New JCrew catalog: winners, losers, and HULLOOO Earthlings from the Copywriter from Space

I picked up the April JCrew catalog on my way home - they're in most of the stores just waiting. First impression: by and large a nice catalog, not frenzied, not OTT. Quite a bit of patting self on back, several pages of how the prints are designed at Italian Mills. in Italy. with the cooperation of Real Italians, and we are told to expect Made in Italy Part III. Well, if all this is what it takes to bring us the lovely prints on this spring's bathing suits and the giant paisley on That Skirt, ok, show us your paint pots.

So since I was in the store I had another quick look round. Loved the Cecelia dress, and there is a picture of it in the new catalog that was taken by its worst enemy - of the dress, I mean, altho the model looks like she's had a tough time, too. Do not believe that picture. Get the dress, if you can wear white or orange. Still love that green lace jacket, and there's not an occasion in my life for it. Plenty of straw fedoras in lady sizes.

On the bus, had more time to go through the catalog. The photoshop guy has worked on the swimsuit models. However, there are greater sins and some real winners.

Minus - 37922 Pointelle short. This is a wool knit short in a stitch your Nana used for baby blankets. It has overlapping layers and an elastic waistband, comes in "Bermuda Clay" a/k/a salmon
and Black. Clearly not J.Crew Tennis Wear.

Plus - 37473 - Windmill straw hat. This just looks like fun!

Plus - 40887 - Vintage cotton cowlneck. Almost sleeveless tee with droopy cowl. Lovely. Assuming fit, fabric and construction stand up, this could be my summer Old Reliable.

Plus - 41063 - Ella dress. Silk sundress, coral, pale blue, dark navy, love the back of the neck and shoulders, assuming fit, fabric etc.

Puzzle - 41573 - Sophie blouse. This is described as having a gathered yoke and brass buttons. I see neither in the photo, altho it looks like an ok blouse.

Big Minus - 38912 - Merino Ranger Romper. The name says it all. waist, tight cuffs at thighs, pockets. Dragonfly blue (formerly known as bright navy) or vintage fatigue (formerly known as last spring's catalogs). Where have I seen this before? Oh, yes, but for the colors and the thigh cuffs, isn't this like long woolen underwear? Just what you want for spring.

Minus - 40677, 40719 - Tuxedo Rompers. Silk. Long sleeves. One has a brown top with pleats and a black bottom that looks like boxer shorts, the other is not shown but is said to be all black. OK, not wooly, but still. Oh dear.

J.Crew Weekend is given its own section, lots of old favorites are gathered here, jeans, sweatshirts, hoodies, that kind of stuff, and we also have another 2 pages of Saturday with Jenna, in which we learn that on weekends, she reads a newspaper, wears moccasins, and paints her son's toenails pink. The kid is adorable, and Jenna's a charmer, and I really think she is not well-served by this kind of fatuous copy. She seems much too nice and sensible.

Possible Minus. 37068 - Motorcycle trench jacket. We see a picture of a cute (maybe) jacket. Key details LIKE THE COLLAR AND THE TOP OF THE LAPELS are hidden by the model's hair. Since the jacket appears to close with a zip and have zipped slanted pockets and no belt and be very short - model is also leaning at a very precarious angle in the Milano Gladiator heels - I'm at a loss to see anything trench-like. But I think it might be cute. $168.

Probable Minus - 37427. "The iconic motorcycle jacket covers new territory with a thrilling textural mix of khaki and neon-flecked tweed" etc etc. Reference is made to an English mill. There is no picture of this creation, we get a swatch of the neon-flecked business which seems to include orange, and the jacket retails at $298.

Plus/Minus - Keaton cutout oxfords, highheeled (oh, very), flat, multicolor. Shades of beige and brown.

Plus - 37619 - Vivette dress, cotton, buttercup, that coral-y pink that gets renamed with each garment, and black. Seems to have ribbon straps. Very cute in catalog, didn't see it in store. Assuming FFC as above, love this in theory, dubious about stuff that "falls" above the knee of - who? whom?

Linen-cotton suiting - shown with v v expensive CANVAS shoes. C'mon, JC, for that price I can almost buy Tod's on Bluefly.

Many many extreme shoes, flat flats, spiky heels, plus a full page devoted to the Lucca Sandal, 37224, described as "a reprieve from treacherous, teetering heights in sublime Italian suede." These heights must be the Italian alps, because the Swiss ones are made of igneous rock. No, seriously, guys, aren't you trying to SELL those treacherous teetery things on a number of other pages of that VERY SAME CATALOG? Guess not.

Late, getting groggy, if any numbers are wrong, will correct later. But, there is a necklace described as containing "zinc and metal." Page 26. Leaves me wondering what is the metal that dare not speak its name?


  1. The tweed trench is online, and it is pretty minus. Like Phillip Lim 0.0. I really like the buttercup Vivette! And I REALLY want to see this 'possible minus, but possibly cute' motorcycle trench...

  2. I haven't seen the catalog yet but that picture is definitely long underwear territory. Is there a flap in the back? Who's lame idea was that?!
    Love your prose!

  3. Regarding the pointelle shorts, the edge along the legs may be flattering, but as I look closer I see more of a triangular shape (thinking canines!) than a scallop edge. So nevermind! :)

    The eyelet shorts definitely have a scallop shape, which looks nice & dresses the shorts up a bit.

    Can't wait to see the catalog. No way would I ever paint my son's toenails pink! Aside from what I think, I KNOW my dh would kill me!

  4. Thanks for the laughs!

    I loved the Vivette dress -- pics on my blog -- just scroll down.

  5. anon, there are no flaps on any of the "rompers." No strategic little snaps either. Guess JC's definition of romping doesn't overlap with mine. In this context I note that the ancient Donna Karan bodysuits had snaps, and in addition to the obvious practical uses, the snaps did a lot for the fit.
    WPZ, in my colorful past I have encountered real motorcycle jackets worn by people who rode real bikes (hogs). The leather & zippers are to prevent wind burn/damage, and no biker will let you near his bike if you are wearing something that flaps. So what we have here is, as they say, a failure of communication. I really want someone, perhaps the talented video-maker, to make a set of fashion flashcards for the Copywriter from Space.
    IRL, maybe it's just another way of using up unsold JC "exclusive" colors? Or maybe the kid is getting paid...
    Rose, love the dress on you!

  6. "the metal that dare not speak its name"

    Perfect. Classic WFF!!

  7. The motorcycle trench has been in stores for a while (I tried it more than a month ago and have pics on my blog somewhere). It is very short, like in cropped, (definitively not a trench!) but really cute and well made.
    I was surprised that the paisley pencil skirt was not online

  8. Great picks and pans! Rompers! OMG I haven't worn one since I was 7... it's like the "street" or "young/hip" version of the Studio 54 jumpsuits. Yikes. Thanks for the chuckles!

  9. Ema, I was surprised not to find That Skirt also! From where I live it's hard to go anywhere without passing a JC, and I've been visiting That Skirt almost daily. It's getting silly.

  10. More romper discussion :

  11. Rompers? Please..... and I was even on romper-room. Which is probably why I think they belong with the preschool set! I like the keatons tho! Those are pluses in my book!

  12. welcome, chic chauffeur, I think this about sums up the romper issue.


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