J.Crew is copying a popular startup — and it reveals why the fashion industry as we know it is dying

J. Crew

  • J.Crew will start selling shirts designed to be worn untucked.
  • It’s very similar to the offerings from the startup Untuckit, which has gained popularity with a similar proposition.
  • It shows how the apparel industry is pivoting from fashion to practicality.

J.Crew is starting to relax.

The apparel retailer will soon start selling shirts that are designed to be worn untucked, according to offerings shown on its website. Starting January 19, the casual shirts will be part of J.Crew’s regular men’s “stretch” shirts range, but along with “slim,” “regular,” and “tall,” customers can also choose “untucked” as an option. Sizes will remain the same, ranging from extra-small to large.

This new selection, which is currently available for pre-order, gives guys on the shorter side more options for shirting in the brand. J.Crew’s casual shirt hems are already on the shorter side, and taller guys can easily wear them untucked. This new option is more explicit, however, and it could speak directly to a problem guys often experience with clothing. 

It also mirrors what e-commerce rival Bonobos did last year. Bonobos added length as a choice for their shirts, similar to the way suit jackets are sold, offering options for guys with particularly long or short torsos.

J.Crew’s move directly apes a popular startup that has become successful with a similar pitch. Called Untuckit, its main selling point is shirts with shorter hems designed to be worn untucked. The startup has seen high growth and expanded into other apparel categories while rapidly opening stores across the country.

Untuckit’s pitch to consumers is miles away from a traditional fashion-focused apparel brand. It’s not trying to be hip and cool and instead just sells the idea of looking good without a lot of effort. While directly copying this startup’s claim to fame, J.Crew seems to now be chasing this fixing-a-problem startup mentality for its customers and not solely focusing on being an image-focused, fashion-oriented brand.

Fashion-oriented brands like J.Crew have struggled in recent months and years as new apparel-focused startups focused on fixing singular issues like Untuckit have taken a share of customer’s clothing budgets. This latest move proves J.Crew isn’t going to stand still and watch this happen.

SEE ALSO: Under Armour might be making a fatal mistake in its bid to save itself

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