About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
Sales of giftcards were up, wait for it, 43% this past holiday season. So chances aren’t half bad that you received a piece of that fantastic plastic, and now it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Or sitting somewhere in a drawer, waiting to be forgotten. In this series titled How to Spend It, we search and sift through some popular, gift-card producing retailers, curating a handful of items at various price points to show you what’s available. Specific sales and available sizes can vary greatly, so check the website or your local store often for the best deals.
Brand Note: If you’ve been a Dappered reader for any length of time, you know that J.Crew has been going through a rough retail break-up throughout 2019 and 2020. Filing for bankruptcy in the early days of the Coronavirus pandemic, they successfully emerged from a heavy debt restructuring plan at the end of 2020’s Q3 with a renewed focus and a pocket full of corporate capital cash to back it. The real-world results of this buyout remain to be seen, but from *this* couch, I’ve seen frequent large discount coupon codes and have purchased quite a few items this past year. As usual, stock up on their elevated basics when they’re on sale and snatch up any of the limited-edition collaboration items whenever they’re available in your size and within your budget.
Under $50 MSRP
- Garment-dyed slub cotton short-sleeve henley – $40
- Printed 100% cotton 4” inseam boxers – $20 or less
- American Trench Southwest pattern socks – $20
- Garment-dyed slub cotton short-sleeve crewneck t-shirt – $30
- Craighill Helix key ring in gold – $30
- Woven belt – $49.50
- Garment-dyed slub cotton polo shirt – $31.50 w/ VACAY ($45)
- Garment-dyed slub cotton long-sleeve henley – $45
Elevated basics fill the sub-$50 tier and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with their slub cotton tees, garment dyed Henley shirts, and some of their excellent third-party collaboration merch. Personally, I like to stock up on the garment dyed slub cotton pocket tees when they go on clearance; they frequently drop to under $12 a piece!
From $50-$100 MSRP
- 770 Straight-fit stretch chino pants – $80
- Dock sunglasses – $69.50
- New Balance x J.Crew CRT300 V2 leather sneakers – $80
- 770 Straight-fit pants in corduroy – $19.99 w/ VACAY ($88)
- Ludlow slim-fit premium fine cotton dress shirt in Fairweather blue – $98
- Wallace & Barnes single-prong buckle leather belt – $75
- Bowery classic-fit dress pants in stretch chino – $98
- Everyday bomber jacket – $98
J.Crew’s pricing structure tends to ride an $80-100 median price point, so the bulk of their “classic” items should fall within this price tier. If you’re needing a newer, more casual wardrobe (thanks, ‘Rona!) then I highly recommend their stretch chinos, five-pocket cords, and lightweight sweaters and hoodies for staying comfortable while working from home. No one should be able to see your shoes on Zoom, so rock some fun sneakers as well!
From $100-$200 MSRP
- Cotton cable-knit shawl-collar cardigan sweater – $128
- Classic Straight-fit jeans in Resin Rinse – $128
- Wallace & Barnes cotton hooded sweater in stripe – $138
- J. Crew Trail Runners – $148
- Wallace & Barnes selvedge officer chino pant – $148
- MacAlister chukka boots – $168
- Brunswick rain jacket – $158
- Garment-dyed cotton-linen chino casual suit jacket – $158
Outerwear and shoes tend to fill this tier, although some of their great third-party merch is available here. I’m a big fan of their in-house Wallace & Barnes label, which tends to skew into the heritage or Americana workwear aesthetic like a budget version of Ralph’s Double RL. Don’t sleep on their MacAlister boots, either!
From $200+ MSRP
- Marathon Watch Company General Purpose (ETA quartz) watch – $200
- Pendleton® Glacier National Park merino wool throw blanket – $200
- Rancourt & Co Traveler Ranger mocs in Horween CXL – $285
- Wallace & Barnes chore blazer in cotton herringbone and ripstop – $268
- Ludlow Slim-fit Legacy blazer in Italian wool flannel – $350
- Kenton pacer boots in Chromexcel leather – $208.60 w/ VACAY ($298)
- Harrington jacket in Italian suede – $698
- Barbour Sylkoil Ashby jacket – $395
If you pool your gift cards together towards one of these fantastic pairs of shoes, boots, suiting, or a rugged “buy it for life” jacket, you’re doing J.Crew the right way. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the super versatile Rancourt mocs. You also can’t go wrong with the Ludlow “Legacy” blazer that’ll pair with everything from slacks to jeans.