Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Below you'll find J.Crew's September Style Guide. The fall edition is always a highly-anticipated moment for Crewaholics, but in this case the guide is even more exciting given that it's coming out after CEO Mickey Drexler publicly admitted that J.Crew had gone off message a bit.
In a now-famous call to former J.Crew customer Elizabeth DeRose—who, recall, had sent an angry email to the generic customer service address that charged the company with disregarding its "core values and styling and abandoning your loyal customers"—Drexler and his styling team listened "intently and respectfully" to what she liked and disliked about the brand's styling. In an email that followed up the call, Drexler wrote, "We are on it for sure. I hope you see a difference this fall."
So. Do you see a difference? Menswear inspiration is still a go (See: sneakers, baseball caps, sweatpants and oxfords) and the clothes continue to flatter the impossibly long-limbed, like Jenna Lyons. However, where there once would be a statement necklace, the neckline is bare, and strong eyewear, kooky mixed prints, and hyper-layering have taken a backseat to simpler pairings. It doesn't go so far as to offer the reliably basic basics seen in these throwback images from the J.Crew Tumblr. But it's much less concerned with being trendy as, say, last year's fall lookbook.
The real test will be this fashion week's presentation, which generally ups the quirk to appease a style-hungry fashion journalist set. But as one of Racked's commenters noted, whether they change or not, "It's just styling. Take the outfits apart and you have a classic cardi, simple shorts, and button up. Purchase all of the pieces in navy and or white. Undo the top 2 buttons of the shirt. Throw on some pearls and there you have classic J.Crew."
We want to know: Do you think the September Style Guide hit the mark or is it a step backwards for the brand? Is it even the back-to-basics look that some customers asked for? Speak your minds in the comment section below.
· Mickey Drexler Says J.Crew Styling Has 'Strayed Too Far' [Racked]
· Madewell Steps out of J.Crew's Shadow With Affordable Denim [Racked]