Monday, June 30, 2008

Free shipping (if you can checkout!)

{Yey!} to J.Crew for putting up a notice on their home page (of their website) explaining a bit about what's going on. (Although, you probably already knew that the site was running slow.) ;) I am also impressed that they are offering free shipping with the code FREESHIP. Not sure how long the offer will last (or if you can checkout at all), but the sentiment is nice. :)

J.Crew Website Down Again

As many of you have pointed out, J.Crew's website is down again (as of 11:56AM). Hopefully they will be back up and running soon. (I have a feeling that their website won't be running smoothly for a week or two.)

Again, I will say that I am very sympathetic for all the J.Crew employees and customers who are dealing with the hassles related to the new system change. :)

UPDATE: As of 12:46PM, the website seems to be up & running again (for now anyways). ;)

J. Crew Considering Expanding its Madewell Brand

I found an interesting article here (published on June 25, 2008) about Madewell & J. Crew:

J. Crew could expand Madewell line

NEW YORK (AP) - A J. Crew Group Inc. executive on Wednesday said the company could make a decision about whether to expand its Madewell brand during the second half of the year. Chief Financial Officer Jim Scully made the remarks, which were webcast, during the Wachovia Nantucket Equity Conference.

J.Crew began developing the line, which is lower priced than its J. Crew line and targets a slightly younger demographic, in 2006 and it is still classified as research and development. "We decided that the second half of this year we were going to make a 'go or no go' decision," on Madewell," Scully said. "One thing we won't do is lose $15 million a year, we'll either lose zero or ramp up and be profitable." Any ramp up would take place in 2010 due to real estate issues, he said.

Currently, there are eight Madewell stores in the U.S., including one in New York, and two more scheduled to open this year. The online store is scheduled to launch in July or August.

Other areas of development J. Crew is working on include its yoga activewear, which currently consists of 10 pieces. The line will likely double by the fall, Scully said. The New York company is also stage-testing jewelry, which is available in 120 stores so far, and should be in 150 stores by year-end.

What do you think about the possible expansion of Madewell? Are you excited or could care less? Also, what do you think about J.Crew "stage-testing jewelry" (although I am not sure what that means exactly)? :)

J.Crew Stores: Final Sale Tip

Since many J.Crew stores are carrying "final sales," Jacquie shared with us a great tip to know (in case you aren't sure about keeping the item):

During the final sales in the stores let's say you want to purchase an item as a gift, but have some second thoughts about doing so because it is FINAL SALE. Well, my Sales Associate told me that you can purchase it the items without the additional off and if you decide to keep the item, bring the receipt back in and they will adjust the price to reflect the additional percentage off!!!!! I thought it was something my SA was just doing for me, but then I heard a manager tell another customer the same thing.

"Thanks!" again to Jacquie who shared with us! :)

Product Review: J.Crew Handbag

Jacquie was kind enough to share with all of us her review of J.Crew's latest handbag. I actually have seen this bag in-person at their stores and absolutely adore it, (it had a cute scarf hanging off of it- I just thought it looked great!) Unfortunately, it is not available on their website as of yet (and I could not find it in the latest catalog). The following is Jacquie's (fantastic) review:

Quilted tumbled-leather Quincy hobo
Click here for product page
tem 95897
Regular: $228.00
Colors: Golden Yellow, Graphite, Emerald Green

Pros: Made of quilted leather (the grey is a bit softer, but I'm sure the yellow will soften up), hobo style, brass hardware, lined with cotton, 1 inside pocket and adjustable handle (can be worn on shoulder or carried). But I love the closure, it's a round clasp, so it insures the bag will be securely closed (no zipper though). These bags are great for all seasons and types of dress (casual, work, etc). The yellow could add that punch of color in a sea of browns and blacks during the winter, the grey would go great with a fabulous 120 suit. The size is a great medium, so it will hold all of your purse junk :) I've carried the yellp bag 2 times and have gotten many compliments on it.

Cons: the handle makes noise. It comes from the leather rubbing against the brass hardware. The noise stop with continued usage (I hope!)

What are your thoughts about this new handbag from J.Crew? (Do you happen to know its name or item number?) Have you seen it in-person or own it? Also, a big "thank you!" to Jacquie again who shared with us her fabulous review and provided us with her own image as well! {You rock!}

Coupon Codes & Sale Merchandise

It seems as though promotion codes are not restricted to regular priced items only. {YEY!}

First, the line of "Coupons are not valid for clearance merchandise" has been removed this morning from their website here. {Yey!}

Second, Caroline let us know (in the "Dear J.Crew: What are you doing?" post) her response from customer service:
We apologize for any confusion regarding coupon usage. The promotions and coupons that are offered to our customers are generally a $-off or %-off a specific threshold (ex: $20.00 off a purchase of $200 or more). Unless a coupon or promotion specifically states that it applies to full price merchandise only, you may still apply the coupon to an order that includes sale merchandise. If you have trouble applying a coupon which meets the threshold on, please contact us for assistance.

Third, Blumre let us know (in the "Check your orders!" post) her response from customer service:
We wanted to follow-up to our previous reply regarding the difficulty you encountered when trying to use a coupon to purchase sale merchandise.

The verbiage displayed on the website regarding coupon use on sale items is an error that we are now aware of and are working diligently to correct. J.Crew has always accepted coupons for sale purchases (provided the total amount meets the coupon requirements) and will continue to do so.

We kindly suggest trying to place your order again with the coupon, once the website is available. If you encounter any problems again, please do not hesitate to email us at We truly appreciate you choosing J.Crew and hope you will continue shopping with us in the future.

The "Day After"

Good morning J.Crew Aficionadas! Today was the first morning (in years) I did not check J.Crew's website, I instead slept in an extra 30 minutes. :) Although J.Crew will remain the primary focus of this site (I do like their clothes!) I may start discussing other retail stores (like the Gap, Anthropologie) on occasion as well. Moreover, I still plan on not shopping online for awhile. (I have to be honest, my credit card really needs the break.)

I also want to say that I appreciate the passion (and all the comments) expressed in yesterday's posts. We had more visitors yesterday than any other day. :) I also really appreciate those who kept a positive tone (and encouraged others to stay positive) in their comments. We all have different viewpoints, and I hope that we still feel comfortable enough to share them. One of the things I really like about the community of this blog is the willingness to help one another, I hope that remains the same moving forward. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Check your orders!

SEMI-UPDATE: J.Crew's website has sporadically not been working today (Sunday, 6.29.08). When it is up & running, it runs very slow. Just keep this in mind (and know that you aren't the only going through it.) Good luck everyone! :)

NOTE: Please take a moment to call (800 562 0258) or send an email ( to check on your existing orders that have not been mailed yet.

I called about an order I placed on Friday (that was "in-stock" and ready to go). The customer representative at first could NOT find the order at all. After waiting ten minutes, she informed me the item is now "wait listed". I have a feeling they either lost or messed up my original order thanks to the "new and improved" website. :(

UPDATE ON THE NOTE: Jennifer called J.Crew and was kind enough to share with us the following (which I am quoting from her comment in this post): "Okay, I just got off the phone with customer service. The reason that your orders aren't showing up is that when they switched over to the new system, they changed all the order numbers." So I guess that is why it is so difficult for J.Crew to find our orders over the phone and display them online.

I will say that I am very sympathetic for all the J.Crew employees who have to deal with the new system and upset customers (like me) who are anxious about their orders today.

Also, if you are not satisfied with the new website, please call or send them an email with your concerns. If they get enough comments, maybe they will appropriately address the issues. :)

Dear J.Crew: What are you doing?

I am disappointed at J.Crew's new policies and website. So much so, that I may stop purchasing from J.Crew online for awhile. (Yes, I may be boycotting J.Crew online. Which, to be honest, will be great for my wallet.)

Why am I upset? Not only are some of their policies not as "consumer friendly" as before, but also because it seems to me (and to FabulousFloridaMommy) that some of the information (e.g. tips,) that the visitors shared at this site, was used against us. (That, or the timing is quite coincidental- especially since the policies being changed existed for years.) Many pieces of advice shared by the visitors throughout this blog (all listed below) are now irrelevant to the new policies and website of J.Crew.

First, the item searches (with variations on the last letter) no longer works on their new site. (I am hoping this is because their new search will reflect their entire stock inventory, not just portions of it like the older website.)

Second, the method of finding older items or items no longer linked on the main directory through Google no longer works with the new site.

Third, coupons can no longer be applied for clearance merchandise. This new policy is a major blow to all of us sale shoppers.

Fourth, price/credit adjustments will no longer be honored for sale items. [Apparently this policy has been around for awhile, but I only found out about it last week. During this entire time, I must have had really nice customer service reps. :) ]

Fifth, some (not all yet, hopefully) stores are now not honoring both the student (or Educator's) discount in combination with the "additional % off sale items" in J.Crew stores.

Now, I know J.Crew is a "for-profit" business. I own their stock, so of course I want them to perform well. However, hopefully not at the cost of alienating their core customers (which I believe the majority of this blog's visitors are). Unfortunately, I do feel alienated by many of their recent changes. I also honestly hope that they will reconsider some of those actions (like the codes only being valid for regular priced merchandise). :)

I will need some time to adjust, which I probably will. (However, I believe I will spend significantly less at J.Crew stores, if at all with J.Crew online, in the future.)

Website is back online & running!

J.Crew's website is back online! {Yey!} It is clear that a lot of changes have been made. I have to be honest... I am not sure if I like them all or not. I will need a couple of hours to explore the site and its usability first. ;)

I plan on updating this list (Pros/Cons) as I go through the site...

  1. Love that you can finally "zoom in" on images!
  2. I like that we have now have 20 minutes to make updates on orders just placed.
  3. Happy we can finally check our gift card balance online!
  4. I like seeing additional product images in the Sale section (although not a "fan" of the new layout for sale items).
  5. I think it is great that we can browse through catalogs!
  6. The search box now allows for keywords (pretty good!)
  1. "Coupons are not valid for clearance merchandise." Say what?!? When I saw this line here, my heart just sank.
  2. No more price adjustments on non-full priced items. And I quote, "Items not purchased at full price are ineligible for price adjustments." Found this here.
  3. No longer able to use Google to perform link/ searches on J.Crew. (This was how many of us were able to find a lot of items J.Crew no longer linked on the main page or were not in the catalogs for us to look up.)
  4. The sale section has way too many links & looks a bit "cheap" (maybe its because I am not use to this for J.Crew). I actually preferred having "tops" as an option. I don't mind it being broken out into sweaters, shirts, and tees. But how about making another link of "tops" again? Also, the look of the sale section doesn't seem "right" for J.Crew (it makes the items look "cheap").
  5. Not a fan of having to select "Up to 90 Results" (as I would rather see all the items available at once). Maybe if "see all" was the default instead of "15 results," it would be better.
  6. If you already have a account, some personal information like your address, payment info and order history may have been lost in the recent web site update.
  7. The sale section (e.g. "clearance merchandise") appears to be permanently "final sale," although I don't know that for certain.
Do you love the new website or do you hate it (because you already had a "system" with the old website)? What are some of the features that you are happy they added? What features are you surprised to see?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

J.Crew: Website's Going to Come Back

Woke up and found this note on their website (at 6:45AM EST). Hopefully J.Crew's website will be online and functional soon! :)

Also, what does "new and improved" mean? Sounds exciting! (...Although, now that I think of it: what happens if they remove all the older links that we back search for? I hope they don't "update" the website for the worse. Now I am worried.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bring on the Belts J. Crew!

Is it just me, or has J.Crew been introducing cuter belts recently? I mean, I have always associated J.Crew with its traditional leather belts (like the Roughed-out leather belt; Item 79844). However, over the last few years they have added some really fantastic and fun pieces into the bunch. Maybe I like these belts so much because I still enjoy super-girly things (e.g. everything Sanrio.) ;)

For example, I think the Chiffon rosette belt is absolutely beautiful! J.Crew even suggests using the belt as a necklace or as a headband. (I have to admit, the necklace suggestion maybe a little "out there," but I can totally see that being a cute headband.)

Incidentally, the belts in this post are:
  1. Chiffon rosette belt, Item 98098, $38.00
  2. Metallic-leather bow belt, Item 98754, $50.00
  3. Beaded-flower tie belt, Item 93476, $68.00
What do you think of J.Crew's fun belt collection? Which pieces do you absolutely love and which ones do you despise? Do you think they are worth the price tag (e.g. would you buy one or do you think you can make some of the belts yourself for a lot less?) Let us know what you think! :)

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

It is time for another coupon code and this time the "thank you!" goes to Anonymous at 12:25AM, who let us all know about it in the "Free Shipping Code Update" post. J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code NJY-150. This offer expires 7/5/08.

Side note: After the recent "glitches" with some of J.Crew's codes (e.g. not working when they should), I decided to test the code this morning (at 7:15AM)- and it does work! :) Thanks again Anonymous at 12:25AM!!!

J.Crew Collection: Owen hobo

Owen hobo
Click here for product page
Item 95601
Regular: $395.00

Let me start off by saying that I think this bag is gorgeous. Love, love, love it! :) Luckily for us, Nicole R. not only purchased this (beautiful) bag, but also shared with us her opinion/review. I thought it was worth making its own post, (because I really like the purse!)

The following is a portion of her quote from her post (in the "What do you pay full retail for?" post) :
Ladies and Gents--it came in the mail and it is WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!! ...It is made by Borge Garveri who makes the Birkin bag for Hermes (I also have the Uptown bag and I had done research on Borge). The leather is buttery soft and incredible quality. I had been eying the YSL Mombasa Bag with the horn handle and YSL wanted $1200! Compared to the plastic LV, YSL, Kate Spade bags in the $300-500 range you are getting a great deal.

The CSR told me that it was an beautiful in person and only 60 were made in each color. I purchased the pumpkim-brown color since I felt that it worked best with what I have in my closet. Even if I did not have the PRIVATE 20%--- I most definitely would have bought it. It does come with a duster bag and carelfully double wrapped in plastic when shipped.
If you own the Owen Hobo, please share with us your experience. We would love to know more! And again: thank you to "Nicole R." for sharing with us your experience! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sneak Peek into J.Crew's Fall 2008 Collection

Summer has barely started and already there is talk of the Fall Collection!

For example, I stopped by a J.Crew store this Wednesday and over heard one of the floor associates tell a customer that they are not planning to receive anymore Summer items as the next "shipment of clothes" is expected to be for their Fall collection.

Although most of you are probably not thinking about the Fall anytime soon, you may be curious to see what is going to come to your stores. :)

"Thanks!" to ccbmum who let us know, in the "Buy & Review: What did you get during the Sale?" post, about Glam Chic's Sneak Peek into J.Crew's Fall 2008 Collection. Here you will find several pictures with items from J.Crew's upcoming Men's and Women's lines.

I was also able to find FabSugar's Sneak Peek into J.Crew's Fall 2008 Collection. And in case you are interested, here is FabSugar's Sneak Peek into Madewell's Fall 2008 Collection. Both of these links show a few pictures of models wearing some of the pieces being offered in the Women's Fall Collection.

Are there any items that you like/ dislike so far? Are you excited about the Fall 2008 Collection (or planning to think about the Fall Collection when it is closer to Fall)?

Love it or Leave it? The Optical-Print Jacket

Optical-print jacket
Click here for product page
Item 94136
Regular: $170.00

The Optical-print jacket is one of J.Crew's latest arrivals. At first, I thought this jacket was a definite "leave it". But after looking at it some more, I see some things I like about it (like the rolled collar). Ultimately I am just not sure about it.

Since I have not seen this jacket in person, I have no clue whether the fabric or shape is nice. I have a feeling this jacket is one of those jackets that looks really awful on the majority of J.Crew shoppers (e.g. me), but über-fabulous on the select few who can pull this look off (e.g. the model in the picture).

I also do not think it is worth the $170 price tag. Especially since it is a three-quarter sleeve jacket. (I find for three-quarter sleeve jackets, that I am more limited in terms of when, season-wise, I can wear it).

Do you own the Optical-Print Jacket? Have you seen this jacket in your local J.Crew store? Do you love it or would you leave it? Do you think it is worth the price tag? Let us know what you think! :)

What do you pay full retail for?

Slastena made a suggestion (in the "Love it or Leave it: Selima for J.Crew clear glass" post) to create a post about items that we have recently paid full retail price for and how we justified those purchases. I think this is a great idea, hence this post. :)

I know that there has been an item or two that I have caved in and bought at full retail price (although I typically- as in 99% of the time- buy on sale). The last item was J.Crew's Jelly Ballet Flats (Item 91531), in black for $45. I really wanted a pair of waterproof shoes that also looked cute enough to continue wearing once it stopped raining. I knew the flats would eventually be on sale, but thought for $45- who cares! :) Side note: A month later, I ended up buying the red version for less than $20. Also, I noticed that the black jelly ballet flats use to be "on sale" when the other colors-the red, green, and yellow- first went on sale. After awhile, I saw the jelly flats in black back in the regular price section while the other colors remained in the sale section... a bit weird.

So please share with us know what items have you paid full price on, the reason behind paying full price, and how you liked the product (e.g. was it worth the full price?) :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

J.Crew Swimwear: Share your review! :)

Awhile back there was a post about J.Crew's swimwear in general (the "Sun, Sea, Sand, and J.Crew!" post). Chini (in the "Love it or Leave it: Selima for J.Crew clear glass" post) suggested to post about swimwear again. I think this is a great idea! :) Especially since we are in "beach season".

Also, most of us have already started receiving the swim suits & separates purchased from the sales (these past few weeks). Sharing each others' reviews (e.g. what you thought of the fabric, sizing related concerns, etc.) on the various swim items can help us all decide whether or not we should purchase them. :)

What swimwear items did you get? Were you able to snag any sweet deals? Let us know how you made out and what you thought of those items! :)

Free Shipping Code Update

Many of our visitors here, like Slastena, Five Tomatoes, Rach, Heather C., have noted (in the "Buy & Review: What did you get during the Sale?" post) that the code IJN-160 seems to have expired today. As Lynn and Naomi noted, the code was printed/ offered in their catalog with the expiration date of July 5th.

I am not sure what happened here. If you have an order over $100, I am sure you can call customer service and explain the situation to get free shipping.

Frankly, I am disappointed that J.Crew decided to remove this code (especially during their "additional 25% off" sale). :( I am hoping that this is a glitch in their system, and that the code will soon work again.

Let us know if the code did/ did not work for you. Also, if you called customer service about this code situation, did they resolve the issue for you?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Buy & Review: What did you get during the Sale?

It's.a.southern.thing said (in the "J.Crew's Final Sale: Now with 25% Off" post) that many of us are starting to receive the items purchased from the sale a week ago and would love to hear the reviews about those items which are still on sale. I think this is a great idea, hence the post. :)

Incidentally... as much as I said I wouldn't purchase anything during this final sale... I did! I just caved when I saw the Solid Frances Blouse (Item 91801) available in Sour Lemon. I was so happy with this blouse in True Aqua (that I bought last week), I just had to get it in another color. [I won't lie, if I see it in white and in my size, I will buy that version as well! ;) ] This blouse fits true to size and is quite flattering. It really emphasizes the waist while providing some (but not too much) room around the stomach. The ruffles, oh the ruffles, is just enough to look elegant and cute at the same time.

How did you all fair this time around in the sale? Were you able to snag any sweet deals? Let us know how you made out and what you thought of those items! :)

Love it or Leave it: Selima for J.Crew clear glasses

Selima for J.Crew crystal-clear glasses
Click here to visit product page
Item 98388
Regular: $325.00

Matt nominated (in the "Want to win a J. Crew Coconut Straw Bag?" post) the Selima for J.Crew crystal-clear glasses for the next "Love it or Leave it" and I couldn't agree more. :) Where to begin...

According to J.Crew's wesbite, "Selima Optique has crafted this special pair—its classic "Menrad" style—for J.Crew. The frame is made of rhodoid, a natural, vegetable-based, hypoallergenic material." First, I don't even know what "rhodoid" is in order to be impressed by it (frankly, it sounds like a made-up word). :) Second, is this material why the pair of glasses cost so much? I mean $325 seems (to me) rather pricey for a pair of glasses with clear- that's right clear- lens!

It's almost insulting (for that price) for J.Crew to even suggest that you can "swap them (the clear lens) out for prescription lenses or have them fitted with tinted sunglass lenses". I am just saying, for that price tag, these glasses should at the very least include prescription or tinted lenses. Especially since the Selima for J.Crew aviator sunglasses (Item 95605; $275) and the Selima for J.Crew Rivington sunglasses (Item 98387; $325) both provide tinted lenses (and are in the same price range).

Also did anyone else notice the warning label that comes with the description: "eyeglasses may be cleaned easily with water or, if necessary, warm soapy water—do not use alcohol. They should be rinsed from time to time to avoid oxidization of the frame (a whitening of the surface), caused by sweat and oil from skin contact." This may be just my opinion, but if I have to worry about my (expensive) sunglasses getting ruined from skin contact!, then maybe these glasses aren't for me. :)

What do you think of the Selima for J.Crew crystal-clear glasses? Do you love it or would you leave it? Do you think I am being overly critical about the glasses? Let us know what you think! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Want to win a J. Crew Coconut Straw Bag?

"Thanks!" to Hannahe, who let us know in the "Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?" post that In Touch Weekly Magazine has a sweepstakes offering one lucky winner the opportunity to receive a J.Crew Coconut Straw Bag (Item 94402), priced regularly at $58.00, (and now on sale for $24.99.)

All you have to do to enter is click on the link provided HERE. Good luck! :)

The sweepstakes ends July 11, 2008. You can also enter once every day, to increase your chances too! For the official rules, click here.

J.Crew's Final Sale: Now with 25% Off (Online & In-stores)

As many of you have pointed out in various posts, J.Crew is offering an "additional 25% off" their "final sale" items online. J.Crew also sent an email (with an orange background) announcing that the stores are also carrying the "additional 25% off" sale items (note: Factory stores don't apply here) . The additional percent off sale lasts until Wednesday, June 25, 2008.

This additional sale definitely makes up for the fact that you can't return the items! ;)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

Yes, it is that wonderful time again!

J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $150+ with promo code 21FS8301. This offer expires 6/26/08.

Hopefully the "final sale" will end soon while another "additional 20% off" sale begins, so I can then take full advantage of this free shipping offer! ;)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Want to win a J. Crew Seychelles Necklace?

I know I do! Right now Life & Style Weekly Magazine has a sweepstakes offering one lucky winner the opportunity to receive a J.Crew Seychelles necklace (Item 95455), priced regularly at $150.00, (but now on sale for $99.99.)

All you have to do to enter is click on the link provided HERE. Good luck! :)

The sweepstakes ends July 11, 2008. You can also enter once every day, to increase your chances too! For the official rules, click here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

J.Crew: Just Ask?

Melanie pointed out in the "J.Crew's Weddings & Parties Collection" post that J.Crew is offering up a new campaign called "Just Ask"- to make sure its customers are aware of their usual benefits like personal shoppers, monogramming, teacher/student discounts, etc. (Essentially there is nothing new, service wise, that the visitors haven't discussed in this blog before. I feel like it is just their way of saying, "Hey you! If you have a question, we can answer it.")

They are also promoting a "Just ask concierge desk" at their Rockefeller Center store in NYC. (I have to admit, I am a bit curious as to what that means... Is it a real concierge desk with its own dedicated live customer service rep standing there, ready to answer my questions? Or, is it just a stool with a red phone on it for me to call their regular customer service line?)

First, I completely agree with Melanie's suggestion of emailing them and asking for "free shipping" (preferably with no minimums). ;)

Second, I often wonder if someone at J.Crew has taken note about this blog, its visitors, and its purpose. I mean, J.Crew's whole campaign is to ask them questions- on anything. Well, that is what this blog kind of does... this blog has (fantastic & insightful) visitors who ask & answer each others questions on just about everything J.Crew. (Probably not- I doubt J.Crew has taken notice of this site. However, if they did, then I think it is great that they are listening to their customers. And if they are reading this particular post... please bring back "free shipping with no minimums" and eliminate "final sales".)

Are you going to take them up on their offer and "just ask" them questions? What questions would you ask them?

J.Crew's Weddings & Parties Collection

Cape Cod Betty shared with us, in the "{Yey!} New arrivals are here!" post, that she purchased the (absolutely gorgeous!) Lucinda gown (Item 93503) yesterday for her wedding. {Congrats again Cape Cod Betty on your dress and upcoming wedding!}

After noticing many people (including myself) commenting on how beautiful some of the pieces are within J.Crew's Weddings & Parties Collection, I thought it deserved its own post.

First, I think most of the dresses offered by J.Crew for brides are beautiful in their elegance and simplicity. For example, I really do love the Lucinda gown (Item 93503). I love the style- with a fitted bodice and an overall gorgeous ball gown shape. The fact that it comes with pockets makes it even more fantastic! However, there have been some dresses that I have questioned, both in terms of shape/style and price. For example, [and please forgive me if you own this dress and love it, it's just my opinion ;) ] the Annabelle gown (Item 93741) is not very (universally) flattering and the price tag ($2,950.00) seems excessive.

I am also a big fan of the Groom and Groomsmen collection. I love the idea that J.Crew offers classic styles for the Groom and Groomsmen. Moreover, the suits [like the Year-round solid three-button suit jacket (Item 66258)] are versatile enough to not only be worn year-round, but for a variety of occasions (besides weddings).

I am a bigger fan of the Bridesmaid collection. I love the fact that J.Crew offers dresses "to flatter a wide range of figures." For example, Brides can select a color and allow their bridesmaids to select the actual style of dress, that best fits their body shape. The best part about most of these bridesmaids dresses is that they too, can be worn again at different events! So the cost of the dress can be seen as an investment, not a loss of money! (I know I have been stuck with a bridesmaid dress, that costs just as much as J.Crew's dresses, and I will never wear again.)

J.Crew also offers a few extra services/perks when it comes to those interested in their wedding collection.
  1. They offer "Special Occasion Coordinators" to help and answer any questions
  2. According to J.Crew's website, they ship their "Limited-Edition and other delicate wedding gowns in a beautiful keepsake box lined with acid-free paper, and include a long white garment bag and a pretty satin hanger" to keep your dress safe
  3. They send swatches upon availability
What are your experiences with J.Crew's Weddings & Parties Collection? Did you have a J.Crew Wedding? What was your favorite (or least favorite) item in their collection? What advice do you have for other customers contemplating a purchase from this collection?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

{Yey!} New arrivals are here!

As Lynn, Leigh, and others have pointed out in the "Love it or Leave it: the Whisper Lamé Tiered Skirt" post, J. Crew's New Arrivals are here.

You may have noticed that the J.Crew stores are already carrying the new items. I went to a J.Crew today (to return two of the three Dark Chambray Swing Skirts I bought) and saw several of the new arrivals on shelves and mannequins, ready to be sold!

The Domino jacquard cropped jacket (Item 94167) is not as nice in person as it is on-line. However, when it goes on sale (for significantly less) then it might definitely be "a buy". ;) The Salina patent-leather ballet flats (Item 95898) are actually very lovely in-person! Especially the flats in gray (although they don't seem to show that color as an option online, for now).

Of course, the best part about new arrivals is not just looking forward to what new and wonderful items J.Crew will be offering, but it is also that their sale section is going to be extra juicy in a couple of weeks (especially after this whole "final sale" blows over). :)

What items you are most looking forward to purchasing and which ones you are not going to? :)

Love it or Leave it: the Whisper Lamé Tiered Skirt

Whisper lamé tiered skirt
Item 93403
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $175.00
Now $99.99

When I first saw this skirt online, I thought "huh?" I wasn't sure what to make of it. It seemed a bit too "flashy" for the regular J.Crew line. (In fact, I couldn't understand how J.Crew's marketing team decided on the word "whisper" to describe the item's title. It is more like "loud" to me.) When I saw this skirt in-person at a store, I thought, "definitely overpriced for the material!"

J.Crew online states that the skirt is "a very special limited edition, silvery and pixie-like, in Italian cotton with a metallic sheen. It took weeks to get the tiers just right—each one is different by design, giving the skirt that extra edge." Uh, two weeks devoted to its tiers but no one during that time bothered to line the skirt (currently it is "unlined")? (For that price, it should be at the very least lined with some special, limited edition fabric as well.)

I am thinking that this skirt is meant to be targeted towards the younger demographics of J.Crew (e.g. late teens with lots of disposable income), because I definitely don't feel like it is targeted to me. :) I am just saying, for that price I would much rather get one of J.Crew's jackets, like the Refined canvas Fiona jacket, on sale.

What do you think of the Whisper Lame Tiered Skirt? Do you love it or would you leave it? Do you own it? Let us know what you think! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oh no, Final Sale is back!

As many of you pointed out in the "Monogram Shop" post, J.Crew returned it's "final sale" sale. I hate those sales. :( This is when all sales are considered "final" (therefore you can't return the item if you are not satisfied with it.)

Although J.Crew brought back many pieces from previous seasons, I am disappointed to see that they also raised those prices from the lowest point we saw them last. For example, the Polka-dot silk Julia blouse (Item 89514) is now being offered on "sale" for $59.99 from its original price of $115.00. However, I had seen it in the sale section a few months ago for as low as $19.99 (without any "additional percent off" too!) Another example is the Shawl-collar fleece popover (Item 88699) now on sale for $39.99 from its original price of $59.50. I was able to purchase three of these fleece sweaters (in brown, black, and white) for $19.99 in their sale awhile back (again, without any additional percent off).

Thankfully, I did some major J.Crew purchases the last couple of weeks that I won't need to buy anything this week (I should say "for awhile," but I can't hold out shopping for that long!) ;)

Will you be buying a lot this time around in the sale (like getting those pieces you missed out from earlier seasons)? Or will you hold off because you either (1) spent a lot in last couple of weeks at J.Crew or (2) plan to avoid the final sale altogether (and purchase when it is no longer "final sale")?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Monogram Shop

One of J.Crew's services includes monogramming. For an additional $10 (and extra 2 weeks for completion & delivery), clients can monogram their items with either initials or a J.Crew critter. To steal a quote from J.Crew's website, to give "your look a more personal touch."

J.Crew's Monogram Shop offers monogramming for a range of items for women (including swimsuits), men (including ties & boxers), and crewcuts. Personally, I don't understand why a guy would want his boxers with his initials on them. (Maybe if he does laundry at a dorm or a laundromat, where his "personal effects" need to be identified apart from others'.)

I personally haven't monogrammed too many items (in general). I think the last time I did was in high school, when I got my initials on the L.L. Bean backpack (you know the kind I am talking about too!) :) Although I like the idea of monogramming a J.Crew polo or tote, I always hesitate the move because it would mean I couldn't return the item if I wasn't satisfied with it.

What are your experiences with J.Crew's Monogram Shop? Would you recommend the service or not? Do you think this is more of a corporate / wedding gift than something an individual would get for themselves?

Product Review: Pepper suede flats

Pepper suede flats
Item 90697
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $148.00
Select colors now $69.99

I was super excited to see these shoes being offered by J.Crew awhile back. I just thought they looked adorable! I did my best to restrain the urge to get a pair when they were priced at $99.99. However, when they went on sale for $69.99 (plus an additional 20% off during their sale) last week, I could not resist any further. :)

The Pepper suede flats come in four different shades: Bistro orange, chocolate, bright azalea, and sour lemon. I personally choose to get the Bistro orange pair (even though I had not seen a pair in person beforehand). Now that I have the flat, the Bistro orange shade looks very much like a bright red. In fact, I took my red pair of Lucia suede ballet flats (Item 86214) to compare the colors- the Bistro orange Pepper suede flats is just a tiny shade more "orange" than the red shoe. (However, the difference in color is very minimal. I had to strain to see a difference in color.) I don't mind too much that the Bistro orange is more red than orange, even though I would have preferred a more orange shoe (since I already have a pair in red).

Much like the Liv Metallic Ballet Flats that I reviewed in an earlier post, the Pepper suede flats have an extra bit of cushion (when compared to previous ballet flats offered by the Crew). The extra bit of cushion is not the same kind of support you would get from a casual sneaker, but enough for me to be happy with.

The fringe detail (e.g. the puff ball on the tip of the shoe) is quite cute. (Especially cute when paired with a knee length skirt!) The fringe detail was a bit "smooshed" (since it was packed in tightly by J.Crew before being shipped), but I was able to easily fix it (so it looks completely fine now).

I am also surprise how well the shoe fits (which is true to size) and stays on my feet considering the shape of the shoe itself (which is a d'Orsay cut).

Also, the same complaint I have of all their ballet flats applies to the Pepper suede flat: the soles of the shoe are very slippery. I will need to adhere a "safe step sole pad" (that non-skid rough, rubber-like pad) to the bottom of the shoes (which costs about $2 at any Wal-Mart).

What are your thoughts about the Pepper suede flats? What do you think about J. Crew's ballet flats in general?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Questionable Items of the Week: Summer Pants

I ran a "Questionable Item of the Week" back in a May 14th post and just had to bring it back today after I ran across some of J.Crew's pants for men. My husband was in need of some new khakis, so I went to the J.Crew website and imagine my surprise when I saw some of these pants, followed by the asking retail price...
From left to right:
  1. Classic-fit Italian paisley pant (Item 94426) at $265.00
  2. Classic-fit Italian paisley batik pant (Item 92466) at $158.00
  3. Classic-fit indigo patchwork-print pant (Item 92473) at $98.00
  4. Classic-fit batik-print pant (Item 94454) at $165.00
  5. Classic-fit Porto Ercole pant (Item 89871) at $158.00
The first pair of pants, the Italian Paisley pant, is described as a "very refined printed cotton from a premier Italian mill". Refined? Really? For who? I don't know about you, but if I went to a "refined" cocktail party and saw a gentleman wearing a pair of those pants, I would probably think immediately "inappropriate."

As for the rest of the pair of pants, I don't think they warrant the price tag. To be honest, these looks might be fine for a little boy (because they are little boys, they could wear a sailor suit to a party and be adorable!) but for a grown man? I don't know. I mean, if I brought home a pair for my husband (and told him how much I paid for it) he would probably laugh, ask me if I saved the receipt, and then forbid me from ever purchasing clothes for him again. :)

What do you think? Do you think I am being overly critical about these pants? Do you own any of these pants? If you do, please let me know what you think!

Love it or Leave it: City-fit Buttery Twill Trouser

City-fit buttery twill trouser
(Item 91708)
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $69.50
In some stores now: $39.99 (not including the potential of your store carrying an "additional 25% off sale")

After a visitor mentioned in one of the posts that she bought this trouser for $30, I had to rush out to my local J.Crew to get my hands on one (and I did in the navy!)

Was the pair of pants worth the trip? Yes! (... and so were the 11 other items I purchased at J.Crew!)

The city fit buttery twill trouser is both comfortable and stylish. The cotton twill fabric is unbelievably soft and drapes very nicely into its trouser-leg shape. These pants are actually great for the summer time: light & airy enough for the hot days but enough coverage to keep you warm on the windy days. With a fitted tee on top, these pants will quickly be a staple in my everyday wear.

I would have bought more than the one pair in navy, but I could find only one pair of pants in my size! (These pants clearly sell well.)

Do you own a pair of the city fit buttery twill trouser? Do you love it or would you leave it? Let us know what you think! :)

20% off (for lucky you!)

J.Crew is offering 20% off all orders of $125+ with code PRIVSALE ("thanks!" to Daniel for letting us know in the "J.Crew Swim sale: Up to 30% off!" post).

"Thanks!" also to Slastena in the same post who let us know that they are also offering 20% off all orders of $175+ with code PRIVATE. Both offers expires 6/18/08.

UPDATE: Many of the visitors have noted that PRIVSALE isn't working for them on orders of $125+, however PRIVATE does work on those same orders! ;)

Just keep in mind that you can only use one promotion code per order. So chances are you will probably be debating whether you should use the "free shipping" code or this "20% off" code. Too bad we are not allowed to use both codes because then this becomes a great offer! :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

J.Crew Swim sale: Up to 30% off!

"Thanks!" to FabulousFloridaMommy who pointed out, in today's "Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?" post, that J.Crew is having a swim sale with up to 30% off select swim wear. :) Unfortunately, it is not clear how long the sale will last.
What I find interesting is the "Women" link from the email just takes you to the "swim" page (in medium) within the sale section of the website.

Darlings, is it time for a J.Crew coupon code?

It is time for another coupon code and this time the "thank you!" goes to Naomi from the "Additional "25% off" Sale in J.Crew Stores {yey!}" post who let us all know about it. J.Crew is offering free shipping on orders of $100+ with promo code IJN-160. This offer expires 7/5/08.

Also, "thanks!" to FabulousFloridaMommy who let us know (in the same post) that the code NJN-160 still works as of today! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Additional "25% off" Sale in J.Crew Stores {yey!}

A big "thank you!" goes to Franko who let us know in the "Summer Sale with additional 20% off ends today!" post that J.Crew is offering an "additional 25% off" sale items in their brick and mortar stores.

Unfortunately, it is not clear how long the additional 25% off sale will last... but that is still quite a deal! :)

Moreover, "thanks!" to FabulousFloridaMommy who confirmed that her local J.Crew is having the additional 25% off as well. In the "J.Crew's gift for Dad (in-stores only)" post, FabulousFloridaMommy also alerted us to the possibility that some of the sale items might now be "final sale" (which means you can't return the items once you purchase them), so keep an eye out for that.

So chances are, your local J.Crew is having a similar sale. (You may want to call your local store to confirm this, beforehand.) I thought this was worth mentioning in its own post, just in case you were thinking about stopping at a J.Crew this weekend... ;)

Please, let us know if your local J.Crew is having an awesome sale! Also please let us know if the sale at your local J.Crew is a "final sale." Any "heads up" would be greatly appreciated! :)

Summer Sale with additional 20% off ends today!

So the additional 20% off sale is almost over. (It ends tonight.) I was happy to see its arrival (and sad to see it leave soon).

I was able to take advantage of both the reduced prices and the discount. Needless to say I bought myself several items that I am now waiting anxiously (but in a good way) for.

How did you all fair this time around in the sale? Were you able to snag any sweet deals? Or did you get frustrated that the items you wanted (in your size/color) weren't available (or worse- removed from your shopping cart before you had time to buy it)? Let us know how you made out! :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Love it or Leave it: Sale Items Review

I was lucky enough to get some really fantastic suggestions in the "me, the Crew,... and you!" post. One of the great ideas (and I plan on using all of the them!) came from Fabulousfloridamommy who suggested listing current items in the sale section for others to review. I think that this is a great idea (especially with the current "additional 20% off" sale) and so I have listed a few items here that I hope those who have (or are thinking about owning) will share their views and questions.

Solid Frances blouse

(Item 91801)
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $88.00
Now: $39.99

Printed silk twill boatneck top

(Item 91811)
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $88.00
now $39.99

Solid Katie sweater jacket

(Item 92958)
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $148.00
now $39.99

Ruffled piqué shift dress

(Item 93158)
Click here to visit product page
Regular: $88.00
now $59.99

Please share with us your product reviews on these items if you have tried it on or own it. Do you think the items listed here are worth the sale price? If you have questions about either items, please share those too in hopes that someone can answer them.

J.Crew's gift for Dad (in-stores only)

A big "thank you!" to FabulousFloridaMommy who let us know in the "Quick Note" post that J.Crew is offering 15% off any men's purchase in their stores. This offer expires 6/15/08.

To access the full link, which you will need to print out and bring to the stores (so the sales associates can scan the barcode for the discount), click here.

Again, thanks FabulousFloridaMommy!

Quick Note

Again, I want to thank everyone who has been visiting and contributing to this blog. Thank you!!! I can't say this enough, this blog is only great because of all the visitors. Everyone has been wonderful about sharing their tips and experiences with J.Crew. I know that I have personally benefited tremendously from others' comments posted on this blog. :)

I also want to state here that I hope Jagjag2 will come back in future conversations at this blog. She has been a fabulous contributor since the very beginning. Her insights can be found in every single post practically. So until she comes back, she will be missed by many (especially me!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Love or Hate: J.Crew Catalogs

I received J.Crew's catalog the other day in the mail. Gazing at the pages, I pretended I too was in Morocco and looking fabulous!

I really do look forward to receiving J.Crew's catalogs as though it were the regular magazines I pay a subscription for. There are no other catalogs I even "sign up" for anymore, except for J.Crew. In fact, I find catalogs to generally be a waste of paper. But not, J.Crew's catalogs. Their catalogs are different... they are special.

The truth is, I save the catalogs I receive from J.Crew. I have magazine holders full of them. Why? For a couple of reasons. The first being that I find the color of the pictures in the catalog can vary from those online. Not to mention, the images in the magazine tend to be bigger than the online photos. Both of these points makes it easier for me to purchase an item online without seeing it in-person beforehand. The second reason is that I use the catalogs as an idea-book of how to put together pieces into an outfit. I even save the Crewcuts catalogs because the outfits on the little girls are fabulous enough for me to model after.

Do you love or hate J.Crew catalogs? Do you receive them at home or pick them up at the stores? Do you save them like me?

{Yey!} Summer Sale again with 20% off

It's that wonderful time that I always look forward to: when J.Crew offers 20% off its sale merchandise. The 20% discount lasts until 6/13/08. Not a lot of days, but certainly something!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not what it seems: the Dark Chambray Swing Skirt

I had my eye on the Dark chambray swing skirt (Item 90972) for ever. Imagine my delight when I saw it in the sale section last week for just $19.99 plus shipping. Naturally, I bought it immediately (not even caring that I had no "free shipping code" to apply to the order).

I just received it today and... so disappointed! Besides the skirt color not being as dark as in the photo, the skirt hits above the knee (20 inches long). The picture with the model wearing the skirt, clearly shows the skirt hitting below the knee. I naturally called J.Crew's customer service (which by the way, the menu prompt is now different) who told me that the skirt is in fact suppose to be 20 inches long. She also told me that she was surprise to see how short the skirt was in-person as well (since her friend has the skirt).

I am strongly considering returning the skirt. I thought it looked cute/classy below the knee. However, I think it looks a bit too "young" above the knee (especially when I am 5'8 in height).

For those who have this skirt, what is your impression? Were you disappointed or delighted with the skirt?

Does the guy in your life wear J.Crew too?

My husband didn't particularly have many items from J.Crew (nor did he care to, to be honest) before he met me. He is a JoS. A. Banks (work)/ the Gap (leisure) kind of guy. Moreover, he is a picky clothes wearer- he only likes to wear fabrics that he feels comfortable in. (While I, on the other hand, will gladly wear an itchy wool sweater in the Summer if it makes me look good.)

However, after meeting me he has several pieces from J.Crew. In particular, he really likes the quality of the "washed favorite shirts" for leisure wear because it offers him more comfort (e.g. softness) than a regular shirt, but still the classic look of a shirt. He "dresses up" the washed favorite shirts with khakis or dresses them down with jeans. He also likes the classic polos (but practically all men in the U.S. like polos!)

The only complaint I have with J.Crew men's clothing & accessories is that I notice their shoes tend to run large. I bought a pair that were "final sale" and they were way larger than the size they indicated. {The men also get the better deals in the sale section... This makes me a little jealous of course!}

I also find that when I go out shopping at J.Crew I tend to browse the men's section: Not only to see what I can buy for my husband, but to see what I can get for myself as well. (There are lots of accessories that are intended for men that I like for me: like the belts and messenger bags.)

What do you think of the men's line at J.Crew? What are some of your favorite men's pieces? Any advice for those selecting men's clothes in terms of fit/style?