J.Crew extends size offerings

J.Crew is making moves — and one that will benefit all of their shoppers.

According to Glamour, the retailer has just unveiled a “collection of tops, dresses, skirts, and pants that’ll be available in sizes up to 5X, a first for the brand,” with sizes starting at XXS. To do so, Glamour reports that J.Crew worked with “size-inclusive minimalist fashion label” Universal Standard to create the collection, which is filled with fashionable styles and modern fits across a much more inclusive size range. The already-inclusive line adds to accessibility in terms of price as well, with Glamour reporting that pieces from collection retail between $50 and $150.

The move, says J.Crew chief merchandising officerLisa Greenwald, acts as a follow-up to the company’s previous efforts to add more sizes to their denim offerings, says Glamour, which began last spring.

“We knew we had more work to do,” Greenwald told Glamour. “We wanted to be thoughtful about our approach to sizing, and part of that meant working with experts in this field to glean best practices as we work to perfect our approach to fit moving forward.”

Thus, Greenwald says they paired up with Universal Standard and set about creating a collection that was “tailored for the real, diverse spectrum of the American woman.”

“We wanted to create a collection of stylish, well-made, great-fitting clothes, engineered to fit the new range of sizes perfectly and Universal Standard offered their expertise to do just that,” Greenwald said to Glamour, looking to “Universal Standard’s expertise for help grading designs for larger sizes, manufacturing, and problem-solving anything that might come up along the way.”

The beginning of much more to come from J.Crew in terms of size inclusivity, Greenwald made sure to explain to Glamour that the hope is to make all feel welcome to their brand.

“It’s a dedicated strategy to bring millions of American women into the fold and make them feel part of the style enjoyed only by the smaller women until now.”

Click here to shop the collection.

J.Crew unveils intimates line

If J.Crew didn’t already occupy half of your closet, it will now.

According to PopSugar, the preppy lifestyle brand is expanding its offerings to include a line of intimates. Featuring an array of prints and solids, PopSugar says the new line offers both bras and underwear in five different fabrics.

While sometimes it can be difficult to find the perfect size in bras and underwear, J.Crew has you covered: PopSugar reports that the line’s sizing is based off that of their swimwear collection. So if shoppers know their sizes in J.Crew swimwear, there will be no guessing when it comes to shopping the new intimates line.

Ready to start shopping? Click here.

Mall brands to release extended-size collections

While there used to only be a handful of specialty shops for extended-size clothing, these days, some major clothing brands are ditching their narrow size ranges in favor of offering fashion for all.

According to ELLE, some well-loved mall brands are releasing their very own curvy-friendly clothing collections. For example, both Madewell and sister-store J.Crew have both announced that they will extend their denim offerings to include up to a size 35, reports ELLE, even releasing a new denim style called “‘curvy high-rise skinny jeans’ which was designed especially for women with ‘an hourglass shape.'”

Target’s newest project, Universal Thread, is a whole label dedicated to plus clothing, featuring up to a size 26W, says ELLE, while LOFT’s forthcoming extended-size offerings will be a first for the brand.

Meanwhile, ELLE reports that longstanding mall brand NY & Company is taking a different approach to expanding their size range: piggybacking off of actor Gabrielle Union’s collection with the brand, NY & Company and Union are releasing a new collection called #AllTogetherNow that goes up to a size 20 and 2XL. To help the launch the collection, ELLE says Union “recruited her Being Mary Jane co-stars, Lisa Vidal, Margaret Avery, and Raven Goodwin” to help show off all the line has to offer.

All of these new extended size lines just prove that fashion is for every body because, as LOFT said, “Because no two bodies are alike–and that’s a beautiful thing.”

J.Crew launches swim collection

Summer just got way more colorful, thanks to J.Crew‘s brand-new swimsuit collection.

According to InStyle, the retailer just unveiled a new, 22-piece swimwear collection that is perfect for upcoming tropical getaways or to stow away for summer. Called Playa, the collection “is full of retro-inspired colorways,” says InStyle, as well as “mix-and-match separates and sexy silhouettes guaranteed to make all of your summer dreams come true.”

Featuring cross and scoop-back one-pieces and retro bikinis all done in a variety of colors and prints, InStyle says that Playa’s prices start at just $23, offering cute, quality pieces at accessible price points.

View the collection here.

J.Crew represents customers on runway

Watching runway shows at New York Fashion Week may feel like stepping into a utopia of high fashion and beautiful models, reading more as a form of art than as a presentation of upcoming design trends. That’s why J.Crew’s president and executive creative director placed some different faces on the runway for their fashion week show this year.

According to The Cut, the brand and its overarching tastemaker Jenna Lyons decided to hire “real, non-model people” to walk their forthcoming designs down the runway this year in an effort to think specifically about their customers.

“There’s so much going on in fashion, and I think one of the things that’s getting lost is the connection to people,” Lyons told The Cut of the decision. “And we keep talking about customers, but we’re not really talking to them, and it was a way to actually, I don’t know, talk to people.”

The Cut reports that Lyons and her team “made a list of 80 people, more than 90 percent of whom she knew through business or personal relationships; the rest were people she found randomly.” One such model: W Magazine writer Vanessa Lawrence, someone The Cut says Lyons met over the summer when she attended Giovanna Battaglia’s wedding.

The only other criterion for selecting the models was to ensure a diverse group, says The Cut,  with Lyons revealing to the site that she didn’t want to be guided by a specific vision; instead, she was focusing on making sure her models felt beautiful.

“Someone said to me, ‘Who is your muse?,’” she told The Cut, “and I was, like, ‘I don’t know, someone who likes clothes.’ It’s not about one individual person, I want everyone to feel beautiful, I want everyone to feel connected to the brand. They don’t all have to wear it the same way, I’m totally cool with that, and I love that. That’s what makes me want to make clothes, is making people feel beautiful, it doesn’t matter what they look like.”

To ensure their comfort with their looks, The Cut says Lyons and her team let the models choose how to style the looks according to their own preferences and let them do their own hair and makeup as they’d style it every day.

The goal, according to Lyons: “This was not about us telling them how to look, this was us looking at them and saying, How do you feel beautiful?

 

 

J.Crew to offer customizable bags

Whether you’re looking for a gift or looking for a new bag to add to your own collection, a customized bag adds a personal touch to your look. And now, your favorite retailer is offering you the chance to play designer and customize your own handbag.

According to Glamour, J.Crew just announced a line of customizable handbags, coin purses, and key fobs and tags that allow shoppers to inject their own personality into their bags. The design process works this way, according to J.Crew: first, you select a item in the color and style of your choice. After adding a three-character monogram, you wrap up the design process by “adding some extras,” which can include everything from coin purses to bag tags.

J.Crew’s head of women’s design Somsack Sikhounmuong told Glamour that quality was of prime importance when creating the line. “When designing these handbags, the most important features I considered were the quality, the personalization, and the sense of fun while also keeping in mind the form and function of every design,” he said.

And quality, form and function is certainly what they delivered: whether a handbag or an accessory, each piece is crafted in genuine Italian leather and some styles are even done in Italian calf hair.

Glamour says that the handbag collection includes a crossbody camera-bag style called the Signet Bag, which retails for $128, as well as a tote bag that’s available for $178. Bag accessories — which include coin purses, key fobs and bag tags — start at $8 and go up to $50, according to Glamour.

To check out the styles — and to customize a look of your own — click here.

 

Fashion Finds: Jewelry

If you’re on the hunt for something stylish, but don’t know where to look, look no further than THL’s newest feature, Fashion Finds! Here, you’ll find overviews of cool shops that will fulfill all your fashion needs while also keeping in mind your budget. From apparel to shoes, accessories and handbags, Fashion Finds will help you find it all, and today, we’re scoping out fashion jewelry.

Good fashion jewelry can be a tricky thing to find; while you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a necklace or bracelet, you also want something that looks nice, that will withstand wear and tear and will pair easily with different outfits. You may even want something a bit trendy, but don’t want to shell out a lot of money for a fleeting style.

But THL knows that all fashion can be accessible — to your style and to your budget. So if you’re in the market for some shiny new jewelry, you’ll want to check out some of our favorite stores:

Charming Charlie: Offering affordable jewelry that ranges from trendy to classic, this store is a great starting point when searching for fashion jewelry. Charming Charlie also has frequent sales on jewelry, so you can stock up on of-the-moment statement pieces like chokers or classic styles like simple stud earrings. THL’s favorite: the gold lattice hinge bracelet, which offers a subtle classic pavé style in a bold cuff silhouette.

Forever 21: While it can be seen as a store for millennials, it does have a vast selection of fashion jewelry at highly affordable prices. Offering everything from dainty pieces to big, bold statement looks, Forever 21 will certainly have something to suit your taste out of their 1,500-plus products. THL’s favorite: the rhinestone ear pins, which provide a delicate shine coupled with a modern style.

BaubleBar: If you’re looking for something a bit more fancy and can stretch your budget, you’ll have to pay a visit to BaubleBar. The site offers only the most fashionable jewelry, keeping you and your style right on trend. One of BaubleBar’s best features is their build-your-own sets, in which you can select three styles of your choosing in either necklaces, bracelets or earrings — and, when you build a set, it’s more cost-effective than buying each piece separately, thus saving you money so you can go buy more jewelry. You can even get some items personalized, which makes a great gift for birthdays, anniversaries or graduations. THL’s favorite: the fringed hand chain, which combines a hot trend with a sleek silhouette.

J.Crew: If a classic look is more your style, then J.Crew has a selection perfectly curated for you. With designs featuring pretty crystals, floral patterns and simple chain links, J.Crew’s jewelry offers timeless styles that will easily pair with everything from a little black dress to a mid-week work look. While J.Crew’s jewelry often costs more than the previous three retailers, their elegance is certainly worth the cost. But here’s a hint — if you can’t swing the higher price tag, check out their J.Crew Factory store online, where you can find more classic styles at a fraction of the regular cost. THL’s favorite: the double gemstone clusters necklace from the factory store, which can dress up everything from a T-shirt to an evening gown.

With all of these great options to pick from, you’re sure to find some jewelry that you love that won’t hurt your wallet. Know of a store that we missed? Add it in the comments below or tweet us at @takeherlead with your suggestion along with the hashtag #FashionFinds.