Do you still shop at J.Crew?

jcrew

I remember the first items I ever ordered from J.Crew. It was 1998. My catalog order included a pair of chunky wooden platform mules (remember when those were the thing?), a heathered brown Shetland sweater, and a fine-wale brown corduroy blazer. Everything held up perfectly for years until I gave most of those items away some time during or after college. Most memorable purchase from J.Crew that I still miss? Either that palm print tote, or a pair of wool/silk straight leg trousers that were this amazing shade of warm coral. They looked fantastic with a white tee, or dressed up for work. I have no idea what I was thinking when I got rid of those.

I bring all this up because Grace shared a great article via her Facebook earlier this week, from the Wall Street Journal. It’s titled “Dear J.Crew, What Happened to Us?” and I thought it was a very worthy read — as are all the comments. (Note: if you can’t access it via that link, try clicking on it via the WSJ’s Facebook post right here — usually that’ll bypass the subscription wall. And if that doesn’t work, highlights are here.)

So many of the sentiments voiced by customers in the article and the comments are things I agree with. I’m not at the point of totally giving up on the company — to be honest, I popped in over Memorial Day weekend to check out their 50% off Sale sale. It’s uncommon that I visit the actual retail stores (after living in New York, I’ve primarily switched to shopping online). But it became very clear that my online returns history had me trained for how to shop in-store. For one thing, I found myself grabbing two or sometimes three sizes of an item because experience has taught me that I have no idea what will fit. Many of the items I tried on looked comically bad — this sleeveless sweater, which reminded me of one I purchased from Everlane last winter, felt lower quality than their’s, was $10 more expensive, and also looked ridiculous on (like a giant potato sack…even when I sized down). I tried on another knit sweater and realized there were three spots in the back already threading or pilling. And while I liked this embroidered shirt, I bypassed it because I found myself thinking a) that it would eventually go on sale for probably 50% off or more, and b) would the pretty embroidery on it actually hold up? It felt doubtful, and no way was I spending almost $80 on an embellished t-shirt that might fall apart after a single wash.

Newsflash to retailers in case they weren’t aware: these are bad thoughts to have about a brand while you’re still standing in their dressing room.

All these thoughts probably sound familiar to you, right? Based on the WSJ article and the ensuing comments, plus this post from last year (with followups here, here and here), it certainly seems like everyone’s felt the same recently. I ended up leaving the store this past weekend with a decent haul, all things considered: a scarf (heavily marked down), a pair of linen pants, a classic striped tee (can’t go wrong there), and a summer-weight sweater (two sizes below normal). Everything but the pants were on sale — and not even part of the sale rack, but part of additional promotions like “take 30% off sweaters” or “take 30% off scarves.” We’re clearly all trained to never pay full price. Also, the pieces I purchased were pretty classic staples or basics — things I honestly could’ve imagined the Crew selling back in the day. I shied away from the bright pink metallic and jacquard embroidered shorts, because cute? Yes. Will I wear them more than once this summer? Unclear.

Can you still find J.Crew items to love which will actually hold up? I think so. I bought one of the downtown field jackets about three years ago and have washed it over and over again, and it’s held up wonderfully. But frankly, worrying about items holding up is issue #2. For me, it’s all about fit. I can’t ever trust that anything I like online — or even on the rack — will look good on me. Which leads to unnecessary time spent trying on, making trips to stores for returns, or just plain not ordering anything because I don’t feel like taking the gamble. I’ve been shopping at J.Crew a lot less, and hadn’t even realized it until I read these articles and found I agreed with most everything.

It got me wondering — are you still shopping at J.Crew? Have you had the same frustrations? They’re still a store I can see myself checking in with regularly online, if only to take advantage of sales and items I know will fit…but I can certainly say that it doesn’t feel the same as 1998. What do you think?

 

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Image via J.Crew

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56 Comments

  1. I can definitely agree with a lot of what you were just saying! So funny that you posted this, as just this morning on the Today show they were talking about this very subject. I think it’s clear to see that J. Crew is struggling due to the fact that most people refuse to buy Full Price since there is always some sort of promotion. Honestly, it’s hard to buy things full price there since they are almost always on sale!

    I find myself still shopping at J. Crew, heck half of my closet is from there. I am loving their denim and summer weight sweaters. I am sticking to basics though – solid colors, chambray, white jeans.

    I actually think Madewell is the place to be right now! Every time I am in there it’s awesome, but unfortunately not on sale! Maybe that is a sign that they are doing much better than their counterpart..

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    xx
    Katie

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • I think this topic has really gained traction, though I missed the Today show segment. It’s not surprising though, given how many reactions (in agreement!) people have had online. I keep hearing the Madewell buzz too, which I think is so interesting!!

      Thanks for your comment, Katie!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  2. Sara wrote:

    I HEAR YA.

    Cap Hill Style also has spoken out a lot about the deteriorating quality of J. Crew. For those of us who love and are faithful to certain products (suits, Minnie pants, etc.) many of us have noticed that the “same” product year after year are now no longer lined, seams are poorly sewn, sweaters are getting holes after one wash and wear, and on an on. It’s simply disappointing. The most obvious example is the Cecelia ballet flat; their replacement, the Emma, got hundreds of negative reviews on line; they simply tore people’s feet up. So J. Crew emailed everybody and announced the Cecelia was coming back – great! Except it was at the exact same price point as before EXCEPT they were no longer Italian made.

    I agree that sizing is a huge issue as well. I shop online mostly and I have no idea what size I am anymore. It’s SO frustrating. Their vanity sizing has gotten out of control. I honestly don’t care if I’m a 4 in J.Crew – I DO care if I’m an XXXS even though I have boobs and am not slender. It’s just gotten ridiculous. Sometimes I’m a 4P up top and a OOP on bottom. Insane.

    I used to be an avid J.Crew-er; now I shop at Madewell, although they don’t carry Petite so I’m leaving the J.Crew family altogether and sticking with Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Banana (which also has vanity sizing and quality issues; although not as bad as J.Crew).

    For now, I’ll stick with brands that have maintained good quality. J.Crew’s definitely lost their focus; once they can regain consumers’ trust, I’ll be back.

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • Agree with all your criticism, Sara! When they stopped selling Minnies, I found their replacements at J.Crew Factory (dubbed the “Winnie”). They were close to the original Minnie…but not perfect (for one thing, the cut was smaller, so the appropriate size was too snug on me).

      I think Banana has had good items the last few seasons; I’ve found myself getting one or two things there in fall and summer. Agree on their vanity sizing issues too, but oddly enough, at least their off-sizing is more consistent, so I can guess better ;)

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  3. Kristina wrote:

    Oh I totally agree, I feel like the sizing is wildly random and all of the tops seem to be several inches too short and far too wide, which is an odd combination. I do still like some of their classic pieces though, I have a blazer that I reach for at least once a week.

    Kristina does the Internets

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • A comment I actually muttered to myself in the dressing room at J.Crew when trying on a shirt: “Who exactly is this supposed to look good on?”

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  4. The prices have always gotten to me first. I can see spending money on something like one of their blazers because it’s classic & versatile, but when you’re looking at $60 t-shirts it better be something special. And they aren’t. It’s just ridiculous how expensive they are for things that are really basic & not that well put together.

    Plus the fact that I can try on a size 0 to begin with, then have it be way too big on me tells me that J.Crew’s sizing is ridiculously off. I’m petite but definitely cannot squeeze myself into a size 0 anywhere else. It’s frustrating to never know what size you are & then to have the fit be so incredibly off from huge shirts to super tight pants. No one is built that awkwardly!

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • Agreed on the prices, but in reverse — for several hundred dollars on a winter coat, it better hold up for a LONG time. I bought one a few years ago that already has holes in the pockets, so those have to be relined. I didn’t wear it once last winter because I was so annoyed that I had to have it fixed after only a couple years!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  5. Shelby wrote:

    I’m so glad you shared this! I have been thinking the same thing over the past year or two – since I graduated college. I wore almost exclusively J.Crew in high school and college. And the things I loved back then, have held up and I still love now. But I haven’t bought anything from them since I started working (and having to pay for my own clothes, haha). It’s so overpriced, and almost everything has to be dry-cleaned. And it isn’t preppy anymore! Some of their new pieces are in strange prints or ill-fitting.

    I still love J.Crew Factory, because you can get things so cheap and they have more of the preppier, simpler things I go for.

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • Well, if it makes you feel any better, today I got an email lauding an “up to 75% off” sale, which echoes what everyone says — never pay full price there for ANYTHING.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  6. I am SO glad that you wrote this, because I’ve been having the same thoughts for the last year or so…what the heck HAPPENED to J. Crew? As far as I can tell, they’ve completely changed their sizing and their quality has dramatically decreased, while prices have stayed the same or increased. I have items from there from years ago that fit perfectly – a sweatshirt and a few striped tees, for example. I still wear them now. The fabric and fit were great. Now I would never buy a sweatshirt or tee from them, because they’ve changed the fit so much – where tees and sweatshirts used to be long and lean (the way they look on the models), now everything I try on from there seems to be a square – wide and too short. I can only guess that the items are clipped in the back when they photograph them on the models, which is misleading. It used to be that when their new arrivals came out, I would actually think uh-oh, because I knew I would wind up buying at least five things and coveting more. Now I rarely buy anything from them, save for an item here and there. I do completely agree on the field jacket – I bought it years ago and it’s held up well…but I’m not sure I trust any of their newer items. I think they think that we won’t notice that the quality has gone, but we do! Everything seems horribly overpriced for the poorness of the fabric and construction. It’s really disappointing to see a brand that I used to love cut corners like that. I hope they get their act together and fix up their quality and fit issues! Everlane has definitely got them beat in a lot of areas these days, not the least of which is the fair pricing.

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • Interestingly, those classic items (like striped tees) are the things I still will spring for there, especially since they’re usually part of the “30% off tees” promotions that happen every 10 days or so. I bought one right before I left NY and have been living in it all summer — it reminds me of a classic J.Crew tee I would’ve bought 10 years ago!

      Totally remember the days of thinking “uh-oh” when new arrivals came out. Now I’m like “meh, I’ll check in three weeks when all this shiz is on sale.”

      Even with sales sometimes though, I still head to Everlane. I always know my size and everything has held up!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  7. Rachel wrote:

    I’ve noticed their quality isn’t that great. But I don’t get the uproar over the triple 0 size. I’m petite and J Crew’s 0 were sometimes too big for me (they run lager than other store’s size zeros), so I would be glad that they were expanding their size range to go smaller.

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • The sizing doesn’t bother me in the vein of “why are you trying to make me feel better about my waist line, J.Crew?” vein — it’s more that they can’t even be consistent with vanity sizing. Why am I a size 4 in one dress and a 0 in a pair of pants? I honestly wouldn’t care if I was a 000 at J.Crew from a vanity standpoint, so long as I knew that without fail, I could order that size and it would fit me.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  8. Alexandra wrote:

    I definitely still shop at J. Crew – they have great sales, shorts, and tops! And I love Jenna!

    Warm Regards,
    Alexandra
    http://www.littlewildheart.com

    28 May 2015 · Reply
  9. Sonya wrote:

    I loved me some J.Crew back in high school in the late 90’s. I have always felt that their stuff is a bit on the pricier side, which was okay for awhile because the quality was good, but it seems the prices have increased exponentially over the last 7-10 years and the quality has not kept up and has declined, as mentioned. I still think they do a good job with a few things – mostly winter coats, sweaters, and summery dresses, but they’re too expensive. I used to really love their swimsuits but now I find the prints boring and almost matronly or frumpy. I want to like them again. I do love the outlet and will peruse the factory website and the clearance section of jcrew.com.

    Maybe stop focusing so much on the catalog shoot locations (those have to cost a fortune even though they’re always so beautiful) and put the money back into the quality. Lol, as if I know what it costs to do either of those.

    I do love Jenna though.

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • I only recently gave away a bandeau bikini I bought from J.Crew in (shit you not) 2000. It had a simple print on it that I really loved, and I only got rid of it because the suit was fading a bit and I finally felt like the cut of it looked dated. I used to buy all my swimwear from the Crew in the early to mid aughts, and haven’t bought a swimsuit from there in at least 8 years because of exactly what you said.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  10. This post and article totally resonate with me right now. A few weekends ago I went into the store because like you I always end up returning all my online J.Crew purchases because the sizes are absurd. After trying on 30 items, not exaggerating I counted to tell my husband how frustrated I was, I left with one dress. I ended up sizing down two sizes and the dress was still too long. Luckily it was cheap enough to allow for an inexpensive hem job but I left there thinking what was happened to this brand?

    28 May 2015 · Reply
  11. Completely well-said, Victoria! Excellent timing, too. I was in J.Crew this weekend and couldn’t believe it….every fifth shirt or so on the sale rack seemed to have a snag or tear. You think they wouldn’t want those out since they show that the items can’t even hold up to shoppers handling them! Agreed with you on the cuts as well– so many of their classic, timeless looks have ballooned (literally) into shapeless looks that their original fan base would never buy. Such a shame… fingers crossed for a major overhaul and in the meantime, I’ll keep wearing my “vintage” J.Crew :)

    28 May 2015 · Reply
    • Oh the sale rack. The whole reason I had popped into my local store, and as I riffled through it, it was just so depressing. Most of the items in mine were these graphic tees (all ugly or juvenile looking) and like you, so many had snags or tears or embellishments that were already falling off. Awesome.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  12. Kate wrote:

    Great post, Victoria and really hit home with me! I came to a similar conclusion last month.

    Early last fall I accidentally left my JCrew raincoat purchased in the late ’90s in restaurant and it was never found. Also not found is a comparable replacement and certainly not found at JCrew itself. That nice looking raincoat was actually comfortable & usable in the rain! It was waterproof, or at least highly water repellant. The length was down to the knee so I stayed drier than the mid-thigh ones I see out now. It had a decent, warm wool zip-in-liner extending its use into more colder temperatures than one would expect. I still have the liner. It’s in perfect condition, of course. It was a size Medium that actually allowed me move. I could even the raise my arms, which is very important for a daily NYC subway commuter. It was a simple style and not cut as narrow today’s JCrew jackets allowing me to wear my office blazers or even sweater underneath. Today’s JCrew failed in these areas. That raincoat was so well-made and wore so well, you would never guess its age or how frequently it was worn. The quality of that jacket significantly outlasted the quality of the much newer JCrew pieces I bought (most which had quite short-lives. Incredibly frustrating).

    I was already purchasing much less JCrew due to decline of fit, quality and styles – too much decor, too little function. The raincoat situation forced me to acknowledge JCrew is no longer a go-to store. Sad, but true.

    29 May 2015 · Reply
    • There is nothing worse than losing vintage Crew! I feel for you :(

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  13. Suzy Smith wrote:

    I know what you mean. I love J.Crew. Their chino shorts are a staple in my closet but even with those I’ve had issues in sizing. I ordered a size 8 and they fit like a 12. So I returned them and got a 6 and those fit like a 4. It was ridiculous. I usually never have that much trouble with their shorts. But I’ve had the fit problem with a lot of their other items too.

    I too wait until something goes on sale because I feel like everything eventually goes on sale. I heard they were supposed to be making a shift to lowering their prices. I wonder if anything will come of that.

    29 May 2015 · Reply
    • I had to laugh a little and shake my head at your sizing/returns woes. It should not be this frustrating!! Ugh.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  14. Rose wrote:

    I’ve seen similar call-outs lately, usually within trade publications or fashion-only sites so it’s interesting to see it go mainstream now!

    I’ve never been a big J. Crew shopper, because it wasn’t my style (I’ve always been more edgy-punk-tomboy than preppy or girly), but as I’ve mainstreamed my adult uniform and started to amass basics, along with hanging out with some of the J. Crew/prep crowd in NYC, I made a few trips and have a handful of items in my wardrobe. Namely, a blue tunic top with neon pink embroidery and beads that I’ve worn once, a neon embroidered white mini that I actually love, a few silk button-downs—one I bought in-store on sale, the others I bought online (same style), and returned all but one additional color because they felt a) way cheaper than the original despite being “100% silk”, b) didn’t fit right even though they were the same size and cut or c) were already damaged despite being new. Needless to say, the additional color I bought felt cheaper—and tore at the seams not long ago (thankfully the original is still going strong!). I also have a handful of linen t-shirts, but that’s about it.

    I have to say, I find it so much more fulfilling to invest in quality pieces from truly designed brands that I love, like Suno, Acne, Loeffler Randall, Rag & Bone, Everlane and others, than to spend on “fast” fashion brands these days. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s the New Yorker in me, and no doubt is influenced by my job, but I feel like the clothes fit better, last longer and my conscious isn’t as guilty buying mass produced, cheap clothes.

    29 May 2015 · Reply
    • Love hearing your perspective on this, Rose, given your line of work! I am totally with you buying fewer things that are higher quality and that you really, truly love. And wanting to invest in smaller companies too — it’s interesting that we now sort of lump companies like J.Crew together with other fast fashion brands like Zara or H&M, from a quality and trend perspective. Meanwhile, you can get a gorgeous tote from Cuyana or a great sweater from Everlane at a fraction of the cost and they hold up (and I feel like you’re buying into an ethos or a story, too, which typically makes a purchase “feel” better).

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  15. Kat wrote:

    YES, to all the above!

    As a girl that grew up right as Talbots Kids was starting & my mother thought that was an acceptable option to get me through the awkward years (false), J. Crew has been my store. It was preppy, well-made, and reasonably priced, which was perfect since my school had switched to uniforms & I still needed reliable clothes for the weekends & holidays. Anytime that a J.Crew catalog would arrive at my house, my dad would instinctively try to hide it. These days I hardly even look through them & can’t even remember the last time I dog-eared pages in one. Everything is either too expensive, incredibly trendy, or an unoriginal (& poorer quality) redesign of a basic I already have. To this day, I still have two gorgeous tweed blazers from college that I wear every fall & winter. Now they would only be designed for the “J.Crew Collection” and easily sold for twice (or more?) the equivalent price that I paid 8 years ago.

    One of my questions for the past few years has been: what happened to the casual, yet still tailored dresses? It used to be that with every catalog, there was at least one or more new weekend-style dresses that you could buy for $88. They were always well-made, but never something that you felt you had to wait for the perfect first time to wear them (wedding, party, etc.). Now I only spot one dress that’s $88, and it’s the first of its kind that I can remember in awhile. The sad fact though is that while the design is cute (who can say no to a striped dress?), I still don’t know what size I would be, despite having shopped there for more than a decade.

    And while the sizes have fluctuated (Am I a 2, 4, 6, or 8 today?) so has the quality. I agree with others that nowadays I either buy cheap tees for the summer from their factory store or shop for better quality clothes at Madewell, Anthropologie, and the like.

    Despite all that, I still feel loyal to J.Crew, more so than I feel towards other stores dealing with similar fast fashion issues. I suppose it’s because they’ve provided me with such great clothes for so long that I can’t give up on them just yet.

    29 May 2015 · Reply
    • I used to have to beg my mom to take me to Gap and Old Navy back in the day. So I get your pain with Talbots Kids (I won’t even tell you the places she tried to take me).

      I remember those tweed blazers! They used to create outerwear in all these amazing, classic patterns/textures. I remember they used to talk all about the wool and how things were woven back in the late 90s and early 2000s. It made you feel the heritage of this brand.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  16. Rebecca wrote:

    After reading the Wall Street Journal article yesterday, this post could not be more well timed. I have continued to try to shop at J.Crew: I will frequent the store when they are having a sale on their sale items and I will pop in when I am in need of a basic piece. However, aside from these two occasions, J.Crew’s prices and fit have shifted away from the brand I used to be so ardently loyal to. Most of the dresses and tops lack tailoring, a move towards the popular Scandinavian boxy fit of the last few seasons. Unfortunately, what might be flattering on some looks sack-like on me, and I can no longer count on J.Crew for a dress to attend a wedding or a fitted top to wear to work. As another commentator noted above, it seems much of their budget has been shifted into their marketing department and away from their stylists and design team. While the majority of my wardrobe is still overwhelmingly J.Crew, any “new” piece I have purchased in the last year has been purchased secondhand. My hope is that this honest feedback from shoppers will spark a quality change. I haven’t given up yet!

    30 May 2015 · Reply
    • Agreed — they used to be a go to for dresses, and sadly, no more. FWIW, last summer I bought several dresses from Banana Republic that were both for weddings and everyday/weekend casual wear. Hopefully they’ll have some more cute things this summer too!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  17. Theodora wrote:

    Great post and loving these comments, too — completely agree. I have a friend who works for them and she said they definitely know and realize this internally…although it’s clear that they haven’t been able to shift back, yet.

    30 May 2015 · Reply
    • I would loooove to be a fly on the wall at those brand strategy meetings!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  18. Xena wrote:

    Nope! Their cashmere doesn’t feel anything like cashmere any more. They only have skinny legs jeans which don’t flatter everyone. I can’t get clothes for work there anymore, and the quality is crap for clothes that are now twice as expensive. Where are all the classic staples? I’d buy at full price if I believed I could get more wears out of them before they fall apart.
    And they need to stop blaming Jenna Lyons. The problem is quality and pricing, not the styling.

    30 May 2015 · Reply
    • Yeah, when they really started pushing denim around the same time skinnies became super popular (when they deputed the ‘matchstick’), their jeans stopped fitting me.

      My grandmother bought a bunch of sweaters from Everlane this past winter because she said they were nicer than anything she’d seen at J.Crew and the like in ages!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  19. Haley wrote:

    I’ve migrated to the J. Crew Factory brand because I honestly just like it better, and the quality matches the price point. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a lot of the prices I’ve purchased from there, and fully expect a few seasons of wear. Plus, I know what size I wear 85% of the time!

    I have tried finding things at the regular store, but I have a toddler and not a ton of time, and I’ve finally just given up because the sizing is a mystery and the quality doesn’t seem to be superior to what I’m buying at other places for less.

    31 May 2015 · Reply
    • J.Crew Factory seems to be the go to for a bunch of people! I’ve bought a few things from there, but also having issues with sizing (in the opposite direction — everything is a smidge too small). I did get a blazer from there though that was very cute and affordable.

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  20. This post has really got me thinking, although about a different brand than J.Crew – after all, it’s not really that well known here in Europe. But the funny thing is that I have these very same issues with another powerhouse – Ikea. I used to be a die-hard fan, religiously keeping all my catalogues, collecting my Billys, browsing their site endlessly and looking forward to each and every trip to the store. But recently, almost each of these trips ended up with a question mark. The prices increased considerably, and unforunately the quality doesn’t seem to keep up. Quite the contrary. I’ve enountered several pieces that were so poorly made AND so expensive, that it actually felt quite insulting. I’m not sure what’s going on with these big brands – it almost looks like they’re taking us for idiots who would buy anything just for the brand’s sake. Well, that’s definitely not my case. Lately I’ve only been buying little trinkets at Ikea and I’m hoping for an improvement, but I’m not very optimistic.
    Thank you for this thought-provoking piece, Victoria!

    1 Jun 2015 · Reply
    • Great comment, Ivana! Since we just moved, my husband and I took a recent trip to IKEA and the only thing I walked away with were paper napkins. No joke. So many of their iconic pieces have been discontinued and replaced with stand-ins that don’t have the same classic design or are made from even poorer quality materials. I couldn’t believe how shoddily made some of the floor samples were! If they’re already falling apart on the floor and an IKEA expert built them, why would I buy it, ever?

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  21. Jenn wrote:

    I knew nothing of J.Crew until my family started going to Hilton Head Island in the Summers. Outlet shopping there was a must, and that’s when I first fell in love with J.Crew (probably around the same time, 1997-1998). I still have two sweaters, purchased x-small from the men’s section, that have remarkably held up for what, almost 20 years! And to me, they are still very much classic-type sweaters. But today’s J.Crew? It’s been tough. I went through a phase where I loved their long cardigans (still do), but each and every one now has multiple holes. They didn’t last more than a few years.

    I also stay far, far away from the Factory store after getting burnt the last time. The sizing there? Not like regular J.Crew sizing. Where I might be swimming in a medium tee at J.Crew, I could barely get my arms through the arm holes in a Factory tee. And everything came wrinkled all to shit, like it had been beat up and trampled on ten times before mailing. So yeah, while I love looking at the mail catalog still, I can’t justify spending money like that on things of such low quality now. You almost have to go in-store so you can see for yourself what you’re getting.

    1 Jun 2015 · Reply
    • With these bigger stores, I agree that heading to the store seems to be the best way as of late. It annoys me though — I really hate having to head downtown, deal with parking, crowds, and messy stores. But to be fair, I almost always leave with items I actually end up wearing and really like, regardless of retailer!

      1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  22. Tonia wrote:

    I saw the Today Show segment and thought, hmmm “I was just thinking that.” I’ve shopped at J Crew for the past few years and love their classic looks. However, recently I asked myself if the quality has gone down. I didn’t want to believe it. Then they talked about it on the Today Show. I will always love J Crew but clearly there seem to be something off which is causing everyone to talk about it. For Valentine’s Day my husband bought me a Swarovski crystal bracelet from J Crew. One I had been wanting for quite sometime. I was in love with this bracelet but a little disappointed that it was too short to go around my wrist. Now, I’m not a big girl at all; but had to get a couple of O rings added so that I could wear the bracelet. That was a total let down considering this bracelet was about $100. This I wouldn’t expect from J Crew. I expect better from them. Besides this little moment, I will continue to shop at J Crew but I’m a little more critical about the quality of their clothing.

    1 Jun 2015 · Reply
  23. Renée wrote:

    I was just talking about this with my mom! I grew up as a Marshalls/TJ Maxx kid and going to J.Crew with my mom as I was starting high school for some new pieces was a big deal. Their style was perfect for my New England upbringing and I spent years in their cords, khakis, and sweaters (and I still have pieces that are in decent shape AND fit!)

    For me, the “Jenna-fication” of the J.Crew brand is when I started to look elsewhere for clothing that fit my actual life versus the Instagram world where people wore socks with pumps (do we remember when they tried to make that a thing?!)

    Also, the fit really IS perplexing: everything seems to be cut very skinny in the arms and legs and boxy everywhere else, and trying on 4 sizes is the norm. Needless to say, I hadn’t purchased anything at J.Crew in almost a year: the sizing coupled with the prices and the slip in quality, not to mention that many of their styles simply didn’t appeal to me, made it easy to bring my business to Anthropologie or Madewell.

    On a positive note, I did just pick up a couple pieces within the last 2 weeks during that 30% off everything sale (that silk printed jumpsuit… you might have to size up if you have muscular legs, but the fabric is stunning) so maybe the tides will be turning back to the J.Crew we all used to love!

    2 Jun 2015 · Reply
  24. Kodi wrote:

    I find this all very interesting because I’m from northern Wisconsin, and have to travel a good three hours to get to a J.Crew. Because of that, I only began shopping there in last few years, and I’ve certainly had moments where I’ve wondered what all the hype was about. I’ve enjoyed their jewelry(when purchased on sale), but have had many moments trying things on where I’m disappointed in the fit of styles I’ve heard excitement over. And I’ve definitely felt like the quality was not worth the price tag! Now I understand why!

    2 Jun 2015 · Reply
  25. Iris wrote:

    J.Crew opened a store in my city a couple years ago. I have not purchased any items from them yet(seems I always miss the sales when I’m in their part of the city). I do like the looks of the perfumes they released. I may get them if they go on sale. The clothes look nice and if I do find items from them at the right price, I will be purchasing.

    3 Jun 2015 · Reply
  26. susan wrote:

    I am done shopping at JCrew. In the past at least customer service would accept your return. They are not listening to the fact that their clothing is poor quality and I am tired of trying to get things returned or justified. Especially the factory store. There are many other shops with better clothing out there and they stand behind their product.

    5 Nov 2015 · Reply
  27. Katharine wrote:

    Could not agree more with the downturn opinion quality not to mention INCONSISTENT-sizing. I have been shopping at jcrew since college in the 90’s and it’s not the same. Bring back our old beloved jcrew!! Trust me, people will pay for the quality and classics again.

    9 May 2016 · Reply
  28. DEBORAH BREEN wrote:

    I use to love J crew. For the past 6 years i rarely can find anything I like I don’t know what happened. It was always my go to store. Noe I scroll the website and shop the store leaving empty-handed 90% of the time. The quality is horrible too

    30 Jan 2017 · Reply
  29. Lori wrote:

    I’ve been loyal to J.Crew for years,spending 2,000k a year on their clothes, in fact there was a time my closet consisted of 90% Jcrew. The styles over the last several seasons are horrible. I mean, what’s with all the darn ruffles? Where are the classic clothes that fit so well and had a modern twist? J. Crew, you’ve lost me. Get back to the roots and don’t dumb down the quality!

    15 Sep 2017 · Reply
  30. Kisha wrote:

    OK. Why was I asking myself this same question last winter after spending like 130.00 on an embellished sweater on for it to pill to death and look like crap after only one wear. Not to mention the cocoon coat that I adore, the material feel is harsh like sand paper and the pilling and shedding looks terrible. What happened to the quality? where are these clothes coming from and why isn’t anybody else saying anything??? I though I was just me. Also the LOFT clothing is horrible as well. any comments??? I would love to know if anyone feels the same.

    20 Nov 2017 · Reply
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