I must admit I hadn’t actually heard of this brand of clothing until today when I read about on in the Financial Times website. I liked the cute dresses in the picture though, so decided to look up this Jack Wills fella.
The website initially reminded me of the Joe Browns brand of which I am a fan and have been for years but where they differ, is on desired demographic and more importantly (certainly to any students I know of!) cost.
JB tends to be a very ‘surfer’ kind of style, casual, relaxed, easy to wear and affordable. Similar to what I see on the Jack Wills website….apart from the prices. The JW brand is aimed at students, students with money, with an emphasis on both home and abroad, the ‘British-ness’. Their description of what they do being:
‘Jack Wills creates fabulously British goods for the university crowd. Drawing inspiration from Britain’s rich history and culture, juxtaposed with a heavy dose of the hedonistic university lifestyle, we create authentic and relevant clothing for today.’
Ok, well there is definitely something very British about the brand. From the tea-dresses in feminine floral patterns to the many items (particularly from homeware) emblazoned with the Union Jack (in the distinctive JW navy and pink). Shoppers are referred to as ‘ladies’ and ‘gentlemen’ and there are blazers, rugby tops and polo-shirts galore.
It is easy to see how this style would appeal to students who are, mysteriously, all keen to express individuality with an original style but somehow all end up looking the same! Not criticising, I too was one of those students once!
JW are not big on advertising, keeping their stores fairly low-key on the outside and they avoid shouting about the brand for fear of becoming too ‘mainstream’. This tactic cleverly fulfills students desire and joy at finding something ‘new’ and ‘exclusive’ therefore fueling the feeling that they have found something different, individual.
This is all great, can’t complain about the products. They have captured the student ‘look’ right down to the authentic looking sweatpants with just the right amount of holes and fraying….
…but these authentic student looking sweatpants are £70 sweatpants!
I never knew of any student when I was at university who would choose spending that kind of money on clothes when they could find actual authentic retro looking clothing down the street at the local charity shop! I can hear the words ‘good beer money that‘ resonating in my head as I browse the JW website. Not forgetting those more conscientious students of course who would opt to spend that kind of money on books, bills or groceries.
All in all I like the brand, like the clothes, homeware and accessories. I just feel that students with less money to spend on clothes are already pulling off this look! Purely because, for them, it actually is authentic! However I reckon JW are doing it right. Getting this style to those ‘posher’ students who would never be seen dead in a charity shop and who want to make sure that, although their JW clothes send out a ‘student’ look, you still know that theirs cost some by displaying the JW or the recognisable (now) navy and pink stripe.