Thursday, August 30, 2012

An Open Letter to J. Crew

Dear J. Crew Magazine/September 2012 Issue,

I've been receiving J. Crew magazines for years now and you are the latest issue in that long list of shiny, newly printed style guides that have been tucked into my mailbox. I realize this is a little awkward, since we've never spoken and likely never will, but I feel the need to explain to you a few of the reasons why I am starting to question my desire to keep seeing magazines like yourself bundled with my bills and Bed, Bath, and Beyond flyers. 

I need to air out some grievances and will hopefully be able to fully explain why I think that you may have some stuff to work through, or that you may have just been through a break-up, or that you may just need to lay off the after-work cocktails.

To begin with, like most of the bourgeoisie whose fashion cues originate from Target, I occasionally find myself daydreaming about your cozy cardigans and your comfortable, yet shapely, tees. I lay awake at night wondering what it would be like to travel back in time and order a J.Crew wedding dress instead of the one I chose five years ago. And then there's the ever tempting siren of your "Jewelry of the Month Club" which never lists a price and leaves me to wonder who might be part of that incalculably lucky group of women finding a new piece of certified J. Crew costume jewelry in their post office boxes, mailboxes, or at their suburban front door.

But, despite all of this fashion-induced covetousness, I must tell you that the pleasure of imagining myself in the perfectly tailored apparel your statuesque, graceful, "I look happy but I'm actually very hungry" models are wearing is slowly being diminished by the printed pantsuits, the mismatched outfits, the eccentric eye wear, and the ensemble on page 4 which includes matching printed top, pants AND shoes in Burgundy Silk Foulard. I cannot imagine who might be convinced to dress this way other than at the end of a gun. No one, in case you were wondering. Even the model in the picture looks like she's trying hard to pretend she's okay with how your stylist has dressed her. She's not. If you look closer at her face, it's obvious she's dead inside. Your pantsuit has killed her soul.

In order to make sure this letter doesn't reach a length that could potentially cause the printer at Office Depot to stall out when I try to print this letter, I'll instead be concisely listing for you the items I find to be the most ridiculous and borderline morally objectionable:

Page 5: Velvet slippers in navy with what seem to be small bouquets of flowers embroidered at random on the shoe. $400
These should not exist.

Page 6: Smooth flannel pants in camel with "hand-applied" sequined bows. $495
I do not understand.

Page 40: Purple cashmere sweater $238, mustard pant $128, teal coat $335, leopard print clutch. $448    This looks like a crayon box contracted food poisoning.

Page 44: Felted wool hat in red currant. $475
I reject this on all levels.

Page 58: Wool peacoat $278 paired with tweed stripe shorts. $118
Does not compute.

Page 59: Matching navy tweed top $128 and pant $148 with brownish turtleneck underneath.
No. Also, I think Ali MacGraw wore this in Love Story in 1970.

Page 60: Fall bootie in leopard calf hair with wedge heel. $398
These make me sad.

And lastly, on your back cover, I take issue with the 60-something woman posed like she is, instead, a wannabe gangster. Also, do we really have to revisit all-denim outfits again? I thought I had left denim-overload safely back in my 1990's middle school wardrobe. I guess not. Sigh.

And so, J. Crew Magazine/September 2012 Issue, I close, with a sadness only Target's New Arrival section can assuage. Your fashion is incompatible with reality and with my heart.

Dara Lynn 


::Acknowledgements to J. Crew and McSweeney's Internet Dependency's "Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond"::


  1. I saw a whole blog post devoted to Velvet slippers elsewhere on the interwebs. The kicker is, the blogger was touting them as MUST HAVE?!?


    As I read her post I thought I had taken crazy pills!
    I'm so, so, so glad that I am not the only one who just doesn't get it.

  2. You Crack Me Up, sister! SO true on every point! And a delightful read.

  3. Molly, I'm glad you're with me on this. (-;

  4. Tina! I hope you didn't write me off as a fashion failure after reading my less than professional opinions of current J.Crew styles! I love checking out your blog on occasion to get pointers on what's in and what's not. (-;

  5. Let's see... pay the mortgage this month, or buy a leopard clutch? HMMM.

  6. leopard clutch trumps the mortgage. every time.

  7. you are hysterical. i laughed out loud.



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