All the Bells and WHISTLES!

I thought I’d be a die-hard Jigsaw fan forever. My visit to the Island changed all that. Back in the day, I thrived on Jigsaw. In fact a vast portion of my wardrobe is still Jigsaw (almost vintage now). I have so many pieces that have lasted and served me well, and I will always praise the quality to their clothing. However, it appears Jigsaw has failed to move with the times. The once quirky and innovative designs have disappeared, the prices have risen, and the general vibe has gone. Years ago, Jigsaw was a real hub for style, and at every store they were BUSY! As an ex-employee I can attest to the huge number of customer orders, and the speed at which stock moved through the company. Most of the stores were cosy, and friendly, the staff look great (if I do say so myself) and there was a real energy about the place.

Many items would sell out on the first day, and even staff members had to be fast if they wanted something. Repeat items kept customers coming back to see what new colours had been released. Regular customers knew the delivery days, and would plan their shopping so they could be amongst the first to see what new treasures had arrived. It just worked. I spent a few days in the design department on work experience, and you just knew this team was onto a working formula. So what happened?

Well, if my old store is anything to judge by, here’s my opinion. Jigsaw has created competition with itself. Kew, a sister company, in developement during my employment, has grown and is snatching up customers keen on lower prices and similar designs (even if Kew now has raised it’s prices Jigsaw now has even higher ones). Kew now inhabits my old store and Jigsaw has moved into much bigger premises just up the street. Is this the problem? This store is vast. From the exterior it looks small and cosy, but as soon as you step inside it’s difficult to not feel overwhelmed. The store at the front is narrow, and goes back, and back, the cobbled street almost completely vanishes from view. Clothing rails line both walls, and after following them further, the store opens out into a large, cavernous expanse. The clothing continues to sprial about on rails and shelves which both line the walls, with more sprouting up in the center. There are couches, and an entire wall of change rooms. The store simply feels too big to be cosy.

In general I found the staff less welcoming, and for me in a huge store the first thing I want is to feel at ease. The staff still look great, and online everything looks good, but it looks just as it did when I left almost five years ago. For me that’s a problem. It hasn’t moved with the times. On one of my visits into the store I found it quiet (not like the busy store I remember), and I was surprised to see one person still working there from our old team. This person still looked fantastic and it was nice to see her loyalty. I met up with a group of my old work gals and the general consensus was that the style has stagnated, the prices are too high, and that everyone has moved onto Whistles. I found it funny how, after all these years we all still appreciate the same labels.

Whistles is my new addiction. I became aware of the label a few months before the end of my British visa, and since leaving I’d pretty much forgotten about it. It’s not a label I’ve seen anywhere but the UK, so that’s probably another reason it had slipped into the darkest corners of my memory. On this trip it was one of the labels that immediately stuck out. The window displays were simple, thus showcasing the brilliant design of the garments. The materials are lovely, the clothing is well made and the style is exactly where I’m at just now. There are real elements of vintage, and rock, and I’m loving the elements of draping and the interesting cuts. The stores are also much more welcoming then I recollect. They are light and airy, well laid out and the staff look stunning (how could they not, clad in these gorgeous clothes).

There was an amazing array of fabrics, leathers, wools, silks, cottons and more. A veritable smorgasbord of textures. Ah… I’m in love! The prices I also thought were very reasonable considering the quality of the clothing.

The best part of Whistles at this time was the amazing sale prices they had. I’d have happily paid the retail prices, but the sale prices made things much more interesting for me. They had reduced prices on several items for this season (mostly coats and jackets) but I really took advantage of the huge savings on some of last seasons items.

Tencel Trousers from Whistles

These beauties were reduced by a LOT. I love the details, and the functional pockets. The tencel is a nice change, and they are just so comfortable. They are a blue/grey colour.

I love the detail. That zip pocket is functional.

This top is made from wool and alpaca. It feels so nice on the skin. I love the cut of the sleeves, though I don’t think it’s all that visible in my photos. I thought it’d make a lovely casual addition to my wardrobe… and funnily enough… it’s grey!

Wool and Alpaca Top from Whistles

This vintage cut dress was my best find. Sorry if it’s still a bit creased from being in my bag. It was also hugely reduced. I absolutely love the cut of the back. It works really nicely with my frame. The cowl effect at the back is also very interesting, and the play on transparency is very pretty. Grey again!

My pretty new dress!

As you can see it’s fairly short. I plan on wearing it with opaque, black tights and some black heels (when I get some). It also needs a belt in my opinion. I bought it a size up from my usual (it was the last one), so I guess the elastic in the waist isn’t working as it should on me.

I’m so excited about these new additions to my wardrobe. I’m already feeling better, and like I’m on my way to being myself again.

What makes you feel like yourself? Is it clothing, exercise or something familiar like a taste or sound?

~ by fashiondevotion on November 24, 2009.

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