a romp through the j.crew collection store (reviews included)

Deadlines met for now, treated self to a trip to collection store.

Impressions: gray is still with us for spring and summer or whenever you go to the beach in your part of the world. Tees, gray; very long tees, gray; knit dress, gray (more on this later); sweatshirt, gray, long-sleeved; sweatshirt, gray, short-sleeved (reminiscent of early DK); sweatshirt, gray, with sparkly things. I know with a certainty beyond faith that if I were to show up in a gray sweatshirt and spangly mini anywhere where there were people, those I have met previously would be shocked that I was dressed as the homeless lady of Madison Avenue (non-PC) and those I have not would wonder who had invited the out-of-shape gym teacher who does not own a 3-way mirror. OK, that's not my look. Even with a paper straw fedora.

What caught my attention:

Lovely thick-ish cotton paisley pencil skirt. Lovely.

Gray cashmere knit dress, v. smooth, not furry, apparently from one of the more expensive neighborhoods of Italy. About $800, no picture. Actually kinda short for a dress?

Thomas Mason checked (gingham)shirt. I was underwhelmed. The JC tailoring was ok, but after all the hype, was disappointed to find that the fabric had no body. The photo stylist must have dipped the one in the catalog in decoupage medium. I'm sure it has a v. respectable thread count, but only because the threads were spun by spiders. Making a fuss about this issue because if I spend money on a tailored shirt I want it to look good all day and I want to be able to take my jacket/blazer off and put it back on without worrying.

The pic doesn't quite show what I wanted but the shirt is floppy. Having the collar, neckband and plackets hold a press is key to how becoming a shirt is. And the stitching here is such that there'll always be crumples. No matter how fresh and dewy your face is, you should think twice before surrounding it with crumples.

The orange-y red shorts with poufy pleaty things over the hips -- um, I think they may be reusing part of the pattern of the Rideau coat. Curtains on this one! Unless it's on promo when my friend the Perennially Underemployed Poetess gets another gig as a minstrel. Wouldn't this look great with striped tights, booties and a lute?

That's a close-up of the white perforated leather dress. Outside smooth, interior kind of suede-y. Attention to detail: questionable.

The seams are not perfect and I don't think these problems can be fixed.

I thought I had enough stripes, but this made me think again. It manages to combine all the design features of the past year beautifully. Hoodie, decorative zippers, stripes, kangaroo pocket. And the fabric is a delight - heavy cotton knit. Someone please tell me it's a top, not a dress!

I also loved the madras patchwork schoolboy jacket, the vineyard pencil skirt, and all of the lace pieces. Oh, and the Prince of Wales schoolboy is back. Limited edition my aunt. C'mon promos!


  1. Southern Belle Ph.D.March 15, 2011 at 9:54 AM


    Thank you so very much for your wonderful review from the Collection store!!! Interesting to hear that there is still so much gray being introduced. I suspect it will stick around as I have read so much about minimalist styling for the Fall 2011. I actually own the TM shirt you reviewed and I agree with you completely. It does not work well under a blazer due to the limpiness (?word?)of the fabric. In order to wear it, I have to wear a cotton tank (JC favorite tank) under it to give it some substance. Then I tie a sweater or light sweatshirt around my shoulders. Otherwise, it is quite blah! I will save the dollars I had intended to spend collecting all five and shop elsewhere for a substitute. I loved the striped hoodie you described as I can tell from the pic that it is a quality cotton knit. Hopefully, some of the things you mentioned in gray will be online soon.

    Thanks again WFF. I always enjoy reading your take on just about everything! Great skill.

  2. I'd really like to see anyone wearing those red shorts. Thanks for the reviews!

  3. Welcome, Rose! I passed through a JCrew store today and took another look at the orange-y red shorts. They.are.bloomers.


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