Dear J. Crew:
It saddened me to read about your filing for bankruptcy. It downright confused me as well. For many decades, I’ve been a loyal customer. My love for you goes way back—even before your flagship store! In fact, I remember the early days –when you were a mail-order company! Oh, how I looked forward to receiving your catalogs back in the day before on-line shopping.
Ahhh. Those old-school J. Crew Catalogs. Even as the stores started popping up, the catalog was still around!
I would eagerly choose what I wanted, write out a check, place my order form along with said check in an envelope, apply a stamp, walk to the mailbox and patiently wait for that package to arrive. And I was never disappointed.
Items like the iconic roll-neck sweater. I had this in olive green!
And then it happened. That flagship store opened up in the South Street Seaport. A few blocks from where I worked. Who cares that I was pregnant at the time? I could enter the hallowed entrance of the brick building and peruse the available clothing to wear for after I gave birth!
The location of the J. Crew store down at the South Street Seaport. I remember those days fondly!
For decades I have never left your side. Your clothing spoke to me. You personified everything my mother told me to look for in apparel. The cut. The style. The workmanship. The price. The bonding on sweaters. Yeah. You had it all.
And might I add that all three of my kids wear J. Crew. They grew up with the brand!
Sure. There were seasons and years that I was a bit “meh” and worse and I do believe that was the beginning of the end. It started with the Jenna Lyons years.
This is Jenna Lyons Style. On most of us, this would look atrocious. And that freaking pigeon-toed pose drives me up a wall. But seriously, each individual piece could work but not together. Those jeans would be horrific on the majority of us. And this is where J. Crew faulted. The brand tried to sell one woman’s style!
Look—I’m not disrespecting the stylish Jenna. But you simply cannot rebuild a brand around one person’s style. An example is that fabulous denim and taffeta combination she wore to the Met Gala some years back. Yeah. She looked wonderful. But guess what? Not everyone would look good in that. Not all of us are blessed with her enviously lean frame. A good number of us have curves and a few pounds to get rid of. We would not look a fraction as good as Jenna!!
This ensemble is adorable. To carry it off you need to be lean. Very lean. You can’t eat three meals a day. You cannot eat a bag of corn chips on a Saturday night. It works for Jenna Lyons like nobody’s business. It would not work on the majority of women. But those shoes…….
Somewhere along the line, you grew a bit removed from your loyal customers. Yes. We all love the classics with a bit of an edge. And we all love to add our personal style to those classics. But you can veer too far off course.
…and even the stylish, iconic, Jenna had fails. This is awful on every level….
..and again. These looks aren’t made for “everywoman”. J. Crew strayed too far…
You should have used more Lauren Hutton. She speaks to a wider range of women.
Let’s hear it for Lauren! And what she’s wearing!
And you got a little to pricey with the merch. A Whit Tori Dress for almost $500? Why are you selling brands other than J. Crew? Why a dress so pricey? You aren’t a luxury brand. You are a bridge brand—somewhere between lower, affordable fashion and the higher. Own it. Be who you started out to be in the days of Arthur Cinader, your founder.
Whit Tori Dress is on the J. Crew site for $468. Come on. You wonder why you filed for bankruptcy? And that dress is so frumpy with those shoes…
Don’t get me wrong. I still love you. My wardrobe is 90 percent J. Crew with J. Crew Factory thrown in. But I’m angry and sad and full of mixed emotions of your bankruptcy filing. I don’t want you to fold. Rather, I beg you to take a step back. Reassess.
J. Crew Number 2 Pencil Skirt and Tippi Sweater. A classic combo.
J. Crew Factory dress. A study in comfort! And a hellalot less pricey than that Whit Tori frock!
More Tippi–the sweater I live in and have for years!
J. Crew plaid ankle pants and Dulci pumps from years back!
Another Tippi Sweater and Anyday Pant–similar to the great yet discontinued Pixie Pant!
Bring back the damned Schoolboy blazer! Sure, J. Crew Factory sells one now but it isn’t the same as the original! Bring back the Pixie Pant! Luckily I have multiples of both but how much longer will they last?
One of four Navy Schoolboy blazers I own. One can never have too much of a good thing–especially if it is doscontinued!
The great original J. Crew Pixie Pant..
And I’m still wearing mine!
Remember that your core customer has aged but still loves classic clothing. We know what we like and what looks good on us. We are secure in our being. Please come back!