Originally Posted by NAMOR
i guess my contention is this and It may have changed over the past several years: j.crew being of lower quality than even Polo Ralph Lauren and yet they are charging a higher price than the RRL staple they ripped off? i think the steady price increases at j.crew are more a function of a healthier economy rather than increased quality. in my mind and i think in the minds of many cost-conscious rrl fans, alternative options are always welcome but not at a premium, and certainly not for lesser quality
To be fair, J Crew's "Wallace and Barnes" line is supposedly of higher quality than standard J Crew. They do source materials / products from a lot of the same sources as other popular brands, so these may be good quality. However, they are probably lower quality than RRL. That said, RRL is generally significantly more expensive than any J Crew (Wallace and Barnes included). RRL sweaters generally start at $400 for wool, outerwear costs $600 or more, denim starts at $225 or more, etc; J Crew prices are half of these typically.
Overall, J Crew tends to be lower quality and lower price than Polo Ralph Lauren, but both are good for mass market (full disclosure, I buy a ton of both). I have purchased sweaters at 25% off from both brands recently, and Ralph Lauren is more expensive and better quality, but both were good values IMO.