Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear J.Crew, Bring Back the Bella {bank it!}

As I mentioned before, I often check eBay to purchase missed J.Crew merchandise opportunities of seasons' past.

I saw an auction on eBay end (not my own!) for the Wool Herringbone Bella Jacket in Grey (in size 2, just my size!) What amazed me was how much it sold for... $172.49 plus an additional $10 for shipping! There was also a Bella Winter Coat that recently sold for $169.50 plus $10 for shipping. Amazing!

This jacket (& coat) came out in Fall 2007! The fact that shoppers are willing to pay so much for it after all these years is a testament to the desirability of this classic piece.

I get why so many are willing to pay so much too! I own the Grey and Coral Red versions and would not give them up for anything. I would gladly pay $180 for this jacket (in rich colors like Azalea and timeless Black) if it came out this Fall/Winter 2010. :)

I seriously think J.Crew should consider re-introducing this one-of-kind jacket. They could make so much money off this one item too! :)

What are your thoughts on the Bella Jacket? Do you still love it after all these years (like I do!) Do you think J.Crew should re-introduce the exclusive jacket of theirs?

70 comments:

  1. Yes, please! I love the Bella and would kill to see it brought back, in both classic and new and fun colors!

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    Replies
    1. Check it out!!: www.tradesy.com/closet/trendymom
      J.Crew Jacket in size 4

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  2. I love the Bella but I have it in navy, black and grey tweed from 2007. Maybe I could use the light tan? I know a lot of others missed out on the Bella so by all means bring it on :)

    There are items I would love to see again, no question, like the library print and sweater jackets that aren't so thick as the Arrow. I have a couple of slim fitting sweater jackets from 2006 and 2007 that can be worn like a suit jacket and are incredibly flattering.

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  3. I absolutely agree with you, Alexis!
    I've been trying out my Bella jackets at home (I only have two; one velvet and wool herringbone) these days eagerly waiting for fall to come. I feel fabulous when I put it on and wish I had gotten other colors as well. It's such a beautiful design and well made.

    That is some crazy price people are willing to pay on eBay, but compared to what's currently offered at JC I'm not so surprised.

    I think JC should re-introduce the Bella jacket in an updated wool fabric and add more colors. I for sure would buy them.

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  4. @ Elizabeth: I still treasure my 100% wool sweater jackets from back then. So classy and versatile dressed up or down. I don't like the thicker sweater jackets these days and much too casual.

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  5. I bought it in azalea the day I saw it in the catalogue, it arrived the day before I left for Paris - guess what with me to Paris :-)

    Went on to buy it in the carbon (grey) and black as well. Still love them (especially the azalea) and wear them a ton.

    There is no doubt in my mind that if j.crew re-issued this smashing jacket, it'd be an instant bestseller.

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  6. I think J.Crew could take some of the older, coveted pieces and re-release these to great success. There is a reason the pieces from 2007 & 2008 are going for huge sums while pieces from 2009 and 2010 are going for 50-60% retail prices on eBay.

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  7. I would pay almost anything for as many Bellas as I could get my hands on!!! I check e-bay weekly, but I haven't seen one in my size.

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    Replies
    1. This site had a brand new with tags: www.tradesy.com/closet/trendymom

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  8. jcrewphd It would take me some time to go through catalogs to identify the exact names but my favorite has a band around the bottom and even adjustable tabs at the waist. It's maybe a 9 gauge and really slimming. The Arrow is great but seems a bit thick to wear indoors.

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  9. GREAT IDEA. I would love to have one in a brown tweed or navy.

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  10. I totally agree with you Alexis! I bought the jacket in 2007 full price and I still get compliments on it. I hope to have it for a loong time. But J.Crew definitely needs to bring that jacket back, along with a lot of other pieces from 2007.

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  11. Interesting note: J.crew's stock the past 3 months has taken a pretty plunge.

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  12. I also covet my orange tweed Bella. I only wish I had it in other colors.

    I hate the styling JC has gone to lately, it's too over the top. JC made it's name for having classic and timeless pieces. They need to go back to that.

    On the same note, I hope Ann Taylor is taking a look at this board and seeing how the majority of JCAs don't like the overstyling as of late. If they are going to copy JC, it should be from the earlier 06-07-08 seasons.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, check out: www.tradesy.com/closet/trendymom
      Jacket in Azalea size 4

      Delete
  13. I don't like J. Crew's strategy of re-issuing the bestselling items and prints in less expensive fabrics in the outlets. I've seen cheaper versions of the Bella, Ecole, Maya & Belle skirts in the Factory stores and it's not the same! I hope they bring these back in their original forms and we will pay for it. There seems to be an aversion to looking at the past while upscale fashion houses in Paris and Italy don't hesitate to look at their archives for inspiration.

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  14. I remember trying on this jacket and the coat with the same collar when they first hit the store. I didn't really like the design or the fabric used in the jacket then and it hasn't grown on me, so it would be a pass.

    I wish they would make something similar to the Maggie with a different collar. I really love the double serge and would like to see it used in more jackets.

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  15. Oh hell, we just need to approach j.crew the right way: "Dear Mickey & Jenna, ever since August of 2007, we've been obsessed with the Bella jacket. We love its chic collar, that the herringbone version is made of Scottish wool, the wood buttons, the effortless ease of folding back the sleeve. We've been wearing ours with jeans, pencil skirts, and thrown over a pretty frock, with piles of pearls or a simple gold chain. We're wearing them to the office and after work, on trips abroad; while strolling the banks of the Seine. We're wearing them to eat treats at Laduree. Please look to your archives and re-issue it. We'll bet Mrs. Obama would rock it all over the world, too. Sincerely, Bella Aficionadas of the World."

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  16. I completely agree with you!
    I love my Bella blazer in black velvet, and my Bella coat. That's how much I love this look ... I bought both all those years ago with no hesitation. I haven't looked at another blazer or coat with as much adoration as I have for the Bella.

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  17. I agree...would love to see the Bella brought back, but only to the retail stores. Like Marie, I also really don't like the factory stores getting cheaper versions of the best selling items. I've seen numerous pieces at the factory store that have been copied, and I know for a fact that they are no where near the quality of the originals (which I've seen firsthand). I would personally rather just miss out on the original or find it on Ebay than to buy the factory store version.

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  18. I love my purple velvet Bella. I tried to order a black one but it got cancelled. I did not care for the wool Bella b/c having wool around my neck is bothersome itchy. That is why I did not buy the wool one. Looks beautiful but I knew I would not wear it due to comfort.

    I would love to see a deep green velvet Bella brought back! Even a nice deep red velvet would be nice.

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  19. Maybe we could grind up some catalogs from 2006-2008, package them them in gossamer silk spun at an ancient mill in Krakow, put the bags in a couple of tea caddies made in Sri Lanka, slap some glue and sequins on them and UPS them to Jenna and Mickey with a handwritten note on how we're obsessed with the quality of these tea bags and we're steeping them effortlessly in everything from Chateau de Rothschild to our bath water. Hopefully, after several such infusions, they would stop borrowing from the boys and start borrowing from JCs own old catalogs.

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  20. Only if they bring it back without sequins, streamers, zippers….

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  21. OT but does anyone have a Talbot coupon? I want to try the leather skirt but cannot pull the trigger without the discount. TIA. My email is anitaciesla@yahoo.com

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  22. I'm with you on bring back the Bella. I love mine. The quality, workmanship and details that J Crew put into the Bella is a sad distant memory- even on their "collection" pieces. This was evident when I got my velvet Eden jacket last year which has worn spots on the velvet, while my Bella still gorgeous,and in perfect condition. I can't imagine what they would charge for "Bella Reissue" using the same luxe quality materials today (I loved their colorful linings back then with the inside pocket too). Sadly, the reality is that a Bella that is overpriced Ebay, is still going to be a better value compared to what you get for the money from J Crew today.

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  23. I love all the tweedy heathery fitted wool jackets that JC did in 06-08. I don't have the Bella but have another version with a similar silhuoette with the silk tie material under the collar that I love and have in two different colors.

    I wish JC would bring back their fitted heathery jackets in gorgeous jewel tones!

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  24. I'd love a Talbots code too. I'd like to try the lace pencil skirt from them. But don't want to pay that price... If someone has a discount code, pls let me know. Thanks!

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  25. BRING BACK BELLA! BRING BACK BELLA!

    I'd give about anything for one in a beautiful pearl gray color (or heather carbon for that matter). Or Azalea. My only request would be solid wool, not herringbone. I still love my herringbone Bellas, just not *quite* as much as I would love a solid-color wool one, though!

    I'm in physical withdrawal having sold my black velvet Bella this week. I can't even talk about it. :-/

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  26. LBH -- send that note!! Ask for a one-time courtesy consideration and work in the word 'obsessed' somewhere. ;-)

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  27. I just checked the website's "back by popular demand" section. No Bella. But it does show the Chiffon Flutter Vest, no. 23172, of which it is said "Alternating tiers of raw-cut panels in silk habotai and chiffon feathers add a touch of handcrafted elegance." Really. Now who demanded that?

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  28. When I saw the following Talbots jacket collar, I was reminded of the Bella.

    http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/category_landing_galleryview.jsp?id=cat80008&rootCategory=cat70008&section=Regular&conceptIdUnderSale=

    JC has a category titled "back by popular demand." It would be interesting to see them choose 1 item to bring back from years past such as the Bella or the Lexington for a test run to see if it's worthwhile for them to reproduce certain pieces. Who knows, if the item did exceptionally well, perhaps it could lead to another item being brought back from the "archives."

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  29. Yes! It would be awesome if their "Back By Popular Demand" was more of a poll...so we could put it to a vote. I suppose we do with our wallets, but this would be a simpler method!

    While the Bella wasn't quite a hit for me when I tried it on, I loved the aesthetic during that period. 2007-08 is when I was drawn back to JCrew, after my "rollneck sweater and khaki days" (DH even had a few). I still love my Alice Merino sweaters and piazza sweater in honey. I still think you can reinvent a classic.

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  30. LLBean has a line where they have brought back several of their classic pieces maybe JCrew could do the same?

    I wish I had a Talbots code but there is none. Was in store again last night and no sales and no code. You can get free shipping in stores with their red phone but not enough incentive for me. I want the leather skirt too. Gorgeous!

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  31. I have two Bellas, and IMO it wouldn't even have to be the Bella per se--it could be a different jacket with a similar combination of simplicity and special-ness.

    OT. Do yesterday I called the cardholder CS line to ask about the cardholder-only sales that we are promised. The CSA confirmed that the "private sale" or "insider sale" emails are what they're referring to. I asked if there were a schedule or a certain annual number and he said the CSAs learn about the sales when the customers do. I didn't want to harangue the poor guy so I left it at that.

    My insider sale emails don't go to my CC email. Does anyone who's not a CC holder get them?

    I can't swear I kept all my emails, so this may not be 100%
    accurate:
    2008: 7/08, 9/10, 10/10 (don't have first part of year
    2009: 3/11, 5/20, 6/15, 10/12, 11/16
    2010: 2/10, 5/17

    The availability of this benefit appears to be shrinking over time.

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  32. I totally agree! I LOVE the Bella jacket. Indeed, I have 4 of them. And, I hate that I missed out on the azalea. Bring the Bella back, J. Crew!!!!

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  34. The bella jacket is a beautiful piece. I would love to have it brought back in some form or another. A JCrew classic in my opinion:) LOVE:)

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  35. The Bella is one I missed, but I would jump on it now. How nicely cut! And I imagine, from what everyone has said, that the quality of the fabrics is top notch.

    Someone posted the other day on the donegal tweed pencil skirt not being for her, and I wanted to post that I found just the opposite for me. I agree that the green is very muted, but that was actually what I was expecting. What surpassed my expectations was fit (I think things are running more TTS, I had been sized out of anything but petite pencils before now) and also the softness of the fabric. LOVE. This piece is reminiscent of the "old" JCrew for me (and I find I like both the old and the new, although agree with others that you have to sift through a bit more now to find the gems). However, we will just hope it holds up!

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  36. Elizabeth,

    You are one lucky gal with 3 Bellas:) I bet you enjoy wearing them a lot:)

    A sales clerk at Talbots wanted to buy mine off me when I got tired of it. I told her sorry but would be keeping it for a very long while:)

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  37. Thanks everyone for participating! It's *great* to read how many of us are still in love with our Bellas after all these years.

    Also, I second (or fourth, whatever the count is at now) for J.Crew to bring this back through the regular J.Crew stores.

    If only the "Back by popular demand" were stocked with Bella Jackets & Coats, Lexington Jackets, Piazza Sweater Jackets, Victoria Ruffle Camis, Rugby Skirts, Tweed Sparkle Pencil Skirts... Oh my! I could go on. :)

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  38. I unfortunately missed out on this jacket but if it were re-released in a camel or charcoal version I would be all over that! From everything I have read on this blog it looks to be a very flattering, classic jacket.

    FFM, I totally agree with you... I'm not such a fan of the factory store reproductions. In a lot of the pieces the quality is just not there and you can really tell, but the price is only $15 less than retail.

    Slightly OT, but one thing I really wish J.Crew would bring back is their classic 100% Merino vneck sweaters. I have one style from 2006 (yes, that long ago) that I bought in three colors, wear all the time, and are all still in fabulous condition. You can tell they are of excellent quality and it would be great if J.Crew would bring back something like it! I just checked the website and there is nary a basic merino vneck anywhere. Just my humble opinion...

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  39. I'm one who's missed out on the Bella and other "classics" from JC's recent past. Would love to see JC dig through their archives and revive this and other classic pieces.

    But as someone pointed out on another thread (think it was Elizabeth? not sure), manufacturing costs have crept up over the last few years, and companies are either passing on the increased cost through higher prices at the till, or cutting quality (thus cost) while keeping retail prices the same. Not to mention the stockholders' demands for ever higher returns on their investments.

    My other "fave" retailer, AE, has drastically reduced their quality on their Favourite Shirts. I may have to resort to hoarding those shirts like JCA's hoard their Bella's.

    My point? If JC ever brings this jacket back, it'll easily cost 50% more than the original price, IF they can even match the quality.

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  40. Oh how I love my Azalea Bella! Same as many of you. . .saw in the catalog and bought instantly! As much as I'd love to see the Bella again, I'd settle for some more vivid color options.

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  41. Let's add to the list the Talitha dress ... the patchwork instantly made me think of vacation in a warm place.

    Also the Daphne wedding gown ...

    And the Celeste Pique dot gown

    and of course the Scattered Locket chain that was modeled along with the Bella jacket ... I'm broken-hearted that I didn't grab the last one in the SoHo store.

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  42. I am constantly accosted by J Crew SA's anytime I am wearing my seafoam treasures necklace or turtle bauble necklace! It's so funny. One also asked me once where my San Remo shirt came from. lol. They'd probably pass out if I busted out my Talitha patchwork cami! I sure do wish I'd gotten the Talitha patchwork dress. I think someone is selling it on eBay for like $500. no thx. :-P

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  43. Hexicon, I always get emails about the insider sales, and I do not have a JC CC. I get them at both email addresses for which I am signed up for JC emails. Not sure what's so "insider" about them...

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  44. I just noticed while checking out LE Canvas' new arrivals that their Wool Lapel Jacket (item # 39344-7XBX) is pretty similar to the Bella jacket (at least in my opinon, although I don't own a Bella) if anyone is interested!

    http://canvas.landsend.com/pp/WoolLapelJacket~213919_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::DCH&CM_MERCH=IDX_00017__0000002500&origin=index

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  45. I am obsessed with my Bella and wholeheartedly agree with this post! I've been on a wild goose chase for the grey herringbone and gave up last year, but this re-sparked my interest...

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  46. It would be a neat idea for JC to bring it back -- kind of a "back by popular demand" thing. I've got it in Rivera Blue velvet, it's one of my favorite JC pieces. I lucked out and bought it on a popback at clearance, which always warms my budget sensibilities.

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  47. Andrea, I did a bit of closet cleaning a few weeks back and I still have 2 100% merino sweaters from...1999!
    I wore them constantly for years and then they went to the back of the closet because they are ribbed and that style is a bit out of date. But I decided not to get rid of them (they are still near perfect)...if ribbed sweaters make a come back...I'll be partying like its 1999 - jcrew style! :)

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  48. The Bella is my go-to jacket. It's my fall work horse in the charcoal herringbone. I also have it in black velvet. I haven't liked any of the J Crew jackets as much as the Bella. The shrunken boyfriend jackets are a distant second.

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  49. I may not understand the appeal of the Bella but I feel your pain and eBay hopes. My 2 favs are the basic mohair cardigan from last year (yes I'm lucky not to itch) why did they have to put a ruffle on it this year? And, the 09 school boy. It seems like they thought if shrunken was good why not shrink it more? Fortunately the velvet comes in tall but I preordered the glen plaid and it looks like a crop top on me. Boo hoo.

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  50. I fear the Bella will never return because it lacks 1.) ruffles and 2.) sequins.

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  51. I bought the Bella in Azalea when it first came out and had to return it. Sadly, it did not work on my inverted triangle frame and seemed to accentuate my bustiness, which I always try to avoid. I think the yoke was a big part of the problem for me. I pinned the waist up to see if alterations would help and I just looked even more buxom. I have to say though, with all the raves here if it was re-released I just may have to try it again.

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  52. I still have my 100% merino V-neck and turtle neck sweaters from 2000. They have lasted this long. J. Crew's quality was so much better than now. I feel that the stuff is more trendy and one would have to really look for the classics hidden amongst all the odd looking pieces now.

    I remember the Bella jacket. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it on line. The azalea was such a beautiful color. I never got it, but would if J. Crew would offer it again.

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  53. I wasn't that big a fan of the bella (just because the rounded collar isn't really my thing-- the lexington was more my speed), but i can acknowledge that it was a solid item.

    sadly, you know if it were re-released, the quality would be lacking. or, they'd go overboard, make it a collection item and sell it for $350. :/

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  54. After reading the undying love here for the Bella, I found one on Ebay. I think back in 08. It wasn't a match for me. Too Edwardian or something about it. I have a very distinct hair-do, though, so it just may have not been a match for that. The material was nice, though. I had the green velvet one. I sold it almost instantly on Ebay for what I paid.

    Hexicon - Yeah, I don't know what's so secret or insider about the sales. It seems that the stores have some control over who gets invited to things, but I'm not sure. I think if you use your card, they know it at your local store and they send invitations, not corporate. If that's the case -- and I don't know that it is -- it's pretty lame. J Crew needs to issue a coupon that comes to the cardholder's house. Not in the catalog since receiving those is unreliable. The J Crew credit card is issued by World Financial Network National Bank. I wonder how much say they have in card benefits. In contrast, the wonderful BR card is issued by GE Money Bank. J Crew would get a ton more cardholders if they had better benefits. I would reinstate my card with better benefits but absolutely will not with the way they are now.

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  55. Caroline,
    That is too funny! If it ever does come back in style you should totally rock your sweaters on a JC shopping trip :)

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  56. I bought a couple velvet Bellas and a wool one, a couple years ago. I ended up selling them all on eBay because the fit was horrible. I guess I needed a tall...

    I do LOVE the lexington... I have three, all procured on eBay for about 20% of the original price.

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  57. J.Crew can we go back to borrowing from the girls??

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  58. Wow, it's tempting to consider selling my Bella now... except maybe I'll still want it when I move back to the mainland 5+ years from now?

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  59. The Bella is boss in my closet!! LOL.

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  60. David-excellent lol.

    My very favorite jacket has been the Maggie. I have one in ivory and one in yellow. I love them and they are so easy to dress up or dress down. They are incredibly well made with classic lines. I always feel beautiful and well put together when wearing them. The beauty of these two jackets (along with my Azalea Bella) has not been rivaled by J Crew since in my opinion.

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  62. I have this jacket in the grey color as well and I love it!! I agree that I would LOVE to see it come back in more colors!

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  63. I missed the Bella as well, but did get the Maggie, which I love. Would definitely like to try a Bella if JC brought it back.

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  64. I have the Bella in a purple velvet and it is a great jacket! Not sure I'd order another one because I don't want a duplicate, but the Bella is a great design, fits beautifully, and is well worth the investment. The tailoring is superb.

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  65. I had the bella jacket in a coral orange color... I absolutely LOVED it!! one random night i left it at a bar and never saw it again. I frequent Ebay for it and have not had any luck.

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  66. The jacket of the season for me has to be the Bomber Jacket. i love this jacket so much!!! I always get questions where i get it from and I'm glad to get it from Famous movie jackets. They have huge variety of leatherjackets, Rare And Exclusive Jackets, movies jackets and lots of more.

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

And now back to J.Crew! :)