Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve! {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 2010 J.Crew collections with you all. :)

As usual, this post is to find out what everyone is planning to wear tonight. 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 style 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? :)

As for me, I don't know what I am going to wear still! It has been unbelievably cold in New England the past few days. So it all depends on how the weather will shake out. ;)

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?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi & Susan (in this post), as well as Laura, Green_Dino, & Lauren (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew had a mini-update to its website today (click here to view online).

There are some new arrivals for men (click here) & women (click here). However, the J.Crew Collection (click here) appears to be the same.

J.Crew has also provided the latest catalog online (click here to view). :)

I am excited to see some new arrivals. As I was looking through the catalog, I thought a few different things. [1] I like the use of neutrals (black, white, khaki, denim) with the pop of color (pink). [2] What is up with the styling for Women? Again, lots of layers, little sense. [3] The Men's section is flawless, as expected. From the clothes to the styling... bravo! :) As for specific items...

The Good: I am liking the Beacon Purse (Item 24905; $168.00) and the Metallic Beacon Purse (Item 23189; $168.00). There is something about this bag's shape & strap that I am drawn too. Also, I like the Chiffon Ruffle Cardigan (Item 23771; $88.00). J.Crew always "gets me" when they pair a simple cardigan with sweet ruffled chiffon trim.

The Questionable: Like many JCAs, I do not understand the Sequin Chino Short (Item 19903; $198.00). The sequins are dressy, but the shorts are casual. So where would one wear these? And I am not fond of the color transition from tan to white. I am not sure about the Sweeping Ruffles Shirt (Item 22852; $98.00) either. I might need to see this top in-person for any final judgment.

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

Extra 20% Off Final Sale {& free shipping} Still On :)

J.Crew is still celebrating the post-HOLIDAYS by offering customers 20% off any purchase {no minimum} and free shipping {on $150+, *after*any discount is applied} with promo code EXTRA20. This offer is good through Sunday, 1/3/10.

This promotion is one of J.Crew's longer promotion (lasting over a week!) From the comments, it sounds like some JCAs have been able to snag some winter deals. Although it sounds like many more JCAs are not overly excited with the offer and are holding out (maybe waiting for the new Resort Collection to debut?) :)

I was able to take advantage of this offer when it first came out and got a few items with my gift card. So I am very pleased about the promotion. (Even though it is "final sale".) However, I haven't seen anything that is catching my eye since. (And it might have something to do with how the sale updates have been minimal in the past few days.) ;)

Mini Update: The sale section (click here) did update this morning with quite a number of additions. As usual, items are quickly selling out. :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion before it ends this Sunday? Are there any sale items you are interested in getting?

Madewell Email: Our latest tee

"Thanks!" to Marietta who shared the email Madewell sent yesterday.

The email features the Slouch Pocket Tee ($38) which is described as "we've created the tee of our dreams: incredibly soft and fluid, with a flattering, drapey fit.". For $38, that is one pricey "simple" slouchy t-shirt!

The email also reminds us that Madewell is running their "end-of-the-season" sale at local brick & mortar (B&M) stores.

What are your thoughts on the Slouch Pocket Tee? Do you like or dislike the drapey style? Are you a fan of Madewell's t-shirts? :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sneak Peek: J.Crew's Crystal Box Necklaces

A big "thanks!" to Arely who shared the following post over at Mrs. O (click here to view original post). To view any of the images larger, just click on its image.
A Girl's Dream: J.Crew + Fenton / Fallon
By Mrs. O

December 22, 2009


When the first lady appeared on the December cover of Glamour magazine, wearing a red Jason Wu dress and a statement necklace adorned with jewels and bows, we were all intrigued by the same question: who made that gorgeous necklace? The answer proved to be designer Dana Lorenz for her line Fenton. The designer was as delighted to see her necklace on the first lady as we were, unaware that it had made its way into Mrs. O's jewelry collection.


Behind the scenes, Jenna Lyons of J.Crew and Dana Lorenz had met at a dinner party a few months before. A great fan of the Fenton and Fallon lines, Jenna Lyons made plans to meet at Dana Lorenz's new store in downtown Manhattan’s Freeman Alley to discuss a possible collaboration. As they looked through the Fenton and Fallon look books, there was a necklace that caught Jenna Lyon's eye. J.Crew made plans to produce the necklace with slight modifications. It was a fortuitous, though unexpected, twist, when just three days after plans for the collaboration were set, the first lady wore the same Fenton necklace on the cover of Glamour. Though on track to release the necklace for Spring 2010, J.Crew decided to push production forward after seeing the response that the necklace received (in part, by comments from many of you!).


The Carrington crystal bow necklace, designed by J.Crew in collaboration with Fenton / Fallon, features crystals and glass stones, silk ribbons dyed by hand (available in ivory or grey/green), and unplated chains. "There is a certain handwriting that J.Crew has, and Dana's pieces have a bit more edge," Jenna Lyons said. "Mixed with J.Crew clothes, there is a nice contrast." I asked Jenna how she might style the piece. "This is a statement necklace - no question," she replied. She recommends pairing the necklace with a classic jewel neck t-shirt, black blazer and jeans, or even a chambray shirt buttoned up to the top.


These pieces are the first look at what will be a continuing collaboration between J.Crew and Fenton / Fallon. The next pieces, set to debut in April, May and June, will feature the chains, studs and rock crystals that Dana Lorenz's work has become known for. Jenna Lyons said the gals at J.Crew are "madly obsessed" with the pieces. If these first necklaces are any indication, we will be too.


The Carrington crystal bow necklaces are available at J.Crew stores for $295. They'll be available online at JCrew.com beginning December 30. We'll follow up with a post when they are!
As usual, the necklaces are presented in such a way that they look absolutely stunning. However, I am curious about how they will actually appear in-person (in particular, on me). ;) Would they lay as nicely? Would the bows get in the way? Are the chains too much? Is it too big?

Lastly, you got to love how Jenna thinks this necklace should work with a jewel neck t-shirt, blazer, & jeans. The outfit Jenna described seems like her "go-to" now (which isn't a bad look). I actually think how First Lady Michelle Obama is dressed for the magazine cover works best— a simple, but elegant, solid-color dress paired with this necklace.

What are your thoughts on the Carrington Crystal Bow Necklaces? Do you like or dislike the style? Do you think the price point ($295) is a fair value or a bit pricey? :)

Retailers Are Okay This Holiday Season

There is an article over at Advertising Age (click here) that discusses holiday sales this year, while mentioning J.Crew.

Retailers Get Some Good News on Early Holiday Sales Forecasts
But Comparisons Are Easy With Disastrous 2008; More Data Expected in January

By Natalie Zmuda
December 28, 2009

Early estimates from one analyst group indicate that retailers may have escaped a year of disastrous holiday sales -- not that besting 2008 is any huge feat.

MasterCard Advisors tentatively estimates retail sales increased 3.6% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. But there is still plenty of reason for caution; accounting for an extra shopping day this year over last year could drag that figure down between 2% and 4%, the group said.

The MasterCard Advisors figure is based on sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, as well as estimates for other payment forms. Sales figures utilizing data reported by retailers will not be available until Jan. 7, while numbers from the Department of Commerce will not be available until Jan. 14.

The National Retail Federation, meanwhile, is sticking by a lot less bullish forecast, a 1% decline for November and December, or $438 billion in 2009 holiday sales. Even so, that's a better performance than 2008, when holiday sales slid 3.4% to $442 billion compared to $458 billion for the same period in 2007. Forecasts for this year ranged from a 1% decrease in sales to a 1% increase in sales.

"Knowing how important the week [after Christmas] is, we think it's a bit premature to say how the holiday season has fared," said Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman with the NRF. The industry group added that "we're still not seeing consumers splurge like we did two years ago."

MasterCard Advisors also reported positive growth in six out of 10 areas tracked between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24. E-commerce sales rose 15.5%, while sales since Black Friday were up 18%. Since Nov. 1, apparel sales declined 0.4%, electronics rose 5.9% and jewelry rose 5.6%, according to the group.

Patricia Edwards, a retail analyst and founder of Storehouse Partners, expressed surprise at some of the numbers reported by MasterCard, particularly the increase in jewelry, which saw steep double-digit declines a year ago. "January 7 is going to be very interesting to see the real numbers," she said.

Regardless, retailers should be given credit for better managing a tough holiday season with well-planned inventories and more strategic promotions. Margins and earnings will certainly be stronger than they were a year ago, as a result, said Ms. Edwards.

Tight inventories could present some issues for retailers in the important weeks after Christmas, however, when consumers are redeeming gift cards. Retail analyst Jennifer Black observed empty shelves at J.Crew stores after Christmas.
And Ms. Edwards noted an early shift to spring transitional goods in stores such as Chico's and J.Jill, as well as a lack of some holiday decorations even before Christmas.

"Inventories were so lean that people expecting to go in and get the wrapping paper and decorations for next year didn't find anything,"
she said. "So, how did you bring people in on Dec. 26 and Dec. 27? ... The market is supposed to be forecasting the future and everyone is getting euphoric about what just happened. I don't want to be a wet blanket, because this shows us the customer is not dead, however, they're not out of the hospital yet."
It's no surprise that retailers were limiting inventory levels this holiday season in response to last year's overabundance of product & merchandise. However, I wasn't expecting to see such lean inventories! I stopped by a Target (or "Tar-jay" as some like to say) store this morning and practically all the holiday merchandise was gone. (The amount left is what I expected to see after two weeks post-holiday, not three days post-holiday.)

As for J.Crew stores with "empty shelves", several JCAs confirmed this in various posts. They mentioned that their local J.Crew brick & mortar (B&M) stores had very few final sale items left. Although on a bright note, several JCAs have mentioned that this week (if not today), J.Crew is introducing its 2010 Resort Collection.

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you disagree or agree with any of the points made? Did you notice retailers carrying fewer items this year?

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to sell}

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.

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?

Sidenote: What's up with JCAs writing "sub" or "subscribing" as their comment? It just means they are subscribing to all the comments (which are then automatically sent to their email) in that particular thread. This way they can stay aware of all the comments posted. :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to find}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who are looking for and interested in buying certain items. Please feel free to share a J.Crew store location and/or your outside listing/ auction site if it matches the requests made in this post. Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Also 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/finding to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Is there an item (or items) that you are looking for and interested in purchasing?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

J.Crew Email: Extra 20% off final sale & FREE SHIPPING. Online & in stores.

"Thanks!" to Marietta who let us know about the email sent this morning from J.Crew.

J.Crew is reminding us that they are offering 20% off any purchase {no minimum} and free shipping {on $150+} with promo code EXTRA20. This offer is good through 1/3/10.

What is new is that this promotion is available in brick & mortar (B&M) stores now too. It's great that stores will be offering an additional 20% off sale merchandise, but it sucks that those items are now "Final Sale" too.

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any sale items you are interested in getting?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Extra 20% Off Final Sale {& free shipping}

A big "thanks!" to many of you, including GigiOfCa (in this post) & MommyDearest (in this post), who let us know about another offer from J.Crew.

J.Crew is now celebrating the HOLIDAYS by offering customers 20% off any purchase {no minimum} and free shipping {on $150+} with promo code EXTRA20. This offer is good through 1/3/10.

It is worthwhile to point out the following fine print of this promo: "Free shipping applies to orders of $150+ after 20% discount on sale items and before shipping, handling and taxes are added". {A bit sneaky here, but by now we are use to it.} ;)

Happy Holiday Shopping!!! :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any sale items you are interested in getting?

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 see what's available in the FALL & WINTER sale, or to see some new HOLIDAY arrivals {sigh!} 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!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays! {celebrating w/J.Crew?}

First and foremost... Happy Holidays everyone! It's the time of year where we can spend time with our loved ones and enjoy a fantastic meal (& maybe some gifts!) :)

Per JCA tradition, this post is to find out what everyone is going to wear. I find it really interesting to see what other Aficionadas and Aficionados plan on wearing (and of course it gives me lots of wonderful ideas for future outfits). :) So for this post, what we are planning to wear for the Holidays? :)

My holidays involve being casual, which my outfit for today reflects. I plan on wearing J.Crew's Scottie Glitter-Critter Sweater & Dotted Victoria Ruffle Cami, with a pair of trouser jeans from the Gap.

What are you planning to wear this Holiday? Are you planning to go "head to toe" J.Crew or parts J.Crew?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

A big "thanks!" to FFM (in this post) who let us know that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code BR73V9. This offer expires 12/28/09.

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)

Final Sale is Back ...Just In Time For the Holidays!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Sandra, RatsOnParade, MommyDearest, Green_Dino (in this post), DinDin (in this post), as well as dinagideon, Elizabeth, Rosa in DC, & Marietta, who shared the following update this morning.

J.Crew has brought back the "Final" to their Holiday Sale (click here to shop Final Sale online). Many JCAs predicted the "Final Sale" would be back, but *after* the Holidays, not right before it. Oh J.Crew, how you keep us on our toes! ;)

I wonder if this means that our local brick & mortar (B&M) J.Crew stores will now have "final sale" too. (I hope not.) Mini Update: According to the email sent out this morning (shown below), this final sale is "exclusively" online.

This morning there was a huge update to the sale section (1200+ items). However, by the time I got to it there were a lot of ghost item pages (in other words, the item is still listed but already sold out).

I was hoping for a promotion today, but this wasn't it. ;)

Will you be checking out the Sale section? Are there any items you are hoping to see or to get? Does your local B&M have "final sale" as well?

J.Crew News: Getting Jewelry This Season? ;)

There is an article over at Market Watch (click here to read the article in its entirety) that mentions J.Crew and its success with their Jewelry Collection.

Upscale jewelry shows surprising signs of life
By Andria Cheng

December 18, 2009


It's considered among the most non-essential items that shoppers can do without, and yet it may turn out to be a winner this holiday season. As retailers across the board are still struggling to get consumers to spend beyond what they need, affluent consumers are giving a troubled sector -- jewelry -- a ray of hope.


Average jewelry spending by shoppers with minimum household incomes of $100,000 jumped 31%, to $4,813, in the third quarter from a year earlier, compared against declines of more than 30% each for clothing and for fashion accessories including shoes and handbags, according to Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing. The consultancy surveyed 1,000 luxury shoppers.


...On the one hand, jewelry shops that are more upscale are seeing fewer customers, he said. But those shoppers are spending more as they wanted fewer gifts they are buying to be "special."


...Customers "are looking to be charmed," said Judy Collinson, an executive vice president and women's general manager at Barneys. "They want fine quality. They want things that are beautiful and have meaning and humor."


..."Luxury fine jewelry purchases that weren't made earlier this year were made again," said Saks Chief Executive Steve Sadove in an interview. "Luxury consumers are starting to feel a little better."


Retailers operating in non-traditional channels have also seen strength in jewelry.


Hautelook, an online retailer of designer labels through limited-time sales events, said growth in its jewelry and watch category compared to earlier this year is outpacing the company average.


HSN Inc., formerly known as Home Shopping Network, said third-quarter jewelry unit growth is up 13%, including a 30% increase each in silver pieces and fashion jewelry."To get a great ring or necklace that updates your outfit is something that our customer is treating herself," said HSN CEO Mindy Grossman in an interview, adding the television and online shopping network has added more exclusive designer collections. "We are encouraged in the momentum of jewelry."


Upscale specialty retailer J.Crew Group Inc. said jewelry has also been a "growing category" as it has expanded its jewelry collection from necklaces and chunky bracelets to semi-precious stones and cocktail rings.


J.Crew earlier this year opened an accessories room in its SoHo store in New York, which the company said has become a destination of its own.


"It's a great conversation piece," said spokeswoman Margot Fooshee. "It's a really nice way to add something to your outfit."
...
What are your thoughts on the article? Do you agree or disagree with any of the points made?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

J.Crew & the Return Policy

It's the season for giving gifts ... and for returning some of those gifts. ;) The New York Times (click here for the article in its entirety) has an article with some {commonsense} advice about the returning of purchases this year.

Nice Gift, but Ask if You Can Return It
By Tara Siegel Bernard
December 18, 2009

So you think you’ve picked out the perfect gift for your loved one. But there’s one more thing you should consider: how hard will it be to return it?

Before you take out your credit card, take the time to closely read the fine print of the store’s return policy, or ask about it, because there is a huge gulf between the most generous and the most restrictive. And do not assume that the stores you shopped in last year have the same return policies this season. About 17 percent of retailers have tightened their holiday policies this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Many of the retailers that have changed their rules have good reason: the industry will lose an estimated $2.7 billion during the holidays because of return fraud and about $9.6 billion for the year, according to the federation, a retail trade group. Scam artists produce fake receipts, or they take advantage of stores with lenient policies, steal large quantities of merchandise and then return them without a receipt.

“Generally speaking, a store can set up any return policy it wants,” said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer lawyer and founder of ConsumerWorld.org, a consumer resource guide. But the policy does have to be clearly disclosed.

There are a handful of stores whose liberal return policies are renowned, Nordstrom and Lands’ End among them. Lands’ End likes to point to the old-fashioned London taxi featured on its 1984 catalog cover, which it sold for $19,000 that year. More than two decades later, the customer asked for a refund, and Lands’ End returned the whole $19,000. The black cab lives in Lands’ End’s warehouse today, as a testament to its lenient policy. ...

The following tips will help you navigate the various rules of return, both online and off.

DON’T ASSUME If you purchased something online, it does not necessarily mean you can return it to the retailer’s physical location. Many big stores, like J. Crew, will take back anything purchased online, but others... will not...

DO YOUR HOMEWORK Whether you’re shopping online or in a store, be sure to check the various return policies on the retailer’s Web site or at the cash register. ...

KNOW THE RESTRICTIONS It’s often impossible to get cash back, especially if you’re returning a gift. Many retailers will provide refunds only to the person who originally made the purchase, while gift recipients— even if you have a gift receipt— can only make exchanges for merchandise, or receive a store credit or gift card. ...

CHECK YOUR CARD’S POLICY Several credit cards offer little-known but highly useful benefits that allow you to secure a refund when a retailer will not grant one, as long as you made the purchase with that card. ...

KEEP RECEIPTS This is obvious. Get a folder, toss all your receipts inside and keep them, even long after you’ve handed out your holiday gifts. If you or the gift recipient end up dissatisfied with an item and the retailer refuses to take it back, you may need the receipt to apply for a refund from your credit card company.
There is another article over at the New York Times (click here for the article in its entirety) that sums up J.Crew's return policy (click here) quite nicely.
J.CREW Allows 60 days for refunds with an original receipt; refunds will be made in original form of payment (you need a government-issued ID to get cash back with a receipt). If you don’t have a receipt, you’ll also need ID, and can make an exchange or receive merchandise credit based on the current selling price. Gift receipts are good for merchandise credit or exchanges. After 60 days, you can still make an exchange or receive a credit for the price at the time of sale if you have the original receipt, or for the current selling price if you don’t have the original receipt. Merchandise purchased online can be returned to stores.
J.Crew has one of the better return policies of the retail industry. If the item is defective, J.Crew takes it back with no questions (as they should). I have also found that J.Crew will accept returns for "final sale" items, as long as there's a good reason of course. Like if the item is defective (for example, a belt is missing one of its jewel pieces) or if the item doesn't fit like it should (for example, I am always a size 2 in outerwear, but for some reason one of the coats is too big in the size 2).

Are there any pieces of advice you would share to fellow JCAs when it comes to J.Crew's return policy?

Product Review: Mint Tweed Griffin Coat

Mint Tweed Griffin Coat
Click here for product page
Item 20401
Regular: $395.00

With the Winter season officially here, there can never be too many reviews for J.Crew's outerwear. This time it is for the delicious Mint Tweed Griffin Coat, which J.Crew describes as:

The coat of the season in luscious mint tweed, finished with vintage-inspired faux-horn buttons and a notched hem and sleeves. It feels incredible on—it's an Italian lightweight wool that allows lots of movement while keeping you toasty warm. Wool blend. Closure anchored with interior backer buttons. Long sleeves. On-seam vertical pockets. Fully lined. Hits just above knee. Part of the J.Crew Collection.
A big "thanks!" to Modern Antique (in this post), who shared her thoughts on this coat with us. The following is her review:
I just received the mint tweed Griffin coat. I was more excited about this piece that any other this season, but I have to return it because of the fit.

I am 5'9" and always wear a size 4 in J.Crew jackets and coats. The shoulders fit just fine. Straight across the chest was more fitted. There is almost no shape to the waist-it's more of a loose/swing style. The killer was that the arms were 2" too short on me. Looking at the model wearing the coat, I think you can see sort of the same thing-the sleeves only hit her high wrist. Due to the way the sleeves are sewn, I'm not sure a tailor could lengthen them. The fabric isn't folded under, the seam is right there at the bottom edge of the sleeve.

The mint tweed fabric, however, is absolutely gorgeous. The color and the marble faux-horn buttons could not be more beautiful.

On a side note, I was disappointed with the way this item was packaged. The coat was quite rumpled when I received it. It was just folded in half over a piece of cardboard. There was no hanger or anything else to differentiate it as a collection piece.

Hope this helps.
"Thanks!" again to Modern Antique for her great review!

What are your thoughts on the Mint Tweed Griffin Coat? 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! :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

J.Crew Email: Need a present in a pinch?

J.Crew sent an email this morning reminding us about their e-gift cards (click here) as the perfect last-minute gift to give.

They are also reminding us that tomorrow is the last day to make purchases with expedited holiday delivery.

I have received e-gift cards from J.Crew in the past. It is definitely a quick way to send the gift to someone. As the recipient, you just get an email (like a receipt) with the gift card number and amount. Nothing more, nothing less. However, I do miss receiving that brown envelope with the latest catalog & gift card wrapped in ribbon. It was like getting a physical gift plus a gift card to spend. :)

Also, I am surprised to see there is not one promotion for adults being offered. No 20% off Knits & Tees, or 15% off full priced Sweaters. Not even free shipping on orders of $150+, or even $175+ for that matter! Hopefully, J.Crew still has an awesome promotion up their sleeve for tomorrow (and please, let it not be "final sale"). ;)

Will you get/give a J.Crew e-gift card? Do you prefer e-gift cards? Were you surprised to not see any new promotions being offered today? Do you think J.Crew will run another promotion soon? :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to sell}

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.

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?

Sidenote: What's up with JCAs writing "sub" or "subscribing" as their comment? It just means they are subscribing to all the comments (which are then automatically sent to their email) in that particular thread. This way they can stay aware of all the comments posted. :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to find}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who are looking for and interested in buying certain items. Please feel free to share a J.Crew store location and/or your outside listing/ auction site if it matches the requests made in this post. Please note: this posting is not for resellers.

Also 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/finding to the "Great (Weekly) Exchange" posts. (Refer to "A Quick Note to J.Crew Aficionadas" post.)

Is there an item (or items) that you are looking for and interested in purchasing?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Extra 25% Off Holiday Sale Ends Today

Today is the last day J.Crew is offering an extra 25% off their Holiday Sale (click here), and free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code EXTRA25.

Moreover, today (by 11:59 PM, EST) is the last day to ship with standard Holiday delivery.

For some JCAs, this promotion has been a wonderful incentive to buy some Holiday gifts (including for ourselves, of course!) For other JCAs, this promotion was not enticing enough. (And the fact that this promotion had to be over $150+ *after* the 25% discount was applied, didn't help too much either.)

I am looking forward to seeing what tomorrow's promotion (if any) is. Let's hope it's something great! :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any sale items you are interested in getting?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Surprise! J.Crew Sends Their Love {& day planner}

"Thanks!" to so many of you, including Lilac Cupcake & Green Dino (in this post), as well as RatsOnParade & Rynetta, who shared the following delightful surprise. Also, "thanks!" to RatsOnParade who shared several images over at her fantastic blog, I LOVE J.CREW (check out her "They Like Me! They Really Like Me! (and a Merry Holiday to you TOO J.Crew!)" post).

J.Crew has delivered their Holiday present a bit early this year to some very lucky JCAs. In the mailbox, they found a gift of a 2010 Day Planner with the following note:

Season's greetings from all of us at J.Crew. Thanks for being one of our favorite customers. We wanted to make you something special– please enjoy this exclusive calendar as a small token of our appreciation. As always, if there is anything we can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

Best, Mickey
What an absolutely lovely surprise for customers! J.Crew has been known to shower certain customers with gifts in the past (from earrings, to tie clips, to necklaces, to scarves, and the like). It is a great gift and more importantly, a touching offer for those who receive it.

I have not receive this gift (or any gift for that matter). :( As much as I would l-o-v-e to get something from J.Crew, I am pretty sure I am not on their "gift-list". {tear} C'est la vie! But I am thrilled for all those JCAs who got this planner– congratulations!!! :)

So check your mailbox in the next few days to see if you got something extra special from J.Crew. :)

Happy HOLIDAYS!

J.Crew Factory Email: J.Crew Factory Holiday Sale

A super big "thanks!" to Jen who let us know about another wonderful offer from J.Crew.

J.Crew Factory Outlet is celebrating the HOLIDAYS by offering customers 20% off any purchase of $125+. This offer is good through Thursday, 12/24/09.

Just click on the image above or here (which will take you to a larger version of the image) and print it out (so the associate can scan the barcode).

Happy Holiday Shopping!!! :)

J.Crew Anchors Down {with expensive cuteness!}

"Thanks!" to Nicco, the Designer & Founder of Nauti & Co., who shared some exciting news about his recent partnership with J.Crew over at his blog (click here).

The "Martini Anchor Set" from Nauti & Co. is now being sold at J.Crew's Mens Shop in SOHO (484 Broadway, NYC). However, this Anchor Set isn't the type you throw away. Oh, n-o! The h'orderve pick is made of .925 sterling silver. As for the cost, the six anchor set is priced at... wait for it... $299! (That doesn't even include tax.)

Although the price tag is {way, way, way} out of my price range for six h'orderve picks, it is a super cute design! ;) Here's to hoping that it comes out in the plastic version (which is more my price range), so I can get some. :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Extra 25% Off Holiday Sale {& free shipping}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi & MommyDearest (in this post), SimpleIsBest (in this post), as well as Drewablank & Marietta, who let us know the following.

J.Crew is offering an extra 25% off their Holiday Sale (click here), and free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code EXTRA25. This offer expires 12/20/09.

It is worthwhile to point out the following fine print of this promo: "Free shipping applies to orders of $150+ after 25% discount on sale items and before shipping, handling and taxes are added". {A bit sneaky here.}

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any sale items you are interested in getting?

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 see what's available in the FALL & WINTER sale, or to see some new HOLIDAY arrivals {sigh!} 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!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

J.Crew Email: ENDS TODAY. 20% off sweaters + FREE SHIPPING.

"Thanks!" to many of you who let us know the following.

J.Crew sent an email reminding us about their offers for (1) 30% off select Sweaters for Women (click here to shop online) & (2) free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code BELLS. Both these offers expires today, at midnight (EST).

J.Crew is also telling us to not forget that 3 days are left for standard Holiday delivery. Below is the chart outlining the deadlines to place orders by the Holidays.
I should also add that J.Crew updated its Sale section (click here) early this morning. As expected, the sale stock is moving very quickly. :)

Lastly, I am pretty sure J.Crew will be running another promotion for tomorrow. {wahoo!} I can't wait to see what it is! :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion before it ends? Are there any Sweaters you are interested in getting? What do you think tomorrow's promotion (if any) will be? :)

J.Crew Card Members {take note!}

A big "thanks!" to Janell (in this post) who shared the following news:

WARNING to all J.Crew credit card holders....I just received a letter from World Financial Network National Bank (J.Crew CC holder) about and update to their terms.

** the newest term...
$1.00 processing fee for each paper statement you receive. Just wanted to make sure all other JC card holders were aware of this new fee as I almost threw my letter out, thinking it was junk mail.
A big "thanks!" also to Molly Darling (in this post) who shared:
WFNNB, the bank behind J.Crew's credit card (along with most major retailers) sent out a notice today with some information about finance charges (I didn't look that over too carefully because I don't carry a balance) but I did see that effective Jan 29, you will be charged $1 per paper statement. I'm sure many of us already receive e-statements, but I wanted to make sure all the JCAs are aware. :)
Just something to keep in mind if you are a J.Crew credit card holder. Maybe now is the time to go completely electronic (in terms of statements) since there is a charge. (Although, I personally like getting a paper statement. I know it wastes trees, but there is something about seeing it in actual print.) :)

Madewell Email: Vintage-inspired jewels (to give & get)

"Thanks!" to many of you who shared the email Madewell sent yesterday.

The email features the Crystal Cluster Jewelry collection which is described as "brilliant jewels add heavenly sparkle to your holiday style– day or night".

I have to say, I really like the crystal cluster style. Although, I am not sure about that random neon yellow stone just stuck on the chain for fun. (It kind of cheapens the look.) I am also crushing on the Rhinestone Opera Necklace (Style MADEW20093; $48.00), so much that I might be giving Madewell a second look (maybe). ;)

What are your thoughts on the Crystal Cluster Jewelry collection? Do you like or dislike the style? Are you a fan of Madewell's jewelry? :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

20% Off J.Crew's Sweaters (2 days only)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi, Sandra & Cass (in this post), as well as Ji (in this post) & Marietta, who let us know the following.

J.Crew is offering 30% off select Sweaters for Women (click here to shop online). This offer expires tomorrow, Thursday, 12/17/09.

Also, J.Crew updated its Sale section (click here) early this morning with new items added and additional markdowns. As expected, the sale stock is moving very quickly. :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any Sweaters you are interested in getting? If so, please share! :)

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

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi & Sandra (in this post), as well as Ji (in this post) & Marietta, who let us know the following.

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code BELLS. This offer expires 12/17/09.

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)

J.Crew Stock Holding Its Own {& more!}

J.Crew's stock is performing well and the financial analysts are loving it! Over at TheStreet (click here), they share the following insight:

Southwest, J.Crew Lead High-Flying Stocks
By Jake Lynch
December 14, 2009

J.Crew Group(JCG Quote) rose 2% to $45.07. The clothing retailer's shares climbed on news that November retail sales increased 1.3%, twice as much as expected.


Snapshot: Third-quarter profit more than doubled to $44 million, or 67 cents a share, as revenue increased 14% to $414 million. J.Crew's gross margin widened from 45% to 48%, and its operating margin doubled from 9% to 18%. The company has $247 million of cash and $99 million of debt. Over a three-year period, J.Crew has grown earnings per share 84% annually, on average.

Our take: We rate J.Crew "buy." J.Crew outmaneuvered competitors during the recession and took steps to improve its balance sheet, evident in its $147 million of net cash. The stock has climbed 30% during the past three months. It's more expensive than the average specialty retailer based on all of our valuation measures. The premium is justified by growth expectations.
What are your thoughts on the article? Disagree or agree with any of the points made? Do you think J.Crew should be rated as a "buy"? Do you think J.Crew has "outmaneuvered competitors"?

J.Crew's Wedding & Parties Photo Shoot {looks familar, no?}


"Thanks!" to RatsOnParade (check out her great "I LOVE J.CREW" blog), who shared the following with us.

Over at the MoodBoard blog (click here to view more images), there is a great post about J.Crew's latest images for their Weddings & Parties Collection (click here). Several of J.Crew's shots were clearly "inspired" by the wedding photo shoot of Arthur Elgort in Vogue Magazine (click here to see the original images).

What are your thoughts on the similarities? Do you think J.Crew was inspired by the spread in Vogue Magazine?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

J.Crew, I Got a Suggestion...

Inside the December 2009 issue of Lucky Magazine, I ran across an interesting tidbit about Banana Republic enhancing the shopping experience for customers...

Banana Republic Gets Automated
Lucky Magazine's Shopping Report
December 2009

This mega-retailer is undergoing a 21st-century techno upgrade. By far the coolest additions: fitting-room checkout (done by a sales associate while you change back into your own clothes) and in-store computers that track sold-out items you can buy on the spot and have shipped home for free.
What wonderful features– from quick checkouts to complimentary shipping. I especially like the part where there are in-store computers that you can use to find items.

I appreciate the "We'll Find It For You" service J.Crew currently offers, however it is limited: (1) full-price merchandise only, (2) takes a day or two, & (3) not exactly reliable. (The last part I found out the hard way. Even though J.Crew can locate stores with the available item, they won't tell you which ones. Instead they send a request to those stores. It is then up to the individual store's associates to respond to the request on whether or not they have the item. The opportunity to "overlook" the request has happened to me.)

J.Crew maybe you can get on-board with these technological upgrades too! Just a friendly suggestion. :)

Have you experienced any of these features at your local Banana Republic? Do you think J.Crew should consider these upgrades? Are there any other upgrades that you would suggest J.Crew pursue? :)

J.Crew Email: ENDS TODAY. 30% off knits & tees. Plus, FREE SHIPPING.

"Thanks!" to many of you who shared the following.

J.Crew is reminding us about their latest promotion: 30% off select Knits & Tees for Women (click here to shop online). This offer expires today, 12/15/09. Today is also the last day J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code JINGLE.

From the sound of it, not too many JCAs have taken advantage of this promotion. Here's to hoping the next promotion will be awesome! :)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any Knits & Tees you are interested in getting? If so, please share! :)

J.Crew: One of the Top 100 Brands of the Decade

J.Crew is back in the news for another positive achievement. Over at Complex.com (click here), J.Crew has been named one of the "Best of the 2000's" by being in the "Top 100 Brands". They state the following:

66. J.Crew

Recession or not, there is always a market for reasonably priced wardrobe staples- no one's too cool for a sweater. The brand brought on a solid design team and reinvented the brand in time for people with no money to spend all of it on khakis. Good materials, good craftsmanship, good idea. Crew love for real.

J.Crew has been spotted in the press quite a few times for its successful performance this year. (Refer to the December 8th "J.Crew In The News: Doing It Right!" post as an example.)

Some JCAs question J.Crew's new direction in terms of styling (or over-styling), it's exposure of Jenna Lyons, and quality (or decline in quality). While other JCAs are applauding J.Crew's new direction including updating styles and silhouettes, becoming more fashion forward, and opening concept-boutique-stores. It will be interesting to see how J.Crew balances it's product, quality, design, and service moving forward.

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you think J.Crew deserves to be one of the "Top 100 Brands" of the decade? :)

Madewell Email: Ready. Set. Give.

"Thanks!" to many of you who shared the following email Madewell sent last week.

The email reminds us that Madewell has its very own Holiday Gift Guide & Wishlist for 2009 (click here to look).

What are your thoughts on the items selected for their gift guide? Are there any Madewell items that you are currently interested in. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

30% Off J.Crew's Knits & Tees (2 days only)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi & Green_Dino (in this post), as well as Casual-Crew (in this post) & Marietta, who let us know the following.

J.Crew is offering 30% off select Knits & Tees for Women (click here to shop online). This offer expires, Tuesday, 12/15/09. Some items on sale include:

  • Victoria Ruffle Tissue Cami
    (Item 20437; Regular $39.50, now $27.65)
  • Gathered Tie-Front Top
    (Item 21106; Regular $45.00, now $31.50)
  • Slub Cotton Snow-Gem Tee
    (Item 20486; Regular $48.00, now $33.60)
Although items from the Men section are *not* included in this latest promotion, there are a few of their items on sale as well (click here to shop online).

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? Are there any Knits & Tees you are interested in getting? If so, please share! :)

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

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Heidi, IRL & Green_Dino (in this post), as well as Casual-Crew (in this post), who let us know the following.

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code JINGLE. This offer expires 12/15/09.

P.S. I have noticed that other blogs & websites post J.Crew codes & coupons *after* this blog does. If you happen to get codes & coupons from the JCA blog & post them at your site, could you please give give a "shout out" to the JCA blog? This way more JCAs are inclined to share. TIA! :)