Tuesday, December 7, 2010

JCrew is an EPIC Mess!

I am so disappointed.

JCrew and I go way back. I remember my first shirt from there. It was a dark peachy and light peachy colored big horizontal stripe rugby shirt with 3/4 length sleeves. Oh, how I loved that shirt. My roommate had the same one. We both adore JCrew....well, adored.

Fast forward to the near present. I still love JCrew. Even though their style has changed, and my style too for that matter, we can still meet eye to eye on a few key pieces, except for of course, price. Over the years their clothes got fancier and prices got steeper. And my visits got fewer and far between. But after having two babies in two and a half years and finally getting back to normal, I thought I had a good excuse to go get a few new things. And with the help of a sweet mom, I had the backing of a giftcard!

So, I enlisted the help of one of their complimentary personal shoppers. Rebecca was her name and she was wonderful. She still calls, and writes and calls and lets me know of anything going on that I might be interested in. Right now I feel like shaking my finger in her face, but my rage is not with her, she doesn't make the clothes after all.

I came home with a good size load of new stuff. I had a pair of matchstick jeans, 4-5 of their cute T-shirts with something random on the front, 2 sweaters, 1 embellished tank top, a belt, and a few other things.

One of the shirts I loved was a white t-shirt with some colorful dyed ribbons off set on the side of the v-neck. I loved this shirt. I wore it and wore it and wore it until finally the thing had to be washed. I followed the instructions to a T. And those cute ribbons bled all over my shirt. Of course they took it back, even admitted it wasn't the first to be returned, but that's not the point. I wanted that shirt!

Next up, the jeans. These weren't your everyday jeans. I wore them a couple of times one of them being on Mothers Day. After lunch, we took the boys to play at a bookstore and as I was bending over to pick up my 1 year old, rrrrrrrriiiiiipppppp! (Insert bright red face) You have got to be kidding me. I hightailed it to the bathroom and put my sweater around my waist and left for home immediately.

Again, they of course took them back, they hadn't even been washed yet. When I returned them I was so hoping Rebecca the personal shopper would be working so she could stand on the register and yell, "ALTHOUGH THIS GIRLS JEANS RIPPED IN THE CROTCH, I AM HERE TO BEAR WITNESS THAT SHE WAS NOT TOO FAT FOR THEM."
Which is of course, what I am sure they were thinking. (I promise they weren't, I'd tell you if so, I have no shame.)

So I got a new pair and didn't wear them out of fear, for a few good months. Which brings us to girls night two weeks ago where I wore my new pair of JCrew matchstick jeans for maybe the 5th time since I exchanged them the day after the Mother's Day incident. Now wearing my new jeans I make a visit to the ladies and look down to see that the button has all but ripped out of where it was sewn in. WHAT!!?!?!?

It was at that point I decided to write this blog. Despite all my love for JCrew, the quality of their clothes is extremely poor. Other than the beloved white t-shirt and matchstick jeans, I also had a burnt orange tank top with ribbon embellishments that came detached the first time I wore it. I have another white t-shirt with little t-shirt material flowers on the side which a few have fallen off, and I fear for it's life every time I wash it.

All of the t-shirts are so thin, I had to buy XS when I usually wear a M, because they stretch out so badly after the first hour of wearing them. And then they have to be ever so delicately hand washed. Which just seems like a bit too much trouble for a damn t-shirt. Am I wrong?

I will be writing a letter, via snail mail, email and maybe even courier pigeon or Harry Potter's Owl. Otherwise how will they know, right? I will also be taking back the jeans, YET AGAIN, and the orange tank top and see what they say. I will let you know how all this turns out, but for now

JCrew is a big, horrible, stinky MESS!

I still love my JCrew style, but I haven't bought anything else purely out of fear it won't hold up. Because if I did, and it didn't...  I may just have to...oh... I don't know.....go hold up signs outside of the store? Ok, maybe not. :-)

Good Luck!



  1. Gosh, that's horrible! I don't own anything from them, but I've always thought about purchasing something on their site because it's all so pretty. Now I know to definitely just keep looking and not purchasing. They are far too expensive if their clothes are going to fall apart.

  2. I love it! So interesting, I have never had J.Crew clothing, but I do wonder when they say they have "Tissue T's" those must be super super thin! I do like their clothing styles though!


  3. Hi!

    Marcie from Lemons and Laundry referred to this post on her blog and if I may, I'd like to offer my $0.02:

    Regarding the t-shirts, they do have to be handwashed or at least placed in a small laundry bag when washed in the machine. I don't mean at all to chastise you, but when a t-shirt has all those frou-frou whistles and bells, something's bound to snag in the wash.

    I personally believe J. Crew's quality is inconsistent, but not completely rotten. I've had a heavily-beaded J. Crew t-shirt that was obviously poorly constructed. When the t-shirt was made, it was obvious they didn't bother thinking that with the beads being so heavy, they would rip the material the beads were sewn onto. But on the other hand, I have a puffer vest that's been faring very well for the past three years now.

    Here's a New Yorker profile on J. Crew's CEO that's partly about him and partly about the company. I find it really enlightening:

    "As it happens, some women I know had been grumbling to me that J. Crew, under Drexler, had started charging too much. I’d heard complaints, in person and on J. Crew blogs—yes, there are J. Crew fan blogs—that the quality of some of the clothes, especially the T-shirts, was not commensurate with the price, and that, say, a seventy-two-dollar striped boatneck tee had, after a couple of washings, started to develop holes at the seams. Drexler has heard such complaints, and they bring out the dervish in him. They often come straight to his e-mail in-box, and he seeks to answer every e-mail, or he passes it off to a colleague. Every day, he carries on multiple conversations, by BlackBerry or phone, with several customers whose experiences with J. Crew have come to his attention. He is maniacal about customer service."

    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/09/20/100920fa_fact_paumgarten#ixzz17THdjXD5

  4. Came here from Lemons and Laundry. I LOVE JCrew style. But, and it's a big but, the only thing they sell that I think is worth the cost is sweaters. And even then, only some sweaters. Mostly the Merino ones. I've had similar experiences to yours with just about everything they sell besides sweaters. I bought a pair of Matchstick jeans and when I wore them for the first time, the stitching in the seams in the crotch just simply started coming undone from me wearing them walking around the city all day. When I got home, I took them off and held them up and there was a 2 inch hole, not even a rip, right down the crotch seam. It's a shame because I find so many store with a "cult" like following can get away with upping their prices and lowering their quality (ie Anthropologie!). I would be totally willing to dish out the cash for the clothes if the quality was better!

  5. Thanks for all your input on my JCrew post! I too, absolutely LOVE my JCrew. And I do have plenty of pieces that I love and have had for good long time. I do also really appreciate their customer service. One day soon, when I take back my things, I'm sure they will service me with a smile. This is all the more reason for the post. I guess I am just disappointed. And I do want to let them know about it all, how else will things get better! Thank you guys, and Marcie for all your input and comments. It has made my day!

    And thanks WB, the link was very informative!

  6. This is a great post Cody. I worked under Drexler (in the distance) at Gap and personally met the Fisher family on more than one occasion. He is a fwd thinker and mover so years after I had departed the company and he went to J.Crew I knew it would be destined for fashion forward change.

    Cut to present. I have to say I have really enjoyed watching their progress. What disturbs me is some of what you have mentioned, as well as the price points. While quality is certainly very good on some items, on others it is not (your case in point). I have to be uber careful w/my t's from there (I do love a fancy t), but I will only purchase on sale. The denim I do own and haven't had the rip factor...but it's only been one pair so far.

    I have been having mixed emotions about them recently - the things that really catch my eye are 'collection' pieces that are so far out of price point it is crazy. $1200 for a pullover cashmere poncho?? Several sequin pieces over $500?? I realize their are people willing to pay, but it saddens me when as a core customer I feel the brand drifting away to deeper pockets.

    Just my two cents, but a great post. I do hope you have better luck in the future and am really thankful for the return policy!!


  7. i wrote a huge long note and it didn't post! ahh!!

    oh well, the moral of the story was that i enjoyed this post immensely :)