Afternoon delight: the perfect classic J.Crew sweater…but it’s from J Brand

Every so often during my online clothing hunt I come across an item that makes me stop in my tracks, forget what I was doing and just drool. I may not need every item I want, I may not be able to afford every item I want, but I can certainly appreciate every item I want!

Today’s afternoon delight: the perfect grey cotton sweater. Like J.Crew used to make. Only this one is by J Brand!

Back when I was in middle school (yes, you read that right) I fell in love with J.Crew’s winter merino sweaters. They were perfect. Long, ribbed cuffs. Ideal grey color. Warm. Soft. Fantastic crew neckline. Hit at the right spot on my junior high hips. I wore those sweaters for all of high school, most of college and after moving back to NYC post-university. What has happened?!? These days it’s impossible to walk into J.Crew and find a simple, classic, well-made sweater. I don’t want to delve deeper into it — it’s just too upsetting!

The wound was made raw all over again when I spotted the photo above, taken from a German fashion magazine. How cute is this as a fall work outfit? PERFECT J.Crew-esque sweater, scarf, blazer (I’d do a solid schoolboy style rather than striped), coffee, and we’re all set to roll. I was determined to somehow make this look come real.

So thank you J Brand for creating the Helms sweater in your ready-to-wear line! It’s the closest thing I’ve found to the sweaters I remember from years past. It fits well and has the same longer ribbing on the wrists and bottom hemline. It is so soft too! To recreate the look above I wear the J Brand Helms Sweater, this Anthro scarf, and a Club Monaco black schoolboy blazer (similar).

The sweater is available on a number of retailer websites including Saks Fifth Ave, CUSP and Barney’s. Better yet, it’s on sale at Intermix (least expensive but final sale!), J Brand’s own website and the Dreslyn. An investment piece sure to pay dividends for years and years.

What’s your afternoon delight today?

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