(yes, you’ve seen this before)
James Perse belted ruched dress | $149 at James Perse (also on sale at Nordstrom)
James Perse exclusive Birkenstocks
James Perse added a few new items to the sale last night, including this dress (which now seems to be sold out in black, but still available in “marjoram”) which I’ve had for a month or so. I’ve worn this dress several times – it’s my go-to for date night with my husband (he likes it!) – and as an easy piece to throw on and layer (or not) with a lightweight sweater. Honestly, the belt is a little strange, and I wish it was just ruched instead of belted, but I think it adds an interesting touch, and it doesn’t bother me at all; it just seems to pull a bit at the sides.
James Perse shell vintage fleece dress | $89
I tried this dress on many months ago when it first came out, and liked it a lot; I tried on a size 3 because the fleece tends to run a bit smaller. It’s a great basic, easy, dress, but not something I really needed, so I decided to pass on it.
Also new to the sale is a linen/cotton utility jacket for $249. I haven’t seen this on person, but it looks like a nice, lightweight utility (very practical) jacket for cooler, slightly warm weather. Great if you live in a very moderate climate and only ever need a lightweight layer. Otherwise, maybe only good for a couple months out of the year.
Thankfully I wasn’t compelled to place a second order with these new additions (I’ve been known to do that…), but with the free shipping code (GRCHNFIREWRKS) it’s still a great time to buy if anything has caught your eye. And don’t forget about the new fall items (this please!!!). The free shipping code is valid on them too!
If you haven’t already, please visit my James Perse summer sale review post to see what I bought on sale and my thoughts on it + reader feedback on fit & swap/items for sale.
And finally, I know many of you have already left your input on specific items, but I’d love your feedback on the sale in general. What are your thoughts on the selection? Final sale (I know that’s an issue!!), anything else?? Lots of you have shopped these sales with me for years, do you purchase more or less lately? why or why not? What can I do better in my partnership with James Perse during sale periods? Any feedback helps! Thank you 🙂
Hi Grechen! The selection is pretty good, there are number of items I was interested in, put them in the basket, but in the end didn’t push the button because of final sale.
Final sale is also a big thing for me. I liked many pieces, but did not push the button because of the final sale. I hope JP does away with it soon. Especially, considering that sale items were not that deeply discounted.
Gretchen– the sale posts were great. I would never have bought something that was final sale without all of your descriptions and help with sizing. The two pieces I bought (the long striped cardigan and cargo jacket) are terrific and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’m tempted by the ruched dress but don’t think I would feel comfortable in it for work so will reluctantly pass. Thanks for everything, Beth
Final Sale is a deal breaker for me. There are exceedingly few things I will do final sale on and James Perse is not one of them. I will get James Perse on sale from Nordstrom or Net a Porter but not from their own site. The one time I ordered from their sale the item turned out to be too small – and this was after talking to someone about it. Anyway the whole issue of Final Sale seems so dumb, business-wise. I mean I know they just want to get rid of the stuff but it seems like ultimately they would sell more if it was returnable. Or at the very least, exchangeable. (Ok, rant over.)
Is it just me, or does it seem like more retailers are doing “final sales”? I’ve found it to be true not only of James Perse, but Gap, J Crew, Splendid, Madewell and others. It makes me mad, and yet I purchase…and sit holding the bag, so to speak, when items don’t fit. I think we need to speak out more as consumers when we feel we’re being treated unfairly.
I found your posts to be very helpful with sizing and fit issues, Grechen, which is why I sprang for the long, striped fleece cardigan….and it fits! I can’t button the front without some pulling, but I wouldn’t, anyway. Your readers that said it would work for a size 14 were right on. Thx!!
Odd question, but where is the “belt” on the dress you’re wearing so well, btw? I’m not sure I get it!
Christine M says
Oh! It’s not just me then! I don’t get the “belted” part either. Is it a separate piece of fabric? Or just ruching in the belt area??? The dress looks great on you, Grechen, but on me , I’d want the ruching to start higher up, the way it does on some of the older JP dresses. I have one of those older dresses as well as a newer “tucked” one. I don’t wear them that often because they’re a bit too bodycon for me.
I’ve not bought anything – final sale is a no-no for me, though unfortunately I did look and I very much like the pleated slouch pant. But I’m so bad at pant fits that it would be too much of a gamble. If anyone orders them I’d love to hear what you think.
Christine Gilmour says
Agree the final sale aspect at not-that-cheap prices means I was very particular.
I also got the striped cardigan which I love – based on the feedback and sizing info I read here – so thank you Grechen and your readers! And is it just me, but this cardigan was horrendously overpriced at full price???? I believe in made in North America and expect to pay more but who would pay almost $300 for a cotton cardigan, as nice as it is. Such a bargain at $49
I also ordered the twill blazer in carbon, my order was processed and then a few days later, got an email saying they had no stock – which turned out fine because in the meantime, I found an Eileen Fisher linen jacket that I like more.
Again, thank you Grechen, for your helpful reviews – you are the best! And your readers rock, too!!!
Hi Gretchen. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but I’m just a lurker. I thought I’d comment here though because I’m glad you asked for feedback on this sale. I usually look at the James Perse sales when you post about them, but I never end up buying anything because I’m in Canada and the shipping and duty fees are too much. I particularly liked this sale, and I was actually going to buy that knit twill parka (thanks for the pic of you wearing it, btw – very helpful) and a couple of tops. But when I got to checkout, I had to cancel my purchase because the shipping and duty cost was pretty unreasonable.
For example, I’m looking at the website again, and on just the parka alone, the shipping fee is $44.74, which is half the cost of the jacket, and if I prepay the duty and taxes, the fee would be another $21, which is high considering that the jacket is made in the U.S.
I’m still tempted to buy something because there are a lot of things I like in the sale and the prices are good, but the cost of international shipping combined with the final sale makes it not worth it. But your post and the comments were really helpful, so if I come across the same stuff elsewhere, I’ll buy them there.
I agree with you about the original retail price being too high for the striped cardi.
LOL, I zoomed in looking for a belt, but never can find it too!
I found a few items I could use & would wear (to replace some items I’m not terribly keen on still in my current wardrobe), but alas, the final sale thing kept me from placing an order.
Grechen Reiter says
haha! it’s really hard to see the “belt” and it’s not all around, either, just on the front. it’s basically a thick, ruched panel of fabric around the belly area of the dress, attached only at the sides.
here’s the thing with the older ruched dresses/skirts – they rode up. a lot. and i think they were trying to “work” on that with the new “tucked” and the newer ruched dresses that aren’t QUITE as ruched as they used to be. i don’t find that this one rides up at all, which I really appreciate. but yes, i agree with you on where the rushing should start. i did think this dress (the open back one) was nearest to the “old” style, but even better – if you want to give it a chance…
Being new to James Perse, I was nervous, but like many others, bought the long cardigan and it is perfect. I also bought the sleeveless tees in cream and black. The cream color looks….dirty to me? But I will still wear. it!
I am very happy with the purchases overall, and your free shipping code was great! I am still looking at a couple of pieces, including a pair of pants and a sheer cashmere sweater. Since I found your blog and learned about James Perse, I have been a bit obsessed, to say the least. I knew of James Perse – but had never bought. I did purchase the Nordstrom Anniversary sale dress in the dark color and was pleasantly surprised to find it looked pretty decent. Since I haven’t bought a dress in years, any suggestions for shoes?
Most importantly, thank you Grechen – your site is wonderful and it actually solidified my choices in what I wear. You are wonderful – and I appreciate the honesty of your posts too. Thank you!
Grechen Reiter says
oh wow…thank you becky!
which pants/sweater are you looking at? the one thing i will say with pants is that the fit can be sort of complicated at times. i love JP pants, but most of the fabrications tend to stretch, so you want to make sure you don’t get a size too big. and the cashmere is wonderful, very lightweight though, but still rather warm. i only have a short sleeve tee, and it’s hard to wear, frankly, but good to carry for a/c in the summer.
and so glad you got that dress! i thought the color was really pretty…and as for shoes, i think you could really wear anything with it. depends on what you like. i think it would be cool with ankle boots in the fall, or a wedge/platform sandal now. i’d wear it with my birkenstock sandals, or any other flat sandal also.
I’ve been thinking what helpful feedback on the JP sale might look like. Honestly, you do them a great service by being such an enthusiastic fan…going into the store, trying on things in advance, taking photos, letting us pool our sizing experience. I’m such a fan of their brand and their products, but share some of the basic critiques already mentioned. I think what bothers me most is the impersonal feel of the James Perse experience. Local companies have really turned up their customer service, all the way from company transparency (Everlane’s explanation of shipping costs and incentives to reduce shipping) to company flexibility (Emerson Fry return for credit…Inhabit switched to this too until this last extra discount) to practical feedback (Totokaelo having someone who has tried the garment on give feedback…EF has done this, Inhabit too). It’s hard to make sense of a shipping fee, ever, in this day and age. It is even harder for me to understand the robotic customer service. I’m a sucker for a reason to be loyal and to take risks, even within a limited kind of return policy structure. But JP isn’t giving it to me. Considering how few stand alone stores they have, and the limited stock at Nordstrom, I am really surprised they aren’t more shopping experience friendly.
The sale selection was pretty good. I was expecting more of their summer line to be included, such as linen blend items. And, wasn’t expecting to see quite as many pieces from previous seasons that had no further markdowns.
Grechen Reiter says
thank you so much for your feedback – that’s been a big one for them, the fees for shipping to canada, and i was under the impression that they were working on a canadian site to avoid that. but obviously it hasn’t happened yet.
here’s the parka at nordstrom rack, only in size 1 though – if that helps. nordstrom rack seems to have more “original” jp pieces (those that are still made in the us primarily) than others like last call or off fifth. i’ve always found them a good resource for discounted items. also, ebay has proven useful to a certain extent.
Grechen Reiter says
ha. i appreciate your rant. so many share it…
Grechen Reiter says
brilliant feedback. thank you 🙂
you know, the only reason i can think of that they don’t try and ramp up CS (allow feedback/reviews/etc) and change their return policy, is that they don’t need to? maybe we, the rabid JP fans (well, me, anyway) keep them going enough so that they don’t have to invest in more customer-friendly policies? and for that, i’m sorry. i enjoy working directly with james perse, and being able to bring these posts and focus heavily on their sales, but i also purchase many of my JP items from stores/sites OTHER than james perse because of shipping costs, return policies, etc.
i don’t even go into the store here anymore really, because the last two times i went it, it was so cold. just not a welcoming, friendly place to be (it used to be!). all the employees i worked with had cycled out, and the manager, whom i really like, wasn’t there. i didn’t feel welcome, and didn’t want to try anything on or stick around for very long at all. so disappointing. not JP corporate’s fault, but still.
i don’t know what the answer is, honestly. obviously, i’m going to pass this feedback on to my contact at JP and continue to work with them to try and make the customer experience better, which is really all i can do. it’s all any of us can do. and hopefully at the end of the day, all of this will make our experiences better…
Wow Christina, you made a lot of great points & observations. Well said!
Also, I vaguely recall an article in Entrepreneur a few years ago about how sales increased when stores hired snobby sales associates.
Thanks Grechen! I am looking at the pleated slouch pants – beautiful. I am between a size 10 and a 12, so thinking a 3? But even at that price, I don’t want a $99 pair of pants I can’t wear. Just wondered on your thoughts on that pair?
Grechen Reiter says
ah…i LOVE those pants. i went to try them on AS soon as I saw them online. but alas, they didn’t fit my calves in “my size” – i am usually a JP size 2, size 29 denim, generally size medium – i tried on the jp size 2 and they fit okay at my waist, etc., but they were tight on my calves. which is common for me, because i have VERY thick calves. if you don’t have thick calves/legs especially, then they would probably work on you. they may stretch though also, although i don’t have any experience with the pants in this material – so it depends on if you’d want them REALLY slouchy or just a little slouchy. when i was a 12-14, i wore JP size 4 pretty consistently, but always had a hard time with the pants because of my legs/hips.
i don’t know. i have a hard time recommending pants if you’ve never tried JP pants before…too many variables! maybe someone who’s reading has them? or has tried them on??
Well, sometimes it isn’t exactly a robotic service 🙂 Right before this sale, I had put a skirt in the basket and forgot about it. I came back home to find a message from a sales associate at JP, who told me I should buy that skirt soon because the stock is low, etc. etc. , it sounded pushy and desperate.
I have to echo comments above…I would likely purchase quite a few items during these sales if I had a return option. Final sale is way too risky given JP’s sizing inconsistencies. It really is too bad and doesn’t seem like their policy is in their favor business-wise, but maybe they just don’t care? Oh well.
Thx, Grechen. That explains it!
Like a lot of people here, I also purchased the long striped cardigan from the JP sale and I LOVE it. Thanks to Grechen’s and everyone else’s recommendation, plus the sizing guidance, I’m very happy with this piece.
Grechen, I also bought the white tee shirt that you have, the “basic” tee. It’s a nice tee shirt but not sure it’s worth the $50 price (!) but I wanted to give it a try.
I think I do like it better than the Everlane U neck tee. Question is how do you keep your white tees white wash after wash?
Thanks for the link! I didn’t end up buying that one because although the size was right, I liked the black parka over the green. But I will keep checking back for James Perse and other items. I never thought of shopping on Nordstrom Rack – I don’t normally buy things from the regular Nordstrom site because they use the same third-party shipper that James Perse uses. But Nordstrom Rack’s shipping is different.
I’m looking forward to the Canadian JP site. I hope they’re able to lower the shipping and customs fees. In the meantime, I enjoy reading these posts and the comments. Thanks!