Steal the Style: The Best of J. Crew’s New Arrivals

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 J. Crew new Fall arrivals & more affordable options

We’re more than halfway through August.  Which means we’re pretty close to September.  And September means we can finally start the annual long goodbye with summer, and move full steam into the season that’s most conducive to dressing well.

Brands and retailers are starting to release their fall lines and J. Crew is one of the first to debut a large crop.  A lot of it is pretty tempting, but the price tags are unfortunately (and expectedly) pretty J.Crew-ish.  Below you’ll find the picks, plus reasonable alternatives that will be at least a little friendlier to your financial state.
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J. Crew Cord Sportcoat – $138.00 | L.L. Bean Signature Cord Blazer – $99.99 ($175)

Different for sure, but both good buys.

Usually Old Navy will debut a cord blazer for around $50 once the leaves start to turn (nope, try now… see update below), but for now, here’s what we’ve got.  And the J. Crew is something else.  See the full review here.  The L.L. Bean Signature isn’t available in grey, and while the J. Crew has no shoulder pads, the L.L.B.S. probably does.  It looks to be a cord version of their new traditional twill suiting and those do have pads.  But if you want an affordable cord suit for fall?  L.L. Bean has matching pants too.
UPDATE:  Credit to Foo and MagM for being on top of Old Navy’s new release of their cord and twill blazers.  Looks like they’re three buttons though this year.  30% off with the code THANKS.  More on that tomorrow.
UPDATE 2:  L.L.B.S. just jacked the price on their cord blazer back up to full price.  Nice timing.  Cripes.

 

Authentic Bayswater Peacoat – $255.00 | Schott U.S. 740N Pea Jacket – $220.00

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

JCrew.com says: “Our new design is true to the time-honored classic…” and it is a great looking coat.  But the Schott is arguably the actual time-honored classic.  Made in the USA and also available in a slim, which is instead made in Canada.  The fit/sizing difference between the two is currently unknown.  Might have to spring for a grey slim fit to test it out right?  Both are expensive, but with prices going up, they relative cost isn’t that bad for a heavy winter coat.  If you’re on a serious budget, keep an eye on the L.E.C. version.  Try to catch a sale, but it’s $180 right now.

 

J. Crew Waffle Henley – $42.50 | Old Navy Waffle Henley – $12.50

The Old Navy won't fit as well, but... it's a henley.

Forty bucks for a henley?  Man.  It’s a nice layering piece and looks surprisingly good underneath a casual button up.  But it’s still barely more than long underwear.  Be prepared to size down in the Old Navy option.

 

Chippewa for J. Crew Boots – $198.00 | Chippewa “GQ” Boot – $139.00

The resemblance is more than uncanny

Man those are close aren’t they?  Both are made in the USA, both have the Vibram outsole, but the J. Crew version looks just a bit more dressed up thanks to the smoother leather.  The J. Crew also comes with goodyear welt construction and round eyelets instead of hexagons.  Yes the J. Crew looks undeniably better at first glance.  But a $60 difference?  Really?

 

J. Crew Wool/Cashmere V-Neck – $68.00 | Express Merino Wool V-Neck – $39.90*

Look for off-white / beige V-necks this fall (especially over chambray shirts).

Here’s how this works.  Express is running a tiered sale through today (8/22).  $15 off $30, $30 off $75, etc with the code 1664.  The Express Italian Merino Wool V-neck is quite nice, but at $69.90, it’s spendy and just under the second threshold.  Put a pair of $9.90 socks in your cart, that pushes the total over $7.50, and after the $30 off code 1664 the sweater becomes $39.90 with the full price socks.  It actually costs less if you buy the socks and get the $30 off, than just the sweater with $15 off.

 

J. Crew Harvest Herringbone Vest – $125 | Herringbone Linen Vest – $70* w/ MUSTSHOP

$55 less AND can be worn year round.

It’s worth saying again.  You’re either a waistcoat kinda guy, or you’re not.  Hooray for tweed and all, but good luck wearing it in on a bright spring day.  The Linen will still have texture to it, won’t look terribly out of place, and you can wear it more than 4 months a year.  There’s always the cheap grey Alfani option too.  *WARNING:  This is a final sale item.  Use MUSTSHOP to get this price and an extra 30% off all final sale items.

 

J. Crew Herringbone Sportcoat – $285.00 | Calibrate Herringbone Blazer – $225icon

Oh. I see what you did there.

Here’s the good news on the Calibrate blazer: it was going for a paltry (in comparison) $150 during their annual anniversary sale.  So we know it can go that low.  The bad news is you might have to wait until their Semi-Annual Sale in December for it to hit that price again.  And it’s no guarantee that it’ll dip that low.  Also worth a shot the just arrived J. Crew Factory Herringbone for $124.60 with MUSTSHOP

 

J. Crew Leather Weekender – $475.00 | L.L. Bean Signature Medium Duffle – $150

$475 can buy you a plane ticket to a lot of places.

So what if only the bottom of the L.L. Bean option is leather.  The price difference is $325.  If you’re dying for an all leather duffle, L.L. Bean Signature’s “Bean’s Duffle” gives you all the look, in a slightly smaller package, for $200 less.

Just a heads up for a decent sale going on with one of J. Crew’s main competitors… BananaRepublic.com as well as Gap.com and oldnavy.com are all 30% off right now with the code THANKS.  Picks and reviews coming tomorrow…

UPDATE: Another heads up.  Looks like all J. Crew Final Sale items are an extra 30% off with the code MUSTSHOP.  But final sale means you can’t return or exchange them, so, shop carefully.