It’s almost perverse, isn’t it? Spring 2011 has barely sprung, and yet the fashion world is already busying itself with the challenge of fall / winter 2011. So it is that American retailer J.Crew has revealed it’s take on the season.
J.Crew have become something of a divisive force in menswear of late. It seems that amongst those whose taste the retailer and label is meant to appeal to, there are two firm camps: those who love them and those who hate them. Polar extremes are nothing new in fashion, but J.Crew seem to attract a love / hate relationship for the simple reason that they stock high-quality labels alongside their own range; and the quality of their own pieces doesn’t always match up to what else they stock. That’s not to say that their offering is necessarily bad, but it’s very hard for a store to stock their own mid-range product alongside the likes of Belstaff and come off looking like they’re on the same level.
This comparison has never phased me however, and I have to confess that no trip to the United States is complete for me without a visit to at least one J.Crew store. Moreover, should they ever discover the fact that they could offer international shipping as a part of their e-commerce store, they’d probably have been the beneficiary of much more of my money.
So it is that I took to their next-season offering with much interest. Pictures seldom communicate quality, but they certainly do wonders for communicating aesthetic and direction.
J.Crew‘s visual direction for fall / winter 2011 can be described as more of the same, and why shouldn’t it be? One expects from J.Crew a relaxed take on classic men’s American fashion and that’s precisely what it delivers. What, then, stands out from the offering as right for a fashionier’s wardrobe?
The extra details, that’s what. Classic looks aren’t hard to come by from retailers, but attention to detail is. J.Crew offer it up aplenty for men for fall 2011; charcoal suits offering up throat latches, shawl necks are indulged in as is Harris tweed, and there’s a subtle mixture of winter whites and-off whites running through the collection. The footwear, largely bought from the likes of English shoe artisans such as Crockett & Jones and Alden, also strikes me as a high note of the collection and I wouldn’t be averse to particularly finding the boots amongst my personal belongings.
Forwards leaning in the sense that there’s a relaxed cut to many a pair of trousers, this being a common theme for men’s tailored trousers in the season, I would be particularly fussy if considering to purchase the collection’s suit wear. While I’ve personally on current season suit offerings and thought, on a quality-to-price ratio, it to be excellent the length of the skirts on the fall 2011 suits strikes me as being too short in comparison to the direction that modern men’s suits are taking.
You can view photos of J.Crew’s fall / winter 2011 offering for men by clicking on the thumbnails below.