Thursday, May 31, 2012

J.Crew News on Vancouver Store

The Vancouver Sun has a short video and article (click here to read in its entirety and to see video) about J.Crew's recent opening of their Vancouver store:
Success is in the details for J.Crew CEO (with video)
By Darah Hansen
May 15, 2012

Minutes before a cocktail party celebrating the opening of the new J.Crew store on Robson Street set to begin, CEO and chairman Millard “Mickey” Drexler was still putting the final touches to the overall look of the space.

With Drexler, the Bronx-born businessman who’s been called the “Steve Jobs of retail”, success is all in the details.

“Can someone please cover her stomach,” he called to a sea of staff members busying themselves around the gleaming 5,953 sq. ft., two-storey shop in reference to a faceless mannequin set up at the front doors.

Drexler had earlier asked that the clothing on the same mannequin be changed. Her initial outfit, selected from the New York-based retail company’s new spring and summer collection, was beautiful, but too trendy.

Vancouver calls for a more relaxed vibe — a look, eventually achieved with a pair of pink toothpick jeans and poppy-coloured silk blouse, that says “Come into my home,” he said.

Drexler’s brief visit to the West Coast this week was timed to coincide with the launch of his company’s latest expansion into Canada’s thriving retail market.

The Robson location officially opened its doors to the public Wednesday morning, offering its classic clothing line and accessories to both men and women.

The Vancouver store is the only the second to open in Canada after Toronto in August 2011. Plans to launch a third location in West Edmonton Mall are scheduled to go ahead next month. ...

Drexler — who, in his previous career as CEO of The Gap, oversaw that company’s growth from $400 million to $14 billion in sales — said J.Crew has long been eyeing the Vancouver region for cross-border expansion, attracted by the city’s international flair and sense of sophistication.

“It’s very hard to explain, but when you see it you know,” Drexler said of his unique decision-making style on site selection. “It’s a science and an art that gets backed up by demand.”

On a broader note, he said Canada is an “obvious market” for the J.Crew brand. “In hindsight, we could probably could have done it (the expansion) earlier.”

The company has, for years, recorded steady traffic from online and catalogue shoppers north of the border. An abundance of Canadian licence plates on cars parked outside its retail locations in neighbouring cities like Seattle and Buffalo has also not gone unnoticed.

The Vancouver store, in keeping with J.Crew’s carefully groomed image, is designed to provoke a comfortable, inviting and unintimidating reaction from customers. Tucked among the clothing and accessories, beautifully displayed across stylish wooden tables and rails, are paintings by local artists Jeff Depner and Dougal Graham, a book about Audrey Hepburn and, in a nod to the brand’s increasingly broad international appeal, a stylish globe.

“Good taste and good style, I think, plays well everywhere in the world,” said Drexler.

Smerdon said J.Crew’s choice to locate its flagship store downtown is “a great sign for Robson Street that it is still the pre-eminent shopping street in the city and the region.”

Drexler confirmed his company is also eyeing other potential locations in Metro Vancouver, including West Vancouver. ...
There is another article over at Straight.com (click here) that has additional images of the Vancouver J.Crew store that is worth checking out.

I always love looking at the interior of their stores! There is something about seeing the merchandise on the tables, and the clothes on the mannequins- loves it!

Have you stopped by the new Vancouver location? What are your thoughts on the latest store in Canada? 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, May 30, 2012

J.Crew Decides {tuck, not to tuck ...how about both!]

Take a look at J.Crew's mannequins at their brick & mortar stores, website, or style guide catalog and its clear that the outfits feature the latest trends of color-blocking, nautical themed prints, and... the half tucked-in shirt. Yeah, that last one is happening. It's pretty much everywhere at J.Crew too.

Is this trend (of leaving half the shirt out with the other half tucked-in) really a trend? I mean, is it wearable for the everyday fashionista?

I have seen some other fashion bloggers sporting this look and can't decide if they are rocking a laid back look or acting a mess by not cleaning it up.

What are your thoughts on the half tucked-in shirt trend? Are you on board with the look already? If so, how are you pulling it off? (Is it for certain occasions? Certain outfits?) Are you planning to avoid this look? Please share! :)

Product Review: Villa Dress in Stripe

J.Crew describes the Villa Dress in Stripe (Item 76356; was $88.00 now $68.00), as follows:
As easy as it gets. Our cotton knit dress boasts a button-up back and a fitted bodice with a flirty skirt. Done in a classic nautical stripe, this breezy little piece sails smoothly from the beach to a backyard barbecue or anywhere the day takes you. Sleeveless. Elastic waistband. Falls above knee. Import. Machine wash.
This dress definitely is one of the better knit dresses I have seen from J.Crew in awhile thanks to its material which is comprised of 70% cotton and 30% rayon. It is a bit thicker than one would expect for a Summer dress, but it totally works! No need to worry about undergarments showing through. (Definite plus for me!)

This dress has a fitted top with what is like an a-line skirt. Definitely not a full or straight skirt. As a pear shape, I am always concerned about sizing. (The usual concern for me is the top portion fitting fine while it is too small on the bottom. Or the bottom fitting fine, while the top is too loose.) However, the XS fits me great on top with enough room (not clingy) for the skirt portion. (For reference, I am a size 0/2 for tops and size 6 in pants/skirts.)

The actual dress has a darling stripe pattern that winks at the nautical theme that J.Crew has been promoting this season. There are also several buttons on the back which are a nice surprise. Putting this dress on pull-over style, is super easy too.

Lastly, the dress comes above the knee, but not too much. So it is definitely wearable for taller JCAs.

Overall, I {heart} this dress. It will be one of my go-to pieces this Summer thanks to its effortlessly chic style.

For more reviews on this dress, check out the following additional reviews & real life images:
What are your thoughts on the Villa Dress in Stripe ? Do you own this dress? Have you tried it on at a store? Do you like this style? If so, please share with us your review. :)

"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, May 29, 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's Tom Mora talks about J.Crew's Appeal

There is an article over at the Province (click here to read in its entirety) that interviews J.Crew's Tom Mora about J.Crew's timeless appeal:
Creative combos, timeless appeal: J.Crew's Tom Mora
The Province
May 19, 2012

Here’s one way to avoid being a slave to trends: ignore them.

Tom Mora, vice-president of women’s design at J.Crew, lives by that philosophy. Fashion, for him, is about creating something he loves.

“We try to live in our own fashion bubble and just create great things that we love,” he says.

It’s a liberating approach that anyone can emulate: By only buying the things that you love, you’ll more than likely wear it again regardless of whether a fashion magazine says it’s “in” or “out.”

So those skinny, neon pink jeans on the mannequin at Vancouver’s newly opened J.Crew store? No, not for everyone, but Mora didn’t hesitate when questioned if a gal really could wear them beyond this spring’s colour-obsessed season.

“Absolutely, absolutely, we love neon colours,” he says with conviction.

As a designer, Mora says he aims for timelessness. The trick to ensuring it feels anything but vanilla is all in the styling, for which J.Crew has garnered plenty of industry cred. The preppy company is known for creating surprising but still wearable looks, many of them based on its executive creative director Jenna Lyons’ personal style.

Think sparkly skirts with a casual striped T, or a cotton summer dress kicked up a notch with heels and dramatic costume jewelry pretty enough for a summer party. Taken apart, each individual piece is pretty straightforward. Put together, it feels fresh.

“The pieces are really classic, but that’s what’s great about it. Once you take it apart and it’s not styled like that, you can still take it and incorporate that into your wardrobe so easily. We really try not to do things that don’t feel like they’re going to transcend a season or a trend. I think [when it feels trendy], it just happens organically when you’re in a creative field. There’s a lot of polkadots and we do polkadots and it’s a happy coincidence,” says the New York-based Mora.

If you’re new to this idea mixing pattern, colour and layering and feeling unsure, Mora’s best tip is to go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t wear it. “It has to put a smile on your face,” he says.

Tom Mora’s top 3 buys for spring
  1. Coloured jeans: “One of our great coloured skinny jeans is a great update to the wardrobe. They’re really comfortable. They feel really right again. You can make them really casual, make them feel dressy.”
  2. Dress: “Dresses are always a great way to update a wardrobe. You just put it on and have a great little cardigan over it . . . or with the right heel, all of a sudden you’re ready for a summer party.”
  3. Blazer: “It never goes out of style. We love it.”
The overall theme of buying things you love (over trends) is a great piece of advice. Although it is sometimes hard to remember that when actually shopping! ;)

As for the top 3 picks for Spring, I could not agree more with number 2 and 3. A nice dress and sharp blazer can take anyone from work to play easily. As for color jeans... this is tricky. It really depends on the color and fit of the jeans to pull off. Finding the right pair definitely requires some time and effort.

What are your thoughts on the article? Disagree or agree with the advice shared by Mr. Mora? What would your list include?

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 a page from J.Crew's Collection from Spring 2008. The whole outfit is stunning. I love how all the pieces work together- from the gray polka dot shorts, to the rustic red top, to the pops of yellow. Well done!

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, May 28, 2012

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 SUMMER 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 was/ is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

J.Crew Factory Email: It keeps getting better: extra 30% off all sale

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

J.Crew Factory (click here to shop online) is open and they are offering customers to take an additional 30% off all sale items (no min) with promo code LOVEIT. This offer expires Monday, May 28, 2012.

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. Especially since customers can take 20% off any purchase of $125+. This offer is good through June 23, 2012. Just click HERE and print it out (so the associate can access the barcode).

Will you be checking out the Factory 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 SUMMER 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, May 24, 2012

JCA Shoutout on CNBC's J.Crew Special

"Thanks!" to many of you, including JustVisiting (in this post) who let us know that the J.Crew Aficionada blog header got shown in the CNBC's "J.Crew and the Man who Dressed America" special airing tonight.

I am still watching the program, but was so excited to see that the blog got shown! They included several other J.Crew centric blogs too (congrats ladies!).

They even highlighted a few customer concerns from fellow JCAs in the blog's ""Looking to VENT" with J.Crew" posts. Even better, Mickey addressed them saying he was aware of our concerns (holes in the tees and the pills on the cashmere) and is working on them.

...I am off to watch the rest!

J.Crew & the Man who Dressed America {CNBC special}

Just a reminder that tonight CNBC (click here) is airing their show on "J.Crew and the Man who Dressed America" (10PM and again at 1AM). If you miss either showing, they will be replaying the episode on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 10PM. They share:
With more than 300 stores, nearly $2 billion in sales and even the First Lady as a fan, J.Crew has transformed from a once-flailing, lackluster brand to a fashion force. Leading J.Crew is CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler, known for his intuitive sense of what the public craves and his ability to lift troubled companies to new heights. Since taking over J.Crew in 2003, Drexler has successfully introduced designer quality clothing for the masses — driving the company’s revenues up 170 percent.

From New York to Italy, anchor David Faber explores the process of conceiving, creating and marketing a new line of clothing. How will J. Crew meet the twin challenges of expansion and a rapidly changing landscape in the Internet age of retail? CNBC takes you inside this growing retailer and explains what’s made the stylish, contemporary brand a success.
We have been hearing a lot about this news piece. (Refer to the "Mickey Explains How J.Crew Gets You {in your heart and your wallet!}", "CNBC Story about Mickey Drexler {another look on catalogs!}", "Meet The Mastermind Behind J.Crew" and "CNBC Story about Mickey Drexler {coming soon!}" posts for more info.) From all the sneak peeks & articles we have seen so far, I am pretty excited about checking this special out. It looks like we will get to see a lot of the inner workings at J.Crew.

Finally, CNBC and Gilt have teamed up to offer a $5,000 shopping spree to celebrate the premiere of this J.Crew special. To enter, click HERE.

Will you be checking out Mickey Drexler's story on CNBC? If the show has already aired, what are your thoughts on the episode? Did you think it did a good job of showcasing J.Crew?

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, May 23, 2012

Finally! Extra 30% off J.Crew's Spring Sale

"Thanks!" to many of you, including lizzi43 (in this post), as well as Sarah, Karen, and Irina, who shared the following promotion from J.Crew.

J.Crew is offering customers to take an additional 30% off all sale items (no min) with promo code LOVEIT. This offer expires Monday, May 28, 2012. The fine print includes:
*Offer valid at jcrew.com only. Offer is not valid at J.Crew retail or J.Crew Factory stores. Offer does not apply to previous purchases or to the purchase of gift cards. Offer valid in the U.S. and Canada only. 30% off discount applies to J.Crew sale and Factory sale online items only. Offer valid through Monday, May 28, 2012, 11:59pm ET. 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.
It has been awhile since J.Crew's last promotion so it is great to see a code like this to surface at J.Crew... yey! Too bad it doesn't apply to J.Crew retail B&M stores. But we will take what we can get!

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

Madewell Sale: Extra 20% Off + Free Shipping

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Rose (in this post), who shared the following promotion from Madewell today.

Madewell is offering an additional 20% off (no min!) on their Sale items (click here to shop online) and free shipping with promo code WEEKENDER. The offer ends Monday, May 28, 2012. The fine print includes:
*Offer valid in Madewell stores and at madewell.com only. Offer does not apply to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards. 20% off discount applies to sale styles only. Offer valid through Monday, 5/28/12, 11:59pm ET. Savings are applied at checkout with code WEEKENDER. Offer not valid on phone orders. Limit one promotional code per order. Details of offer are subject to change.

**Offer is valid only on madewell.com orders shipped via regular shipping (3 to 6 business days). Free ground shipping is applied automatically at checkout. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotion and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Offer is valid through Monday, 5/28/12, 11:59pm ET.
Will you be checking out Madewell? Did you already pick up an item or two? If so, please share!

J.Crew Takes out the "Jenna" in the Jenna's Cardigan?

"Thanks!" to jb38 (in this post) who shared the following insight with us:
OT but I noticed they took 'Jenna' off some item title's and desc. Ex: Jenna merino cardigan. No longer called that and the desc starts with 'We...' instead of 'Jenna...' Thought it was interesting :)
Well it certainly appears that way! Check out the old description for the Jenna's Cardigan (Item 24712; $70.00):
Our creative director, Jenna, asked the design team to come up with the perfectly cropped cardigan to wear specifically with a dress (any dress), and voilĂ . Short but not too short, with a higher ribbed hem (so it's more fitted and slightly dressier), it is, indeed, absolutely perfect. Merino wool in a 14-gauge knit. Crewneck. Three-quarter sleeves. Hits above hip. Import. Dry clean. Online only.
Now take a look at the current description for the Merino V-Neck Cardigan (Item 58919; $79.50):
We challenged our design team to come up with the perfect cropped cardigan to wear specifically with a dress (any dress), and voilĂ . Short but not too short with a higher ribbed hem (so it's more fitted and slightly dressier) and a V-neckline, it is, indeed, absolutely perfect.

-Merino wool in a 14-gauge knit.
-Long sleeves.
-Hits above hip.
-Dry clean.
-Import.
The wording of the two product descriptions are practically the same. Yet, no mention of Jenna in the newest version of the cardigan. And of course, there is the price hike of $9.50. Maybe for the additional length in sleeves? ;)

For awhile there, Jenna was clearly becoming the new face of J.Crew. Are they moving away from Jenna Lyons now? Just recently, we learned that J.Crew was transitioning focus to other tastemakers at the retailer. (Refer to the "Where Did 'Jenna's Picks" Go? {answered}" post for more.)

What are your thoughts on the omission of Jenna's name in the cardigan's description? Do you think J.Crew is moving away from Jenna Lyons as the face of the organization?

"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.

Product Review: Hilary Dress

Dresses are a great go-to now that the warmer days are approaching (or already here for some of us). The following is a review for a dress I purchased at J.Crew in the last couple of months and absolutely love!

The Hilary Dress (Item 72122; $138.00, now $99.99) is described as follows:
Easy and elegant, this classic beauty is destined to be your wardrobe workhorse. Styled with flattering princess seams (on both the front and back), with a longer-length full skirt that makes it a versatile option for the office and beyond. Rayon. Sleeveless. Back zip. Fully lined. Falls to knee. Import. Dry clean.
At first glance, this dress can be considered quite boring and simple. But don't let that stop you from trying this one on! The classic shape will ensure this dress stays in your wardrobe for years to come.

This dress really is easy and elegant thanks to the flattering fitted top and flowing skirt. The skirt is just the right length too (not too short so you can bend over without worrying, and not too long so it does not look matronly).

Where the top meets the skirt along the waist is perfection too- it is neither too high nor too low on the waist. It also hides any "imperfections" in the tummy & hip region. I especially recommend this dress for all the pear shape ladies (like myself) out there.

As for size, I went with size 2 (for reference I am a 34B). I have found that J.Crew is not vanity sizing all of their dresses recently- so it might be worth trying out sizes in person first. (I started out as a size 2/4 in J.Crew circa 2005, then a size 0 around 2008, and now I am a 0/2 in J.Crew. Mind you, no changes in weight. Just changes in how J.Crew numerically assign their clothes.)

The dress comes in Admiral Blue and Heather Chartreuse. The Admiral Blue is a lovely shade that is not quite navy, not quite royal blue. It is completely versatile for dinner at the city, or shopping on a Saturday afternoon. The Heather Chartreuse is like a mustard yellow. I didn't think much of this color when I initially saw it, but I quickly changed my mind once I tried it on. It really is quite lovely.

For more reviews on this dress, check out the following additional reviews & real life images:
What are your thoughts on the Hilary Dress? Do you own this dress? Have you tried it on at a store? Do you like this style? If so, please share with us your review. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 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! :)

Did J.Crew Borrow a Pattern {or two?}

"Thanks!" to ZanyAZ & Nancy, who let us know about the "J.Crew vs. Sister Parish?" post over at the Elements of Style blog.

The post questions the inspiration behind the print for the Arrowhead Ikat Underwire Top (Item 82190; $58.00). J.Crew's product page mentions: "We fell in love with this Indian woodblock print—a striking graphic our design team discovered on an antique swatch and recolored in a modern azure hue."

However, design center Sister Parish has a Burma print (click here) that shares a striking resemblance the the Arrowhead Ikat design of J.Crew. (The SP print is shown below as well.)

So is this a case of J.Crew not realizing the print is being used elsewhere? I do not know my patterns, but could this be a common block print? Or is this a total rip-off with a fabricated back story? Not really sure.

But another savvy commentator in the "J.Crew vs. Sister Parish?" post mentioned: "Wow. Remember J.Crew’s “fanfare” print that they supposedly found in a Florida vintage store? Total knockoff of Florence Broadhurst’s “fingers” design."

So I took a look and found that the Florence Broadhurst’s Fingers Design (shown on the left) does look similar with J.Crew's Jules Dress in Fanfare (Item 70216; $188.00). J.Crew's states that they were "Inspired by a bold print our designers spotted on a shirtdress from the '60s, this one-of-a-kind pattern puts a fresh spin on the chic shift." Hmmm...

Kate Spade is currently offering the Florence Broadhurst Fingers Bon Shopper (style pxru3506; $198.00). Not only do they use the design from Florence Broadhurst, but credit the source properly: "we've long admired the graphic prints (and colorful personality) of australian artist florence broadhurst. this season, we've adorned our all-purpose bon shopper with broadhurst's iconic fingers pattern, making it the perfect carryall for all your sunny day adventures."

Perhaps J.Crew has some explaining to do...

What are your thoughts on the similarities between J.Crew and the other sources for prints? Do you think J.Crew knowingly created similar prints? Please share! :)

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 an older image from J.Crew's website back in 2006! Although you cannot really get a good look at the outfit, I love the image's laid back, yet preppy style. Exactly how I picture J.Crew!

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, May 21, 2012

J.Crew Surveys Customers {& $1000 shopping spree)

"Thanks!" to Ruffles (in this post) who shared an unusual email sent from J.Crew today:
...Sorry to be OT but ... did anyone get the J. Crew email message today with a link to a customer satisfaction survey? Fill it out an you have a chance to win a $1000 shopping spree?

Well I did it and it takes FOREVER. Like 30 minutes to complete. But the questions were SO INTERESTING ... about the shopping experience vs. other retailers, website navigation, importance of personal shoppers and customer reviews etc. Some of the wording really hints at who the brand thinks it is ... referencing "high end designer styles at affordable prices" and "unique items you can't get anywhere else."

Super interesting, take it IF you have the time :)
This is very interesting indeed! I think it is great that J.Crew is proactively asking their loyal shoppers about their preferences.

The chance to win a $1000 shopping spree definitely helps motivate customer participation. Although 30 minutes to complete is a bit ridiculous on their part. (It really should be 10-15 minutes maximum.)

I am also curious how they selected customers to fill out the survey- if its based on a certain location or amount spent online (or in store).

Did anyone else receive this email today (or recently)? Do you remember the other questions on the survey? What do you think about the customer survey?

A Look at J.Crew's Jewelry Case {& more...}

This picture above comes from J.Crew's 770 blog in their "Behind the Scenes: Quartz Report" post. I just love the image showcasing all those colorful pieces of jewelry. It is displayed so beautifully!

The additional images (of the bracelets and clothes from J.Crew's new Vancouver store) come from Straight.com (click here). There is something quite beautiful about how J.Crew arranges their offerings in stores.

Every article of clothing and accessory is just perfectly placed! It is a visual feast for the JCA fashion set.

Are you a fan of window shopping at J.Crew too? Do you find inspiration through their layouts?

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 SUMMER 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 was/ is carrying an additional percent off sale. Thanks in advance!!! :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Seek & Find: Will you visit J.Crew this Weekend?

This is the weekly "sale watch" post, to help each other find sale items at our various local J.Crew stores. ;)

If you are stopping by a J.Crew store this weekend to see what's available (if anything!) in the SUMMER sale, or to see some new 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, May 17, 2012

Mickey Explains How J.Crew Gets You {in your heart and your wallet!}



A big "thanks!" to Donna who shared an article from the Daily Mail (click here to read in its entirety):
Put the sweaters with the nail polish and everything within reach: How JCrew's store layout is designed to make you spend more
The retailer's larger-than-life CEO, Mickey Drexler, explains his ideas and concept in a new TV special
By Tamara Abraham
May 17, 2012

Trailers for a new TV special have offered some insight into how J Crew store layouts invite the customer to spend more money. The retailer's larger-than-life CEO, Millard 'Mickey' Drexler explains how the arrangement of products and mannequins can maximise sales, and make the most of every item's potential.

In the show, which airs next Thursday, he explains to CNBC's David Faber that mannequin placement is key, as clever positioning can help guide customers in a particular direction.

He reveals that nail polish and jewellery is displayed with the clothing, rather than in a separate section of the store, in a bid to highlight the range of product on offer.

For the same reason, a pair of shoes or selection of belts might be placed near a contrasting dress or shirt, helping the customer imagine how they might put a look together.

Arranging products in a variety of ways, with some folded, others hanging, encourages a buyer to explore the offering more, because everything is within easy reach, he continues. 'I see it and I feel it,' Mr Drexler, 67, tells , lifting one folded item. 'This is a beautiful cashmere cable sweater. 'When something is out of reach, it presents a problem.'

Proving that even his team are fallible, an example presents itself when he comes across a display of brown belts in a narrow-necked jar. 'This is not an easy shopping thing,' he admits. 'I hope these belts are someplace else.'

Mr Drexler used the example of this season's must-have polka dot print to show how essential layout is to sales. Explaining that the print would look overwhelming of the shirt and the dress were to be displayed side-by-side, he said: 'The last thing you want is polka dots hanging together.' A sales assistant confirmed the effectiveness of the concept: 'The polka dot long-sleeve shirt, that people are loving, have been flying out the door,' she said.

Mr Drexler, 67, who, in the past, has revolutionised brands including Gap and Ann Taylor, is hailed the 'king of retail' in the CNBC special. It describes how he transformed the once-failing brand into a retail success story that makes $2billion in sales each year.

When asked about the secret to his success, he said: 'I think it's a combination of your gut and experience and wisdom and being as curious as you can be. The gut is important, you see it, you feel it...' That he is involved in every single detail of every single product certainly makes a difference.

CNBC follows Mr Drexler to a fabric mill in Italy, where the cotton for JCrew shirts is made, and his forensic attention to detail when going through a collection with his team.

Firing off question after question in collection run-throughs, he grills his staff on the product, how it is placed stores and why. He asks his team: 'Is this easy for a woman to wear?' Then: 'Why do we need three shawl cardigans? We don't. Which was quickly followed by: 'Button or no button? Raise your hands!'

Anna Wintour believes there are many talented CEO's, but most of them are 'removed'. She explained: 'There is nothing removed about Mikey Drexler. You can walk the floor with [him] and he knows every single piece of clothing on the floor.'

Jenna Lyons, JCrew's famously quirky executive creative director, says Mr Drexler just wants to make sure customers are asking the right questions. She said: 'It's about pausing to say wait a minute, did I miss a diamond in the rough, did I miss a jewel? He calls it panning for gold.'

Both Ms Lyon's and Mr Drexler's vision is summed up by Ms Wintour: 'You know, I think the customer needs something fun, creative. And they don't have to take a mortgage out on expensive things.'
The more we learn about the CNBC piece on J.Crew, the more excited I am about seeing it! It reveals so much about our favorite brand. Can't wait to catch it on tv!

I also loved the mini-video. I thought it was great when Mickey mentioned his "sticker shock" when he saw the Peplum Top in Fresco Floral Sateen (Item 66184) for $350 without the reason of why visible to customers. I know a lot of us (myself included!) have that moment when we see the item and then the price tag. ;) On a related note, the Peplum Top is now reduced to $119.99.

Quick reminder, the times/dates this show will air:
Thursday, 5/24/2012 - 10:00 PM
Thursday, 5/24/2012 - 1:00 AM

Sunday, 5/27/2012 - 10:00 PM

Will you be checking out Mickey Drexler's story on CNBC? Are you excited to see the inner-workings of J.Crew? Will you be recording the show, like I will?

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Fabulous Florida Mommy (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 not yet available to view (at time of posting). However, they will put it up later in the day. (Similar to last time.) As we already know, the new catalog is a destination catalog. There are several gorgeous on-location images of Bali. Yey!

Cute! Well J.Crew has anchored me down with all their adorable anchor print merchandise! The Anchor Popover Hoodie (Item 86292; $80.00) is just darling thanks to the small embroidered anchor on the front. The whimsical T-shirt Dress in Dizzy Anchors (Item 12171; $68.00) is perfect for those lazy Summer days. Not sure how it will look on my pear-shaped body, but I think it's adorable!

Lastly, the Anchor Bead Charm Bracelet (item 94913; $65.00) is a throwback to their bracelets of 2007. All I can say is LOVE!

Resurgence! A lot of items are coming back, and in multiples! The Bubble necklace (item 92687; $150.00) is now being offered in six new delicious shades. Personally, I {heart} the navy version. Can't wait to get my hands on it! The Biennial Satchel (Item 57107; $348.00, select colors $278.00) is back too, with three more colors (Blue Sea, Tangier Orange, & Dark Bone) that are perfect for Summer.
Sale! There is a nice update to the Spring Sale (click here to shop online), with over 1100+ items for Women and 280+ for Men. Definitely worth checking out!

Random! Lastly, there is no new promotion being offered at J.Crew currently. For awhile it seemed like they offered one promotion after another. It feels like forever since we have seen one. Maybe another will pop up for the weekend?

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? :)