J. Crew Seems to be Moving Away From “Preppy”


We’re having something of a “major Monday” here in the corner condo at Princess InterGalactic HQ.  We can only thank the Consort the IT Department for their assistance and resolution of a major operator-error-induced-meltdown few minor foo-foos with the desktop. As a result of today’s lesson in patience, the post is brief.

We begin with great good news for one of our favorites, Kiel James Patrick, he of the fabulous bracelets, headbands and earrings.


Kiel shared a big announcement on Friday: he has signed a deal to create custom KJP products for several Ivies. More specially, exclusive KJP designs will be offered at the Harvard, Dartmouth and Yale campus stores. How cool is this news?!?  Better yet, Kiel is one of the world’s all-time nice human beings, Friday’s announcement shows that good things happen to good people.

Besides, he’s kinda’ cute. (But don’t tell him I said so.)


Next, word that Tory Burch is going to be adding eyewear to her offerings.

For more background on the story, click here to read the designer’s blog, featuring the trade magazine story seen in the images above.

No one will be surprised to read that while we like the Wraparound frame sunglasses, the logo would be a deal killer. To take a look at other eyewear styles Ms. Burch currently has available online, click here.


Also today, J. Crew fans might enjoy an interview Style has with Jenna Lyons. We found this particular portion of the interview fascinating:

“Preppy” style is often mentioned in the same breath as J.Crew. Is today’s preppy different from yesterday’s?
I have a hard time with the word “preppy.” To me, it’s a way of styling. Classic things mixed a certain way—especially special color combinations—look very preppy. We still have the same pieces: polo shirts, khakis, a great classic blazer, a beautiful white shirt.

Below, the wool Schoolboy Blazer and Stripe 3/4-quarter sleeve shirt. (Of the three “classic shirts” shown on the retailer’s website only one offers long sleeves.)

Back to the designer’s thoughts on ‘preppy’:

“But what we’ve been trying to do is change the way things are presented.  Maybe that little cargo jacket that we would have shown ten years ago with a polo shirt we’re now showing with a little sequin top and high heels.

Or perhaps the Sequin Chino shorts:

Call us crazy, but we’re not seeing these at the club for cocktails after the 18th hole. But then, the retailer isn’t proposing these styles for that type of activity; this portion of the quote better explains why not:

“And the thing about preppy is it can be alienating to some people. It’s very coastal and it leaves out a lot of Americans who aren’t yachting or going to the beach club.

They shorts are not for us, but then, we aren’t the brand’s target demo.This makes perfect sense when paired with recent and current Crew merchandise.  The company wants to be inclusive, continuing its path toward trendier, younger shoppers.  And to be fair, the credo has worked exceptionally well in recent years; despite These Difficult Times, the firm is very healthy.

But we need your thoughts: does J. Crew work for you? Is the company’s direction one you find appealing? Or are you still fond of some things, but finding yourself back at Brooks Brothers or J. McLaughlin for many basics? Do tell, expiring minds are dying to know.


Next, a look at some of the limited edition bottles Kiehl’s had created to recognize Earth Day.

Courtesy Kiehl's

Among those designing bottles, actress Julianne Moore and artist Jeff Koon. The bottles are now available at Kiehl’s online and in stores.


A reminder on our great Spring Fling Thing:

Enter to win these and other goodies in our contest, we are drawing five winners! And we have one more element to entries as the result of a great idea accompanying an entry: all active military automatically receive two entries, just be sure to let us know your status.

Until next time dollfaces, may your Mondays be bright and beautiful!


Filed under Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

14 responses to “J. Crew Seems to be Moving Away From “Preppy”

  1. Suburban Princess

    I won a prize from KJP a few months ago and even when I wasnt giving them any money they provided awesome customer service! And you know how I am about that sort of thing! They also have free shipping to Canada! Cant beat that!

    As for JCrew…I have never been struck by their preppiness – they have a few nice things but I have never felt any great urge to shop there. When I read the fashion blogs I find the JCrew outfits just all look the same after a while.

  2. LPC

    Am both coastal and doing my best to remain modern. A struggle at times, but worth the effort at my age I believe.

  3. Amy

    You know, I was all into JCrew for awhile, but recently I purchase less from there and more from Banana Republic or Gap. I see more sequined items (like you mentioned) and shirts with all sorts of prints all over them and things that lend more towards the trendy. Not to say I don’t still go there for khaki shorts and flip flops. But I think it’s definitely changing.

    And sigh. Kiel James Patrick is adorable, and his bracelets are perfect preppy accessories. I heart him.

  4. Fingers crossed on the Spring Fling. I can still find plenty from J. Crew that speaks to my preppiness. Not everything of course, but some things. I like Brooks Brothers, of course. And J. McLaughlin – to die for. Love James Kiel Patrick! His bracelets make me wish I were younger – and I’m not one to make that wish 🙂 Great Post Preppy Princess!! xoxo

  5. I have noticed this about J. Crew. I miss the cute critter items and other fun styles. I do wish they would brighten up their colors a bit as everything has become quite muted. The bf got me some Tory Burch sunglasses as an early birthday present. He picked them out and they’re the aviator style. Hopefully I can pull it off! 🙂 Have a lovely evening!

  6. Princess Freckles

    J. Crew is still my go-to store. I find it preppy at the core with other tings mixed in. Obviously those shorts are awful, but they offer so many other, better options for me.

    The outlet was filled with preppy duds this weekend, and it was hard to control myslef! 🙂

  7. Jackie

    I am very disappointed with the new styles and colors at J. Crew. I miss all of the preppy basics and bright colors…everything is so drab in the store. Why change a good thing? I did find that the outlet is still carrying a lot of the traditional J. Crew colors and styles. Every time I go to the mall I go into J. Crew with the hopes of finding something…I am trying so hard to get into the new designer…but nothing is appealing to me.

  8. My first thought on the J. Crew shorts: sequin rash…OUCH!

  9. blacklabsandlilly

    I like the way J.Crew is evolving. While I do miss the old critter cords and polos, they still offer a wide enough variety that I find pieces to work with my wardrobe. They are also super convenient for me to indulge my shopping urges, I walk by one store on my daily commute!

  10. I have been missing the classic JCrew prep for many seasons. I so hope that they don’t abandon the classics. I have been turning to Brooks Brothers and Talbots—but I still miss the JCrew that was.

  11. What I couldn’t handle with JCrews latest catalog was those chinos that were splattered in white paint. May be cute on the younger generation, to me it’s just messy/sloppy

  12. I’m sad I don’t have a live-in IT Department.

  13. I have a love/hate relationship with J Crew. There are always some random items that I would never dream of wearing, but there are usually a few pieces that I want to buy. I have been dissapointed with the quality there recently. I do not mind paying for a quality item that will last, but I feel like the prices have been going up and the quality has been going down.

    I hope all is well and that you have a lovely week!

  14. McLean Prep

    I have never really thought of J. Crew as a prep mainstay. Yes, some of their things have always fit into a traditional or prep wardrobe, but it has always been true that many of their things really aren’t either traditional or preppy.

    We find we shop MUCH more from the Lands’ End or LL Bean or Brooks Bros or J Press catalogs/stores than from J. Crew. This isn’t really a new trend, but more the way things have always been.

    By contrast, Lands’ End has picked up some outside branded items, such as the classic Tretorn Nylite, and seems to be moving MORE into a prep/traditional mixture of clothing.

    Most anything at LL Bean, J Press, or Brooks Brothers works, as always.

    What we’re keen on are the Sperry CVO 75th Anniversary edition deck sneakers. In some markets, this comes in red or pink as well as the usual navy or white.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s