Online Shopping Picks: J. Crew Factory

Up to 50% off everything with J. Crew's sibling brand.
J. Crew’s sibling brand puts out a similar product for far less cash, in most instances.

Editor’s note: Normally, brand or site round-ups haven’t been covered here on the site. However, sometimes seasonally appropriate or standout items just jump off the page. These choices don’t reflect sales picks at the moment, but simply offer a snapshot of great products from a (hopefully) affordable brand.

J. Crew Factory is the more budget-friendly, yet still equally stylish, sibling to J. Crew. Make no mistake, the two brands are completely separate — they’ve squared off in Dappered’s annual Store Wars challenge as recently as this year.  With that separation still comes a brand aesthetic that matches fairly closely with what J. Crew does. Given that, some of these picks might overlap with similar items you could find at the bigger brand — and yet the key is the price! Below, find the top 5 ‘best’ (most stylish?) current picks from the site as of now.

#1.  Factory Donegal Shawl-Collar Cardigan — $88

Style this piece like Bond himself, for far less.
Style this piece like Bond himself, for far less.

Normally $98, the $10 price drop isn’t quite as significant as some of us would like. However, given the mileage a piece like this could see, it’s probably worth the investment. This would play with dark jeans across the coming months, as the marled texture and deep brown buttons give it just enough visual difference from blue denim. A classic shawl-collar cardigan is also a masculine style essential that’s gained a lot more notoriety in recent years after being seen on the likes of James Bond and his stylish real-life counterpart. This is definitely one less expensive way to steal that look in real life.

#2. Factory Indigo One-Pocket Shirt – $49.50 

A dark indigo shade ideal for colder weather.
A dark indigo shade ideal for colder weather.

We’ll stick with another navy option here, yet this time in a shirt that’s very appropriate for the colder climes of fall. The thicker texture of denim acts just like chambray, yet unlike the all-season versatility of chambray, an inky indigo denim shirt like this would do much better in the fall and winter. The chest pocket and button-down collar break things up nicely in terms of details. Additionally, that dark color gives it lots of versatility to pair with grey trousers or dark brown chinos, for example. It would also look right at home under a thicker-weight blazer (maybe this option from J. Crew).

#3. Factory Sutton Cord — $42.50 

A nice price for a trim, modern corduroy pant.
A nice price for a trim, modern corduroy pant.

Corduroy has gotten a bad rap over the years as the type of pants your wild professor might wear, but modern iterations have solved problems with older corduroy, giving them a thinner wale, a slimmer fit and the ability to style them in more ways. The Sutton cord features a slim fit that sits below the waist, and while I don’t have personal experience with J. Crew Factory’s cords, a few in-store try-ons bode well for a trim fit. The price is right when compared to more expensive cords, too. And in a deep shade like charcoal, these pants could be worn easily with the denim shirt or cardigan above. The charcoal color also provides a neutral canvas for working in something like a burgundy cardigan or a blue henley.

#4. Factory Slim Long-Sleeve Contrast Pocket Tee — $27.50

A fall-ready layering piece  for not a lot of cash.
A fall-ready layering piece for not a lot of cash.

It’s not quite T-shirt season, but it’s not quite full-on polar vortex weather, either. That’s where a great long-sleeve shirt (similar to the Bonobos blue henley linked to above), comes into play. A piece like this one is light enough to be layered under a crewneck sweater or cardigan, and yet it can also be worn easily on its own. To be fair, $27.50 is an awful lot for a long-sleeve tee — but not one that can be worn with plenty of colors and under plenty of layers, too. When you factor in a color that’s different than a typical heather-grey, it becomes an even better pick-up for wearing casually this fall. Pair it with dark denim and some sturdy boots the next time you take a stroll in your local park, or wear it with the above cords.

#5. Factory Calvert Boots — $58 or $68

Pick up two of these boots for roughly the price of one set of Clarks.
Pick up two pairs of these boots for roughly the price of one set of Clarks.

Depending on which shade you pick up, the price jumps or falls $10 here (however, the boots above are $68). That price compares exceptionally favorably to a pair of suede Clarks desert boots, and also speaks to the versatility of J. Crew’s sibling brand — offering shoes and other accessories alongside traditional menswear offerings makes it mighty hard to pick just five from the site.  The rust color of these boots practically begs to be worn with dark denim and, say, the navy cardigan listed above. While the crepe sole leans casual, these also wouldn’t look out of place under charcoal trousers and a V-neck sweater at the office. The best part about these is that you could pick up about two pairs for one pair of full-price Clarks — given that, why not make them a standby fall and winter shoe?

That’s all for this edition of Online Shopping Picks. Do you have any favorite picks from J. Crew Factory? Any personal experience with the brand? Leave it all below!

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