J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Memorial day is the unofficial start of summer, and J.Crew has what you need to kick off the season: Slinky little bathing suits, preppy little shorts, and dresses so hideous you may need to shield your eyes.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Wouldn't it be nice to be sitting in the sun, gorgeously lit and daydreaming, while carrying a big bag of nothing and some stylish sunglasses? Yes. Yes it would.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

All together now: Don't slouch!

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

I'm all for swimming in jewelry — I am the kind of person who keeps all rings, watches and bracelets on while frolicking in the Mediterranean — but this ensemble — long necklaces and long-sleeved, belted sweater — is not conducive to doing a laps in the lake. Do not attempt!

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

The retro ruffled bottoms are too cute. TOO cute.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Digging the gingham shorts, even if my dignity and thighs will prevent me from ever wearing them.

The "Travel Note" on this page points out that this was shot on location in Guatemala.
Our own Jessica says:

I got this catalog in the mail last weekend, and I immediately recognized the doorway the model is standing in on the back cover... and it was because my boyfriend photographed me in that same doorway! And then I recognized this dock they're sitting on… And it's because we laid on the same damn dock! They're all over Guatemala, where you could get fucking robbed for wearing J. Crew.

As for the cover shot, Jessica notes:

She's standing on a boat on Lake Atitlán — which is where Huxley tripped out for a stint.

The more you know!

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

More cute shorts — and cute shoes! Would I pair the shorts with the matching shoes? No, I would not. But clearly I do not work for or model for J. Crew.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Oh dear. She looks a little ill. Perhaps it's too hot for cashmere? No matter how "feather-weight" it is?

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Everything but the hat. Which was, according to the copy, "adorned with jewelry by our stylist." Bad idea.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

As a person who loves flip-flops but hates muted colors I feel confused. Help.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Jenna's Picks! Which I never like. Today, special hate for number 8, the "pretty petal mini" in a color that could be called "clay from first grade" but is actually called "mink." The tank (number 3) is pretty, but at $795, it had better come with someone to sew the beads back on as they inevitably fall off.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

What we have here is a sequined sweatshirt. Part of me — the part that wanted to go to Studio 54 even though I was only ten — really wants it. The other part of me is echoing Seth and Amy: Really?

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

The petal mini: Not so bad in black!

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Gorgeous embroidered top, even if $78 seems a little steep (how much do you think you'd pay for one in Guatemala?). Ixnay on the orts-shay, however.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Yay! An outfit to make all your Frenchy-French dreams come true! The sequin boatneck tee adds a little glam; the "ankle-length" pants are très chic; and the ballet flats? Oh la la! Matinee tickets to see Breathless not included.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

WTF. How can J. Crew put together adorable ensembles on one page, and then deliver hideousness like this? Girl, you look confused because you are "wearing" a plaid shirt with a bronze bubble skirt. And the shirt is falling off. And the wedges don't go. We feel sorry for you.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Ew. Nina Garcia and Michael Kors would jave a fit if this came down the Project Runway catwalk. Shiny, misshapen, unflattering, bizarre. And. Ugly.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

This is how I dress and what I look like in my Gossip Girl dreams. Yeah, that's right. Don't judge. Now where is my headband?

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Dreamy! Diaphanous! Divine! Delicate! Delightful! And some other D words. $3,500? Damn. Dear.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Fug, fuglier, fugliest. These dresses do nothing but distract and disfigure, and these are models. Imagine if they were mere mortal bridesmaids. Poor things.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

These two are so charming together I wish it was a real wedding. I would buy them a toaster with a window in it.

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

Torn about this: A mix of high and low can be exciting, and cool. And Carrie Bradshaw did tank top with tutu first! But a striped henley tank with a chiffon ball skirt? Sigh. Check it out: Her date can't even look her in the eye!

J.Crew's Summer Abroad: Sweet Swimsuits, Sharp Shorts & Dreadful DressesS

As we leave Guatemala, Jessica notes:

The ruins in the men's section? That's where my boyfriend and I almost died of dysentary in a cabin that had no bathroom door. Which was a real bonding experience. It's amazing we can still have sex after that.

J. Crew [Official Site]

Earlier: Memorial Day With Williams-Sonoma: Nom!
Catalog Fantasies: The Life Your Life Could Be Like
Inside The Very Pink & Very Pricey Barbie Catalog
The Pyramid Collection: Shopping For Free Spirits & Black Widows
Mother's Day At Dean & Deluca: Cake, Pie (And Rib Roast)
5 Fugly Things Urban Outfitters Wants You To Wear This Spring
April At J. Crew: Floral Rompers & Rugged Dudes Who Are Good With Their Hands

See also: All catalog posts