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Thread: Opinions of J Crew

  1. #11
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    When it's on sale, it's good quality, well fitting clothes. They're a bit trendy, but so long as you keep in mind your needs when you're shopping, you'll come out fine. I particularly like their shirts and chinos, as it can be tricky to find brands that do tapered leg trousers without sacrificing room in the thighs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srlclark View Post
    Actually, one of the best things about the Alden/Alfred Sargent collaborations is that because J. Crew goes on sale so often, you can get Alden/Alfred Sargent items at less than AE retail and not that much more than AE 1st quality sale prices if you wait for the right sale. Alden/Alfred Sargent are excluded from most sales, but they are not excluded from all sales. Some of their shoes were included in the $175 off $500 sales they had this fall. There was at least one sale in which it was possible to get the Alfred Sargent cap toe oxfords for $350 or the "American brogues" for $360. Some of the Alden items went on the sale too, although I don't follow them as closely. I know they were included in the sale though because a few weeks ago I visited both the Alden shop in DC and the J. Crew that's right across the street from it, and Kathy (the Alden store manager, who has rave reviews on Yelp) told me that Alden had had to limit its collaboration with J. Crew because it didn't want its items going on sale too often or being too widely available.
    Yeah...I totally vacillated on those Sargent suede dub monks a few months back when they dropped to like, $100 bucks and missed out. Probably my biggest (missed) clothing purchase of the year. They just go on sale so infrequently that I just don't think of them as being in the mix when it comes to J.Crew's regular sale/discount cycle. I personally never like purchasing most items for retail, for the most part; shoes and suits are probably the one exception I have.

  3. #13
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    I don't think it's true that either J. Crew or Banana Republic (or even Gap) are "fast fashion." They are all mall stores, but I don't think all mall stores are fast fashion. There was an article on here recently about how BR is suffering in women's sales precisely because it is not fast fashion: it determines its designs a year in advance, and that makes it hard to compete with Zara, H&M, and Forever 21, which come up with new lines much more quickly. Furthermore, neither J. Crew nor BR is cheap: J. Crew is very, very expensive, while BR is merely very expensive. They are both certainly overpriced at retail, and may arguably sell a mediocre product, but that doesn't mean that they are inexpensive.

    One thing that makes them appear poorer quality compared to some of the more well-respected menswear stores on here is that J. Crew and BR both try to sell a wide range of types of clothing and so it's not immediately obvious what their speciality is. That is: they aren't niche stores, and so may appear to be jacks of all trades, masters of none. I do think they have their specialties (e.g. BR's chinos and sweaters) but they are less marked than other stores.

    One way to gauge this is by price comparison. Let's take J. Crew and Suit Supply, as they're often taken as competitors in the suit market. While Suit Supply is clearly cheaper and probably better value for suits (e.g. the Napoli is $399, while the Ludlow/Crosby retail at $650 and even at the $150 off $500+ would be $475/even at 30% off would be $455), Suit Supply is much more expensive for outerwear even before the J. Crew sales. There was a discussion recently about how SuitSupply is much better value for suits and perhaps blazers than it is for anything else. And outerwear vis a vis J. Crew shows it: Suit Supply's overcoats are mostly in the $639 to $699 range, and that includes pure wool overcoats. J. Crew, by contrast, starts at $475 or $495 (with thinsulate) and is often discounted by 30%. The J. Crew camel (colored) wool-cashmere overcoat was as low as $315 in sales earlier this season. I don't believe there's any reason to think that Suit Supply is better compared to J. Crew for overcoats than it is for suits, so that means that J. Crew's versatility is making it a better match for Suit Supply for overcoats than for suits. Suit Supply did recently introduce a $399 overcoat in both blue and grey, so maybe it can start offering more reasonably priced items to complement its introductory suit offerings. (But even its peacoat - a far more utilitarian item than a topcoat - is $399).

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbook View Post
    Yeah...I totally vacillated on those Sargent suede dub monks a few months back when they dropped to like, $100 bucks and missed out. Probably my biggest (missed) clothing purchase of the year. They just go on sale so infrequently that I just don't think of them as being in the mix when it comes to J.Crew's regular sale/discount cycle. I personally never like purchasing most items for retail, for the most part; shoes and suits are probably the one exception I have.

    They were $100? That's amazing! Puts the $99 Allen Edmonds Brooks Brothers seconds into perspective. I wish I'd seen them for $100 too. At $350, they're clearly very good value but still extremely expensive if you haven't been deliberately saving up for them, so I don't mind having missed them.

    I don't like paying retail - but I do really admire stores like Suit Supply (and Alden? I know about the Shoe Mart sales, but I think the mainline is only on sale at closeout) that basically never go on sale, as you can then be confident that the store stands by its product and that you're getting as fair a price as you can hope to get. From what I can tell, L. L. Bean rarely offers more than a 10% discount. Certainly, Bean Boots never go on sale.

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    Opinions of J Crew

    All though I've toned down my JC purchases this past year, due to branching out to other brands & not buying so much recently, am a fan. They were a god send when I first wanted to start dressing sharper & they have been very accommodating in shipping to Japan. The 484 chinos fit me perfectly & love all the colors. Same goes for Bowery slim trousers. For OCBD I prefer Kamakura or BB (here in Japan Kamakura is actually cheaper than a JC oxford) but the secret wash shirts are nice when I want a gingham or pattern shirt. Also prefer Uniqlo for my merino but have a JC lambs wool crew I like. Would love to try their s/c & suiting but afraid to take a chance w/o trying it on first. Have also had some great finds at JCF. As others have mentioned w/ all the sales would never pay full retail. I think my favorite all time buy from JC was the Penfield Gibson jacket 2 seasons ago. Least favorite, a cotton cashmere sweater - way too stretchy.

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    Not that other stores don't do this, but one problem I have with J Crew is they will go through and retag everything for a sale, but the price will be higher to make it exactly the same as it was before. For example, I bought some pants from them for $40 on sale. Then, I saw them for 50% off. Wow, I thought I paid too much until I looked at them and somehow the price had gone up to $79, so they were still $40.

  7. #17
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    J.Crew is my favorite brand, even among higher end brands most likely. Even if I could afford Tom Ford, I'd still shop there. I look at all the catalogs and buy several pieces every season, but typically at 30% off, never full price. I still feel shirts are expensive on sale, but I like the fit of them, and they always have nice fabrics and styles for the price. Overall I think they have the best style of similar brands.

    Quote Originally Posted by serenity View Post
    As soon as I saw the title I thought, "I'm going to have fun with this one."

    JCrew is good for some things. As a whole, the brand leans HEAVILY on the hipster trend, rather than classic style. Anyone who thinks they could walk out of that store looking like Don Draper or James Bond rather than James Dean with elbow patches is delusional. I do just hate elbow patches though, and for the last two years, most of their sweaters they carried in store had them. Even their blazers, which, I understand, is a Professor Indy thing but still.

    However, if you're looking for reasonably high quality fabrics, are willing to shop their web site, and are good at weeding out the crap from the good, you can build SOME basics in your wardrobe. For me, their sweaters, both lambswool and merino, are what I buy. The shirt sleeves and shoulders on most of their shirts are made for men who have different proportions than me. I am very thin, but have long arms and broad shoulders for a man my size. The pant legs aren't long enough after washing. Probably because they'd rather err on the side of short than risk having some shorter legged guys shreik "there's a break!"

    They have some good "brands" like Wallace and Barnes and their shoe and boot collections. Yes, all the models they show are wearing their sleeves and pant legs turned up like Steve Urkel but thats trendy today for some reason. I'm not a JCrew fan but they definitely have their uses if you use coupon codes.
    I disagree with you about hipster trend. They have some trendy pieces, but I think most of their styles are a great mix of classic and modern. They have plenty of sweaters and jackets without elbow patches. I think it just depends how you wear their clothes, you can wear them more classically, or trendy like their models. I usually cuff my pants (jeans or chinos), but I don't think I dress very trendy wearing clothes from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chcougar View Post
    I've purchased a ton at J Crew this year. My wife and I get the catalogs and generally like anywhere from 3-8 items a month, wait for a 25-30% off sale, order them and generally keep about 75 percent of the items. Depending on the store, the selection isn't that great usually but online I seem to find a lot I like. I got two really great shawl collar cardigans this fall and cardigans have never looked good on me from any store in the past. Their pants (Bowery slim, 484 fit chinos) are great but are generally a lot more than BR so I only own a couple of pairs. They have got the most business from any mall store by my wife and I by a long shot this year. Prices at full retail are steep but no it is worth it at 25-30% off.

    I like finding items that are slightly more unique from j crew. For example some Spicy Raisin 484 chinos, a nice contrast collar shawl collared cardigan merino blend sweater, etc. I love their shoe collaborations with new balance, etc a lot of the time but don't usually end up getting any because they are almost always excluded from sales.
    Sounds like me. I am trying to tone down my J.Crew purchases and branch out to trying other brands. Of course I have things from BR, Gap, Uniqlo etc but over the past couple years my wardrobe has turned into mostly J.Crew. I have told myself I'm done buying shirts from them for a while as now I have too many.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by srlclark View Post
    I don't own any of their outerwear, but am definitely interested in picking up a Ludlow topcoat in the spring sales. They are definitely overpriced at retail, of course.
    You might want to take a look at their current sale. They have a number of topcoats in their sale items with another 40 percent off with their "Thursday" code. I almost bought their Ludlow in herringbone today, because it was down to $227 and change, but I don't really need it.

    Sale is only on for another hour. I don't know what their Friday sale will be, or if they'll have one.

  9. #19
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    I have yet to find one brand that I could wear exclusively. I pretty much stick to J Crew and Ralph Lauren Polo though. I have purchased about a dozen pairs of shoes from J Crew over the years and found them to be a good deal. Additionally, I've bought sweaters, sport coats, a suit or two, and long sleeve woven shirts from them. Lately, I have gone back to their jeans and chinos and am very pleased with a pair of charcoal herringbone wool Bowery pants that I recently purchased. Like others have pointed out, if you shop the sales it's not bad.

  10. #20
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    JCrew always reminds me of Pottery Barn; common glassware at Baccarat crystal prices.

    And it's not that their stuff is bad or ugly or cheap, but I went into their store with a friend and saw some ties I liked and they where around 80.00, I think...

    BR may be overpriced too but not as much as JCrew. That's just my experience
    Last edited by MNJ83; December 11th, 2015 at 12:45 AM.

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