Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Feeling Blue About J.Crew {sigh}

I can't believe I am writing this, but I am completely meh about J.Crew's current Summer collection. After flipping through the latest June catalog, I found it a bit boring. I already own all the gingham, checkered, and plaid button down shirts that I will ever need. There is nothing I am really excited about and it shows, as I have not made any purchases from the current line in the past few months. The number of bookmarks are in the single digits.

For example, I use to drool over J.Crew's dresses for Summer (hello Samba, Flamenco Dot Marguerite, Lobster Print, & Cliffrose Print Blouson dresses!) Why did J.Crew stop rolling out their ultra girlie dresses? Don't get me wrong, some of their current dresses are cute, but I feel like I already own enough solid and striped jersey dresses. As a result, I have been turning to Anthropologie to find those flirty feminine pieces, like the Sun Shades Dress (Item 20459566, $158.00, now $79.99).

I did end up ordering the beautiful Silk Organza Soiree Dress (Item 33782; was $275.00, now $99.00) but was disappointed with the fit that it got returned immediately. (I am small chested and I felt like I would bust out of the top. And who came up with the interior corset with a zipper?!? That's right, the interior corset had it's own separate 3-inch zipper that's impossible to close without the help of someone else. It's like a bra with a zipper– stupid idea.)

On a bright note, I am uber excited about several upcoming items from the Fall 2011 collection like that amazing trench coat. I am also saving my pennies for the already-available-in-stores Edie Purse (Item 44804; $238.00). The moment it goes on sale, precious will be mine! So maybe it's a good thing that I am not excited about the Summer line because there are so many things I wishlisted for Fall. ;)

Are you super excited about the Summer collection? Are you waiting for J.Crew's Fall Collection (like me)? :)


  1. I'm still buying fall/winter stuff because the spring/summer fare really doesn't appeal to me. I suppose that's true in general every year, but this year in particular the spring/summer stuff just seems too slouchy to me at a time when I'm looking for things that are a little more shaped. But the fall preview was awesome and I imagine I'll find lots of things to buy when the fall clothes become available. I'll finally start buying clothes to go with all of the shoes I now own. :)

  2. I'm not one for the uber-girly dresses as full skirts look awful on me and I just cannot wear them. I know a lot of JCAs love that look, like the Cecilia dress, but those dresses will never work for me. Being busty I also avoid strapless dresses 90% of the time.

    I've bought more J.Crew lately than I have in a long while. I am loving so many things for casual summer wear, along with some of the season's pencil skirts and tailored suiting. J.Crew doesn't make up the majority of my wardrobe but recently I have spent about half my clothing budget at J.Crew.

    I feel for you Alexis, there have been seasons where there is very little of interest and I think that J.Crew has moved away from my style but then they come back with a great season. I hope that happens for you with the fall offerings.

  3. I'm packing for a trip (a real one this time!), and I was just listing what I'm bringing. Amazed at how few of the items are JC, and I really did do some serious shopping! (ahem)The things in the latest catalog are all starting to look alike to me, although it's not as bad as the time everything was styled with a gray tee or a gray sweatshirt. I hope the fall rollouts live up to expectations. :^)

  4. I don't know...I guess maybe it's just that I'm gettin' old and so it appeals to me. But I cannot and will not wear mini skirts at age 50!!! I love the popover tops, the skinny pants, the sheer sweaters, the shoes....

  5. I was just thinking the same thing. I finished flipping through the summer catalogue with the impression that J. Crew's intentions lean toward advancing their "chic" and "effortless" line of expensive, throw-away clothes. Nothing about the current clothes says innovation or preppy-chic. It's all leaning into a forced European aesthetic en masse. This is especially evident in the Prabal Garung capsule collection that alienates the core J. Crew audience. J. Crew is trying so desperately to align themselves with high fashion that they've completely lost themselves. Although they still generate cute pieces, I often wonder what is J. Crew anymore? What is their stylistic identity? And with the exception of one healthy-looking swim model, the models looked forced into spontaneity, as if they're trying too hard to act young. Whatever happened to sweet, candid moments? Happiness?

    Also, every retailer is producing the same striped maxi dress. Give it a break J. Crew, and instead of blending in to make money, offer us something unforgettable!

  6. Even though J.Crew has changed a lot over the past several years, I still seem to always find several things to like each season (hello Linen Maddie Pant in Orange, Silk Sophie Blouse, Short-Sleeve Chambray Shirt, and Shrunken Fisherman Sweater). However, I would like to see them offer unique prints and pretty dresses again, along with some colorful jewelry.

    I love wearing dresses, especially during the spring and summer, and since Anthropologie does dresses very well, they have been getting a lot of my $$$ over the past year or so. Plus there are always lots of cute skirts and fun prints to choose from, too...not to mention they don't play the pricing games like J.Crew does OR have the ridiculous return policy. They actually make it FUN to shop there. Just like it used to be at J.Crew.

    The J.Crew fall preview does look promising. Now if they would just work on their quality and website issues, customer UN-friendly return policy, and get rid of final sale...

  7. I agree with FFM on Anthro's retail experience. The website and stores are priced the same, so if the website is out, you can call around the stores and the girls are so friendly!

    I really don't understand JCrew dresses. If you have that much money and talent, why waste it on straight line jersey dresses (which are poor quality) with ill-placed drawstrings and saggy tops? Really now.

    Lolita.lee.love put it well. There isn't much to enjoy, it's like clothing trying painfully hard to be high end.

    In the end that is what burns me, they are trying too hard to be a shopbop.

  8. Alexis,

    I am totally with you. I used to drool over JCrew skirts and dresses each summer. At my old store where I used to live they were hot sellers and I would have my PS hold them for me or "poof" they would be sold out in a few days. I am so glad the ones I have are still in style and I have quite a collection from over the "good years". I have not bought a dress from them since the seaglass one! I did buy the cotton floral maxi skirt (now sold out)recently and it is very nice. I wish the colors were more vibrant instead of mainly browns with hints of blue and purple so still debating on whether I will keep it or not--have 60 days to decide.

    I did buy two of the floral pencil skirts last year but I am more of a swishy skirt girl:)

    I have bought several skirts from Boden in 2008, 9 and 10 but none this year even from them are to my liking.

    I prefer summer clothing over winter clothing esp. in the NC climate but even in the cooler Midwest where I lived most of my life I prefered them as well.

    I have been shopping my closet and not really looking to other stores for dresses/skirts as I seem to have plenty from overbuying at J.Crew in years past:)

  9. There are still some items I've seen in mags that I am digging that still haven't made it to the web site yet, like a blue/white ikat print perfect shirt.

    But I mostly agree with you, there hasn't been anything I've seen lately that I feel like I must have - I am kind of over the tiny floral prints and (gasp) even the stripes!

  10. Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts.

    Tamara: Me too- I have bought two cardigans from Fall. :) Too bad that is all I could find to interest me right now.

    xoxo: I definitely agree that it is temporary for me- just this particular season. Because I am all sorts of loving Fall. Also congrats on finding so many items from J.Crew! :)

    wellfedfred: I know what you mean about the catalogs- the last few seem to just blend into each other.

    mamavalveeta03: I hear you on the mini-skirts. I cannot get away with them either. So I love to see some longer length skirts at J.Crew.

    lolita.lee.love: LOL! That striped maxi dress really is getting around this season! ;)

    FFM: I agree about Anthropologie dresses- they do it very well! :)

    Pathos: I know! J.Crew does have the money, talent, and history of great dresses. I don't mind the current offering, I just would like to see them adding a few fabulous dresses with beautiful prints (like they use to offer all the time). :)

    Genny: SKIRTS! I agree that J.Crew offered the most amazing skirts in vibrant shades and amazing details. I have a bright green skirt with all this beading from like 2005- one of the best from J.Crew. I also have the Bahamas Skirt from J.Crew which I still get compliments on. Oddly enough, Anthro rolled out last week a skirt that looks very similar to it. I suspect if they reintroduced either skirt today they would sell out in a week! ;)

    Lisa - respect the shoes: Me too! I love the tiny floral prints and stripes, but I already own multiple versions of them at this point! ;)

  11. I agree that the last catalogs are unmemorable and in my opinion they are doing a bad job at styling the few pieces that are outstanding (or not featuring them at all in the catalogs) and everything kind of blends together. I am more casual-minimalist than preppy/girly so I don't miss those items from the old catalogs but I like prints and besides the casbah they didn't put out any single print this season. I am also tired of the overly expensive dresses. If I want to buy a $1000-$2000 dress probably I am going to see another retailer. I would like to see more special pieces in my budget.

  12. Alexis,

    I just realized I posted mainly about all of JCrew's great past skirts that I own and love and not the dresses but I have plenty of those too. Just miss them both a lot! The dresses used to fit me so well in the bust, waist, hip etc. I find dresses from my past JCrew days to be a nightmare to shop for. When I found JCrew in the I was in dress fitting heaven. PLus, the styles and colors were an added bonus.

  13. I want print tops to wear under cardigans. Someone else posted this in an older thread. I think the frosted paisley and cloud paisley fabrics would have been so cool used for shells, maybe with some delicate beading around the neckline.

  14. I'm so glad that others feel this way. Great post, Alexis.

    I mean seriously, I have a gift card burning a hole in my wallet and have yet to use it.

    I did place an order last night for the paisley bermudas, a pair of glitter flippies and the leslie lace shell, but I had to use my J. Crew card to get my cardmember 20 percent off.

    I'm so over the overpriced line of J. Crew sweats aka J. Crew weekend. Granted, I totally own a couple pairs of the cute skinny sweatpants (purchased immediately after popping out a child in the dead of winter), but I feel like half the catalogue is filled with the sweats crap and then the overpriced designer stuff with the big-ass bows. I mean, who wears this stuff??????

    I need cute tops, cute blazers and fitted shorts, skirts and pants, please.

  15. Ema: LOL! That style you mentioned "preppy/girlie" is totally me!!! I am with you on prints! The casbah is a great one this season, but it feels like the only one.

    Tamara: Again, I am with you on the prints. They need to go back to their archives and reintroduce them in new versions (print was a dress then, reintroduced as a shell for today).

    Genny: I know what you mean about the skirts and dresses. J.Crew made them to fit my body perfectly.

    Susan: Cute blazers!!! That was J.Crew's specialty!!! And I am totally on board with your overpriced J.Crew sweats line. ;)

  16. I definitely feel meh about J Crew right now. Mostly, I feel that everything is overpriced for what it is. If I want to spend full price I find myself going elsewhere. I have been on shoe buying spree and I do look at J Crew but most of their shoes are uncomfortable and overpriced so I buy at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales instead. Same prices, much better selection not mentioning the return policy.
    J crew is still fine for some basics and once it goes on deep sale. This is what keeps me looking but is this where they want to be?
    I used to love J Crew bags but even Eddie purse, although cute (I saw it in store) is nothing special imho and there is tons of cuter ones also in great colors from other designers. Now, if it goes on sale with extra 30% off it may be worth it.
    Seriously, don't compare to Banana/Talbots/Ann Taylor. At J crew aspirational prices look at the real designers, with a sale/coupon/ebates etc you can score so much better imo.

  17. I'm steamed because I got the two-tone flip flops a couple weeks ago at the sale price of $12.50 and now, somehow, they are back on full price at $18.50. Why??? Seems unfair.

  18. Also, why are ALL of the skirts and dresses mini? (Or maxi)? I'd love to see some knee-length hems return. There should be a variety available because even though I like some short dresses, I don't want all of them that way, especially in the summer.

  19. Great question about the skirt lengths. Many (if not most) of the major designers are doing longer lengths. Madewell has longer skirts. Why not J Crew? Does the person in charge of the skirt designs really want to show her legs off so badly?? I would love to buy J Crew skirts but can't because I refuse to do minis.

  20. Launching off of my own post...... I'm wondering if the issue with J Crew is that Jenna is giving her designers too much leeway. I imagine that she's at the helm but there are major players just below her in charge of different areas. Is Marissa Webb in charge of the shoes? I'll never forget her little catwalk in the restaurant in Italy, if she loves strappy S&M heels and nothing else that's fine, but there are many customers who don't want to or can't wear those kinds of shoes. It seems like they are further heading in that direction. I imagine the same problem with the skirts, tops, sweaters, etc. Is one person in charge of each of those areas and that person is creating things that she would like to wear but not considering the customer base needs/wants? I bought the linen-cotten Factory cardigan in several colors, I have purchased NO J Crew spring/summer cardigans, only fall/winter. Sheer and slouchy is fine, but not every single cardigan! Minis are fine, just not every single skirt! Thank god for you pant wearers that the person in charge of the pants isn't obssessed with the droopy crotch thing. OK, done ranting (for a while).

  21. So funny Alexis--I was having the opposite problem; feeling blue about not enough androgynous pieces! At least I can fill my "needs" in the crew cuts and men's departments. I think it is a weird fashion cycle. Hopefully the fall will bring items we can all be excited about.

  22. I think the color palette is 'blah' this spring/summer, the patterns of the clothes so unstructured, and have found the materials so thin. What i have always loved about jcrew is the mix of girly/preppy/minimalist/urban...they take classic and put a modern spin on it. Plus they generally have some stand out patterns or colors in the mix. The casbah print is the only thing that stands out to me as eye catching.


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