Cashmere blend jacket from Unilqo's +J range £129.99
Yesterday neither Jane or I could get out to see the new +J range due to having to actually do some work for the day jobs. However we were lucky enough to have TWR reader Peeved of Hackney turn up accidentally (yeah, right) at Uniqlo Oxford St and report back to us…here's what she wrote.
Dear Jane and Amanda,
I must write and tell you of my hellish shopping experience this morning as I know you will understand/appreciate the pain/laugh at me.
Having ventured into the West End in order to get a long-sleeved, thumb-hole T shirt from COS (as read on TWR) for a friend in New York, I thought I could try and find some new trousers for me. It turns out that both COS and Whistles seem to have something odd going on with sizing, the size 10 being (I felt) a teeny bit tight and the 12 dropping off – I kid you not there must have been 3.5 - 4" difference in waist sizes, which is not, in my book, a 'size'. Anyway, I digress.
Stomping along wondering if I should diet or stuff myself, I happened upon Uniqlo Oxford St.
'Aha!' A lightbulb pops in my head. I will see if they are doing the very lovely and useful Heat-tech tops (as also read on TWR) from last year again. I wander in.
To my surprise, the back of the store resembles a jumble sale at St. Joseph's Hospice 10 minutes after it opens. Women were silent, grabbing anything they could get their hands on, rummaging through piles of stock, dropping things on the floor and carrying huge armfuls around. The truth dawns. I have happened upon, entirely by accident
, a new drop of the +J collection by Jil Sander
Madness takes control and I head for where I think there may be trousers. I find the remains of a rail, and manage to collect a 10 and a 12 in two different styles.
I head for the changing room, dismayed at the queue, but it is well organised and the staff are lovely. The 10s are still a bit tight for my liking (should I give up wine? I wonder idly), but these 12s are fine so I decide to purchase. At this point there is a bit of a commotion from the changing cubicle next to me and an irate older (55-ish) woman berates an assistant –
'What? You cannot go and find me a size 14 in both these styles? These are too small! WHAT? You want me to get dressed and GO AND FETCH THEM MYSELF?'.
I have to say I am not sympathetic. The poor staff are doing their very best given the circumstances (everybody else takes in at least 5 or 6 things to try on, I am below par at 4), and frankly I do not think they deserve to be shouted at in this way. Miraculously another member of staff is found and goes to look for said size 14s, but I leave the changing room before she returns so cannot report on the outcome. I hope they were way too big. Or too small, and that she is even larger than she first thought.
I head out to pay and on the way find a jacket that has been abandoned by some other shopper. It is black, it is cashmere/wool and it is very, very nice and a medium. I drag off my ancient Gap denim jacket once more, find it fits beautifully and add it to my haul. Have very pleasant conversation with girl on the till, even though feeling somewhat frazzled by the atmosphere, I like my shops and shopping trips calm.
Head over the road to John Lewis to get things for dinner. Something beeps as I go in, but many people go in at the same time so I think nothing of it. Ken, who packed my groceries in the food hall was lovely. I leave. Something beeps, and a shadow flits across my mind, but I see a bus and run for it. I have purchased a Fentiman's Shandy as my post-shopping treat to help me recover this afternoon, and it is calling to me.
You know what is coming, don't you?
I get home, examine purchases and find the till girl has failed to remove the security tag from my jacket. ARRRGH. I will have to go back. I must point out here that nothing beeped as I left Uniqlo, so one assumes their security system was having a bad day.
Fentiman's Shandy no longer seems enough, perhaps I should have a quick lie down in a darkened room?
Peeved of Hackney.
(Readers, we don't believe the 'accidental' discovery that PoH was at Uniqlo on the day that +J launched, nor do we think she's really that concerned about having to return to get that security tag removed…just another excuse to shop, we say!)
Wool trousers fro +J at Uniqlo, £59,99