Wednesday, October 21, 2009

J.Crew's Best of the Best Items

As promised in yesterday's "J.Crew's Best of the Worst Items", this post is on the most loveliest items from J.Crew. The "OMG, now we are talking!" items (aka: items that we still talk about and hope to see in new arrivals once again) from the most recent years.

The following (in no particular order) are my Top 5 "OMG, now we are talking!" items from J.Crew. Again, I tried to include items from different item categories. I should also add that there were lots (and I mean lots & lots) of items that could easily make the list as well. However, I am trying to limit myself to five. ;)

1. Bella in all its versions: the Wool Herringbone Jacket ($198.00), Velvet Jacket (Item 85794; $158.00), and Double-Faced Wool Coat (Item 85858; $350.00). I know what you are going to say: Oh! Could you be any more predictable with that choice? I don't know how to answer that, except to say that I love the Bella from the 2007 Fall & Winter season! ;) I love that it is a fitted jacket with the most perfect standing slightly-ruffle collar. It is the perfect length and has great finishes like the round leather buttons and interior silk lining.

2. Victoria in all its versions: the Victoria Ruffle Cami (Item 99742; Regular: $88.00) and Victoria Ruffle Shirt (Item 99694; $89.50). The ruffle camis & shirts have so been done before by J.Crew (e.g. the lovely Elizabeth Cami). Yet, none were as exciting as the Victoria from early this year. What can I say, those micro-pleated double ruffles of the Victoria are just genius! I also want to add that I have seen these tops on several women representing a variety of demographics and they *all* looked fabulous with it. That is the true test of "the best of the best"– when it looks great on everyone.

3. Jaime Bag (Item 97485; $495.00). J.Crew likes to say "only l'ultimo will do" and this handbag is it! Where to start with this bag that came out during Fall of 2008... First, I love the smooth and luxurious leather. Second, it came in the most delicious shades including Burnt Sienna, Honey, Dark Cloud and Tulip. Third, it is the perfect size bag. It can carry all your essentials and more without being that bulky bag. Lastly, I love the design– from the classic tassles, to the removable leather shoulder strap with lobster clasps. Bravo!

4. Piazza Jacket (Item 81751; $140.00). Remember this fantastic top that J.Crew introduced back in Spring of 2007? This sweater jacket really manage to capture both the feminine and classic styles that J.Crew is known for. Everything is just right– from the button-down peacoat-style, to the lovely tie on the back, to the three-quarter sleeves with adorable cuffs. {sigh!}

5. Versailles Shift Dress (Item 82879; $265.00). There are lots of amazing dresses by J.Crew that could have also made the list (like the Library-Print Doll Dress in all its bookish glory). However, I went with this elegant dress that debuted in Spring of 2007 (and has captured my heart ever since). This dress has the most magnificent illustration of the Palace of Versailles. Moreover, the style is absolutely exquisite with its fitted bodice, knee-length full skirt, and circular opening at the back that has a decorative tie. Well-played J.Crew!

What are your thoughts on the Top 5 "OMG, now we are talking!" items? What items (from recent years) would make it to your list? :)


  1. I do not get the Victoria Ruffle Cami at all. I would like Austin Powers in one of those blouses. Maybe I am just too short.

    I would add to the best list some special saturated colors, most often seen in sweaters: dark peony, heathered plum, avocado.

  2. Unfortunately I missed out on the whole bella thing b/c I didn't reallyu frequent JC back then. ITA on the victoria--I own 3 and am just figuring out now to fix the ruffles that the dry cleaner messed up. :P

    I would add the original fiona jacket (not the itchy wool one they put out afterwards), the long jersey goddess dress from this past summer (chic AND comfy), and the crystal ball and/or taj majal necklace. Also though I don't own one myself due to sizing issues, I'm sure many would add the double serge wool pencil skirt from last yr/perfect pencil skirt from this year.

  3. I also agree with the canvas fiona and the fireball necklace- both get compliments every time I wear them.

  4. the JACKIE CARDIGAN! how could it have not made the top 5?

  5. It's difficult to narrow the best of the best to five, but i'll try to be brief. :)
    - everything in the Giverny-print of 2008
    - Bella coat in camel cashmere
    - Veruschka dress
    - Metallic jardin sheath dress
    - Edie paisley jacquard dress
    - Butterfield sweater jacket
    - Studio Ball skirt
    - Francie skirt

  6. I agree about the Bella- I have the outlet version (it has more of a ruffled collar and a subtle ruffle around the sleeves) and OMG. Love it. This will be my third winter with it (from 2007), and it's hanging in my coat closet, freshly dry-cleaned and ready to go. I like it best paired with skinny jeans and boots!

  7. For me, one of the best of the best has got to be Giverny print anything. Love the dress and the top!! Will I be coveting the skirt forever?! (sad face)

  8. Alexis- I totally agree with the Victoria and Jamie bag. I own several Victoria's and the Tulip Jamie and ADORE them both. My other additions would be the Simone Snow Leopard Peacoat from Fall 2008 (which I found thanks to a fellow JCA- Mack:) and my Juliets
    Fun post-thanks!

  9. I agree with all your choices except the bag- not a fan of those tassels or the size of this bag :(

    I also like:

    1. (LOVE) their graphic tees like this one:

    2. Fiona jacket in sweet potato:

    3. cashmere argyle ruffle cardigan:

    4. Uptown totes, esp:

    5. tissue rolling ruffles tank in warm blush:

    It seems like I'm officially smitten with JCrew ruffles :)

  10. Final sale is gone! It's the "fall sale" now. too bad it's still not updated.

  11. I agree with Jieun... where's the Jackie on this list???

  12. love your picks, Alexis! I ordered a navy Piazza over the summer to have it cancelled, sigh. My picks would be

    1. Simple Ruffles: Bella, Victoria, Frenchie Jacket
    2. Spectator Peep Toes
    3. Kandinsky/Abstract Rose print
    4. Rattan Clutch/Frankie Bag
    5. Opera Gloves in Dark Cloud

    I also adore the double breasted covered or enamel buttons of the Cherbourg coat, sophie sweatercoat, *piazza* but that is going back a few seasons : )

  13. I love my Piazza jacket, too. Remember the Academy jackets? I have several, in velvet and corduroy. They were a precursor to the Bella. I love that jacket--it still looks chic, and I get compliments on them all the time.

  14. I wholeheartedly agree about the Versailles dress Alexis! It still haunts me 2 years later that I never got it...I check eBay every so often, but no one has given one up yet as far as I can tell :)


    But, still not much of an update.

  16. Yeah, the Bella jacket is the best jacket I have gotten from JCrew. I have the black velvet version and I love it (my sister secretly wants to steal it, I know it). I also loved the Lexington Jacket, which I have in the pink and it so warm and the fit is great.

    I agree with some of the ladies here, the Jackie cardigan is one of my old time favorites from JCrew. I have like a zillion.

    Great post Alexis.

  17. OT - NO MORE FINAL SALE!!! Wahoo!!!!

  18. I agree about the Piazza! I have it in orange from the fall and a navy one from the crewlet....ans there really is no difference between the two! Wish I could have gotten the Bella...I have the ecole velvet from last year and it is not nearly as good! I would also add the Jackie...

  19. I can't remember the exact item names, but I loved the winter collection from 2003, I think it was. Remember the peep-toe pumps in sparkly tweed, or leopard-print?

    And the orange and white Italian fabric fish print skirt from the summer of 2002 or 2003?

    I wish J Crew would put out more things like those, in fun prints and textured fabrics.

  20. It is amazing how different we all are. I remember trying on the Bella jacket and absolulely hating that collar. I also did not like the Victoria, but I love Frances.

    My top 5 would be:
    1.) Alpine Green Gramercy Coat (unfortunately may be going on eBay soon as mine is now too big)
    2.) Maggie Jacket
    3.) Striped Frances Shirt
    4.) Greta Coat
    5.) A little herringbone skirt from about 6 years ago. It is tulip shaped, black and gold wool with belt loops and a gold ribbon belt. I paid full price for it ($150!!!) after seeing it in Instyle and I still love it.

  21. I have the piazza jacket in yellow and it is definitely my favorite piece of J. Crew clothing EVER! I always pack it with me whenever I travel (it's been to England, France, Italy, NYC, Vegas....) Love, love, love.

    I also love all of their incarnations of the trench coat. Long, short, whatever....

  22. The Bella is cute, but I did not go gaga over it because of the rounded collar and seaming. Just not my style. I prefer the sharper, menswear-inspired shape of the Lexington, wool/cashmere Hacking, or even the Ecole.

  23. talitha print cami, LOVE IT! Have worn is so many times and just can't seem to part with it.

    Pineapple print dress from 2005? Got it NWT on Ebay last year and got best dressed at a Kentucky Derby party. it's just FUN.

    ANy of the beautiful Collection prints-Italian Deco, campo d'fiore, Rafaella, kaleidoscope paisley print, bahia print, abstract rose cherry blossom print, ...I am a sucker for a beautiful printed top/dress paired with a solid jackie!

    FUn post Alexis!!

  24. burlington tartan mini

    grass green classic peacoat with thinsulate OR yellow stadium cloth Dani peacoat (short)

    jackie cardigans/twinset, my all time favorite being a green/white rubgy stripe (with solid green shell)

    penelope mary jane heels

    black watch tartan pheobe dress

    honorable mention: taffeta rugby stripe skirt (citron/grey)

    I think the quality pieces that last and are most memorable tend to be the coats/blazers and party dresses.

  25. I am much more into the reliable basics that jcrew offers, so my list is pretty boring:

    1-definitely the Jackie cardis. Classic, and great colors.

    2-Bootcut cords. They offer the best colors and they fit perfectly.

    3-Jacinda jacket in Honey glaze.

    4-Pencil skirts. No matter the pattern, fabric, etc, all of them are timeless and fit like a glove.

    5-Jaspe sweatshirts. One of the most comfortable things I own!

  26. Oh and I'll also add that J.Crew does color and print better than any other retailer, imo. Even though their color choices as of late have been ho-hum, they still have very a unique palette.

  27. kitsmommy, I have lusted after that Alpine Gramercy Coat from afar... what size is it? I'd be happy to take it off your hands. :)

    My top 5 (as of right this second):

    1. Wool double-breasted black Charlie coat
    2. Avocado Anya bag
    3. Juliet midheels
    4. Hudson hoodie
    5. Stewart tartan skirt - it had the really cute gathered part in the back, love this!

  28. I love the Piazza Jacket. I would also add:

    1.Striped Town coat from Fall '07,

    2. Cheshire jacket

    3. Golden Roses pencil skirt

    4. Tortoise shell patent belt

    5. Juliet mid heels

  29. I am drawn to J.Crew for simple, interchangeable basics in beautiful colors and fabrics, with the occasional standout piece mixed in.

    1. Ditto on the Bella. I have chocolate velvet and scored an azalea heather on eBay last year.

    2. Smashing suiting dresses in remarkable colors, such as last year's violet 120s and peony Blair.

    3. The Helena (?) Collection jeweled chocolate suede low-heeled pump (2006?). Paid FP for these on first sight.

    4. Anything in the fall 2007 peacock print (ballet flats, sweater, tote).

    5. Lol, the pink martini critter pants--have them in pink chino and chocolate cord.

    And I will add the late, lamented OLD J.Crew cashmere. My 1999 sweaters look better than my 2008 sweaters.

  30. I second the Bella Jacket/Coat. I'm actually wearing the Bella Jacket today in Black velvet, and I can't wait to bring my Bella wool coat out when the weather gets colder.

    I really hope they bring it back. It's my favorite blazer and coat to date!

  31. I love how you all remember the "names" of the clothing!

    The Bella and Piazza jackets are lovely! I personally don't get the Victoria Cami love, though...I'm with SEMom, maybe I'm not proportioned correctly to pull off those ruffles.

    I missed a few years of JC catalogues and don't know some of these beloved items...anyone have pictures of this Giverny print?

  32. 1. Bella - che bella! Have it in azalea, black and charcoal herringbone & adore them.

    2. Astrid - the cascading flowers is smashing, and the "droopy flower" ones (have it in pink and charcoal) are so versatile.

    3. Greenwich tweed - loved, loved, loved this collection from fall 2005. Ditto for the Stella tweed.

    4. The violet 120s suiting dress - fabulous color and collar.

    5. Wool skirts, from the felted Adrian to the Francie to this year's perfect pencil skirt - especially in colors like Holiday Red (adrian), peony (francie) and fresh plum (perfect).

    Honorable mentions: The Cheshire jacket (looks amazing with jeans and topping a pencil skirt); bejeweled tweed clutches from 2005; the 2007 Paris catalogue and the 2007 Highlands catalogue.

  33. The Versailles dress came out before I drank the crewlade. If anyone has a size 4 they're willing to part with, I promise to give the dress a good home.

    OT: in an article in today's NYTimes ("At the Office, a Job Well Done," by Cintra Wilson), there's this line: 'Clothing companies, when they panic, tend to go rococo. They get flashier, busier and more disposable by slapping on bigger logos and more useless bows and frippery.' This article was a (positive) review of AT, but this line did make me think of the too-many-ruffles/sparkles/embellishments tendency currently plaguing J. Crew.

  34. On my list:
    Library print skirt
    Opera length gloves
    Berry Jacket

    *** The library print skirt & library doll dress both popped up on eBay today!***

  35. The Jackie, now and forever! Also agree on the spectator peep toes, which I think are the most comfortable, wearable heels I've ever set foot in, and Jasper, the amazing Jaspe hoodie. The rest of my top spots are tied between other cardi loves, last year's Lea (I think it was called, with the cool buttons), a featherweight cashmere 3/4 sleeve with front pintucking, and an OLD love, boiled wool zip up with zip pockets. Then I'd have to put my pink Frankie bag. But a spot has to go to a jersey dress, I've been a sucker for them for years! I love the Adelaide, the Parlor, the Sara, pretty much anything with an empire waist and soft flowy fabric is a contender for me. And of course, my much worn Lille from last winter... Maybe I'd have to do top ten or twenty...

  36. Great lists Alexis and everyone!

    Some of my favorites are:

    The Suzannah Cami (I have it in all 4 colors)

    Via Vittoria Jacket

    French Market Tees

    Maggie Jacket

    Spectator Peep Toes

    Serengeti belt

    Lucille Jacket

    Berry-Trim Astrid

    Jackie Cardigans

    There are more but I've already listed more than 5 so I'll stop. ;)

  37. I like JCrew pants from Way Back so Agree with Appgal on the cords as a favorite.


    Flip Flops (I own too many pair to mention.)

    Swimsuits (one piece-fit me amazingly)

    Library print skirt and sweater

    Bella jacket

  38. French Market Ts for sure, I've worn mine to death.

    Juliet midheels in almond patent leather.

    My circa-1993 chunky wool knit "socks" in navy & white stripes with the red toe (Christmas catalogue, if memory serves).

    Many, many items from the Paris, Prague and Scottish isles rollouts. I would SO love to see those catalogues again!

  39. That last dress is to die for, wish it was part of my closet.

    I also love the jackie cardigan - super simple, but such a great staple. I have it in about 7 colors and wear it all year round.

    I also love the Sanur Dress which can be knee-length, mini or just a long skirt. That is a great find.

    Love the headbands as well.

  40. I wore my navy Piazza jacket just yesterday. I love it.

    I would like to nominate the Campo d'Fiori sweater dress (Fall 2007, I think?) and the Winter 2007 wool blazers with the high, tight armholes and cloisenne brass buttons (was this the Lexington blazer? Some of them had contrast piping? It was a Balenciaga ripoff?).

  41. I have a sweater coat from 2001 that is still in great condition and I absolutely love. Don't remember the name of it.
    Also love the Jackie, the Victoria, the Juliets, and some great jewelry pieces - with the exception of one ring, they have held up amazingly well and I get compliments everytime I wear them.

  42. Casey,
    I bet we have the same sweater coat. Something like ladder stitch possibly??? I have it in several colors...camel, ivory, light gray/blue, black and raisin. (Yeah, bought one at full price and all the rest at bargain sale prices.)

  43. Now I feel compelled to pick a top 5!

    1) Golden birds-nest ring, natural. I wear this everyday and actually have two in case I lose one (bought the second after losing the first, then found it) and I get compliments on it all the time. People can't believe it's J.Crew.

    2) Wool herringbone Ella dress. Universally flattering and I love that it has those little straps inside to hold your bra. I wear it to work with the dream tie neck cardi in black, then take the cardi off to turn it into a night look. Hoping to find it in a 0 since my 2 has gotten too big so if anyone has one to sell, please let me know!

    3) Strapless rose abstract print dress. Never connected with this in my size so I can't say how it fit, but I loved the styling and the print.

    4) Lulu peep toe pumps in dark cloud. I'm hesitant to include these because mine did not even last one season, but they were soooo pretty while they did.

    5) I can't believe I'm throwing wedding pieces in here, but... the Vivian gown from a few years ago is by far the nicest simple wedding dress I have ever seen - love that box pleat! - and very reasonably priced for such an item at $695.

    Honorable mentions: Birdcage necklace (also wear this everyday - simple but LOVE it) and the jersey stripe scarf they are currently selling. I bought all 3 prints and I love this scarf soooo much. Super versatile and inexpensively priced.

  44. I have the bella jacket in the pink azalea...still love it to this day. My san remo ballet flats and my lighthouse skirt still get compliments.

  45. Genny,

    That sounds about right! I have the gray-ish one; wish I could've picked up the other colors! They are great quality.

  46. Alexis: I love these post ideas!! best items are:
    1. Bella Coat
    2. Capri Flipflop Sandals
    3. Merino VNeck Sweaters
    4. Double Serge Pencil Skirt
    5. JCrew Suiting

  47. JC Prints:

    San Remo Silk Shirtdress--it was part of the Resort Role out in 2007, I believe. Gorgeous, striking pattern.

    Verushka Silk Tunic Dress from Spring 2008. Another striking pattern, gorgeous colors

    Greenwich Tweed Dress from back in 2005, I think. Style similar to Golden Roses dress but green tweed on bottom and pink botanical print silk top.

    There have also been some great printed button up shirts, most of whose names I have forgotten.

  48. Oh the Bella jacket......I think the only thing I'd purchased FP to that point. I got the green velvet and camel wool and am STILL kicking myself for returning the azalea wool!!

    Ballet flats - in all their various prints. Pricey, uncomfortable and inconsistent sizing but so beautiful.

    Then another twenty or so items that are tied for "awesome" in my closet!

    Oh, and the colors. I just love the shades JC offers.

  49. My ultimate #1 is the Lexington Jacket. I now have three, all scored on eBay.

    #2: Agree with Alexis, I love my Jamie bag! I have honey glaze.

    #3: Penelope peep toes/mary janes/flats... let's be honest, I have all three in multiple colors. It's a sickness!

    #4: Double serge pencil skirt from last year

    #5: Library doll dress

    #6: Wool Aran knee socks... so stretchy and warm! I recently bought over 10 pairs on popback with the extra percent off and FS. Crazy, I know!

    And I could go on... I don't like the bella only because I have never been able to get my hands on a tall, and the regular looked terrible.

  50. this is such a fun post! i just blogged about my favorites from the paris catalog! my favs of all time def include the bella jacket and jackie cardigans. i love the cute prints that j crew used to do--hawaiian, lobster, fish, dogs, etc. i miss those!

  51. And for the guys out there:

    1) Washed favorite shirts. This could possibly be the best cut shirt, period.

    2) Washed vintage fit 5 pocket cords. Again they are the best.

    3) Merino wool v neck/crew necks. I think I have 6 of them. Great fit, colours cut and they stand up so well.

    4) Suede desert boots from five years ago. I wear them every week.

    5) Classic fit chinos/wool pants. Spot on for fit.

  52. Favorite fit pants; any of them. If J.Crew ever discontinues this cut, I will literally be pantless! Nothing else fits as well on my slightly large thighs and non-existent booty. TMI? Maybe, but I order nearly every color/style that comes out.

    Also, I have a stand-up neck cropped jacket in coral from 2006 I think. It has big matching buttons and I wear it with a little striped J.Crewsweater poking out the bottom. I get a compliments every time I wear it and would have bought three if I had known...

  53. You were right Alexis. Great pick on the Versailles Dress. I have the Versailles Scarf and I love it!

    I also love the Piazza Jacket which finally fits me again. Yea!


  54. 1) Lady day coat (with thinsulate) in seasalt and and in black. LOVE LOVE LOVE
    2) Red tulip jacket
    3) Jackies- duh!
    4) Chain link cardigan and primrose cardigan (ok that's two technically but they're both very cute printed cardis)
    5) Lizzie driving mocs (or this season's montebello driving mocs) I have a brand new pair in a box in the back of my closet just in case anything happens to the pair I wear ALL THE TIME!

  55. Ditto on the Victoria and Bella Jacket!

    What about the Printed-Linen Antonia Dress? I absolutely LOVE wearing the shift and I get several compliments every single time I wear it.

    I too agree about the Jackie cardigan--like most JCAs I must own about 13 different jackies :) They're a huge staple in my wardrobe.

    Also, any of their vintage cords! I love all the colors they offer!

  56. Speaking of the Versailles dress - I, too, fell in love with it and bought a size 6 back when it was in stores. However, I've never worn it and it's still sitting on my closet with it's tags on. If anyone's interested in buying it from me, you can email me at jenni.c.pinedo at gmail dot com.


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