Friday, March 18, 2016

JCrew Spring 2016 - Trench Cape (Barley, XS/S)

I was super excited about this piece. After all, a cape is actually only really suited to transitional weather, like fall, or... spring! I think JCrew has hit on a great concept. It was also a positive sign when I saw that it wasn't the dreaded "one size". Imagining a cape version of the icon trench, I couldn't resist hitting "place order", and daydreaming visions of fabulousness while I waited for it to arrive.

Unfortunately, that was where the infatuation ended. The pictures below largely speak for themselves. I'll lay out the pros and cons, briefly.

Pros: Good idea, as stated above. Pockets.

Cons: Poor materials (sad cotton twill, not the stiff smooth high quality cotton of the icon trench); no lining (that piece of gingham is a bait and switch); no storm flap in the back, resulting in a horrid line-backer look. Untidy execution; deadish khaki colour, compounded by the sad fabric. Oversized for a petite, size 0/XS frame. 

The cape wings out and is too long. One would think that the XS would be proportionately shorter, but it doesn't feel that way.  The belt design is a bit irritating, though the belt is well tethered (thankfully). I wanted to get rid of the belt, so I could just cloak the cape around me and avoid looking like a perfectly-trussed-up-bat. Unfortunately, this is impossible. As the photos show, removing the belt makes it hang even less flatteringly. There's just too much fabric, in the end. It looks wannabe, not classic with a twist.

This is the best it can look. Notice I was trying to leave the lapels open. Failed.

Um... Excess wrinkled fabric. Trying the no belt look.

Too long on me.

Don't even think about popping the collar. Unless you're Dracula, looking for a summer wardrobe option.

Side and back. No storm flap and too much fabric. 

Fabric wrinkles. Even though it came swathed in tissue.

Closeup of the fabric and the unsatisfactory button hole.

Bottom inner seam.

Inside construction. There's a loop in the middle behind the belt, to which the belt is secured with a button.

Inside the front flap of the cape. A bit of ribbon does cover the end seams of the
button placket.

Final verdict: I am just unimpressed and a bit let down. In the days not so long ago, this quality level would only be the factory version of a much higher quality retail piece. I think the retail price is closer to being fair for the quality - especially for where it will end up on sale. I'm just glad that I hoarded all the excellent JCrew stuff and my instinct that it needed to be hoarded was right. Being right, however, is only sweet sorrow. I will be returning this item on my next trip to the store.


  1. Excellent review, thorough and detailed pics. Capes are not easy as far as fit, fabric & proportion, which this cape showcases.

    1. Funnily enough, my best fitting cape is a cheaper one that I got at Benetton - it's just a simple, no frills, woollen piece. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Great review, Maqsad! I ordered it. I didn't even bother opening it from its packaging knowing that it would look like a disaster on my 4'11 frame. Haha...
      I am surprised to read that they chose to use that fabric instead of the icon fabric. Oh J.Crew.

    2. Hi JSR! I know - I had such high hopes.

  3. I'm not a cape wearer myself, and so I wasn't drawn to it, but I have to say your review is pretty amusing! You have a way with words and they are hilarious. Sad that J. Crew would issue something of such low quality. I hope they can get it together soon.

    1. J.Crew has been slow with getting it together. They should really focus on the quality of their clothes, instead of focusing on opening cheap Mercantile J.Crew stores...

  4. 'Unless you're Dracula, looking for a summer wardrobe option.' Teeheehee! This made me laugh more than it should've! Great review.