29 Reasons To Avoid Spending Money On J.Crew’s New Fall ‘Style Guide’

My J.Crew catalog arrived this weekend. Except it’s called a “Style Guide” instead of a catalog. Probably because creative director Jenna Lyons has turned J.Crew into a “cult brand” and is trying to inspire plebes like me to be more fashion forward. But after flipping through a few pages, I realized why I’ve pretty much stopped shopping there.

As much as I admire Jenna Lyons for creating whimsical shoes for Fashion Week and being able to pull off a jean jacket at a black tie event thrown by Anna Wintour, I can’t say I’m down with paying tons of money for some of the straight up ugly chic clothes J.Crew is trying to pawn off this season. The brand has been doing a bunch of more expensive “collection” items for the past few seasons, but this Fall these items seem to be guiding people toward the crazy place in the mid-90s when everyone was wearing boring, misshapen outfits to cleanse themselves from the 1980s neon-spandex haze.

The entire catalog is filled with little Easter eggs of fashion disaster surprises. So here’s what I WON’T be picking up this Fall from J.Crew:

1. This baseball hat that looks like it was custom made for Kris Jenner:

JCrew leopard baseball hat

2. This sweater, which will look good on precisely no one  :
Jcrew shapeless blue sweater
3. Seriously, look at this beautiful (sad) model wearing it:

Jcrew shapeless sweater4. This monstrosity:

5. Which looks even worse on a person (with a bonus terrible hat!):
photo (25)
6. This sweater, which is approximately the same hand-me-down 70s sweater my mom made me wear in 1985. BUT AT LEAST THEN IT WAS FREE (this one costs $500):
7. This shirt, which looks like a middle schooler’s mom made it (and somehow costs $300):
8. Speaking of middle school, my mom didn’t buy me a Bedazzler so I’d pay $500 for this shit:

JCrew sweatshirt wearing earrings

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    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff


    • http://ThePeppercat.com/ Candace

      This is without a doubt the funniest thing I’ve read on TheGloss in a long time.

    • MollieZHemingway

      Those clothing items are as awful as the captions are hilarious. But seriously, what’s going on with J. Crew? I’m confused. These are awful. Objectively awful. Is someone trying to sabotage the company from within?

    • LCTerrill

      Fantastic. I worked there for a few months last year, and the stylists kept trying to convince me that the grandma-couch pants were “really easy to wear!” Noooo, Jenna, no!

    • CMJ

      #12….W.T. actual fuck.

    • Sharon

      OMG, yes I will also be passing on the JCrew “collection”–YIKES!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      soooo damn funny.

    • Anne Marie Hawkins

      Some of these, like the grey dress at the bottom of the second page, might not be so terrible if the Style Guide had, you know, actually STYLED them?

    • Little Edie

      Sometimes when I’m cleaning my room, I’ll find an old J.Crew catalogue from high school or college (we’re talking late 1990s – early 2000s) or an old piece I’ve had since I was in college in my closet and I’ll look at it and think about the quality and style compared to the current season, and ask myself, “What the f**k happened, J.Crew? What is this monstrosity?” The camel sweater this season killed me. I’m an Islamicist by training and the camel sweater, “inspired by our trip to Morocco” sent me over the edge. I’m half tempted to get it just to mess with my students, but I couldn’t take prof seriously in a camel sweater, let alone myself.

      • keanesian

        Alternate teaching problem in that sweater: Your boobs would be popping out of the middle of your outfit.

      • Little Edie

        I’d make that camel into a Bactrian!

      • ktree

        OMG, right? I used to LOVE J.Crew. Then they got absurdly expensive and did stupid shit like this. Seriously, the “expensive” pants back then were $80! And… “handmade super glasses?” LOLWTFBBQ.

      • Little Edie

        YES. I can hold up a sweater I bought in high school that I STILL HAVE and one that I bought, say five years ago, and the high school one is about half an inch thicker, softer, and not a complete piece of shit. I don’t even understand what “handmade super glasses” are!!!! I JUST WANT A DECENT PAIR OF BLACK PANTS FOR LESS THAN A KIDNEY WHY CAN’T I HAVE THAT?

      • Edward Said
      • Little Edie

        OMG it does have tassels… Personally, I like my tassels to cover both nipples, not just one.

    • Fabel

      Christ, these really are horrible.

    • Angie B.

      wow, there was not one piece that I would even pay $10 for. Yuck

    • Natalie

      I think you could do this with most fashion lines. Only with J.Crew, we expect them to be affordable and pretty basic, so it seems even worse than normal.

    • carly

      you’re right, nothing could turn you into jenna lyons because you clearly have no style. also these captions are a little David Letterman Top 10 list – not everyone is funny even when they REALLY want to be.

      • keanesian

        Yes! We have identified the target market for these clothes. BUY ALL THE BEDAZZLED SHIRTS YOU CAN CARRY. They are all for you.

    • KJG

      Oh God these were funny. J Crew is just way too weird now. Prison jumpsuit…priceless….

    • BubbleyToes

      Mannn…this is so disappointing. J. Crew used to be my favorite drool-over-the-magazine store that I could never afford unless I got several gift cards for Christmas and then maybe I could have one or two things on clearance lol. I do have like 3 items from their store (none of which I paid more than $50 for) that I really, really love and will probably have forever. BUT…none of them look anything like these attrocities! You couldn’t pay ME $450 to wear that. Nuh-uh.

    • http://suzanneontour.com/ suzanne

      Meghan…your comments are well-taken and while I agree that some of the J.Crew clothes you featured in your post are unattractive and completely over-priced for what they are, keep in mind that these are mostly runway pieces. For those looking for the J.Crew of yesterday, you might want to check out Madewell before they go couture/”collection”, as well.

    • StephC12

      I totally agree that these Collection items are bonkers. However, the normal clothes for not-rich people are actually quite nice.

    • gigisgoneshopping


    • George

      You can laugh all you want. But almost all these pieces have sold out at net-a-porter. Go figure…

      • Doordie

        Hmmm…..I do see those, but can’t help wondering if it’s all smoke and mirrors. Do they REALLY sell out or is this some shell game gimmick that makes folks think they’re missing out on something!

    • Robin G.

      I’m with all of you. I wouldn’t wear any of these, much less pay these prices. If I am going to pay this much it’s going to be from a real designer for something fabulous. We all know the quality has gone down the toilet, as well. It is a real shame. I used to love J.Crew. I still walk in, but rarely buy anymore. Finally, what is the big deal about Jenna? Sorry, I don’t get her styling, much less her own look or style. I think it is more hype than anything. The emperor,Jenna, wears no clothes. Do they know who their customer is? None of us wants to pay to look as ugly as these models in these hideous clothes.

    • Veronica Minnis

      FUCKNG hilarious. SO glad someone REAL is out there! =)
      DO another one of these puppies lol

    • Clothespony

      They’ve lost their minds! I would’ve added the shearling coat to the list of insanities – it’s so 70s it looks like a costume – just in time for Halloween – and at what price! Their whole hi-low mix-match thing was refreshing for a while – now it’s gone stale, and it’s starting to look desperate.

      • Doordie

        Ok, so I shop J.Crew. I mean more than I can actually afford. Some of there stuff, no, a LOT of their stuff, I absolutely adore. I would say there are about 10-15 pieces each season that I absolutely ADORE. At the very least half of them are always ‘Collection’ items. They’re always at least 4 jewelry pieces I just HAVE to have and 2 or 3 pair of shoes. The irony is, that I can see both sides. I can totally see the monstrosities folks are pointing out, but I just as easily see the ‘genius’ and paired with my personal style (and likely any other person’s) it’s absolutely STUNNING. I don’t think that much of that stuff is really meant to “work together”. These folks are price gauging because they have pretty much cornered the market on colorful, classic ‘trends’, while offering a unique flare at {marginally} affordable price point. As much as I’ve bought from JC. I STILL can only shop there during their 30-40% off sales. Period. I’ve tried and had to take it back. Some stuff is crap. It’s cheaply made and costs a fortune. Needless to say I don’t buy that stuff!

    • Costumegirl7

      Bravo! It’s refreshing to know there’s someone in fashion who hasn’t drank the kool-aid! Sometimes designers don’t even take the time to step back and ask themselves, “is this ugly?” I predict someone’s going to get sacked after all the hype and egos burn out.

    • Faith J.

      Ha ha ha! Love it! You are right on. Ugly clothes. Ann Taylor has more going for it right now than J. Crew!

    • Shira

      These pop-up ads are insanely annoying.

    • MLP

      J. Crew has a very specific thing going on. It’s weird, but it’s consistent. It really boils down to just a few things, starting with the hair and the expression. “How To Live The J. Crew Life – 6 Easy Ways”: http://imissyouwheniblink.com/2013/03/14/living-a-j-crew-life-6-simple-steps/

    • marshmellows


    • mandy louise mcendeaver

      J Crew is out of touch…I am a 23 year old professional; I have found the necklaces J Crew offers on other sites for 75% less. Wow, who wants to purchase overpriced trendy clothing that has the cotton fiber…wool fiber that of a Target store? Stupid is what stupid does…good luck with this J Crew. I am NOT buying your scam!

      • Doordie

        Where? I’ve TRIED buying look-alikes and I’ve found it’s just too hit or miss. Everybody in China either works for the J.Crew Group, the Urban Outfitters Clan, BRepublic ‘nem… The ‘cheaper versions’ look like a bunch of 4th rate samples. I little while back, it was pretty easy to find “lookalikes” that were very, very close in configuration and quality to what you’d see on that site and elsewhere. So much so, that the pieces had to be samples or 3rd rate items from a contracted manufacturer! Again, for whatever reason, it’s become much more hit or miss. All the best to those who score great look a likes, but I’ve just had very inconsistent experiences. Maybe this will all change as China opens up more. Who knows?

    • akadamson

      #12 is stunning. You’re dissing the dress because it’s a (timeless, classic, done well over and over again) shift silhouette? A dress doesn’t need to showcase our “girl parts” (like the bodycon craze our generation’s going through) to look and feel great (dare I say hot).

    • Ekaterina Krokhmaleva

      So funny post, desipte of my love to j.crew I agree with you )))

    • Pinky Ling

      Despite being awful and expensive – these outfits manage to carry on the longstanding Jcrew tradition of somehow being mind numbingly boring because obviously creativity/design didn’t go into these clothes.

    • Galle

      Katie Holmes doppelganger modeling these weird clothes. Can someone tell me why, for the past decade, the J. Crew models look unwashed?