I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with J.Crew. I love a lot of their clothes. I love a lot of their jewellery. I love their bright colours. But I'm not keen on their high prices and their overly preppy aesthetic, I dislike the details that scream old-lady (the pearlized buttons on the Jackie cardigan, for example), I've found the quality and fit of some of their clothes severely lacking at times, and I’ve been to a lot of brick&mortar stores in the U.S. that are messy and uninspiring.
J.Crew opened its first international store in Toronto last year, but I’ve never been. I hate Yorkdale Mall (impossible to park at, out of my way to get to on the subway, and always packed—last year on Boxing Day there was a 3-4 hour way to just get park), so I never felt any reason to go there with online shopping and my generally “meh” feeling towards the b&m stores. But J.Crew opened their second store in Toronto on October 3 at the Eaton Centre, which is a 20-minute walk from work and on the right subway line, so I went when I got the chance.
It’s probably the nicest store I’ve been in, so I was pleasantly surprised. And only mildly overstimulated by all the colour.
With the Canadian markup and Canadian taxes, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy in Canada. I’ll probably still order online and ship to my sister in Boston, but it’s nice to see things in person first. And they were running 25% off promotions on sweaters, so I did pick up a Jackie (I’ll swap the buttons out when I find suitable replacements) and a replacement long black cardigan for my well-worn one that sprouted a hole in the elbow when I was in Montreal over Thanksgiving.
The third Toronto store is opening at Fairview Mall on October 31, so I’ll probably go check it out next weekend.