J.Crew Reviews: Schoolboy Blazer and Hacking Jacket


Jeggings: J.Brand  Shoes: Aldo heels & Vince Camuto booties (returned)

J.Crew online is having 25% off everything with code STAYWARM, good until Wednesday, 11/9. Currently, there is also a generous 8% cash back if you go through ebates (referral). For petite women, I recommend checking out their coats and blazers that come in a vast selection of materials and colors (beautiful, vibrant colors!). A while back, I ordered two blazers to try on in petite sizing. Descriptions below are from jcrew.com:

Schoolboy Blazer – “One of our all-time favorites updated for fall in classic wool flannel. Featuring a posh, slightly shrunken fit and finished with details like a lapel buttonhole, a ticket pocket, a secret interior pocket…and crested gold buttons for a touch of legacy luxe.

Hacking Jacket – “Inspired by traditional British riding jackets, our newest wear-with-all third piece features a longer, leaner silhouette with a nipped-in waist for a flattering effect.
True to the descriptions above, the Hacking riding jacket (in gray) has a longer and leaner silhouette, with a more defined waist. This is especially evident in the back view. In comparison, the Schoolboy blazer (in camel) was about one inch wider and two inches longer. What a dilemma…I liked the shorter length of the Schoolboy, but the slimmer fit of the Hacking!
For reference, I am about 5 feet tall and 93 lbs. Both jackets fit me well in the shoulders and sleeves, but on someone with longer limbs the sleeves will be too short. Too-short sleeves seem to be a common problem amongst J.Crew’s petite sizing. You can call customer service or do online live chat to get the exact measurements of any item in a particular size.

Leather-covered buttons on the herringbone Hacking, vs brassy buttons on the wool Schoolboy:


As for material, the herringbone hacking jacket felt significantly heavier than the wool schoolboy. The fabric just had a better weight to it, and seemed more expensive in comparison. See the gray Schoolboy on Kelly, the red Hacking on Cher, and the blue Hacking on Tara. Aside from fabric, there are also differences in lining:

In summary, for someone my height I preferred the Schoolboy blazer for the shorter length. However, be warned that this blazer has a boxier, more casual silhouette and is thinner than the Hacking. If I had some extra height, I would prefer the sleek, fitted hacking jacket. I returned both because neither was perfect for me.

Readers – Which blazer do you like better?
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  1. ting wrote:

    Wanted to let you know that I bought the J.Crew hacking jacket in the charcoal herringbone (same as the one you returned) for $119 + 40% off yesterday in store! Though it didn't fit you well, I tried it on upon your review and fell in love with it. Thanks!

    Posted 1.18.12 Reply
  2. anjali wrote:

    I like your brown one for sure..gives you that extra style

    Posted 11.14.11 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I like the colour of the school boy blazer but I like the fit of the Hacking Jacket a lot more! It's only slightly longer, but not too long that it's a "boyfriend" jacket.

    Posted 11.13.11 Reply
  4. Daisy wrote:

    This is really useful. I've been eyeing the schoolboy blazer in the cherry color, but I don't like the wider torso either. Thanks for the analysis!

    Posted 11.9.11 Reply
  5. @Tara D Keep me posted on how it turns out! I haven't paid them a visit in ages because I'm trying to hone my own sewing skills (losing patience and time, lol). They always asked that question! You think they'd be used to it by now after years of working on my stuff ; )

    @Anonymous I'll try to touch upon this in a future post as I just invested in a nicer work bag. Before I carried Longchamp totes because they are so lightweight and can fit a ton of stuff. All my work bags however are big on me and do have that "luggage" look, just because I have to carry so much stuff. You just have to find a size that looks proportionate on you, measure the length x width, and then stick to bags under that measurement.

    @Erica Welcome! Unfortunately I have very few tips to share about Chanel care – I haven't treated my lambskin yet, and for caviar I just wipe it off. Check out Tiffany's post if you haven't yet: http://www.iamstyle-ish.com/2011/11/video-how-to-take-care-of-your-bags.html

    Posted 11.9.11 Reply
  6. @lin I have to warn you though these JBrand legging jeans in sz 24 fit tighter than my other jeans and have less stretch, so they aren't as comfortable! I still love the fabric of Gap's legging jeans more (the original faded dark wash is the most comfy), I just wish they would offer a full dark wash without the fading.

    @Generation Kvetch @Anonymous Thanks for sharing your fit experience! I'm sure many of us will find it helpful since there is always the debate of regular vs petite sizing in these J.Crew items.

    @Anonymous @Michelle They were a return because the front dip is too elf-ish. Friends agreed : /

    @Anonymous Whoops, I should have clarified – you need to call J.Crew online. Not J.Crew stores. THe online customer service associates have all measurements at their fingertips, if you can provide the item #. Stores usually are less informed of such info.

    @bluevalentine Oh nooo, regret is the worst! Don't listen to her next time and go with your more knowledgeable guts!

    @Annapurna I did not know about the ecole, but since that means "school" in French I'm guessing they just made tiny adaptations and changed the name to English to become what we now know as as the Schoolboy. Glad you picked up two before it went away.

    @Petite J.D. I got them on Hautelook and they are the J.Brand legging jeans in "clocker" wash, but they fit small and the fabric does not stretch and feel comfortable like my Gap legging jeans. I just really like the wash! I wish Gap would make a solid dark wash in their stretchy denim fabric!

    Posted 11.9.11 Reply
  7. Erica wrote:

    I love that grey blazer! Very cute. I came here after seeing your Chanel bag video! I will bookmark that for future reference since I hope to purchase one one day. I do have a question. I purchased a Chanel-esque Moschino bag. It's that very soft leather (similar to lambskin) and I have a crease on it. Any tips to minimize the look of creases or dents that you have used on your Chanel? thanks!! I have tried rubbing it but there's still a kind of darker spot.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  8. aneetac wrote:

    I prefer the fit of the Hacking Jacket, but the color of the Schoolboy as well as its length. However, I don't think either blazers are "winners" and think there's much better out there. For the price, there's better fit to be found!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Although you look great in both, I think you made the right decision. I, too, tried the hacking jacket but found the proportions not quite right for my 5' frame. Maybe you have covered this already, but do you have any advice about handbags for petites? [especially buying an 'investment' bag for the first time.] Most bags these days look like 'luggage' when I carry them against my small frame. Thanks–love this website!!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  10. Tara D wrote:

    Hacking is definitely better, but I agree that there should be more tailoring in the back.

    BTW, I just dropped off a couple of blazers at Hemmingway Tailors as per your recommendation (and because it's a two block walk from my house). The lady asked me, "couldn't you find a smaller size?" Nope! Loft 00. Hoping for the best!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  11. I prefer the hiking jacket on you – but I'm more of a fitted blazer kind of girl! Too bad neither worked out, but I'm sure you will find something better!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  12. Love the review! I really like the Hacking better for the fitted look.

    I purchased a while back a Schoolboy Blazer from Gap. It fits really well. And the price point was half of the J. Crew's jackets. Just a thought to check out Gap.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  13. CynthiaC wrote:

    According to Cher, the hacking jacket is supposed to have shorter sleeves. Just a thought.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  14. Have you already reviewed those JBrand jeggings? I'd love to know where you got them! I've literally worn out my gap jeggings to the point where they are going to have holes soon haha.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  15. grace wrote:

    I like the Hacking Jacket better on you, but I agree, they are both lacking. It's too bad J Crew's jackets are so short in the sleeves – otherwise I'd be tempted. But given how expensive the jackets are, not worth it to keep them if they're not absolutely perfect.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  16. Love that grey one!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  17. NeutraKris wrote:

    I like the Hacking Jacket better, though the Schoolboy doesn't look bad.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Those would be great if there was more tailoring in the back. Way too mannish/butch. At least I can feel a little better about the fact that I'm not the only one with that problem. I'm 5'1" and about 95 lbs.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  19. Sorry that neither fit perfectly…such a shame because they are both gorgeous…and thanks for the link Jean 🙂

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  20. Annapurna wrote:

    I think you made the right decision…gorgeous as both jackets are (and I especially like the warm mustard one on you)…both are a but long. There is something weird about the hacking jacket – it looks great in the side pic but there is something I don't love about the back fit on you….gives you sort of a "mannish" silhouette from the back.

    A few years ago, J Crew had an "ecole" fit – do you remember that? If not, I think you would have liked it. I guess they swapped out "ecole" for "schoolboy" (what's next? The escuela jacket?) but I think it would have given you the slimness of the hacking with the length of the school boy. In fact, I think it is shorter than the schoolboy. Here is an ebay listing (not mine) so you can see what I am talking about.

    Here is the ecole in herringbone

    I love my 2 ecoles! Should have snagged more of them.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  21. I love the hacking jacket. I tried on an awesome hacking jacket at Zara once. I don't think I've ever had any blazer fit better. My friend (who thinks she knows fashion but generally has pretty tacky taste) made a face and said, "Oh my god, you're kidding right? Are you a 70 year old man?" I should have bought it right then and there, because every blazer and jacket I've tried on at Zara since has been way too big.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  22. MiszDreyy wrote:

    They're both timeless pieces. I honestly like the Schoolboy Blazer on you. Even though it may be a bit boxier than the hacking, it seems like you have longer legs and doesn't make you look as petite as you are. I find it very flattering and the color looks amazing on you. I work at JCrew and this color blazer is so popular that we've been receiving requests for it in so many sizes that we don't even have. I say you keep the Schoolboy. 🙂

    And for the comment about online returns, it's 60 days from when you receive it in the mail.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  23. Kiwi wrote:

    I like the hacking jacket better. The fit shows your curves better. And I think the length of it flatters your body too.

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  24. Hmm. I don't really like either of them! You look gorgeous as always, but I think I like the colour of the Schoolboy in the style of the Hacking. I just think neither of them appeal to me. I suck with blazers!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  25. vonnie wrote:

    The hacking looks so much better than you. The schoolboy is way too boxy and doesn't flatter your waist, so I say hacking for sure!

    Posted 11.8.11 Reply
  26. JC wrote:

    That is a hard call –I like both of them for different reasons. I'm partial to the detailing on the gold buttons but the hacking jackets has the nipped waist. I know you returned them but I like both. How's that for a decision? 😀

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    What is JCrew's return policy for online orders?

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Thanks for doing the comparison. I was debating the schoolboy blazer in 2P or O. I have longer arms and a shorter torso, the schoolboy would be the right length, but I didn't realize how boxy it is, and now from your post how short the sleeves may be. I called J.Crew this afternoon for a measurement on the Petite size arm length in the blazer and she still has not phoned me back. She could find the measurement on her computer system 🙁

    You have given me a lot to consider, I really appreciate it. I was going to use the 25% STAYWARM promo for this blazer. Too bad the Hacking is longer, it looks so sleek.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  29. Michelle wrote:

    The schoolboy is so cute and cropped…too bad it is too wide! I also prefer the placement of the buttons on the schoolboy blazer.

    The Vince Camuto booties are so cute! Why were they a return?

    Thanks for the review! 🙂

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  30. kileen wrote:

    i really love the Schoolboy blazer on you and would be tempted to buy if only it were a little more fitted in the torso! thanks for a great review, Jean!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  31. Neither is perfect, but I would choose the grey one on you. Unrelated comment .. never realized how big the J Brand back pockets were! Are they all that big? I don't own any, but I do love their jeans.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  32. Petite-ish wrote:

    I got the schoolboy in velvet at the end of last winter on final sale and I kind of regret the purchase. While I love the look of velvet blazers and the color, I hate the fit. The sleeves are definitely short on me and the boxy fit is unflattering on me :-/

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Joined ebates today as a referral of yours. So excited to save money shopping (love a good deal) but I wish I had known about it sooner. Thanks Jean!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  34. Nancy wrote:

    they are so expensive

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    Just curious, how come you returned the shoes? They're cute!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  36. Megan wrote:

    I like the hacking jacket! The fit looks so much better and can be dressed up or down. The schoolboy blazer looks as if it can only be worn casually. There's just an awesome preppiness factor to the hacking jacket!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  37. Hi, I am larger, an 8-12 in J Crew…I did not try petites but I did try the regulars in store. (Insert rant about no petites in store).

    The 8 in the schoolboy fit best. I tried the 10 in the hacking and it was too long on me. I am high waisted with proportional legs at 5"3, so I often need a petite on top but not the bottom. The hacking fabric was superior.

    I think a 10P in the schoolboy would probably be a perfect fit. I have short arms, too. I'm curvy so I can sometimes pull off the slightly boxy cut – I get more room in the bust without it being huge in the shoulders. If I were going to order a petite in the hacking I'd choose a 12p.

    I tried the longer petite jacket at Talbots and thought it was a much nicer fabric and better fit overall. I just wasn't quite ready to go back to that look yet.

    Thanks for your review!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  38. I also prefer the hacking jacket. I like both it's color and cut better.


    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  39. lin wrote:

    jean, they both look nice on you but too bad about the fit. i'll probably check out the hacking jacket online. the length might fit me since i'm not petite. i love your j brand jeans. i should've gotten it when you told us of that sale but unfortunately i didn't. 🙁 thanks for the reviews. 😉

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  40. Nkauj wrote:

    I love the Schoolboy jacket.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  41. I prefer the hacking jacket.
    It looks so good!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  42. maggie wrote:

    I wish the Schoolboy was just a bit less boxy! From experience, I look okay in boxy jackets but I definitely look better in sleeker jackets, but only shorter ones. Disappointed, but I'll just continue looking! Thank you so much for making the review.

    xx maggie

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:


    I'm de-lurking to respond to this post because I went through this exact decision-making process for the Boulevard Trench (for reference, I'm 5'4" and go between petite and regular sizes). I initially ordered the 0P and 2P for the trench (in saddle). The 0P was clearly too tight, while the 2P was an awkward fit. It was slightly too tight in the shoulders (it measured ~15.5" across) but was boxy in the chest. And the sleeves were a tad too short. Lengthwise, it came to ~2" above the knees.

    I ended up exchanging the 2P for a 0 regular (in charcoal), which comes to the middle of my knees. The fit in the shoulders and chest is much better. It's a wonderful coat, so I hope this helps!


    P.S. I thought I'd be good for awhile after getting this coat, but the Hacking jacket seriously has me reconsidering…

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  44. JLKING wrote:

    Hi! I love your blog but I've never commented before. I'm with you, both blazers are lacking but I might just try out the schoolboy myself to be sure! I really appreciate your posts, blogs like yours have helped me find my own style.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  45. Sarah wrote:

    I really like the colors of both, but I think I prefer the details of the hacking jacket over the blazer. Sometimes I think I get so enamored by how J.Crew pieces are styled in the catalog (they look so pretty!) that I don't consider fit as carefully when I go to actually try them on, haha.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  46. love the light brown one!! so pretty on you!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  47. Darn the length of the Hacking Jacket! I was so tempted to pick one up, but I knew the length would be swamping on 4'11" me. And like you said, the Schoolboy is just too boxy. I think I'll be sitting out on the J.Crew blazers this season.

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply
  48. May wrote:

    I am so glad I found your blog! I am petite as well but not quite as petite as you. I'm 5'1" and usually wear a size 0 or 2 and while I need petite lengths, I often find petite jackets and coats to be too short in the arms. I am on the hunt for a beautiful winter coat and last year I ordered the J. Crew Double Cloth Lady Day in 0P and I was shocked that I could not get into it. I returned it. Now I'm worried about ordering another coat and have to go to the trouble of returning it (I'm in Canada). I was wondering what you thought of the new Stadium Cloth Boulevard Trench and whether I should try it in a size regular 0 or petite 2. I would love your opinion. Thanks!

    Posted 11.7.11 Reply

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