Wednesday, January 13, 2010

J. Crew or Pay. Crew? Considering the Brogue-y Brodie Boots

I’ve been contemplating these Brodie ankle boots (below) from J. Crew since I first saw them the other week. I like the brogue styling with monk straps, perforations, and hidden platforms.

I even took the step of placing them in my virtual shopping bag (both colors, for educational purposes).

Pressing the “checkout” button, however (for one pair), is a different story. I’ve had good luck with J. Crew boots in the past (I actually have four pairs, when I take count: hiking, riding, short, and full-length).

In fact, I’d argue that J. Crew’s boots are their best-made product—shoes are usually ill-fitting; shorts and tees are fine for a summer but not made to endure; dresses have bodices that are too low cut for anyone who’s nursed three children (I can't bear [ahem] cleavage on moi); cashmere is . . . OK: the cashmere is terrific.

But back to the boots: they’re clearly being promoted as an “investment” purchase, with a wildly un J. Crew price of $300+. The only time that J. Crew ventures into that range is when it sells products from other houses, like Quoddy (handmade in Maine) or Barbour, which has an English pedigree (and I hope it’s made in the UK too).

So are these boots truly special, or is J. Crew remaking itself as Pay. Crew, reimagining itself as the purveyor of luxury goods, and trying to convince its gentle clients that $300 is but a dip of the oar in the water if one is to sport the Crew?

I can’t decide whether to keep my oar wet or dry (see opening image).


K.Line said...

Too pricey, IMO. For 300 bucks US plus shipping etc., they need to be waterproof and snow-worthy.

La Belette Rouge said...

When I saw those boots in I thought of you. I didn't know why at the time. Now I see that I know your style better than I thought I did.

Mary-Laure said...

I like the light pair better. The details are original and elegant. Ankle boots are flattering!

Modern Traditionalist said...

I'm fine with J. Crew keeping one foot over the luxury line as long as the other foot is squarely in the mid-tier range. I understand the need for halo products or lines to create desire for your product. I just hope they remember their bread and butter lies in the basics.

Belle de Ville said...

I love these monk strap boots, but I would wait to buy them until they go on sale...which in this economy will probably be soon.

Angie Muresan said...

They are adorable, no doubt, yet not worth $300. For some reason I have never quite understood the fascination with J. Crew. On my body the clothes do not fit right. Every time I bought something from there I had to take it to a tailor to make it fit better. I say, keep your money.