Saturday, November 25, 2006

J. Crew Clothes at M. Kors Prices

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.

13 comments:

Carissa said...

I love J. Crew too, but yes, they are a bit pompous and over pricey with some things. They have the cutest headbands right now though, although they are ridiculously overpriced.

Eli said...

Finally, someone else sees this too. I havent actually bought anything from there in ages. When I used to not have a job, I could afford things there, and now that I have a job, I cant! But hey, for all we know, the price jumps might actually work for them. Or maybe it's their ploy to make you shop at the Gap instead.

elleabelle said...

I worked at JCrew from 1997 through 2000, and I am floored at the change in pricing! I wonder how it is selling! Should be interesting to watch in the next few years if they go back to the more basic stuff for which they became famous!!

Alice said...

My eyes are bleeding.

Two thousand dollars for that leopard-print jacket? J. Crew? My sense of righteous outrage has been activated.

Kate said...

Those plaid flats are cute! But I found some at Delia's that are a lot more wallet friendly, and just as
cute. Plus, they come in leopard print! I adore leopard print!

eye4style said...

Business is booming for J.Crew this season so apparently the strategy is working. I can't complain too much as I happen to love the assortment for fall/winter. Lots of yummy fashion treats!

Nicky said...

I thought I was imagining this, I'm glad I'm not alone! I went looking for a pair of jeans for my hubby and they were $90. $90 from J.Crew? Crazy! I do still love their basic tops though and they have great sales!

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T said...

You are so right , which is why I simply stalk the sale section of the site until something I want is in my size and price range.

Iheartfashion said...

I had the same reaction to the prices, but I continue to buy their cashmere because it's very very soft, and a basic cashmere cardie never goes out of style. I have to say I've been disappointed twice recently in their quality, for all the ad copy about stuff being made "in a famous Italian mill"...

SciFiGirl said...

I've just got to comment on this topic! I have been a J. Crew customer for over a decade. I remember when their clothes were 'reasonably' priced and the quality was noticeable. Now, especially within the last few years, the quality has noticeably declined and their prices have gone thru the roof. In particular, their cashmere is thin, it pills and most sweaters feature 'rolled edges.' Rolled edges is a fancy way of saying- unfinished garmet. Their T-shirts are flimsy and the collar and sleeve bindings are single layer sewn-ons, with the cut edges just sitting there. Bottom line, its an unfinished product. When I compare a tshirt I bought there several years ago, compared to a current one- its hands down NO comparison.

Anonymous said...

I agree! I found this blog when I was looking for a J. Crew alternative. Anyone have ideas?

oakley sunglasses said...

I Love that getup...Blue Jeans..and Red T-shirts...

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