Dear J. Crew,
The first time I walked into your store was about three years ago. I fell head over heels for ‘Magic of J.Crew’. The colors were vibrant, the style was a mix of preppy and professional. I loved Jenna Lyons, her style, her journey from Cali girl to NYC designer. Heck, I still love her!
The first two years – I bought everything I liked at first glance. I spent so much time browsing your website for new styles, quirky T shirts that I had a package coming home almost every month. I got everything from basic pencil skirts to not so basic swimwear from J.Crew. I even bought the No.57 perfume.
But then, I started looking closely at my purchases. All the T Shirts seemed to made for ‘super-model proportions’. The T Shirts’s hems hit me mid-thigh. I used to make them work with half tucks and full tucks. You see, a T Shirt is just basic garment and it shouldn’t take so much time for your customer to make it work. Add to this the fact that some of T Shirts developed holes within 5 washes!
Your pencil skirts in Petite were a slightly short on my 5’2” frame and your pencil skirts in Regular were too boxy and long. The cost of alterations did not seem worth it. So, I bought them in Petite and started wearing them, tugging at them often, adjusting them every time I stood up. Finally I gave up. I haven’t looked back on the pencil skirt in over a year now! All my skirts have been donated at the local charity.
The dresses – Dear J.Crew, most of us work in business casual environments. But Business Casual doesn’t really mean ‘Show off your personal interests and style via clothing’. You see I cannot wear yellow sequence tops and embellished red sweaters with abandon at work. All of us don’t live in New York as much as we love the city. All my J.Crew stuff has been sadly retired to the weekend.
In 2016, I took some time to look at all my J.Crew purchases so far, and all I could say was ‘What was I thinking?’ This year, I haven’t shopped at the store. I have walked past the store without a second glance many times. I haven’t visited your website as much as I did in the past. Jcrew.com got a few visits, only when there was too much time to kill. Nothing I saw on the website stopped me in my tracks. Yes, there are a few pretty things, but nothing to make me break out my wallet and spend money.
What happened to you, my friend? When did you go from ‘Fun-Fashion’ to ‘Funny Looking’? Why can’t you keep your sizing, even the vanity sizing consistent across all your clothes? Why are you still doing so much polyester? There are smaller companies like Everlane, MM LaFluer, Zady, that pick a few things and do them very well. Take some time, introspect and come back with better product, better strategy and if needed, more focused products!
I don’t believe there are any Davids or Goliaths in this world. Even if there are a few Goliaths, they are quickly learning from the Davids and staying on the right side of customers. Think about it. You are one company that has the power to change the direction of mainstream retail fashion. I still believe in you.
Lots of Love,