Tuesday, February 15, 2011

J.Crew Meets the Gap...and they really hit it off!

     Microsoft vs. Apple, Coke vs. Pepsi, Laduree vs. Pierre Herme... every iconic company has its equally iconic rival. In most cases their branding and products are quite distinct from each other, which is reflected in the fact that the majority of consumers strongly prefer one over the other (personally, Apple, Coke, and Laduree, in case you were wondering).
     But in a few cases, I honestly can't tell the rivals apart, at least not very well. For many years that was true for me when I considered J. Crew and the Gap. Their stores kinda looked the same (even smelled the same, if I remember correctly), their products/branding seemed to echo each other, and they both courted the same demographic.
    This, of course, was before, Gap's surprising and awkward slide into the apparel abyss roughly a decade ago, when all they seemed to sell was baggy, boring, and more boring. Gap's loss of direction allowed J. Crew to break away from their older cousin and carve out a new, hip, fashion-forward identity. They eagerly gave Gap's adrift customers a port in the storm, a port so welcoming that most of us never looked back and even gave up shopping at the Gap altogether. Almost overnight, J. Crew became the darling of the higher-end mall fashion scene while Gap was left out in the cold, for good reason.
     Recently, however, Gap has been clawing its way back into our good graces, revamping its stores and image and, most importantly, producing modern, unique, and covetable pieces. A few posts down I mentioned their silk peony skirt, which I recently saw in a store (it was GORGEOUS)...believe me when I say I'm counting down the minutes until payday. And before that, I wore their metallic tweed skirt (which is sadly no longer on their website) in an OOTD post, which is hands down my favorite skirt of all time. I wore it again yesterday and had about 3 people rave about it and demand to know where I bought it:
Tuxedo/ruffle placket cardigan (J. Crew), metallic tweed skirt (Gap), dark heather grey tights (Kutsushitaya Japan)

Accessories by Tiffany&Co. and mayglobe Japan. This cut-glass necklace is probably my number one  favorite...and I have a ton of necklaces.

Can you tell that I really love this outfit?
     I had previously worn the skirt with a pale pink cardigan and sheer hose/nude pumps; the skirt itself has a navy base, with white, beige, and sparkly silver thread running through it. What's great about the skirt is that the light threads reflect and complement the color of whatever top you decide to wear with it, so in my last outfit, the skirt glinted a blush pink. In this case, I paired it with a white cardigan and dark grey tights, so the skirt took on a cooler whitish/silver cast.  Love it!
     Lastly, a quick shout-out to my awesome Mom who usually acts as my own personal logistics expert by forwarding any online purchases to me here in Tokyo. This J. Crew cardigan was in the last batch, along with the rust Traversa cardigan (which I'm so excited to wear later this week). I forget the exact name of the cardigan, but I know it's occasionally known as the "tuxedo cardigan." Unfortunately, a number of other J. Crew cardigans also go by that label, so I  have no idea how to track down its official name. But whatever it's called, it's amazing. I LOVE J. Crew cardigans; they're super soft and there's no button pulling whatsoever. As you can see in the pictures, I buttoned it up all the way, which I usually don't do because most cardigans make me look boxy or top-heavy (damn you, 34Cs!) if fully buttoned, but not J. Crew. I don't know how they do it, but it works.

    J. Crew cardis+Gap skirts= a marriage truly made in fashion heaven.

    What do you guys think about J. Crew vs. the Gap? We don't have J. Crew in Japan, so I'd love to hear some better informed opinions!

10 comments:

  1. They look super together Beautiful!

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  2. A new beautiful look. Love your skirt.

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  3. Oooh, lovely look! You're gorgeous!

    And your necklace is really awesome... ;o)

    *From Munich With Love*
    Angie

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  4. Thanks, ladies! I have to say I really loved this outfit...I adore the cardigan so much I plan to wear it again this weekend. Perhaps too soon? Oh well!

    Angie- Thanks for visiting and commenting, I checked out your blog and I love that H&M bird print skirt! I have the cardi but didn't know there was a skirt option too...today I will try to hunt it down, wish me luck!

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  5. Thank you so much for your lovely comment! It made me really happy! Now I'm your follower too!

    The skirt was new in our local H&M! Bought it last thursday! Maybe it will come up soon in your local H&M... Or maybe you could find it at the online-shop? It wasn't really expensive too... I think it was about 19,90 Euro!

    *From Munich With Love*
    Angie

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  6. Hi Angie! Thanks for following!
    The cardigan popped up in Tokyo H&Ms about three weeks ago, so I assume the skirt is there by now...the only problem is that the 3 or 4 Tokyo H&Ms tend to carry very different stock from one another. The best one is in Ginza, and luckily I'm going there today, so fingers crossed!

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  7. Oh, I REALLY love this outfit too. It's like that top and skirt were made for each other, love when that happens. Great outfit, wear it proudly. xx veronika

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  8. Thanks, veronika. Glad you like the outfit as much as I did!

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  9. Okay first I love the skirt and the entire outfit you've put together! I have to say it must be fate that I landed here today because I've been feeling the same way about the Gap. Roughly 10 years ago is when then CEO Mickey Drexler departed and went to J.Crew taking many of his cherished designers with him...and then suddenly J.Crew began to get better and better and better...except the prices are through the roof.

    I used to work for Gap and it has been sad to see what happened to the company, but recently they have really had some wonderful pieces reappear in-store - just like you said!! I purchased the best pintuck trouser wide leg jeans and love them - as well as a tie neck ruffled sleeve chambray shirt that is out of this world. Go Gap! Such an easier price point to live with, too.

    Great post!
    Carrie :)

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  10. Thanks for your awesome comment, Carrie! Yes, it definitely seems like Gap is once again a fashion force to be reckoned with, or at least is headed in the right direction. And indeed, the price points are way more agreeable. I'm willing to pay a pretty penny for J. Crew cardigans since their fit and quality is unmatched IMHO, but their other items...not so much!

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