how do you mend a broken heart?

I’ve been in a love affair with J. Crew for as long as I can remember.  Signed up for multitudes of daily emails from various Crew sources, my BlackBerry is usually constantly lit up with the glow of crisp, J. Crew fashions.  The love is so strong that I even talked my financial accounting teacher into allowing me to do my annual report analysis on this fashion staple’s 2008 report.
Yeah, it’s that deep.
J. Crew's Fall Collection, inspired by recluse socialite Edie Beale.
Well, it was, until recently my monthly catalogs have been featuring some, how should I say, less than pretty things.  I know that as a reasonable business, J. Crew wants to appeal to a large range of consumers, but honestly, I feel like executive creative director Jenna Lyons is starting to bite the hand that feeds her.  In a recent interview, Ms. Lyons quipped about her disdain for J. Crew being labeled as a preppy retailer.  
J. Crew's Jenna Lyons. Photo courtesy of
She is taking the brand in a different direction, with the Fall collection, inspired by Grey Gardens’s Edie Beale.  It’s what Lyons describes as “grandma-chic,"  which to me sounds like she’s taking the collection from Jackie O-classic to hidden-Bouvier grunge. No thank you.  So with my love waning and J. Crew’s price-to-quality ratio not working out in my favor, I’ve caught on to another timeless brand gaining a lot of buzz—Talbots.  Ok, I know what you’re thinking..Talbots?  Seriously?  But the brand once thought of as your mom’s favorite shopping spot has gotten a bit of a facelift.  
The Fall Collection is reminiscent of J. Crew’s glory days—chic coats, beautiful platform pumps, and the most amazing ruffled front turtlenecks are just a few of what this unbelievable collection has to offer.  
To touch on my love for Blair Waldorf yet again, this collection screams Blair.  From fitted, tailored blazers to amazing blouses, this collection looks straight out of Eleanor Waldorf's storefront.
Talbots has taken classics, tailored them beautifully, and then added chic twists, such as unexpected colors, patterns, and textures.  It’s luxury at a lesser price point.
Will I still purchase things at my somewhat estranged love, J. Crew, yes. But as in all relationships, things change.  Watch out, J. Crew.  There’s a new skirt in town, and this time, grandma really has gone chic.


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