Fashion & Beauty

Through the Racks: J. Crew

From left to right, a wear-now army-green jacket, a pleated skirt and shirt jacket both in faux leather and wide-leg denim trousers, all from J. Crew. 

By Janet Kelly

FALL IS my favorite season—cooler temps and blazing color, yes. But above all, it’s when fashion labels, big and small, expensive, not so expensive and everything in between, roll out their latest and greatest clothing and accessories. And just when you’re thinking cold weather, models in New York, London, Milan and Paris are striding down runways previewing what’s to come for spring 2024. (More on that later.)

Getting back to fall, for the next month or so, we’ll be browsing the aisles of some of fashion’s biggest brands—Zara, Everlane, Cos, and J. Crew, to name a few—guiding you with our thoughts on their best offerings.

We kick off our “Through the Racks” column with J. Crew:



In J. Crew’s “Icons Only” campaign, which celebrates the label’s 40th anniversary with their most memorable past pieces, model Lauren Hutton wears this 1989 heritage anorak. All cotton, lined, with a kangaroo pocket, plus a side zipper for easy on and off, it comes in a slew of colors and sells for $138. Perfectly practical for fall.



High-end lines used to market their less expensive clothing as a “secondary” or “diffusion” line. Now mid-price brand J. Crew is calling its higher price items “collection,” which includes this laminated linen blend (82% linen, 18% polyurethane) swingy trench coat that’s glossy on the outside, lined on the inside. A nod to the oldie-but-goodie slicker, the hooded coat hits right at the knee. It sells for $450.


How cute is this fringe-trim cropped jacket with snappy buttons? Wear right now with chinos; later, layer over a tissue-thin turtleneck and pair with bone or black corduroy pants. It is $138.


We wrote about loafers last week, but we somehow missed J. Crew’s lug-sole classic penny loafer. It comes in shiny leather colors—dark evening blue and silver —and also in suede— in cornflower blue and toffee. These sharp-looking shoes sell for $228.


Available in olive (above), as well as sand, this chino jacket with gold-crest buttons down the front combines the polish of a blazer with the comfort of an oversized fit. It’s the perfect weight for transitioning to fall and is now selling for $114.50, reduced from $158.


Vests are having their moment in the style spotlight. As the temperatures dip, add a turtleneck underneath this fitted vest in crepe (available in navy, black and white) or pair with a matching blazer and pants for a three-piece suit. It sells for $89.50.


Reminiscent of the shapes of way pricier pieces, this carryall in suede with leather handles and a tie closure is roomy enough to fit a laptop and polished enough to take anywhere. In addition to the chocolate-brown hue, it also comes in midnight blue, selling for $198.


When winter is too much with you, think pink—or fuchsia—and florals, like this slim-fitting shirt in a Liberty® fabric. It sells for $69.50, a 50% reduction from its original price of $138.


Faux leather keeps looking better to me, and this high-rise pant, slim through the hips and thighs and roomier around the ankles, will play well with everything.  Available in coffee and black for $158.



Pleated skirts are a timeless style, and one in faux leather, such as this midi ($228), will be wearable from fall through early spring. It looks terrific with a matching shirt jacket for $198.


Just last week, my pal Nancy tried on these “denim trousers” (99% cotton, 1% Spandex) at a J. Crew store in Annapolis. With their high waist, balanced by a wide leg and long length, they flattered her very cute figure. Available in three different washes for $158, wear them with pointy kitten heels or flats.


So many brands are currently pushing their version of a classic striped sweater. J. Crew’s (in cashmere) nicely tweaks the formula with pointelle stitching all over and oversized, roll-able cuffs. It sells for $248.


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5 thoughts on “Through the Racks: J. Crew

  1. Judith R. Robinson says:

    That olive green jacket! and that price!! Thanks Janet

  2. Nancy G says:

    I love my new jeans! But I should have gotten the loafers, too, while they were 30% off.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Exactly what I was thinking about those jeans I should have tried on.

  3. Cynthia Tilson says:

    Dang! I love those denim jeans but their website is down. Might have to cruise by a store and see how they fit! Thanks again, Janet!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      I should have tried then on when I had the chance! May have to order anyway.

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