J. Crew – Your 2013 #StoreWars Champion

We have a new champ.  Plus your suggestions for next year's tourney.

Congratulations to J. Crew

When you’re good you’re good, and right now J. Crew is great.  For the first two years of Store Wars, they didn’t even make the final.  Now, this year, they and their less expensive (and accessible via the web) J. Crew Factory line dominated both sides of the bracket.  So much so, that you’ve got to wonder if J. Crew could put together a multi-year streak.

They’re still towards if not at the top level of what most would consider “affordable”, but something’s happening in men’s style.  It seems like guys are willing to invest a little bit more in big-ticket items, like suits and blazers, as long as they’re constructed well.  That shift in spending habits (if it exists) could be what carried J. Crew to victory this year.

J. Crew goes to one of the Italian Mills their suit fabric is sourced from.

J. Crew also plays the sales and codes game.  Maybe not as often as a GAP inc brand, but if you’re patient, you can get a half-canvassed, incredibly well fitting off the rack suit or blazer at a stunningly good price.  Still an investment, but in the grand scheme of things?  The bang-to-buck ratio is fantastic.  Same goes for their 3rd party merchandise.  Sure, some of it used to get a little… strange… but most of it is incredible stuff.  And plenty of it goes on sale, then at another 30% off is finally accessible for the guy who’s on a budget.

Ludlow construction
J. Crew’s breakdown of their jackets.  Is this what won them Store Wars?

But what about next year?  Will J. Crew’s continued success in the retail world lead to higher prices, less codes, and more and more guys saying “they’ve priced themselves out of my shopping habits“?  Or do you think they’re the odds on favorite to win again next year?

And what about the format for Store Wars?  Is 2014 the year to pit similar brands/stores against each other by region?  Have say, a department store region, a 2nd hand region, a big-box-budget region, and so on?  Or should we stick to seeding the stores based on perceived overall popularity?  Would you guys want more say in who gets in the tournament?  Maybe have a pre-tournament vote-in where you could cast votes for all the stores you’d want to see compete?

Leave it all below.  Many thanks to all of you who voted/left comments, and once again, congrats to J. Crew (fair to assume they’re totally thrilled… amiright??).

See the final bracket here.  See the final between J. Crew and Factory here.  The full Store Wars 2013 archive is here.
Top Photo is from here.  And the winner?  To quote Tony Kornheiser: “I believe I had that” (right, big stretch).