Monday, October 31, 2011

J.Crew Email: November news: 6 things you need to see at jcrew.com

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Irina & Desert Flower, who shared the following email from J.Crew this morning.

The email features the "6 things you need to see at jcrew.com". Overall, this is a clever marketing email.

What are your thoughts on the email? Do you like the concept?

Happy Halloween! {are you celebrating with J.Crew?}

Happy Halloween everyone!!! In honor of Halloween, it might be fun to have a post on what we plan on wearing today. :)

I won't be wearing an actual costume, yet I am still dressing up for Halloween. (I gave some serious thought about dressing up as Jenna Lyons, with square black eyeglasses and all. But I scrapped it as I doubt any of the neighborhood kids would appreciate the outfit.)

As for me... My outfit centers around the Wool Oxford Jacket in Bright Flame from J.Crew, finished off with their Perfect-Fit Stripe Boatneck Tee and Matchstick Denim in a dark wash. Ultimately, I want to be comfortable while passing out candy to my little trick-or-treaters.

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

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 FALL/WINTER 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, October 28, 2011

Secret Sale: Hacking Jacket for $125 {limited time in stores}

A big "thanks!" to Aimee who let us know that J.Crew stores are running a semi-secret sale on the Hacking Jacket in Herringbone (Item 48263; $198.00) for $125.00!!!

The price reduction is for a limited time only at brick & mortar (B&M) J.Crew stores. However, if your local store doesn't carry the jacket or the color you want in your size, make sure to use their red phone to place an order with the in-store price.

P.S. Some sales associates may not be aware of this secret sale. The reduced price should ring up at the cash register. :)

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 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!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Life as a cat & shopwithm (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew had a small update to its website today (click here to view online).

There are some new arrivals for men (click here) & women (click here). {wahoo!} It looks like Crewcuts (click here) has been updated, but not the J.Crew Collection (click here).

I am off to check out the new arrivals...

As a reminder, today is the last day to take 30% off all sale items (no min) with promo code OURTREAT.

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

J.Crew of Seasons Past: October 2005 in England!

I like to search for images of J.Crew pieces from seasons past to collect in my virtual J.Crew LookBook. So far we have seen some images of 2005-7 (refer to 2007, August 2007, November 2007, Fall 2005, Holiday 2006, & Paris 2007).

Today, I thought I would share another set of images found on the The Terrier and Lobster blog (click here) of J.Crew's October 2005 catalog set in England. There is a little something for both women and men! Just click on any of the images to view them larger.


Many of those pieces look great today! They really stand the test of time with their classic lines and beautiful style.

What are your thoughts on these catalogs from the past? Do you enjoy looking through them for outfit inspirations? Do you find these looks classic (like I do) or do you think they are dated?

J. Crew Fall Fashion Video

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.


The following is a video from NBC New York (click here for original link) on J.Crew's Fall Fashion.

It starts with some behind-the-scene-looks at their Fall Presentation, with Frank Muytjens and Jenna Lyons. It ends with a more recent look at J.Crew stores, with some fashion advice on how to wear those Fall pieces.

What are your thoughts on the video? Did you like the tips they shared for Fall?

Where J.Crew Shops for Ideas {oh my!}

"Thanks!" to Julia who shared the following article from Business Week (click here to read in its entirety):

Where J.Crew Shops for Ideas
American men no longer dress like slobs. Thanks, J.Crew. But don’t your stylists have a few people to thank as well?
By Roger Bennett
October 13, 2011

In the dead time between lunch and dinner, the second floor of Freemans Restaurant, downtown Manhattan’s culinary shrine to neo-Americana, is deserted. ...

The heavy, tome-loaded bookshelf is a secret door swinging open to reveal two cavernous rooms that contain a bespoke tailoring production line. There is a shabbily stylish fitting area furnished with a well-worn Afghan carpet and a large mirror, providing ample space for the four elaborate fittings necessary to hand-cut a superlative suit (starting price of $3,950). In an adjacent open workshop, merengue crackles out of a clock radio as four focused craftsmen operate under the supervision of a Dominican-born master tailor.

The shop is the latest extension to the Freemans fashion mini-empire, which offers American heritage style with a twist. Even if you are not among its dapper, in-the-know clientele, which includes such style icons as David Beckham, you may have a good sense of what it’s like to shop there—if you’ve ever been to J.Crew (JCG). Indeed, unmistakable elements of Freemans’s aesthetic, as well as that of other boutique brands, have cropped up in J.Crew outlets across the country—nowhere more prominently than at the menswear giant’s New York concept space, Liquor Store. According to Taavo Somer, Freemans’s intense, thickly maned founder, this is no accident.

... Every product is artfully presented, laid out on vintage worktables or nestled between scattered tchotchkes reminiscent of a lost, rustic masculinity: steamer trunks, antique binoculars, and shaving potions.

Somer not only designed the clothes but also painstakingly constructed the fixtures by hand, even custom-mixing an original gray paint shade to ensure the walls reflected the particular 1930s vibe he had in mind. His meticulous care paid immediate dividends. The clothing came to influence—perhaps even spawn—several hipster subspecies: the barman-hunter, the barista-trapper, the line cook–lumberjack. The brand soon added two stores, including one in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Popularity presented new challenges. “When we started, there were not many people doing what we do,” says Kent Kilroe, the store’s co-owner. “Soon everyone was offering clothes like ours and presenting them in the same way.” The ultimate example was the 2008 opening of J.Crew’s Liquor Store. Stylistically, the men’s specialty shop looked almost as if the 450 square feet of Freemans Sporting Club had been reconstructed in Tribeca, brick by brick.

Freemans displayed their product on work-tables and antique cases surrounded by stuffed pheasants, vintage bicycle seats, and classic novels by Saul Bellow and Raymond Carver, among other manly volumes. Liquor Store, meanwhile, piled shirts on banquet tables surrounded by similarly idiosyncratic ephemera: old-time bowling balls, oil paintings of toy dogs, and a complete set of Harvard Classics by P.F. Collier & Son. “They copied us down to the shade of the paint colors,” remembers Freemans’s director of sales, Alex Young. “Every exhibition case was lined with the exact custom-gray shade Taavo had created by hand.”

J.Crew’s head menswear designer, Frank Muytjens, dismisses such similarities as coincidence. “You have to look deeper,” he explains. “We are surrounding ourselves with classic brands—presenting our brand in an interesting way we could not otherwise do.” The Liquor Store opening was nevertheless a lesson for the Freemans team. In the cutthroat growth area of menswear, a $50 billion market in 2010, originality cannot be protected. Mass retailers are able to replicate successful strategies ...

Steven Alan, a Tribeca-based outfitter whose charmingly boyish boutiques could each pass for Wes Anderson’s bedroom, is another merchant who has learned this lesson firsthand. ...

Alan experimented with cuts, fabrics, and weathering to satisfy his vision of “an understated logo-less look with a classic American sensibility.” On top of perfecting his line, he set about identifying classic brands: jackets from Barbour, handmade shoes by Alden, Levi’s denim, Russell Moccasins, vintage Rolex watches, and Filson bags. The upshot? A singular, multibrand men’s boutique anchored by veteran rugged brands. The effect, when Alan opened in 1999, was groundbreaking. In the words of menswear consultant and stylist Michael Macko, “Beau Brummel took us out of smock coats and put us into suits. Steven Alan gave us permission to be rumpled.”

That permission, it seems, extended to J.Crew. When legendary mass merchandiser Mickey Drexler took over the national purveyor of classic preppy style in 2003, he redirected the brand toward an aspirationally stylish yet affordable modern male wardrobe. The washed-out shirt quickly became J.Crew’s basic staple. Alan recalls the time when rival stylists—not necessarily from J.Crew—began to come in his store and snap up his inventory with corporate cards. “It really bothered me at the outset,” he admitted, “but it’s impossible to police.”

J.Crew’s subsequent expansion to more than 300 stores has been explosive. Among the core strategies propelling this success was the decision to make J.Crew a logoless label and the incorporation of classic American “cult brands,” in Drexler’s words, including … Russell Moccasins, Filson bags, Alden brogues, and even vintage Rolexes.

Alan is reluctant to discuss the overlap between the companies, but admits that “buying samples from other stores is standard operating behavior. You expect competitors to take details, but not to replicate a style in its entirety.” Muytjens acknowledges the existence of influential independent retailers in the men’s space but credits his design team with the identification of the particular brands his store distributes or collaborates with. “We are naturally attracted to brands with a heritage that tell a story,” he explains. “They are brands we grew up with. Our fathers and grandfathers wore them.”

Either way, tastemaking independent concerns such as Freemans and Steven Alan are caught in a quandary. Do the creative risks they take further their own brands or merely act as research and development for mass-market chains? Their predicament receives little sympathy from within the fashion world. “We don’t get challenged by knocking off anymore,” explains fashion brand analyst Tom Julian. “Ten years ago we would get offended, but now, when Missoni have a line at Target (TGT), blatant knockoffs are considered to be homages, or products that are ‘inspired by’ another designer.” ...
What makes this article particularly interesting is that it not only takes into account the replication of certain fashion styles, but the display as well.

In all fairness, when it comes to fashion, there is always an influence of some kind on the collections. It's a given. (Remember that amazing scene in the Devil's Wear Prada, where Miranda Priestly takes Andy to class over a belt. No? Then check it out here.)

Now here is the point that kind of irks me... Mickey Drexler gets really upset when other mass retailers "copy" J.Crew's style. (In this post, it talks about J.Crew knock offs and Mickey's reaction: "Earlier this year, he said, he called the heads of three competitors selling similar products and suggested they cut the salaries of their creative staffs.") Yet, here is a case where it seems like they are copying someone else. It makes me wonder how Mickey feels about this? ;)

What are your thoughts on this article? Are there any points that you found compelling or interesting?

JCA "Help Style Me!" Weekly Post

This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"

Please share your J.Crew item (either that you own or are thinking about getting) that you would love help creating an outfit with.

Also, please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel free to include links to your blog (where you incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance! :)

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

J.Crew Review: Blythe Shirtdress

Blythe Shirtdress
Click here for product page
Item 47714
Regular: $178.00
Sale (in stores) for Poppy & Navy: $89.99

So let me begin first by saying I am not sure why this dress is back to full-price online for the Poppy and Navy shades, when those colors were on sale for the longest time. If I remember correctly, they were on sale for around $130. This is considerably higher than the in-store price of $89.99 (before any discounts either). So if you are interested in either color, I would suggest checking out your local J.Crew store. (If they don't have it or one in your size, use their red phone to get the in-store price and promotion.) Okay, back to the dress...

J.Crew describes this easy-to-wear dress as follows:

The wear-to-work statement of the season is definitely the shirtdress. Try it in supple silk with a breezy drape that adds a bit of romance to the buttoned-up classic. This style features a hidden button placket up the front, a sash at the waist and a delicately pleated skirt for swish and sway. Silk. Long sleeves. Button front. Chest pockets. A-line skirt. Partially lined. Falls above knee. Import. Dry clean.
I saw both the Navy and Poppy shades in my store— the colors are amazing. However I just couldn't pull off the Poppy. (It was too bright for my skin tone.) The Navy is a classic color (and their stock photo accurately represents the hue.)

Sizing. It is important to get the right size in this dress. My main store only carried size 2. I tried two different times and both times the dress did not fit me right in the waist and under the arms. The belt didn't seem to fit properly either. When I went to cinch the belt, the waist did not sit right with the excess hanging out below. I left the dress thinking it just didn't work for me. I stopped by another store and they had a size 0. I thought I would give it another try, the last try. Well, what a difference! The waist & belt fit perfectly. No excess fabric at the waist or under the arm. (For reference, I am a 34B.)

The belt is a really nice touch. It has a simple, yet beautiful leather buckle. The holes are properly positioned to fit your waist. Moreover, the dress looks beautiful with the sleeves rolled up for a more casual look- or- left down for a more upscale look.

The fabric is absolutely lovely. It flows very nicely and does not cling. However, it is a dry clean only material. I don't really care for that.

I am also a pear shape (size 6 in bottoms). Some dresses, with an A-line skirt, do not work well for my figure. Thankfully, this wasn't the case with this dress. I found the size 0 dress fit me very nicely in the hips. (To clarify, this skirt is not full, but it is not a straight a-line shape either.)

Maybe another reason I adore the Blythe Shirtdress is because it slightly resembles Kate Middleton's blue dress (refer here) for me. (Especially now that I found my right size!)

For other reviews on this dress, please check out:
What are your thoughts on the Blythe Shirtdress? Have you tried on this dress? If so, please share your review with us too! :)

J.Crew Email: The sale goes on: EXTRA 30% OFF & FREE SHIPPING

"Thanks!" to many of you, who shared the following news from J.Crew this morning: J.Crew Factory (click here to shop online) is open for the week! Not just the weekend.

But wait there's more!
They are offering up to 30% off their sale and free shipping with promo code OURTREAT. This offer expires Thursday, October 27, 2011. The fine print includes:

*Free shipping applies to J.Crew Factory items in online orders only. Offer does not apply to previous purchases. Free shipping offer is valid for a limited time on J.Crew Factory Internet orders only, shipped via regular shipping (3 to 6 business days). Free ground shipping on J.Crew Factory items is applied automatically at checkout.

**No exchanges, no returns on items marked as final sale. Offer valid at jcrew.com and J.Crew retail stores only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew Factory stores. Offer does not apply to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards. Additional 30% off discount applies to J.Crew sale and Factory online sale items only. Offer valid through Thursday, October 27, 2011, 11:59pm ET. Savings are applied at checkout with code OURTREAT. Offer not valid on phone orders. Limit one promotional code per order. Details of offer are subject to change.

***J.Crew Factory items purchased through jcrew.com can only be returned through the mail and at J.Crew Factory stores.
As JCAs know... if you live near a Factory Store, check them out first. The B&M Factory Stores tend to have better promotions and sale prices.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's Factory Fall offerings? Will you check them out?

Madewell Email: Two days only: 25% OFF orders of $150+ (and FREE SHIPPING on everything)

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Silver Lining (in this post), who shared the following Madewell promotion with us.

Madewell is offering 25% off *and* free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code YESPLEASE. This offer expires Thursday, October 27, 2011. The fine print includes:

*Offer valid at madewell.com only. Offer not valid in Madewell stores. Offer does not apply to previous purchases, alterations or the purchase of gift cards. 25% discount applies to online orders of $150 or more before shipping, handling and taxes are added. Free shipping offer is valid on Internet orders shipped via regular shipping (3 to 6 business days) only. Offer valid through Thursday, October 27, 2011, 11:59pm ET. Savings and free shipping are applied at checkout with code YESPLEASE. Offer not valid on phone orders. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or redeemed for cash. Limit one promotional code per order. Details of offer are subject to change.
It is a pretty good promotion considering the discount includes both regular and sale priced merchandise.

Will you be taking advantage of the YESPLEASE promo? Are you loving the new promotion from Madewell? Did you pick up an item or two? Please share! :)

J.Crew Sound Bite

"Ironic is bad movies and malt liquor, not J.Crew at the Grove and Lipitor." —Reagan (Christina Applegate), to Chris (Will Arnett), on NBC's Up All Night

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

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.

Weekly Share: Other JCrew-like Retailers

This is the weekly "Other JCrew-like Retailers" post (similar to the "Off On A Tangent" posts), 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.)

If you have recently encountered items that are similar to 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 experiences with certain merchandise pieces, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Mark Your Calendars: J.Crew Warehouse Dates

A big "thanks!" to Helena who shared the following news & upcoming events:

Asheville Sample Sale J Crew DC
Oct 29th & Oct 30th

Asheville and Lynchburg Holiday Warehouse Sale
November 25, 26 & 27 both DC locations

Please join us for our next RWS
January 6th thru January 22nd
Richmond VA – Former Borders location on West Broad

Sounds like some amazing deals to be had during and after the Holiday shopping season. Maybe I should be booking a ticket... ;)

Mini-update: "Thanks!" to AppGal (check out her lovely "Musings on the Mountain" blog) who shared the following additional details:

The first event will run from Saturday, October 29th (9AM - 8PM) through Sunday, October 30th (10AM - 4PM).

The location for this shopping event is:
J.Crew Clearance Store
1 Clifford Way (off N.C. 191)
Arden, NC 28704
(828) 687-6475

If you are attending these events, please share with us! Let us know if it is worth going and what deals you found. Thanks! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

J.Crew Review: Encore Trench

Encore trench
Click here for product page
Item 47739
Regular: $398.00
Now: $239.99

J.Crew describes this piece as follows:

The sartorial love child of an undercover agent and a prima ballerina, this classic trench transforms in an instant, thanks to a dramatic tulle crinoline that attaches to the inside waist of the jacket (so brilliant). Cotton. Notch collar. Long sleeves. Self belt. Welt pockets. Button-tabs at cuffs. Back vent with button-tab. Fully lined. Hits at knee. Part of J.Crew Collection. Import. Dry clean. Available in select stores.
Most of us gasped when we first saw glimpses of this coat in the Fall sneak preview from awhile back. Pairing the classic styling of a trench coat with the girly flair of the full skirt... LOVES IT!

I knew I had to own this piece after Bourbon & Pearls reviewed this trench (formerly called the Ethel Trench). For reference, check out the "Fellow JCA Reviews the {beloved} Ethel Trench" post.

When I saw the Encore Trench go on sale, I knew I had to act fast. It wouldn't stick around the sale section forever. So as an early birthday gift, I ordered last week the Encore Trench. Good thing too, because it is already sold out!

Now with J.Crew's crazy sizing... I am usually a size 2 in outerwear with J.Crew. Although the past two seasons, I could go down to size 0. For this coat, I decided to stick with the same size I have for the Icon Trench (Item 11210, $298.00, now $199.99). I went with a size 2. I am glad I did, as the fit is perfect. (For reference, I'm 34B.)

The coat is longer than I realized, even on my 5'8 frame. Hits me right above the knee. I like the look and it works for me. But I am not sure if it would be considered too long for those with petite frames. It is worth trying on beforehand (if possible).

The interesting thing about this coat is that there are two belt loops in the back only. It could use another two towards the front of the jacket.

Also, if you were to leave the coat open, it looks okay. Why? Because the tulle totally shows. At least it can be easily removed via buttons along the top. (Of course, the fear is removing the tulle and putting it in storage. Then forgetting wear I put the tulle altogether.)

The full skirt of the coat is really quite stunning. It definitely dresses up any outfit in an instant. Because it is so full, I think it works best with skinny pants. (Although, I haven't tried the coat on with a trouser leg yet.)

I also found the "burnished khaki" quite lovely for Fall. A classic shade of khaki too. It's shade is darker than the "light khaki" of the Icon Trench.

Overall, I really like this coat. Definitely worth the sale price plus the additional 25-30% off (from the promotions of this week and last week).

For another perspective on sizing for this coat, J.CrewJD (in this post) shared her valuable insight:
... I think the consensus is you can either stick with your normal size or go one size up.

I went one size up, the same size I have in the icon trench. But I am kinda busty, and will want to wear layers underneath, and just found the one size up much more comfortable. If this helps, I have a 6 in the wool cashmere plaza coat, the stadium cloth boulevard trench, and a small in my long puffer, but I have an 8 in my lady day coat, icon trench, and encore trench. But I know of another JCA who got her normal size, and lives in a warm climate. I hope that's helpful!
What are your thoughts on the Encore Trench? Have you tried on this coat? If so, please share your review with us too! :)