Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

J.Crew - a case of mixed emotions

I am a huge J.Crew fan...I was all the way back in 8th grade when I pored over catalogs and ordered my fair share of striped rugby shirts. We had a falling out post-college...and only had the occasional meeting, but I was back worshipping at the J.Crew altar in 2008 when their fall rollout hit me like a ton of bricks. Since then, I have admired (and coveted) their unique use of color and texture, ladylike (yeah, I said it) and classic styling mixed with easy casual pieces for a simple chic. I am absolutely obsessed with the No. 2 pencil skirts in double serge wool. Fantastic weight wool -- perfect for the cold winters, lovely colors, beautifully lined and great, consistent fit. Who could ask for more? One thing I know is morning is so bad that a pencil skirt and a pair of heels can't fix.

But in recent years, I've also been disappointed in the apparent declining quality of some of their fabrics and construction. I submit to you the Toothpick Jean in garment-dyed twill. An adorable pant, exceptionally poorly executed. I couldn't believe the construction of these pants.

Notice how off-center the fly is?

I know no one's body is perfectly symmetrical and mine is no exception (given two pregnancies), but I assure you that my belly button is not that cockeyed. Also, notice the gap at the right side of the waistband. The entire pant was off kilter. It's absolutely unacceptable, especially at $108 full retail. And it seems strange that they're offering this pant in Tall sizes but not Petite...that decision certainly can't be attributed to high production costs.

I hope that J. Crew does not continue with this downward slide. They really need to pay attention to the community at great blogs like J.Crew Aficionada. There's a lot of love and a lot of frustration out there for J.Crew...and more than a couple of other retailers who are stepping up their game with improved styling, better price points for more consistent quality and better sales. AT anyone?