This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"
share your J.Crew item (either that you own or
are thinking about getting) that you would love help
creating an outfit with.
please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel
free to include links to your blog (where you
incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you
showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance!
Very OT, but wasn't sure where else I might post this:ReplyDelete
The clock is ticking for Banana. I know many of us used to shop there and no longer do, but it's rather shocking to see how far they've fallen. They can't seem to get back up and this article reports on how they've just fired their president after two years of continuing drop in sales. Maybe they should just keep the men's division open since that department still seems to maintain a strong aesthetic.
Thanks for sharing and agree, so sad. My only BR purchases lately are the tailored non-iron shirts from BR Factory, which are still 98% cotton, well-cut (darts & princess seams), and opaque even in white/light colors. If only BR would/could raise the quality of its other offerings back to that level, I think they could still win back those of us who want current yet professional clothes.Delete
Ouch....but not surprising. I was just browsing their latest rollout and thought a lot of it looked like what you would have found at The Limited after it got really bad (and we know how that story ended). And then you have a random $800 pair of lamb leather pants. I've felt this way about J.Crew at times as well - if someone is willing to drop $800 on a very limited-wear item such as leather pants, I genuinely doubt they're shopping at Banana Republic.Delete
That's too bad - I've gotten some nice items from BR over the years. Browsing there can be a PITA with their "BR Picks" that are excluded from promotions. They currently have a 100% merino sweater that looks like a Tippi, but with a scalloped neckline - cute, but excluded.Delete
silver_lining - the BR merino is really great. I purchased several of the crew neck merino sweaters and like them more than the Tippi. The BR sweaters have full length sleeves and just fit me better. I'm waiting for the scalloped neckline sweater to no longer be a "BR Pick" so I can order it with the 40% off. The orchid color is gorgeous. Other than the merino sweaters and a few pairs of jeans, I haven't purchased much from BR lately. Too much polyester and questionable styles. I really hope they can right the ship. Used to spend a fortune between Gap and BR; now, not so much.Delete
BR has been my go to for pants over the past few years - J.Crew pants fit me so inconsistently and don't ever seem to be made for women with hips, which leads to me needing alterations that I never get. I also have luck with their sheath dresses but everything else I usually skip - something about it is always off and I find the way they lay their clothes out on the website to not be appealing - I usually find things in store but am less inclined to try things online. When I first started working they were my go to for all things work clothing (my MIL working there and getting 50% off was a bonus too) but that's transitioned over the years for sure.Delete
Wow thank you for sharing! Can't say I'm shocked by this news. I for one loved the Marissa Webb stuff (lame that Fortune can't even get her name right...show a little respect) but I felt like the balance was off during her tenure between casual and work clothing.Delete
Getting rid of the Martin fit was the worst thing BR ever did. Like so many brands out there they're having an identity crisis and keep trying to copy other brands instead of returning to what they do best -- classic work clothes with a few modern pieces mixed in, and perhaps 15% casualwear.
I second that the BR merino is really great! Good quality, fine gauge, nice long sleeves. But I don't think they're doing enough to get the word out about it, and it's drowning in a sea of cheap polyester around it in-store.
Agree 100% re: Martin pants from BR. My sister and I are holding on to our old Martin fit pants. They are just like J Crew with all of the cropped pants. Don't get me wrong, I like an ankle pant but not for winter in the Midwest. Plus, with all of the weird blends, the pants would pill after a few hours of wearing. They need to jump off the polyester wagon and go back to making quality work clothes. Somebody has to fill that void.Delete
I wish BR would do another Trina Turk collab, I still treasure my strapless dress from that collection, and am desperately trying to find it in a size 12 now that the 10 is too tight (sigh....)Delete
On the subject of pants, I really love the Logan pants I got in the fall. They fit me really well and have been a go-to this winter.
I'm a former BR lover too. I commented on IG that I was wearing a pair of Martin Super 120s wool pants with lining from 2005. I rarely shop BR anymore because of fabric and quite frankly the styles aren't appealing. Didn't buy anything in 2016. Did buy a belted sleeveless leather top in olive in 2015 (swooning). Wish BR would return to their core. Still have leather items, wool and silks that are at least a decade or older. Quality does last. Sad that principle doesn't still seem to be the standard as opposed to the exception. I know J Crew has had its problems, but quality hasn't been something I've had an issue with for the most part. In terms of design, I'm always able to find items I want to purchase.Delete
Wow. That looks dismal and you can't argue with all the red on that graph. I used to love to swing by Banana Republic almost as much as Jcrew. I have some really nice things from Banana. Cotton shirts & pants, wool & merino sweaters and jewelry. I haven't bought much of anything there in a long time. I miss the colabs. Loved the Trina Turk pieces and Milly was pretty too. I have a red BR L'Wren Scott evening bag that is gorgeous. I am a Gap credit card holder but rarely use the card these days because I can't find anything I want to use the rewards on. I really miss Piperline. Sigh.Delete
Thanks for sharing that BR merino wool is good! I like my sweaters to be full length sleeves. So JCrew Tippis don't work well for me. I'm going to check out BR merino crew neck sweater!Delete
I do think that BR men's wear is doing better than the women's section. My husband like their casual work shirts and chinos. Some of BR Grand fit shirts fit better than JCrew secret wash shirts.
I used to buy a lot from BR back in 2004-2008. Haven't gotten much there lately either but I recently tried the Hedy Slingback Pump in silver. They are great - very comfortable. I got them for $56 but now they are down to $45!Delete
I had a BR Luxe card and found out in December that the account was closed because of disuse. Went from a Luxe level spender to almost no money spent there in the last few years. Everything that was natural fabric and well designed fit off on my frame. I don't know what happened to them. Al least they still do solid leather pieces. I was gifted a leather skirt two Christmases back that was well made and decent quality leather.Delete
+1 on the Martin Fit pants. Universally flattering style and they used to offer them in the best colors and styles. I still have a pair in a Glen Plaid that must be 10 years old. But I haven't shopped there in years.Delete
I'm going to check out the merino sweaters - thanks for the tip. I've finally accepted that the Tippi is just not right for my shape even though I keep trying.
I have 3 or 4 of non-iron shirts that I bought a few years ago and still wear. They are holding up pretty nicely. I also have a few pairs of pants that I wear to work.Delete
I remember when they used to have the 40% off coupons for Wednesdays. I would stop by BR religiously on the way home from work to buy something.
@Jazmine, yes!!! I got a beautiful trench from them around that time - great design and detail, including a pretty striped lining. Still have it. I also have two non-iron shirts that have held up perfectly. My husband still shops there a lot (the reason we still have a Luxe card) and their quality hasn't gone shown in that department. I've seen flashes of Old Banana here and there, including with those sweaters as well a a pretty print I saw last year. Would love if they managed to get it together.Delete
Thanks for the suggestions last week about pairing the unicorn Drake's top with tan/brown. Today I'm wearing it tucked into peacock Ryders (one pair that miraculously hasn't stretched out) and topped with a tan cashmere boyfriend cardigan. I have a pair of Jeffrey Campbell flats that pretty perfectly match these pants, and the heels are glitter! So fun. I'll post a pic on my insta later today (I updated my account name to match mine here, so now I'm Monica_Bonica instead of monzabuss).ReplyDelete
So cute! 👍🏾Delete
Glad you worked it!Delete
Not sure who wanted a review of the tulle hem cardi,but its up on my IGReplyDelete
It was me! Thank you thank you!Delete
I couldn’t believe what I just saw at the thrift store! I was idly looking at the dresses and saw some strange fabric poking out. It was a cocktail dress in a white tweed fabric with a pastel pattern on it, two straps about 2cm wide, and a bow on the back, looked like someone was trying to riff on Chanel or Jackie O or something. Imagine my surprise when I peeked inside and saw the J.Crew COLLECTION label! What a shock! It was from SP08, item 88936, I could only find it referenced on this blog (and apparently she liked it!), it was called the Candy Tweed Tank Dress.ReplyDelete
I know there were some amazing designs back in those days, but I don’t think this was one of them. Design details aside, it was also a real surprise to find it here given that we’ve only had J.Crew in Canada for a few years, and only locally for about 2 years.
Retailers (like all of them) are solely focused on cutting production time. They don't focus on quality. While Banana has a lot of polyester, their merino wool is good. You can also dig and find some other good items. (I'm "digging" at ALL of them). The pieces I've purchased haven't developed holes, like JCrews. Right now, I've purchased more from JCREW lately, the A Line wool dress in Heather Lilac most recently. I'm getting close to being an ex-Anthropologie fan given their terrible offerings. IMO, all of the mid level mall stores are in danger of becoming observe when all any of them have to do is make quality pieces from natural fabrics, sigh. They need to leave quick production items to Zara and Forever 21. It is ridiculous to change your entire business model to cater to Millenials. They are ignoring the fact that plenty non Millenials who like quality clothing shop. Signed, a bitter Generation Xer LOLReplyDelete
I'm with you. I won't do polyester, acrylic or faux leather. I want silk, cotton, wool (cashmere or merino) or real leather. I'm willing to pay more for pieces that are well-fitting and will last. I don't care that there are not new arrivals in stores every three weeks. Frankly, I don't have time to shop every three weeks. When I was 23, I would run to the mall before a night out and pick up a cheap top. Now, I want clothing that I can pull out of my closet and it looks timeless. I've been very, very picky about my purchases in the past year. I won't buy or keep anything that I don't absolutely love and that I can't see myself wearing for 10 - 15 (or more) years. That strategy has really worked to curb shopping and to get me a closet full of nice, well-fitting, classic items. I like trends -- don't get me wrong -- I'm definitely not adverse to looking current, but I don't need to look up to the minute. Well-tailored clothing in beautiful fabrics is always in style.Delete
I agree regarding Anthropologie too. I used to find so many things I adored there. Now, its all polyester, pilled and shapeless.
Melodie and Blakemdjohns, I'm with you guys. Polyester just makes me cringe, faux leather reminds me of bad 90's outfits and acrylic gives me hives, like literal hives. I just can't. I have clothing that's 10 years old that I still wear because it was quality and a classic style. The other cheaper stuff that I used to supplement my wardrobe with in college are all gone. Don't worry the Millennials will grow up and wise up. I know I did.Delete
Complete agreement here, too. The thing is that these stores are offering what SELLS. Cheap, one-season styles seem to be what consumers want now, at least the ones shopping at the mid-tier ones like J Crew. High quality fabric and construction means trading up to first-tier designer, and I think J Crew has definitely lost customers to that.Delete
And, customers vote with their wallets. It's often noted on JCA that J Crew doesn't listen to the wealth of feedback they'd get simply reading this blog and addressing the longstanding complaints. But, the truth hurts, they don't have to care. If a very loyal customer grouses about quality etc. but is still back buying, believe me (20 yrs in brand mgmt), they've got no motivation to switch strategies.Delete
I don't make a point of wearing faux leather, but I haven't worn a leather jacket since the '90s. Over the years I have bought andloved several pairs of faux leather pants, and I love my faux leather mini skirt. It's not something I would want in leather. (I wear leather shoes and I have leather purses, but I wouldn't seek out a leather garment.) since the faux leather pleated mini is one of my favorite skirts purchased in the last year, I just want to clarify that I didn't buy it because it was cheaper than its leather counterpart might be, I just like it. I had plenty of cheap real leather jackets in the 1989s and 1990s and don't wish to relive those looks either!Delete
The faux leather pleated mini really is wonderful. It works so many ways. I seek out natural materials, but I also like that this one makes me feel good because it wasn't made from an animal. Not judging anyone at all, but for me this factor balances out the usual man-made material ickiness I feel about most other chemically-produced fabrics.Delete
Agreed about Anthropologie's quality decline-I've completel stopped shopping there. Who cares if it looks cute initially if it's see-through/too cropped/doesn't last through a few washes.Delete
Like D*ska mentioned, I've sought out higher quality garments as I've aged (I'm 42), but I see SO many women in their 40s completely embracing fast fashion. Around here many have turned to online 'boutiques' (think Red Dress Boutique) whose clothes are so cheaply made it makes me flinch. I think it fills a desire to be on trend without a huge investment or a lot of time watching sales or shopping.
I'm styling the Cropped Lady Jacket on the blog today. The quality is seriously on point (old school J.Crew quality). I paid full price for this without batting an eye. It's really Chanel inspired. Size is TTS to slightly large.ReplyDelete
Partial to Pink
How do you find the lower neckline on this jacket - do you find it hard to style? I bought (and returned) the fringy tweed jacket in ivory with red and navy trim because I could not seem to wear it with anything with a collar due to the lower neckline (F1586). The cropped lady day jacket that you styled (F9995) seems to have the same neckline. How do you find it with shirts with collars?
I'm finding that the cropped jackets have also been getting tighter in the shoulders (meaning sizing up) but then the body seems too wide. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you
Hi! I own that jacket too and from what I can remember, it's a similar cut. I just got home from work, but I can update this tomorrow with a comparison from what I remember. This might be a pass for you then. In terms of sizing, I thought the Cropped Day Jacket fit really well in the shoulders and body. It looks tailored to my body. I have a large bust and shoulders for reference. Hope this helps! I'll update tomorrow with a full comparison.Delete
Thanks, Heather. Appreciate the response.Delete
So the Lady Cropped Jacket and Fringy Tweed Jacket are very similar in terms of style. The neckline hits approximately at the same place. For me, the neckline hits at approximately the collarbone.Delete
Partial to Pink
Thanks, Heather - appreciate you taking the time. I noticed the lady cropped jacket was available on pop back and no final sale (but the trade off is only 30% off). Even though the necklines are the same, I will give it a try with the advice from Ruffles below re necklines.Delete
I love my Fringy Tweed in Ivory/Red/Blue but the neckline is tricky. I could never make a collar work under it so my intention of a cute paring w chambray never materialized. All the Chanel-inspired styles seem to have that neckline on the jacket.ReplyDelete
My solution has been to wear either a high crew or low scoop knit under. The high crew gives you a color contrast w the jacket neckline and the low scoop gives you contrast by showing some skin in the chest/neck area.
Hope that makes sense.
Thanks Ruffles. I think that's a good workaround and it might have worked for me. I wish I had thought about asking the JCAs before I returned the jacket :-) Maybe I will be able to try on pop back. I see that Andrea @tweedandtoile https://www.instagram.com/tweedandtoile/?hl=en paired her fringy tweed with chambray shirt (with collar) and it looked great like everything does on her instagram and blog but the jacket neckline looks higher on her than I recall it looking on me. Maybe it comes down to individual proportions?Delete
Any of you knowledgeable JCAs know what the model is wearing under the zippered coat in black watch? I'm looking for that top. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Sarah Folz, it is the Striped Turtleneck in Wool Cashmere (F9409). Unless you are talking about a different image or coat. Shoppingcelle is wearing it on IG today.Delete
@Lauren, thank you! Happy to see it on IG, too.Delete