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banana republic vs jcrew - Page 6

post #76 of 88
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post #77 of 88
I really appreciate your in-depth analysis, blaugrana. Very well explained.
post #78 of 88

Great analysis/explanation Blaugrana. BR was the first brand of clothes that I really identified with back in middle/high school, and they had some great stuff. I remember when the factory stores actually were outlets for unsold retail stock. Nowadays, BR has been overrun by folks looking for easy office-wear and smart-casual pieces, which is fine because that's what I use the brand for now as well. Some of the upper end items I still do really like, such as the textured suiting shirts and some simple outwear. I've got a hooded sweatshirt/jacket that I've been using for about 7 years now, and it still wears very well - can't find much else out there like it from any other brand. Like others, I'll stop by BR for some work-shirts on sale if I need to replace ones in my wardrobe, since they fit better into the office environment (a la Mad Men) than JCrew does. I also do like the Gavin chinos, though their fit has gotten a bit wider and material stiffer in recent years, not too happy about that. I do believe that the BR flagships in NYC and SF have a much better selection of goods that would indicate great quality and craftsmanship, but it's a shame they're not available in other locations. One thing I do like about BR these days is that they have been hosting promotional events at select retail shops to drum up excitement about the brand, such as Mad Men related things, Virgin Airways promos, or blogger spotlights - these are full of discounts, giveaways, and free food/booze.

 

JCrew stuff I'll basically only buy on discount unless there is something that I absolutely need at that moment in time. The materials used are generally higher quality than other options out there at the same price point, but I also have kind of lumped JCrew into the same wardrobe category (for me personally) as BR. There are some nicer items, but as pointed out, they are horrendously overpriced. The simpler basics are where JCrew shines, and select shirts are actually nice for the money if I use them as all-purpose casual or office. The shorts they have do fit well, so that's one area JCrew pips BR on. The one thing that I do NOT enjoy as much about JCrew (and this is sort of hypocritical) is that it is a bit more "exclusive" and "higher end". As such, people I know tend to over-love the brand and fawn about its products, even though it's all still the same crap made in Asia with all the same designs. The aesthetic is really nice and clean, but it's got the semi-hipster vibe going on that people want, where they want to feel like they're "in the know" even though everyone else is also "in the know". Brand dilution is certainly getting to JCrew in my opinion, so we'll see where it goes in the next couple of years.

 

TL;DR - I see BR as a solid office and basics outfitter, while JCrew is a yuppier basics and office outfitter with aspirations of being exclusive that charges a premium for urban-Americana-meets-wannabe-prep designs.

post #79 of 88

Cheers lads.

 

I would definitely make changes to BR.  Their shirting in the denim room is awful.  They should dump that and do oxford shirts.  Also, their sweaters have been poor of late.  Some are hits, but too many misses. 

 

As I mentioned, BR isn't as into collaborations as J Crew, but they do/did have that "SF Made" stuff on their site and probably at that Grant Ave store in San Francisco.  They also have the Taylor Stitch collaboration which is actually really cool.  BR missed the boat on the Dodocase collaboration though.   

 

el argentino - Your wife should check out BRs latest W's collection.  Some great stuff.  A lot of it looks J Crew, still some nice pieces.  M's on the other hand... 

 

albeindc - Another Mad Men line is set to launch in February.  Don't know the exact dates, but I heard you can view the collection online.  I was told there will be in store events too at select stores, so since it's Mad Men read "free booze."  Agreed on J Crew as a brand.  It'll be interesting to see where they go and how long their good fortunes last.  I remember back in the day when Abercombie (gulp) seemed indestructable.  I also remember back when Mickey Drexler joined them after being fired by Gap.  The colored chinos, shorts with anchors, etc were all there back then and this was like a decade ago.  If trends change enough I'll be interested to see if Mickey changes with them. 

post #80 of 88

+1 J Crew

post #81 of 88

In term of quality J Crew can't be said to be 'better' than BR. It's more exciting, especially to the younger crowd, with all the right colors and silhouettes jumping at you but when you actually put your hands on their clothes it's pretty appalling. You can't judge quality by aesthetic or by how many people prefer the brand.

 

IMO, BR's quality is just slightly better (and again, not all items apply), and they know their place. No crazy markup, no exaggeration, more sales (which raise the value point). Occasionally they have something off the hook like the Mad Men collection, which is a true collaboration rather than just stamping the brand on a Baracuta G9 or giving Vans a different shoe lace for 'collaboration.'

post #82 of 88

I hate ironing clothes. Therefore, I prefer BR's wide variety of non-iron slim and tailored shirts and cotton pants over JC's.

 

Although, recently I've seen a decline in BR's quality -- such as using nylon and other low quality synthetic fabrics in their sweaters; whereas before they used mostly 100% cotton/wool/cashmere.

post #83 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxamazexxx View Post

In term of quality J Crew can't be said to be 'better' than BR. It's more exciting, especially to the younger crowd, with all the right colors and silhouettes jumping at you but when you actually put your hands on their clothes it's pretty appalling. You can't judge quality by aesthetic or by how many people prefer the brand.

 

IMO, BR's quality is just slightly better (and again, not all items apply), and they know their place. No crazy markup, no exaggeration, more sales (which raise the value point). Occasionally they have something off the hook like the Mad Men collection, which is a true collaboration rather than just stamping the brand on a Baracuta G9 or giving Vans a different shoe lace for 'collaboration.'

I have to agree.  A friend turned me on to J. Crew about a year or so ago (proclaiming it superior to BR).  I thought he was on to something for a while, but that was largely based on the image they promote: far less sales, higher prices, all the "collaborations," etc.  Then I purchased some clothing.  I've had problems with stuff from BR, no question -- but a lot of J. Crew's products just strike me as very poor quality.  I had to contact corporate to return several pairs of chinos after noticing loose seams after only about three months of wear.  Now I check out the sale items when there's a discount code to add on top of them, but that's about it (and of course BR offers discounts practically every day, so I would probably never buy anything that wasn't 40% off).

post #84 of 88

Funny thing thinking back to this thread and the discounts discussion.  J. Crew has/just had 40% off sale items, something BR did the week before.  As I said in the past, J. Crew's sales have steadily increased and they follow what the other does (as well as other competitors) when it comes to promotions.

 

Not much at either place for me of late.  BR did have a pretty nice navy wool suit on sale for about... just under $200.  Originally about $525.  Their W's sale had some great stuff and ridiculous prices too. 

post #85 of 88
On that note, BR has 45% off 3+ items today, including suit separates.
post #86 of 88

Just discovered this thread. My fiancee is a big fan of BR, and has bought me several (casual) items from there as gifts. I don't know if I'd ever buy suits or business clothing from BR, but I don't mind their casual shirts, tees, polos, etc. Their stuff tends to fit me pretty well, and isn't too over-the-top or fashion-forward.

 

I don't have as much experience with JC, but my understanding is that their prices are noticeably higher in Canada than the U.S. (which is something that we Canucks face all the time, even when our currency was above par).

 

I agree that the long-term BR quality isn't fantastic, but if you wait for one of their frequent 40% sales, it can be a decent value.

post #87 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefox View Post

Just discovered this thread. My fiancee is a big fan of BR, and has bought me several (casual) items from there as gifts. I don't know if I'd ever buy suits or business clothing from BR, but I don't mind their casual shirts, tees, polos, etc. Their stuff tends to fit me pretty well, and isn't too over-the-top or fashion-forward.

I don't have as much experience with JC, but my understanding is that their prices are noticeably higher in Canada than the U.S. (which is something that we Canucks face all the time, even when our currency was above par).

I agree that the long-term BR quality isn't fantastic, but if you wait for one of their frequent 40% sales, it can be a decent value.

I admit I really like J Crew for certain items. Sweaters (cotton-cashmere), T-shirts, long sleeves, and chinos are great from them. Always buy on sale though.

All that said, I would never buy a suit from them. They are horribly overpriced (even on sale) and poorly constructed. I also don't care for the thin lapel and shorter jacket style they push.
post #88 of 88
I've always liked BR a bit more than J.Crew. Stores always "felt" more premium and upscale, luxurious at an affordable price. J.Crew panders too much to SW&D crowd, trying to look too "hip" and "modern". If you know what you are doing you can look reasonably sharp shopping at BR. The shirts and suits there are very ill-fitting admittedly, but their knits and trousers are fine. Fashion doesn't have to be a science of A>B.
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