Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"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.

62 comments:

  1. I really wish J. Crew allowed comments and ratings for each item on its website! It is nice to know ahead of time what other people's experiences have been with sizing, construction, and fit. This fall I bought two of the "tippi sweaters," and they fit a lot smaller than I expected, and they fell apart almost immediately - both of them got pulls the first day I wore them, and then promptly shrunk in the wash. I bought them at full price, and was not pleased.

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  2. J crew is not worth full price. I was shocked by the new catalog prices. I always wait for a sale. However, I was really disappointed with only 2 items I've ordered recently. low quality. Returned.

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  3. Has anyone else had trouble washing their funnel neck sweatshirt? I followed the instructions to a T and not only did it shrink in the wash, it came out incredibly stiff! Does anyone know if that can be fixed/reversed? Surprisingly this is the first time I've had such an issue with something I've washed from J. Crew!

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  4. Tippy, sorry to hear about the sweatshirt. That is strange. In the past I have had expensive cotton shirts shrink in coldwater too. What is the fabric content of the sweatshirt? I have not seen it. Just wondering if fabric softener would help. Use a lot in cool water and soak for an hour and then try stretching the garment several times in all directions as it dries

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  5. I'm really irritated at the increases in prices on items that aren't new but have just added new colors -- e.g. classic ballet flats (now $125 FP) and the Jardin skirt (now $88, and was just $78 a couple days ago). It's ridiculous.

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  6. Tried on a cute pair of oxford ballet flats on sale at the Factory store. I liked them, but noticed that they looked different on my feet. I asked the SA her opinion, and upon closer inspection, we realized that the shoes, both marked size 7.5, were NOT the same size -- one was visibily bigger than the other.

    You'd think it would be a good thing for someone like me -- one foot is larger than the other -- but the proportion of the black to beige was visibly different.

    $98 full price?

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  7. I wish that the teacher discount policy was clear and applied consistently from store to store.

    I have 3 B & Ms and a Factory Store within a reasonable driving distance that I visit regularly. Yesterday I visited two of them, trolling the sale sections for coats and bags w the 30% off. One store allows the teacher discount to be used with a % off, the other usually doesn't, some salespeople will allow it, some won't.

    I've asked the managers and PSs about the company's "policy," but to be honest I haven't pushed it to much because I feel kind of "cheap" asking for the additional 15%. Some SAs have been overtly nasty about it and I've been standing there in line, embarrassed.

    I found a Majesty Peacoat and an Invitation Clutch in Leopard yesterday in two different stores and I was only able to have the discount on the clutch.

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  8. ruffles,
    I think this issue has been going on for YEARS. Several years ago I could get the eductor's discount at the Edina, MN store but not the Mall of America one...go figure. They were about 15 minutes apart from each other!

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  9. Ruffles, you are not being cheap, the teacher/student discount has been around for years. JC is still making money even with the discount. I just hand over my school ID simultaneously with my JC credit card, no "may I ?" about it. I've found that many SAs tend to say No automatically to most things they're asked, whether or not it involves any effort on their part.

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  10. FS is saving me $$$. I refuse to buy anything that I can't return since I have been disappointed with the quality of many items this fall. And the discounts are worse then they were just a few weeks ago when it was all returnable. Do they really think that it makes sense? I am willing to bet that we will see 40% FS very soon.

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  11. @Ruffles, A few weeks ago I witnessed a college student come into the b&m with an item she bought on sale, & requested the student discount be applied because the CS did not apply it at the time of purchase (within a few days). The CS gave her a hard time & I'm not sure if she got it applied or not. I know she grumbled on her way out of the store.

    Don't be embarassed. Keep in the back of your mind the fact other customers in the store aren't laughing or thinking badly of you, they're thinking how poor JC is as a company for being inconsistent with their policy.

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  12. I have a pair of cotton chino Cafe Trousers that I ordered in tall (36" inseam). When I received them, they were long enough that I had to wear heels or the hems would drag on the floor. After approximately 3-4 washes (per the instructions on the tag), the pants have shrunk a full 2" in length and now they are barely long enough to wear with flats. I'm pretty annoyed.

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  13. I am also bugged by the increased prices on items that have been staples...ballet flats now $125.00, etc. Seriously? The colors have changed but has the quality? No...it is still somewhat under par compared to other items. I have found that lately, Banana Republic has upped its game with better quality products...watch out JCREW...you have competition and they are winning!

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  14. Slightly OT, but does anyone know when we can expect a real sale, i.e., either a promo or non final sale? I'm sick of final sale already.

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  15. Ladies, thank you for your replies re: the teacher discount. I think I will try WFF's suggestion next time and just matter-of-factly hand the SA my school id with my charge card and see what happens :)

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  16. I mentioned this before, but I think it's a mistake for JC to cut back on sizing options. They used to offer a sz. 33 in their jeans. I'm between a 10 and 12 in bottoms, but their 32's don't always fit me. They're going to lose out on me buying things b/c they're not offering a full range of sizes. Granted, I wish I was a sz. 2, but I'd like to think I'm within the realm of normal, but yet, they don't have jeans that will fit me most likely anymore.

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  17. Does anyone have suggestions for ballet flats from companies other than JCrew? I LOVE their flats, but can't deal with the prices anymore :-/

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  18. The after-Christmas sales at J Crew have been underwhelming.

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  19. @Shanni - I LOVE Bloch ballet flats and you can find some great deals on them from time to time at endless.com (and free shipping and returns and great ebates and no tax!!) Bloch flats are great quality, comfy and cute - love them!

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  20. I also wish J.Crew would allow comments on their website. I love reading the reviews on Anthro and appreciate that they are willing to let their customers share their opinions. I often decide to buy or not based on reviews. I bet J.Crew is scared to allow comments as their quality has really declined. I know I'd have a lot to say about the Betsy sweater-and it wouldn't be positive!

    I have also gotten very frustrated at the cheap materials they use. I don't want poly, nylon etc in my sweaters. Seriously, does anyone make a 100% wool sweater anymore?

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  21. 125 for the ballet flats up from 88 I missed that and wont miss buying at all, and 98 at the Factory store, crazy.

    Website: really needs
    a. customer reviews, I just bought some things at LE Canvas they have a great site, with reviews,
    b. and a full product description ( not click further)
    c. be able to do a product at the sales register for an item like most stores can do. why cant they do that, and print it up for you?

    I havent as bad luck with product quality as some of you, but I think JC needs to rethink their website and sale policy alot to be competitve
    Final Sale after 1 markdown who wants to bother. sometimes you need to take the garment home and see if it works with what you have.

    OK I am done, sorry if sound negative because the clothes are so cute.

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  22. Starfish 28 -

    Thanks for your comment about the cafe trousers (cotton). I just got them in black, regular length 33".I was a little startled at how long they are, even with heels (I'm 5'6"). I was going to have them hemmed, but it sounds like if I wash them a couple of times, they might shribnk to the right length.

    JC should revisit the length of these pants...

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  23. I had a unpleasant experience yesterday over the phone with a J.Crew representative. They were giving me attitude about requesting a "we will find it for you" item. To be fair, it was the first time I've had a bad experience with this service...maybe she was having a bad day?

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  24. cousy, do not hem the pants until you washed them couple times. I am 5.6" as well and I bought the Hutton chinos that have 34" inseam. At first I could only do high heels with them but I after I washed them 2 times they shrunk significantly and I can wear them no with 1" loafers.
    This was good actually, but my flannel lined Waverly chinos also shrunk to the point that not only they are too short to roll up but they are just borderline too short.
    Not cool.

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  25. Regarding ballet flats, I have several pairs of ballet flats from The Frye Company that have been fabulous. Sizing is pretty consistent, lining is leather, and they wear very, very well. They may cost around the same as J. Crew ballet flats, or even more if they are embellished, but the price has been worth it for me.

    I also have several pairs of patent leather ballet flats from Clarks - the "Demure" style - that have been excellent and have worn well. Cost is around $90 unless you can nab them on sale.

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  26. Thanks AJC for your advice about shrinking my cafe trousers. You saved me $25!

    Vent - the offerings on the web site feel really, really tired, especially with final sale. I'm glad I bought everything earlier with 30% off and no FS. There's just not anything I want to buy at JC right now, sale or not.

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  27. BRs new arrivals include colored ballet flats v. Similar to jcrew at a much more reasonable price and 25% off!

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  28. This is not jcrew retail-related, but on Christmas eve I was bidding on the Shipley/shiply coat from a few years back on my new iPhone. I don't know what went wrong- whether it was the eBay mobile app or my family's wifi, but the "time left to bid" counter didn't update correctly, and I missed bidding on the coat!! I'm still bummed out, as the coat sold for $30!!! And I definitely could have outbid that (sigh).

    There are a couple other coats in my size (6) left on eBay, but the prices are higher for the red and the sea salt I am looking for (I am waiting for an exchange shipment for both the metro and envelope coats in several sizes/colors and can't justify the pr ice why I have so much money tied up in other coats right now!).

    I know this is more for the "looking for" post, but if anyone has an EUC sea salt or red shiply they're willing to part with, let me know!!!

    Kocanez at gmail dot com

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  29. After reading the enthusiasm for J.Crew products in a number of blogs, I made my first J.Crew purchase a couple of months ago - a black cashmere V-neck sweater. I bought it to replace my old favorite which was 20-years-old. The J.Crew sweater pilled horribly, almost immediately, the first week of wearing and I'm not hard on my clothes.

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  30. My grumble / vent is Jcrew final sales / policies...

    I don't know of any other store that I shop frequently that is so stingy on their policies. I'm easy going so I know when something makes me frustrated it must be off.

    I never try to take advantage of the system but if it doesn't fit or match what was online I want to return it. My store is tiny, they carry nothing and so I can't preview many items. I don't purchase full price because I know it will be on sale next month. Final sale is a huge turn off for me. Sure, final sale on items that are in-store makes sense, or on super discounted items that are blowouts but not recent markdowns!

    Next, I received some jeans for Christmas with no gift receipt. Guess what, I can't even return them because Jcrew has a firm receipt policy. They don't even give you the option for exchanges or store credit. These jeans were full price in store, not even a discontinued item! I am simply stuck with them. I don't know of any store besides dollar store types that do this to you. It really leaves me to question my desire to purchase Jcrew.

    Student / Teacher discount- could they pick a policy and stick with it! I am sick of getting a stink eye every time I request it. It is almost like I should just sew a Scarlet S on my shirt just for requesting it. Heck, I am just as confused and frustrated as they are. I don't know whether or when to ask or not! I make my decisions based on the price I think an item is. If I get up to the register and it is different than I calculated, I'm not happy.

    Lastly, Jcrew, could you enter this century. I do most of my shopping on my phone and your web site is far behind anyone else. No reviews, phone app, etc.

    I feel better ladies, thanks for letting me vent!

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  31. Thought I was safe with the 100% merino Minimalist Mockneck in Heather Grey. Wearing it a second time, and already pilling underneath the arms. So pilly in fact, one of the guys at work made a comment (that's when you know you have a FAIL). I was so excited to get these (also have it in Heather Dark Grape), since I thought they were the updated versions of my beloved "old school" rollneck sweaters, which I turfed after 10+ years.

    And don't get me started on the Featherweight Cashmere from last year. I have 2 twin sets now hanging in my closet, which I'm ashamed of wearing out, they're that pilly. I'll wear them to grocery shop under a jacket, that's about it.

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  32. I agree it is ridiculous to not offer size 33 in pants. Hello, I am a size 6 and I sometimes need a size 30. So anyone above a 10 can't buy numbered size pants at J.Crew anymore?? Seriously?? That is absurd.

    I also hate their generally secretive and customer unfriendly policies, website, customer service, etc.

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  33. To all Canadian customers.....

    I went to the Toronto store today, about an hour from home, to return the Metro Coat as shipping a heavy coat to the US to return it would be very cost prohibitive. When I was there I was told that YOU CANNOT RETURN WEB ORDERS AT THE CANADIAN STORE. This was the first I heard of this, and there were three other people there trying to make online returns having the same problem. The manager said they told head office to start informing Canadian customers of this, but none of the four of us making returns had heard this before. The others left, but I was the last one there and complained to the manager who called head office and got them to okay refunding my shipping charges as I had spent two hours communting back and forth to that location for nothing. This is extremely frustrating as the Buffalo store will of course accept returns. Heads up all Canadian customers as this is completely ridiculous! Please spread the word so others don't waste their time driving to the store for returns.

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  34. @ mommycamille: That's INSANE that they won't let you return web orders to the store. What's the point of having a store, then??

    I very much doubt that JC will ever allows reviews on their site, because the reviews would be full of complaints! It would take the juice out of the Crewlade.

    As for my complaint, like everyone else: Final Sale sucks. But at the same time, I'm glad it's there because it stops me from shopping...

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  35. J.Crew really needs to take a page from Nordstrom. My purchases have skyrocketed since they instituted free shipping/free returns. I have returned only a couple of things out of the tons I have bought. Of course, it is mostly not for me ;).

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  36. On the issue of ballet flats, I l have several pairs of Tory Burch Revas. Yes, they are more expensive than JC's (about $195-$235), but wow, the price gap is narrowing. For what JC is charging, I'd pay the extra $70 and go for the Revas.

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  37. I overnighted a black cashmere v-neck over the holidays -- I am leaving the country in a couple days and wanted to travel with it. The package arrived today. They sent me the completely wrong thing. Instead of a women's sweater, I got a dress from crewcuts. Now the sweater is backordered everywhere and there's no chance I'll get it before leaving. I think what takes the cake, though, is the fact that when I called to complain, the customer service rep said, "Oh, the sweater is backordered, that's probably why you were sent the other item." What?! That makes no sense! Get it together, J.Crew!

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  38. My canceled order/Paypal fiasco boots shipped this week. I'm glad to get the boots in the end but it's still annoying. Wish that would have happened with my cenceled jazzy purple pencil skirt. :-/

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  39. I'm venting about pricing doing the yo-yo bounce--ugh! The lady day coat in oasis green was $80 (pre-promo) two weeks ago; my size is back in stock, but now they want $240--uh, no thanks!

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  40. Has anyone tried Tieks ballet flats?

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  41. Regarding the ballet flats:

    Yeah, I left a pretty negative view on them (and on all JC shoes overall) in another post. I had said that they just felt like low quality in my hand and then they practically bent in half. And the price. I mean there is no way.

    But the thing is: I'm sure many shoppers are nowhere near this discerning. J.Crew is still making a TON of money, whether people are paying full price or waiting for a good deal. Personally, I won't ever pay full price regardless of what my bank account looks like. Are there many people out there who do??? (Honest question!)

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  42. So... no returns for online orders for Canadian shoppers. Then what's the rationale for the 25% upcharge for Canadian online prices? As clearly it's NOT for doing business in Canada! Fail, J. Crew. FAIL.

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  43. I know I'm late to the party, but ordered the Sperry cerise top siders, supposed to be red, they are most definitely ORANGE. I could live with that but one side of the shoe had a stain and it looked like someone tried to get it out with bleach. Had to send them back....sigh...
    http://magpiestyle.net

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  44. I received the Jules (or as I'm renaming, the Kangaroo tunic) dress in the ashbury floral print. I love the print, BUT after trying it I noticed that JC took yet another cost cutting measure by using smaller panels of silk to create the dress rather than 2 single pieces of silk to run from the neckline to the hem. They tried to hide it by sewing "kangaroo" pockets in the front, but the pattern disruption is so annoying, especially in the back. It's like they made a mini skirt and sewed it to the top as a last minute thought and said "oh, this is how we'll charge $188 and make a bigger profit by using small pieces of fabric." Prior year tunic dresses like this were not done like this.

    I'm torn, the only other silk item I saw in this pattern is the silk skirt which doesn't appeal to me.

    Well, I can cancel my waitlisted order for the wildcat Jules dress now. Darn it! I got excited by the dress on the web initially.

    One last thing, DH has now requested I cease buying JC gifts for him.mas he pointed out, since when does a cotton flannel shirt have to be washed on the gentle cycle in cold water and washed on low?

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  45. Oops, as, not mas

    Dried on low, not washed.

    PS, he showed me the tall thermal shirts I purchased for him. Um, they're from last Xmas and have shrunk in length significantly so off to Goodwill they go.

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  46. The Kirtley Satchel I snagged a month ago has an issue with the main zipper already! Not only is the zipper a pain to operate every time you want to get into the bag, it is so chunky that it can scratch your hand! The pull has started to peel in two places, it looks like it was sliced off on either side. Weird! I'm going to return it. The search for the perfect bag continues...

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  47. I'm wearing the Palm Springs Beaded necklace for the first time today, and one of the beads has a chip of color, which leads me to believe that the color is painted on the beads. I have old Crew glass beaded necklaces, and the color on those are not painted on. I'm so disappointed. Emailed my PS and will return. Don't think I will exchange for another, as I'd fear this happening again. Who wants to wear a necklace with chipped paint?

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  48. I just received the Booker boots, and they've clearly been worn! There are scratches on them, they're scuffed, and the leather is wrinkled. The worst part is that this is the second time that I've ordered these boots - the first pair I got was way too narrow on the right foot. Well, guess what - so is the second pair! And, judging from the condition (and the fact that I had to wait two months to get this pair) I actually think this is the very same pair. Someone else probably returned them for the same reason.

    I called JCrew right away and it turns out they are sold out of the Booker boot in black 6.5 now! They offered to pay for repair costs on the pair I received (IF I keep them), but I do not understand how they could ship something to me in this condition to begin with. For shame, JCrew.

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  49. @ Meghan: I still pay full price, but mainly for duplicates of things that I already love and that fit really well. Cashmere l/s tees, Minnie pants, No.2 Pencil skirts...I bought 4 Jackie pullovers at full price b/c I know that I'll have worn them multiple times before a promo pops up. I'd never pay full price for J.Crew's shoes, though. Not unless I can try them on first.

    Here's a vent about J.Crew's bathing suits: why are most of the available D-cup bikini tops only bandeau style? That makes no sense to me at all.

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  50. I got the cede studded ballet flat for Christmas and although I can return to the store they won't do an exchange. So I had to order and pay for another pair in the size I needed. Today the new size arrived and they are about 3 shades lighter, and instead of the pretty gold lining my originals had, they are nude. The shoe and style/item number are the EXACT same. When I called JC the rep told me to take them to the store so they can tell me what's wrong. She also assured me that ordering another pair wouldn't guarantee that I would get the same color as the original pair that was ordered. If they have changed the color of the flat they need to update on their site. Was not a sale item.

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  51. Joe, the factory stores sell the Cece studded flats (#28699 right?) but they have a nude lining, I THINK. In all other ways, they look identical to the retail version. Made of real suede, and no two diamonds or anything to tell them apart. I have no idea what the item number is on the factory ones but... if it's the same (which seems unlikely but hey you never know with them) then this is a possible explanation.

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  52. I am blown away by JCrew's pricing. WAY too much for clothes. They are just clothes.

    Kind of OT but, has anyone smelled the sweaters at Gap lately? Holy cow! Stinky wool. What is going on with retail right now?

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  53. Jruby18:

    Thanks for your comment on the Tory Burch Revas. I am looking to buy a pair because I need a good pair of flats and have been disappointed with J Crew shoes in the past. How do the Tory Burch Revas fit? I am a 9h (9.5) at J.Crew. What size would I need in Revas?

    Thanks so much!

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  54. I had posted as "joe" earlier- sorry for the confusion. I ended up returning both pair to retail and they had no idea, ended up re ordering and placing a "quality check" on the new shoes to insure I would et the gold lining and not the lighter nude ones. The SA was super friendly and called a ton of stores to see if they had them for me, unfortunately nothing turned up. She also placed overnight shipping on my order to speed up the process.

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  55. @Taais, I'd say you probably could go w/the same size. Although, IME the Reva's run on the small side. I'm between a 7.5 and 8 in most shoes, but pretty consistently an 8 in JC shoes and my Revas are all 8's. HTH.

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  56. Meghan, I pay full price for a lot of things at J.Crew. If there's a promo I love to take advantage of a discount but I'm not much of a sale shopper. I don't have real proof, since I'm not a big sale shopper, but I do believe I spend less overall by purchasing the few really great things I want at full price and ignoring the sales on things that are just mediocre.

    I will say that there are fewer and fewer items that are worth the full price but for those I have bought at FP and kept, I have no regrets.

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  57. Missed my price adjustment window by under 10 minutes(that's east coast time, I had 2 hours and 50 minutes in my timezone) and they won't give me the adjustment! Ugh! So mad!

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  58. I recently bought the Metro coat in black, partly because it was available at a very good sale price. Before I bought, I queried J Crew about length. The description said "knee-length," but the photos suggested that the hem fell a few inches above the knee. I needed a mid-knee-length coat, to cover my knee-length skirts and dresses. I'm only 5'6", but I wondered whether I should buy a "tall" and have it shortened if necessary.

    The J Crew representative who responded to me claimed that the model was 6' tall, so naturally the coat was short on her, and I should buy a regular length.

    I should have obeyed my instincts. The coat just BARELY hits the very top of my knee and is too short to wear with most of my skirts and dresses.

    Other problems: the photos and the description suggest that the coat is very slimly cut. Instead, the lower portion has a virtually A-line silhouette. Very disappointing, since I was looking for the sleeker, chicer, slimmer line implied by the photo. On the other hand, the shoulders and sleeves ARE very narrowly cut, so the coat can't really be comfortably worn over bulky winter sweaters or blazers/suit jackets. Finally, the pockets should be set lower and at a slant, designed so you can actually use them.

    I'm keeping the coat because the price was so good and because it will make a fine casual coat to be worn over jeans and other pants. However, I won't be able to use it for the purpose I had in mind.

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  59. The final sale pages were a mess today...at least half the items I looked at were no longer available in any size at all, so what was the point in showing them? Also, several swimsuits were listed as being on sale for 29.99, but once they were in my cart, went back to regular price of 88.00. Really, really frustrating. Didn't buy a thing.

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

And now back to J.Crew! :)