Scenes of Style Visits The New J Crew, Albuquerque!
At last… the long awaited Albuquerque branch of J Crew has opened its doors! I arranged to meet my British sidekick, Rachael, for our obligatory Starbucks, before moseying along to check out this much-needed fashion destination located at the trendy Uptown shopping centre! After stopping a passer-by to snap a photo for prosperity (yes this really is a big deal!!) we stepped inside where there was an initial moment of “WOW”! The ambience of the store is upmarket boutique…..the beautiful cabinetry and floors, lighting and fixtures all serve to create an atmosphere conducive to making some serious purchases.
The feeling of “WOW” soon turned to one of disappointment, however, as nothing extra special really stood out! After several circuits I picked up a pair of Minnie side zip pants and another of the Cafe Capri’s. One major critique before even trying them on is how wrinkled they are. Granted $128 is not a high price point but one would still expect the apparel to be steamed……right! The many flannel shirts hanging at the front of the store are equally disheveled…..similar to how you would expect to find them at Abercrombie and Fitch….maybe that is the customer they are seeking!
The fit of the minnie pants is small ~ the next size smaller still, especially around the knees (Quality control issues……or have I put on knee weight!). The Cafe Capri’s are a wool blend but not lined ~ again another negative ~ but at least they did fit! Oh dear ~ I came in with such high expectations! I did finally plump for a black merino wool turtleneck….hardly the most exciting purchase but I was determined not to leave empty handed.
Rachael fared a little better than me. She tried on a No.2 style pencil skirt in grey which looked fabulous and was a real snip at $98. She also considered a perfectly sized clutch bag in tan leather which she later returned for.
My main critique is that the stock package is pretty repetitive, and obviously targeted for a preempted lower level Albuquerque market. It is, however, refreshing to see a designated J Crew shoe and handbag area, which is so needed in Albuquerque; but again the styles were limited, with the main options being ballet flats or the popular MacAlister bootie. …..where are the pointy patent flats, elegant heels and tall boots……or the many options of leather satchels! (Hopefully, on their way!)
Verdict: Despite our disappointment on style options, we are still delighted to see J Crew open its doors in Albuquerque. A great destination for casual apparel and accessories with plenty of choice for sizes and colors on the somewhat limited options. If you are looking for something special however, I would take a look at the stunning Collection line at the J Crew website.