J Crew, You Slay Me

By now you should all know that I am the biggest J Crew whore in the Universe. I’ve had a fairly easy time staying away for the past few months, due in large part to my budget focus, but also because they’ve been trying to push through their inventory and it’s been the same, tired product.

No longer! When I got my J Crew catalog last week I just about died. I was tempted to grab a thick Sharpie marker to start circling my wants (old habits die very hard). Instead, I shoved the catalog into my work bag while muttering the mantra: “I will not shop, I will not shop, I will not shop.”

I finally looked through it this morning, and decided to try an experiment. Instead of heading to their website and filling up my cart, I would instead share everything I want – get it out of my system – and wait for it all to be marked down.

Icon Trench


I’m a big believer that every woman should have a trench in her wardrobe. They are universally flattering and classic. I own two, one khaki and one black, both from Banana Republic. I’ve had them both for ages. My khaki trench is cute, but the fabric is very stiff and I’ve been hatching a plan to buy a new one for years. My black trench has been through some rough times; a few years back I unknowingly tossed a cigarette into my back seat and it burned a small hole into one of the sleeves. Luckily, mt seamstress was able to relocate the sleeve buckles to cover up the flaw.

J Crew’s icon trench mimics the classic styling of London Fog coats (which, I have tried – and failed – to find on eBay….I’ve bought 4 and had to resell them all). It’s not too forward, but it still feels modern. I like that it’s double-breasted, it’s a good length and, if I know J Crew at all, the quality is likely good.

Tissue Boyfriend V-Neck Tee


I’ve been hunting for a good alternative to American Apparel cotton tee-shirts.  White v-neck tees are so perfect for layering and I love pairing them with dressier items.  I customarily buy kids tees (Hanes) but they are always so thick and too short.

Merino Michelle V-Neck Cardigan


I already own this in black and love it.  It’s currently marked down but I am sure they will bring the price down more.  I am digging the glazed pecan color.

Silk Contrast Tunic


Paired with the right accessories this is so Chanel.

Molten Metallic Tank


I bought a lamé tank in silver last year that I’ve really liked wearing.  Although it’s a bit bulky, so I am liking this more slender version.

White Denim Flare Jean


I am desperately in need of white jeans.  I try to avoid buying classic trousers if I can avoid it, as I never wear them outside of work and prefer to wear white or black jeans to the office.  J Crew pants don’t typically work very well with my figure, but I like this flared jean so I might give them a try.

Wool Crepe One-Button Blazer


I’m in the market for another blazer; I’ve typically worn Theory blazers, but my last two have fallen apart (an elbow on each wore down and split open) so I am moving away from those.  Wool blazers are ideal for California cool weather.  They’re not too heavy and are great for layering.  I prefer one-button style blazers that are on the longer side, as that proportion seems to work well with my body.  I am loving the charcoal color!  It would look great with white jeans.

Leather Capri Sandals


I buy these flip flops every year, in whichever color is on sale.  I have them in leather, velvet, zebra-printed horse hair, you name it.

Chiffon Whitney Long Dress


Alright, I don’t need this.  At all.  But, talk about Grecian Goddess!  It’s beautiful!  If I were getting married, I would wear this in a minute, and at $325 it’s a steal for a wedding dress.

I like it in the graphite color.

Rimini Vachetta Flat Sandal


My old pair of J Crew gladiator-style sandals are in a sad state.  These would be a cute replacement.

Erica Cotton Cady Dress


I don’t know why, but I feel that I must own this.  The bodice is gorgeous, and I love the spiced wine color, which I can easily take into fall.  For spring, it will look fantastic with turquoise accessories and maybe a denim jacket.

Café Capri


I bought these last year in black and ended up returning them because I have two pairs of skinny black jeans I wear all the time.  Also, this “Audrey” style pant can often feel played out.  However, for the spring, I might consider buying this pant in the stone color.  For work.

Pintuck Dress


This dress pretty much sums up what I live in at home during the spring and summer.  I LOVE mini dresses, as I am 5’6″ with long legs and NO torso, so it’s a shape that works very well on me.  I always pair mini dresses with flats – never heels.  I would wear this with a pair of gladiator flats and a denim jacket.  I wish I were wearing it now….

Pearl Garden Bracelet


I adore J Crew’s over-sized bracelets.  I like my jewelry to be dainty or BIG.  And, I like that they’ve used the traditional pearl and amplified it into a large cluster dangle.

And, there it is!  That was nowhere near as satisfying as shopping, but it helped.

All Images: J Crew

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10 Responses to “J Crew, You Slay Me”

  1. Claudia (Bluebears) Says:

    I love that cardigan. Honestly though, I was just at the mall last week and I felt like every store was having crazy good sales EXCEPT J.Crew. You’re in retail right? What’s up with that?

  2. Unpossible Says:

    I love me some J. Crew. A lot of their stuff it out of my price range, but their pants are actually pretty affordable, and they work well for me. Must resist!

  3. pennyplastic Says:

    February traditionally isn’t the best time for sales because in retail the fiscal year ends at the end of January. Retailers are typically trying to unload all of their inventory in January to get it off their books.

    Although, these are trying times, so I think many retailers are still aggressively pushing sales.

    As for J Crew, I’ve kept an eye on their web site (I haven’t been out shopping) and saw that they hadn’t pushed out much new product until very recently. They have been SLAMMING customers with email blasts, so they may be trying to push inventory through their e-commerce channel rather than their stores.

    That’s all I’ve got!

  4. JDRegent Says:

    Oh fake shopping is the best. Once you get used to it it is almost as good as real shopping. I have a friend who swears that imaginary eating has helped her diet. She just takes the time to really imagine a piece of chocolate cake or whatever and claims a deep imagination is almost as fulfilling as the real thing. Blog shopping seems perfect for a shopoholic on a budget! So much of shopping is about identity expression and formation anyway, and the blog can do some of that for you. I personally think JCrew is crazy overpriced and cut to fit people who appear not to have hips, but those sandals are really cute and classic.

  5. pennyplastic Says:

    I’m glad you approve and are not totally irritated that I am yammering on and on and on about clothes! Right after I was done I felt a little bit sad, but now I’m better, and you’re absolutely spot on about the identity expression.

    I know you are really into shopping vintage/thrift, JD, and this is something I want to dive into more – maybe I should interview you for a feature about this. It’s hard as I am not in a super urban area, but I’ve always enjoyed hunting for things on eBay. Although, the “vintage” market on the site can be ridiculously overpriced.

    As for J Crew, I’ve always found that their stuff is value-priced. Not cheap, but I think the quality generally (not always) falls in line with the pricing. Of course, sales always help ;-)

  6. Claudia (Bluebears) Says:

    Thanks :) They DO have better sales online but I try to avoid the shipping costs.

  7. pennyplastic Says:

    Claudia….maybe try this. Their item numbers are the same in their catalog and online. If you pull together a list you can go into the store and order from the courtesy phone – shipping will be free….or it was the last time I ordered from the store.

  8. elizabeth Says:

    Oh, J.Crew…I was able to do some real shopping there this week, but it was for a very practical purchase rather than fun spring shopping–I need to replace my rain boots that are worn to bits. They aren’t shipping until next week, but given how crazy this winter has been, I’ll be using them well until May, I would imagine.

    Love your selections–and count me as another who waits to buy the Capri sandals on sale. I may have to check out those gladiator ones as well…

    Another way to save cash: J.Crew does offer student discounts in-store and they’ve combined that along with a sale price for me in the past, so it’s worth checking out–and I’m not a student (though my husband is).

  9. SerendipitousTrout Says:

    I’m a big fan of J.Crew too, but on a student’s budget. So, I wait until the sales hit and use my student id (they give me the 15% discount on top of sale prices almost always, like you mentioned Elizabeth)

    Also, after moving to college, near St. Louis, I found a factory outlet about 2 hours away. It’s fantastic- I’ve found so great deals, chinos for $20, t0shirts for $10. I’d suggest searching to see if anyone has one near them!

  10. jdregent Says:

    Oh girl I have no special insights, just grinding poverty and student loans that make your credit card debt look like pocket change. J.Crew stuff does seem to be quality. I actually buy their sweaters sometimes on consignment or at thrift stores and it holds up, which is more than you can say for most department store brands. My body just doesn’t work well with the clothes. Although its image is pretty cheesy and wannabe Euro, I’ve always found express pants to fit me well. Tangentially, I got a Macy’s gift card for Christmas and could not find one item I wanted to buy there. So depressing.

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