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J. Crew Quality?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Sartorially Challenged, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'd buy that if it were true. I have not seen evidence to this fact as far as footwear are concerned.

    Don't get me wrong. I like expensive, high quality shoes just as much as the next person. But I am clear about why I like them. I think they look and feel nicer, more "luxurious" if you will, and I can afford, if I so chose, to forgo value for that extra measure of luxury -- not because I indulge in the fantasy of buying a piece of English countryside living c. interwar years.

    I ask again:


    As much as I hate to see this lovely thread go down this path, I have to ask:

    Isn't buying the "luxury" as much a fantasy as buying them for bucolic imagery of cricketeering bootmakers?
     
  2. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    Actually, they are made to last just fine. I have computer equipment from 10 years ago that work perfectly okay (that I tinker with occasionally).

    Of course, one would generally WANT to buy new equipment as the PPP-adjusted price is lower, performance several orders of magnitude higher and so on.

    Again, I presume you buy this supposed "rubbish" in any case, rather than hand-made Australian computers?
    Funny thing. Wearable computers are slowly making their way into the market (they were orginally developed for military personnel). Rather like trench coats, I guess. Ha.
     
  3. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    For me, luxury (as defined not-so-elegantly as the merchandise feeling and looking nicer) has some tangible benefits. Whether the bootmakers play cricket or play Mah Jong during their time off, in my view, has no bearing on tangible benefits of paying extra at all. It relates to fantasy, an image, something that is utterly disconnected to the actual work and product in question.

    That is the same reason why I buy, for example, Japanese cars (albeit "luxury" models) over, say, German cars. Mercedes-Benz can run commercials with Marlene Dietrich singing and images of its race cars from bygone eras, but we all know that such fantasies have zero bearing on what kind of cars M-B factories actually turn out these days.

    Let me clarify again. I am not saying that EG shoes are not necessarily worth the money or not good value. They may be. I was merely suggesting that a person who considers products made in Asia to be "guarnateed to be rubbish" merely because they are made in Asia and who evokes images (or stories) of cricketeering English bootmakers as a sign of quality is indulging in fantasy rather than rational explanations of why one might buy high quality English shoes.

    High quality is high quality, wherever a product is made. While it is true that certain historical forces favor a particular location for manufacturing certain items, those forces are never static. After all, there was a time when "Japanese electronics" was an oxymoronic term.

    We are now living in an era when Hyundai is beginning to turn out vehicles with higher initial build quality than Ford or even BMW.
     
  4. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    For me, luxury (as defined not-so-elegantly as the merchandise feeling and looking nicer) has some tangible benefits. Whether the bootmakers play cricket or play Mah Jong during their time off, in my view, has no bearing on tangible benefits of paying extra at all. It relates to fantasy, an image, something that is utterly disconnected to the actual work and product in question. That is the same reason why I buy, for example, Japanese cars (albeit "luxury" models) over, say, German cars. Mercedes-Benz can run commercials with Marlene Dietrich singing and images of its race cars from bygone eras, but we all know that such fantasies have zero bearing on what kind of cars M-B factories actually turn out these days. Let me clarify again. I am not saying that EG shoes are not necessarily worth the money or not good value. They may be. I was merely suggesting that a person who considers products made in Asia to be "guarnateed to be rubbish" merely because they are made in Asia and who evokes images (or stories) of cricketeering English bootmakers as a sign of quality is indulging in fantasy rather than rational explanations of why one might buy high quality English shoes. High quality is high quality, wherever a product is made. While it is true that certain historical forces favor a particular location for manufacturing certain items, those forces are never static. After all, there was a time when "Japanese electronics" was an oxymoronic term. We are now living in an era when Hyundai is beginning to turn out vehicles with higher initial build quality than Ford or even BMW.
    That is why you buy vintage cars. I've never owned a modern car.
     
  5. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    That is why you buy vintage cars. I've owned a modern car.

    Indeed. That post made me want a Packard again.
     
  6. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    Well, I am too practical to buy vintage cars. One seldom finds vintage cars in good condition. It often costs a lot to recondition them.

    Even then they are never nearly as safe as high quality modern cars with up-to-date safety features. Vintage cars make good toys, to be sure, but they do not make good everyday cars, at least for me.
     
  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Well, I am too practical to buy vintage cars. One seldom finds vintage cars in good condition. It often costs a lot to recondition them. Even then they are never nearly as safe as high quality modern cars with up-to-date safety features. Vintage cars make good toys, to be sure, but they do not make good everyday cars, at least for me.
    There are plenty of practical vintage cars: BMW 2002, 2800, New-Six; Mercedes-Benz W107, W108, W111 W113, W123, W116; Volvo 122, P1800; Alfa Romeo Spider, GTV; Mustang; Datsun 280. Of course, with safety features, they are obviously not going to feature a lot of electronic items, but as B.B.King sang, the thrill is gone.
     
  8. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    When I hear (or read) "practical" coupled with "Alfa Romeo Spider" (among other things), I realize suddenly that I am in a different company.

    Ever drive one in deep snow?

    Seeing as an auto accident is one of the leading ways to buy the farm, I like my vehicles with the latest safety features, including, yes, electronic ones.

    I get my "thrill" differently, but to each his own, eh?
     
  9. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    Some additional American companies that still manufacture products in America:

    - Bill's Khakis
    - Mercer & Sons
    - Quoddy Trail Mocassin Company
    - Russell Mocassin Company

    As was mentioned above, Brooks Bros still has some made in the USA offerings (their original oxfords as well as their rebranded Aldens). LL Bean is one of my personal favorites, but most of their clothing is now manufactured overseas (the only clothing of theirs that I know is still manufactured in the US are their Bean Boots). I think Robert Talbott still makes some of their shirts in the US, and I believe (I could be wrong) that Levis still does some US manufacturing as well.

    The streetwear folks can be more specific, but I think there are several denim companies that still manufacture in the US (PDC, Lucky, Earnest Sewn).
     
  10. Mentos

    Mentos Senior member

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    I don't know what the hell happened to this thread. Thankfully this is atypical.

    For the record, J. Crew outerwear is of low quality. I have a pea coat that I bought in 2002, and I don't wear much, but which is starting to fall apart. As others have said, their shirts and sweaters are great, if they fit you and you can get them on sale.
     
  11. seoulfully

    seoulfully Senior member

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    I don't know what the hell happened to this thread. Thankfully this is atypical.

    For the record, J. Crew outerwear is of low quality. I have a pea coat that I bought in 2002, and I don't wear much, but which is starting to fall apart. As others have said, their shirts and sweaters are great, if they fit you and you can get them on sale.


    thanks... i'll avoid the coat... a little bit of a bummer as i detest shopping... just like to target buy what i want/need... though as i said before 3/4 topcoat shouldn't be difficult to source this year
     
  12. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I don't know what the hell happened to this thread. Thankfully this is atypical.

    For the most part, I love this thread. I hope it doesn't even up in dickering over value v. luxury v. marketing, but other than that, it's been a fun trip. Very far ranging, like a good conversation.
     
  13. RJman

    RJman Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That is why you buy vintage cars. I've never owned a modern car.
    Dude, you're like 17.
     
  14. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    It may be valuable to give J. Crew a bit of a break. I spoke recently with a local manager and he said that new CEO Micky Drexler (former Gap CEO) is really streamlining things internally and focusing on offering better quality.

    I think he has been there less than a year so perhaps we should see where he takes J. Crew.
     
  15. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    As it turns out he joined in 2003. So I guess he has been working for three years on this.
     
  16. Sartorially Challenged

    Sartorially Challenged Senior member

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    I think it began with someone making absolutely declarative sentences like things made in certain geographic locations are "guaranteed to be rubbish," not finding "real America" and so on. Those are fighting words. And, being of ill-temper, I rose to the challenge.

    My thanks, however, to those of you who answered the querie I posed initially without making hyperbolic statements about "rubbish" made in places other than England, Australia and the U.S.
     
  17. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    I think it began with someone making absolutely declarative sentences like things made in certain geographic locations are "guaranteed to be rubbish," not finding "real America" and so on. Those are fighting words. And, being of ill-temper, I rose to the challenge.

    My thanks, however, to those of you who answered the querie I posed initially without making hyperbolic statements about "rubbish" made in places other than England, Australia and the U.S.


    Holy banana pie. What happenned here? I thought this thread would have been a simple two pager. Instead I have to slog through all this?!?
     
  18. dkzzzz

    dkzzzz Senior member

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    If you work 9 to 5 in an office and on a budget then I guess it is fine.

    Since this is Styleforum let me say something about J.Crew style:" Who? What?"

    J.Crew is Banana with a price attitude. The head of GAP/BR quit last year and went to work for J.Crew that is why you will find exactly the same fabrics/leathers from the same Chinese mills. Many garments/shoes are not even re-styled; they are identical to Banana's offerings.

    Stylistically J.Crew is an outfit that prepares young men to graduate one day into Brooks Brothers or Joseph A. and wear comfortably pleated shorts with tasseled loafers and play golf.

    To contribute to the discussion here is wonderful article that sheds light on why clothing is the way it is. Wonderfully written article, I am sure you would get a chuckle or two.

    Enjoy:http://www.exile.ru/2003-June-26/feature_story.html
     
  19. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    J.Crew is Banana with a price attitude. The head of GAP/BR quit last year and went to work for J.Crew that is why you will find exactly the same fabrics/leathers from the same Chinese mills. Many garments/shoes are not even re-styled; they are identical to Banana's offerings.

    Stylistically J.Crew is an outfit that prepares young men to graduate one day into Brooks Brothers or Joseph A. and wear comfortably pleated shorts with tasseled loafers and play golf.


    J. Crew, in terms of shirts and trousers, seems to charge less than does BR. I can't say I get your comparison. I also don't see them being particularly stylistically similar. Can you provide some specific examples?

    I think you're reaching on the "prepares young men" bit, too.
     
  20. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I don't recall Loro Piana cashmere yarn being used in any BR I visited.
     

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