In college, my favorite item of clothing was a chocolate-brown wool J.Crew roll-neck sweater, an item I’d borrowed (but never returned) from my still-bestie, who had, in turn, nipped it from her then-boyfriend. The year was 1994, and it was a single item that looked and felt great on all of us, pre-Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
I have no idea what happened to that sweater (my bestie likely stole it back), but when I heard last summer that J.Crew was reissuing its classic 1988 roll-neck, my heart admittedly skipped a nostalgic beat. To be honest, I never understood why the brand stopped making the roll-neck. But as J.Crew skewed away from Gen X staples in favor of upscale, preppy chic under the guidance of then-CEO Mickey Drexler and creative director/muse Jenna Lyons, the classic roll-neck—and many of its contemporaries—fell into the fashion archives.
But now it’s back, along with several other reissued J.Crew best-sellers from 1983 through 2011. They’re all part of the Heritage Collection, which launched Wednesday. Think old-school rugby shirts, khakis and that fantastically simple scoop-neck swimsuit from ’89—with a few contemporary updates. In short, it’s the stuff buppie dreams are made of ... albeit at a more mature price point than our college years. That once $48 roll-neck (which seemed expensive in college) is now $75, because ... inflation.
But looking at the reissued version, I found myself not only swept up in a wave of ’90s nostalgia but even a little grateful the winter temps are currently lingering into spring. I think I know exactly what to wear ... here’s hoping it fits like an old friend.