Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Day! {celebrating w/ J.Crew}?

First and foremost... Happy Thanksgiving Day everyone! (I am pretty sure we will all be super busy eating celebrating today.) It's the time of year where we can spend time with our loved ones and enjoy a fantastic meal. It also officially starts the Holiday season. :)

Per JCA tradition, this post is to find out what everyone is going to wear. I find it really interesting to see what other Aficionadas and Aficionados plan on wearing (and of course it gives me lots of wonderful ideas for future outfits). :) So for this post, what we are planning to wear on Thanksgiving Day? :)

I am planning on wearing an outfit centered around J.Crew's French Hen in Acorn. (I have both colors, navy and acorn. I even wore the Navy version for last year's Thanksgiving Day.)

Yes it is not a turkey, but seems like a good sweater to wear for today. I am pairing it with Madewell's Skinny Skinny Ankle Jeans in Nightfall (love these!), J.Crew's Cece Ballet Flats in Suede, and J.Crew's Bow Collar Necklace. Cute and comfortable is what I am going for.

What are you planning to wear this Thanksgiving Day? Are you planning to go "head to toe" J.Crew or parts J.Crew?

JCA "Help Style Me!" Weekly Post

This is the weekly "Help Style Me!" post, where we can share items we are having trouble putting outfits together with. Elaine (in this post) says it best, "You know, that thing you bought because you love it and you keep pulling it out and then putting it away without wearing it?"

Please share your J.Crew item (either that you own or are thinking about getting) that you would love help creating an outfit with.

Also, please help out by offering your styling advice. Feel free to include links to your blog (where you incorporated that piece) or to Polyvore (where you showcased an outfit with that piece). Thanks in advance! :)

"Looking to LOVE" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to LOVE with J.Crew" post, a place to share our favorite experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a positive situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including stellar experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

J.Crew Updates Website with New Arrivals!

"Thanks!" to many of you, who let us know that J.Crew had an update to its website (click here to view online).

There are some new arrivals for men (click here) & women (click here). {wahoo!} It looks like Crewcuts (click here) has been updated, but not the J.Crew Collection (click here).

The DECEMBER catalog (click here to view) is up. However, the latest HOLIDAY catalog is not. As mentioned by several JCAs, J.Crew posted several images of the newest catalog over at Pinterest (click here to view).
J.Crew is offering an additional 30% off select items (marked as so) and an additional 40% off sale with promo code HOLIDAY. This offer expires today, November 26, 2014.

What items are you most excited about and why? Which items are you surprised (or not surprised) to see? Which items did you hope would be included? Were you expecting a bigger roll-out? Also, did you receive the latest catalog? :)

J.Crew's Jenna Lyons on Creating J.Crew's Look

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Molly K., as well as Suzy and GigisGoneShopping (in this post), who let us know that J.Crew's Jenna Lyons was featured on CBS's This Morning last week.

To read the transcript in its entirety, as well as videos, click here.
J.Crew creative director's secret to fashion
CBS News
November 19, 2014

Jenna Lyons is one of the most influential women in fashion. As creative director at J.Crew, she is credited with giving the brand its unique style, catering to everyone from celebrities to students. But as the company struggles with falling profits and tries to expand abroad, Lyons has her work cut out for her.

She's more than game for a challenge, reports "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell. Walking around with Lyons at the J.Crew office, you might notice one thing about her: she wears five-inch heels.

"I feel like I can see everything better," she said. "I can see over all the aisles, I feel a little bit more glamorous, especially on those days when, you know, I have a lot going on." But at six feet tall, she doesn't have a height complex.

And if Lyons has no aversion to heights, it's because she's scaled a lot of them. As president and creative director at J.Crew, Lyons helped transform a once-homespun mail-order brand into a multi-billion dollar retail powerhouse.

"I always liked being surrounded by pretty things, and sometimes those pretty things looked beautiful next to each other, and sometimes they actually created a strange magic. Those things happen when you come home after a night and you throw off your blazer and all of a sudden it's landing on top of your necklace and it's landing on top of a blouse that you wore the day before. Clearly, I'm very neat," Lyons said, laughing. "And all of a sudden they form something different that you might not have thought about."

Lyons has no problem admitting to the inspiration for her genius; she gets her ideas from the pile of clothes on the floor.

"I'm not gonna lie, I do," she said. "There you go, that's the secret."

Lyons grew up in California, sewing her own clothes and dog-earing catalogs from her future employer. She moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design and, after interning at Donna Karan, joined J.Crew in 1990.

She described her role there as an assistant to an assistant to somebody else's assistant.

"Yeah, it was like that," she said. "I think I sat in a hallway with my computer sort of with an extension cord plugged in."

But she felt much more at home at J.Crew than she did at Donna Karan.

"Having not been sort of like the cool kid in school, and being a little bit of the outcast when I was younger, I remember one of the first couple of times when I felt attractive or beautiful," she recalled. "And I realized that that was important to me, to be able to do that for everyone, not just people who had the ability to write a $2,000 check for a jacket."

She insisted she wasn't the popular kid growing up. "Oh God, not by a long shot," she said. "No, I was unfortunately incredibly tall, oddly skinny."

She also dealt with a personal issue that had other students making fun of her. "I have a genetic disorder called incontinentia pigmenti," she said, "and the result of that means that I had bald spots on my head, which I didn't even know I had until the girls were talking about me behind my back in school."

Lyons faced bullying. "I got beaten up quite a bit... on the way home from school, yes," she admitted. "It's traumatic, but it also, I think, is an opportunity to decide what you wanna do with that. Like, you have two ways to go. You can crawl under a rock, or you can actually decide to do something with it."

Lyons didn't seek out a rock, though she did endure some hard places. Her early career survived a decade of turmoil as J.Crew shuffled its looks and its leadership. It took Mickey Drexler, the so-called "king of retail," named CEO in 2003, to finally define J.Crew's aesthetic and five years later, to charge Lyons with curating it.

People have said that she and Mickey have a very special relationship, drawing comparisons to the relationship between Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive at Apple.

"I was going with Sonny and Cher, but okay," she said. "There is no question I think he is an inspiration. He gets excited to the same level of excitement he did the first day he walked in here."

In a few seasons, J.Crew clothing went from cloistered and collegiate, to laid-back, grown-up, big-city cool. Its stock surged when first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters wore J.Crew outfits at the 2009 inauguration.

"I do a hula dance when I'm in the airport and someone walks by in a coat, you know?" she said. "When Michelle Obama came out in our outfit, I think the hula dance turned up a notch. And to have the First Lady feel accessible for America? That's really never happened before."

For some, it still hasn't. J.Crew prices do start in the single digits, but can reach well into the hundreds of dollars. There are some sweaters that sell for $98, but others are priced at $800 -- not necessarily the most accessible price.

"We had some of the more expensive pieces in the catalog, that was something that we got feedback on and we have changed," she said. We still have that product, but it's certainly not for everyone."

They've also received feedback on a recent addition to their clothing line. In July, J.Crew suffered criticism for introducing a 000 size. "Interestingly enough, part of that was driven by the fact that we launched a store in Asia, so we opened our first store in Hong Kong, and some of the people that were living there had tried on our double zero and said, 'it's actually not small enough,'" she explained.

They were shocked, and knew they had to change to fit their new customer base. "I think there was some idea that maybe we were doing it for, you know, vanity sizing, which, I mean, absolutely was not the case," Lyon said. "We got a lot of negative feedback; we also got a lot of positive feedback from people who are like, 'No, no, no. It's for me, it's for me. Don't take it away.'"

Beyond Hong Kong, J.Crew also opened in London and, come Spring, will be in Paris. The expansion comes despite a bruising year, in which second-quarter profits fell almost 40 percent.

"I've been incredibly fortunate, I have to say, oddly enough, to have been through this before -- we've had tough quarters before," she said. "We've had tough moments. As much as it's hard to go through, I'm not worried," said Lyon, adding, "We have not peaked."
There is another video about the behind the "behind the scenes" interview:

This is a great segment showcasing Jenna Lyons and her passion for J.Crew.

What are your thoughts on the article and video? Any points that you found very interesting? Please share! :)

"Looking to VENT" with J.Crew

This is the weekly "Looking to VENT with J.Crew" post, a place to share our not-so-stellar experiences with J.Crew.

If you have recently experienced a frustrating situation with J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including poor experiences with purchases & orders, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Weekly Share: Other JCrew-like Retailers

This is the weekly "Other JCrew-like Retailers" post (similar to the "Off On A Tangent" posts), where we can share our finds from other retailers that have offerings similar to J.Crew (like Anthropologie, LE Canvas, Gap, BR, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and the like.)

If you have recently encountered items that are similar to J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Please feel free to share your story on almost any topic— including experiences with certain merchandise pieces, promotions/ offers, in-store visits, transactions with store associates, etc.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Take 25% Off Your Purchase at Madewell

"Thanks!" to  many of you, who shared the following email & promotion from Madewell.

Madewell is offering 25% off your entire purchase (with a few exceptions) with promotional code GIFTON. This offer expires November 30, 2014. The fine print includes:
Offer valid in Madewell stores and at from November 25, 2014, 12:01am ET through November 30, 2014, 11:59pm ET. Offer not valid on phone orders. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases or the purchase of gift cards and cannot be redeemed for cash or used in combination with any other offer. Offer not valid on Barbour®, Chimala®, Penfield®, Rachel Comey, Saucony®, S├ęzane®, Sorel®, Vans® or Woolrich White® merchandise; shearling coats and jackets; The Transport Tote, The Transport Rucksack and The Transport Weekender. In-store discount automatically taken at the register. In-store discount automatically taken at the register. To redeem online, enter code GIFTON in the promo code box at checkout. Limit one promotional code per order. Offer valid in the U.S., Canada and Japan only. Terms of offer are subject to change.
This is a pretty great offer for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Although it is not that surprising that the Transport Totes were omitted.)

Will you be taking advantage of this promotion? If so, please share!

J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs!}

This is the weekly "J.Crew Reviews {straight from the JCAs}" post, to help each other share our reviews.

So if you have recently purchased, or stopped by a J.Crew store to try on an item (or two) from J.Crew, maybe you might be willing to share that information with us in this post.

Also, this request is not just limited to clothes. Please feel free to discuss bags, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.

In particular, if you could mention a few of the noteworthy details like fit, size, fabric, and the like— that would be fantastic! Thanks in advance! :)

In Store Coupon at J.Crew: $20 Off $100+

A big "thanks!" to Shopalot (in this post) who shared the following news with us:
OT: Stopped in store at lunch today to pick up a few things and received a receipt sleeve coupon. One side says "Here's a gift you don't have to wrap." Other side is coupon: "Take $20 off your next purchase of $100 or more. In stores only. Valid through January 4, 2015." Fine print reads " . . . on purchases of $100 or more after other discounts and before taxes are added. One-time use only." It appears this will be stackable with other in store promotions. Nice!  ...
J.Crew does not offer coupons very often, so I am pleasantly surprised about this. It doesn't hurt that it is a pretty nice offer too! I love that it is stackable with other offers.

Make sure you double check your in-store purchase to see if you got a coupon too!