This Week’s Discovery

Ebbets Field Flannels® ball cap
Seven years ago, our in-house brand expert, Jamie, was looking to replace his vintage 1950s
ball cap. After months of digging in obscure shops (and searching every corner of the Internet)
and not finding anything that lived up to his standards of authenticity, he finally stumbled on the perfect replica. Since 1987, Ebbets Field Flannels, named for the old Brooklyn Dodgers’ stadium in Flatbush, has been creating American-made caps inspired by the non–major league teams of
the 1900s to the 1950s. We’ve teamed up with them to bring you these exclusive styles in soft brushed twill and custom colors, featuring the legendary logos of the Homestead Grays, the Brooklyn Bushwicks and the Chicago American Giants. The really good news? Jamie’s hat is
still holding up nicely.
Brooklyn Dodgers players pose on opening day, April 1947.
A sketch of Ebbets Field, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ stadium that was once located in Flatbush.

This Week’s Discovery

Indego Africa™ for J.Crew cloth wrap bracelets
So much more than your average bracelet. We love this wraparound style from Indego Africa, a nonprofit project dedicated to providing women artisans in Rwanda the opportunity to sell their beautifully handcrafted pieces to the rest of the world while supporting themselves and their families. And that’s just the beginning: All proceeds are used to create business and literacy programs that encourage entrepreneurship and empower the artisans to become independent businesswomen. These exclusive-to-us bracelets are made from Dutch wax fabric (renowned for its durability and considered a symbol of African solidarity) locally sourced from the markets of Kigali, which the women visit each week to look for the most vibrant colors that perfectly capture the spirit of summer. The final touch: Each bracelet is individually signed by the artist so it’s absolutely unique—much like its story.
An artisan carefully measures a section of Dutch wax fabric.
How the pieces come together.
A group of women pose with some of their finished products—colorful necklaces.

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This Week’s Discovery

Soludos® for J.Crew espadrilles
When it comes to summer shoes, Soludos has proven there’s life beyond flip-flops—and the name, a combination of the Spanish words sol (sun) and salud (cheers), is the perfect qualifier. When founder and designer Nick Brown moved stateside, he set out to recreate the simple, laid-back espadrilles he wore growing up—the ones sold in the markets and along the beaches of the Mediterranean: “We use authentic weaving and dyeing techniques, so they’re just like their international counterparts.” The jute-soled, eco-friendly styles have a few special twists, like three exclusive-to-us colors and fabrics. And since they’re the price of just a few cervezas, we recommend stocking up on more than one pair. Salud!

Clockwise from top left:
Founder Nick Brown shows off his espadrilles; inspiration for the Soludos for J.Crew collaboration; A Perfect Summer Day shot in Montauk, New York.

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(images courtesy of Soludos®)

This Week’s Discovery

seersucker swimsuits
A few of our favorite things to come out of the South: jazz, mint juleps and the unofficial fabric of summer—seersucker. First gaining popularity in the U.S. for gentlemen to beat the heat below the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s made its welcome way up the coast into the closets of New England neo-prep sets and now, our beach totes. We just couldn’t resist splashing these stripes—in smoldering charcoal, sunny citron and classic baby blue—into our swim collection. To create the perfect poolside-pinup fit, we outfitted our one-piece with figure-flattering stretch fabric, a supportive underwire and tie-and-go halter straps. Bring on the sultry days of summer…

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This Week’s Discovery

the Ludlow tuxedo
The great tuxedo wearers through the years: Cary Grant, James Bond, Jack Donaghy…One thing they have in common? They didn’t rent. Follow suit and finally bid farewell to the days of cheap tuxedo-rental shops stuffed with ill-fitting cuts and shiny-pattern cummerbunds. Instead, heed our stylist Jack’s advice: “Spend on a quality tux. Even if you only trot it out once a year, it’s the wisest wardrobe investment a man can make.” Our modern yet timeless Ludlow tuxedo fits the bill in fine Italian wool from Italy’s Lanificio di Tollegno mill with bespoke details (a satin stripe down the leg and pickstitching inside the jacket), all for under a cool grand. It’s your perfect excuse to make sure “black tie optional” is never an option.
Our tuxedo all-stars: Cary Grant in the 1946 movie Notorious; Roger Moore as James Bond;
Alec Baldwin as 30 Rock’s Jack Donaghy.


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(image credits: top, right, bottom)

This Week’s Discovery

the Madewell Storyteller Scarf
You might have heard how in love we are with Madewell here at J.Crew. Quick style backstory: Madewell started in 1937 as a denim brand, and now, besides being jeans makers, they’re our go-to for easy dresses, indigo tees and cool scarves. Here’s something new that’s making a cameo in our closets this summer. On a weekend trip to Los Angeles, Joyce, one of Madewell’s accessories designers, snapped an iPhone picture of a few palm trees against the azure California sky. She brought the image back to her fellow designer, Nichole, who hand collaged a turn-of-the-century map of LA over it. “We found this vintage atlas with all these amazing maps,” says Nichole. “The simple typography adds a nice graphic element over the vibrant blues of the snapshot.” The final product is a truly unique scarf worth building an entire outfit around.
A snapshot of Nichole’s sketchbook—and a peek at how it all came together.

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This Week’s Discovery

the Billykirk® bag
Not all bags are created equal. Founded in 1999 by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, each of Billykirk’s rugged, minimal pieces is constructed by hand in Pennsylvania—in the heart of Amish country—using master-craftsman techniques. As our men’s accessories designer Addi puts it: “The integrity and artistry is incredible—a throwback to the days when things were made with so much care and attention.” Crafted in vegetable-tanned leather from one of America’s oldest and most renowned tanneries, this satchel’s a choice work bag—large enough to hold a 15” computer and tough enough to withstand coffee spills and subway doors. In with the old, we say…
Chris and Kirk (aka the Brothers Bray) show their wares.

(image credit)

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This Week’s Discovery

the tuxedo shirt in Thomas Mason® fabric
Forget “borrowed from the boys.” This is one style we’re never giving back. The third piece from the gentleman’s trifecta of black-tie dressing—the tuxedo shirt—is arguably the sexiest thing in a woman’s wardrobe. Immaculately tailored in pure Italian cotton from Thomas Mason, the English mill that’s been outfitting gentlemen since 1796, it strikes just the right balance of timeless elegance and come-hither allure. But we can’t take all the credit—we took a cue from tuxedo-donning ladies throughout the ages, from 1930s silver-screen icon Marlene Dietrich to Helmut Newton’s sleekly suited models of the 1970s. Our stylist, Gayle, tells us how to give it an of-the-moment spin: “Pair it with skinny white pants and our citrus-hued Viv flats—and push up the sleeves for a sultry, rumpled summer look.” Like we said, we’re never giving it back.

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This Week’s Discovery

the Thomas Mason® shirt
Let’s step into our time machine for a moment, shall we? It’s 1796 and the English Industrial Revolution is in full force—ships are docked in Yorkshire harbors, loaded for the first time ever with cotton from the West Indies, and an industrious textile merchant named Sir Thomas Mason heads to Leeds to found one of the first-ever cotton mills. The fabrics quickly become a favorite of West End tailors outfitting the aristocracy, and in the 1920s, Thomas Mason is appointed the exclusive supplier
to the royal family’s shirtmaker. Today, the house continues to create shirting using the most luxurious two-ply Italian cotton that’s worn by the best-dressed men this side of Savile Row and Madison Avenue. Two hundred years later and long story short, these are some seriously nice shirts.
The official Thomas Mason handbook (aka the history of our favorite shirt ever).

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© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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