Catharsis: It was a very J.Crew week


No, you did not accidentally get sent to J.Crew Aficionada. (Although I highly recommend you mosey on over there at some point — I read the news and then it’s my first blog read in the morning, every morning!) This is a post strictly a rant. Guess where the majority of my October spending budget is going? (Small as it is.) J.Crew. Why? Because they’re giving me free shipping.

I’m not really a discount shopper. I’m many things when it comes to shopping: impulsive, competitive, selective, etc. However paying full price vs. discount isn’t normally a huge deal to me. If I like something I’ll pay full price it to get it before other people do. But these days my discretionary income is down yet my impulses remain the same so I fully admit to being easily swayed by whichever store is offering the best deal in any given week. Most of my designer stuff is now being saved for special occasions. I’m shopping the midrange heavily.

Last spring J.Crew did pretty much everything wrong in my book. I’m a silver cardholder with them which gets me the honor of paying 20%+ interest when I carry a balance but no real perks. (Sorry, a $25 gift card for every $500 spent aka 5% cash back is not cutting it with me. I get much better rewards at a much lower interest rate on my Amex.) J.Crew’s website was down all the time from application errors. They dropped me from their catalog distribution list; they messed up two online orders in a row; they refused to price adjust an item for me.

So I hit them back where it hurts. Over the spring and summer I cut my spending with J.Crew by 90%. Their profits were up for the quarter so I can’t claim that I really had an effect. Somehow though I think the Crackheads took notice. Last week I got a card in the mail letting me know that I could get free shipping on any online/phone order through October 11. They even gave me my own VIP number a phone number that everyone else who got the card had too! No waiting time on the phone though. I’m far from the only one who got this card and the pattern seems to be it was sent to peeps who hadn’t ordered from them in awhile.

It was convergence — I love fall clothing. I wanted to buy fall clothing. I was willing to give J.Crew another chance. And so far it’s paid off in spades. I’ve placed four (!!!) small orders and will probably place one more before the promotion ends.

I love Anthropologie’s fall line. In my completely biased opinion it’s better than J.Crew’s. Their customer service is 1000 times better and that’s why they usually get the lion’s share of my moola. But my most desired items aren’t in-store yet. And I don’t want to pay shipping. Even at my most spendthrift shipping charges have been hard to take. I admit that right now I want a bit of an incentive. I know that Anthropologie’s modus operandi is not to discount. And I respect that. I think it makes Anthro stronger as a business. BUT. Free shipping is almost a necessity to stay competitive at the moment. A lot of retailers are already unveiling “holiday” promotions. (Sick, isn’t it?) So call it an early present and bring back the free shipping. Please? My outfits need more Anthro!

Monday:
shoes – last year’s J.Crew Serengeti peep toes in cool graphite
skirt – last year’s J.Crew cord vintage pencil skirt
top – Anthropologie’s Swept Away Top ($48) in slate
cardigan – Banana Republic’s crewneck cardigan ($70)
jewelry – bought on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2007
Tuesday:
shoes – CL by Chinese Laundry flats
jeans – Gap Long & Lean jeans
shirt – J.Crew crosshatch shirt
cardigan – J.Crew Jackie ($60) in deep rose

Wednesday:
shoes – J.Crew Cossette Mary Jane Peep Toes (now $99) in whisper pink
inspired by this post on A Bigger Closet’s blog
tights – Gap from last year
skirt – J.Crew vintage cord pencil skirt ($60) in glazed pecan
tank – J.Crew Perfect-fit falling ruffles tank ($30) in retail-only color
cardigan – J.Crew Merino Maya cardigan ($88) in dusty blossom
jewelry – J.Crew Duchess Stone necklace ($98) in dusty blossom
& Crystal Symphony Necklace ($98) in soft pumpkin

Thursday:
shoes – Frye Molly braid ballet flats
skirt – J.Crew Paintbrush Floral skirt
tank – American Eagle
cardigan – J.Crew Melanie merino cardigan
necklace – Ann Taylor Loft

Friday:
boots – Eddie Bauer wide calf espresso high heel boots (Bless ’em!)
tights – Gap from last year
dress – Old Navy Fine-Wale Cord Shirtdress ($30) in wise owl
inspired by this post from Sweet Tea in Seattle
cami – Old Navy Women’s Lace-Trim V-Neck Cami ($13) in pavement
necklace – Ann Taylor Loft

10 Comments

  1. October 9, 2009 / 2:31 pm

    Your Wednesday outfit perfection Roxy! You're wearing 3 things I'm lusting over at the Crew right now – the cardigan, those shoes, and the necklace!! It's nice to see your outfits!

  2. October 9, 2009 / 3:42 pm

    I love the swept away top. And the ON cord dress is awesome. Still patting myself on the back for getting one.I highly doubt I would shop as much as I do w/ON & BR if it weren't for the FS on my Luxe card. It makes a huge difference. You were lucky to get the free ship card from J Crew. They also do not like to discount these days and FS with no minimum is not easy to come by.

  3. SL
    October 9, 2009 / 3:51 pm

    Great post! I agree about J. Crew and their less than steller treatment of some of their customers. I recently put in a few large orders and they made an error in shipping one of my orders recently and then they wouldn't rectify this until I bugged them a couple of times by phone, even speaking to the manager. Plus, a week ago, I got an old September catalog with free shipping when it had expired a month ago! Even the gifts to only select customers really makes some customers feel awful.It has made me reconsider shopping with them especially when Anthro's service has been so good and their clothes so much more imaginative. I recently got free shipping on an order when I couldn't do a price adjustment and return another order. I really hope they reconsider and provide free shipping or some other perk to Anthro members soon. So much more of my wish list is made of Anthro items, too!

  4. October 9, 2009 / 5:41 pm

    Great post! That rose colored cardigan outfit is perfect! I agree.. Anthro needs to offer free/flat rate shipping.

  5. October 10, 2009 / 2:14 am

    I love the Jackie cardigan. I own 5 of them! I just received the buff pink in the mail, but I'm a little disappointed because it's a little more peach than pink. Of course, I'm not disappointed enough to send it back! I wear A LOT of blue, gray, and black, and I'm trying to get more color into my wardrobe so I should be able to find a use for the cardigan. Am I the only one who finds her wardrobe only leaning towards certain colors?

  6. Anonymous
    October 10, 2009 / 9:38 am

    re: your comment on jcrew website issues — man, i am constantly getting errors on the anthro site. i think pretty much any time i go to a link from a bookmark, i get a javascript alert, and then very often my bag is inacessible after i put items in it or it gets emptied while i am browsing. i wrote to customer service about it and they recommended clearing my cookies — which will just empty my bag so i have nothing to checkout, i'm not sure who that helps how. i would like free shipping but honestly, i would like them to fix their site more.

  7. Anonymous
    October 18, 2009 / 5:21 am

    Roxy, I am so with you. I completely stopped shopping in J Crew since February of this year. Hated dealing with their customer service and the 'we'll find it for you' only be able to find full price items. So, I also got the (VIP.. haha) FreeShipping card. I placed 3 small orders, with all items from the Sale section (not Final Sale items). Guess what, within a few days, 4 of those sale items in 2 orders had another price-cut of more than $10 (for each of those 4 items). I called the regular Customer Service (within 7 days of that order), and I was told that J Crew can price-adjust only on REGULAR PRICE items buy not on sale items!! Is that true, guys, from your experiences? I didn't know that!If so, nothing again — no more faling for special offers in the mail — will bring me back from my refuse_to_shop_at_JCrew attitude again.:( JCrew didn't get my money for months and they won't again. I used to like to shop there.I am going to take those items to the local store and see if I can return and re-purchase them. I'll be even willing to spend $40 from that price-adjustment at the store, if they'll do it. Let's see.

  8. November 25, 2009 / 3:50 am

    A new question on an old post for you Roxy…I just ordered the Maya Cardigan the other day and I'm kind of sad that it's dry clean only. I'm debating the risks of hand washing it, but I thought I might ask you first how you clean it, whether it's by hand washing or dry cleaning, and go from there. I really don't want to ruin it so any advice beforehand is appreciated! Random I know…Thanks!

  9. November 25, 2009 / 3:59 am

    I have hand washed mine successfully, but it depends on which color you ordered. My friend has the amber and hers got ruined by handwashing it (it got all streaky, not pleasant). My dusty blossom held up fine.

  10. November 25, 2009 / 10:23 pm

    yikes!! i got the gray, I think I'll spot test before I dunk the whole thing in a tub of water and detergent…thanks!

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