J Crew is king of preppy -- great for basics, but rarely inspiring and any pieces that ever crawl towards the verge of fashion-forwardness are almost always enormously overpriced (read: Talitha Getty-inspired maxi-dress, originally priced at a ridiculous $495, now down to $299 and I bet it's still not exactly flying off shelves - at prices like that, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't want a print that you'd get sick of after wearing it once), but occasionally they do have some things that make me go weak in the knees. Pricey at $250, so I'll have to wait and see if they go on sale at some point. But they are fabulous. They look like they're your great-great-grandmother's dancing shoes from when she was the belle of the ball in the 1920s or something (okay I totally made that up because there is not the faintest chance any of my great-great-grandmothers wore shoes like that but maybe one of you do!)
They look gorgeously vintage, like they've been loved and lived in and danced in, except that they're NEW! i couldn't bring myself to wear real vintage shoes, that's just a line i don't think i could cross, so i love finding shoes that look vintage but with the assurance that no one else's gross sweaty feet have been in them before yours :) and these shoes, i would love them with all my heart but i wouldn't have to cry if i got them a little scuffed up!