Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Pretty Beaded Cardi, and How I Came Back to J Crew

Once upon a time, there was a girl who went to college at William & Mary and discovered the fabulous little J Crew outlet up the road. Never mind that you would see 20 other people on campus in the same rugby. That's just what we did. And it was fun. Sweaters (roll-neck!!), shirts, cute little dresses, plaid shorts. It was all good. Then the girl grew up, graduated, and moved to Maryland, and started expanding into other mid-90's phenomena such as Valerie Stevens at Hechts (cheap cashmere? yes please. satin trim tee? yep.) and she really forgot all about J Crew even though there was one at Montgomery Mall about 10 minutes away from her house.
As you have no doubt guessed...that was me. To me, J Crew was college casual and "back in the day". I didn't really need any more rugbies or roll-necks. Then in Spring 2006, I was browsing around the mall, picking out the Mothers Day present for my hubby to give me, and I wandered in. I was specifically looking for a cotton cardigan, and figured that could be the right place. Well, I fell back in love. With all of it. And scored the lovely navy cotton cardi that I'm wearing today. It has the prettiest detailing up and down the length of the placket - navy bugle beads and French knots - can you see the pic at left? So pretty. Not too sparkly at all. (I'm better about wearing it for the every day than I used to be.)

I will admit I was slow getting back into J Crew after such a long absence. But I am happy to be home. It's my top choice for tops. (Don't get me started on my pants issues.) I do have issues with the website (don't we all), and some of the pieces; however, overall I am such a fan. I love their clothes and I love the styling too. I love that Jenna Lyons is 6'2", so I feel like they "get" my height. (I'm only 5'10" but it's close enough, especially if you've ever stood in front of a mirror and tried to rationalize that a shirt may actually grow an extra inch.)

What's your J Crew story? Long time fan? New recruit? I would love to hear!

13 comments:

purplesweettarts said...

Wow, I love that cardigan! Really pretty! I am just like you in that I love Jcrew for their tops. I have "issues" with their pants as well. Love your blog! You always have such cute outfits!

HeidiG said...

PurpleSweetTarts - thank you! And it's so nice to know I'm not the only one with the pants issues. Yay!!

KatyO. said...

Funny, I first started loving J. Crew *because* they were the only pants that fit me (their tops didn't!). I have fairly narrow hips and no butt, which is perfect. The only time the pants didn't fit me was when my thighs got huge while training for a marathon. :) Now, the shirts/sweaters fit me. Yay. :)

AppGal said...

Love this story! My love for the crew began when I was 16 and went to visit my uncle out in Los Angeles. We went to all the "cool" stores, including j.crew, and I got my first items: a short sleeve v-neck cardi, flower shell top, and a chunky sweater/jacket. Back home, as a typical high schooler, I fell back into the AE/Abercrombie stylings, and then discovered j.crew again in college. I've been hooked since!

HeidiG said...

KatyO - Thanks, feeling really good about my thighs right now, LOL. :) But I bet the pants look great on you!

AppGal - I love that - the "cool" store. Thanks for sharing!

shopaholicdiva1027 said...

Love the story. Well my love for jcrew started with the dreaded storybook charm bracelet. I was looking on websites for costume jewelry and decided to go to jcrew. I was a nordie, banana republic, bloomies and ann taylor girl for life.Tiffanys, Brighton and David Yurman were my jewelry stores of choice. Or so I thought. I went straight for the jewelry section and spotted the charm bracelet and it was love at first sight. I didn't pay too much attention to the cloths until I went to New York in December and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the manniquin wearing the primrose necklace at the Jcrew store in Rockafeller Center. I just had to have that necklace. Once I walked through the doors, and saw all the collectin pieces, cardigans, beautiful tees, dresses, camis' handbags and jewelry I was hooked. No longer a nordie (nordstrom), bloomies, banana or ann taylor girl, I am a Jcrew girl now for life.

Paper Bag Princess said...

Oooh, you look gorgeous!!! Love the cardi and flats!!!

Anonymous said...

I do not have cool story. All I know is there is very few places I can get talls. I have long legs and love to wear heels for which I need an inseam of 33. JCrew fits the bill and takes the hassle out of trying to find pants, sizing up for length along with alterations and much more. I am all of 5'7 1/2 and live in heels. There city fit fits like a glove.

HeidiG said...

Anon @1:55 - hey, necessity is the mother of invention, right? I default to Chicos jeans because I know their size 1, Tall, Modern fit always works. (you know their sizing is different that most stores - size 1 is 10-ish) One of these days, I need to expand my horizons!

Paper Bag Princess - thanks! Cardi and flats is a pretty standard uniform for me.

Shopaholic Diva - Ahhh, the storybook charm bracelet. Would love to see IRL sometime. And that primrose necklace - so cool. I still do a bit of shopping at Banana myself. Not so much at Ann Taylor since my AT visa discontinued their rewards program (time for a JC card!) And Nordies is my fave makeup place (Love Anne Marie at the Bobbi Brown counter). And like I said, Chicos is the default for jeans. But heart does belong to J Crew.

Daisy said...

Hi Heidi,
I started with JCrew in about 1997 for rollnecks, then saw the tall sizes and tried their peacoat...still wear it. I'm 6 foot so love the 36" inseam. Pants are iffy...esp mail-order (live in Canada) but love the bootcut jeans and surplus chinos.
The fits are pretty crazy and I can be medium or large in tops.... So I love these blogs So I can see things on people ... esp tall people!!

HeidiG said...

Daisy - I love being able to see these clothes on other people, too - it's so helpful to have the details, even if I have a different figure type.

shopaholicdiva1027 said...

Heidi, my heart belongs to jcrew, but not my lower half. I buy all my pants from Ann Taylor or Ann taylor loft. I get them taken in at the waist, then hemmed and I am done.

HeidiG said...

ShopDiva - Right there with you. right now my bottom half belongs to Chicos and Banana mostly.