Wednesday, April 18, 2012

J.Crew May Rollout Preview and iPhone Crimes

Once again, my PS emailed me over the weekend about the new collection arriving at my (concept) J.Crew store. I went last night and took a lot of pictures and tried on quite a few things. I will be posting reviews on Thursday and Friday, but today I wanted to share with you some of the display pictures.

I have to say the new collection looks exciting and there are several items I will consider to purchase. I don't know if any of the pieces will be included in the April rollout on Thursday. Some will most likely only make it to the stores and online mid May.

No2 pencil skirt in Porcelain Paisley
I think this pencil skirt is very interesting. It has summer vibe, interesting print but it is subtle, so it has the staying power. It is longer than other summer skirts, probably around 24-25".  Do you agree that it has a potential?

I think this shirt was in the Lookbook,
Spring 2012 look #17

I actually think the retail rendition looks better than the runway version. The shirt has a Tory Burch kind of vibe, imo. If I remember correctly,o the back has some sort of print on it too, and I though it really added interest. After all, other people see our back much more than we do, lol.

This is a little too Crayola for me...
Well, this spring is all about brights and if you dig brights you may want to try the pieces above.
The shirt seems to be cut like Scoopneck blouse in anchors aweigh that I reviewed HERE.

New cafe carpi in leopard

Leopard pants are pretty bold statement in general, but the print on these is quite subtle and abstract, I think many can pull them off. I think they were linen, or linen blend.

Another version of printed cafe capris
The capris above are made from some kind of slippery, shiny fabric. I hope it is silk but it may be polyester. The print is somewhat similar to the foulard print, but I did not like the color combination or the fabric.

Java tunic dress, I think this is my favorite
This dress has a very pretty print imo. The cut seems similar to Big apple tunic dress but it looks long enough to be decent. The issue here will be with the v-neck, I wonder if it is cut too low and requires a cami. Otherwise it is very promising, don't you think?

Dress in the same print like the pencil skirt and tweed blazer
Dress in the middle looks pretty if you can do strapless, I can't. And if you like little tweed Chanel-esque blazers then the jacket on the right may call your attention. Personally, I have trouble with boxy jackets on me, so it is probably not for me.

zooming in on the dress and cute elephant necklace
The necklace worn with the strapless dress is a conversation piece. It looks very pretty, but I would have to see it up close and try it on to determine if this is something I would prefer displayed on the bookshelf. I also wonder how heavy it is.

Interesting skirt

The skirt on the left can go both ways, imo. It looks very full which may look frumpy, at least on yours truly, but I really like the colors and the length seems good. I definitely think it has potential.

Update from Em in Espana:
Picture of the pencil skirt spotted on the website under 'feather paisley' :

No. 2 pencil 
skirt in feather paisley
No. 2 pencil skirt in feather paisley

was $118.00
now $79.99 

I want to share something with you...

As I was snapping pictures for this post, an associate approached me to tell me that I am not allowed to take pictures in the store.
'Why?' I asked innocently.
'I don't know' she replied 'but we are told from corporate...'
'What if I want to check something with my PS?'
'Oh, we can check anything for you' she offered earnestly.
'What if I want to send a picture to my husband and ask for his opinion?' 
'Oh. OK, go ahead then' she relented slightly exasperated. Seeing that I am not easily intimidated and I will give her hard time, she hurried away in other direction not wanting to have anything to do with me.

So I snapped a few more pics.

And you know what? My husband and I do share iPhone pictures quite often, to ask opinion. I also do it with my mom or my friends. Why is that a problem. Isn't it a free publicity for them?

Or do you think it is a security issue, airport style?
Like if I was planning to break in and I was taking pictures to prepare? Hmmm...

Imagine the headlines:

Crazy JCA meticulously plotted the biggest mall store robbery in the history!
Apple executives questioned about increasing iPhone use by criminals!!!

That's all folks!
Are you excited about anything from this rollout?

What do you think about the picture taking issue?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

Stay tuned for reviews of new items coming soon!


  1. Thanks for the "previews"! I like the print on the skirt and strapless dress, reminds me of Delft Blue pottery.

    1. Just read the rest of your post...ROFL Good for you for standing your ground! I've had the odd time when SAs eyeball me funny when I take pics (surreptitiously) too ;)

  2. I love the pencil skirt- I think my jaw dropped when I saw the thumbnail- so beautiful! I am intrigued by the striped skirts too...

  3. Cute tunic dress and pencil skirt. Can't wait to see your reviews.

  4. Sorry everybody, my post was cut off abruptly by the blogger after the striped skirt picture:(
    I have added the proper ending as it was in my draft...

  5. Thank you for the pics...and you had me laughing with your "headlines"! I really don't understand their paranoia it's not like they are a small boutique or designer where someone is going to "steal" design ideas...for gosh sake J Crew pics and photos are all over the internet!!!

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  7. The skirt is beautiful, if I had your job I'd snap it up but I'm learning that as much as I love them pencil skirts really don't fit my lifestyle. Now, that dress ooooh, I wonder how much it is? I really am lusting after that too, it looks so comfy and for once I could see myself trotting about in a pattern!

  8. I am seriously loving the dress and pencil skirt! They would both fit in nicely with my summer story! thanks AJC!

  9. Thank you so much AJC! I am loving the pencil skirt in the first pic. It looks very vintage like and old Jcrew!! Going to email my PS about it today! :)

  10. I am so happy you were not deterred by the associate, I have been told not to take pictures at a JCrew as well, laughing about your mall heist!
    The pencil skirt is very pretty, so is the pink dress. I guess the roll-out is due tomorrow?
    I think my favorite is the strapless dress but I can't wear them.
    Thanks for these!

  11. nice, didn't they just "roll out" new stuff about 3 weeks ago?
    therefore we should see sales

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  13. Thanks for sharing! I looove seeing these sneak peaks :)


  14. Thanks for the preview pictures! I like the print on the pencil skirt & dress too, and I'm also wondering about the shirt in the first picture of the pencil skirt. Vertical blueish stripes. Maybe it'll be part of your next post(s). Not a fan of the 'crayola' items. See, they should be happy you took these pictures. I can't make it to the concept store but now they have my opinion. ;P

  15. Do you know the prices of the pencil skirt, strapless dress and the tunic dress? I love them all....this isn't good -__-

  16. I was in Factory this weekend and they had a tunic with that same or very similar red and white(cream?) print. Someone had it in their hand and the SA grabbed it and said - "NO, That's for Wednesday" and whisked it away to the storage room.

    I shop for my collage daughter all the time with my iphone. Like most mom's it is a waste of time for me to try to pick things out for her. I now take pic - send it and wait for confirmation. No one has ever stopped me in any store.

  17. @ajc, DaniBP, and those that are wondering, pictures are not allowed for a couple reasons. First, they can be used by potential shoplifters, because they can use the pictures to "map out" possible weak locations and areas with lots of expensive merchandise. Secondly, counterfeiting is a real issue. People can take pictures of things, particularly purses and jewelry, and then make fakes to sell, which is illegal obviously. Or, I know it sounds farfetched, but people could try to pass those fake items off as real merchandise and return it, causing a loss (honestly, crazier things have happened). There are reasons stores have the policies they do, and its not just J Crew- most stores don't allow photos, and it's just easier for all involved to respect those policies.

  18. I am drawn to the tunic dress, for actual purchase. I am drawn to the pencil skirt and the strapless dress with the same print, for fantasy purchase :D I love seeing the early pictures, thanks for posting them. Do you know when these will be in regular stores?

  19. Ooooo, thanks for the sneak peek. Looks like lots to love.

  20. Thank you so much for posting these- I love seeing what's to come.:) I stopped snapping pics in store a long time ago- for the same reason. I am tired of stink eye and weird wispering behind my back- yes, I am stealing the company's secrets and selling them for gazillion dollars , ha ha..Recently I have asked a SP nicely if I can take one photo of the jewlery case ( with the reintroduced blue Bauble necklace ) and was refused- she was not even nice about it-"Sorry, we can't allow." Geez, makes me feel illegal, so will do no more. I do take pics of window displays as it is technically outside and even then, I've seen SPs watching me.

  21. The way that blouse is striped is just way too "Bert and Ernie" for me. J.Crew has executed the color-blocked stripes much better in other items from previous rollouts, imo. Love the pink tunic dress, and I'd buy the navy print strapless dress if I didn't hate strapless bras with the fire of a thousand suns.

    As for the picture-taking incident...on the one hand, I totally get it. Counterfeiting is a big deal, and I'm sure it's a much bigger deal when you're talking about a concept store where the merchandise hasn't even been posted for sale online yet. The robbery/crime aspect is important, too. I worked in a bridal shop in college and our policy was that we had to accompany customers into the fitting rooms to assist them when trying on the gowns. Women fought me on this ALL THE TIME and I had to explain to them that an unattended customer once slashed up three wedding gowns with a razorblade, causing the boutique owner to lose thousands of dollars on the merchandise. There is usually a story behind every store policy.

    That said, I think that J.Crew could avoid a lot of the clandestine picture-taking if they: a) showed accurate representations of the color/length/fit of their merchandise online and in catalogs, b) offered free return shipping, and c) included a review section like Anthro and other companies do on their websites. We, the customers, take pictures and post them online b/c we're tired of having to pay $8 or more to ship a dress back when we get it and find out that the cut of the sleeves won't allow you to raise your arms*. We're just trying to save others from that same headache. Throw us a bone here, Mickey.

    *Speaking from personal experience.

  22. Thanks for these previews, I also like the pencil skirt. Is it actually a pencil skirt or the strapless dress with the top folded down to look like a skirt? I recall in the past J.Crew has styled dresses as tops with the skirt portion tucked into pants or another skirt. I tried to blowup your photos but couldn't tell for certain, although the skirt appears to have some bumps but it could be from the shirt.

    The leopard capris... Paging Peggy Bundy! LOL

  23. Thanks for the sneak preview, ajc. I love the pencil skirt and strapless dress with the blue & white print. Like CC said, it reminds me of delft blue ceramic. Do you happen to recall the prices of any of the items?

    I wouldn't dare try taking photos of display items in a store. I only took photos in store once last fall, for the wardrobe styling assignment I had to do for my fashion class. I was told to stop taking photos in Zara, but in Banana Republic and Old Navy they were perfectly fine with it. I think it helped that I was having my friend try on complete outfits and model them for me out in the open, so the associates could see what was going on.

  24. The same thing happened to me at Victoria Secret. Someone told me I wasn't allowed to take photos in the store. At least no one can stop you from doing it in the fitting room right?

  25. Awesome preview. You're the best! I don't know if this makes me striped out or not. They are really continuing with the theme. I'm excited to see these irl. I love the pencil skirt on you, too.

  26. OOOOOO, thanks SO much for this preview!!! I want that pencil skirt!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it comes in my size!

  27. awesome preview! I used to take iPhone pix in stores all the time, but recently have been asked not to. The greeter at a Collection store once asked me not to photograph the window, but that was quite a while ago, when they showed a bride in shaggy fur vest, denim shorts, red tights, high heels, sequin tee and white tulle veil, so at the time I thought he was just embarrassed. I find I get better treatment in stores generally if I'm carrying a shopping bag from stores like Saks or Bergdorf's. Kind of an odd way of stating one's credentials, but I have definitely noticed it.

    1. I would hope that's not the case (the preferential treatment), because it really is company policy. Some employees may not be aware of it-I didn't know until the issue came up when people were doing it during my shift-but it is really a rule that has to be followed like any others.

  28. Thank you so much for another fantastic preview, ajc! I really like the tunic dress and the skirt in the last photo. I hope they debut on the website soon. :)

  29. I love the pencil skirt and strapless dress as well but here is my dilemma: I need a pencil skirt like a bullet in my head and a strapless dress like two bullets. I think I am going to h
    go with one bullet ;-). Thanks for the pics, can't wait to see all this on you!

  30. hi Ladies, I have called my PS, to find out more about prices and dates, but so far I have no other info. She is going to check it out but for now, the prices/dates are unknown. Aat least I confirmed that the pencil skirt in the first picture is in fact a pencil skirt, not a dress like xoxo was concerned.

    As for the taking pictures business, of course I understand a private company has a right to have any rules but I reserve the right to make fun of them on my private blog.

    I don't buy the counterfeiting concern. Wouldn't it be easier to buy an item figure out how to copy it and then return? How about lookbooks, or slides of future collections posted on internet? Wouldn't those pictures be better quality?

    And as far as loss prevention, I understand that this is real issue but mapping out the location with pictures??? J.Crew jewelry case are full of plastic not gold and diamonds, you think somebody would take time to take pictures to map out the weak areas??? They must be watching too many 'Ocean 11' movies at JC headquarters.

    And if I am treated as potential massive shoplifting threat explain this: couple of times I forgot to remove the security tag which was not de-magnetized (or whatever happens when they scan the item) and I was beeping like crazy entering and leaving every store. Nobody ever stopped me to inspect my bags, SA just smiled at me (not only at J.Crew). I asked an SA to borrow a pair of scissors. They gave it to me and I marched to the fitting room with couple big shopping bags full of unispected content. I cut off the security tag from my beeping pants and returned the scissors to the register.
    This did not raise any shoplifting concerns but taking pictures does?? Give me a break.

    1. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but those really are the reasons. The mapping out DOES happen, and thefts DO happen. Sure it's not a diamond heist or anything, but even if it's just a "recreational" shoplifter, it hurts the company. A little theft here and there, even just a couple days a month, in every store companywide? That's tens of thousands of dollars of lost merchandise. Why wouldn't J Crew try to protect itself against that? Besides, think of it this way, the more loss the company suffers, the more they have to increase costs to cover it, which means the products get more expensive for us. None of us want that. And yes, if someone really wanted to counterfeit J Crew products, they could just purchase and return. Chances are though, that would be too much work and would be a deterrent. Also, the purchases/returns could be traced if the person used a credit card, and even if they used cash the store employees would eventually catch on to the suspicious behavior. Again, that's the extreme example, but I'd rather J Crew be prepared than be caught off guard and suffer.

      And I want to be clear- IN NO WAY do I think what you or other bloggers are doing is done with any sort of bad intentions. I am not trying to be accusatory here, and I doubt that any of the SAs that have stopped you or your readers were suspicious of criminal activity either. However, the policy is in place, and it has to be upheld for consistency's sake. Besides, then you go down that slippery slope of judging which people have good intentions and which people don't, and how do you decide that? By physical appearances? By the clothes people are wearing? It's better just to not allow it period. Personally, I don't have a problem with blog pictures or people taking photos to show their friends, but part of my job is to follow J Crew's policies. I would hope that no associate would ever treat a customer as a "threat".

    2. Thanks Annie for your presenting your point of view. Definitely something to consider. I am not saying shoplifting does not occur, of course it does, and it should be prevented as much as possible. I just don;t think taking pictures have too much to do with it. Jmo.

    3. I have to chuckle at the fact you use JCrew and consistency in the same breath - and I love them but come on!

      Also, let's think about this statement: "little theft here and there, even just a couple days a month...That's tens of thousands of dollars of lost merchandise." JCrew should be as concerned about the many discrepancies in order fulfillment of web/phone orders as they are with in store theft. Surely the fact the warehouse sends out the wrong items, on many occasions, worth at least $100 or more than the item ordered, is costing the company.

      Not directing ill feelings at you but couldn't resist airing my feelings, too.

    4. sorry, I PROMISE I am not trying to make this into a huge issue, I'm worried my tone isn't coming off correctly in writing!

      This is the explanation given to me by my manager (I'm a J Crew SA if I didn't say that). So yes, that is the rationale as I understand it. Several other stores have similar policies, as noted by other commenters. And who knows, maybe that's all just the company line, maybe the real reason is they just don't want anyone taking pictures? I don't know, but I guess stores don't have to justify themselves.

      And just my two cents on the consistency issue: I've been a customer at J Crew for almost ten years-ahh I feel old now!-and have been an employee for 3, and during that time, I've never received any incorrect items and have only witnessed 1 person make a return because the wrong item was shipped. Obviously it's an issue that others experience so I'm not trying to take anything away from people who have had that problem, but I'm just putting that out there for what it's worth so everyone can see where I'm coming from. In my experience, the company has been very consistent.

      And TRUST ME, the numbers caused by theft in retail in general are worse than any caused by shipping issues, pretty much across the board (once had to research this topic for the most horrendous paper of my life). That's not to discount your feelings though, because I'm sure it would be frustrating to get the wrong item.

    5. Truly. The only thing about J Crew that is consistent is their inconsistency. That is on many levels i.e. return policy, price matching, sizing across the board and among the same style pant (try on 5 pairs of the same style/size jeans or cords, you'll get what I'm saying) policies online versus retail, customer service reps offering one thing to a customer that the next doesn't receive..the list goes on.

  31. AJC! On the website currently, a thumbnail of the top pencil skirt is showing (hidden) on the Jcrew website. It is under the No. 2 Pencil skirt in Feather Paisley for $79.99 (and eligible for the 30% promo) - the model photo is not matching the thumbnail design (the new skirt), and when you add the item to your cart is also shows a thumbnail of the pencil skirt you previewed above. I have emailed my personal shopper. I'm guessing it is a fluke but if I could get that beauty for $56 - I'm jumping on it!!!

  32. This is crazy Em! Please let us know what has your PS replied.

    1. My PS replied yesterday. Said that it was a "glitch" and that there is currently only a pre-sell for the beautiful skirt. :( Evidently, there were several glitches on the website yesterday, and unfortunately, this one got my hopes up big. :( Sorry I have no other information!

  33. The clothes are interesting but the models seem so expressionless.

  34. They have that empty look in what should be their eyes. They are so pale and they've lost their hair.

  35. I've had your post up for about 4 days now, just hanging out in a browser. I decided I have the porcelain paisley skirt, so I pre-ordered it. Hope it works out for me.

    Enabler! ;)

  36. Oh...for anyone wondering, skirt is $158. Length is 23.5" or so. Also comes in petites.

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