I have written before how I am not a fan of J.Crew Factory merchandise. My main reason: I have found that I can purchase the original item (versus the Factory re-issue) for less than the Factory price, at better quality.
As of lately though, my opinion has changed! Count me as a Factory shopper delighted by the finds purchased online. The quality at some of their price points have been really fantastic too.
It started out with a necklace or two (how cute is the crab necklace?!) I was then on a hunt for the perfect denim shirt and found it with Factory's Two-Pocket Chambray Shirt (Item 32043; $62.50). Great shape and nice weight to it. As I was looking around the site, I ended up getting the perfect sweater that not only looks great, but doesn't make me itch- the Factory Shrunken Fisherman Sweater (both in solid and stripe). Loves!
I thought I was the only one feeling this way recently until I read egyptomaniac's "OOTD: 2/5/12 J Crew Factory--Where's the Love?" post today. Then Louise @ cosmetic bee (in this post) very timely mentioned: "Also received the Factory skimmer pants, which I ordered during the 30% + 30% promo: surprisingly very good quality!"
So I am all sorts of "on board" the J.Crew Factory train and look forward to seeing what they offer next! :)
Lastly, to shop or check out Factory online, click here. Customers can take an additional 30% off all sale items (no min) with promo code OURTREAT too.
Are you a J.Crew Factory shopper? Do you think quality has improved in the line over the recent years?
Count me in as a Factory store fan too. I find their cottons more sturdy and resistant to wear. Also their pencil skirts are very nice and well made as well. And funny you should post this, as I have 2 factory review posts at the top of my blog here, with links to older posts embedded. HTHReplyDelete
Rose thanks for sharing your reviews- great timing!!! :) I also agree about their cottons being more sturdy. I find the sweaters keep much better shape after machine washing them.ReplyDelete
Odd that there doesn't appear to be a link to the Factory site on the main page of Jcrew.com right now, since the promo applies to factory sale items, too (maybe it's there and I'm just missing it??). Loving the look of the madras popover (shopwithm's link brought it to my attention), but sad that they have suddenly pulled it off sale, so no dice on the promo. I live a long way from a factory store, which discourages online purchases (don't want to have to mail returns) for me, but I was surprised to find a hole in a shirt on the rack last time I visited a factory store (the hole was in the middle of the shirt--not even near a seam).ReplyDelete
Count me in on the J. Crew Factory love. The factory store actually has size 14 skirts in all of the pencil skirts, which makes me very happy! And, I agree with Rose that the pencil skirts are very well made.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this! I have always been skeptical of Factory, now I think I'll give it a try!ReplyDelete
I have always been leery of JCrew Factory purchases due to lower quality and I find their prices to be a bit high. But I recently purchased the Factory Classic Trench (Item 21674) and am amazed at the quality. The fabric does not seam thin or cheap and the inside is fully lined in a satin-like fabric (which they don't tell you on the website). Hope it wears well...ReplyDelete
I also find their t-shirts to be much better quality. They are a thicker cotton - no the paper thin sheer t's from retail. They hold up longer IMO. I am so excited a factory store is opening near me soon - right now they are just too far to visit.ReplyDelete
I have actually been pleasantly surprised with almost all of the factory items I have bought. The quality is good, as it the fit. And I like that they are typically made with non-dry clean only materials. As a mom to two young kids, washable is an important criteriaReplyDelete
I used to hate Factory and I kind of still do (hate when they remake stuff but use poor quality or change a print to the point that it is ugly), but they do have the cutest jewelry and their graphic tees are usually nicer than retail's.ReplyDelete
I'm slowly growing love for Factory. I've bought three tees there and they're kind of hit or miss-- two of them are great quality but just okay fit-wise, whereas the third fit perfectly but the fabric literally split and fell apart in the armpits on the third after three washes.ReplyDelete
During the promo where everything was 30% off plus another 30% with a code, I bought two dresses (hideaway and chambray shirtdress), a necklace (critter charm giraffe) and a bracelet (tortoiseshell resin link). Everything's fabulous, especially the jewelry and the chambray dress. I also got the sailor sweater at some point and I'm a big fan of that as well.
Bottom Line: As a broke grad student who loves J Crew but can't always swing $125+ on a dress, I'm growing love for Factory (esp with all the sweet promos), even if I've had a few disappointments when it comes to quality.
I shopped at a Factory store in Ellenton Florida while on vacation and I was pleasantly surprised. I picked up a few perfect fit tees and the Factory Jackie which is 100% cotton. I also bought a gorgeous little bracelet in aqua and gold.ReplyDelete
I've never ordered Factory online but I might at least look at it in the future!
In the past, I wasn't happy about the fit or quality at the Factory store, but I decided to give them another try not too long ago and was very happy at the changes I saw! Fit was much improved and the quality of most items seemed better. I actually preferred the Factory version of a few things. One that comes to mind is the Sailor Sweater. It's 100% Cotton, so it's thicker than the retail version and machine washable. The fit was not quite so roomy either which was a better fit on me. I recently purchased the Shrunken Fisherman sweater, too, and am very happy with how it's wearing. I also bought the zebra tee. I'm surprised they didn't just do a printed zebra for the Factory version. It's a nice sequined and beaded applique. Oh--and I bought the Colette dress (haven't seen it online yet) which I was so thrilled to find there as I missed out on it last year! I will continue to check them out!ReplyDelete
Thanks so for mentioning me Alexis! I'm glad to see that there are other JCAs who enjoy J Crew Factory too. And I do agree with others that the starting price of many factory items is too high-- but then again it is at retail J Crew as well. I don't think I've ever paid full price for anything at Factory. I do think the best deals are in-store where you can get better promos and see and try on the items for yourself, though that's hard with the on-line Factory. My rule of thumb on-line is to stick with tops and skirts that are more forgiving in fit, and avoid pants where you need a spot-on fit.ReplyDelete
And as to the re-issue of prints in "lesser" quality like cotton, honestly I'm ok with that. For my day to day life silk isn't practical anyway. Plus, I'm totally a bargain shopper and sometimes Factory is the only way I can afford the lovely prints that would otherwise be unattainable for me in retail.
Great post! I've said it before, and I'll say it again. . .I'm a JCrew Factory fan! Pencil skirts are great quality, the jewelry is cute and cheaper, and sweaters are almost always cotton! Once in awhile there is a miss, but the same goes at JCrew. . .I'm looking at you Linen Dolman Sleeve Tee . .practically see-through in the Blue sea color?!ReplyDelete
I honestly can't see the incentive in buying the retail jeans when the factory jeans are so much cheaper and really good quality! I've worn my pairs to death (which takes awhile!). LOVE.ReplyDelete
I just bought the Factory Ivy sweater at the J Crew Clearance store and am very pleased with the substantial weight of the cotton as well as the pattern and fit. I also got an embossed cotton dress last year that is very well made and one of my summer favorites. I have a factory Bella that is quite nice as well even if the fabric is just slightly thinner wool it is still very nice. They do come out with some nice items as well as some very poor quality "knock offs" of regular J Crew items.ReplyDelete
I'm on the factory wagon. I don't like paying a lot, it is in my blood and the Factory allows me to find some Jcrew clothing I love at a lower price. Not all items are created equally but some are or even better as others have pointed out. I also like to be able to catch some items that I missed or purchased the wrong size on like the Factory boy shirt in sailor stripe.ReplyDelete
Overall I am pleased and I have also noticed that they have had better offerings lately, better colors, fabrics and cuts so cheers to that.
I wonder if this is strategic? Make Jcrew Retail prices higher and position Factory to appeal to the budget shoppers? Either way, it works for me.
It definitely is. Factory is really working towards establishing itself as an independent brand. Notice how it's still based in J. Crew style, but also more basic and distinguishably for a seemingly younger client (who probably has college loans!).Delete
Basically, factory supports retail.
I have made a grand total of one factory purchase, the solid ripstop field jacket (to replace the regular JCrew one I left somewhere during a trip -- waaah!). I am very, very pleased with the fit, quality, and price. I will not hesitate to buy factory again.ReplyDelete
I used to love the Factory. But the prices have started to be less and less "factory" prices, and that irks me. Especially when the prices do not reflect the lesser quality. I've resorted to shopping elsewhere mostly this season where the clothes are just as cute and half the price.ReplyDelete
I'm still not really sold on Factory. The cotton items seem to be pretty good, but they used to offer some silk items, but now it's polyester (i.e. the factory natasha top is made of polyester). Also, all of the skirts and dresses are shorter than retail versions, probably to save $ on fabric. For example, none of the pencil skirts are longer than 21.5" which is too short for me :(ReplyDelete
Cass, I'm with you on the pencil skirts. I bought one this year and I do like it but it is too short for everyday business wear.ReplyDelete
I like the tees, they used to be thicker than the retail versions and the graphics were cute, the two dogs, the art supply, etc.
This past Christmas, I did most of my shopping online through J.Crew Factory (it was a t-shirts and pajama pants themed year). The Factory tees have held up as well as any of the retail versions that I've ever bought. Regular J.Crew used to have all kinds of cute graphic tees...I wonder when they decided to make that mainly a Factory thing?Delete
I buy Factory off and on, when I find something really lovely. More so now that it's available online. I recently ordered the Factory pencil skirt because I adored the brilliant blue color but wasn't expecting to fall for the fit. It was perfect and the cotton is quite substantial. Also grabbed a mini skirt on my last trip to an outlet mall with the fam. Those are still incrediblely well made if not a little shorter than retail. All in all, I go to Factory items for more casual pieces that I tend to abuse during the summer months and the like.ReplyDelete
I'm torn on Factory items. Lately the quality is definitely better, but frankly I'm starting to lose sight of what the difference is between Factory and regular retail. And I think that's confusing for the customer in general.ReplyDelete
I've always felt that an 'outlet' store should be a real outlet where one can hunt for treasures amid the riffraff, or at least buy "irregulars" (I just dated myself, lol) or overstock. I've always been put off by brands that produce secondary lines for outlet locations. To me, what's the point? I know high fashion houses do it all the time, but it just seems a little silly for a mass merchant to do it.
Instead of having these crazy madhouse clearance sales all over the country, it seems to me they'd be better off making their 'outlet stores' real outlets for those sad little items languishing in the sale section online and in stores. Then it could all get cleared out for real!
All that said, I have no issue with Factory stuff. I just don't have serious love for it. Overall I don't care for Factory shoes or most of the Factory jewelry or other accessories, but you can get some fabulous stuff on sale if you go at the right time. And as some have pointed out, it's great for basics like tees and jeans.
J. Crew is elevating its retail line to more of a runway-ready high fashion collection. In order to do that, they have to make factory their bread and butter. In turn, factory's quality is getting better but our items will always be a little more basic than retail's!Delete
Thanks for the mention, Alexis!ReplyDelete
Being in Canada, I can only order Factory stuff online and I notice that the nicest colours always sell out really quickly. Plus the prices keep bouncing up and down. For example, the factory skimmers, I managed to get them for $35 but now they are back to full price. I do wish I had ordered a few more things to try out during the 30 + 30 promo, because that was one of the best I had seen in a while. I ordered the 2-pocket chambray shirt last summer and was pleasantly surprised with the quality, plus it was a fraction of the cost of the retail version of the chambray shirt. Fingers crossed there will be a Factory version of the gingham shirt which is of comparable quality to the older version of the gingham shirt (see my earlier review on the current retail version, which should be avoided at all costs!).
Several years back (3 or 4) I purchased the J. Crew icon trench in black and was so sorry I didn't get it in the khaki color. I decided I would get it this spring and the style has changed. I didn't care for the fit at all. I noticed that the factory had a "classic trench in khaki and checked out the details. I realized it was like the original icon trench. I ordered it during the 20% off. I am so happy I did. the quality is very good for the price and the styling and fit is exactly the same as far as I can tell to my original icon trench (it may be a tad shorter). If you're looking for older classic styles, check it out, you never know what you'll find. It can be hit or miss at the factory. This was truly a big hit!ReplyDelete
I am a pretty big fan of factory items. I never had one near me until recently (yay Potomac Mills!), but whenever I could get to one, I always found really cute items for a pretty decent price.ReplyDelete
Some of my most favorite items in my closet are factory items...including a handful of printed dresses (in some gorgeous re-issues of prints like the large ikat and cherry blossom), the Bellas (the wool used is super soft and the colors are delicious), and the cap sleeve popovers that they issue every year.
Their jewelry is also nicely made, and many of the pieces I own are in heavy rotation.
I doubt I would ever purchase their shoes, bags, or poly pieces, if I want that type of fabric I will head to Target instead. ;)
The whole factory thing kinda confuses me, since I`m used to the idea of outlets being leftovers and samples, but I`m pretty darn pleased with my 2 recent factory purchases- the two-pocket chambray and the popsicle pink maxi check shirt! Both super pretty and good quality!ReplyDelete
The funny thing about the Factory Trench is that if you pay with PayPal, it actually shows up as "Icon Trench" as the item in the PayPal checkout window. I think it is just the same/slightly shorter version of the original with the Factory tag sewn into the collar. I've found that with a few Factory items years later; they are literally the exact same, which makes me think they are re-labeled original leftovers that they're hoping no one notices are exactly that. Also, PS if you want to access the Factory site when the link isn't on the orignal J.Crew page, just go to: www.jcrew.com/factory.jsp (OURTREAT code works, but you won't get free shipping over $175 even if your order post-code exceeds that amount).ReplyDelete
I just received the factory madras popover and I have to say I don't see a huge difference between it and the perfect shirts from the retail store. I know, not an apples to apples comparison, but in terms of fabric and construction they seem very similar. Then again, as others have mentioned, factory prices aren't so factory-like unless you get a promo or actually go to the store. I've also had luck with the factory jeans, which I got for $40 or something with promo + educator discount (because I was there in person), and it was a fairly cheap way for me to try out the skinny jeans trend.ReplyDelete
Would someone mind explaining how J.Crew Factory works? I've always been mystified as to where the products come from. Are they damaged or overstock from previous seasons? Or are they made new just for Factory? Does anyone know where regular J.Crew post-season overstock actually goes, if not to the Factory stores? Thanks!ReplyDelete
Here's how it works. Factory has two lines.Delete
1) Retail Remakes:We take proven sellers from retail and re-design them to fit into a factory price point. Example: we may use a cotton-cashmere blend instead of 100% cashmere for our men's sweaters. By doing this, we maintain recognition as a J. Crew affiliate by offering a familiar product to our clients who are well-versed in retail!
2)Facotry Exclusives: As factory's client-base grows, we can begin establishing ourself as a brand. In order to do this, we must design product specifically tailored to the needs of Factory's average client. These items are specific to Factory stores and are not based on retail merchandise. As our Retail affiliate elevates their line (and inevitably their price point) factory begins to fill in the disparity between itself and retail.
J. Crew factory does not sell damaged merchandise, irregular merchandise or low-performing products anymore. Those items are now sold at warehouse sales, sample sales and clearance stores in Asheville, North Carolina and Lynchburg, Virginia.
*Factory not FacotryDelete
ChrisL, these days Factory merchandise is specifically made for Factory. They have their own complete line, much of which is cheaper versions of current or past retail items. Occasionally you will see overstocks or damaged items from past seasons from regular retail J.Crew. For example, a few months ago I found a merino lea cardigan from Fall 2008 at my factory store that had obviously had holes repaired. They also had a ton of this one style of collection pant and this one really ugly dress. Occasionally they even get current season retail items.ReplyDelete
The clearance stores in NC and VA also get a ton of damaged stuff and overstocks which go in the warehouse sales and in the clearance stores themselves. I imagine some of it goes to the NYC sample sales, too, but I really don't know for sure.
I have had good experiences with cotton from the Factory, but I have also found that items fit more generously than retail. In that vein, can anyone comment on the Factory Jenny Dress? :DReplyDelete
I have spent $750 at Factory in the past week completely replacing my spring wardrobe and I am very impressed with the quality, price, and the variety of colors and textures. I have taken a few things back due to fit, but I caught the additional 30 and 40% off sale and am very happy. For everything I got (over 20 items) I can't imagine the fortune I would have spent at retail. The Winnie Pants, which are a version of the Minnie at retail actually fit me better and are much more comfortable. I can't tell the difference in quality and my best friend has said the same.ReplyDelete