Friday, September 21, 2012

J.Crew Catalog Flashback {1995}

J.Crew posted on their Facebook page and their 770 Blog (click here) their catalog cover from Fall of 1995!

Even though the outfit is dated, there is something still very cool and laid back about it.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's old school catalog cover? Would you rock the look above? ;) Please share!

57 comments:

  1. Oh man, this is awesome. The jacket is dated, with the oversized-ness of it all... but the rest of the outfit is, while not my taste, still sort of current looking. I mean those flat brogues have been in style for the past few years... and maybe the pants are ok, although I bet if she was standing up you could see that they are baggy/pleated/high waisted. Ok, so maybe it is terribly dated. But I'm with you Alexis, the cover itself is very appealing!

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  2. The outfit is dated, but I still love that bag!

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  3. Love it, I absolutely would! Though I'd add some bling .... maybe a gold watch and a bangle or two and some earrings!:)

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  4. What really dates the photo: although the model is pensive, she is not in a daze.

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  5. makes me wonder what we'll think in the future when we look back on the catalogs from today. i like the laid back vibe... and i think the cover exudes confidence... i guess confidence is always key.

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  6. Oh what heavenly simplicity. They'd never do this today, she'd be wearing a half-untucked chambray shirt, sequined cashmere Collection shorts, a scarf, five bubble necklaces, men's socks with a pair of Valentinas, a Mongolian hat inspired by Genghis Khan and of course Jenna glasses. Plus she'd certainly never be allowed to close her mouth.

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    1. I wish I could like this comment. Especially the part about the Jenna glasses!

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    2. Bwahahahahaha! And if you took the hat off, there'd be flowers/twigs/etc in her hair.

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    3. Lane, you got a snort inducing laugh off of me for that French hen line.

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    4. this whole conversation is too funny!

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    5. Wait ... don't forget the orangey-red lip!

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  7. ha, i got a pair of shoes like that from a jcrew warehouse/sample type sale in like 1997/98.

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  8. I love it. I'd wear a similar outfit today. Wait... I am wearing a similar outfit today.

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  9. Barbabelle - you're so right.

    I capitulated and made a 30% off order this morning. The good news is that 3 of the 4 items I got are NOT final sale. And I don't think I could have done much better with B&M pricing, but maybe I'm fooling myself.

    The bad news is that JC makes things awfully hard. The truth is, I really want one of the expensive sale sequin pencil skirts. But the pictures make each of them look like they have a substantially different shape. One looks floppy, another looks quite tailored, and a third is in-between. All have the same description. I'm not going to take the risk!

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  10. Barbabelle! I'm with you! I like this older outfit 100 times better than the unwearable, goofy things JC is showing now. It's a perfect and appropriate outfit for my life. And I'm still looking for those shoes. All the oxfords I've found lately have been "goofied" up with sparkles, lace, dayglo soles....thy're just ugly. Why is everything so over the top now?

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  11. I love the cover! It really reminds me of the show Felicity for some reason (and that is one of my all-time favorite shows-love Keri Russell!) I am not a huge fan of the jacket she has on, but I love the pants and the shoes-so classic! She is beautiful and appears pensive, as someone already stated. I love it!

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    1. It reminded me of Felicity, too! The casual vibe and the leather bag...Felicity had a leather backpack that same shade. I love Keri Russell, too! Memories!

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  12. I don't care that it's outdated. I would LOVE to have that jacket!

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    1. Me too! The jacket would be great over a richly-colored slim-fitting turtleneck, skinny jeans with heeled boots (jeans tucked or not) and hair up in a loose bun with minimal jewelry. Maybe it's a "made in Canada" look?

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  13. There is a difference here though. That jacket is probably a beautiful suede and the quality top notch. I bought a J. Crew jacket for my husband at Christmas 2003 and it was gorgeous, about $450 and today would probably be $900 or more. Those shoes are probably the highest quality leather and feel heavy and solid. The pinstripe pants look like they may be velvet, can't tell.

    J. Crew before Mickey was very high quality. And in Mickey's early years, J. Crew was still high quality. Slowly they started cutting back on quality when Mickey decided to go public and also go house-shopping in the Hamptons. Now, he's got crazy gorgeous houses and J. Crew sells acrylic blends - the opposite of this picture.

    I'm amazed that no one has called them out during Fashion Week, that WWD has not done a OP Ed on J. Crew's direction. That is Mickey and Jenna's real accomplishment. Like a magician, they replaced the Repp Tie and piping details with polyester and still got photos in Vanity Fair.

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  14. Love this cover! Reminds me of one of my favorite outfits from high school (probably the same year at this picture: pinstripe pants with suspenders, a fitted long sleeve white tee, and black oxfords. Ahh, memories...

    Back to the cover. The composition of that photo is fantastic. She's lost in thought -- who is she thinking about? The bag under her legs -- is she going somewhere? Is someone meeting her? What was she reading about in the paper? Okay, I'm probably ruminating too much. :) But it's so much more pleasing to the eye than the disheveled hair and clothes that have been so prominent lately.

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    1. This. You look at this image and you're intrigued, you want to know more about this woman: where she's going, what she's thinking, who she's going to meet. Maybe you even want to BE her a little bit - even if all you know is the story you made up in your head. That's where aspirational fashion begins. I don't want to be anybody from the last few style guides: bland, blank, and badly in need of a hairbrush.

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  15. I may be alone here but I find every element of this outfit horribly dated and just plain horrible! Mind you I was NOT a fan of '90s fashion and hope it never comes back - I'd be back in my neon green spandex from the '80s before I'd adopt this oversize drab look again. Regardless of personal style, I think clothes look best when they have a tailored fit - critical as it may sound, I see women on the street all the time and think, wow, that looks so great on her because it fits so well, or conversely, wow, that's a great dress but a different size would've made a world of difference in terms of polish.

    Personally, this image just reminds me of JC when JC was boring. But at the same time, it makes me recognize what I love about JC now. The quality may not compare to 1995 standards, and that's truly unfortunate, but I think modern day JC offers something for everyone, from conservative/classic to eccentric/trendy and everything in-between.

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    1. I with you Dara. I strongly dislike the outfit. I think it's boring and everything looks too big for the model. The look is hyper masculine and very dark - basically no color at all and no jewelry either. The model herself looks good and I like the pose.

      I like the current offerings much better - colors and prints are much more interesting than what is shown here, although like others have already said, I can do without the Jenna glasses.

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  16. PS... was this look "borrowed from the boys" or did it pre-date the phrase entirely? One can only wonder.

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  17. Although I wouldn't wear that outfit personally (too dark, heavy, and masculine for my style), I like the photo--it would make me open the catalog. No open-mouthed gawping at the camera, no Kool-Aid stains.

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  18. The silhouette looks a bit dated: too baggy. The fabrication, tailoring, quality: I'd personally kill for J. Crew to offer that again.

    As for the monochromatic palette in the image that looks kind of dull, our eyes have been trained by the "exploded-clown" (Who said that? Brilliant) neon color combos and color-blocking of recent offerings. The eye-numbing hot pink with orange, a green bag and some sequins and python thrown in for good measure!

    I've noticed that alot of people instantly recognize current J. Crew and Crew-like styles these days, and I'm wondering how quickly the newer items I own will look dated, too. Those Bubble Necklaces are gonna look sooooo 2011.

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    1. It was my husband who said it looked like one of those tiny cars full of clowns exploded in a J.Crew B&M. It was very apropos given what we saw in the store and I think you are right that some of the newer items, or at least the way they are currently worn, will look dated very fast. I know that women dress for women a lot of the time but I have heard several comments from men on how they don't like the garish brights and "gobs of tacky jewelry" all together. I find a lot of it so excessive, it's really off-putting. Mind you, I work mostly with men in a formal business environment so the very trendy outfits really stand out, but not in a good way. To each, their own though. People should enjoy what they wear, heaven knows some of us (like me) spend an awful lot of time thinking about it.

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    2. xoxo, props to your husband! Brilliantly funny description!

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  19. When I first saw it I thought it was the cover of November 2012 being previewed!!

    I love the look - chic and a break from all the J Crew COLOR.

    Agree with others - needs some jewelry to bright up.

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  20. Does anyone remember a women's clothing catalog from the 1990s called 1212? I think maybe they wrote it 1 (212). It was like 1990s J.Crew but a little more office-friendly. I have a sterling necklace from there and for many years had a pinstripe suit of theirs. I've googled it many times, to no avail. I wish I could remember more.

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    1. I purchased a ton of things from them in the mid-90s. I still wear some of them, including cashmere sweaters (utterly pristine, no pilling at all!) and a velveteen peacoat.

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    2. I remember One (212), they had great intentions but like Alcott & Andrews didn't last long.

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  21. Anyone realize the hair on the models? Thin, thin, thin, like they're all wearing bump-it's (google it) because they don't have hair that has any volume to it...like anorexia or bulemia has kicked in hardcore.

    Now look at the hair of the models from yesteryears...healthy. They're smiling because obviously, they've been fed.

    FEED YOUR MODELS, JCREW.

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    1. Oh, please. That's such a tired, ridiculous stereotype. I don't see any thinning hair and I don't think anyone is "too thin." Some people are naturally thin and those people often go into modeling. The real health crisis in America is obesity. Anyway, J.Crew models before and now have always looked quite normal to me.

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    2. It's not a ridiculous stereotype, it's an keen observation. They may purposely pick models who are skinnier because it fits in with the designer's "look". I.e, Lane Bryant isn't going to hire a stick to model her clothes, and J.Crew isn't going to hire an L.

      You can be a size 2 and look healthy. You can be a size 14 and look healthy. There are a rainbow of women on this blog that rock both ends of the spectrum. Saying that the real health crisis is only obesity is silly. It's anorexia, bulemia and starvation in young women as well.


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  23. I like this look because it isn't contrived. I think I'm over the super contrived look.....too many patterns, colors, layers, jewelry pieces. I've done it and now I'm tired of it. Thank god it only lasted for a year and I didn't buy so much of it that I can't move on. Oh.....and I thought I might actually buy something from the Crew. I was looking at the mosaic bangle in the berry colorway because I bought the earrings that go with it. But I was instantly turned off when I saw it's strung on stretchy plastic string. So that's why it's ONLY $58.00. I should have guessed as much.

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  24. Now that's a model dressed for Fall! I can imagine a second person down the bench in a rollneck sweater, too.

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    1. Oh I loved their rollneck sweaters.

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  25. I totally remember this cover! I recall scouring the local shops trying to put together this outfit (JC was waaaay too $$$ back then in Canada, what with the exchange rate and duty and shipping). What I wouldn't do for those shoes or that bag...

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  26. Just compare this image to the cockamamie getup in the blog header...what a difference!

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  27. I'll admit I'm not pining for that outfit. It looks awful to me. Pinstripes + over-sized shearling is just as wacky to me as today's Style Guide get-ups. It only seems less wacky because it's all black. I don't mind the shoes, though. The model does look healthy and fed, kudos for that.

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  28. Brings memories of the old-school J. Crew that I loved so much back in the day! The clothing fit so well and the quality was far and above the quality of some of the less-than-stellar clothing j. crew sells today. In addition, those old catalogs actually put together ensembles that you would feel great about wearing into an office, unlike some of the pretentiously mis-matched ones in the catalogs of late. Just my opinion:)

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  29. I like the cover as an image and wish they would bring back the quality. I could not shop at jcrew in 95 it would be way too expensive but I have pictures if myself in similar jacket, also I wore pinstriped trousers with suspenders, newsboy hat, my husbands shirt and masculine loafers. Cannot say that I want to ever go back to that look especially not having the help of being young, cute and very thin.

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  31. This cover makes me wonder what is considered "chic" today could be viewed as so dated and dull in a little as 5 or 10 years.

    It makes me question as to whether I am throwing my money away on these new "roll-outs" or sales, that will just be sitting in my closet in a few years.

    It reminds me to stay focused on buying only key items that are timeless, and save and invest the rest of my money.

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  32. Cool vibe. I would wear the jacket. Also, those shoes seem to making something of a comeback, although I don't like them much myself. It is nice to reminisce. The latest catalogs aren't set anywhere- I liked it when they were in France a few years ago. After watching the CNBC interview with MD, I realized that while they may get great fabrics and other materials, they still have the garments mass produced in China, and that to me explains the workmanship issues in a nutshell. But- were they doing that in 1995? I don't recall.

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  33. I was taken aback by your comment that the look was 'dated'. I have similar pieces that I still wear today and I had to look for the 'dated' part of the look. Still can't find it.

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  34. I am with Lisa - I would wear this today. Yikes? Am I completely out of tune with the times??? :-)

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  35. That jacket is great. I wish I'd bought it then because I'd still be wearing it now. I love the shoes, too--just the other day I wanted to order a pair of similar suede brogues from Boden, but they are back ordered for three months!

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  36. I agree I wish I have purchased that jacket, I have a somewhat similar one from Banana Republic that I still wear. Honestly, I look at the Collection shearling-trim bomber jacket
    $498.00 item 95074 and think that looks much more 'dated'.

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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! :)