Tape Measure: 136 pages. Women's pages = 95, including Front and Back Covers. For Men: 39 pages/no covers. Ouch. 2 pages for Kids. Nearly 70% of pages for women! No wonder they call their CrewChief Mr. DressHer.
Men's Stuff: Not many "gotta-haves" here. Merino wool sweaters, but they're nothing new in the RareBurgher closet; you already have two crew-necks, one v, and a vest or cardigan. If not, how did you or your loving-one get on this mailing list? Get thee to a merino.
The corduroy workwear jacket is fine, but not particularly original. Besides we bought a better black one for $50 at the midtown Madison Ave shop (they frequently overstock seasonal items).
As with the women's clothing, these prices are beginning to approach the J.Cruel stage for many loyal customers, including us. Apparently, some of the clothing is not only waterproof, it's trying to be recession-proof as well. Maybe for some, but not for us.
The Crewth As We See It: We may have face up to the fact that these people have been so good for so long that maybe it's getting to be too much about them, and less about us. Jenna Lysons has great taste, but do we need to know her every thought and see her everywhere? And there was Frank M himself profiled in The New York Times "T" Magazine's Fall issue, then The Mickey's profile in The New Yorker recently. No matter how famous he gets, he will always be at least the third most notable Mickey in the world.
Every day, thousands of people create new style blogs (see: http://www.polyvore.com/ ), most of them women. Are they a real threat to J.Crew's future dominance? Probably not, except that someone might find a way to organize them into a dynamic central marketplace.
We really like these guys and what they've done. But, can J.Crew's success last forever? That may be too good to be Crew.
2) RareTips: Here is a brand needing no review, because it is consistently great at what it tries to be and do. It tries to reflect the active, outdoors style of its founder, employees and customers. It took an LLBean-like idea and gave it a California attitude. It began making climbing pitons as Great Pacific Ironworks, then vaulted into an iconic position for skateboarders, commuters, and, yes, a million or so upper-middle-class label conscious folks too. Patagonia.
It's the same brown as the day I bought it, despite a few launderings. It saved me that day and became an instant-vintage item. What is that exactly? It's something that, once you have it, you think you've always had it. You look forward to its season just so you can use it or wear it. It becomes a natural part of your style, instantly, and it stays that way, even when it becomes tattered from wear.
They don't make brown any more, but black and light grey are fine. Get both: $30 each. One? Grey, please.
|Yvon Chouinard & Dog|
When we build our RareBurghers' Hall of Fame, Mr. Chouinard will be a charter member.
4) Depending on when you read this post, you might see that Brooks Brothers has (have?) wisely begun to advertise on RareBurghers. Hopefully, they will continue to do so after reading our future review of their business and style. Hint: unlikely.