Last week I targeted Banana Republic for my outfit selections, so this week I’m moving on to the next mass market retailer: JCrew.
The problem that I foresee with a JCrew-centric outfit is whittling down the myriad of possibilities (I’m a very big fan of their stuff). I don’t think any other mass market store does casual to casual-trendy tops as well as JCrew. Most of their stuff is highly versatile, meaning you can wear the same top to a casual bar that you would to a super trendy restaurant. The key is what you surround the items with.
JCrew is known, especially recently, for fostering some big name designer collaborations. From Red Wings, to Barbour, and now to Thomas Mason, JCrew consistently is on point with their style trends.
I know I know, it sounds like I’m Don Draper for JCrew. But this is all true, and it isn’t all good. I’m not a huge fan of their denim (or pants in general), as I’ve found their fit to be inconsistent, and not exactly of the highest quality. I’ve never owned a sport coat from JCrew that hasn’t lost a button within the first season. Also, I won’t ever purchase socks from them any longer, as the elastic lasts all of 30 seconds.
But, I’ve never had a problem with the quality of their tops, which are almost always well-tailored. It’s classic American style, with a modern twist. Perfect for any PG reader.
And here, dear reader, is a valuable lesson to learn. As you continue to shop, either at mass market stores or boutiques (not just for the woman folk), you’ll find that different designers do your particular body type right. You’ll gravitate to the style, fit and quality that you personally find flattering. I’ve learned that for me, JCrew is the best for shoes (occasionally), shirts, belts, and sweaters.
So, following the same format as before, we’ll move from casual outfit to progressively more trendy/dressier. As usual, the price for the complete outfit should be around $250, though I’ve not come in under budget once.
I’ll start with the shirt this time, as I am in love with JCrew’s casual shirts. They have a modern fit to them (slimmer in the torso) as well as modern fabric & prints. My preferred way to wear their shirts is to machine wash and line dry. I like the wrinkles, as it adds a bit of a masculine touch and suits my sense of style perfectly. If I choose to dress it up, I’ll throw a vest or tie on top, and change into dressier pants. They’re incredibly versatile.
For this casual outfit, I chose a light-colored gingham shirt. The faded color of the pattern helps to keep the look casual, especially if you wear it wrinkly and not pressed.
As usual, tuck in the shirt and roll the sleeves.
Since it’s casual, we’ll go with jeans. I think they JCrew has improved the quality of their denim in recent years, and these have a very modern fit with quality denim. As opposed to the last casual outfit, I’ve chosen a darker pair of jeans this time.
Now, I know thus far you may think that the dark jeans and tucked in shirt doesn’t scream casual. Here’s the key: the shoes. I’ve chosen some classic Jack Purcells to help balance the entire outfit. The cool/retro look of the sneakers completely ratchets the outfit down a notch on the dressy scale, while adding a bit of style.
Now you can see why I chose a straight leg jean; it’s because of the shoes. If a boot leg were chosen, the low profile kicks would be lost in the wide pant opening. So the key is to match your leg opening of your pants with the shoes that you are wearing. With these straight leg jeans, just enough of the sneaker should show to create a nice silhouette.