The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Utility Chic Looks at J. Crew

I was so inspired by J. Crew's Fall 2010 Lookbook that I paid a visit to my nearest store this weekend to see what was on the racks. Window display signage read "Utility chic" and that pretty much sums it up: A casual-meets-charming late-summer mix of lightweight button downs, embellished tees and tanks, denim shirts, cargo pants, plaid and more, all meant to be mixed together and layered for that effortlessly put-together vibe J. Crew does so well. I loved all the subtle contrasts, blouses with pleated necklines paired with tailored blazers, studded belts with tweed skirts, bow-tie Italian leather flats, essie nail polish colors like jazz and mucho dinero, and the texture and shine of chunky chain-ribbon-pearl necklaces. A few things on the sale rack caught my eye but I've seen better deals online. Most items are out of reach full price ($70 for a lightweight cotton cardigan, $130 for the ballet flats) but that doesn't mean I can't look, draw inspiration and save up for a piece or two down the road. More eye candy after the jump!

J.Crew styling always appeals to me ... yet when I try to recreate those looks, I look positively goofy.
#1 Sally (Homepage) on 2010-08-09 08:14 (Reply)
Hello Budget Babe,

I love the pictures you've posted from the J Crew store. There are so many looks that I would love to recreate because while they look fashion forward, they still look comfortable for me (I'm an elementary teacher dying to look fashionable but still needing clothes that can work while I'm sitting cross legged on the floor). My question/comment is "how would you recreate a similar look to the August 06 picture you've posted? It doesn't get very COLD here often, so this is a perfect winter look for me.
#2 Cari on 2010-08-09 08:21 (Reply)
Love all of these! Thanks for the tour of the new've probably saved me from going in there "just to look around" and then spend too much money!

Their prices are just insane these days...definitely going to have to use these as inspiration and find better prices elsewhere.
#3 Elizabeth (Homepage) on 2010-08-09 09:37 (Reply)
I love love love J. Crew, I just wish some of their prices were a little lower. Maybe they should come out with a line of more affordable clothing? I usually have to hit the sales or save up to buy anything from them!
#4 Jessica (Homepage) on 2010-08-09 10:49 (Reply)
thanks for posting these! I've never been to a J Crew store (I live in the middle of nowhere) so this is a pretty neat way to live vicariously!
#5 nomnom de plume on 2010-08-09 11:57 (Reply)
i remember back in the 80's and early 90's when J Crew was affordable, they made some mgmt changes and raised prices...don't think they'll be dropping prices anytime soon, try, same company.
#6 lisa on 2010-08-10 06:56 (Reply)
I LOVE J Crew. They always have clothes that I would wear again and again. I just wish it wasn't so expensive! So I have to shop the sale rack, but even their sale rack is nice!
#7 Elizabeth on 2010-08-10 10:47 (Reply)
Hmm. I often find J. Crew's stuff to be a snoozorama, and this season appears to be no exception. Yawn! And overpriced too? I'll pass.
#8 Someone on 2010-08-11 16:59 (Reply)
It really is a tragedy that this perfectly done preppy style is out of my price range!
#9 MizzJ (Homepage) on 2010-08-12 01:55 (Reply)
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