How to Live the J. Crew Life: 6 Easy Ways

March 14, 2013 § 66 Comments

It’s no secret: You already know that sometimes I fantasize about living the life I see in the J. Crew catalog.

This week, while browsing for something to wear in this 40-degrees-at-breakfast / 70-at-lunch weather, I got caught up in pondering just what I’d have to do to pull off this lifestyle on a daily basis. There’s a lot to it, but none of it’s all that hard. I think I’ve got the hang of it:

* * *

1. Embrace bedhead. This looks a lot like how my hair just naturally is, but you can also create this look on purpose. What you do is put lots of time and product and effort into styling your hair nice and smooth, and then you sort of take your open palm and noogie-noogie-noogie it all crazy on the crown of your head and then go.

It adds an interesting pop of contrast to fancy outfits. Like, if you’re going to Easter brunch, but you don’t want to look all prim and fussy, just mess up the hair. Because then the whole look together says, “Yes, I went to church this morning. And then I rolled around on the floor for while. [Wink] Pass the biscuits.”

Bedhead adds an interesting bit of contrast to fancy outfits. Like, if you’re going to brunch, but you don’t want to look all prim and fussy, just mess up the hair. Because then the whole look together says, “Yes, I went to church this morning. And then I rolled around on the floor for while. [wink] Pass the biscuits?”

It’s also great for casual daytime looks. Like, “Um, hey, whatever, is there a wireless signal in here or whatever? Whatever.”

It’s also great for casual daytime looks. Like, “Um, hey, whatever, is there like a wireless signal in here or whatever? Whatever.”

* * *

2. Eschew perfection. Always leave one element of your outfit screwed up or half done. Like tucking the back of your dress into your thong, except preppier.

Put on the blouse, add a perfectly-fitted blazer, go find the necklace, put on the necklace, re-adjust the clasp of the necklace so it falls just so under your top button, noogie-noogie-noogie your hair, then – BAM – flip up one side of the collar, because what the hell, this world is an imperfect place and we’re all going to die someday.

Here’s how to do this one: Put on the blouse, add a perfectly-fitted blazer, go find the necklace, put on the necklace, re-adjust the clasp of the necklace so it falls just so under your top button, noogie-noogie-noogie your hair, then – BAM – flip up one side of the collar, because what the hell, this world is an imperfect place and we’re all going to die someday.

The black-and-white lines in the blouse suggest symmetry and order, but the half-tucked sweater suggests you may or may not have attempted to button your cardigan to your crotch because the sky is the limit and fuck the rules.

The black-and-white lines in the blouse suggest symmetry and order, but the half-tucked sweater suggests you may or may not have attempted to button your cardigan to your crotch because the sky is the limit and fuck the rules.

* * *

3. Cultivate a mysterious expression. There’s lots of room for creativity here. The gist is that you don’t want to stick with the basics: happy, sad, mad, etc. You want to come up with something quirky, an unusual combo of emotions. Like, murderously vapid. Or playfully depressed. Or adorably vegetarian. You get the idea.

Curiously stoned

Curiously stoned

Impishly secretive

Impishly secretive

* * *

4. Always be touching. Too close for comfort? Nonsense. If you’ve got on a great outfit, let everyone know it by sidling up to the closest other person in a great outfit and touching them, creating an electric charge that radiates for all to see.

Weddings are fun. They’re even more fun when all the bridesmaids are attached at the hip. Or the shoulder. Or the knee. Or the forehead.

Weddings are fun. They’re even more fun when all the bridesmaids are attached at the hip. Or the shoulder. Or the knee. Or the forehead.

The beach is a great place to find other Crew-babes and invade their personal space. Note the touching pinkies. That’s subtle, yet assertive.

The beach is a great place to find other Crew-babes and invade their personal space. Note the touching pinkies. That’s subtle, yet assertive.

* * *

5. Keep ‘em guessing at the office. Can women have it all? Is there such a thing as balance? Is that the glass ceiling or did someone play a prank on us with Saran Wrap? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure: The J. Crew way is to keep things wacky at work.

Start every board meeting with this look. It says, “I’d like to outline a 6-point plan for excellence around here, but first I want to tell you about the dream I had last night where I drugged all of you and ate your spleens.”

Start every board meeting with this look. It says, “I’d like to outline a 6-point plan for excellence around here, but first I want to tell you about the dream I had last night where I drugged all of you and ate your spleens.”

Sunglasses indoors. Always. You can tell this is a work environment because of the clock. Only offices have clocks, because once you leave work, the world is just a funky continuum, free of artificial constructs like hours and minutes.

Sunglasses indoors. Always. You can tell this is a work environment because of the clock. Only offices have clocks, because once you leave work, the world is just a funky continuum, free of artificial constructs like hours and minutes.

* * *

6. Jump, and you’ll look better. It’s fine to do just a half-leap, but if you really want to grab the world by the balls, launch into a full ballet jeté in the next crowded place you go, because why not.

Every time someone looks at me from now on out, I'm going to jump. And then what they'll say is, "Wow. You are so stylish. Did you get those striped sequin cafe-fit capris at J. Crew?" And I will be like, "You're damn right I did. [Jump]"

Every time someone looks at me from now on out, I’m going to jump. And then what they’ll say is, “Wow. You are so stylish. Did you get those striped sequin cafe-fit capris at J. Crew?” And I will be like, “You’re damn right I did. [Jump]“

And that’s how you do it.

(All pictures are from the J. Crew catalog. Obviously.)

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