A plethora of advice is available on Saint Louis University’s campus; from counselors to advisors, professors to coaches, students have a professional community they can turn to when curious about classes, graduate school or the work place. That list momentarily included fashion, when J. Crew professionals visited Samuel Cupples House on Oct. 11 to bring the latest fall fashions to the SLU community.
“Kathy Luther from the SLU Cancer Center was the first to recommend the idea to me…that we should showcase J.Crew on SLU’s campus for students, faculty and staff, and we decided to go for it,” said Mary Marshall, marcom-marketing and web services coordinator for DuBourg Hall and Samuel Cupples House.
A piano player set the ambiance with light-hearted classical music as members of the SLU community wove in and out of the various rooms of the on-campus museum, each room accompanied by a J. Crew personal stylist or some light snacks and wine to relax after a long day of class or work.
The first room contained J. Crew accessories with dark patterns, jewel tones and small, bright pops of color for the fall season. Wedge booties, polka dots and leopard print had an overwhelming presence in the accessory showcase.
“J. Crew is one of my favorite stores because they’re always mixing new elements with old classics,” said Kristen Smith, a SLU senior physical therapy student. “I went to prep school before coming to SLU and J. Crew has a classic prep vibe that I still love.”
The second room contained a handful of fresh fall fashion for women, showcasing some new trends and some trends that reach past the summer.
“A huge trend that is still going on this season would be bright colors, which are especially cute in our cords,” says Kris Berg, a J. Crew personal shopper from the Plaza Frontenac location. “Another big trend this season is chambray, and our chambray western shirt is the perfect way to incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. It can be worn under a puff vest or with a cute skirt.”
But this fall season isn’t only about transitioning summer trends into fall.
“A new trend this fall is the deep melted-caramel color, which is a nice neutral that many people forget about that can be easily transitioned from casual to dressy,” said Berg.
As college students, many SLU students try to stretch the dollar as much as they can, and with two key pieces, Berg believes students can create a plethora of different outfits.
“Two essentials for a women’s closet that I would recommend would be a chambray shirt and a black skirt, which will both go far in wardrobe mixing and matching because of their ability to be dressed up or down,” says Berg.
For the college student who’s looking to add more to their basic wardrobe, there’s a specific piece that can polish off a variety of outfits.
“A blazer is the biggest investment a woman can make in her closet because the sheer versatility of the piece,” said Berg.
One aspect of dressing that can be easily overlooked is accessorizing, but Berg stresses the importance of topping off a look.
“When you wear accessories, people can tell that you’re into fashion; it gives you a zap. You stand out from the crowd,” said Berg.
A common mistake that many shoppers make may surprise readers, but such a mistake is easily remedied.
“The biggest mistake people make when they’re shopping is that they over-think and buy too much. They forget what they have in their closet and there’s a huge disconnect between what they actually have and what they remember they have when they come into the store,” said Berg.
In the adjoining room was a den full of classic men’s fashion with a clean-cut personal shopper ready to aid attendees with any questions they asked about products or styling. He started off with some helpful tips about the fit of clothing for men.
“One of the biggest mistakes men make when they’re shopping is that they buy things that don’t fit them properly. Clothing should be slim, not tight or overly baggy,” said Collin Costello, a J. Crew personal shopper at the Plaza Frontenac location.
J. Crew stands by its quality products and has a distinct look that men can easily achieve through a quick trip to the store and a quick look at a key fall piece.
“We show a lot of classic looks and styles and the quality really does speak for itself. The clothing won’t get destroyed in the washer after a few washes. Our Marino sweaters are my favorite key piece for fall because they’re warm and flattering on many different body types,” said Costello.
Sweaters aren’t the only aspect of a men’s fall wardrobe that can breathe some new life into a summer-based wardrobe. Color is also an important aspect of a man’s fall wardrobe.
“Fall is great for men because they can pull off a variety of rich colors without appearing too feminine, including deep purple, burgundy and navy. The rich purples that are in style this season are anything but feminine. In fact, I would even suggest using purple as a neutral base to be matched with patterned shirts. Being afraid of color is one of the biggest mistakes men can make while shopping. You can never go wrong with bold colors under neutral sweaters. Men aren’t doing themselves any service by strictly sticking to blues, blacks and grays all of the time,” said Costello.
For bottoms, Costello suggests a different option that most men don’t consider while they are shopping for pants.
“J. Crew also has some good-quality slim-cut military chinos that are easily substituted for cargo pants or jeans and give men a more streamlined look,” Costello said.
Along with Costello citing chambray as a big trend for men this season, he also stated, “flannels are always our most popular men’s fall item and this fall is no exception.”
A great way to finish off an outfit is to wear a unique boot; while gym or dress shoes suffice, a boot brings something new to an outfit.
“The McCallister boot is modeled after an old vintage military boot, which is a great way to top off an outfit and could not be farther away from a ‘feminine’ vibe that many guys seem to think comes with shoes other than sneakers or dress shoes,” said Costello.
Along with a relaxing atmosphere in the cozy Samuel Cupples house and style experts available for consultations with SLU students, faculty and staff, a raffle was also held for a gold and snake print mixed media bracelet, which was won by SLU junior Becky Hrad.
Using the personal shopper option at J. Crew is always free, but it is encouraged to make an appointment to ensure shoppers will have a set time to work with the personal shopper. Students and faculty always receive a 15 percent discount at J. Crew with the presentation of a valid school ID card.