Monday, September 14, 2009

Interesting Post About J. Crew at

Angie at (an always fun and informative site) posted a blog entry today called "Your Opinion About J. Crew". To read all of the 35+ interesting comments that have piled up, go here.   I quote (and they're her choice of pictures, too):
I remember J. Crew as the chain store that was a cut above the rest. They were not mainstream like Banana Republic, Gap or Anne Taylor and there was definitely a level of exclusivity associated with the brand. Their preppy and fashionable products were more expensive, but the quality and drape was impeccable. When you bought an item from J. Crew, you knew you had something fairly special that would last and look good for several seasons. J. Crew also hardly ever went on sale, sticking to two main markdowns a year.
Unfortunately, my impression of J. Crew has changed over the last few seasons because I think they’ve decided to become more mainstream. I’m still super excited when I receive their state of the art catalogs because the colours and ensemble combinations are innovative, attractive and inspiring. But when I get to stores with my clients, I’m usually disappointed because the look, feel and fit does not pack the same punch. The prices are lower than they used to be, but the quality and overall integrity of the merchandise has gone downhill too.
Don’t get me wrong, J. Crew still offers fantastic products and I have a few hanging in my wardrobe. But part of me misses what I know as the old J. Crew. I’ve only lived in America for six years so my perception might be distorted. Am I being unduly harsh? Or am I mistaken that their products used to have more crispness and panache? Do you think the merchandise lives up to the catalog?

Blushed Tweed Collier Jacket Stadium Cloth Winnie Jacket
Current J. Crew CEO, Mickey Drexler, used to run Gap INC. I can’t help but wonder whether his strategy is to move J. Crew to a more mainstream target audience.

What say you, JCA's?



  1. Interesting excerpt. Wasn't J.Crew privately owned until the last 4 years or so? Perhaps, that explains why they became -- had to become -- mainstream, to please shareholders. I don't think J.Crew is the only company whose quality has changed over the years; i think the industry has lowered their quality.

    I would gladly purchase higher-quality pieces that cost more but that would would last longer than lower quality, fashion forward merchandise.

  2. I love the clothes in the catalogs and am frequently disappointed when I see them in the store. Fifteen years ago J. Crew sold higher quality merchandise. I agree wholeheartedly with the person you quoted.

  3. I can't really form a solid opinion since I've only been shopping jcrew seriously for about 2 years. I did buy my first jcrew pieces when I was 16 (about 11 years ago) but don't really remember the quality enough to know if it's gone downhill. I feel like it was nicer, though. I did hang onto one of the pieces up until about 2 years ago, and it was still going strong (just didn't fit). I DO know that I am more interested in jcrew now based on their styling and unique offerings.


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