J. Crew: Ahead of the curve
|J. Crew "Heidi" dress|
I wish my friend Lorie had known of this luscious beet-red chiffon dress in a 20, on sale, when desperately looking for a party dress last month.
In addition to their new size diversity, I'd like to see J. Crew offer a specific collection for more mature bodies than their lissome models.
It's not that we necessarily need larger sizes, but most of us seek a skirt longer than 16 or 18 inches, dresses with sleeves, trousers with waist-height waists. It would be handy to find them in one 'room' on the site.
Gap (then headed by J. Crew's current CEO, Mickey Drexler) failed in that market with Forth & Towne, but they were a decade too early for the demographic, did not have a web store, and were hampered by Gap's insistence on lower price points.
J. Crew could produce exclusive items for the collection, and showcase easy pieces such as the clothes Lauren Hutton's modeled for them over the years.
For fall, these pieces would look especially estimable on grown women:
I'm not a devotée of unstructured jackets; those of us over 50 tend toward a little nature-given spread, and just-enough tailoring mitigates that, without reading uptight. In tart red, this one makes me smile.
Pointelle cashmere V-neck
V-necks can look butch, but this is womanly, with rows of openwork edging at the vee and a blush colour to soften neutrals. It's fit is described 'relaxed' which means it will likely not have the high, tight armhole of some J. Crew knits.
Double-serged wool pencil skirt
A classic made with deft details. The slightly weightier wool should make this hang well and caress the thigh. Regular length is 23 1/2 inches and Tall is 25 inches, for joy! And maroon—I have not seen that noble colour offered in decades. The colour looks marvelous with grey, black, many greens and blues (robin's egg blue is especially felicitous) and reds-to-pinks. The rescue from yet another black skirt.
Feeling cheeky? Check it out in heather chartreuse.
We also like boots in which we can charge about, with some protection from the pavement. Too many have paper-thin soles that are barely adequate on even summery sandals. The union of fine and functional: Dix tab ankle boots.
Described as a cross between a cowboy boot and a moto, these look like Blundstones that went to finishing school. Lined with leather, a nice touch overlooked in boots over twice the price.
Those picks are pretty quiet, so a perfect backdrop for scarves and jewelry, but also...with it all, Ray-Ban mirror-lens aviators:
Put them on and look instantly cool: you know you can. I might have to replace the pair left in an airline seat pocket, flying back from San Francisco in 1981.