The late Mr. Chubbs (a CHINESE DOG) certainly enjoyed the taste of his own nose! He looks so happy in this December 2003 photo. If you would like to make a stamp out of this picture for your holiday cards, that would be very peculiar. But don’t let the fact that I think you’re a lunatic ruin your postal joy! Custom postage is available from Zazzle, Stamps.com, PictureIt Postage and other websites.
From Chinese dogs to Made-in-China sweaters … I had been very happy with my purchase of a “cashmere tee” from J. Crew. I wore it about eight hours total on three separate occasions and hadn’t had it cleaned yet. What?! Don’t judge. Too much dry-cleaning is no good. Besides, I don’t sweat; I’m a lady, for God’s sake! Anyway, I was about to go out to dinner and was standing in front of the mirror making sure my wig was on straight and whatnot when I asked myself, “Self, has this sweater PILLED already?!” I could not believe my eyes! I whipped off the sweater to make a closer inspection and while doing so discovered two big holes nowhere near the seam, but right in the fabric itself.
J. Crew has replied to my distressed email with the reassurance that they will give me a refund, but first I had to read through a long condescending explanation of cashmere. In case any of you don’t have 30 years of cashmere-wearing experience, like I do, I will share this helpful information: “After wearing a new cashmere garment for the first few times, customers may find small balls of fiber forming on the surface. These small balls or ‘pills’ are caused by some of the loose fibers tangling together as areas of the garment are rubbed during wear. This ‘pilling’ is not indicative of inferior quality – it is an inevitable consequence of the careful processing of this very fine fiber. Pills can easily be removed by hand or by using a cashmere comb.”
I think J. Crew better go examine its manufacturing operations in China. As I’ve said before, China is the Wild West of manufacturing and anything could be going on there. I should point out that the tag says the sweater was made in China of Italian wool. Please! This material was plucked from a couple of goats who eat poison toothpaste and lead toys and live in back of the factory.
pistols at dawn says
I say, let’s make sweaters out of Vicodin, and then when they pill, it’ll be awesome.
I’m going to go nibble that sweater right now and see if I get a buzz!
Oh, I hope this isn’t rude ut..
How old are you?!
I’m so curious! I just really can’t tell, haha.
I’ve never owned chashmere but would certainly hope that it wouldn’t pill too much! And holes would be unacceptable.
FF, I’m only telling you because I know you’ll want to get me a VERY BIG present. 40 on December 23. Just let me know when to expect the big pile of money you’ll be sending me, because cash (not cashmere) is always appropriate.
stef m says
awww, i was quite fond of chubbs (even if he did growl at me once). . .i am not at all surprised by the sweater incident. i am getting closer and closer to flat-out refusing to buy items with “made in china” on the label. recently i picked up a couple of “gently worn” cashmere sweaters at a vintage shop and so far they are pill-free. hmmmm, even more reason to buy vintage
La Belette Rouge says
Mr. Chubbs was soo cute! JCrew pilling sweater after one day is unforgivable. Give em hell, Wendy!
Stef, refresh my memory! Why did Mr. C growl at you? That certainly is strangely Gigi-like behavior for him! I’m glad to have moral support from everyone about the Sweater Incident. Honestly, I thought I was seeing things! And while it’s good to get the money back, what I want more than the money is a good black sweater! Where can one be found nowadays? (I never find quite what I’m looking for among vintage sweaters.) I had been convinced that J. Crew was the answer.
Suzanna Mars says
WB, years ago I was a sales manager for a cashmere company. Pills were the number-one reason for return, internationally. The type of cashmere (we sold only Scottish and Italian) had nothing to do with it; in fact the thicker the ply, the heavier the fuzz. There was really no rhyme or reason to it when analyzed by provenance of the cashmere. Chinese cashmere tended to be scratchier because it came from the long hairs and not the ones closest to the belly of the goat, but it didn’t pill any more than cashmere from other countries.
Holes may be suggestive of a very thin ply. Or moths. You probably already know this, but cashmere should be stored in cedar, and, failing that, a ziplok bag works well.
Thanks for the scoop, Suzanna! Of course, the first thing I thought of with the holes was moths! :-O I pretty much went through every sweater looking for more horrifying evidence. So far, so good. I also thought these would have had to have been the hungriest moths ever since the sweater was quite new while much older sweaters were okay (and much, much less pilled as well). I know that sometimes things just break…sometimes gold pours badly too…and it wouldn’t have been so annoying if they hadn’t given me the lecture on how cashmere wears (it went on for much longer than what I pasted here). On the other hand, while gold can sometimes pour badly anywhere, the quality of the manufacture is always lower in the Chinese factories and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same applied to sweaters!
Practically Perfect In Every Way says
i would like a vicodin sweater (actually do they make it in ambien?) can i pay with pay pill?
the cashmere education is very interesting, someday i plan to put it to use in my wardrobe. for now i’m going to take my new $7 freashly washed (4days ago) walmart sweater off the kitchen table i think it’s dry now. (no i don’t live in a trailor, i just pretend)
Carolina Lange says
The dog is so cute!
I love cashmere and wear them a lot, that never happened to me! Now I’m not sure if I can ever buy another one from JCrew!
Patent Shoes && Rants says
I heart youu too!
I love your hair in that picture. Very modern and funkay.
Your dog is ahmazingly cute!
And I love that Argyle cashmere shirt.
At least they gave you a refund!
It was a leather clad chain wielding moth monster with a flaming skull who raided your closet overnight and chomped off half of your sweater.
Ahh, first Chinese toys imported to Russia had such a venomous smell!!!
Ah yes, the ecstasy of cashmere is always mirrored by it’s ugly shadow: the pill.
I suppose this is why Lillian Vernon is still in business: to sell those hand-dandy little sweater shaver thingys.
As far as J.Crew is concerned, they seem to know that their crap is actually, ahem, crap. The bridesmaids dress I wore in October had its zipper go completely haywire when at the tailor’s – I called their customer service and they replaced the dress no questions asked.
When a major retailer doesn’t ask questions when stuff is getting “damaged” like that it means that they know the kind of shoddy quality they’re selling us, and that, to redeem their own conscience they HAVE to simply replace product with graciousness.
It’s really too bad. Their stuff is cute for good basics – love the blazers and sweaters. Can’t do for a full head-to-toe preppy look, but if you break up the pieces, they’re a good look.
Annie, I’m sorry for you that you had that experience, but I’m relieved to know that someone else had quality problems and it’s not just me being nuts, which is always my first assumption. I really think that people who sell crap should be more honest about it and put a note on their website that says, “We sell crap.” The tag in the sweater could say “100% crap, made by child slaves in Craptania. Dry clean only.” Then we would know what we’re getting into and adjust our expectations accordingly. (I love the Lillian Vernon catalog but have never gotten the shaver thing. Because none of my other sweaters turned into a mountain of pills overnight.)
awww your dog is adorable!
cotton candy says
i have to say, cashmere pills easily regardless of where it’s made from – from plenty of past experience, you have to real careful in what you do with it – lol, im so careless. but holes?!! that’s awful!
and awesome – custom made stamps?? ooh… and i read your reply here – 40?!! 40??!! omgosh!! i thought you were in your late 20s!! 40?? 40??nooooo…that’s a lie right just so you can get a large present?
Chic and Charming says
I’ve also had pill troubles with my J.crew cashmere…tragic as I bulk purchased them on sale at the end of last season.
roller coaster teacher says
Does this mean I shouldn’t buy that adorable $40 cashmere hoodie sweater at Old Navy?!
There’s nothing wose than a pilled-out, new sweater! (happy Bday in advance) What’s it like having a bday so near to xmas? do you lose out??
Funny, someone was just asking me that at lunch yesterday. I gave him this long rambling story about how I wasn’t missing out, but on reflection, I was just kind of justifying the fact that I do miss out! Ha! I guess I am in denial about the fact that I am missing out. Which is a beneficial kind of denial, at least for people who have to give me gifts. But I did sound all kinds of crazy. From now on when peeps ask me that question, I’m just going to say, “Yes!”
In Yr Fshn says
I love Lillian Vernon!
I’m constantly going back and forth with wanting to punch J. Crew in face or make sweet love to it. It’s very confusing.
So maybe some rough sex would do?
Ugh, sorry about your sweater.. That’s not cool. I like the orange argyle one though. :]
The Narcist says
i’d be crazy pissed even with teh guarentee of a refund. that’s unacceptable, especially since you only wore it a mere 8 hours!
When are you going to post again, Narcist? What am I going to have to do…TAG YOU?
Perfect Ratio says
That Japanese Chin is what doggie calendars are made of. Seriously, hawt.
Ok, so yet another reason not to buy J Crew cashmere (besides the high prices).
BTW, what color did you get?
Black. All I ask for is an endless supply of black tops that won’t fall apart. Is that asking for too much? Apparently.
Oh no, the dreaded pill. Not fair.
I once had a sweater that only pilled on my chest–very unnerving and a strange effect, to be sure.
Oh, and darling dawg, too. RIP Mr. Chubbs. Do your other poochies get to wear sweaters?
That’s exactly where this one pilled..on the chest! And the fabric looked sooooooo thin all of a sudden. It was definitely not something I’d seen before. Gigi has a sweater but she doesn’t wear it very often. Henry has a coat he inherited from Chubbs.
stef m says
You were showing me jewelry in your bedroom and I think I was standing near or in your closet when Mr. Chubbs growled at me. I think he thought I was invading your territory!… Have you tried the cashmere at Bendels? I remember a co-worker liking their sweaters.
Stef, it must have been Gigi who growled at you. She’s the one with the territorial issues. Plus the dog walker calls her “Barky MacBarkenstein.”
Practically Perfect In Every Way says
your chinese dog is jewish?
She’s Chinish! I mean, Jewese!
Wow, pilling after 3 wears? However technical their explanation, that’s complete bullshit. I only expect that kind of breakdown of fabric in a top from Forever 21, not cashmere from J.Crew.
I’d been considering getting one of their shawl collar sweaters but forget it.
not too many outfits or sweaters are made with cashmere in australia, because we dont have winter for that long and it isn’t nearly as cold as other parts of the world. but we have polyester and cotton blend sweaters…sounds sexy doesn’t it? oh n i am being sarcastic here