Friday, March 30, 2012

J.Crew Factory Email: News flash: top styles for guys, up to 40% OFF

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

J.Crew Factory (click here to shop online) is open for the weekend. They are also offering up to 40% off on select new arrivals for Men.

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 offerings? Will you check them out?

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 SPRING sale, or to see some new SUMMER 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, March 29, 2012

J.Crew + Facebook + Customers = ???

"Thanks!" to alicialoveseveryone (in this post), who shared the following article from Time's MoneyLand (click here to read in its entirety):

Many Big Retailers Don’t Respond to Customer Questions on Facebook
By Mitch Lipka
March 27, 2012

If you’re hoping to get better customer service by posting questions to a retailer’s Facebook page, be prepared for disappointment, according to a survey released today. Major retailers including J.Crew, Victoria’s Secret and Radio Shack not only didn’t respond to questions within two days, they actually deleted them, the customer service evaluation company STELLAService found.

The findings are something of a jolt to the idea that consumers can turn to social media to get more effective customer service. While there are still plenty of examples of consumers using both Twitter and Facebook to their advantage, this survey shows just how inconsistent the results can be, and that some are far more committed to properly playing the social networking game than others.

Only five of 20 retailers both responded within 48 hours and left customer queries on their Facebook pages: B&H Photo, Gap, Bed Bath & Beyond, JackThreads.com, and Williams-Sonoma. ...

“While retailers have enthusiastically embraced Facebook as a way to engage with consumers, many have yet to fully appreciate social media’s two-way nature when it comes to providing customer service,” STELLAService CEO Jordy Leiser said. “Retailers need to realize that two days in Facebook time is like two years in real-time. Consumers are used to real-time engagement with friends on Facebook, so it’s unnatural to spend days waiting for any kind of response.”
I am surprised that J.Crew does not embrace social media as much as their sister-company Madewell. I find Madewell to be ahead of the curve when it comes to reaching out to their customers through a variety of technological platforms. J.Crew... not so much.

I am currently a fan of J.Crew's Facebook page but I do not find it necessarily informative. I am not exactly sure what extra benefits they offer to customers.

I have seen other companies, like Land's End, excel at using Facebook as a tool to reach out. It would definitely be to J.Crew's benefit to step up on this front.

What are your thoughts on the article? Do you find J.Crew's Facebook page informative? Do you visit? Are you a fan?

Jenna Lyons House for Sale {correction, SOLD!}

"Thanks!" to Elaine (in this post), as well as Alice, and Leah, who shared the following news with us:: Jenna Lyon's {incredible} townhouse sold! The following is an article from the New York Observer (click here to read in its entirety & to view slideshow of property):

J.Crew Style Maven’s House Sells For $4 Million
By Kim Velsey
March 27, 2012

J.Crew is known for its upscale but largely affordable clothes, but when it comes to some items—like president and creative director Jenna Lyons’ Park Slope townhouse—people are apparently willing to pay above retail.

The fashion guru’s 7 bed, 3.5 bath, 4,400 square foot townhouse sold for $4 million to Vincent and Tracy Martin, according to Curbed — 7 percent more than the $3.75 million that Ms. Lyons listed the property for last November.

Is it any wonder? Judging from the pictures, the place was even more alluring than the leggy, bespectacled models that grace the pages of the J.Crew catalog. As the Stribling listing boasted, the gracious home was “impeccably renovated to perfection,” and for once, we wouldn’t call such bragging broker-speak overblown. Even the irrigated, south-facing garden anchored by a mature dogwood tree sounded stylish.

Ms. Lyons bought the home with her now-estranged husband artist Vincent Mazeau for $1.3 million in 2004, but she appears to have left quite a mark on it, judging by the antler-bedecked walls of the dining room. While the open double parlor with plaster medallions might have been the selling point for a lesser property, this one had more than we could count, including what appears to be the most beautiful closet in the world, graced by one of the house’s 7 restored limestone mantels. The bucolic view from the industrial kitchen also left us impressed.

The property, which entered into contract in December, was rumored to be the subject of a bidding war — the prize bloom of this winter’s busy market for Park Slope brownstones.

But after looking longingly at the photos of Lyons superior home design, we can’t help but wonder if the buyers may feel twinges of buyers’ remorse when Jenna’s Picks no longer fill the townhouse. Ms. Lyons ...continues to embrace change and has moved back to Manhattan, at least for now.

...property records list Ms. Lyons’ new address as the American Express Carriage House in Tribeca, a 5,000 sq.ft. space in the company’s former stables. Listed in September for $5.8 million, the property is no longer on the market.

And lest the sale leave any broken hearts, let it be known that the townhouse also comes with a separate garden apartment.
I mentioned earlier that it was probably a difficult decision to sell this gorgeous home- but not when you get more than you paid for it!!! Seriously, anything Jenna touches turns to gold. Good for her!

What are your thoughts on the article? Any piece you found particularly interesting? Please share! :)

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, March 28, 2012

J.Crew Video: Jenna + J.Crew + Fall 2012

"Thanks!" to J.Crew Guy In Canada who shared a great video over at Television Fashion that features J.Crew's Jenna Lyons. To watch it, click HERE.

There are some nice shots of the models wearing the Fall 2012 collection. Mickey Drexler makes a quick appearance too!

Although, the part I was really interested in they barely feature: when she was in the textile section and chit-chatting with Frank Muytjens. All that behind-the-scenes stuff looked fascinating- I want to sit in! ;)

What are your thoughts on the video? Do you like the outfits Jenna was wearing in the video? Do you agree with the comments she made?

"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 Anthropologie, 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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

J.Crew Goes Global {online}

"Thanks!" to many of you in the "J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!" post: J.Crew is shipping around the world now! Along with J.Crew's website getting a makeover (again!), they updated a lot of features, including new drop down menus, new catalog viewer, pin-it on Pinterest feature, and... shipping to 107 countries!!!

"Thanks!" to Elizabeth (in this post), who shared the following article from ZDNet (click here to read in its entirety):

J.Crew opens door to global e-commerce; uses tech to fuel ambition
By Andrew Nusca
March 22, 2012

This morning, U.S. apparel retailer J.Crew expanded its international distribution from 29 to 107 countries, spanning an astounding 41 currencies.

That’s quite a jump in a single day for the retailer, known for clothing everyone from Michelle Obama to, well, me. Businesses — even digital ones — just don’t scale that quickly.

But there’s a secret to how J.Crew did it: a partnership, and a whole lotta tech.

With a platform provided by New York-based FiftyOne, J.Crew is bringing its modern prep style to Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East and South America. That means customers around the globe will be able to purchase the company’s entire collection from anywhere at anytime.

While the retailer was too busy to return my phone calls, FiftyOne — the name is a play on its mantra, “a bridge between 50 states and one world” — was more than happy to chat.

I spoke with chief strategy officer Kris Green, who said that his company’s tech helps American retailers “fulfill global ambition without having to create new assets around the world” — assets meaning distribution centers and brick-and-mortar stores.

Specifically, that means converting U.S. prices into local currencies, calculating duty and taxes, managing payment, protecting against fraud and fulfilling orders, via FiftyOne’s distribution center in Columbus, Ohio.

The idea is to help a largely American website appear international, he said. (Clients are a who’s who of suburban American favorites, from Cabela’s to Pottery Barn to Under Armour.)

“To do international by yourself, you need to place bets on what countries you think have the biggest opportunities for your brand, and spend significant dollars setting up shop there,” he said. ”We help retailers avoid needing to make those bets upfront.”

Traditionally, retailers have to attack new countries sequentially. FiftyOne’s platform allowed J.Crew — a very fashionable American brand among several different demographics — to open the floodgates immediately, without leaving American shores.

“Generally, U.S. retailers and brands are receiving global awareness whether they like it or not. And they’re also operating businesses in this country that are reaching a super-saturation point in this country,” he said. “Internationally, it’s growing at a much faster rate. Retailers are looking at their web traffic and seeing 10, 20, 30 percent traffic from international. The business case from monetizing the latent demand is compelling.”

He added: “If you operate brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce is a good way to test markets before you make brick-and-mortar investments.”

Green, who hails from Canada, used his homeland as an example. “They’ve been conditioned to be excluded from U.S. e-commerce for decades,” he said. “When they see any price with a dollar sign in front of it [online], that’s probably a U.S. price. When retailers make Canadians and others feel welcome, it can have a significant influence on conversion.”

It’s also a safer, more conservative way to expand. By partnering with FiftyOne, J.Crew can keep its focus on its lucrative U.S. sales.

The Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli touched on the topic Thursday morning: “The move marks a sea change for the brand and its CEO [Mickey Drexler], who previously had called overseas expansion a ‘distraction’ from domestic operations.”

“It always makes sense to partner, because no matter how big your international business gets, it will always be a fraction of your domestic one,” Green said. “So it makes sense, even at really big numbers.” Even when fulfillment is localized — because after all, you wouldn’t want to fly a cardigan sweater halfway around the world if you could help it.

For J.Crew, it’s a chance to bring its collection of turquoise ballet flats and faded oxford shirts to the growing overseas middle class. For FiftyOne, it’s another bridge to build.
Well, it is clear that J.Crew is trying to capitalize on its worldwide fame by shipping worldwide. I am all for it! I think the use of a partner in this case is a great move. Bravo!

I am just curious about pricing now. (Are the prices for J.Crew's merchandise super high because they have to also factor in additional costs?) "Thanks!" to Angela who shared the following answer to my question: "...I live in Australian and I just wanted to let you and your readers know that J Crew is now shipping to Australia (and other countries). Problem is, they've JACKED THEIR PRICES WAY UP for Australian customers (and probably all international customers). I can't believe it..." :(

What are your thoughts on J.Crew's international expansion? Are you surprised by how many countries they now offer shipping to? Are you surprise by the price-hikes?

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

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

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

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

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

J.Crew of Season's Past: {a look in the closet}

It's that time again, to take a look at an image of J.Crew pieces from seasons past! As caribbelle (in this post) so beautifully termed, "ye olde j crew of yore".

This post features the Talitha Tropical Dress (item 84041; $450.00)- this is one amazing piece. J.Crew provides a nice back story too: "This limited-edition dress reminds us of something Talitha Getty may have worn in the late 1960's. The bright Mediterranean light and the vivid hues of Southern France inspired the colors." Super pretty!

What are your thoughts on the look(s)/item(s) from the past? Do you find the look(s)/item(s) classic or do you think they are dated?

Monday, March 26, 2012

J.Crew Email: This week's discovery {From Ethiopia, with love}

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

The email not only features the Lemlem® Elsa Smocked Shirt (item 36429; $188.00), but also shares its back story with customers:

We adore lemlem, a collection started by model and International Goodwill Ambassador Liya Kebede as a way for wearers in her home country of Ethiopia to escape poverty. (Fittingly, lemlem means "to bloom" in Amharic.) "Our hope is to add diversity to the fashion market while creating prosperity in another," Kebede says of these traditionally handwoven creations. Her style point of view: "We take inspiration from iconic styles and reinvent them with a lemlem twist." This top, for instance, was influenced by the classic Parisian Breton striped shirt and recreated by Ethiopian hands in gauzy cotton and with the brand's signature pop of neon at the cuffs and hem. A true labor of love...
I do love reading the back store on the pieces. J.Crew used to provide these tidbits in their older catalogs. I think they are great and hope to see/read more of them!

What are your thoughts on the Lemlem® Elsa Smocked Shirt from J.Crew? Have you seen it in person? If so, please share! :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to sell}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who want to swap/sell/share among yourselves. This post is where you can mention your items and outside listing/ auction site (like eBay and eCrater & the corresponding user ID).


Please note: this posting is not for resellers, retailers or businesses. If you are a reseller, retailer, or a business, 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, retailers or businesses. If you are a reseller, retailer, or a business, 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 SPRING sale, or to see some new SPRING/SUMMER 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, March 23, 2012

J.Crew Factory Email: Your favorite finds: enjoy up to 40% off new arrivals & free shipping

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

J.Crew Factory (click here to shop online) is open for the weekend. They are also offering up to 40% off on select new arrivals. There's more! They are offering free shipping on your entire order with promo code FREESHIP. This promotion ends today!

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 offerings? Will you check them out?

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 SPRING sale, or to see some new SUMMER 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, March 22, 2012

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Rosie (in this post), D*ska & Autumn (in this post), as well as Irina, who let us know that J.Crew had an 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, as did the J.Crew Collection (click here).
The latest catalog (click here to view) is net yet available to view. However, they did change how you can view the catalog. (Similar to Madewell. A nice upgrade.)



More exciting news! J.Crew is offering free shipping with no minimum with promo code FREESHIP. This amazing offer expires Friday, March 23, 2011.

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? :)

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, March 21, 2012

J. Crew in the News: Earns Big This Quarter

As mentioned in the "J.Crew Announces Latest Quarter Results {higher sales!}" post, the fiscal fourth-quarter earnings for J.Crew were impressive. The following is Fashionista's take on it (click here to read in its entirety):

J.Crew Earns Big: Retailer’s Net Income More Than Triples to Over $15M
By Dhani Mau Tuesday
March 20, 2012

As should come as no surprise, J.Crew is raking it in. And so are its top executives. After a somewhat tumultuous year that included a $3 billion buyout, some positive press from Michelle Obama, some not-so-positive press from others (ahem, Fox news), and some great collections, the company has ended up on top.

J.Crew’s reported net income for the quarter ending on January 28 was $15.1 million, versus $4 million one year ago, WWD is reporting. Part of the reason for lower reported income in the past year was that the company went private early in 2011 in a buyout that was costly to the company and left them with high interest rates. However, the company looks to be bouncing back from that just fine.

A better indication of how the company is doing at this point might be the adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which rose from $51.6 million to $59.5 million.

And if you were wondering how much President and executive creative director Jenna Lyons and Chairman and CEO Mickey Drexler took home, the company released that information as well. Drexler’s base salary, which has not increased since 2003, is $200,000. Of course, that’s in addition to stock options valued at $11.32 million as well as $1.67 million in other compensation and an opportunity for a $1.2 million bonus. Lyons’s salary was an even $1 million, in addition to stock options valued at $2 million.

It’s a good time for J. Crew, which is solidifying itself as a private company, and things can only go up from here.
There was a conference call to discuss fourth quarter results yesterday. To read the transcript, click here. Some quotes worth highlighting:
  • Our long-term goal continues to be to grow our North American square footage in the low- to mid-single-digit range annually over the next 3 to 5 years. In 2012, we plan to open 17 retail stores, which includes 3 locations in Canada. We will be opening in Vancouver late in the first quarter, Edmonton in the second quarter, and our second Toronto store at the Eaton Centre in the third quarter.
  • we also plan on opening a standalone Men's store at The Grove in Los Angeles in the second quarter
  • Our 2012 plan is to open 10 new factory stores, including our first 2 factory stores in Canada.
  • We also launched a flat rate shipping program in the third quarter and made enhancements to our website during the year, which have been well received by our customers.
  • In addition to our international online and Canadian bricks-and-mortar expansion efforts, we are in the initial stages of exploring opportunities in the U.K. and Asia. We are focused on building our international team to support these expansion efforts and we are currently evaluating opportunities for store openings in 2013.
What are your thoughts on this latest news? Do you think J.Crew's top executives are worth their salaries?

J.Crew Factory Email: The wait is over: we're returning to Nashville!

A big "thanks!" to Kelly, who shared the following promotion with us: J.Crew is offering Factory Store shoppers in Nashville, Tennessee a special treat. Customers can take 20% off any purchase of $125+. This offer is good from March 29th through April 19, 2012.

Just click on the image above or HERE (which will take you to a larger version of the image) and print it out (so the associate can access the barcode).

The location for the J.Crew Factory store is:

260 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 678-0794

This is a fantastic offer, especially with all the in-store promotions. {Wahoo!}

Happy Factory Store Shopping!!! :)

"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 Anthropologie, 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.

New Men's Store Opening

Thanks!" to JCrew Guy In Canada, who shared the following GQ article (click here to read in its entirety) with us:

Store Spotlight: J.Crew Opens Inaugural Ludlow Shop
By Matthew Sebra
March 1, 2012

J.Crew's quest to dress men everywhere, and for every occasion, continues with the opening the their new Ludlow Shop. Nestled on a catalog-shoot worthy street in Tribeca, just south of the brand's wildly successful Liquor Store location, this new outpost is dedicated to showing off their best-selling Ludlow suit in every form imaginable. Nineteen versions of the tailored two-piece are available for purchase, from the original notch lapel model to a double-breasted option and even an evening tux if your datebook calls for such sartorial goods. And while the store's name may indicate its singular focus, the stock is anything but one-dimensional. Joining the Ludlow suits is an array of complimentary gear, from J.Crew's Thomas Mason shirting and Italian cashmere to shoes from Alden and Crockett & Jones that sit alongside the brand's made-in-NYC ties, Drake's pocket squares, and Corgi socks. Sharp style extends beyond the clothes and after you've had a look at some lapels you'll find the space stocked with midcentury modern furniture and antiques, including a vintage desk covered in archival Alden shoe catalogs and ledgers (more on that later).

We spoke with the man behind the beloved suit style, J.Crew's head of menswear design Frank Muytjens, about why now is the right time for the tailoring-targeted store.

GQ Eye: Why did you want to dedicate a whole store to the Ludlow suit and why do it now in Tribeca?
Frank Muytjens: We launched the Ludlow suit when we opened the Liquor Store in 2008 and the response has been incredible! Guys come in to all of our shops and ask for it by name. And since the launch, the Ludlow has outgrown the Liquor Store so we decided to relocate that shop down the street to showcase the Ludlow in a bigger way. We are also super excited to offer monogramming, complimentary courier service, and on-site suit specialists.

GQ Eye: What type of customer do you envision shopping at the Ludlow store?
Frank Muytjens: To us it's always about being modern, but not too trendy. He's a guy who loves quality and is interested in being more understated than overstated. He invests in classic pieces he knows and will have forever and always can go back to.
So many Menswear store openings- exciting news indeed! Also, who knew that the demand for the Ludlow suit would bring on its very own dedicated store in NYC?!?

What are your thoughts on this latest store concept from J.Crew? Do you think the location is a good fit with J.Crew? Will you be stopping by?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

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

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

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

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

J.Crew of Season's Past: {a look in the closet}

It's that time again, to take a look at an image of J.Crew pieces from seasons past! As caribbelle (in this post) so beautifully termed, "ye olde j crew of yore".

This post features the Georgina Silk Shirtdress ($198.00)- a fabulous shirt dress from 2007. I adore the style of the dress- besides being a shirt dress (yey!), I love the short sleeves, band collar, and button-front closure.

What are your thoughts on the look(s)/item(s) from the past? Do you find the look(s)/item(s) classic or do you think they are dated?

Monday, March 19, 2012

J.Crew Announces Latest Quarter Results {higher sales!}

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

J.Crew quarterly profit jumps on sales growth
By Drew FitzGerald
March 19, 2012

J.Crew Group Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings soared as sharply higher sales and lower overhead costs helped cover the clothing retailer's debt costs.

J.Crew went private last year in a $3 billion acquisition by a group of investors including private-equity firms TPG Capital--a former owner of J.Crew--and Leonard Green & Partners LP. The move saddled the retailer with higher interest expenses.

Costs tied to the buyout have weighed on the company's results over the past year, often masking stronger sales in recent months.

For the quarter ended Jan. 28, J.Crew reported a profit of $15.1 million, compared with year-earlier profit of $4 million. The latest period included $25.1 million of net interest costs, compared with $528,000 a year earlier.

Revenue rose 13% to $530.9 million as same-store company sales--which include comparable-store sales, direct sales and shipping and handling revenue--grew 6.4%.

Gross margin widened to 37.8% from 37.4%, while overhead costs declined slightly.

Inventories reached $242.7 million, compared with $214.4 million a year ago.
Well, looks like J.Crew is doing pretty, pretty good. That is great news for our favorite retailer!

For those interested (& available), there will be a conference call to discuss fourth quarter results. It is scheduled for tomorrow, March 20, 2012, at 11:00 AM EST. To listen, either call (877) 407-3982 or check out the live webcast at www.jcrew.com.

What are your thoughts on this latest news? Do you think J.Crew is "turning things around" now that they are private?

Style Guide by J.Crew {April 2012}

A big "thanks!" to Kittywitty who shared the following news with us:

...Just wanted to pass along in case you or your readers don’t already know ... that J Crew is coming out with a printed “Style Guide.” I saw an “ad” for it in the fitting room yesterday. The cover of the guide looks like a catalog. The model Heloise Guerin is on the cover and under her picture it reads “Style Guide.” The date on the cover reads April 2012. The ad said something like “Ask for your complimentary copy.” So, I did of course and the SA didn’t even know what I was talking about LOL. She had to ask a manager and the manager said they were getting them soon. ...
Very cool to offer a printed style guide! I can't wait to see what it will showcase and what advice & styling tips it will offer.

P.S. Too funny that J.Crew makes stores put up an ad to ask for an item that is not yet available! ;)

Have you seen the ad for the Style Guide? Have you already received your complimentary copy? If so, please share! :)

20% Off all J.Crew Knits & Tees

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

J.Crew is offering 20% off on select full-priced Women's tees (click here to shop online), Men's tees (click here to shop online), as well as Crewcuts. This offer expires Wednesday March, 21, 2012. The fine print of the offer includes:

*Prices as marked. Offer valid on women's, men's, boys' and girls' tees and knits only. Offer excludes Saint James®, Edith Miller, Homespun and Comme des Garçons® and cannot be redeemed for cash or applied to previous purchases. Offer valid at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew retail stores, J.Crew Factory stores or on J.Crew Factory items. Offer valid through Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 11:59pm ET.
Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? If so, what items are you planning to get. Please share! :)

The Great (Weekly) Exchange {looking to sell}

This post (of weekly posts) is for individual members who want to swap/sell/share among yourselves. This post is where you can mention your items and outside listing/ auction site (like eBay and eCrater & the corresponding user ID).


Please note: this posting is not for resellers, retailers or businesses. If you are a reseller, retailer, or a business, 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, retailers or businesses. If you are a reseller, retailer, or a business, 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 SPRING sale, or to see some new SPRING/SUMMER 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, March 16, 2012

It's style time: new styles on sale at jcrew.com

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Tiffany Rose (in this post), as well as Irina, who shared the following promotion from J.Crew this morning.

There are new styles added to the Final Sale over at J.Crew (click here to shop online). But there's more! J.Crew is offering customers to take an additional 30% off all sale items (no min) and free shipping ($100+) with promo code LOVEIT. This offer expires Sunday, March 18, 2012. The fine print includes:

*No exchanges, no returns on items marked as final sale. Offer valid at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew retail stores or J.Crew Factory stores. Offer does not apply to previous purchases or to the purchase of gift cards. 30% off discount applies to J.Crew sale and Factory sale online items only. Offer valid through Sunday, March 18, 2012, 11:59pm ET. Free shipping offer applies to orders shipped via ground shipping totaling $100+ after 30% discount on J.Crew sale and Factory sale online items and before shipping, handling and taxes are added. Savings are applied at checkout with code LOVEIT. Offer not valid on phone orders. Cannot be combined with any other promotion. Limit one promotional code per order. Details of offer are subject to change.
J.Crew Factory (click here to shop online) is open and this promotion applies to their merchandise too!

Will you be checking out the Sale section? Are there any items you are hoping to see or to get?

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 SPRING sale, or to see some new SUMMER arrivals {sigh!} in person, maybe you might be willing to share that with us in this post. In particular, if you could share with us a few of the noteworthy items that are available, at what prices, and potential sizes the store is carrying (as well as the store location)- that would be fantastic!

Also, please let us know if your local store is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

P.S. I noticed that many of you have already been reporting sale items (and in which stores) in other posts which by the way "thank you!" :) I really appreciate how helpful we are for each other!

J.Crew Email: How to wear color...

"Thanks!" to Irina, who shared the following email from J.Crew yesterday.

The email features a few insights from Gayle Spannaus, J.Crew's Fashion Designer and Head Stylist. It reminds me a bit of Jenna's Picks emails, this time it is more advice column like.


The email is broken down here into three parts although it was one long piece sent to customers. The first part focuses on "How to wear color: bright pants two ways", the second part "Try a hot pink lip", and the third part, "Add one bold extra."

The section about getting to know Gayle is a nice touch at the end of the email. It is great to see another employee who has been in the J.Crew family for a long time. (16 years- Impressive!)

Did you receive the email? Do you like the concept of this email? Are you hoping J.Crew sends more emails along this concept? Please share! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Jenna Lyons Spotted Being Jenna Lyons

"Thanks!" to ccbmum (in this post), as well as Strmywethr & SpeakNGO (in this post) who let us know about J.Crew's Jenna Lyons being featured in the "On the Street… Jenna, New York" post over at the Sartorialist (click here for original post & comments gushing over the styling). Also, same outfit featured in What They Wear: Fashion Insiders (click here). Breakdown of what is she wearing:

  • Derek Lam jacket
  • Chimala jeans
  • Derek Lam fur
  • Proenza Schouler PS11 Clutch ($1175) in Colorblock Citron
  • Miu Miu shoes
Me don't likey. I am with many of you (in this post) who expressed disappointment with this outfit. J.Crew is an expert at pulling together different pieces into a great look. This is not the case here. This time, a lot of pieces are thrown together and it doesn't work. (Looks sloppy & weird. Just my humble opinion.)

What are your thoughts on the outfit? Do you like the way it is styled? What would you add or remove to make the look your own?

Read & Shop Madewell's Spring Catalog Online {about time!}

"Thanks!" to JustVisiting who shared the following exciting news with us... The latest Spring 2012 catalog for Madewell is now available online for viewing!

About time too! I am surprised it took this long to have it up. Especially since Madewell embraces social media so much. Well, they made up for it. The catalog is powered by Google Catalogs, which allows customers to download the entire copy on their iPad or Android Tablet. Well played Madewell, well played. Hats off to you!

To view it, click HERE. To request a catalog, click HERE. The catalog has a destination backdrop of Paris!

I have been receiving Madewell's catalogs for awhile. They have always been "meh" to me. However the latest one is quite beautiful. A visual pleasure!

Will you be checking out Madewell's catalog online? Are you receiving the print version via snail mail?

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, March 14, 2012

Product Review: Keds® for Madewell Polka-Dot Sneakers

Keds® for Madewell Polka-Dot Sneakers
Click here for product page
Item# 87406
Regular: $50.00

Madewell describes these adorable pair of sneakers as:

A marriage made in sneaker heaven. We teamed up with the all-American brand to cover their iconic canvas sneakers in a series of our favorite prints for spring. The result: this adorable spotted style. (Polka dots on Keds? Yes, please!)
Let me start out by saying I am a big fan of Keds. I remember them well from my childhood. I am happy to see they are having a resurgence in popularity again.

Last year I ended up buying a pair of solid black Keds from Anthropologie (of all places!) These were my first pair in a really long time. I completely forgot how incredibly comfortable they are and how timeless they look thanks to its classic canvas sneaker style.

When I saw Madewell offered polka dot Keds, it was a no-brainer for me. I had to get them. Now that I have them, I could not be happier. They look exactly like the pair in the picture. I love the entire color combo of blue and white polka-dots, with a tan leather-like trim. It is perfect for Spring and Summer.

As for size, they are true to size for me. I am always (as in 99% of the time) a size 9. I got a size 9 and the fit is perfect. For reference, I am always a size 9 in J.Crew's ballet flats and heels too.

Lastly, I want to mention the inserts on the shoes- they are divine! Not only do they have a cushion insole & heel, but there is a shock-proof arc cushion! A lot of shoes do not include an arc cushion- so I am especially grateful to see them here. Thanks to these touches, the Keds® for Madewell Polka-Dot Sneakers will be my go-to walking-around sneakers.

You can see a glimpse of the sneakers in real life in the photo above. (You can find the pair in the upper right hand corner. Click on the image to view larger.) This image comes from Closet Crisis's "One Too Many Closets" blog, in her "The Blue Train" post.

What are your thoughts on the Keds for Madewell collaboration? Are you a fan of the polka-dot sneakers? Have you seen or tried on these shoes? If so, please share! :)