J.Crew - A Quick Store Visit
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017
As I noted in a revision to my previous post, Finding Petite Stores - Where Can I Go?, J.Crew does not in fact, stock petites in any of its retail locations. They do, however, have a petite selection that can be ordered either online or over the phone. I decided to take a closer look at the large J.Crew on Madison to check out the quality of some of the items in person.
This store is one of J.Crew's largest in Manhattan. It's really close to several other traditional suiting stores due to its Midtown location near Grand Central. Brooks Brothers, Paul Stuart, and Ann Taylor are literally across the street. The store is laid out all on one floor and includes both men's and women's selections. I found the staff there to be extremely nice and helpful. Yet again, I discovered another thin salesperson to commiserate with - she also has to get 0's taken in! She was very good about explaining the alterations policy to me.
Alas, J.Crew is rather miserly and won't pay for any alterations on non-full priced items. And even for the full priced merchandise, only basic hems are free! Hmph! But I did walk out of there with the card for the store's tailor. Not only does he do all the alterations for this store, he also has accounts with other retailers so I'm pretty sure he's good. J.Crew and he have an arrangement so that if anything happens to mess up the garment, it's handled so you won't get screwed. I'll have to give him a try some time on some stuff I have already.
Right now, they're running a summer sale, but the only things I actually took a fancy to were the cheap ribbon belts and the men's bowties (yes, you read it correctly). I never got the impression that the 'J.Crew Man' wore bowties - but I guess that's why they're on sale. I snagged a ribbon belt for myself, and two bowties - one as a gift and one for me as a gag. Yes, I do know how to tie one!
I poked around the non-sale items but wasn't particularly impressed there either. Ok, I fully admit that I really don't like J.Crew merchandise in general - but its traditional suiting and work wear is definitely classic and wearable. A few seasons ago, I was taken with the quality and pricing on the Super 110 suits they had. If only more of its corporate stuff fit!
Searching a bit, I latched onto a J.Crew's cashmere sweater. I honestly thought they were better than Ann Taylor's or Banana's. And they're about the same price (this one's $138), if not cheaper. Pity, as it seems a cruel joke that none of the sweaters in any fabric or style are made for petites. So, this woefully huge XS cashmere sweater (at least on me) is as close as it gets for me in J.Crew. In the picture, you might be able to tell that I'm trying to extend my fingers as far as possible. Yeah, sleeves are way too long (19" from armpit to cuff) and wide, along with everything else!
I promise! The review for my petite phone order at the J.Crew store will be up very shortly!