Sunday, July 13, 2014

In defense of Princeton in summer

-It's not as bad as it might be. And low expectations have a way of being exceeded. I mean, my husband's away, as are most of my friends. It's hot and humid, and my hair looks awful. It's tick season for humans and dogs, so the woods are, if not out altogether, substantially less appealing. Expectations were really, really low.

-Everything's on sale. At least everything in Princeton I might want to buy, which admittedly isn't much. But I just got discounted coffee beans from Rojo's at a pop-up (!) in Urban Outfitters and then, for $25, the pair of $70 linen pants I'd long been admiring at J.Crew, thereby filling the summer-clothing-other-than-shorts-or-nightgown gap in my wardrobe. (While I'm by no means a 000 at that store, I can extrapolate from their vanity sizing why such a size would be necessary.) But J.Crew at sub-Uniqlo prices, with tremendous selection... let's just say whatever shtetl peddler-type lives within me returned atavistically at this discovery.

-No one's around. Which is sort of bleak when it comes to Bisou-walking (if easier to handle after a week in Manhattan), but sort of fabulous when it comes to driving and parking.


Miss Self-Important said...

What's weird about J Crew is that they seem more than similar stores to carry the same items across seasons, and instead of changing the cut and design, they downgrade the fabric and the sizing. So if you want to buy a certain J Crew winter coat on ebay for example, it does no good to try it on in-store and then buy it online, b/c if you buy the winter '11 version, you might be a size 2 (and the coat will be 80% wool), but if it's the winter '09 version, that's a 4 (100% wool), and anything before 2006 could be between a 6 and a 10 (but 100% Italian wool w/ silk lining).

Phoebe said...

Huh, could be. Declining quality and vanity sizing both seem pretty ubiquitous, though. I haven't shopped enough recently (as in, in the last three years) to say. Although one thing I did buy was a pair of ankle-skimming black slacks from the consignment store in town that are J.Crew of unknown vintage, and excellent.

Britta said...

Last time I went to buy a jacket I was sized out of JCrew (2012ish), and I am slim with a narrow ribcage but am average height and have reasonably broad shoulders and a sizeable bust. I definitely had a WTF moment thinking about all the people with smaller bone structures than me. I am pretty sure the jacket was size 0. As someone somewhere pointed out, JC and similar stores (BR) are in a hot spot where they've vanity sized so much they've sized themselves out of the lucrative Asian market. Instead of adjusting all the sizes (and possibly upsetting American customers) they're just reintroducing smaller sizes at the bottom in multiple forms of 0.

Miss Self-Important said...

Yes, both ubiquitous, but I rarely get to watch myself shrink in the same garment. Other stores change their offerings completely every season, so even though you're generally shrinking in their sizes, it's not like you're buying an identical blazer with the same measurements in 3 different "sizes" over the years. It does make my buying used online life hard though.

abrahamandsarah said...

Does that nice bookstore by campus have good sales in the summer?

Phoebe said...


I'd read that too, but I wondered, where is this Asian market for J.Crew? From what I can tell from the part of my apt with so-so internet, it has one store in Hong Kong, and the rest are in the US and, now, the UK. If the Asians are Asian-Americans, I can't imagine this would be such an issue.

Also: you wouldn't do well at their outlet store. Their outlet brand is extra-vanity-sized. Even I took something like a negative number.


It very well might, but it also has perma-discounts. But the main issue is that the big annual book sale, held at a local school, has left my household past capacity in the book department. Meanwhile, with two excellent local libraries... No such alternative for J.Crew.

Britta said...


My guess would be wealthy Asian tourists and some segments of Asian Americans. IIRC JCrew is popular with the ultra preppy tiny Asian-American fashion bloggers. But also, lots of mid-level brands in the US are prestige brands in Asia and considerably more expensive here, if available at all (e.g. GAP, Nike, New Balance, Coach). I could see there being a potentially large market for J Crew for wealthy tourists.