Review: J. Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy vs. New Schoolboy Blazer in Navy

July 31, 2013

The Schoolboy Blazer in Navy is J. Crew's pièce de résistance and a constant source of pride and joy for the retailer. Every store associate seems to own one and wears it proudly, like a badge of honor.

In one simple jacket is embodied the corporate philosophy of J. Crew, who consistently delivers wardrobe staples that befit the modern woman and her evolving roles. J. Crew will dress her for her day job, on her wedding day, out on to town, at her beach getaway, throughout her pregnancy, and supply the shoes that will take her places. All this despite her weight fluctuations. For many, it's a one-stop shop.

But J. Crew can't be everything to everyone.

This curious move to "update" a classic seems to be at odds with Mickey Drexler's message about J. Crew returning to basics. Or, perhaps, on point, depending on your confirmation bias. At what point did the "average" woman conclude that J. Crew has strayed too far from its original path? 1998? 2002? 2005? 2008? 2011?

 J. Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy | Banana Republic Engineered Stripe Tee (similar here) | SewPetiteGal Cameo Pendants & Pearls on a Chain Necklace | J. Crew No. 2 Pencil Skirt in Navy-White Stripe | Marc by Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Watch | Prada Saffiano Lux Double-Zip Tote Bag (reviewed here) | Zara Studded Court Shoe with Ankle Strap
Just how dazzling and paradigm shifting is the New Schoolboy Blazer? Not very, in my opinion. The differences between the "Classic" and the "New" are insignificant and I hesitate to make the recommendation that those who own the classic should rush out and purchase the updated version.

(For those similar to me in size, I kept the Classic Schoolboy Blazer in 00R. That's the size I was wearing in these pictures).

Seen below are the Classic Schoolboy Blazer in 00P and 00R and the New Schoolboy Blazer in 00R. You will see that differences in fit and construction are hardly discernible. 

Classic in 00P:
Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy | 00P
Shoulder: 14" | Chest: 16.5" | Waist: 14.5" | Sleeve Length: 21.5" | Total Length: 22.5"
Classic in 00R:

Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy | 00R
Shoulder: 14" | Chest: 16.5" | Waist: 14.5" | Sleeve Length: 23.5" | Total Length: 24"
New in 00R:

New Schoolboy Blazer in Navy | 00R
Shoulder: 14" | Chest: 16.5" | Waist: 14.5" | Sleeve Length: 23.5" | Total Length: 24.5"
The difference in overall length between the two styles in 00R? Half an inch. In chatting with a J. Crew online specialist, I was even told that "the classic style has virtually the same measurements (varying by 1/4 of an inch or less)" as the New style. Online descriptions say the difference is closer to an inch.
Top: Classic Schoolboy Blazer in 00R | Bottom: New Schoolboy Blazer in 00R

Below: J. Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in 00P (top) and 00R (bottom):
Below: One of three exterior pockets on the New Schoolboy Blazer
There are other minor differences that I'll note here for thoroughness' sake. The New Schoolboy Blazer has pinstriped silky lining and navy sleeve lining while the Classic Schoolboy Blazer has beige silky lining and striped sleeve lining. 

(Edited; thank you Rosie!) The newer version comes with a third pocket on the right side; the Classic Schoolboy Blazer has only two exterior pockets.

The New Schoolboy Blazer also has four buttons at the cuff, compared to three buttons on the older model.

Below: Classic Schoolboy Blazer on left and New Classic Schoolboy on right
Do I think the New Schoolboy Blazer is worthy of fanfare? No, but you might. A few ladies smaller than me (as well as friends on the taller end of the height spectrum) have expressed frustration in the past at the boxy shape of the Classic Schoolboy Blazer so this slight tweak in design might benefit those who previously found the style unsuitable.

J. Crew quietly raised the sale price of the Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy yesterday to $178 (plus 40% off with code STYLE40). A few people, including me, bought the jacket for $60 during the initial price drop. 

At $60, I feel the price is justified. I have paid this amount for H&M blazers in the past and think J. Crew's version is comparatively better made.
I don't know why these pants look so wrinkled in pictures...when I wore them I didn't think they looked particularly wrinkled. I really need new glasses.
J. Crew Classic Schoolboy Blazer in Navy | J. Crew Café Trouser in Cotton (reviewed here) | Banana Republic Engineered Stripe Tee (similar here) | Forever 21 Bracelet | MICHAEL by Michael Kors Selma Large Satchel (buy here) | Ann Taylor Perfect Patent Leather Pumps

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