Tuesday, November 30, 2010

J.Crew's Deal To Go Private {you've got some explainin' to do}

"Thanks!" to wellfedfred (in this post) and my husband (who left me the article this morning to read) about the most recent news from WSJ about J.Crew's deal to go private (click here to read in its entirety):

Inspecting J. Crew Deal in the Mirror
By Dennis Berman
November 30, 2010

It may be well-accessorized for the season, but something still looks off about the leveraged buyout of J.Crew Group Inc.

Its $3 billion final price is defensible. And the transaction got all the proper legal sign-offs. Yet as private equity returns to the markets anew, it is important to see the buyers' opportunism at work.

Shareholders, take note of just how conveniently things fell into place for the company's new prospective owners—who happen to include its celebrated chief executive, Mickey Drexler, and its most influential board director, James Coulter. He is a founder of buyout shop TPG Capital, which is paying for most of the deal.

For TPG, the deal lets it put some of its $18.8 billion in cash to work in a company it owned once before. For Mr. Drexler, it's a chance to reinvest a third of the $330 million windfall he has already made as an 11.8% owner of J. Crew. More equity is likely on the way in this current deal, too..

TPG first took J. Crew private in 1997, and after a subsequent public offering, sold its final shares by 2009, clearing seven times its original investment. Still, Mr. Coulter has remained on the board.

Full details of the deal's origins will be released in coming weeks, and representatives for the parties involved weren't willing to comment. People close to the matter say TPG first made its interest known to Mr. Drexler. Under ideal circumstances, a CEO would instantly report this to his board, ensuring it kept full control of any sales process. The less time lapses, the more a board can manage the flow of information, dictate the terms of any offer and set the parameters for a CEO's engagement. That doesn't appear to have happened here.

It all recalls the $11.5 billion buyout of pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc. in 2007, which was led by Chief Executive Rich Kinder and buyers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. In that deal, it took two months before Kinder's board knew its CEO was plotting a buyout. Just last week, the company filed for an IPO, which Morningstar suggests will value the company at double its 2007 price.

Indeed, it was a number of days before Mr. Drexler alerted J. Crew's remaining seven board members, say people close to the transaction. They convened a special committee, which in turn hired bankers and lawyers to wrestle over how to proceed. The early days of the process were "messy," says one person close to the deal. The special committee did the best it could under the circumstances, rejecting the buyers' first $41-a-share offer. But TPG and Mr. Drexler, known as a "prince of retail," found themselves in a convenient circumstance.

The company was on track to post lousy third-quarter results. That was expected to hit the stock hard. People close to the transaction thus say the offer is welcome salvation for shareholders, who bought the company expecting growth and now would be paid a premium for their stock.

Another way to look at the $43.50-a-share offer is a way to time a J.Crew purchase at its weak moment. The stock is trading well below its 52-week high of $50.96. Indeed, in the deal's final days, the buyers "retraded" in Wall Street parlance, cutting its $45-a-share agreement at the last moment, says a person close to the deal. J.Crew does have time to find a better deal. And shares continue to trade at a price above the offer, a sign shareholders expect other buyers to materialize.

How shareholders feel may be a waning concern. Mr. Drexler and crew scrapped a planned live conference call last week and played a recorded message instead. It was almost as if Mr. Drexler was patting holders on the head as the company issued a curt, recorded goodbye: "Thank you for your time and interest in J.Crew."
Well this article doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy about being a shareholder. That is for sure. The question of why does J.Crew have to sell immediately before shopping around is a good one.

What are your thoughts on this latest news? Are you a shareholder? Do you feel this deal will benefit shareholders properly.

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

Calling All J.Crew Shareholders

As mentioned in the "J.Crew To Be Taken Private" post, J.Crew agreed to be taken private in a $3 billion deal.

The following is an article over at Market Watch (click here for the article in its entirety):

Buyout of J.Crew Group, Inc. Investigated by Securities Lawyers at Goldfarb Branham LLP
By MarketWatch
November 29, 2010

Goldfarb Branham LLP is investigating whether the Board of Directors of J.Crew Group, Inc. breached their duties to shareholders by agreeing to sell the company to TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. for $43.50 per share in cash. Concerned J.Crew investors are urged to contact securities lawyer Hamilton Lindley to ask about their rights and remedies due to this buyout at 877-583-2855 or hlindley@goldfarbbranham.com.

"Because the stock traded as high as $47 per share in of May 2010, and also because at least one analyst believes that the stock is worth $50 per share, we believe this deal is suspicious," said securities attorney Hamilton Lindley. "Our proposed class action lawsuit seeks to ensure that J.Crew shareholders receive full and fair information and the best price reasonably available in this buyout."

Goldfarb Branham LLP represents shareholders and whistleblowers nationwide and has been appointed by courts to serve as lead counsel on behalf of shareholders. The firm represents stockholders at no cost or liability to investors. For more information about this management led buyout, please contact the firm at 877-583-2855 or hlindley@goldfarbbranham.com.
This deal will likely go through. However, it will be interesting though to see what comes of this investigation.

What are your thoughts on this latest news? Are you a shareholder? If so, will you contact the law firm?

Monday, November 29, 2010

25% Off Sweaters & Free Shipping on $150+

"Thanks!" to so many of you, including Rose (in this post), who shared the following news from J.Crew this morning.

J.Crew is offering their online & in-store customers 25% off select regular priced sweaters for women (click here to shop online) & men (click here to shop online). This offer expires Wednesday, December 1, 2010 (11:59pm ET).

They are also free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code SHIP150. This offer expires Monday, December 20, 2010 (9:00pm ET— why so early?).

The fine print of the offer includes:

*Prices as marked. Offer valid on men's and women's sweaters in J.Crew retail stores and at jcrew.com only and cannot be combined with any other in-store offer. Offer excludes Saint James® and Inverallan. Offer is not valid at J.Crew Factory stores or on J.Crew Factory items. Offer cannot be redeemed for cash or applied to previous purchases. 25% off men's and women's sweaters offer is valid through Wednesday, December 1, 2010, 11:59pm ET. Previous purchases are not eligible for free shipping discount. Free shipping offer valid through Monday, December 20, 2010, 9:00pm ET on Internet orders shipped via regular shipping (3 to 6 business days). Free shipping applies to online-only orders of $150 or more before shipping, handling and taxes are added. Free ground shipping is applied at checkout with promo code SHIP150.
J.Crew's deal for Cyber Monday include the following items:
  • Marled Alexie Sweater (Item 32851; $69.50, now $52.13)
  • Alexie Sweater (Item 32805; $69.50, now $52.13)
  • Sequin Studio Sweatshirt (Item 26138; $168.00, now $126.00)
Also, a big "thanks!" to Rose (of the lovely "1 More Shopping Blog"), who is super nice to share with us that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code T5P9CZ. This offer expires 12/17/10.

Will you be checking out J.Crew's sweater section? What pieces are you interested in getting? Please share! :)

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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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?

Sought & Found: Did you visit J.Crew this {past} 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 stopped by a J.Crew store this past weekend to see what's available (if anything!) in the FALL 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 was/ is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ends Today: 25% Off Orders $150+

"Thanks!" to so many of you, who let us know about J.Crew's most recent promotion. J.Crew is offering 25% off any purchase over $150 with promo code TURKEY. This offer expires today! :)

The fine print of this offer includes:

Offer valid in J.Crew retail stores and at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew Factory stores. Offer does not apply to previous purchases, alterations or the purchase of gift cards. Offer not applicable to third-party branded merchandise. 25% discount applies to purchases of $150 or more before shipping, handling and taxes are added. Offer valid through Sunday, November 28, 2010, 11:59pm ET. Savings are applied at checkout with code TURKEY. Offer not valid on phone orders. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion or redeemed for cash. Limit one promotional code per order.
It's nice to see that this offer applies both online and in-stores. It's also nice to see its for both regular and sale priced items. As many of you have noted, this a better deal for in-store purchases (as you avoid paying shipping costs).

Will you take advantage of this latest promotion before it ends today? If so, what items did you pick up?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So What Happened This Past Tuesday?

I am still in the process of figuring out what is going on, but some things went down in one of last week's posts. Since I was away on holiday, I was not able to address this situation in a timely manner. So here it is now...

Although I am repeating myself a bit from a post in September ("About One of Last Week's Post... (commentary & possible resolution)"), I believe the parts about "let's avoid personal attacks" & "let's all be open to the diversity of comments" are still true for this situation.

It's also clear to me that certain JCAs do not, and most likely will never, get along with other certain JCAs. It just is what it is. It happens. Since that may be the case, I politely ask a few things: (1) do not engage with the JCA you do not care for, (2) do not respond at all to the JCA who you do not care for, even after being sought out in a comment; & (3) if you are going to engage with each other, than discuss your "concerns" elsewhere as we can all agree that this blog is not the best forum to air it out.

Lastly, I like the suggestion from Amy about creating a weekly "Other JCrew-like Retailers" post (similar to the "Off On A Tangent" posts, but where we can share our finds from other retailers that have offerings similar to J.Crew like LE Canvas, Gap, BR, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and the like.) What are your thoughts on it?

Sorry for the long post (& not addressing this sooner). And now back to J.Crew!

Surprise! Log Into Your J.Crew Account {yey!}

"Thanks!" to so many of you, including those who discussed it in a few posts this past week (here & here), as well as Donna, who let us know the latest promotion from J.Crew.

J.Crew is offering select customers free shipping, free monogramming, -or- free gift boxes when you log-into your J.Crew account. Best part? No code required! It's automatically applied online. This offer will last until 12/25/10.

I rushed to log-in and found nothing for me. {sigh} I was again, not selected. :( However, "congrats!" to those who have the offer! :)

J.Crew To Be Taken Private

"Thanks!" to so many of you, including those who participated in the discussion from two posts this past week (here & here), as well as wellfedfred (in this post), Suzy (in this post), ThirtySelvedge, Ellen, Naomi, & Kim, who shared the following news. J.Crew's management is in the works to be taken private.

There are lots of articles discussing this news including:

There is also the latest article from SFGate (click here to read in its entirety):
J.Crew shareholder sues over buyout
By Bloomberg News
November 27, 2010

J.Crew Group Inc. and San Francisco's TPG Capital were sued by a J.Crew shareholder seeking to block the clothing retailer's proposed $3 billion buyout, which he said undervalues the company.

The acquisition of J.Crew by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners LP for $43.50 per share "materially undervalues" the company and is unfair to stockholders, shareholder Arnold Church said in a complaint filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court.

"In short, the proposed acquisition is designed to unlawfully divest J. Crew's public stockholders of the future growth potential of the company by engaging in an unfair process riddled with self-dealing," the complaint states.

J.Crew announced the buyout by TPG and Leonard Green on Tuesday. The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of J.Crew shareholders, according to the complaint. Besides J.Crew and TPG, the complaint names as defendants Leonard Green and J.Crew officers and directors, including Chief Executive Officer Mickey Drexler.
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this news as both a customer and shareholder (who purchased stock in the high 40's).

I know Mickey will be making lots of money off this deal, but will the shareholders?

What are your thoughts on this latest news? Do you think this is the right move for J.Crew? What do you think this mean for shareholders?

Happy to Be Back!

Good afternoon JCAs! :) I am happy to be back {and to my wonderful closet- which I always take for granted until I go on vacation and realize I forgot to pack something!} ;) Just wanted to let everyone know that I plan on reading all the comments and emails that I missed while away. There are a lot, so it will take some time to go through them all. So please forgive my tardiness in posting some news. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

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 (if anything!) in the FALL 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!

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Friday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

Preface: A big "thanks!" to Ibi who suggested weekly 'Looking to LOVE' and 'Looking to HATE' posts where we could all "deposit" our best & worst current experiences. I think it is a brilliant idea and will try it out for a few weeks. Hopefully this will help out our fellow JCAs! :)

This is the weekly "Looking to LOVE with J.Crew" post, a place to share our favorite experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a positive situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including stellar experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Thursday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

Preface: A big "thanks!" to Ibi who suggested weekly 'Looking to LOVE' and 'Looking to HATE' posts where we could all "deposit" our best & worst current experiences. I think it is a brilliant idea and will try it out for a few weeks. Hopefully this will help out our fellow JCAs! :)

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Wednesday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Tuesday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Monday, November 22, 2010

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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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?

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Monday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Sought & Found: Did you visit J.Crew this {past} 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 stopped by a J.Crew store this past weekend to see what's available (if anything!) in the FALL 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 was/ is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

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 (if anything!) in the FALL 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!

J.Crew News: What's Happening Today? {Friday edition}

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am on vacation! Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with all the latest J.Crew news, promos, and the like.

So this post is the "catch all" for J.Crew Aficionadas and Aficionados to share with one another the "current happenings" for today. Feel free to post your comments here- from current J.Crew promotions, sales, emails, and even questions on products (regarding fit & size), and the like. :)

What comments do you want to share or ask of other Aficionadas and Aficionados? What is currently happening (in terms of promos, sales, emails, products, and the like)?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

ENDS SATURDAY: Extra 30% Off Holiday Sale & Free Shipping

J.Crew just extended their offer for 30% off any purchase from their Holiday Sale {no minimum} and free shipping (over $150 *after* discounts applied) with promo code JCREW until this Saturday! :)

This has been one great offer so far! I definitely took advantage of it at my local stores too. I got some accessories (like a few bracelets and belts) as well as some shirts (like the Chevron-Pleat Solid Shirt in White for $39.99 before discount). :)

Will you take advantage of this latest promotion? If so, what items did you pick up?

Product Review: Glitter Jacquard Ballet Flats

Glitter Jacquard Ballet Flats
Click here for product page
Item 28692
Regular: $188.00
Store: $69.99

J.Crew describes these "notice-me" flats as the following:

Hot stepper indeed. Add a little sparkle to your step with these couture-worthy beauties. We've stepped up our ballet collection with new design details, including a cushioned insole for maximum comfort, a rubber sole for added traction and an elasticized topline so they hug your foot just so. Metallic jacquard upper. Man-made lining. Part of J.Crew Collection. Made in Italy.
So let me start off by saying... Go J.Crew! Why? Because I honestly think someone from J.Crew heard our complaints throughout the blog-o-sphere about their ballet flats (pretty office shoes, but uncomfortable to walk-around in). As a result of listening, they created a *new* generation of ballet flats that address our concerns nicely.

These shoes, and its sister-products like J.Crew's Cece Cracked Metallic Ballet Flats (item 32828; $128.00), all have a nice amount of padding. Even more padding then the Lux Shimmerveil Ballet Flats (click here for a product review)! The elasticized topline has just the right amount of snugness to make sure your foot stays in place without digging into the skin. These make walking around a lot more comfortable than its predecessor ballet flats.

But there's more! The new generation of flats have a rubber sole instead of the traditional leather sole. This is so much better because it adds a layer of comfort when walking. It also provides better traction. For the leather sole ballet versions, I would have to add a sole gripper. I don't have to for these new ones! :)

It also seems to me that there is a slight interior wedge. Again, I love this because it adds a tiny bit of height without the pain of heels.

As for the Glitter Jacquard Ballet Flats style... The ballet flat is quite pretty in person. The use of gold and silver is enough to make the shoes shine, but not to the point like its Glitterati counterpart. I also found it true to size.

Lastly, my local brick & mortar (B&M) store is selling them for $69.99. I noticed that they are still full-priced online. If you are interested in them, it might be worth calling your local B&M to check on price.

What are your thoughts on the Glitter Jacquard Ballet Flats? Have you seen or own these ballet shoes? If so, what is your review of the fit & style? Would you recommend it to another fellow JCA?

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

Preface: A big "thanks!" to Ibi who suggested weekly 'Looking to LOVE' and 'Looking to HATE' posts where we could all "deposit" our best & worst current experiences. I think it is a brilliant idea and will try it out for a few weeks. Hopefully this will help out our fellow JCAs! :)

This is the weekly "Looking to LOVE with J.Crew" post, a place to share our favorite experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a positive situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including stellar experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Mini Note To All Aficionadas & Aficionados

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you know that starting today, I will be on vacation for a week (wahoo Holiday season!) :)

Unfortunately, I won't be able to keep up with the blog while I am gone. (I will be bringing my laptop, but don't plan on using it much.) However, all the weekly posts (like the Great Weekly Exchange, JCA Reviews, & Seek and Find posts) will be posted as scheduled. Similar to last time, I will also have a post each day for "current happenings". This way we can still share the latest J.Crew news and promos with each other.

I truly appreciate everyone sharing with each other on the JCA blog. You really are the reason why this blog is so wonderful and informative. My hope is that you will continue to participate.

And now back to J.Crew!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

Preface: A big "thanks!" to Ibi who suggested weekly 'Looking to LOVE' and 'Looking to HATE' posts where we could all "deposit" our best & worst current experiences. I think it is a brilliant idea and will try it out for a few weeks. Hopefully this will help out our fellow JCAs! :)

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

J.Crew's Holiday Return Policy

This past weekend I overhead a J.Crew customer talking to a store associate about how upset she was to not know about the change in return policy. (For more about those changes, refer to the "News About J.Crew's Return Policy {follow up}" post.)

"Thanks!" to Ema (in this post) who shared the latest news about the return policy now that the Holiday season is here:

Ok, so I asked about the holiday return policy today while making a return at the Collection store. Store policy: you will be able to exchange merchandise bought between November 1st and Xmas until January (not sure about the day) BUT only if you have a gift receipt. Your regular receipt won't give you the extention. Kind of makes sense but when buying presents for the immediate family I normaly don't think about asking a gift receipt. Anyway, better then nothing. I bought a gift for a girlfriend today (before asking about the policy) and the gift receipt doesn't mention anything. HTH!
J.Crew's return policy is so confusing! Especially with the whole gift versus regular receipt business. Incidentally, I was never told about this new return policy despite making holiday purchases at the store. Oh well!

What are your thoughts on this latest change? Did you know about this change? Will this have an impact on your future orders?

J.Crew + Bed bugs = Oh No!

There is a post over at NY Mag's The Cut (click here) that shares some not-so-great news about J.Crew at their corporate headquarters.

Breaking: Lone Bedbug Discovered at J.Crew’s Offices
By Amy Odell

November 9,2010


J.Crew just notified employees in the corporate offices via e-mail this morning that a single bedbug has been discovered at the office located at 2 Penn Plaza. J.Crew's other o
ffice, at 770 Broadway, is believed to be safe. The following e-mail was circulated this morning, alerting employees to the problem:

To all New York Associates:

Concerns around bed bugs continue to be a major issue in New York City. As I am sure you are aware, rumors are
rampant. With that in mind, over a month ago we made the decision to proactively test for the presence of bed bugs in our offices and stores. We were notified today that one bed bug was found in our 2 Penn location. We believe that this incident is isolated and are treating the immediate and surrounding area.

We will continue to test our locations on a regular basis and quickly remediate any bed bug detection. Our testing process is to bring in a specially trained dog to detect the presence of bed bugs and larvae. In the event that such evidence is found, the affected area and surrounding areas will be treated. We will also retest the area to ensure the issue has been resolved.

We take these matters very seriously and encourage associates to voice any concerns or questions by speaking with your Manager or HR.


The more single bedbug sightings that occur — at F.I.T., the Macy's office, and Bloomingdale's, so far — the more improbable they seem. Bedbugs are usually in a pack, laying eggs and invading everything you'd never want to have to throw away. But maybe they have more in common with New York's humans than we thought, and are perfectly comfortable being single until they find a place to settle down.
LOL! The one bed bug comment is pretty good. Let's hope there really was just one and that they caught it. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

J.Crew Email: Jenna's luxe holiday picks

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Marietta, Cass, Just Visiting, & Irina, who let us know about J.Crew's most recent email, which showcases all of Jenna Lyons' picks for the latest catalog. Click here to view all the items selected.

The theme for these picks are:

My Luxe Gift Picks. I admit, I'm playing favorites with a few items in our yearly roundup of gifts. So since you're one of our best customers, I wanted to share a few of these extra special pieces with you. Click here to see the items at the very, very top of my must-give list.
What made her list: the Tweezerman® Luxe Edition Swarovski® Crystal Slant® Tweezer (item 40193; $100.00). I will say, the Tweezerman Tweezars are very good. (I personally own two and love them! The company will even sharpen the tips for free for life. All you have to do is pay for shipping.) But I do not need one with Swarovski crystals on them. ;)

What are your thoughts on the items selected? Which items would have made your top picks of luxe gifts that you are loving?

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

J.Crew's Latest the Thread Edition

"Thanks!" to many of you, who let us know about J.Crew's latest mailing— the Thread— to customers.

There are four pages to the first edition of the Thread. Just click on any of the images to view it larger.

Also, "thanks!" to many of you, including Get Fresh, xoxo (in this post), & Clicquot (in this post), who let us know about the following special news found in the newsletter:
Oh, Canada
Calling all Canucks. We're opening our first-ever J.Crew store in Toronto in 2011. Details are still being ironed out, but we'll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, you can shop online at jcrew.com (we still ship to our northern neighbors).
Very exciting news for our Canadian JCAs! I am also thrilled to get the newsletter (especially since I think I got dropped off the Catalog mailing list.) :)

Did you get a copy of the Thread? What are your thoughts on the issue? Are you excited about J.Crew {finally} coming to Canada?

Monday, November 15, 2010

UPDATE: 30% Off Holiday Sale Is Final {at stores}

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Cass (in this post), who shared the following news: Brick & mortar (B&M) stores are making this sale Final.

Unfortunately, I was upset to find this out first-hand tonight too. The store associate stamped my receipt as Final without telling me beforehand. (The signs at the store never stated it was Final either. Although three store associates told me there was an additional 30% off the sale items, not one told me it was Final.) I explained to the store associate that the email & website ad *never* stated it was Final Sale. She said that it was according to Corporate. And so there it is.

I love the promo, but altering the terms kind of sucks. Grrr.

Extra 30% Off Holiday Sale & Free Shipping

"Thanks!" to many of you, including GigiOfCa (in this post), Christy (in this post), as well as Marietta & Irina, who shared the latest promotion from J.Crew.

J.Crew is offering 30% off any purchase from their Holiday Sale {no minimum} and free shipping (over $150 *after* discounts applied) with promo code JCREW. This promotion expires this Thursday, November 18, 2010. The following is the fine print of this offer:

*Offer valid in J.Crew retail stores and at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew Factory stores or on J.Crew Factory items. Offer does not apply to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards. 30% off discount applies to sale items only. Offer valid through Thursday, November 18, 2010, 11:59pm ET. Free shipping offer applies to orders shipped via ground shipping totaling $150+ after 30% discount on sale items and before shipping, handling and taxes are added. Savings are applied at checkout with code JCREW. Offer not valid on phone orders. Cannot be combined with any other promotion. Limit one promotional code per order.
Yey for this offer! Seriously, I love this promotion. Not only is it a great discount, but it includes a free shipping offer *and* it's also available in brick & mortar (B&M) stores. Loves it! :)

Will you take advantage of this latest promotion? If so, what items did you pick up?

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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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. If you are a reseller, your comment gets automatically deleted & you will get publicly called out on it. :( So instead of this, simply do not post in the Weekly Exchanges. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! :)


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?

Sought & Found: Did you visit J.Crew this {past} 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 stopped by a J.Crew store this past weekend to see what's available (if anything!) in the FALL 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 was/ is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

J.Crew's Spring 2011 Look Book is Here!


There is a great post over at The Vie Society (click here), where the looks of J.Crew's upcoming Spring 2011 Look Book has been shared.

All the images of the latest Look Book are in the slide show above. To view any of the images larger (& in more detail), just click on the one you are interested it. It will take you directly to that image. If you are having trouble with the slide show, you can also view them here.

I just got into the Holiday spirit (with J.Crew's latest catalog) and now I am thinking about Spring! ;)

As for the clothes... I am strangely attracted to the shorts with the ruffle around the waist. I think it's so cute! I am also thrilled to see trouser style pants making a comeback. Although there are some jackets & vests (like on image 6 and 13) that I am concerned about. A bit too futuristic for my liking. (Maybe it's because I recently saw Back to the Future Part II.)

What are your thoughts on the new Spring items? Are you excited for what's to come? Do you dislike or like any of them? Which items were you hoping to see? :)

20% Off All Tees & Knits at J.Crew

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

J.Crew is offering 20% off on select full-priced Women's tees (click here to shop online) and Men's Tees (click here to shop online). This offer expires November 14, 2010. The fine print of the offer includes:

*Prices as marked. Offer excludes Saint James® and Saturdays Surf. Offer cannot be redeemed for cash or applied to previous purchases. Offer valid in J.Crew retail stores and at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew Factory stores or on J.Crew Factory items. Offer valid through Sunday, November 14, 2010, 11:59pm ET. Previous purchases are not eligible for free shipping discount.
It's great that this promotion includes the guys. I am also excited to see it will be offered at brick & mortar (B&M) stores too! :)

J.Crew is also reminding us about their offer for free shipping off your orders of $150+ with promo code SHIP150. This offer expires 11/14/10.

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? If so, what items are you planning to get. Please share! :)

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 (if anything!) in the SUMMER & FALL sale, or to see some new FALL 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!

Darlings, is it time for a coupon code?

Yes, it is that wonderful time!

A big "thanks!" to Rose (of the lovely "1 More Shopping Blog"), who is super nice to share with us that J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code AZ5K4C. This offer expires 11/26/10.

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! :)