An Open Letter / by laurel

Dear J.Crew, 

Hi. Remember me? I used to be your biggest and most devoted fan. Back in 1999 when the only cool stores in Salem were the Gap and eventually Old Navy, I ordered your khakis and perfect tissues tees from the catalog (Yep, back in the dark ages). I flounced to school in your pretty voile dresses and did a bang-up job of being your ambassador to indifferent high schoolers in Keizer, Oregon.

So what's with the prices, J.Crew? I know you're trying to appeal to denizens of a different tax bracket, and I get that (to a certain degree), but back in the day the only triple digit items in your catalogs were warm wool coats and a handful of candy-colored cashmere sweaters. What about now? Well, now in 2008, you're selling jackets for $700. Shift dresses for $300. Uh, no make that $600. Even your shirts tip the money scale at $400. And the most egregious indiscretion on your price sheet? How about a suitcase for $2500?

I don't want to bag on you too much, J.Crew, because I know that many of these items are part of your fancy-pants "Collection," and as such, use special 'techniques' from exclusive 'mills' and 'factories' and other Italian destinations frequented only by couture ateliers. I understand that the clothing hold special healing properties and are spun from pure gold and will, upon request, babysit your children and walk the dog. I get it.

Don't hate me 'cos I'm beautiful: love 
everything about this. Except the price.

But if I wanted a $500 handbag, what makes you think I wouldn't just invest in a designer piece? Didja think of that? Sigh. I suppose you did. And you determined, amidst a puff of smoke from an Italian cigar while quaffing your Italian aperitif and sitting in a chic Italian café, that you just didn't care about the little people. Because the little people can stop complaining and take their hard-earned high school part-time job pay to The Gap, right, J.Crew? Is that how it's going to be?


500-count Egyptian Cotton-covered love,

P.S. Though I despise your pricing strategy, I have to admit that I absolutely love your wedding dress collection.