5 Styling Tips to Try Now From J.Crew Fall/Winter 2017

An exclusive, behind-the-scenes, up-close-and-personal look at the new collection


I’m watching J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons, Gayle Spannaus and Somsack Sikhounmuong style five non-models for the brand’s Fall/Winter 2017 presentation. They crouch at ankles like careful cats. They pinch and cuff, button and unbutton; they take turns stepping back at a distance to appraise outfit shapes. It is magnificent choreography interspersed with so many laughs. I am present for an exclusive preview of that which goes into building J.Crew’s New York Fashion Week presentation.

Mostly I try not to get in the way, but the whole team is so kind and generous that they’d never let you know it if you did.

With friends and family serving as models once again, the day’s conversation revolves around the question, “What do you feel most comfortable in?” The varying answers prompt Jenna to switch out heels, Somsack to remove a necktie and Gayle to appraise the fall of a pair of jeans.

“It is so much more interesting this way,” Somsack tells me. Personal jewelry is encouraged, as is a come-as-you-are, we’ll-just-jooj-you-a-bit hair and makeup mentality. To see each ensemble come together in this manner is a reinforcement of what we know on our best-getting-dressed days: clothes are like living organisms when we allow them to be.

Without further ado (just in case you’re reading this in the hopes of getting dressed right this moment), here are Somsack’s five Fall ’17-cued styling takeaways to try today.

1. For evening, go REALLY over-the-top — then balance it out with something casual. 

The team dresses the mom of one of their stylists in giant, lavender-hued satin pants (with pointed flats to keep it comfortable). Up top, a classic, starched white shirt balances the bottoms and keeps the look from feeling fussy.

2. Go full denim without the western reference. 

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Instead of a chambray shirt, try a denim chore jacket. Play with the tuck (maybe one piece into the top of your jeans) for interest, then layer a navy cardigan over. A silk bandana in a men’s tie-pattern around the neck adds interest without screaming, “Why don’t you just add a bolo tie, chaps and a ten-gallon hat while you’re at it?”

The ribbon around the model’s waist was just “something they had lying around.” Unwrap a package, quick!

3. The new off-the-shoulder shirt = one naked shoulder.

You can do this immediately, and it’s self-explanatory. Grab an off-the-shoulder top, then play favorites with your shoulders and let the winner go bare. Pair with too-long men’s jeans; fold the cuffs up five to six inches. Heads up: That’s going to be J.Crew’s new thing. Keep the ankle showing, though!

4. Don’t let a combo of mustard yellow and green scare you.

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Mix the colors together with confidence by playing with texture: layer velvet over cotton (something stiff, something soft) and satin. Add a bit of pink to break up the marigold monochrome.

5. Look at your dresses as layering opportunities. 

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The J.Crew dream team swaps the black slip of a sheer polka-dot dress for a men’s oxford shirt, which they then pull out from under the sleeves to further play up the shirting. A pair of oxfords is added because, as Somsack explains, “it just looks cool.” Amen. No better reason than that.

Photos by Nicole Cohen. Follow her on Instagram @sketchfortytwo. Lookbook Photos via Vogue Runway.


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  • BuffyAnneSummers97

    Is the jewellery J Crew too?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Which jewelry are you referring to? The models were encouraged to wear their own personal jewelry but I am sure some were styled with JCrew jewelry pieces as well!

      • Sonia

        Amelia…try as I might I can’t find the structured shirt in pics 1,5,6. It’s buttoned at the side…help!!

  • I absolutely love number 4, the colours and the layers are so gorgeous – definitely something I want to try and take some inspiration from

    – Natalie

  • ugh. I love that plaid off the shoulder top.

    • Tashia Chatmam

      Yes…in love

  • janice

    Horrible! This is why J Crew’s sales continue to decline and the company is floundering!

  • Brigitte

    pic #4! what an awesome colour combination!

  • Christina Stumpf

    Made especially for an ugly gender confused spinster! Ugh

    • dietcokehead

      Jesus, dude

    • nicole

      ugly gender confused spinster is my 2017 look

    • Leslie

      But … then … why are you on Man Repeller?

      • Christina Marie


  • Camille

    Spring and summer are always nice for J.Crews rainbow of pastels, but I truly appreciate their Fall/Winter collection simply due to the layering opportunities. And can we talk about that leopard coat?

    – Camille

  • Vanessa

    Beautiful! I think picture 11 really emphasizes how necessary tailoring is to achieving great personal style.

  • chouette

    Jooj = Tszuj, FYI. I keep it on a post-it on my monitor because it is under appreciated.

  • Miss J

    I can’t get over how cool the black sheer polka dot top over a white shirt looks! I’m going on vacation in two weeks and something like that will definitely be on my packing list! *cartoon hearts*

  • Suzan

    I love this approach to styling a NYFW presentation – so personal and sympathetic, very lovely! Loved it last season as well.

    But the high cuffed jeans…. Noooo I’ve been dreading the day they seriously come back. I will not participate (she says now).

  • holy fuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh those giant PANTS

  • Sonia Khemani

    OK. That crisp white top with the button on the side is EVERYTHING. It’s in pic 1 with the lavender wide leg pants. I need it. Where to find??

  • Lizard Boy

    Really ugly stuff.