Our pear trees are bearing fruit. But it hasn’t been a fruitful year, which is kind of a silly metaphor for how I feel about J.Crew’s sale.

Vanity sizing is relatively intact, but it isn’t outrageous anymore. It did hurt to go the opposite direction from size 00 to size 2, but luckily this proved to be the exception rather than the rule. A few things in the dress category at least seemed to have a better fit if you went up a size, either in armhole circumference or natural waist (ie. ticking stripe derby dress, darla).

Sale Strategy
For the last few seasons, J.Crew tended to do two price cuts per item, for example taking something from full price to 49 then to 39. But with the new fall sale, the first price cuts are large enough (to 44 for example) that I think a lot of people would be inclined to buy now. Combined with the 30 day return policy, I expect most of this merchandise in XS/S will not be returned. If it isn’t a replenished item, we won’t see them again once the website runs out. Which begs the question — are we missing anything good? Well, that’s a harder question to answer.

Best deals
Best deals are without a doubt summer merchandise on the Jcrew website. The greatest hits from the spring-summer are available in certain sizes and colors. The back zip tank and the stripe tee and the stripe button-back tee were personal faves. They wore well through the entire season and could wear well into next year. Great dresses still abound. There are still a few key items from the summer that haven’t reappeared on the website, so it’d be nice to stay tuned for those. I’ve also really liked the linen based shirts and cardigans that appeared late summer (a little too late in the season to really take advantage of — but they are lovely and priced well).

Autumn full price items
Some of the shirts make me feel blocky. And quite a few of the sweaters make me feel blocky. There’s a difference between a couture boxy cut and a square box. The colors are lovely, but the sweater shapes need work. Rather than the new pieces, the shrunken fisherman’s sweater from late summer is a much better choice since it had a flattering shape.

In the spring/summer, there were a lot of low and mid priced items where quality outperformed the price. Meaning, that I thought they were worth more than what they were priced at…by a heck of a lot. There are less of these lower price point performers right now. Lets hope we see more, since those items definitely make Jcrew seem a fresh and interesting brand.

The intensity of the new colors are good and at least one of the three long sleeved silk shirt styles is a blockbuster compared to the rest. But I expect mixing and matching with Madewell and Anthropologie will be needed to keep things lively.