Does J. Crew Run Small

Does J. Crew Run Small or Big? An In-Depth Fitting Guide

by jacky chou
Updated on

J. Crew has been a major player in the industry for decades, and as one of the most popular clothing brands, getting the right clothing size is necessary before you shop. By now, we’re all familiar with vanity sizing, in which certain brands change the clothes sizes to make customers feel “better” about themselves since we’re wearing a smaller size than usual.

Nevertheless, whether you like it or not, you have to agree that it makes buying clothes more difficult than it needs to be. Nothing is standardized, and given how popular online shopping has become, having wildly differing sizes makes that process more challenging.

So, knowing if a brand runs small or big is necessary, and hence the question, does J. Crew run small? Dive in to learn more about J. Crew sizing.

What Is J. Crew?

J crew store

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J. Crew Group, Inc. is an American multi-channel, multi-brand, and specialty retailer. It is one of the popular clothing brands offering men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel and accessories.

The brand has multiple categories for shopping options. First, there are old standby J. Crew retail stores like those in shopping malls and the J. Crew factory selling lower priced items. Under the factory category, you will find J. Crew Mercantile sells almost identical merchandise to those sold in the factory locations but is found outside of traditional mall settings.

In addition, J. Crew also boasts of Madewell, its younger sister brand, which was launched as a women’s denim-centric J. Crew subsidiary in 2006. It sells wardrobe staples rooted in the workwear tradition, such as button-down shirts and jeans, and also focuses on everything one would wear with denim. Such include effortless tees, cool jewelry, unique bags, and compliment-worthy shoes.

Suppose size inclusivity is important to you, J. Crew and its subsidiaries offer what you are looking for. In addition, the brand launched extended sizing, including a broader range of bigger and petite sizes.

Does J. Crew Run Small?

Fitting Room

The question lacks a straightforward answer because the sizing differs depending on the clothing and the manufacturer. However, for the most part, J. Crew runs large for both sexes, so you may need to purchase a size smaller. This is unlike the American Apparel clothing brand, which runs small for most of its clothes.

Who Is J. Crew for?

Other than a nudist colony, it’s difficult to imagine someone who wouldn’t fit this brand’s target demographic. This is because they provide a wide range of clothing designed to fit people of different genders, ages, and even unique body types.

Also, J. Crew offers apparel in every size found on the five standard measurement size charts: International, UK, EU, Australia, and Japan.

J. Crew Sizing

J Crew store

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J. Crew was pushed into extra small sizes in 2014 after they came under fire for vanity sizing. However, J.Crew maintained that introducing the new “000” size has nothing to do with vanity and that this is one of the reasons for doing so.

J. Crew extended its size range in 2018 to include sizes up to 5X to cater to a wider range of body types. So instead of now buying a 16w, you would probably buy one or two sizes bigger because their specialty sizing, such as extended sizes, is a continuation of their straight sizes.

However, since not everyone knows the size of every clothing item, online shopping might be challenging. Different clothing brands run big or small, and this post will offer information on whether J. Crew runs small. These are my observations, so measurements are still necessary for the best fit.

1. Dresses

 Fitting Red Dress

The J. Crew size chart accurately reflects the dresses’ sizing. Nevertheless, you will realize that some clothes are too big or too small every now and then. J. Crew’s dependence on a different clothing manufacturer might contribute to this.

However, the J-Crew dresses might run small, especially for people with well-endowed chests. So, they fit well for normal to small sizes; if not, you should try to purchase a size bigger and have it altered to fit you perfectly.

2. Pants

Pants often fit true to American size. So, ordering matchstick jeans or capris, like skinny or tight-fitted, or straight-legged pants, order a size up. J. Crew sizes of most pants are similar to GAP sizing and tend to run small sometimes.

For J. Crew chino pants, you should size down if you don’t have slim legs, but if you do, they will fit true to size. However, classic dress pants might run small, so you need to size up.

Also, some J. Crew pants sizing might be a bit tall, but the extra length allows you to have an extra piece of clothes to repair your dress or pants if any damage happens.

3. Tops and Shirts

Most tops or t-shirts tend to run true to size to American measurements. This means American size charts are “bigger” than their European or Asian counterparts. On the other hand, the shirts run a half to a full size up in button-down work shirts and blouses. So, for example, if you wear a size 2 top, you should order a size 0 button-down shirt.

Shirt dress

Also, J Crew comes in two fits of dress shirts.

a). Classic Ludlow Fit

This is the J. Crew cut that is more forgiving. Given that the waist circumference is 1 inch less than the chest circumference, this has a moderate taper.

b). Slim Ludlow Fit

This cut is two inches slimmer than the Classic Fit, just marginally. Once more, there is an inch of taper from the chest to the waist.

When comparing shirt measurements with your body measurements, always remember:

  • To fit well, the chest circumference of the shirt should be six inches larger than the body measurement. To fit more snugly, add four inches.
  • To provide a comfortable fit, the shirt’s circumference should be four inches larger around the waist than the body measurement. A closer fit would require three inches.

4. Jackets and Outerwear

When it comes to jackets of most clothing brands, you might have heard that you should order one size larger. However, unlike other brands, J. Crew jackets tend to run true to size. Therefore, you should choose a jacket the same size as your typical top.

White Knitted Sweater

For J. Crew blazers, they run true to size, meaning they are not small or big. On the other hand, J. Crew’s sweaters are among their strongest points since they offer everything from merino wool to cashmere blend or cotton to cotton cashmere blend.

5. Shoes

a). Heels

J. Crew heels come in half to full-size small, so it’s best to order a half-size bigger than your usual size. Although the vanity sizing is clear here, they are said to be very comfortable, and there is also a wide selection of heels.

b). Flats

Yes, the J. Crew flats tend to run small for wide-legged customers and may need a breaking-in period. However, for other customers, their flats are true to size.

However, for the peep-toe shoes, wedges and sandals run 1/2 size big. Luckily, the J. Crew sandals are comfortable and durable thanks to the Luze Italian leather material.

c). Boots

J. Crew boots don’t run small and are true to size, but you should remember that the boots are modeled after a slim fit. If you have a wide foot, the true size will be snug; for this case, you should buy the next size.

d). Kid’s Shoes

J. Crew shoes might be the reverse of running small. Kid’s shoes, like flats, typically fit true to size. However, curved-surfaced footwear like wedges, peep-toe shoes, and sandals run 1/2 size large.

Tips to Get the Best Fitting from J-Crew Wear

Free Woman measuring waist with tape measure

Since J-Crew sizes run small or big, and some are true to size depending on the specific item, there is still hope of finding your perfect sizing. However, if you are very unsure, you can:

  • Call J-Crew and give them the item number, and the team will be able to give you its basic measurements. Then, compare these measurements with your good-fitting clothes and buy them accordingly.
  • To take accurate body measurements for clothes, you must have a full-length mirror, a durable tape measure, and a well-fitting item from your wardrobe.
  • Use J. Crew’s good return policy unless you purchased a final sale item with no returns.

Conclusion of Does J Crew Run Small

Clothing brand

There are indeed size discrepancies between different brands, and the vanity sizing data has proven this. However, it is impossible to estimate the size of a casual shirt from a company that manufactures more form-fitting clothing. That’s why it’s important to know if J. Crew sizes run small or big.

Things are more challenging when purchasing online because you can’t use a tape measure there. The best action is to measure yourself and adhere to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. You can try things on when buying in actual stores, but when shopping online, you should stick to the measurements on the spreadsheet.

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jacky chou


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