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I don’t get it! Did they stumble into some bad lighting?

I know you’ve probably seen the images from Tuesday’s J.Crew presentation all over everywhere, and you’ve probably seen everyone talking about how much they loved it. I have been an avid (sometimes rabid) J.Crew fan for as long as I can remember. I still have a chunky fisherman’s sweater and a silk blend blouse that I bought from the catalog circa 1999. So you may want to sit down for this: I was not blown away.

Bear with me here a minute.

The colors, naturally, are great. If J.Crew can do anything extremely well, season after season, it’s creating garments in stunning colors that you won’t find other places.

The first photos of the presentation published by a major outlet were from New York mag. I thought the lighting looked terrible on a lot of the outfits — and I also didn’t really love the styling itself. Then, style.com released their photos, which were infinitely better. But had the damage been done for my first impression? Maybe. Check out the differences (along with my two cents, whatever that’s worth. I recognize I’m in the minority on this one). The NY Mag photos are on the left, style.com on the right:

First, some looks I really liked:

Gorgeous, any way you photograph it. I love the mix of yellow and robin’s egg blue, and that clutch would be a spring staple for years to come. This is a beautiful outfit for springtime. Well done, J.Crew, well done.

Spring layering at its best. I like the varied shades of blue, and the texture the pants provide. Cute bag, too! It’s kind of like a re-worked Jericho tote.

Pretty pink dress. I wonder what the true color is? On the right, it looks so much less saturated than on the left. While pretty and great for spring, this would not look good on a girl with any sort of curves.

I like this dress. The print is really interesting, and I think it looks great on the model. It’s funny, I’m pretty sure my mother had a dress just like this in the 80s. I can totally see this looking good with a belt and a clutch.

And now to the things I just don’t get:

Sorry, not hot. I love nerd chic, but this just doesn’t do it for me. Maybe it’s the model? The hair? I don’t know. Also, that white dress in the background looks like a bathrobe.

I almost had a coronary when I saw this. Do I really need to explain why? Even as separates, just…no.

And so begins the weird mixing of patterns and prints. Obviously, I firmly believe someone like Jenna Lyons can pull this off (see here). But on the models? It just didn’t translate for me. I hate those shorts. Love the shirt, though. Very Versace inspired.

I know a lot of people love this, but I’m really mixed. The denim shorts, for one, are just not my thing. The color combo is great, but short of Blair Eadie, I can’t think of anyone who could rock that jacket. I think I would look like a clown in it. Beautiful color on the bag. The shirt is cute too, although it would appear one needs to wear a cami underneath.

A midi pencil skirt in paisley. Now I’ve seen everything. Orange bag and striped sweater get a pass.

This was just a little too buttoned-up-rah-rah America for me. Red stripes, blue denim, and blue paisley. If this could be re-worked into a Fourth of July table cloth, great. There is nothing in this outfit I would wear next spring. Yes, even that leopard bag. Sorry folks, you heard it here first: the trend’s got to end at some point.

Awful. Completely awful. That shirt could’ve been something great if the cut was different. (I mean, check out the back of it!). It looks way too big on the model. If that’s the point, then I’m not on board.

Pink and orange color blocking. J.Crew really went out on a limb with this one.

Maybe I’m obtuse, but I feel like pencil skirts were invented to accentuate the waist. That’s why they look good on literally EVERYONE. They’re a sexy staple that can shape your body, right? What’s the point in covering it up with an XXL tee? And since when was J.Crew into the no bra thing? If J.Crew designs for the everyday woman, then news flash: everyday women wear bras.

Also, I’m still upset about that disaster in the background on the left side there. I may not be over it for weeks.

Okay, so I don’t totally hate this. However, you will see this skirt and this image approximately 1,395,209 times between now and next summer on blogs. Therefore I kind of hate it.

There is no situation in which those ‘pants’ would be appropriate. Ever. Unless you want people to comment on your adult diaper and diaper camel toe. Cute blouse, though.

And so I end with this. A look that I think is pretty classic J.Crew, more true to their styling and what you’d see in the catalog. I fully admit that here, in a high fashion presentation/situation, it does read boring. Is that why they tried to go all crazy with the styling? The thing is, when the spring catalogs debut, I doubt you’ll see any of these outfits or combinations together. I’m betting you’re going to see these same pieces, put together in more ‘everyday’ combinations that WILL make you (and yes, probably me) want to wear them. So maybe J.Crew felt like they could go a little nuts here. But I’m just not sure they were successful. The whole thing reads like Marissa and Jenna stayed up really late, were wired on triple shot cappuccinos, and thought it would be a great idea to make some poor girl wear a denim and paisley jacket with a red striped skirt.

Again, I totally recognize I’m in the minority here, so if you think I’ve got it all wrong and want to set me straight, go for it! Bonus points if you know what the title of the post references.

{Image Credits: NY Mag, style.com}

16 Responses

  1. I do not condone jorts with dressy tops and a coat, no matter what Jenna is wearing. And I’m from Texas – my jort tolerance is high!

    A think a lot of those pieces will be pretty with more basic styling, but so much of it is totally shapeless and would not look good on most women.

  2. I have a love hate relationship with J.Crew. I’m not normally one to shop there but I do have pieces from there that I totally love. Like a chartreuse cardigan sweater that I splurged on and have to have dry-cleaned, but i love it. I just don’t understand why EVERY blogger always has to be in love with J.Crew! But that’s just me. And I’m with you on these outfits – some are great and there are lovely colors but some are just plain awful and I know I’d look terrible in them!

  3. A. I love you for reffing Clueless and B. I love you more for voicing your opinion. It’s scary hitting that publish button after making a stance that contradicts with the popular vote. I always root for the underdog. The blogging world is funny in that it sometimes seems people say they LOVE something just because it’s been seen countless times on other blogs. It gets redundant. When you choose the other route it’s probably because you put some genuine thought into how you feel. I can only respect that.

    Very cool the way you did the side-by-side. Proves how key lighting is. I actually really like the ride side look of the ‘pants’ outfit. But yeah, heeeeeelllll no would I ever wear those anywhere in public.

  4. Big mix of looks for spring!!

  5. I also like how you did the side-by-side comparison. The colours of some of the items were way different. I think the pieces separately are very wearable and the styling was overthought, although that two-piece whatever it is reminds me of something you’d find at a garage sale for 50 cents. It must be that high-fashion and no-bra are synonymous

  6. haha I don’t get it either – this is why J.Crack should have steered clear of the runways… I’m probably going to blogger hell by saying this but I can’t wait for fashion week to be over I can stop reading about it… No “everyday” woman can afford runway anyway!!!!

  7. Ha ha, great post! Made me laugh all the way. I feel like they wanted to be less “catalog” and more “runway” hence the crazy combos. Like, did you see Rag and Bone? WTH?

    You are totally right, the real-world catalog will not look like this, thankfully!

  8. this made me laugh! I appreciate your honesty. I felt like I was going out on a limb when I said that I didnt *love* the new Missoni for Target line. So I feel ya!
    This was a miss for an otherwise always on it J.Crew

  9. ..no no, I don’t think you are a minority here at all. I nodded in agreement to all your comments above. I love that red dress also.. I would shorten it an inch, wear it with a belt, heeled boots, and a trench. Just like my mother would have way back when.. ;)

    Will be interesting seeing the catalogue when it’s out.

    Warm hugs from Sweden

    x Charlotta

  10. You are most definitely not in the minority, I’ve been so wrapped up in things this week I didn’t even give jcrew a look, but now that i’m seeing it I wish I hadn’t. you hit my thoughts exactly, the first looks, well played. but it just gets worse and worse as you go down. I loved the side by side comparison and it makes me think if they were even wearing the same outfits, as some of the colors are so off! this is very unsettling as most of us shop online, peruse catalogues, so is what you see, what you get? Great post.

  11. Ha! I love this post. Good call on the lighting… it is really weird. I am with you on a lot of these… that all floral blue/green outfit = way much.. and totally agree about the pencil skirts. Not meant to be worn with something frumpy. I don’t know what it is about the paisley skirt though, but for whatever reason, I really like it!!

  12. Haha, your comments on all these looks are spot-on! I am loving that cobalt suede satchel, I am hoping that it is a bright as it is in the photo on the left! Love your blog, be sure to stop by lamb loves sometime!


  13. This is so interesting. It is amazing what lighting can do! Hope you had a wonderful time in Texas!

  14. you are so right, good eye! I honestly wasn’t won over initially either.


  15. i don’t mind these looks, nor do i prefer the style.com photos. i find the style.com photos to be difficult to view online, expecially when the garment is white on the white background. the ny mag show a more a more realistic way of how the clothes would drape or hand. anyway, there are some pieces i really like, but overall i agree; i’m not blown away.

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