Thursday, January 23, 2014

J.Crew’s Spring 2014 Collection

We got a look into what J.Crew was planning to offer for Spring 2014 in last September's "First Look at J.Crew’s Spring / Summer 2014 Collection" post. Considering Spring is right around the corner, let's take another look at what we expect to see from J.Crew...

"Thanks!" to ShoeLove (in this post) who let us know that Style.com has an article about the upcoming Spring Collection as well as slideshow of 30 individual looks (click here to check it out).
Spring 2014 Ready-to-Wear J.Crew
By Maya Singer
September 10, 2013

Think "summer" and the mind will instantly unpack a handful of stock images: surfers, girls in bikinis, cutoffs, spaghetti-strap sundresses. Summer is the casual season. But as J.Crew's Tom Mora noted at today's presentation, 'twas not ever thus. Though the latest Crew womenswear collection was inspired, in part, by California surf culture, Mora got somewhere richer and stranger by strapping that reference to a theme of summer on the Venice Lido, circa the turn of the twentieth century. "Back then, going to the beach meant dressing up," he pointed out. "It was very polished."

With that in mind, Mora and company gave the signature J.Crew punchy aesthetic a soigné twist, with pieces like a trim floral neoprene skirt with a ruffle and articulating seams, or a ruffled white minidress of varied eyelets. The clothes weren't fussy—that would be a breach of Crew protocol—but they did express some formality. Still, some of the other standout pieces expressed exactly the opposite, like the paint-splattered army green khakis sure to be on many an editor's must-have list for Spring. Also on that list: a pair or two of the Sophia Webster for J.Crew heels that made their debut at the presentation. Mora's pick? An orange pair, dotted with stars. 
The following are some of the images with a bit of commentary.
 * Looks like a pastel sack of potatoes. The slit in the front also would make me self-conscious about sitting down. Just looking at this makes me uncomfortable.
 *I love the jacket & clutch!
 * Reminds me of the 80's. Not sure why.
 * Here we go with the splattered paint khakis. You know these are going to cost a fortune.
 * All the pieces are fine, just not crazy about them together.
 * Pretty!
* Looks lovely on the model. However, those pants are tricky to pull off (for me, anyways). 
 * This dress makes me think of something Charo would wear. My goodness it is short too. Crazy short. Honestly, this does not seem like J.Crew.
 * Love this whole look.
* The girly-girl in me just squealed at the sight of this skirt. I have no where to wear this beauty, but it is a beauty.
 * Ah, the warm coat and shorts look is back too. The heels seem misplaced too.
 * Am I suppose to see a dolphin if I stare at it long enough?
 * It is so nice to see trousers! I hope this style is making a comeback!!! Also, love the whole look (minus the Jenna frames).
* She looks great!
 * I love the length of this dress! However, the neckline is low by J.Crew standards. (Fashion tape anyone?)
 *Ugh. Everything here is so short!
 *Love the skirt. The shirt is crazy short. Is J.Crew doing midriff tops now? Or is the model so tall that this is what regular tops look on her?
 * Jacket: yes! Jumpsuit (??!): No.

What are your thoughts on the items slated for the upcoming seasons? Are you a fan of the overall collection? Are there certain pieces you are really excited (or questioning) about? ;)

79 comments:

  1. I'm not overly impressed. Nothing looks very fresh or new to me, just lots of re-hashed looks and rather samey styling. I'm sure there will be some lovely pieces, but from these pics, I'm not feeling much excitement.

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  2. I like many of these but unfortunately, many will also not translate into everyday wear for me - too dressy, too short, etc.

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  3. ¡Charo! Woke me right back up!

    I always think JC's paint-splattering is such a waste of time and trouble. Love the longer skirts. Don't like the "I grew over the summer and Mommy didn't have time to let the hem down" look.

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  4. I'm not seeing myself here in the overall looks. Some of the pieces are interesting.

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  5. nothing for me either...my wallet ( and husband) is happy, but I'm thinking J.Crew is no longer my go-to store. I'm sad. None of those looks would work for me and my lifestyle. I wish they'd try some of these styles on real women before sending them to production. I'll be spending my dollars at Anthro. Sigh.

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  6. Love the commentary! There are some interesting things here.

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  7. I think you nailed it with Charo, Alexis - every time I saw that picture I thought it looked familiar, but couldn't place it. But hey, if you're wearing it while sitting in a Hollywood Square nobody could tell how short it is! ; )

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  8. I like the tshirt that is worn with the black trousers. But I figured JCrew would always have a tshirt or two I like at the very least.The rest is either 'nothing new' or not appropriate cuts or paint spatters for my work and outside work life. Aside from the Lucie silver sling-backs, there is nothing I am lusting after now or by the looks of this preview. I hope the full roll-out is better than this. Otherwise, I need a new go-to store.

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  9. I like the top that's worn w/the paint splatter pants. I'll be curious to see what it's like IRL and at what price.

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  10. I see a lot of slouchy pants. Is this trend really going to happen?

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    1. I hope not...I just finally embraced skinny jeans, ha ha!

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  11. Some of the individual pieces are really pretty and I actually like the way a lot of the looks have been styled on the models. However I'm not sure how many of the too-short or too-low looks would translate for me IRL (like that black midriff top with the midi skirt - really pretty, I think. Could I wear either of those pieces? Eh ...)

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    1. I thought the same thing!
      Like a lot of the pieces,just not sure if they work IRL:)

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  12. Paint splattered pants are back so I'm heading to the store right now to buy some fabric paint for my old Madison Chinos...will save me the $350 they will probably cost!

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  13. I like the blazers in the second and last shots. Like Alexis, I am happy to see the "return" of the wide leg trouser. I actually like the cropped black top in the second to last shot. I think it will go well with some of my full skirts. However I am short waisted so that length on me would cover my mid rift while with others with a normal or long torso it would really be a crop top which is just not a good look for 99.9% of the population. I am not crazy about the styling but like more of the pieces on their own. I love the low plunge dress minus the low plunge. I don't mind a deep V, but really, where would one wear such a low plunge?

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  14. I actually love these looks a lot but I bet a very few of them will be affordable. I need the "Oui mon cheri" tee though, so I can just to point to my boobs when my husband asks me to do something.

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    1. Haha. I like your thinking on the top. :-)

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    2. LoL, Ema. I figure this tee will be the first thing that sells out, for that reason.

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    3. Cute - but for me - living in an area where there French is one of our official languages and many people speak it as a first language I worry about the message I'd be sending with "Oui Mon Cheri" written across my boobs.

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    4. What is the translation? I don't speak any French but it looks like "yes dear". Or is it just the placement of the message? that would be funny and possibly a concern!

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    5. "YES, my love" and the "my love" part is in the masculine so it would be like saying it specifically to a man. If you don't live in a french area - no biggie - no one really will have a clue. Where I am, people who speak french (most) wouldn't understand the "cute novelty" aspect about it. It would sound like an invitation of sorts - lol. Similar reasons I bailed on the Merci Tee, despite liking it. "Thank you Thank you Thank you.." - for what? And that whole "Peto" with the very small accent thing on the Kiss tee was hilarious. Again, none of this matters if everyone around you speaks english only. Then it's just a cute graphic tee.

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  15. Another rollout I don't buy anything? Don't know what's happening at the Crew, but it's not for me. I did see a cute short trench I may check out, but otherwise, it's a miss for me.

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  16. Conceptually, it's all very pretty on the models, but definitely wouldn't work on my short, stumpy self. I do like the mix of beachy-casual with black and navy basics, so that's something I could shop my own closet for when spring hits.

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  17. I dig a few of the tees, which are usually affordable. The jumpsuit is cute, I really shouldn't even entertain the idea of a jumpsuit, but they are my favorite piece of clothing that I *know* I shouldn't wear, but wear anyhow. Not that I would buy the J. Crew version, even though it is pretty, since we all know that item will be collection and $600. :)

    Some of the pants look promising, but you have to absolutely nail the size in order for them to work properly on your frame, and with J. Crew, we know that can be difficult.

    Not loving the paint-splattered look, nor the continued insistence on their part that we need short skirts/dresses and capri length pants. I have so many capri length pants, my goodness. I am consigning a great bunch of them and am holding onto my longer length pants. With my life and with the weather we have here in spring and summer and fall, shorts are definitely more preferable to capris, and in winter, it can be hard to style the shorter length pants. Ah, well. The Crew would prefer to make them, sell them at a loss, than dare admit that maybe they have gone overboard on the shorter lengths...

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    1. Dina, since you're a mom, and I'm one too, but you're also really stylish, I have to ask the perennial question: do you know smth I don't about how to wear a jumpsuit all day - ie, how do you go potty when wearing one? Are the choices really just between baring one's chest and baring ones legs, or is there a third way? Thank you!

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    2. This made me lol. :)

      Yeah, so I do the bare the top and legs bit when using the facilities. That said, I do make sure to wear a cami rather than a bra so I feel less exposed, somehow that works.

      I guess a smart designer could attempt to figure out how to make a romper/jumpsuit more user friendly, like adding a zip or hidden buttons at the waist or a zip or buttons in the bottom (but I would feel like a baby if a designer did that) to make the process easier, but from what I have seen all jumpsuits require the baring of the torso and top bit of the legs. Hmmm...

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    3. On the other hand, jumpsuits are at the top of my list for not wearing on airplanes.

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    4. Sigh. Ok, thank you! I know, the question is ridiculous, but I keep hoping for a breakthrough! A cami is a good idea though. Will try if I'm tempted to buy one...

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    5. hey, if someone does figure out a solution, we can wear our rompers on a plane! LOL. :)

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    6. Lol Dina. Oh, we can't let that one go.

      Rompers On A Plane - A stylish, beautiful group of J Crew Aficionadas tackle the many obstacles of wearing rompers 30,000 miles high, with a newlywed bride leading the pack in her eyelash lace jumpsuit. Hijinks and hilarity ensue. Executive Producers: Jenna Lyons & Tom Mora.

      Tim Gunn gives it 4 stars **** "They made it work."

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    7. They did make it work. After the designers added an invisible zip to the waist. "Genius" declares Tim Gunn.

      Nina even cracked the tiniest smile in response to the whimsy.

      Please tell me that the bride is in a white lace eyelash jumpsuit. (Chantilly lace, natch.)

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  18. I like most pieces, however, I am surprised to see such large florals.

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  19. There are a few pieces I'd like to see in person. Not many but a few. So many short short short things. There is a look Alexis didn't show, with a white top and white trousers (I agree with those of you happy to see the return of trousers!) that have a tan stripe on the side. I'd have to see if the pants are see-through.

    Lately though I have the same result with J. Crew rollouts that I have with designer collaborations. You know what I'm talking about? Those Kohl's-Narcisco Rodriguez or Target-Phillip Lim? I get excited about them since I love those designers, and it's always a let down when I see the garments in real life. Same with the J. Crew rollouts. Maybe there's an item or two I like in the Pinterest previews or on the website, but I'm disappointed when I receive them and send them back. Maybe it's just me.

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    1. Hi Desert Flower - I get what you're saying. It's like a combination of the website and catalog styling/pictures and the price tag set up an expectation (for me) that the real life piece doesn't live up to. Lately, there seem to be more things that don't pass the F21/JCPenney/Kohls test.

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  20. I'm assuming, as has been the case in the past, that these preview looks are not representative of the bulk of their spring line. They are usually more focused towards looks that will excite the fashion editors and get J.Crew in magazines and on celebrities.
    So I'm not freaking out about it either way. I always find plenty to love at J.Crew and assume I will this spring as well.

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  21. I agree that past shows and lookbooks have not been a great representation of their full line. The last several years I have been disappointed with the previews and found several things in the rollouts that I loved.

    I didn't pin one single J Crew pictures from this rollout, but I pinned half a dozen Madewell ones. They have a few not too short or low cut dresses and a couple of skirts and tops that I need for the summer and most of my money will probabaly go there this season.

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  22. Agreed - these looks are intentionally over the top and not meant as recommendations for most of us. "Editorial" and all that.

    But I'm getting a little worried about the shoes. In recent seasons JC shoes have been either too glitzy/unwearable or too plain/boring for me. JC has been coasting by making many of their shoes mirror metallic or animal print (both fine but that gets stale after a while). I'm looking for cool but not kooky shoes. And I'm willing to pay - as for a lot of women its the biggest part of my clothing budget and the thing that I get most excited about.

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  23. Just for fun/perspective:

    The link to the Spring 2013 Lookbook is still up on the website. Interesting to see what sold out and what is still popping back up in the sale section.

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    1. That was interesting to look back, now that it's all either gone or languishing in the sale section. I bought 3 things from that 2013 Lookbook (the vacationland blouse, if that's what it is in the picture), the umbrella tee, and the short-sleeved denim button-up with the peter pan collar. Most of what I see in the 2013 Lookbook was very expensive and wasn't even on my radar. I couldn't tell you if it sold out or not. I tried on a lot from the spring rollouts but most of it didn't work on me. Peasant style tops, hawaiian prints. Last spring/summer was the first time I really wasn't wild about what J. Crew was doing.

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    2. Hey, thanks Silver Lining. Very interesting. Mixed bag for sure, but there is a lot of stuff from that Look Book in the sale section. To AJC in Boston's point, much of the Spring 2013 Look Book was styled for editorial purposes.

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  24. What else do you hope will be in this rollout? I'm hoping for some new Darby loafers, Matchstick jeans with stretch (like they're putting in the newest Toothpicks), and small-to-mid-size cross-body purse options (although Kate Spade may have taken care of that for me yesterday). I also wish they'd make a simple white t-shirt that isn't see-through. I would like to see some more sneaker options like the Nike Air Pegasus or the New Balance they've had recently.

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    1. A white tee shirt that isn't see-through would be the holy grail for me! I'd also like some cute 5" shorts.

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    2. Hi cate - the new matchsticks have already rolled out in stores (at least they had them in my small B&M). I didn't get to try them on but according to the SA's they've got something like 35% stretch, and a higher rise than the old matchsticks. The ones I saw were $115 and color code CRI for "classic rinse", but the item number began with an A and wasn't just a 5-digit number. I asked about them because they looked exactly like the ones in the sale section that were $29.99 - 50%. I'm interested to try them out.

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    3. Agree on the white t-shirt. It shouldn't be this difficult!

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    4. Muffin, I forgot the cute 5" shorts! There is one striped pair out right now, but I don't need horizontal stripes on my butt. Something else, please! I like the blue color palette they've put on the striped shorts, though.

      silver_lining, I will look forward to trying those.

      Melanie, I agree. I bought the J. Crew cap sleeve tee in white in the larger of my two sizes and it is getting me by. If it's sheer, I can't notice because it's not a close fit on me. I regret buying the linen tees in ivory prints last year, too sheer.

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    5. Cate, I really love the Everlane white tee shirts. They have several styles. I've got white and black in v-neck. They also make a crew neck. The white are not see through. I would be happy to send you a membership link if you want to have a look. They are well made, I've washed mine a ton, they wear well, they're comfortable and the price is good.

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    6. Desert Flower-with the Everlane v-neck did you stay with your normal JCrew size? I'm a small in perfect fits-do you think it's similar fit? Thanks!

      And yes- no more horizontal stripes across my butt!

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    7. Muffin, I think the Everlane regular tees are TTS. I wear a small in J. Crew and in Everlane. The Ryan tees run big and I size down to XS. Hope that helps!

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    8. Thank you! I did get a BR elbow sleeve one today- still not as thick as I would like but ok. I will give Everlane a try.

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    9. Thanks , Desert Flower, I'll take a look at those. I have read a lot of people like them.

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    10. Cate and Muffin, here is a link to join Everlane if you're interested: https://www.everlane.com/n/g2qymg

      Alexis, if you'd rather not have the link here, please delete!

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  25. Nothing for me. Makes me sad to look at these items. What has happened to J.Crew???? I know these might be their high end/artistic whatever items but still. Doesn't make me squeal with excitement. Doubt I will be buying anything. This fall the only thing I bought is a bracelet as a gift. I used to spend big bucks too:) Oh well....

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  26. I like many of the looks but don't LOOOOVE any. I would like to see the pieces in photos 6,7 and the black/white in #8, and the oui tee among others. My store gets very little collection so it's great to get a look. I kinda miss getting the card stock foldout of the collection pieces. I always like to see what I end up with each season that is "Tom and Jenna" worthy. Either I'm off the list or they haven't sent one out because the last one I received was for spring 2013. Did anyone receive one for fall 2013 or spring 2013?

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  27. The styling of these items and Silver Lining's post about last Spring's offerings have gotten me wondering.

    There are so many Collection items languishing in the sale section. I think that the styling of some of these items in the product pictures is part of the problem. Not only are the high prices of these items a barrier for many of us, but the styling is not real-world for most of us as well. Many of the sequin skirts are paired with T shirts for example. And the paint splattered pants are paired with stilettos. I get the high-low fashion concept and I even like it in small doses, but there are limits for most of us (as the sale section will attest). I'm not advocating for boring clothes or lowest-common-denominator styling, but I do think that J Crew shoots itself in the foot sometimes.

    Thoughts?

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    1. Agree. I'm reluctant to buy a sequin skirt when I can't picture what top would look good with it in real life (i.e., not a sloppy looking tee they put it on the model with).

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  28. The only look that I love is the black trousers and the tee shirt, and I don't really need those particular items to create that look. I have slouchy tee shirts and several invitation clutches. All I need is a pair of well fitting and well made wide leg trousers in a great fabric. I feel like I am way more likely to find impeccable fit, quality and fabric somewhere other than J. Crew.

    Other than that, I really like the look of the white skirt with the dark crop top. I don't know if its a look that I can pull off, but it looks beautiful.

    I'm slightly intrigued by the peach short shorts. Would be interested to see what the fabric is and how short they actually are. I am short, so short shorts don't automatically turn me off. The color could be beautiful with tanned legs. I am picturing then with a metallic sandal and a cream blouse.

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  29. Some hits and some misses for me. I love the white/blue stripe capri pants. My VPS sent me an email with some images and info as well and there will be a new Campbell Capri, described as "straight and cropped with just a hint of kick at the hem, these are tailored from crisp, clean stretch cotton." I'm interested to try them. I know some ladies are over the capri but I'm still in love. I almost never where my full length pants anymore and don't see going back because the capris just work so much better for me.
    I also really like the black and white shirt that is paired with the white shorts.

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  31. This line I'm just not sure I see anything I'd actually buy. I was looking forward to shopping this season I'm not sure what J. Crew is doing and I don't think they know either. I'm really disappointed that they changed the double serge pencil skirt it was a great work item now they've changed the material I can only translate "twill" into something cheaper that cost the the same amount as the original. I don't know where I'll be shopping but I doubt it will be at J. Crew.

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  32. I added 5 more images to my recent 2014 Spring Preview post. They're more basic, catalog type looks and none duplicate what Alexis has wonderfully shared here.

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    1. Thanks again to Mel & Amahend for sharing the pics!

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  33. Love the paint-splattered khakis, the geometric print short-sleeve shirt, the bright yellow-green raincoat, and some of the jewelry/accessories. Not crazy about any of the statement tees...French phrases feel a little played-out to me (I keep seeing them at Forever 21, which I think is actually a better place to shop for that kind of thing).

    I, too, am a little concerned about the decline in wearability of a lot of J Crew's looks.I understand their need to keep things fresh and throw challenging pieces into the mix, but for the price that Collection is reaching now, MARC by Marc Jacobs does clever/artsy/cool much better.

    I'm in design (not for J Crew) and we always get frustrated when merchandising shows us our bestsellers and they are inevitably the pieces that are most "boring" to design. But you know what? When I go to J Crew, I want the boring (read: classic, easy, wearable, versatile) stuff too!

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  34. Not a huge fan of this preview at all, although there are a few individual pieces I like. I do hope, however, that the non-collection pieces offer something more than what I'm seeing here.

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  35. Has anyone tried the new balance shoes? I really don't know which color I should order--neon mango or misty fog!

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    1. AD MD - I put a msg on Caroline's Day's Instagram. I can't remember if you're on there or not to drop her a msg.

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    2. AD MD - Caroline said, "alpine blue was too jarring for me IRL, misty fog is super cute, mango is on the way for me to try, beechwood was located for me. I wear solid 9, and I'd size up if you have wider feet."

      HTH

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    3. Thanks, gigi! Admd, I wear a 9 in most closed toe shoes, took a 9 in these, could also wear a 9.5 probably (my running shoe size). The misty fog is basic but super cute...the mango is on the way to me, but CS was able to find the sold out beechwood in my size - will decide between mango & beechwood to return. The misty fog is the least colorful but the most versatile, & the neon yellow is fun!

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  36. Uninspiring. Just think of all the money I'm not going to spend this spring at J Crew.

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  37. The paint-splattered khakis are the foundry pants from 2011 (with paint on them, of course). I would love to see them brought back and offered in solid colors. I ended up getting bleach on mine while cleaning house one day, and they became my 'work' pants, so I would love to get a new pair. We recently painted our house so now mine are actually paint splattered, too. I don't plan to wear them out of the house though. ;)

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  38. I love J Crew because it's a mix of quirky and classy. I think it's a good marketing strategy for doing that to attract different age groups, from college students/young professionals to middle-aged ladies, and to attract people with different tastes. I, for one, love a lot of the JCrew items that are not "conventional", especially some of the prints and interesting cuts. With that being said, I do like this collection but not as much as the fall 2013 one. My favorite things from the collection are all the shoes (but sadly JCrew shoes are super uncomfy on me), the jumpsuit, and the pastel-patterned capris in that first look on here.

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  39. The February catalog looks nothing like this Lookbook.

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    1. I agree Cate. I just received mine today and I live in Colorado, so assuming everyone will be receiving theirs soon. I was told they will be in stores on Monday.

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