Per Yahoo Finance (and PRNewswire), over 80% of consumers received a gift card during the 2019 holiday season, while gift card sales were up seven percent over 2018’s totals. I’d be willing to bet that a large percentage of us Dappered readers received some of that fantastic plastic. In this new series titled How to Spend It, we’re curating a bunch of items from a selection of stores you might/most likely got a gift card to (some very Dappered-y, some less so because Aunt Karen wasn’t sure). Our goal is to show you what’s worth it at various price points. You CAN spend it all in one place, dear!
Brand Note: So, uh, hello everyone. My name is Adam and I am a J.Crew addict. We’re gathered here today so that I can show you a few examples of why J.Crew is, and has been, my go-to clothing brand since ~2012. Sure, they’ve been through their fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, but I believe they’ve turned a corner and have cleared some of those quality and price hurdles. You can see some of these changes for yourself if you know what to look for: new labels and tags, better materials, and *slightly* more competitive pricing (believe it or not). Always keep your eyes peeled for their frequent 30-50% off coupons (prices below don’t reflect additional discounts, being that J. Crew cycles through promos so fast) and as usual… specific pricing, sizes, and availability will often vary greatly, so check your local store or online frequently for the best deals!
Pricing Note: As of post time (2/18/20) J. Crew is running a 30% off select full price, and an additional 50% – 60% off select sale items code WEEKEND. That hasn’t been taken into account below, being that promos turn over quick at J. Crew, and things live forever on the internet. So… Hooray if you get a big discount!
- Garment-dyed slub cotton crewneck T-shirt – $32.50
- Slim garment-dyed slub jersey polo shirt – $39.50
- English linen pocket square – $42
- Garment-dyed slub cotton Henley shirt – $42.50
- Slim stretch pique polo shirt – $39.50 ($45)
- Cotton crewneck sweater in garter stitch – $49.50
TONS of goodies available under $50, especially if you’re willing to wait for one of the semi-frequent 40% off sales. I’m a big fan of the garment dyed slub cotton tees and snap them up whenever they’re on sale. The white linen pocket square is THE one to own as it goes with practically every suit and sport coat!
- Classic denim jacket – $98
- Slim American Pima cotton oxford shirt with mechanical stretch – $78
- Nike Killshot 2 sneakers – $90
- Adidas Stan Smith sneakers – $80
- 484 Slim-fit pant in stretch chino – $79.50
- Slim stretch organic cotton chambray shirt in dark wash – $79.50
- Vans for J.Crew washed canvas authentic sneakers – $60
- 9” stretch shorts – $65
- 484 Slim-fit jean in stretch dark worn in Japanese denim – $98
- Slim American Pima cotton oxford shirt with mechanical stretch in mini check – $69.50
If we’re honest, most of the J.Crew staples we’re familiar with are going to be in the $50-$100 MSRP range. That’s not exactly cheap, but frequent sales can slash the sticker shock a lot. Consider these the first big step up from your Old Navy, Target, or UNIQLO items where you’ll notice the better fabrics, cuts, and construction. I’m especially fond of the chambray shirt, buffalo plaid Oxford, and stretch chinos. I have subjected those to years of very, very frequent wears. The infamous Killshots are now in stock, too, but I prefer the white and green Stan Smiths.
- Field mechanic jacket – $198
- Everyday cashmere crewneck sweater – $118
- Wallace & Barnes Slim-fit chore blazer in cotton-linen – $150
- Bomber jacket in merino wool/cotton/poly blend – $128
- Ludlow Essential Slim-fit pant in stretch four-season wool – $128
- 484 Slim-fit jean in raw indigo stretch selvedge Japanese denim – $178
- Brunswick rain jacket in camo – $148
- Blundstone 1911 boots – $185
The sub-$200 tier is full of interesting jackets, cashmere sweaters, and some great Japanese denim. The Blundstone boots are great options for foul weather or just kicking around the yard with your little Gremlin. Don’t be afraid to throw this camo rain jacket in your style rotation – camo patterns are very “in” so long as you wear them as your statement piece to add a pop of color to an otherwise basic, understated outfit.
- Ludlow Slim-fit unstructured blazer in American wool – $209 check in stores for more stock?
- Kenton suede Chelsea boots – $248
- Ludlow Goodyear welted penny loafers – $298
- Kenton suede Pacer boots – $248
- Made in the USA New Balance 997 sneakers – $210
- Red Wing work chukka boots – $260
Why $300? It’s a great starting point for some nice Goodyear welted shoes or a staple sport coat. We previously reviewed the unstructured wool/cotton jacket and I remember being super impressed with it. Seems like the holiday and post holiday sales crush have limited the stock on these things online as of post time, but you may have luck in store.
- Barbour Sylkoil Ashby jacket – $415
- Ludlow Slim-fit Legacy blazer in American wool – $350
- Grant Stone plain-toe boots – $370
- Grant Stone Traveler penny loafers – $320
- Ludlow topcoat in wool-cashmere – $498
These are the stretch goals and luxury splurge pieces. Even if you didn’t receive a gift card this large, maybe you want to make a sizeable dent in something that’s considered “investment” worthy. Side note: I personally own the Barbour Ashby jacket and it’s WORTH. IT. Spend a few extra bucks on the matching hood and you’ll own this forever.
- Single-breasted topcoat in camel hair – $1498
- Ludlow Traveler Slim-fit suit jacket + pants in Italian wool = $700
- Ludlow Slim-fit suit jacket with double vent + pants in American wool = $650
- Alden for J.Crew 405 Indy boots – $589
- Alden for J.Crew shell cordovan longwing bluchers – $790
- Alden for J.Crew shell cordovan cap-toe boots – $790
If your wealthy boss Bernie mysteriously kicks the bucket and you’re his sole heir, now would be a good time to consider updating some of your basics to some of these eye-wateringly expensive “grail worthy” pieces. Coat and suits can and will go on sale (although they’re often excluded). Aldens on the other hand? Yeah. Good luck with getting a promo code to apply to those.
Want more from our Gift Card Series? Head here for the archive, or, individual store posts are as follows:
- So you got a gift card to Target
- So you got a gift card to UNIQLO
- So you got a gift card to Amazon
- So you got a gift card to Abercrombie & Fitch
- So you got a giftcard to Macy’s
About the Author: Adam Terry is Dappered’s resident shoe & denim expert. He’s a thirty-something Technical Trainer in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, and raw denim. He’s also a new(ish) dad!