Monday, October 19, 2009

J.Crew Email: Jenna's picks - my forever pieces

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Marietta & HeidiG, who let us know about J.Crew's most recent email, which showcases all of Jenna Lyons' picks for the latest catalog.

Click here to view all the items selected, including the following:
I'm loving versatile, elegant-meets-easygoing pieces that go anywhere (and look great, season after season).
  1. Marlene Crisscross Platform Heels (item 20358; $228.00)
  2. Metallic Aran Isle Scarf (Item 20404; $49.50)
  3. Pearl Pastiche Necklace (Item 22596; $135.00)
  4. Silk Taffeta Belted Short (Item 20103; $118.00)
  5. Madewell Slim Slouch Jeans (Item 18653; $110.00)
  6. Ruffled Collier Top (Item 19685; $89.50)
  7. Boyfriend Fatigue Jacket (item 19985; $148.00)
  8. Infinity Earrings (Item 22660; $65.00)
  9. Ryder Satchel (Item 20310; $298.00)
  10. Superskinny satin belt (Item 21396; $25.00)
I am not overly excited with Jenna's picks. In particular, I don't like her choice of the Silk Taffeta Belted Shorts. I know those silk shorts are a very popular look right now, but I can't help but think "clown shorts" when I see them. They are definitely *not* a "forever piece". However, I do like a few of her choices including the Infinity Earrings and Ryder Satchel. Both items I would like to see in person. Especially the earrings. As much as I like J.Crew's earrings, they tend to be very heavy (which means I can't wear them for more than 10 minutes).

What are your thoughts on the items selected? Do you like the color palette? Which items would have made your top picks of new arrivals that you are loving this month?


  1. I'm with you, Alexis, on the shorts. I just can't imagine wearing them, or seeing them on anyone out and about. They look goofy, and I don't agree with Jenna that with tights and heels they somehow add up to a glamorous evening outfit.

    But I do like the collier cami, the earrings, the shoes, and the scarf. I always love those skinny belts.

    When I first got this month's catalog, I found it more exciting than the previous months. But as I've looked through it again, I've been struck by how little in it I actually want to buy. The styling IS way over the top, as many have said, but whereas it was fun to look at that first time, it doesn't hold up well after repeated viewings. I wish they had balanced out all the fanciful layering with a few classic, structured outfits.

  2. I agree with you 100%! While I admire a lot about Jenna Lyons' work as a designer, I'm not loving the over-the-top styling and layering in the catalogs lately, and I must say that lists like this one really make me suspicious of the sincerity of "Jenna's Picks" being offered up to us as sound fashion investment advice. Looks more like plain old advertising and marketing to me. Who in their right mind would say that those shorts belong on a "classic clothes" list? ANYWHERE?

  3. I always feel like Jenna chooses items that are odd for a she wants to draw interest to them and make them appear more hyped-up than they really are. This could be the case with the shorts choice! I agree...they are hideous, and not realistic for fall/winter, imo.

    I don't really like the rest of the picks either, or at least none of them are items I was previously interested in.

    Oh! and I got a catalog! Seems I am back on the list (knock on wood!)

  4. I rarely like Jenna's picks and sometimes have the feeling she picks a few items that will not be good sellers without the Jenna hype.

    I ended up ordering a marzipan cardi in boring black, another black perfect pencil in a petite size (I need some shorter skirts that are not micro minis), and the flora perfect shirt. Yep, all black. I liked some of the colors this time but would need to buy other items to make a lot of them really work for me.

    On the other hand, AT just put part of their new rollout on their site and I am really excited about several pieces - this darling tie neck blouse and a couple of camis. They also have a few merino sweaters that are special without being over the top. And everything is in colors that will blend with what I have already. J Crew just isn't exciting me right now.

  5. Jenna just wants people to know how quirky she is. How many times have we read the "cargo pants and metallic heels, west coast casual meets east coat prep" spiel? She wants to shove her supposed tastemaker sensibilities down our throats, and try to make consumers forget she is the creative director of a mall retailer and not a high end boutique. Sorry, Jenna Fatigue has hit me hard this fall, lol. ;)

  6. I'm sorry Jenna, but the shorts are a fad. I saw a girl out in a bar/restaurant with wool shorts and tights over the week-end. I'm too old for that look but it was cute on her. However, it's a trend.

    Also, costume jewelry is not forever. It's the look of the moment - not forever.

    Can anyone comment on the quality of J Crew's leather bags. How do they look and last in comparison to Coach? I know no bag lasts forever, but I do believe that a good Coach leather bag will look good for years.

    Sorry to be so negative - just not loving the fall items. Also, I spent a bit of time with my past season cashmere and my sweater shaver this week-end. I know all sweaters pill but J Crew is especially bad. I am glad to see some color back and absolutely love my Jaspe hoodie but the fall items just aren't doing much for me

  7. crewcrazy,

    I like a few of the J Crew bags, but when I went shopping for a new fall bag, a Coach Sabrina came home with me. I like J Crew's styles and think the quality is quite good, but all the ones I liked seemed so stiff and clunky compared to the Coaches I had been eyeing.

    I would recommend giving BR's bags a look, they use some really nice leather and have some pretty, well-priced bags.

  8. Love the shoes and the scarf, I've been a fan of J.Crew accessories forever although last winter I read quite a few negative comments about some of the knit hats and gloves so I'll be looking at everything very closely this year.

    The shorts are a cute trend but they are a step down from a skirt IMO. More a fun look than a dressy look and definitely not a classic.

    Nothing else there I want.

  9. I have the earrings, which I purchased for 45 dollars two weeks ago; I don't know if they were labeled wrong, or the personal shopper gave me a discount, but regardless, I love them. They are not too heavy, and in my opinon, are a more classic look. I wore them with jeans yesterday and got a lot of compliments!

  10. I don't think Jenna picks the items, my guess it is the Marketing Dept job, and she just approves it.

    No I do not like anything either, it is the first rollout I have not placed an order.

  11. I don't really like any of her picks! I did make some purchases from the new roll out but I didn't order any of these items. (especially the shorts!)

  12. OT - I just received the earrings and VIP card from J.Crew today. I'm in western Canada so things take a little longer to get here. I have been a customer for years and spend quite a bit but have never received any special perk, assuming it was because I'm in Canada. I am really surprised how excited I was to get the earrings. I'm so easy.

  13. Until I see Jenna wearing all 11 of her picks at the same time, I'm going to pass on all 11 of them!

    It's like an awkward moment in the marketing department trying to pick the ugliest of Holiday 2009.

  14. ^I just have to add--LOL, Christy!! That I wanna see:)

  15. i have said it before i will say it again, I am just sick of jenna and her "picks" others have said, i think it's stuff that she thinks wont sell, so she hypes it up, or stuff she WANTS to sell so she can say she started a trend!!

    anyone else notice the madewell stuff in her picks? plaid shirtdress, jeans, etc. wonder if they're there b/c they're not selling at Madewell....

  16. Amen, Christy. How many of us have been afflicted with "Jenna fatigue" fatigue? lol.

  17. For some reason I thought Jenna picked the Madewell patent leather oxford shoe as a favorite, she didn't, but I did and they are available through the J.Crew site, so not walk and order them!

  18. Totally OT - Sephora F&F - shop online 10/19/09 - 11/2/09 and receive 20% off by entering promotion code FF2009 at online checkout. Remember, FREE standard shipping when you spend $50 or more.

  19. It would be really refreshing if Jenna stepped out of her own quirky bubble and thought about JCrew customers- what would compliment most women who shop there?

    I mean, we saw her in shorts and tights but we didn't even have to see her to know they looked great on a 6 foot woman.

    Her promotion of Madewell was subtle though, it looks like she picked items that would make a neat polyvore set- "dress like jenna Lyons with items we currently have in stock" :)

  20. My theory is that Jenna's Picks is really code for "stock we have to move". I mean, they're not going to be selling a whole lot of those satin shorts without a bit of a push :D

    However, I'm intrigued by the skinny slouch jeans -- I like the skinny look, but not so much on me, so maybe a looser kind of skinny would work. Sadly, no Madewell in Canada, so I'll have to pass.

  21. I don't mind any of the picks except the shorts which are pretty silly in all reality. The only thing I liked and would buy if quality/fit weren't an issue are the shoes. The rest is just something I already have, can find a cheaper alternative or just not that exciting. I am rather surprised though as there are some other things I thought were pretty great from this roll-out..these are rather boring choices IMO.

  22. breamarie, did you order the black patent oxford? If so, how are they? I did order the Elsbeths and like them. They are cut low all the way around so it doesn't look like a man's shoe. I look forward to wearing them in the cooler weather. They are a cross between Sartorialist and 50's.

  23. I think the scarf, necklace, and belt are all ok but really don't care for any of her other picks.

  24. Not loving anything here except the shoes in both black and birch suede and the belts. When the catalog preview was shared I thought I might like that Ryder satchel but it just looks too plain for me.

    I guess destroyed jeans have been around forever, or so it seems.

  25. I like the scarf, necklace, and earrings. None of the rest are for me. While I am way too old (and hopefully sophisticated :D) to wear the shorts and tights, I think they would be cute on some of my high school students and also college age girls. However, they are not a forever item. Who exactly is she trying to kid?

  26. Some quick reviews of items I just got:

    1) double cloth ingenue coat in dusty blossom: Looks just like in the pics. Fit is good. For reference, I took a 16 in the Sybil coat from 2 yrs back and a 14 in the Carrie from last year; the 16 in this one fits perfectly. I am 5'9" and took the regular size. Shorter ladies may want to try petite for sleeve length issues. Not uber warm but will be good for Oct/Nov. Also, the dusty blossom is more on the pink side like it shows up in the catalog--it's not the wash-out nude that the maya cardigan came in (I had bought that color and returned it because it washed me out too much).

    2) Charlie Ruffled Suede platform heels: These are soo pretty but the heel is HUGE! The site says 3 5/8" but I measure them at 4". They have to go back because that is just too high for me to walk around Manhattan in. I'd make it 3 blocks and have to change into something else. Size-wise I found them tts--a little more toe room than in the Juliet but not too loose like the Lulu from last year.

    3) Wool Ribbon Ravine Dress: I could sort of tell from the online picks that this dress didn't have much shape in the body but was hoping it would be better IRL. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. Not tailored for my curves and just hangs like a boxy sack. Also a little on the short side for work. Going back.

    Still waiting on the Dapple Dot Cardigan--was not available to ship right away but just shipped today and will review when it arrives.

  27. Thanks, Cass, for the reviews! Too bad the heels were so high. I was also very curious about that dress, so thanks again for sharing.

  28. the scarf is nice - other than that, don't find anything special. Hope they have something more around the holidays.

  29. While I liked the October picks, I really don't care about the November ones. Not only they don't look like items that will be a staple in one's closet, but they aren't even interesting as a fashion trend. They are just "meh". I do like the earrings but that's it. And we really didn't need another boyfriend/military jacket that will look two sizes too big on any of us (as on the model).

  30. Just received my long belted puffer coat and I love it. Totally worth it with the 20% off. Had to size up, took a medium and I'm usually a small. Fits perfectly, feels so cozy and warm and light at the same time. Loved the detachable hood and the belted feature gave me shape. If you are considering a puffer coat, do try this. Also ordered the wool trapper hat and it's adorable. I'm set for the expected long NY winter.

  31. Love, love the Collier top. Tried it on at the B/M ~ its gorgeous!

  32. I tried on the collier top IRL, so beautiful. Gotta wait for a sale though.

  33. I think it's insulting to clowns to bring those shorts into their territory! None of the rest of Jenna's picks irked my sensitivities, or incited my lust. The shoes are cute, but we've seen so many designers do that cross strap in the past couple seasons.


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