The fashion media loves to talk about how certain “down to earth” celebrities like Katie Holmes, Reese Witherspoon, and Lauren Conrad don’t like to dress in head-to-toe designer duds, but instead like to mix it up by wearing high-end designers like Chanel or Prada with low-end designers like J.Crew. J.Crew low-end? Ha! With oxford shirts for $80, ballet flats starting at $125, and $198 pajamas, J.Crew is in no way low-end for us in the other 99 percent. Do you want to fill your closet with stylish and preppy J.Crew duds but have no desire to sell your kidney or take out a second mortgage? If so, check out the following 9 tips for saving money at J.Crew:

1. Sign up for J.Crew emails

On the bottom right-hand corner of, there’s a place to enter your email address to sign up for J.Crew’s email list. This is a good way to stay abreast of current promotions and online coupon codes. As an added bonus, within a day or two of signing up, you should receive an email from J.Crew with a special online coupon code good for 10 percent off and free shipping on your first order.

2. Use online coupon codes

J.Crew frequently runs promotions with online coupon/promotion codes. To learn about these special online promotional codes, sign up for J.Crew’s email list as discussed above. If you don’t want to sign up for the emails, check out the blog J.Crew Aficionada (not officially associated with J.Crew). In the right column of this blog, you’ll see a section dedicated to current coupon codes and promotions.

3. Use the in-store red phone

Ever seen a red phone on a small desk stand in a J.Crew store? Well, it’s not for decoration—you can actually pick up this phone and use it to order items that are out of stock in the store and have them shipped to your home for free, so long as at least one of the items you’re ordering on the red phone is full price.

4. Use college student/teacher discount

Receive a 15 percent discount off any in-store purchase when you present a valid college student ID or teacher ID. Also, I just chatted with a J.Crew specialist online and learned something new: the student/teacher discount is also valid on any online purchases made in the store through J.Crew’s red phone. This discount is for full-price items only, and some exclusions may apply (e.g., J.Crew’s branded partnership merchandise and wedding styles). You cannot combine the student/teacher discount with any other offer or promotion.

5. Open a J.Crew credit card

When you open a J.Crew store credit card, you’ll get 10 percent off the first purchase you make with your card. In addition, for every $500 you spend on your card, you’ll earn a $25 rewards card. Important: the J.Crew credit card has a massive APR (24.99 percent!). As such, I only recommend opening a J.Crew credit card if you’re confident that you can pay off your balance in full each month.

6. Buy—wait for sale—return—buy again (repeat)

The good thing about J.Crew is that they turn over their merchandise at a rapid-fire rate; as such, almost everything seems to go on sale at one point or another. If you see something at J.Crew that you can’t live without, I recommend buying it at full price and then keeping all the tags on it and saving the receipt. If you bought the item online or by telephone, you have 60 days to wait and see if it goes on sale and then return it and buy it again at the reduced price. If you bought the item in the store, you only have 30 days to do this. You can even hang on to your receipts and try to do this for another round of sales, but just watch out for final sale items which can’t be returned. For more information on J.Crew’s return policy, click here.

7. If you’re petite, shop at Crewcuts

If you are petite and slim, you may be able to fit into some of the larger sizes at J.Crew’s children’s line, Crewcuts. For example, a Crewcuts Girls’ Size 14 is indicated for a girl 4'10"-5'3", 90-112 lbs., with a 26" waist, 34" seat (hip), and a 32" bust (chest). By comparison, a J.Crew Women’s Petite Size 2 is indicated for a woman under 5'4" with a 25" waist, 34" hip, and a 32.5″ chest. So if you can fit into a J.Crew's Women’s Petite Size 2 or smaller, you should be able to fit into about a Crewcuts Girls’ Size 14. Many of the items sold at Crewcuts look just like items sold in the Women’s department at J.Crew, except they have a lower price point.

8. Shop at the J.Crew Factory store

J.Crew’s outlet store is known as J.Crew Factory. It exists online at this site as well as in brick-and-mortar stores at outlet malls throughout the country. While the items at J.Crew Factory tend to be about 10-50 percent less than the items at J.Crew, most items are made directly for the outlet. Many people, including myself, are of the opinion that the clothes at J.Crew Factory are of much lower quality than the items at regular J.Crew stores — so use your judgment when shopping at J.Crew Factory.

9. Shop online using Ebates or Shop at Home

Get 3 percent cash back when you shop at using Ebates. Get 7.5 percent cash back when you shop at using Shop at Home.

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How to Save at J.Crew