As a British Expat living in the United States I should be thrilled that, come this May, my fellow Brits will finally have the chance to buy pieces from J. Crew, the hitherto "virtually impossible to get unless you come to the States on vacation or have a friend who lives there and is willing to mail you things". I should…but I’m not.
Not because, like the child on the playground with the big bag of sweets, I’m unwilling to share but because, quite frankly, I think they’ll be disappointed. At this point, they’ve seen pictures of Alexa Chung in J.Crew, or Michelle Obama (though, really, almost anything would look good when paired with Azzedine Alaia), or even the images from the brand’s own immaculately styled catalog, and they think that the clothes that will arrive in the mailbox will have the same je ne sais quoi. I admit that I’ve experienced a similar sensation, but a trip to one of their stores generally dampens my enthusiasm. The clothes staring back at me from the racks emanate a sort of generic blandness. At heart, they’re preppy, but (to revert to the schoolyard analogy) they’re trying desperately – and generally unsuccessfully – to hang with the cool kids.