product page
Item 99732
Regular: $195.00
Now: $139.99

This suiting dress is cut in the same shape as the wool flannel abstract rose and watercolor dresses, with a bodice featuring a higher boatneck in front and a V cut in back and a skirt featuring a higher waistline and a flattering drape that hides flaws nicely. The bodice is 100% silk, and interestingly, it feels much softer and smoother than the silk bodices of the other two wool flannel dresses.

The skirt and the Astrid jacket are both made of 100% wool and have a polyester lining. The wool flannel is quite soft to the touch, and as an added detail, the inside of the Astrid jacket features lining trim that matches the bodice of the dress.


As an aside, I love these wool flannel dresses and hope J.Crew continues to develop this line. I have found them to be perfect for work when I need to dress up but don’t want to wear a suit and perfect for reception-like occasions. They never fail to draw compliments.


Carmen Patterned-Fabric Peep Toes
Click here for product page
Item 11333
Regular: $275.00
Now: $189.99

To the touch, the fabric of these heels feels just like the coat, skirt, and clutch do, so I believe it’s made of the same fabric mixture. The heels are surprisingly comfortable, considering most of my J.Crew heels tend to hurt my feet after a while.

With a 3 ½ inch heel height, they are on the taller side, but it’s not quite to my “4 inches and I’ll kill myself trying to walk” limit. They are true to size. I was comfortably able to fit in the 9 that I usually wear in shoes, even though I’ve found myself having to size up a half size in some of the J.Crew closed toe heels featured this season, such as the Gayle and Isabella patent leather heels.


Golden Roses Clutch With Bejeweled Bow
Click here for product page
Item 11027
Regular: $118.00
Now: $69.99

I was initially saddened when this clutch was missing from a Thanksgiving promotion order and then sold out on the website, but it later popped up and I was happily able to buy it. The clutch is nice and flat, making it easy to carry (unless you stuff it full, of course), and the bejeweled bow isn’t too flashy.

It has a magnetic closure in the top flap, and on the inside it features the main compartment and a smaller non-zippered pocket. The fabric feels like the same fabric that the coat and skirt are made of.


A super big "thanks!" to kitchy7 for her amazing reviews! :) I also have to say, that I really like the Golden Roses design- it is just so beautiful and I love the color combination!

What are your thoughts on the Golden Roses items (do you like/dislike any of the styles, designs, fabrics)? Are you considering or already have purchased any of these items? If so, please let us know. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

J.Crew's Final Sale Is Back {sigh}

As many of you have mentioned, including Anon at 12:03 AM and 3carmelos (in this post), Green_Dino, Anon at 12:31 AM , Anon at 12:43 AM, & Naomi (in this post), as well as Smarty (in this post), J.Crew's final sale (aka: all sales are final, "no exchanges, no returns") is back. This news is displayed on the main index page of J.Crew's website (click here) and on the sale page (click here).

I was under the impression that the final sale would not return until after the holidays (refer to: "J.Crew's Final Sale Expected To Return In Jan '09"). Maybe that is just for brick and mortar (B&M) stores? However, now I am wondering if B&M stores will be carrying the "final sale" signs today too?

What are your thoughts on this news? Will your local B&M stores carry "final sale" now too?

Product Review: Golden Roses

A big "thanks!" to kitchy7 who provided wonderfully detailed reviews for several Golden Roses items. The following are her great reviews:

I love the golden roses print. The variety of golden yellows, oranges, and light and dark grays is truly unique, like a special find in an English vintage shop. To some, the yellows and oranges might seem too bright, but in real life, they present themselves in a far more subdued manner. They are helped along by a full spectrum of grays and a lack of crisp lines in the pattern: just as in a watercolor painting, the edges are beautifully softened.

I love the golden roses print so much, in fact, that I have collected several of the items available in this print. Even better, I managed to buy most of them on sale, as all of them still are on the website. Here is my review of those items:

Golden Roses Renée Coat
Click here for product page
Item 99290
Regular: $425.00
Now: $199.99

I think this is a stunning coat. It arrived in a J.Crew gift box tied up with a red ribbon that I couldn’t pull off fast enough. I pulled it on, and it fit like a dream. The shoulders were perfectly roomy, and it fell in a perfect slight A-line. For those of you that like a slimmer fit, you might consider sizing down.

I think this coat is probably best worn as a statement piece and not in competition with other bright colors or patterns. For example, it looks fantastic paired with simple jeans, a charcoal turtleneck sweater, and tall black boots. That said, it also looks very pretty with yellow.


The Renée coat is a lighter jacket, more useful in trench coat weather than truly cold weather. It’s made of 78% wool and 22% silk and has an acetate lining. To the touch, it feels a bit rougher than some might like. I don’t mind, though, because I’m so in love with it. The fabric is flexible, too, and not stiff like the watercolor leopard Kate coat was, and that makes all the difference in the world to me.


Golden Roses Chérie Cami
Click here for product page
Item 99921
Regular: $88.00
Now: $59.99

The Chérie cami is made of 100% silk and feels incredibly lightweight, soft, and delicate. The website description says it wears as well with jeans as it does under a suit, and I completely agree.

The collar adds a nice touch, separating it even further from an ordinary cami. The cut is definitely on the roomy side, so I would suggest sizing down unless you prefer a more billowy fit.


Golden Roses Pencil Skirt
Click here for product page
Item 99460
Regular: $198.00
Now: $139.99

The skirt is, of course, just as pretty as the coat. It’s also made of the same fabric mixture: 78% wool and 22% silk (so if you have seen and felt the skirt, you know exactly what the coat looks and feels like).

The length is perfect for professional settings at 24 ½ inches, and it features a back vent for easy walking (a must for me, as I tend to take long, fast strides). I think it’s sized in the same way as other J.Crew pencil skirts from this season, so those of you that size up in the higher-waisted pencil skirts will likely want to do the same with this one.


A super big "thanks!" to kitchy7 for her amazing reviews! :)

What are your thoughts on the Golden Roses items (do you like/dislike any of the styles, designs, fabrics)? Are you considering or already have purchased any of these items? If so, please let us know. :)

Update On J.Crew's Sample Sale {sweet!}

"Thanks!" to Alexa who let us know some more (& new) information about J.Crew's sample sale which will take place in NYC from January 21st through January 25th (refer to the "J.Crew Holds Sample Sale In NYC This January {yey!}" post).

As indicated in the above image (found at Clothing Line's website), the sample sale will feature "Spring, Summer, resort styles for women, men and kids", as well as "up to 70% off retail prices". They will offer samples of "sweaters, pants, dresses, jackets/outerwear... and more".

The address for the location is:

Clothingline | SSS Sample Sales
261 W 36th Street (between 7th & 8th Ave)
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10018

I can't wait to go!!! :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

J.Crew's Sends Special Thanks To Card Members :)

"Thanks!" to Jayna, Amy, and Alisha (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew sent a card and a little gift in the mail to card members.

The card reads the following (also shown in the image above that Alisha was kind to share with us):

Happy holidays from all of us at J.Crew. Please accept this gift – just our little way of saying "thank you" for being such a loyal J.Crew Credit Cardmember and to let you know how much we appreciate you. If there's anything you need, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best,

Mickey


Jayna let us know that she received the Mirror-Metallic Luggage Tag (Item 10471; Regular $18.50, now $7.99), which "came in a brown cardboard box with a red bow, and a card" (and can be seen in the image to the left, that she was kind to share with us). :)

Amy and Alisha (in this post) let us know that they also received a gift with the same note from Mickey. They got the {super pretty} Mohair Muffler Scarf (Item 10511; $49.50, now $24.99).

What a lovely note and cute gifts! It is wonderful of J.Crew to thank their loyal card members in this *thoughtful* way (and during this time of year). I am thrilled for all those who have received gifts. :)

So if you are a card member, chances are you may be receiving a gift in the mail in the next couple of days, so keep "an eye out" for it. :)

Best J.Crew Deal {what's yours?} :)

"Thanks!" to Anon at 10:05 PM (in this post) who came up with a *fabulous* suggestion for a post topic: "how about a post for best J.Crew "deal" we have recently got".

This is a great topic since so many of us have been able to snag some super-fantastic J.Crew deals, either through J.Crew's website (using the great MERRY, HURRY, JINGLE, EXTRA20, and HOHOHO promotions) or through their brick and mortar (B&M) stores (taking advantage of the additional 20-30% off sales, 25% off red card, and other promotions).

My top "deal" is the Sean bag in Tulip (Item 99785; Regular $268.00, now $149.99) which I was able to purchase for $37! (I have to give "thanks!" once again to LaDolceVita who let us all know that the bag was even on sale in this post.) Although I am not a huge fan of the resin links for the handle/ strap, the purse itself is gorgeous! (Especially gorgeous for just $37.) ;) I love the "smooth, supple and specially wax-treated" leather which really is smooth to the touch. I also think the rich Tulip color is very beautiful in person- a great way to add a "pop of color" to any outfit. Lastly, I really appreciate that the purse is lined. :)

What is your best J.Crew "deal" that you recently purchase? Would you recommend that item? If so, what are some of the reasons why? :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who want to swap/sell/share among yourselves. This post is where you can mention your items and outside listing/ auction site (like eBay and eCrater & the corresponding user ID). Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Individual members can also request in this post, items that they are looking for and interested in buying. :)

Please note that any transactions are independent of this blog. (Especially since you will be using an outside listing/ auction site like eBay or eCrater.) I have no dealings or interactions with any of the potential communication, listings, or transactions. :) Moreover, please limit comments about items to swap/sell/share to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Do you have any items you would like to swap/sell/share among yourselves through your outside listing/auction site? Is there an item (or items) that you are looking for and interested in purchasing?

Product Review: Dream Tie-Neck Cardigan

Dream Tie-Neck Cardigan
Click here for product page
Item 10374
Regular: $148.00
Now: $59.99

I have been eying this cardigan for some time now. I just think it looks so beautiful in the image. However, I am curious about how it fits in real life, especially with the "casual-chic tie at the neck" which I can see being either fabulous or uber-annoying.

Luckily for us, Melissa (in this post) shared with us her review of this sweater:

Dream tie-neck cardigan: I was initially hesitant to order this sweater as I thought the tie would annoy me, but I ordered it anyway because I really wanted a sweater in light spearmint (I had returned 2 sweaters in this color already) and I saw a cute set with the sweater on Polyvore (may have been Slastena).

Fit is tts and is also a bit fitted as advertised, but not nearly as fitted as the Melanie cardigan. It does hit at hip.

Soft to the touch and I think it has a warm, wintery feeling to it.

The only other thing I want to mention is that the pocket ends are loosely attached inside by braided sweater fabric. This was not a turn off for me, just interesting.

Overall, I loved it so much that I also ordered the Joelle flats to match.

A big "thanks!" to Melissa (in this post) for her great review! :)

What are your thoughts on the Dream Tie-Neck Cardigan (do you like/dislike the style, design, fabric)? Are you considering or already have purchased this cardigan? If so, would you recommend this cardigan to another Aficionada? :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

J.Crew Email: 20% off. In Stores Only. Starts Today.

"Thanks!" to Kitchy7 who let us know about J.Crew's latest promotion. J.Crew is offering 20% off your entire purchase (both regular and sale priced items) at any J.Crew or J.Crew Factory store. This promotion ends 12/24/08.

Something I find interesting is that J.Crew sent an email announcing this promotion, with a subject line that states the promotion "starts today" (Saturday, Dec 20th). However, as many Aficionadas reported in this Thursday's "Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?" post, many stores were already offering 20% off (everything) earlier in the week. Maybe the new promo was just in regular stores earlier this week and not in factory stores? In any case, I am happy to see the offer being extended until December 24th! :)

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer, or wait a bit longer (for better deals)? Do you think there will be another online promotion in the next few days? If so, what do you think it might be? :)

J.Crew Article: Bridesmaid Dresses {pretty!}

A big "thanks!" to Alexa who let us know that W magazine featured J.Crew's bridesmaid dresses in one of their recent articles (click here to view the article in its entirety).

...And the Bridesmaids Wore J. Crew
America’s preppy retailer becomes the go-to source for bridesmaid dresses.

By Priya Rao
January 2009

...Becoming a bridesmaid favorite came as a surprise to J.Crew’s chairman and CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, who, upon hearing from sales associates that a flood of engaged women were choosing the firm’s dresses for their attendants—the most popular, a strapless, embossed style—decided to connect the dots. “I didn’t know much about it, but we chatted a bit and the next day we said, ‘It might be fun. Let’s do J. Crew wedding,’” Drexler recounts. With that, seven bridesmaid dresses, along with one wedding gown and a few men’s suits, were introduced in February 2004. (For spring 2009, J.Crew upped its bridesmaid dress count to 25; they retail from $165 for a crinkled chiffon style to $395 for a high-collar silk shift.) Cost, a key component when the collection launched, is even more important today, given the economic climate. “Any customer is always evaluating whether something is worth it or not, and this market only reinforces that,” Drexler says. “I think we are rightly priced, and my opinion is that [our competitors] are overpriced. We’ve seen this enormous inflation in designer pricing and demand, and I think more than ever the customer is looking at the combination of style, quality, design and value, because that is the new standard.”

While price was a bonus for Herschap, the cute factor was, she notes, a larger selling point. “My biggest fear was that people were going to think, God, that bridesmaid dress is so ugly,” she says. “J.Crew dresses were the sweetest-looking, and I didn’t think they looked too bridesmaid-y. I thought they could wear them again.”


That’s music to the ears of Jenna Lyons, J.Crew’s creative director. When she set out to design the company’s wedding garb, she took the bridesmaid-dress-that-doesn’t-look-like-a-bridesmaid-dress approach. “Every single season, every time we look at a dress, we look at the girl and say, ‘Okay, if you saw her at a party or a picnic, would you think she looked ridiculous or would you think she looked cute?’ We don’t look at bridal as just wearing it to a wedding. We look at it as you could end up anywhere,” explains Lyons, who makes sure the cuts are simple and sticks with fabrics such as cotton and silk blends, while keeping bows, sashes and other adornments to a minimum.

Hillary Thomas, an attorney and real-estate developer who was married in Sagaponack, New York, last June, was drawn to J.Crew’s bridesmaid dresses for another reason: They offer a happy alternative to the so-called identical twins look. She let her attendants pick any style they wanted, as long as it was available in the navy cotton she selected.


The result? Five varying silhouettes, from halter to strapless. One of Thomas’s bridesmaids, Jenya Green, went for a deep V-neck A-line with a satin sash, which she ended up removing. Green says the dress was an easy, obvious choice because it works with her current wardrobe. “It would fit a big range of dressiness. I’d wear it to a casual outdoor wedding or to work with a cardigan,” she notes.

...
That said, some brides are fearful of shopping from a photo for such a significant element of their big day and prefer the traditional brick-and-mortar approach to finding bridesmaid dresses. Such women can ask a J.Crew retail associate to order select styles for delivery to a store for try-on, without charge. Others have different shopping issues. Such was the case with Jennifer Anderson, one of 10 attendants in Lea Morrison’s Sun Valley, Idaho, wedding, who tried to place her order on the late side and was told that the light blue cotton item was out of stock. “It became this whole thing, like, ‘Should I tell Lea I can’t get the dress and I’m not going to be in the wedding?’” Anderson recalls. Luckily J.Crew came to her rescue, delivering enough fabric—for free, no less—so she could have the frock made on her own. “They spent a week looking through all the inventory,” she says. “I was very impressed.”

To avoid situations like the one Anderson found herself in, J.Crew offers its Ashley service; clients can e-mail or phone the company’s in-house wedding specialist, Ashley Drinkard, and her team of 23. They create customer profiles for bridal parties while gathering measurements, size and style information and, most important, ensuring orders are ready for the big day.


Though he won’t divulge details, Drexler says he and his team have talked about opening J.Crew’s first bridal atelier on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. But perpetual bridesmaid Anderson isn’t taking any chances. After her close call with that light blue dress, she planned ahead for her latest wedding appearance, in October, when she again wore J.Crew, only this time in the style of her choice. “I ordered eight dresses,” she says, noting that she returned the extra ones once she found the perfect fit. “It was like $2,000 on my credit card, but this time I wasn’t without a dress!”


I have to say, I do love J.Crew bridesmaid dresses! :) I love Jenna's approach towards bridesmaid dresses- that they should not look too much like a bridesmaid dress, so the dress can be worn to various functions and still look cute. I am also curious if Drexler is still thinking about opening a J.Crew bridal store in NYC (especially considering these economic times).

What are your thoughts on the article? Did you agree or disagree with any of the points made? :) What are your thoughts on J.Crew's bridal collection in general?

Friday, December 19, 2008

J.Crew's Merry Offer: 20% Off and Free Shipping :)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Anon at 12:41 AM and 3carmelos (in this post), who let us know about J.Crew's latest promotion. :)

J.Crew is offering 20% off and *free shipping* on orders of $150+ with promo code MERRY. This offer expires today, 12/19/08.

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer, or wait a bit longer (for better deals), or avoid shopping online (e.g. prefer to shop at their B&M stores)? :)

Last Day To Order For Holiday Delivery :)

Today (until 9PM EST/ 6PM PST) is the last day to order from J.Crew (with regular shipping and handling) to guarantee your package arrives for holiday delivery.

To view J.Crew's "shipping deadlines" (when to place orders by to receive packages by a certain date), click on the image above or here.

From the poll (on the right side of the main page), it seems like most of you are receiving your orders issue-free. {yey!}

Happy {holiday} shopping! :)

Product Review: Cortina Glittens

Cortina Glittens
Click here for product page
Item 99180
Regular: $24.50
Now: $14.99

I absolutely *love* glittens! (I didn't even know there was a proper term for this particular type of winter accessory- fingerless gloves that can be converted to mittens- until I saw these at J.Crew.) :) Although I own a few glittens, I don't own any from J.Crew and was curious about their version.

Luckily for us, Gracefully (in this post) shared with us her great review of these glittens:

Hello JCAs! The cortina glittens are no longer online so either they're sold out or it's more J.Crew website voodoo. But at any rate, if you bought a pair for someone, I got a pair at full price in black and recently tried them. I wanted to love everything about these and get them in many colors, but I'm really sorry to say I'm leaning towards a poor rating. I have shearling mittens from jcrew -- they're 10+ years old, heavily used and just beginning to wear out. Not so for these.

On the pro end, the glittens are incredibly cozy. My hands get cold very easily but these do keep me warm and the wool is very soft, not itchy at all. I love, love, love that. But they run rather big. I always wear women's large gloves and these are large even for me. The mitten cover bunches at the top.

But what I found I most disappointing is the quality. This is really poorly made. I'm surprised it's a J.Crew item at all. The buttons on the mittens came off within the first two hours of wearing, on the 3rd time that I unbuttoned the convertible part. Never mind, I'll sew them on I thought.

I've worn the gloves briefly 3 times after that. it's already pilling -- badly. and the seam on the left thumb is beginning to open so you can see the top of my thumb. Worse yet, I noticed tonight, the mitten cover is sewed onto the glove and it's beginning to separate!! So much for a glitten. Very shoddy. Very disappointing.

A big "thanks!" to Gracefully (in this post) for her great review! :)

What are your thoughts on the Cortina Glittens (do you like/dislike the style, design, material)? Are you considering or already have purchased these gloves? Moreover, what are your favorite J.Crew winter acessories (that you would recommend) and why? :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

J.Crew Factory Stores: Holiday Sale... Up To 60% Off

A big "thanks!" to starla729 who shared with us J.Crew's latest email. J.Crew Factory stores are now having a Holiday Sale with up to 60% off original prices. This sale ends 12/23/08.

Happy {holiday} shopping! :)

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this weekend to take advantage of the "secret sales", the additional 20% off sales, or to see some new holiday arrivals in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic! Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

P.S.S. As many of you have mentioned, J.Crew stores are offering *20% off the entire store* (sale & regular priced items)!

Product Review: Lille Heavy Wool Piqué Coat

Lille Heavy Wool Piqué Coat
Click here for product page
Item 99135
Regular: $298.00
Now: $129.99

A big "thanks!" to IRL Lillie - Love It! (in this post), who shared with us her great review of this {beautiful} coat!

I received the Lille heavy wool piqué coat (item 99135) in black, size 4. I have a size 6 on order now too. The size 4 is a smidge tighter then I would like in the shoulder/chest area. When I pull my shoulders back (standing in good posture) I can feel the coat pulling in my chest area, which is not ample. The circumference of the arm at the armpit area is small too. It fits me just right & I would not be able to wear a sweater underneath the size 4 coat.

The Lille is a very stylish coat, & can be worn as an everyday casual coat. This is the coat where the belt is sewn underneath the back of the coat. I am sensitive to how wide I look in clothes. This coat does not accentuate width of hips/rear.

The collar can be worn up or down. It would've been a plus if they had put some sort of fastener so you could stand the collar up & fasten it sh
ut. This is my first feel of a heavy wool pique coat & I like the fabric. It is soft & has a texture to it, unlike the cashmere coats.

I highly recommend this coat, & I thank Slastena for posting IRL on her site. I liked the coat in the catalog but was leary of ordering after the Marie coat bombed for me. I love this coat more than the Marie, & @ $90 you can't go wrong. I do wish they had a better selection of colors in this coat (like the charcoal grey color).


Lillie Sizing Notes:
Size 4: 14-3/4" across shoulder

Size 4: 38-1/2" chest circumference

Size 4: 23-1/2" sleeve length from shoulder seem to bottom of coat sleeve

Size 4: 31" length from top of back collar to bottom of coat


Size 6: 15"

Size 6: 39-1/2" chest circumference


"Thanks!" again to IRL Lillie - Love It! (in this post) for her review! :) Also, if anyone is interested, Slastena was kind enough to share the real-life images of the coat on her blog (click here to view her Lille post). {Incidentally, the coat looks *fantastic* on Slastena! :)}

What are your thoughts on the Lille Heavy Wool Piqué Coat (do you like/dislike the style, design, material)? Are you considering or already have purchased this coat? Have you seen this coat in-person? If so, please share with us your reviews too! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

J.Crew's Holiday Sale with Free Shipping {no min!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Rosie (in this post) , as well as Anon at 12:50 AM, Anon at 12:59 AM, & Beachbum (in this post), who let us know about J.Crew's latest promotion. :)

J.Crew is offering *free shipping* on any order {no min} with promo code HURRY. This offer expires 12/19/08.

Side Note (in case anyone got confused like myself): I initially thought the offer included "an additional 60% off" sale items. However, upon closer review, J.Crew is just stating that some sale items are reduced "up to 60% off" from their original prices. :)

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer, or wait a bit longer (for better deals), or avoid shopping online (e.g. prefer to shop at their B&M stores)? :)

What's Your "Top 3 {holiday} J.Crew Items"?

There are only a few more weeks left before the holidays are here. :) Similar to another post from awhile back, I thought it would be fun and interesting to find out what Aficionadas and Aficionados select as part of their "top 3 coveted items list" and why. :) I am sure there are lots of items we are all lusting after, especially with so many {great} promotions and sales tempting us. ;)

My top two are the same as last time (which sold out quickly in my size): (1) the Victoria Ruffle Shirt (Item 99694, $89.50) in white. I saw the shirt in person and I just love love love those ruffles! I think it would look great underneath a sweater- a bit of feminine flair for my normal crew neck or v-neck sweater and trouser pants. (2) the Victoria Ruffle Cami (Item 99742, $88.00) in classic navy. Same reasons as the shirt version- but I could wear the cami during the Spring and Summer seasons, underneath a t-shirt or other short sleeve shirt. My top third choice is the Maggie Double-Serge Jacket (Item 99322; $250.00, select colors $179.99) in black. I think this jacket works great for both professional (e.g. work) and casual (e.g. out with friends) settings.

What top 3 items are you currently coveting? Also, what is the reason behind the selection of those items (e.g. love the fit, color, style)? :)

J.Crew's Jenna Lyons On Vogue's Best Dressed List

"Thanks!" to Kathy who let us know that Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's creative director, was selected by Vogue (click here) as one of their "ten best dressed" for this week.

I do think the dress looks amazing on her! (But I think she would have been better off without the coat & dark lipstick.) :) Although, I am surprised that she isn't wearing one piece of J.Crew as she normally does (or maybe I can't notice it). ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

J.Crew Email Reminder: Ends Today. 30% Off Your Purchase + Free Shipping. Online Only.

J.Crew sent an email today reminding us that they are offering 30% off and *free shipping* on orders of $150+ with promo code JINGLE. This offer expires, today, 12/16/08.

Have you been able to take advantage of this offer or unable to (either you are waiting post-holidays to shop or because the site was down yesterday)? :) Do you think there will be another promotion being offered tomorrow? If so, what do you think it might be. ;)

J.Crew's Final Sale Expected To Return In Jan '09

J.Crew's current sale (both online and in-stores) is *not* "final" (which means customers can return items under the normal return policy). {yey!} The decision behind this {wonderful} move is that J.Crew expects many items purchased during this {holiday} season to be gifts, which may need to be exchanged or returned by the recipients.

Some news to consider while we're still in the midst of our holiday shopping... As many of you have mentioned, the non-final sale is expected to last for a limited time. An associate (Anon at 12:22 AM in this post) stated that the "sale items are returnable through January 1, 2009". I was also told by an associate (at a store last weekend), that the final sale is expected to return after January 1st.

At least January 1st is a couple of weeks away, plenty of time to shop the sale with the option to return if necessary. :)

J.Crew Stores: Resort Collection {already?}

As many of you have noticed and commented, many J.Crew stores have the new resort collection (click here to view online) available for purchase. I saw at a few J.Crew stores in CT, several {beautiful} Spring-like items, like bright color three quarter cardigans paired with short sleeve tees and bright color minis, on the mannequins near the front of the door.

Even though I know it is common for retailers to offer resort/ Spring wear items around this time, it still feels a little "too soon" to see these items (in-person) at my local stores. This feeling might be because I live in the Northeast (where it is pretty cold until late March) and not somewhere warmer (e.g. Hawaii)- so the focus for me is more on warm winter coats and cozy winter accessories. :)

Is the resort collection available at your local J.Crew store? What are your thoughts about the timing of the new resort collection at J.Crew stores (e.g. do you expect them to be available now, or do you think it is too soon, or do you think it should be available online but not in stores yet)? What are your thoughts on the resort collection itself (e.g. are you excited about any of the new arrivals)? :)