I love J. Crew. I've loved J. Crew for a long time, long enough to remember the time, a couple years ago, that they suddenly and unexpectedly and inexplicably got really expensive.
Think back with me, my friends. The setting: two or so years ago. You were probably wearing uggs, and if anyone but Kate Moss had come up to you and said "Skinny jeans are the next big thing!", you would have nodded politely and walked away as fast as possible, much like you do when that twitchy guy on the bus comes up to you and says "I am Jesus."
It was a day like any other: you'd received your J. Crew catalog in the mail and made time in your favorite chair to go through it, excited to once again pretend that these clothes will be absolutely perfect for imagined retreats to your family's new england estate, when you come across a $200 beaded tanktop. "Hmm...that's odd," you think, but dismiss it as a fluke and read on. You notice that most of the cute little jackets have doubled in price, and are now around $200. "Ah well," you justify, "You have to pay for quality." Soon you come to the shoe section, usually filled with $50 deals but suddenly populated with $170 flats and $250 heels. Then, a $595 blazer. "This is no fluke..." you whisper, and put the catalog down, keeping your eye on it and slowly stepping away like in a movie scene where the main character realizes that their best friend may not be their best friend at all, but a robot sent by their mortal enemy to destroy them. "I don't even know you anymore!" you yell through the tears as you get to the doorway, and turn and run out of the house.
So that was my experience. Maybe you are a little less dramatic, but you've gotta admit, with the rise in their regular prices and the addition of the J. Crew Collection (which should be called Pay Top Designer Prices And Get Only a J. Crew Tag To Show For It), the average price of a J. Crew item is much more than it used to be. Yes, they still have some of the best and most affordable t-shirts and sweaters around, but come on, J. Crew is not M. Jacobs, or C. Klein, or M. Kors. I mean, look at this:
This coat is $2,200. A two-thousand dollar coat from the store next to the Gap in the mall. To me, that's just not right. If I'm going to pay over $2000 for a coat, it better be lined in gold leaf, have buttons made of truffles, a big designer label to remind me I'm a proud American materialist, and come with a butler.
Ah, a $500 blazer. I'm so thoroughly confused as to why this jacket costs $500 that I can't even make a joke. My head hurts.
Now that I've ranted sufficiently (actually I just got a migraine from the mustard yellow bank account-drainer above), I have to include a pair of shoes that are so amazingly cute I don't care that they're part of the pricey new guard:
They make me feel like sayin' I'm mad for plaid. But I won't. $170.
And finally, the reason I still love J. Crew:
The perfect long sleeve t-shirt in the perfect fit in a million perfect colors at the perfect price (2 for $35!). If they mess with their basics section, we shall march on their headquarters and make them feel the ire of thousands of women scorned.
You might want to skip the $2000 jacket and invest in a torch and a pitchfork, just in case.