I'm Telling Everyone Who'll Listen About the 13 Items I Just Tried On at J.Crew
Welcome to Let's Get a Room, a series where editor Eliza Huber heads to the dressing room to try on pieces from your favorite retailers, buzzy items, and new collections. Think of this column as a detailed guide to the pieces that are actually worth buying and the ones that, unfortunately, looked better online—no returns necessary.
If I'm being honest, I never really thought J.Crew was for me. When I was younger and still developing my sense of style, the aesthetic surrounding the brand didn't quite match the one I was slowly creating for myself, and therefore, I never really gave it a chance. But after seeing how Olympia Gayot, the brand's new head womenswear designer, has pulled from its undeniably cool archives to revitalize the brand in a way that manages to feel vintage and modern at the same time, I finally felt ready to give the brand another go.
I'm a tactile person, so I went straight into J.Crew's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, primed and ready to try on as many items as it took to really get to know the brand. I loaded up my dressing room with everything I could imagine—from cashmere sweaters to feather-detail button-downs, chunky jewelry to two-tone loafers—and set about mixing and matching them until I found the pieces that felt the most like me. Spoiler: I definitely got there.
Below, see all 13 of the items I tried on at J.Crew and now can't stop telling everyone I know about.
I haven't shut up about my obsession with the color red for at least a month now, incorporating it into my wardrobe whenever I can—whether it's on my nails, my tights, or my entire outfit. So naturally, when I spotted this bright-red lady jacket from across the store, I ran as fast as my boots would let me to snatch one up in my size, knowing I'd want to play around with styling it. To go with it, I kept the palette pretty low-key, adding an ivory silk-charmeuse camisole, a black slip skirt, and J.Crew's new Edie bag as well as my own sunglasses and vintage boots. This was the first look I put together, so you can imagine my surprise when I fell in love with it after thinking for so long that J.Crew just didn't get me.
As the jacket's name will tell you, it's very elegant and proper, which is why I wanted to bring it down a notch by tossing it over my shoulders, only because the rest of the look was also quite smart. If I were to put on some distressed denim, however, I think the elegance of the outerwear style (worn as a top as opposed to a shoulder accessory) would be a perfect contrast.
Speaking of jeans, this raw-hem pair from J.Crew's premium made-in-L.A. denim line Point Sur is a must-buy. I spotted them right away in the store and knew I'd like the slouchy way they'd fit if I sized up one size, which I did. I am a pretty casual dresser most of the time, so a really great pair of jeans, to me, is the basis of any good everyday outfit. I've been wanting to try out J.Crew's new cropped cashmere sweaters, so I grabbed one of those in navy and a pair of braided black-and-white loafers. Everyone talks about the brand's loafers, so I had to see what all the fuss was about. I accessorized with a chunky bangle (another one of my current obsessions) and the same Edie bag from the last look and stepped back to look in the mirror.
Just like the first look, I was shocked at how in line this outfit felt with my own style.
Feathers and I have never meshed well together. For starters, I'm not a very flashy dresser 364 out of 365 days a year, and I've never really found a feathered garment that I felt could be worn in a low-key manner. That all changed when I tried on this button-down shirt at J.Crew, worn with those same Point Sur jeans from above and my vintage Jimmy Choo boots. To my surprise, I immediately felt comfortable in the outfit despite the top's accouterments. I suppose credit for that is owed to denim in general for being the great relaxer of otherwise dressed-up outfit combinations.
In my mind, you can never do wrong if you're wearing cashmere—period. Something about the knitted fabric is simply chicer and more luxurious than any other, so no matter what it's paired with, it'll look impeccable. This slightly oversize soft-gray V-neck is certainly no exception. I threw it on with the black slip skirt I still had in the dressing room and could've walked straight out of J.Crew (after paying of course) in this exact combo without any adjustments and been wholly happy about my outfit. For me, that's the ultimate sign if something's worth buying or not.
I spotted this strapless taffeta top online at J.Crew long before I tried it on, knowing ahead of time that it would be one of the first pieces I test-drove for this story. Suffice it to say, I fell in love with it upon first laying eyes on it—first because of the bow detail and second because of the color, Diana blue. To me, this shade and silhouette epitomize glamour, more even than a dress with the same look would. And now that I've worn it and tested it out with multiple different bottoms, I can say with absolute certainty that my initial inclination that it was an incredible formal-yet-surprisingly-casual wardrobe item was spot-on. I love it dressed up with these Italian-made kick-flare pants for a very Upper East Side look as well as paired with jeans and little slingback heels.
Outfits like this one—made up of a black-and-gold lady jacket, jeans, and matching gold jewelry—make getting dressed so easy. Not only can they be worn everywhere and for practically every occasion, but they're also wildly chic and effortless. I love how the accessories matched the buttons on the jacket and the juxtaposition of the casual jeans and elegant top.
Shop more new arrivals from J.Crew:
Don't only invest in black and gray blazers. In the spring, a khaki-colored one like this will get so much use.
Whether you're going to lunch or heading to a wedding, this dress will get the job done (and then some). Just switch up the shoes and accessories depending on the dress code.
The contrasting brown and black details on these heels are gorgeous together.
I've been thinking about these chinos a lot, not going to lie.
Cashmere cardigans don't have to look frumpy. Just look at Miu Miu's F/W 23 collection for proof that they're cool—like really, really cool.
Animal print is intimidating but worth it if styled correctly. As opposed to wearing these pants as a set with the jacket, pair them with a neutral tee or tank and black boots.
I'll be wearing you at least once a week, guaranteed.
For any and all boating occasions you have planned this summer. (Goals.)
The cuff on these jeans really gets me going.
A must-have for your next warm-weather vacation.
I know this is technically a swim dress, but I can't help but think of cute ways to wear it for anything but the pool or the beach.
A striped sweater is the perfect shoulder accessory for spring.
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