J.Crew sure seems to be on a winning streak as of late. Since Jenna Lyons took over as Creative Director, the brand has become synonymous with quality and affordable styles with major fashion cred. I remember a few years ago when J.Crew did a somewhat soft-launch of bridal styles which were only available online and in catalogs. I recall the early bridal styles as timeless classics, nothing too fancy but elegant nonetheless and the big selling point of being well-below traditional bridal retail prices. As in prices starting in the $200 range, for a wedding dress!
Fast-forward a couple years and J.Crew has opened their very own bridal boutique on New York City’s Upper East Side. Madison Avenue and 66th Street to be exact, just a stone’s throw from other retailers like, a-hem, wedding goddess Vera Wang.
Now, the one thing I have to say about J.Crew is that they’re smart. They tested wedding gowns online and in catalogs before jumping into opening their own bridal boutique. But that’s not all. This isn’t just any dress shop. J.Crew has expanded their bridal boutique into an experience that touches upon all those things you need to have/buy for wedding festivities. Rehearsal dinner dress? Check. Honeymoon wardrobe? Check. Shoes? Check. Jewelry? Check. Something blue? You get the idea. They even have the guy’s wedding day attire taken care of with tuxedo jackets or suits. Some of the aforementioned cocktail dresses and men’s attire are part of the new 769 Collection which also features lingerie, cashmere sweaters and accessories. Oh and they also serve champagne.
Although I’ll always hold my Vera Wang wedding dress close to my heart, I’ve got to give it to J.Crew for cultivating such a great concept for something that’s obviously much in-demand. The first several weeks of bridal appointments were already booked before the store opened last Thursday. There are just so many components to this boutique concept, from the lingerie to the jewelry that I think will appeal to a lot of brides whether or not they wear a J.Crew dress down the isle.
And just for the record, the J.Crew wedding dresses still start in the $200 range and top out at $3,500. One thing that strikes me as interesting here is that I think this concept will appeal to the J.Crew shopper, probably one who could afford a Vera, and may still shop there, but will undoubtedly also have a look at J.Crew’s bridal offerings. I wonder if the J.Crew bridal brand will also reach the mass bridal customer, say one that may be interested in Vera Wang’s upcoming collection for David’s Bridal.