A few seasons ago J. Crew brought out a range of tissue weight, embellished, short sleeved T’s and tanks. The slubby, ruffle-y casual tops became part of J.Crew’s signature look as they were matched with everything from distressed casual denim shorts to sparkly pencil skirts and classic blazers. They have been a J. Crew staple ever since.
I could be mistaken, but it looks like several retailers were inspired by J.Crew. Casual tops with the same embellished vibe have been popping up everywhere this season: from Ann Taylor, the Loft and Banana Republic to Forever 21, INC, Club Monaco and Nordstrom.
Perhaps these retailers weren’t copying J.Crew. Perhaps the slubby embellished T and tank is a worldwide trend and J. Crew was a season or two ahead of the game. Be it as it may, I walk into Ann Taylor and say, “Ah! That’s a J.Crew T”, and many of my clients and friends have done the same. That’s quite powerful branding, don’t you think?
The top row are the original J. Crew tops. The bottom row are tops from Ann Taylor, Nordstrom and New York & Company.