Saturday, January 31, 2009

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

Yes it is that wonderful time!

A big "thanks!" to Kate! (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code CS-989. This offer expires 2/14/09. :)

Crewcuts Email: Tee Party, Now 2 For $18

J.Crew sent an email featuring Crewcuts Girls' Short-Sleeve City Tee (Item 97660, $12.00). Right now, they are offering a promotion: buy 2 for $18. It's not clear how long this will last.

How cute is that outfit pictured in the image!?! I would totally wear it. I am going to see if I can find that skirt in the Women's section. ;)

Incidentally, have you ever contacted Melanie, J.Crew's Crewcuts specialist? (I am curious if she really responds to all customer inquiries, or the inquiries are parsed out to other J.Crew representatives.)

Friday, January 30, 2009

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 what's left in the post holiday sales, the additional 30%-50% off sales, or to see some new Spring/ Resort 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!

Madewell Email: The First Sign Of Spring

Madewell sent an email featuring their Rail Straight Garment-Dyed Jeans in White Wash ($115).

They are also reminding us that (1) we can check out their Spring looks (click here); and (2) Madewell is offering 15% off all purchases with the printable coupon found here on their Facebook page. This offer expires 2/28/08.

Although the jeans look great on the model, I wonder how many people can really pull off skinny white jeans. I mean, I can understand regular blue wash or dark skinny jeans- but white? That's tough to do. This email also got me thinking about white jeans... I am just not a fan. It's not that I don't like white pants, because I think there are some great ones out there. (For instance, I love a pair of white trouser cotton/ linen pants I got from J.Crew a few years ago). I am just not crazy about white jeans in general. Maybe I need to look harder to find a pair that will win me over. ;)

What are your thoughts on Madewell's Rail Straight Garment-Dyed Jeans in White Wash? Are you a fan of the white denim look in general? :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

J.Crew Updated Website (new catalog available too!)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including GoldenMeans, Jeff, Anon at 4:45AM, Smarty, & Anon at 7:08AM (in this post), as well as FFM (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew updated its website (click here).

The website now offers new arrivals for her and for him. Also, the J.Crew Collection section has been updated and is definitely worth checking out (click here).
They also have the latest catalog available (which can also be viewed in its entirety here). I think Lauren Hutton looks amazing- and the clothes look fantastic on her! :)

J.Crew also offering "20% off your first purchase when you open a J.Crew Credit Card (for a limited time only)*" (click here to learn more).

What are your thoughts on the new catalog (e.g. what do you think of Lauren Hutton as their model)? Are there any new arrivals that you love or would leave? If so, please share! :)

Getting Your J.Crew Online Orders?

As we all {unfortunately} know, J.Crew's website still has been experiencing some technical difficulties. These issues have made shopping online a bit difficult (and frustrating) at times (refer here). But this post isn't just about the imperfect new website (although I am slightly annoyed that its still not working close to 100% after all this time).

Instead, this post is more about our ability to place online orders recently (like in the past month or so). Specifically, have you been able to place orders without issues? Moreover, have you been receiving your packages error free and in a timely manner (as oppose to having items "back ordered", "canceled", or missing in your package)?

It would be interesting to find out if the majority of us have been receiving our orders with no issues (which I am hoping is the case) or if the opposite is true (which may mean we might want to shop in their brick and mortar stores instead).

If you ordered from the website recently, have you received your items error-free? Have you gotten the email/ tracking confirmations in a timely manner (and if so, do they work)? And more importantly, if you did receive any items- what were they and how do you like them? ;)

Product Review: Hayworth Giraffe Cami {pretty!}

Hayworth Giraffe Cami
Click here for product page
Item 99916
Regular: $120.00
Now: $79.99

I think this cami is so pretty. I just love that bow in the back. However, since I have not seen this cami in person, I was curious about it.

Luckily for us, Nicole R shared with us her review of this cami...

When I saw it in the catalog [January 2009 Catalog Pg. 14/15] I immediately fell in LOVE! :) I loved the tie on the side and how it was worn. Looking online, it shows it tied in the back- so I figured you had the option of doing either.

Attending the sample sale in NYC last week, I was hoping to find it, given they were advertising Spring items-- but no such luck! So when I walked away empty handed from the sample sale-- I called a couple of NY and NJ stores hoping they had it in stock-- but was sold out everywhere! I ordered it online.


I got it last nite-- and I must say it is beautiful! It is a jersey silk material. The colored is noted as a "faded yellow", but I would almost say it is a faded muted mustard/gold. The print is this and an off white--- very striking..... When I put it on--- my thoughts began to change.....

First of all-- there is a zipper on the left side that runs from about one inch from the armhole to one inch from the bottom. I am not really understanding the purpose, given I thought it was to be a slightly a
-line shirt on the flowy side. The zipper does nothing but take away from how it is to drape on one's body.

Secondly, the tie at the neck is sewn into the top of the neck line. I at first thought it would be a situation as when you buy a suit and the pockets are lightly sewn but easily can be opened-- this is not the case. I immediately called CS and asked about the tie and how it did not allow me to have it on the side unless I cut it from the stitching at the neck..... The CSR was excellent and went back into the mock store and asked-- and advised me that I could take the cami to a b&m and have them send it to the tailor they use-- but I am not into the idea of having to alter it to make it look like the catalog. Given that it is FS-- he did note on the file that I can return it, given it did not come as pictured.

Overall, while it is beautiful, my expectations fell short and I am going to say it is a pass for me.... Curious if anyone else got it ......
"Thanks!" again to Nicole R for her great review! :)

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new Hayworth Giraffe Cami? Have you seen this cami in person at stores already? If so, what are your thoughts? :)

Cookie Mag's "Meet The Mom Behind J.Crew"

A big "thanks!" to Ina / Anon at 9:36 AM (in this post) who let us know that Cookie Magazine had a cute web feature on J.Crew's Jenna Lyons (click here to read it in its entirety).

Cookie Sheet: Jenna Lyons
By Lexy Schmertz


As creative director and fashion visionary for J. Crew, Jenna Lyons just gets it. Thanks to her, the brand's classic styles have been updated with innovative twists—sequins, ribbons, and funky patterns—that drive women, including the new first lady, wild.


What about your children makes you laugh?
The way Beckett runs straight up and down with a little forward thrust—it's hysterical. The way he gets obsessed with something for three weeks. And the way he says, "That's amazing."


What is your favorite family ritual?

Saturday morning disco dancing.

What was your most frazzled mom moment?

Pumping in random places all dressed up and overly emotional!


What parenting issue do you and your partner disagree most about?

Spoiling Beckett at bedtime—I want to cuddle with him all the time and stay with him until he falls asleep. Daddy wants him to be a big boy and fall asleep on his own.


What is your parenting role: good cop or bad cop?

Good, cuddly, soft, spoiling, kissing cop.


What do you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about?

How, before long, he will want his friends more than me! How, soon, he'll want his own apartment, college, driver's license, teenage drinking—I might be a bit of a worrier....


What do you wish you had done before you had children?

Had them earlier!


What is a typical Saturday morning in your house like?

Scottish pizza, disco, the farmers' market, the playground. Pretty much every weekend, in that order.


What was your mom most right about?

More things than I care to admit. Biggest one: "Save your money!"
...

How gorgeous does she look in that photo!?! :) I also love that response to the question about "what was your mom right about". It's so true! :)

What are your thoughts on her replies? Did any of the responses surprise you? Which responses were you not surprised by? ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Surprise! Extra 30% Off Extended Until Friday {yey!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including J./Anon at 7:41 PM (in this post) as well as lleila (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew has extended their latest promotion from Wednesday to Friday... wahoo!

J.Crew is offering an additional 30% off with promo code EXTRA30. This offer now expires 1/30/09.

And as many of you have noticed and mentioned in this post, J.Crew's website is not working properly again. The website issues have been fluctuating back and forth from "up & running", running slowly, and "site down" today. {grrrr.}

Hare you been able to take advantage of this offer (or has the website issues affect your ability to checkout)? If you have been (or plan on) using this promotion, want items are you getting? :)

J.Crew Bookmark's No Longer Work

As many of you have noticed and mentioned (throughout posts on the blog), bookmarking J.Crew pages no longer seem to work properly (we end up seeing a screen similar to the one shown above).

I too, have {unfortunately} encountered this. At first, I thought it was just me and maybe I had done something to alter my settings. Yet, after reading the comments, it seems that many of you have experienced the same issue, which got me thinking... "what's going on here?" To be honest, I am not sure why bookmarks no longer work, when they worked fine in the past.

Are your bookmarks working or no longer working? What do you think is behind this latest issue with J.Crew's website?

Packing Tips From J.Crew's Jenna Lyons

Over at Travel + Leisure, they have an interesting slideshow (click here to view) of items J.Crew's Jenna Lyons considers her vacation "must haves".

Packing Tips From J.Crew's Creative Director
When she heads for the beach, J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons keeps it light.

By Clark Mitchell

From February 2009


For this 18-year J.Crew veteran, there’s no place like Turks and Caicos to unwind with her two-year-old son, Beckett, and husband, artist Vincent Mazeau. It comes as no surprise that Lyons packs a lot of J.Crew—she designs with her lifestyle in mind. Here, her vacation bag must-haves.
...

Once you click on the slideshow link (click here to view), you can see her choices including the following text:

  1. “The sherbet colors of these jacquard pants and gauzy cover-up [on the next slide] are part of my new J.Crew collection, which was inspired by the pale-hued houses in Turks and Caicos.”
  2. Sherbet-colored gauzy cover-up
  3. “I never have time to read, except on the beach—right now, the book I’m carrying is In an Instant by Lee and Bob Woodruff.”
  4. “We created this raffia hat to collapse for easy packing.”
  5. “My everyday watch: a Rolex gold-band Oyster bracelet.”
  6. “I’m drawn to things that are timeless, like these Marni sunglasses.”
  7. “Our garment bag comes in bright colors and makes me happy when I’m on the road.”
  8. “I slather California Baby sunscreen all over myself and Beckett—it never washes off.”
  9. “The jersey Lomellina bikini uses a thick rubber strip rather than elastic in its waistband, so you can avoid the dreaded ‘muffin top’ effect.”
  10. “Metallic-gold J.Crew sandals are a great summer neutral."
  11. “Nothing sets off a light tan better than pink Bobbi Brown lip gloss.”
  12. “It’s meant for under your eyes, but I put Kiehl’s eye cream on my entire face, especially during a long flight.”
What are your thoughts on the items she selected? Do you like or dislike any of the items chosen? Which items would you have on your vacation "must have" list?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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! :)

J.Crew Rewards Card {be on the lookout}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including RatsOnParade and audball (in this post), as well as Lindsey B., Elizabeth in MO, & Leslie (in this post), who let us know that they received their J.Crew Rewards Card (click here to learn more) by regular mail recently.

Audball let us know that "The card is entitled "Spring Rewards" and states 'please enjoy by March 15, 2009'".

RatsOnParade (in this post) also shared with us that "According to my Personal Shopper (via email on January 13th): "The Winter Rewards cards will be sent out in about 2 weeks for delivery on or before February 5, 2009.'"

Laslty, JLiz/Lizpoms (in this post) was kind to share with us images of a mini-Look Book (but not the Look Book) that was mailed along with her rewards card. To view the images, click here to visit her post.

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

Have you already received your J.Crew rewards card? If so, please let us know! :)

Product Review: Keegan Jacket

There is a lot of interest in the Keegan Jacket (click here for an earlier post). Many of you have seen this jacket in stores, while others have been curious about its fit (including me).

"Thanks!" to Megan who shared with us her review of this jacket, as well as real life images of the jacket (which can also be found here at her blog).

I was really excited to try on the Keegan Jacket after seeing it in
the People StyleWatch issue. I live in San Diego and have several jackets from J. Crew that looked to be a similar weight and are great for the fall and winter, as well as at night in the summer. I've also fallen in love with all of the ruffle detailing J. Crew has been incorporating into their designs, so the detachable ruffle collar on this jacket made it even more desirable.

At my local store, they had the jacket in the tan color shown in the
magazine as well as white. I have a white J. Crew jacket similar to this style and shape, so I tried on the tan color. Overall, I liked this jacket but it wasn't a must-have for me. I have to say that as soon as it goes on sale, I'll probably purchase it.

I am about 5' 7.5" and about 135 pounds to give you an idea of my
shape in terms of how the jacket fits. I normally wear a size 4 in their jackets and tops and the Keegan was TTS. It hit right above my hip, so it's definitely on the shorter size, which I wasn't crazy about. I find it hard to select tops to wear under jackets that are pretty short, and I feel like I might have the same problem with this jacket. As several posters noted already, it definitely has a trapeze shape where it floats away from the body from the chest down. I preferred the jacket unbuttoned as it took away from the boxy feel a bit. The jacket also has some nice detailing at the pockets. As you can see in the close-up photo, they have a pocket that has a button flap, but underneath the pocket, there is a traditional slanted pocket, which I love as I'm a 'pocket girl'.

I also like that the collar on this jacket is a little wider - it's a
fun twist on a traditional double breasted peacoat-esque jacket. The ruffle detachable collar is a nice touch as well. It's not overwhelming or too much - just the perfect touch to add some fun to a jacket that otherwise is a great staple, but nothing outstanding.

"Thanks!" again to Megan for her great review! :)

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new Keegan Cotton Jacket? Have you seen this jacket in person at stores already? If so, what are your thoughts? :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

J.Crew's Website & Tech Difficulties {s-l-o-w}

As many of you have noticed and mentioned, J.Crew's website has been experiencing some "technical difficulties". :( From the comments, it sounds like the website issues have been fluctuating back and forth from "up & running", running slowly, and "site down" all day today.
The website issues this time around are most likely from the latest offer of an additional 30% off (refer to here) which is driving some additional traffic to the site. ;)

Has the website issues today impacted your shopping and browsing of JCrew.com? Are you trying to shop or avoiding to shop online or in their stores today? :)

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?

J.Crew's Latest New Arrival {gold vermeil ring}

A big "thanks!" to Marietta who shared with us this image from the February issue of In Style magazine, which features J.Crew's gold vermeil ring with faux gems ($65).

The ring is not yet available on JCrew.com (or maybe I just could not find it), but is a part of the upcoming Spring 2009 collection. Although it looks nice in the magazine, I am just not sure how the ring will look in person. In particular, I am curious how big and how wearable it is. ;)

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new gold vermeil ring? Have you seen this ring in person at stores already? If so, what are your thoughts? :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sneak Peek Into J.Crew's Feb 2009 Catalog {wahoo!}


A big "thanks!" to Jo, who shared with us this sneak peek into J. Crew's February 2009 catalog. Lauren Hutton looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I am super excited about picking up a copy!

What are your thoughts on the items slated for upcoming Spring 2009? Which items do you love or would leave? ;)

J.Crew Offers An Additional 30% Off {yey!}

"Thanks!" to mczinn (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew is offering an additional 30% off with promo code EXTRA30. This offer expires 1/28/09.

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer? If so, want items are you planning to purchase? :)

Sneak Peek Into Stores & Catalog {new arrivals}

A big "thanks!" to the following members who were kind to share some {great} real life images of many new arrivals at their local stores:

  • FabulousFloridaMommy (FFM) (in this post) has lots of great images including several tees and the Keegan jacket (click both here and here to view)
  • JLiz (in this post) who shared some real life images, including the Kaia Cami and the Cotton Cashmere Shawl Cardigan (click here and here)
  • Megan (in this post) who posted real life images including the Annie Cami, (click here and here)
  • jcbellemarie (in this post) has lots of pictures of new arrivals including the Keegan Jacket and Ringspun V shirt (click here)
Lastly, "thanks!" to Jo (in this post) who shared with us the cover of the latest catalog, which features Lauren Hutton. Doesn't she look stunning!?!

Jo also adds: "There's no words to describe all the new merchandise.. My loves right now;
Library Shawl Cardi
White Matchsticks
Faille Maisey Jacket
ringspun Rosette Tee (gor-ge-ous!)".

I cannot wait to see the new catalog!

What are your thoughts on the new arrivals? Are there any pieces you are looking forward to? Have you tried on, or purchased, any of the new arrivals already? If so, please share! :) Also, have you seen or received the latest catalog? If so, please let us know that as well! :)

Dream Tie: How To Wear It With The Bow?

Dream tie cardigan
Click here for product page
Item 96220
Regular: $98.00
Now: $29.99

Awhile back there was a post (click here) about this {beautiful} cardigan.

"Thanks!" to Linda who shared the following review with us and how she solved the sweater curl issue:

I purchased two Dream Tie Cardigans this year, but was disappointed with how the front tie made the edges of the sweater curl under when worn (if you own one this will make sense).

After a month of not wearing them, I thought of a fix that has really worked and made them much more wearable. I sewed the ties down to the edge of the sweater, which allows the front sides to lay flat when worn, instead of curling under.

I've attached a few pictures so that this makes sense - The ties can be hand sewn or sewing machine stitched (i used a zig-zag stitch) - or a quick trip to the tailor would work too.

The first picture shows the stitching and and second shows how it lays much flatter when tied - and looks a LOT better - the bow even covers up the stitching ....
"Thanks!" again to Linda for her great insights! :)

What do you think of the Dream tie cardigan? Would you buy it? Do you own it? If you do own it, please let us know (1) what is your review of the sweater and (2) how would you wear the sweater. {"Thanks!" in advance for sharing!)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sample Sale (in NYC) Final Days

"Thanks!" to many of you, including KatherineD (in this post), Anon at 8:36 PM & Lindsay (in this post), as well as Anon at 9:35 PM (in this post), who let us know that prices have been reduced at J.Crew's Sample Sale in NYC. According to ClothingLine's website (click here):

J.Crew sample sale information
* some stock, mostly samples
* huge shipment arrived Friday, more goods to be added Saturday
* Men's & Women's tee's & polo's now 2 for $15
* Men's & Women's cashmere now $50
* Men's & Women's casual pants & denim now $20
* Women's suits now $100
* Men's shorts now $10

New Shipment Update
We received new shipments of over 10,000 pieces for Men, Women & Kids* over the past three days. Including tee's, shirts, polo's, sweaters, cashmere, pants, dresses, blazers, outerwear and more.
We will be receiving an additional shipment Friday afternoon & Saturday morning of 5,000 pieces that will include stock merchandise and lots of cashmere.

Also, "thanks!" to v girl (in this post) who let us know that she "went on Tuesday and I decide to go back Today (Friday). The prices are still high. In fact, light cheapo dresses they were charging less on Tuesday just $25, they decided to "re-categorize" so that they fall into the dress category and they are now charging $60. The way they charge you is ridiculous. Nothing is reduced except for T shirts. When I told them the sign says tanks and shirts, they say no to everything because they say it doesn't fall into that category. Basically, it's false advertising. Because nothing appears to fall into that cheaper category!!! Prices are the same or I 'd say even higher after this re-categorization. And there are NO ACCESSORIES ANYMORE! NONE TODAY. NONE TOMORROW they say."

As mentioned in an earlier post (click here), I did attend the sample sale on the first day. I did buy a few things, but not nearly as much as I was (hoping and) expecting to. However, what I did purchase I love:

  1. "sample" Postcard Lighthouse skirt in gold sand from Summer '07
  2. "development sample" of the canvas & leather Avignon Clutch in British Khaki that would have come out in Spring '07
    [I am not sure if this version ever made it into production. I remember the navy version, but not this one.]
  3. "1st proto sample" pencil pouch from Fall '08
  4. Jillian Patterned Toe Flats (Item 10490; was $188.00, now $69.99) in Light Pewter (aka: Golden Roses) from Holiday '08
  5. Lizzie Patent-Leather Driving Mocs (Item 95894; was $135.00, now $54.99) in Metallic Bronze from Fall '08
  6. Jeweled Sunburst Ballet Flats (Item 90670; $325.00) in Black from Spring '08
Are you planning to attend the last day of this event? If you have attended the Sample Sale (during the latter part of the week), do you think it was worth it? Did you find some amazing deals?

J.Crew Email: Ends Sunday. Final Sale + Free Ship

J.Crew sent an email reminding us about their latest free shipping offer.

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code CAKE and on orders of $150+ with promo code ICING.. These offers expires 1/25/09.

Have you been taking advantage of this offer? Are you planning to wait for another promotion? ;)

Friday, January 23, 2009

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 what's left in the post holiday sales, the additional 20%-50% off sales, or to see some new Spring/ Resort 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!

The First Family Helps J.Crew Stock {wahoo!}

As {almost} everyone is aware of by now, the Obama's each wore an item from J.Crew at some point during the inauguration. The {great} image above, which comes from Racked (click here for post), illustrates this point beautifully. :)

As many of you mentioned, J.Crew's shares jumped more than 10% as a result of the increased exposure. As someone who owns their stock, I am t-h-r-i-l-l-e-d. My only hope is that this positive trend can and will continue. ;)

Shares Jump More Than 10 Percent In Trading

January 22, 2009

Click here for post link

Shares of J.Crew Group Inc. jumped after news spread that the first family donned items from the retailer during this week's inauguration.


President Barack Obama wore a J.Crew white satin bow tie to all the Inaugural Balls Tuesday night. First lady Michelle Obama wore J.Crew gloves, a sweater and skirt from the company to different events. And daughters Malia and Sasha wore coats, dresses and other items from the retailer to various occasions celebrating their father's inauguration.


While the items were made specifically for the Obamas, J.Crew said customers can see highlights or similar items in upcoming seasons.
Shares of J.Crew jumped 96 cents, more than 10 percent, in trading Wednesday to close at $9.99.

What do you think of the jump in J.Crew's stock price? Do you think this will have a long term, positive effect on J.Crew? In order to capitalize on the recognition, do you think this will finally prompt J.Crew to fix that website of theirs? ;)

Andy Spade On J.Crew's Tribeca Store

Brandweek (click here) had an interesting Q&A session with Andy Spade about J.Crew's Liquor Store...

Q&A: Andy Spade on J.Crew's Retail Experiment
By Lucia Moses
January 22, 2009

Andy Spade challenged conventional retailing when his firm, Partners & Spade, produced a boutique for J.Crew in an old liquor store. He and partner An
thony Sperduti walked AdweekMedia through their new retail experiment in New York's Noho section, where collections of staplers and scorpion paperweights make more for a gallery/curiosity shop than a store.

AdweekMedia: What do you want people to experience when they walk in?

Andy Spade: Something they haven't experienced in a store or gallery. Galleries are intimidating, and we wanted to avoid that. We wanted it to be about all the things we love, just make it experiential. The cross-section of commerce and art, done right, and the cross section of high and low, is very interesting to us. You can buy gum and the New York Post, but you can also find a piece by Robert Hawkins, an artist up in Paris. It's that accessible.


AM: What do you hope to learn that will help your retail clients?

AS: Stores and retail environments that have done well attract curious people. People who are attracted to that kind
of thing are going to tell you a lot about what they think is interesting, and they'll communicate with us about that. It makes it much more relevant when we're dealing with clients.

AM: What do you think you'll learn that'll help retailers that are worried about just getting people in the doors?
AS: You have to be resourceful. We designed the space for J.Crew, and it's done very well for them because people are looking for new ideas. And it's small. Guys don't want to go into a big store and hunt around. I think there's room for these really intimate kinds of environments that sell really special things. It's not about luxury. It's about doing something that's exclusive, and that doesn't mean expensive. The specialness is what luxury is. No one wants racks of shirts.


AM: In your store, you have to climb a ladder to reach the impulse items.

AS: It shows we don't take ourselves too seriously. That there can be fun with commerce. This is our past-confidence trophy service. If you have an insecurity in life, we're willing to make a trophy for you and back-date it so that you're able to overcome, with time, your insecurities. In the back, there's a 15-by-15 wall we built that we're going to sell as indoor space. We'll sell it as billboard space inside our store. The comment on how advertising's so crazy, product placement is a joke. We're being totally honest about it.


What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think the Liquor Store has been a good move for J.Crew? Do you think J.Crew should continue to expand on this concept-store?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Inspires J.Crew (Every Day)....

"Thanks!" to many of you, including green_dino (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew updated its home page (click here) with an Inspiration Board. They write: "Our designers are passionate about what they do- from their first sketches to custom colors to making sure each and every piece is perfect (right down to the last detail), especially when it comes to creating inaugural week outfits for the First Family. We are honored to have played a part in their historic week."
The images provide a glimpse into the process that J.Crew undertook to create the pieces that the First Family wore for Inauguration Day. Insights include:

For the girls' inauguration outfits, we really wanted luxurious, cozy dresses- with a bit of fluff peeking out from the hem- in the most beautiful colors. The coats are inspired by our crewcuts Herbie coat, which was a favorite from our holiday collection. We're so happy with the way their outfits came out, and there are no words to describe how thrilled we were to see the girls in our clothes. -Jenny, Crewcuts Designer

Every we designed fro the girls became a true inspiration for us... so much so that we hope to include a few similar pieces in our upcoming crewcuts collections.


We loved the idea of a simple shell done in the most exquisite French metallic lace. The cashmere pencil skirt is a classic silhouette and the unique color of the sweater (it's called Golden Cypress) adds great contrast to the other pieces. -Tom, Women's Designer


We're always inspired by people who can effortlessly mix designer pieces with everyday pieces- it perfectly captures the aesthetic here at J.Crew.


What are your thoughts on the Inspiration Board? Do you like or dislike the concept and why? What would you have liked to have seen included? :)

J.Crew Quality: Up Or Down, And Why?

"Thanks!" to Casual Crew (in this post) who suggested a great post topic: "I would like to see a question about the declining quality i.e. Which item would like to see JCrew improve/upgrade the quality on?..." I think this is a great question since some of you have noticed that certain pieces (e.g. cashmere sweaters) have not stood up over the years, compared to its older counterparts.

I think it would also be interesting to find out which J.Crew pieces you believe improved (in terms of quality) over the years. For me, I think it would have to be J.Crew's jackets and coats. I love that J.Crew has paid more and more attention to the small details of its jackets and coats (e.g. adding ribbon to the inside liners, elaborately designed cuffs and buttons).

Which items have you noticed a decline in quality? Which items would you like to see be improved? Which items do you think have only improved in quality over the years? What are some reasons behind your choices? ;)

J.Crew's Keegan Jacket Makes An Appearance

A big "thanks!" to Marietta who shared with us this image from the February issue of People's Style Watch, which features J.Crew's Keegan Cotton Jacket ($158.00).

The Keegan Cotton Jacket is not yet available on JCrew.com, but is a part of the upcoming Spring 2009 collection. (I believe it might be available in some stores already.) I really like the new jacket, especially the ruffles around the collar. However, I would need to try the jacket on to see how the body of the jacket would look on me.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's new Keegan Cotton Jacket? Have you seen this jacket in person at stores already? If so, what are your thoughts? :)

Madewell Email: Meet Your New Favorite Tee

Madewell sent an email yesterday featuring their Boyfriend V-Neck Tees (for $24).

They are also reminding us that (1) we can check out their new Spring looks (click here); and (2) Madewell is offering 15% off all purchases with the printable coupon found here on their Facebook page. Unfortunately, it states that "this offer expires 1/15/09", so I am not sure if the offer is good or not.

Quick Note To All The Aficionadas & Aficionados

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know...

For the next few months, my {work} schedule will be a bit hectic. ;)

I promise to do my best in keeping up with the blog. However there will be instances I won't be able to stay "on top" of news, promotions, comments, and emails like I use to. (Take yesterday for example, I was several hours late posting about J.Crew's new free shipping offers.)

I truly appreciate everyone's contribution with the blog. I know I have mentioned this multiple times, but you all are the reason why this blog is so wonderful and informative. My hope is that you will continue to participate. Again, I promise to do my best to keep up with the blog in a timely manner and apologize for the instances I am not able to.

And now back to J.Crew!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

J.Crew's Website & Tech Difficulties

As many of you have noticed and mentioned, J.Crew's website has been experiencing some "technical difficulties". :( From the comments, it sounds like the website issues started this morning and has been fluctuating back and forth from "up & running", running slowly, and "site down".

The website issues this time around stem from the First Family wearing several J.Crew items. According to one article (click here), "It turns out that the first daughters did some success dressing, as well, and interest in their attire led to the crash of the J.Crew web site, as shoppers tried to grab duplicates of the head-to-toe outfits."

Has the website issues today impacted your shopping and browsing of JCrew.com? Are you trying to shop or avoiding to shop online or in their stores today? :)

J.Crew Email: Final Sale + Free Shipping

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Julie, Anon at 9:49 AM, Anon at 11:29 AM, jcrewlover, Becca, & Shopper555 (in this post), as well as Twiga & Marietta, who let us know about J.Crew's latest promotion.

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code CAKE. This offer expires 1/25/09. J.Crew is also reminding us about their final sale.

J.Crew is also offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code ICING. This offer expires 1/25/09. J.Crew is also reminding us aboutt their final sale.

Are you planning to take advantage of this offer? Are you planning to wait for another promotion? ;)

J.Crew Attends The Inauguration {wahoo!}

"Thank you!" to so many of you, including Jen, A :), Drewablank, kitchy7, Anon at 1:43 PM, Kim, amylou, Anon at 3:58 PM, & Emily (in this post), as well as ~Kate, Jackie from DC, Jordan, Kathy, Kayce, & mjMuffin, who let us know that J.Crew made an appearance at the Inauguration (refer to here, here, and here for a few articles).

Malia and Sasha Obama both wore beautiful jackets from J.Crew's Crewcuts line. Michelle Obama "topped off" her gorgeous Isabel Toledo outfit with a pair of J.Crew sage green gloves.

J.Crew, thrilled to be included in today's event, quickly updated its homepage (image shown to the right) and sent out a press release (click here to read it in its entirety):

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today, The First Family, including Michelle Obama, Malia (10yrs) & Sasha (7yrs) chose to wear J.Crew & crewcuts by J.Crew to the inauguration of President Barack Obama and for the past weekend's festivities. To represent their style and personality, they each wore J.Crew & crewcuts, J.Crew's children's collection, on the ultimate red carpet for the swearing in of the 44th President of the United States of America.

Throughout the campaign trail, America has witnessed the emergence of a style icon. Michelle Obama has proved that high fashion can be affordable. "We are honored to be part of such a momentous occasion in both history and fashion," says Jenna Lyons, Creative Director of J.Crew. It all started at Sunday's "We Are the One Concert," where the girls kept warm in crewcuts by J.Crew wool pique Herbie coats, detailed with grosgrain piping and charmeuse linings. Sasha wore an ivory style with hammered brass buttons, while Malia wore a dove grey double cloth style with horn buttons. The next evening, at the Kid Inaugural Concert, Michelle wore a J.Crew classic olive cashmere cardigan over a French metallic lace shell with a deep blue wool serge pencil skirt (the shirt and shell were lined in silk charmeuse). The Obamas continued to show their support for J.Crew at this morning's Swearing-In, where the girls wore full looks from crewcuts by J.Crew and the new First Lady accessorized her outfit with classic olive green leather gloves from J.Crew. Malia featured a deep periwinkle blue coat, while her equally chic sister wore a deep coral dress under her sweet guava coat, vivid orange scarf and glove set, each tied with a velvet ribbon belt around the waist.

"We wanted to offer a collection that would not define them, but one that would let their own personalities shine though," continues Lyons. For their special day, J.Crew proposed a few day and evening ideas, comprised of clothing and accessories that could be easily mixed and matched with their style and color sensibility in mind. The collection was presented in color stories, which include corals, aquas, lavenders and bright reds, allowing Michelle and the girls the option of creating unique outfits of their choice to reflect each of their own personal styles. Michelle & the girls' outfits were specially designed for them, however highlights may be seen in the Fall 2009 J.Crew & crewcuts Collections. ...

I am hoping we will get to see more J.Crew being worn by the First Family. I love seeing J.Crew in public! :)

Sample Sale in NYC {was it worth it?}

A big "thanks!" to Jeff who took the fantastic image above, and took many other {great} images as well as the pricing list, at his blog (click here for post). "Thanks!" to A (in this post) who let us know that there is {great} coverage of this event over at Racked (click here, here, and here). Lastly, a big "thank you!" to all those of you who reported back your experiences attending the Sample Sale. :)

So... the Sample Sale in NYC. I went. (It was a last minute decision.) Was it worth it? Not really. If you live in the city and have some time available, I think it is definitely worth a visit. However, I suggest not attending the event if you are traveling some distance or are waiting in a line for more than 30 minutes (in freezing cold weather) to enter. As many of you have mentioned in this post, there were no mirrors, no dressing rooms, and you were not allowed to try on any clothes on the floor. (I found out the last part the hard way. I took off my sweater and attempted to try a blouse on, when out of nowhere a man rushes to yell at me that there is no trying on in the store.) The space was smaller than I imagined too. It really was just a big room.

There were a few wedding dresses for $400 that were gorgeous, but of course, there was only one size in each style. Most of the tops for women (shirts, sweaters, jackets, coats) were size 6 and 8. There were very few size 4 items. There were not a lot of shoes, just two small boxes tucked away in the accessories section. The few shoes available were mainly size 9 for women. There were not a lot of leather handbags or winter coats. Although there were a lot of totes and scarves, but you really had to dig through those boxes to find some jems. ;) The {few pieces of} jewelry that were available, like some super long chain acorn necklace thing and a cuff or two, were not exactly appealing.

Although shoppers went mad stuffing items in large Ikea bags provided by ClothingLine, they bought very few pieces. While I was waiting in line to check out, I noticed that everyone waiting had a handful of items to purchase. By the time I left, there was a line around the building. I hope the wait in the cold was worth it for them. :)

Ultimately, I thought I got better deals online and shopping in stores for the same items (and in my size) during the past few seasons than from the Sample Sale. But this just may be my experience.

What are your thoughts of the sample sale? Do you think you will attend if you are in the area?

P.S. I did look for the Zebra tee (refer to here) and could not find it. If anyone saw or actually got it, please let us know! ;)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

J.Crew Extends Well-Wishes To First Family {nice!}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Red white and Blue! & kitchy7 (in this post) ,who mentioned that J.Crew updated its homepage (click here). In a lovely gesture, they congratulate the new first family. :)

Michelle Obama is a big fan of J.Crew, even stating her appreciation for the brand on a Jay Leno appearance (refer to here). No matter what she wears today, on Inauguration Day, I am sure First Lady Michelle Obama will look great.

P.S. Happy Inauguration Day J.Crew Aficionadas & Aficionados! :)

P.S.S. Due to the direction of some of the comments, I have disabled the comments for this post. :(

New {Spring} Arrivals Hitting Stores This Week :)

J.Crew brick and mortar (B&M) stores are expected to receive shipments of new Spring arrivals this week. "Thanks!" to Anon at 12:07 PM (in this post) who let us know that some stores are expected to receive them today (Tuesday). Some other stores are planning to get them on Thursday. The new arrivals should hopefully be on the shelves, ready for purchase, in all stores by this Friday. {yey!}

Also, "thanks!" to Anon at 5:00 PM (in this post) who let us know that the J.Crew at the "B&M (Dallas Galleria) will be having a event on the 23rd, 12-6pm, for the new spring line." So chances are, your local store might be offering something similar as well. :)

Do you plan on visiting J.Crew this week to see the additional new Spring arrivals? Is your local store offering an in-store event to view the new merchandise? Are you looking forward to seeing any new item(s) in particular? If so, please share! :)

J.Crew Sample Sale Has Arrived {yey!}

J.Crew's sample sale in NYC starts today... wahoo! They will be offering over 20,000 units, ranging from the Collection line to Wedding to Accessories. Each day, new and different merchandise will be added to the show room floor.

For those attending this {amazing} event, please share with us your experience. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the sample sale is carrying- that would be fantastic! (This information will help other Aficionadas and Aficionados determine whether to visit later in the week.) Thanks in advance!!! :)