Greetings, JCR Readers!
My name is Alison and I’m the blogger behind NYC Recessionista
, a bargain shopping and fashion blog I started in 2008. Even though I’m a bargain hunter at heart, I still believe in investing in quality pieces. If it doesn’t fit or flatter you, or falls apart after a few washes, it really doesn’t matter how money you “saved.”
That’s where J. Crew comes into play for me. If it’s a staple piece, is of superior quality, and fits extremely well, then perhaps it’s worth the extra money. And J. Crew has no shortage of covetable staples!
Now, I’ve been shopping at J. Crew since I was a freshman in high school. I was always more curvy and busty than my classmates and, to be honest, I don’t recall ever fitting into the clothes in the junior’s section in the department stores. So J. Crew was always somewhere I could go to find something exactly my style: classic, a little preppy, chic and comfortable. And I didn’t feel like I was busting out of the clothes–making me feel confident instead of self-conscious.
Back then, I never expected J. Crew to evolve into such a fabulous, totally on-trend, cutting edge label…and I never suspected that my appreciation for their clothes as a teenager would turn into an all-out love affair with the brand as an adult.
I have absolutely no idea how many J. Crew pieces I’ve purchased over the years…we’re talking hundreds, probably thousands of goodies. Some pieces I’ve had for 15 years, others I’ve bittersweetly (is that even a word?!) handed down to my nieces and/or my sister, and some I’ve just recently purchased and haven’t even worn yet.
But okay, if I absolutely have to narrow it down, here are my top five favorite pieces of all time:
No. 5 – The Schoolboy Blazer
I purchased this blazer last August, and I am ashamed to admit that I had never owned a proper wool blazer before. I went with a classic and neutral camel color, so that I would be able to pair it with more items in my closet.
I love the striped lining on the sleeves, and the detail on the buttons. The little touches J. Crew puts on their pieces makes them so much more special!
I’ve gotten so much more use of out it than I ever expected – it served as a jacket for me for most of last fall. I wore it to work with trousers and button-downs, and on the weekends with t-shirts and jeans. Pieces that can do double-duty like that for you are worth spending a little extra.
You can find a Schoolboy Blazer of your own here.
No. 4 – The Tippi Sweater in ‘Heart Me’
I haven’t even had the chance to wear this sweater yet – I just bought it recently when it randomly reappeared back in stock one morning. When I saw it (and I thought it was a mirage), I just POUNCED like a mad woman.
There isn’t much that I don’t completely adore about this sweater – blue and gray are two of my favorite colors, and I love that the heart is slightly imperfect…it’s not a 100% symmetrical heart…which reminds me that love isn’t always perfect.
The ‘Heart Me’ sweater is now completely sold out, but they have also recently debuted the French Hen Sweater, which I am also completely obsessed with.
No. 3 – The ‘Marjorie’ Ballet Flat in Coconut Shell
These shoes are pretty special to me, and I’ve only ever worn them once. I doubt I’ll ever wear them again, either. That might sound a little crazy, but I want to preserve them forever. They’re the shoes I wore on my wedding day.
I found them in early 2010 at a J. Crew Sample Sale around the corner from my office, and I instantly knew they would be perfect for my fall wedding. They were the last ones in my size, and on sale for $45 (I think they retailed for $98 at the time).
They no longer carry the ‘Marjorie’ but they do still have oodles of super classic ballet flats that you can check out here.
No. 2 – The No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Wool in Meridian Green
This is another purchase that I made last August, and it has quickly become one of my favorite pieces in my entire wardrobe. I heavily debated getting a green pencil skirt – this was at a time when bold colors were just beginning to show up for skirts – but I just couldn’t resist.
The photos of this skirt scarcely do it justice. The green is completely gorgeous. It reminds me of sea foam, vintage colored milk glass and sometimes even Tiffany & Co. boxes.
And again, it’s the little details J. Crew puts into their clothes that just get me every time. The ribbon on the inside of the waist, the lining, the small slit at the back and the fitted silhouette – just perfect.
Even if you get one in a bold color, a classic pencil skirt is one of those wardrobe staples that every woman should have. J. Crew has the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in a whole host of new colors right now, which you can check out here.
No. 1 – The Deco Flower Necklace
I am honestly not even sure what the real name of this necklace is! I call it the ‘Deco Flower Necklace’ because it reminds me of a vintage piece you’d find in your grandmother’s jewelry box. I am pretty sure it was part of the very first jewelry collection that J. Crew ever did back in 2007 or 2008.
I completely missed out on it when it was available in stores, but I hunted it down later on eBay. Locking in the winning bid on this was one of my proudest eBay moments!
I could just stare at it all day long. It’s a little on the heavy side (on account of the glass beads) but I don’t even care. The flower detail is my favorite part.
This necklace is several years old, but J. Crew has been coming up with really beautiful jewelry designs ever since that first collection. The ‘Elephant Resin-link Necklace’ and the ‘Peacock Necklace’ are both gorgeous.
Well, there you have it – my five favorite J. Crew pieces. I love them all. And looking back at my picks, something just occurred to me. The wardrobe geniuses that put together the outfits for the J. Crew Style Guides could probably whip up one amazing outfit putting all of these pieces together.
And doesn’t that just speak volumes about the clothes?
(All images courtesy of NYC Recessionista)
Alison is the creator and author of NYC Recessionista
, a bargain shopping and fashion blog started in 2008 after her then-boyfriend (now husband) politely told her he was tired of her talking his ear off about empire waists, wide leg trousers and mod-style shift dresses. She is just a simple girl with an insatiable appetite for clothes shopping, mixing bargain basement and designer pieces in the same outfit, and getting more than one season out of her favorite items by layering, mixing and matching. In addition to NYCRecessionista
, she is also the creator of A Recessionista Ties The Knot
and the tumblr What Would Joan Wear
. In 2010, she was s elected as a “Knottie” Blogger Bride by TheKnot.com
. In 2012, she was s elected to be a Beauty Ambassador for Ladies’ Home Journal
, and a