Ah, January… the time of year that just kind of sits between the festive holiday season, and our yearning for springtime.  It feels like every year next season’s merchandise is launched earlier and earlier, when in fact, it’s probably the same every year and my perception of time has changed.  Whatever…

I used to look forward to J.Crew’s new seasonal releases.  These days, however I find them to be less exciting; more predictable.  Today they launched what I guess is early Spring.  There are a few interesting pieces.  They’ve updated the font on the website, changed the backdrop from grey or beige to bright white…  The offerings, however are pretty much the same.  When clicking on the men’s page you’re immediately shown what they have been pushing for the last few years, The Ludlow Suit.  I own two of these, plus another sport jacket.  I like the Ludlow Suit.  But really, J.Crew?  Is that all you got?  Being the crabby fella I am, I hereby present to you with some additional highlights – some I like, others at which I just had to roll my eyes…

 Secret Wash lightweight shirt in banker stripe $64.50

One can never have too many casual striped shirts.  Or can he?  With the plaid overload of the last few seasons, I am happy to say my interest has returned to the simple stripe.  This one is available in slim fit in their lightweight washed cotton, and would be a nice replacement for the larger, baggier shirts I will (hopefully) need to be replacing this spring.

 Cotton V-Neck Sweater $62.50

Again, another staple that would be a fine addition to any simple wardrobe.  And let’s face it, folks I keep my wardrobe pretty simple.  They usually have this style available at their outlet stores too, so if the price feels a little steep for something like this, you have other options.

 Stripe twill sportcoat in Ludlow fit $168

I bought this style a couple of years ago.  It’s nothing new.  Perhaps they have updated the fit a bit, but I doubt it.  The price, for a cotton sport jacket is not bad.  The sizing, however is lousy.  Why can’t they size their cotton sport jackets by number like they do everything else?  S, M, L just doesn’t cut it for some of us.


Linen herringbone sportcoat in Ludlow fit $325

Yes, this one is back too.  And this may just be the year that I take the plunge on this jacket.  It’s properly sized, and in the khaki/black color it would be very versatile with my existing pants – black, grey, & khaki, plus blue, & white jeans.  I may wait for it to go on sale.  I may treat myself at the end of this quarter.  We’ll see.

 Lee® for J.Crew 101 B regular straight selvedge jean in rinse wash $220

Looks like Lee has jumped on this bandwagon too.  I rolled my eyes, but who can blame them?  If Frank & Mickey say they’re cool, then they’re cool.  And they will sell.  Personally, I’ll stick with my trusty Levis 501’s purchased from the Levis outlet stores for a fraction of the cost of these jeans.  Are my jeans selvedge?  No.  But then, I just don’t care.

 Alden® for J.Crew limited-edition suede shortwing bluchers $525

Now, I’m a sucker for well made, handsome shoes.  In trying to figure out my spring/summer shoe plan I purchased a pair of drivers from Allen Edmonds that once in my possession didn’t look good at all.  Sure, they were on sale but was it worth it?  Not so much.  I don’t wear drivers.  I like heavier shoes.  The J.Crew-Alden partnership has been one of their most successful, and this is a handsome pair of shoes that would look perfect with a pair of white jeans, or navy chinos.  Of course, I could get a similar pair from Bass, so we’ll see.

Alden® for J.Crew limited-edition leisure hand-sewn moccasins $495

Another handsome pair of Aldens.  Seriously, I wish I had a lot more disposable income.  But I don’t…

Alden® travel shoe care kit $130

It comes with black, and cordovan polish, a brush, and a rag.  Eyes rolling…

Flyweight denim dotted leaves tie $69.50

I don’t wear ties very often, but this one is a nice update from last year’s version.  Perhaps I’ll buy it when it goes on sale.


Tipped dress socks $16.50

Finally we get to my favorite – socks.  I’ve gone from procuring various pair with patters of all types, to enjoying simple, ribbed, solid socks that strike a bit of a contrast to whatever pants I am wearing that day.  I will be buying a few of these.

Nice, but uninspiring.  I’m sure I’ll pick up a few new things for spring, but I need to go through my closet yet again and get rid of stuff.  Kristina and I have three big bags waiting to go to Salvation Army.  I’m sure more will follow…

To view more of the early Spring Arrivals, go to jcrewmens.com.