I've been thinking about this post for a very long time, so I finally decided to get it out. My retail personal shopper had been encouraging me to start a blog long before I did. Each time I mentioned a J. Crew item by name, she'd say "you should start a blog, you'd be really great at blogging." I kept thinking that it was a great idea. Secretly, however, I loathed the idea of taking pictures of myself and putting them on the web, but not because I don't like my body. I'm comfortable in my own skin and I LOVE my body. No one else can love my body for me. I'd love to lose 10-20 pounds, but a rare neuromuscular disease often prohibits me from doing strenuous cardiovascular exercise. So, I try to watch what I eat and move as swiftly as possible when I have the energy to do so. Growing up, I was a size 4. Medication changes significantly altered my weight. Things are under control now, thank God.
I want to be careful here. Loving my body doesn't mean that I don't struggle with my weight at times. Recently, for example, when I stopped by my J. Crew retail store, I had one of those "I wish that I was a size smaller moments" because a number of the pencil skirts I looked forward to adding to my wardrobe aren't offered in my size.
It's no secret that I love J. Crew clothing as evidenced by the title of this blog. I've written here and other blogs about my frustration with the recent sizing offering inconsistencies at J. Crew. Here's an excerpt from a recent letter that I sent to the J. Crew leadership team:
J. Crew is undoubtedly my favorite store. I LOVE J. Crew clothing, jewelry, shoes, and other accessories. Indeed, 99% of my wardrobe consists of J. Crew items. I eagerly anticipate J. Crew new arrivals so that I can add quality, beautiful pieces to my wardrobe. Recently, however, I was extremely disappointed to learn that I cannot purchase many of the items I desire because they are not available in a size 14. The most recent J. Crew catalog insists that the J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt will be a clients’ “most noteworthy wardrobe addition.” I am excluded from adding multiple styles of this wonderful pencil skirt to my wardrobe because they’re not offered in size 14s in certain patterns. Sadly, the following J. Crew pencil skirts won’t find their way into my wardrobe: the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Gardenshade Floral (style #64008), the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Medallion Paisley (style #72585), the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Terrazzo Tweed (style #65088), and the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Eyelet (style #76229). I can list others, and I can recall other pencil skirts from previous years that weren’t offered in a size 14.
I am delighted that the solid colors of the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Double-Serge Wool and Double-Serge Cotton are offered in a size 14. Moreover, I recognize that patterns such as the “Fanfare” are also offered in a size 14. I sincerely hope that the J. Crew leadership team will offer ALL patterns of the No. 2 Pencil Skirt in a size 14. I know that I’m only one customer, but I purchase every J. Crew pencil skirt that is offered in a size 14 at full price unless my retail personal shopper tells me that the color/pattern doesn’t work for me. Moreover, I sincerely hope that size 14 skirts will be offered in retail stores.
J. Crew pencil skirts are amazing; the colors, fabrics, and quality of these skirts cannot be duplicated. Let me be clear—I do NOT want to shop anywhere else.
I wonder if eliminating size 14s from most of its skirt options can be traced to Jenna Lyons's recent proclamation that J. Crew is trying to become a "high" end retailer. I'm still thinking through my frustrations about the lack of size 14 skirt offerings at J. Crew, but I'll end this post by saying that I hope the J. Crew leadership team actually does something about this size exclusion. I know that I'm only one customer, but judging from how quickly size 14s sell out, I can't be the only person feeling this frustration. Perhaps we can trace the speed with which these sizes disappear from the website to the company ordering low quantities in the first place. Who knows? I still think that it speaks volumes about the demands for this size.
What do you think about the sizing issues at J. Crew? And, what do you think about blogging and body image? Do tell!
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