The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: J.Crew Outlet January Finds


J.Crew outlet

Last week I took a trip to Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets to check out the January sales bargains. Outlets aren't what they used to be - it is my understanding that most retailers now manufacture clothing specifically for sale at their outlet outposts.
J.Crew is no different - although I didn't see any labeling on the clothes that said "outlet" or "factory," I asked a sales associate who confirmed that yes, this was J.Crew outlet merchandise and should not be confused with "real" J.Crew you see at regular J.Crew stores. Fair enough.

Unfortunately, there weren't really any bargains to be had, and my mother-in-law (also a devoted bargain hunter) concurred. She spotted some adorable J.Crew Crewcuts finds for my little guy - he ended up with a sweater and pants for just $15. But everything else in the store seemed to be regular price, with the exception of a small clearance rack in the back of the store.

Still, it was a good opportunity to see the new spring styles, which include printed shorts (paisley is in, not sure how I feel about that), scalloped detailing, and all the usual happy colors and silhouettes we can dream about until the snow melts.

Are you a J.Crew outlet shopper? What should I know?

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J.Crew outlet

J.Crew outlet
Comments
awesome finds

http://girlandthepolkadot.com
#1 Mel (Homepage) on 2015-01-30 09:10 (Reply)
I have never had luck with J Crew Outlet shopping in store either, but around Christmas time I found a few good deals online. They change the prices and % off almost daily so you really have to watch closely to get the best deal. It can be very frustrating.

-Jessica
www.wearitforless.com
#2 Jessica (Homepage) on 2015-01-30 09:29 (Reply)
Jcrew Factory will periodically have a 50% off of the whole store- which is the only time I bother shopping there. Also- with a student or teacher ID you can get an additional percentage off (10% or 15%, can't remember).
#3 Alyssa on 2015-01-30 09:35 (Reply)
There's two small diamonds on the tag of jcrew outlet clothes, right under the words "J Crew" so that the average customer doesn't necessarily know that it's not "real" jcrew but that consignment stores and ebay and resellers do know the difference
#4 mags on 2015-01-30 09:35 (Reply)
ahh I did not know that, thanks for the tip!
#4.1 The Budget Babe on 2015-01-31 11:11 (Reply)
Most "outlet" or "factory" stores have this same/similar print on their tags...Gap, Banana, etc. I have the same disappointed attitude towards the outlet/factory stores. Gone are the days of "clearanced" clothing from the mall-based stores. Now, it's the factory competing with those stores at a far lower quality, but similar competitive prices. I recognized this about 5 years ago. Honestly, when you have stores like Target, whose manufacturers at least attempt the looks for far less, why even bother spending your money on the original store or its so-called factory store? Granted, I'm sure there are some folks who do not mind, but my bank account and my ethics cannot justify it. I don't wish to walk around dressed as clones of every gal out there, and I find no justification in what you are paying for, unless you are just paying to advertise a company's brand. No thank you! Sorry, not sorry.
#4.2 meag on 2015-02-02 14:29 (Reply)
Agreed! Your comment reminded me of a trip I took to Woodbury Common back in 2009. It made me feel sort of disillusioned with outlets:

http://www.thebudgetbabe.com/archives/1871-Adventures-in-Shopping-Woodbury-Common-Designer-Outlet-Mall.html#.VNN3P2TF_FA
#4.2.1 The Budget Babe on 2015-02-05 09:01 (Reply)
Its usually hit or miss for me at the jcrew outlet. I try to go only when I get the emails about the big sales. Online site has good deals sometimes as well. I will usually order when they do a percent off plus free shipping. Otherwise, it's still pretty pricey!
#5 Kristin on 2015-01-30 09:42 (Reply)
Nice looks! Love the statement necklace!

http://www.bluelabelsboutique.com/collections/tops
#6 Kristie (Homepage) on 2015-01-30 09:50 (Reply)
I love J.Crew Factory but shopping in store you really have to watch for the sales. It's definitely easier to find deals online. My local one has a big sale usually in July and I can get the chino shorts for around $10.
#7 Shelby Irwin (Homepage) on 2015-01-30 12:40 (Reply)
Yes, long gone are the days when outlets meant they would get major markdowns or past season clothes to sell. Almost every outlet now gets merchandise that's specifically made for them. Occasionally, handbag retailers will get "full price store" merchandise that you can find but even that is rare. it's best to shop around a holiday weekend when there's typically a half off promo sometimes with an add'l promo on top. J. Crew Factory & Gap outlet do this from time to time. I try to watch online and see if there's something specific that I'm looking for before I head into the store. If you sign up for emails (from J.Crew Factory) they'll often send you special promos that way that are "email exclusives".
#8 Sarah on 2015-01-30 12:52 (Reply)
I also wait for the half off notifications. While the clothes are made specifically for the outlets, I feel like the J Crew stuff is of nicer quality. Their shorts and pants have held up for me. And, the thicker tees. I cannot justify shopping here at full price for less quality that real J Crew though.
#9 Diane on 2015-01-30 13:12 (Reply)
Unfortunately, I concur that outlets just aren't what they used to be. I peeked into a J. Crew outlet a few weeks ago hoping to find cast-offs from the regular stores, but no luck. The outlet-specific clothes seemed similar to the original, only in cheaper fabrics (i.e. polyester instead of silk or wool).

When the clearance section at the regular mall J. Crew is so cheap, what's the point of stopping at the outlet mall?
#10 ajdematteo on 2015-01-30 17:19 (Reply)
Buyer beware with this web site! After floundering around with them & PayPal, I managed to charge 2 different amounts...I tried to contact both sites...got through to PayPal. But JCrew Factory would not refund my money...less than 24 hours later they said it was too late to cancel order...now when it arrives I have to send it back for refund? who knows..I will not shop there again ever or PayPal. I have no idea what the quality of clothes will be like when they do arrive. GRRR!
#10.1 margot on 2015-01-30 20:57 (Reply)
I knew that they are selling different stuff in their outlet stores, so does Michael Kors and Calvin Klein. It's strange what all this has become.
But, not coming from the US and not having a J.Crew Store there, I often buy necklaces on eBay that look just like theirs. They are often under $10, no shipping costs and look exactly the same. To me it's okay, because it's an trend-item nevertheless.
BTW love your Blog! :-)
#11 Peach on 2015-01-31 04:45 (Reply)
I actually prefer the outlet over the "regular" store, but I still think the price is too high for the fairly low quality. It's not any better made than F21, IMO.

Heidi D.
www.wishesandreality.com
#12 Wishes & Reality (Homepage) on 2015-01-31 13:58 (Reply)
Right now there's a sale:
GET AN EXTRA 25% OFF THE VALENTINE'S DAY SHOP WITH CODE VDAYSHOP.* ONLINE ONLY. Details
#13 Mava on 2015-01-31 23:30 (Reply)
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