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Fashion

J. Crew Sold Me More Than Just Clothes, So Their Bankruptcy Breaks My Heart

By Nicole Andre·· 3 min read
j crew

The huge American retailer just filed for bankruptcy and is planning some restructuring along the lines of what Neiman Marcus, who is facing a similar fate, has in mind. Both stores I love! The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on a lot of businesses, even though people’s first thought is often small businesses. After hearing about this I had to share my love for J.Crew. They were one of the first stores I ever really loved, and I still feel at home wearing their clothes.

Dear J.Crew,

The first memorable item of clothing I ever owned was from you — my beloved yellow wool coat. All I wanted for Christmas when I turned 10 years old was the blue coat I had seen in your catalog. By the time my dad got down to the store that year, it was sold out in blue, but I’m glad it was because the yellow coat was perfect. I remember sneaking down the stairs and eavesdropping as my dad gave my mom a glowing review of the great customer service he received five minutes to closing while searching for the one thing I wanted.

The first memorable item of clothing I ever owned was from you — my beloved yellow wool coat. 

I squeezed into that coat for as long as I could. I live in Southern California where it hardly ever gets cold enough to justify a coat, but I wore it every chance I got. Eventually, it got too tight in the shoulders, and even then I still wore it because it was all I wanted in a piece of clothing, then and, truthfully, now too.

It’s funny because I read in The New Yorker about Meghan O’Neill’s sketch that made fun of your catalogs had a joke about dressing adults and children the same, but there might be something to that, because I wish you made that same coat in my size now. To me, that’s the magic of your store. You sell classic American clothing that isn’t beholden to sway with each passing trend, so it lasts.

You sell classic American clothing that isn’t beholden to sway with each passing trend, so it lasts.

I hope you make it because if you don’t, I will be at a loss without your catalogs to use as inspiration. They’re a dream for anyone who loves preppy style. They make me want to throw on a sweater over a bathing suit and shorts in the summer to go for a bike ride by the beach or to be bold enough to pair bright red rain boots with a red sweater dress at Christmastime while out exploring the countryside. 

Your catalogs show clothes being lived in! Because style isn’t just about taking a photo for Instagram. Clothing is meant to be worn while we live our lives, not to be worn while we pretend to be living on Instagram. If only other stores sold their clothes with the intention, not of fast fashion, but that their customers make meaningful memories and try something new — maybe because they saw a fun activity in a catalog.

Clothing is meant to be worn while we live our lives, not to be worn while we pretend to be living on Instagram.

When I want to buy a piece that I would like to last, your store is the first place I look. From the t-shirts I wore as a child to the ones I’ve been wearing nonstop this summer, your clothes hold up. I own your vintage style pajamas in two colors, wear them nonstop, and there still isn’t a thread out of place after almost two years. Your cashmere sweater remains unrivaled, and my beloved yellow coat hangs in the closet to be passed down to a future daughter (if I have a girl, of course). Because it’s still like brand new! And the timeless design means that no matter how many years pass, wearing a coat from J.Crew will be like the Taylor Swift song, never go out of style.

Sincerely,

Nicole, a saddened, but hopeful and grateful, customer

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