One thing to buy from Jigsaw – A Christmas bauble in skirt form

jigsawHigh street brand Jigsaw has been off our radar for a while as the last few years have been a bit hit-and-miss in terms of womenswear collections. I used to love Jigsaw back in the day, the very first store opened in my home town of Bath and so I had a localised attachment and it had a real moment in the late 90s when it was considered a deeply cool brand, peaking with the opening of a minimalist-John-Pawson-style concrete store on Bond Street (now closed).

However things are about to change. Barbara Horspool has recently taken over as chief designer and this week we attended the spring/summer 14 range press day which is looking really lovely and there is talk of a new flagship store soon. There are signs of improvement in the autumn 2013 range, I visited the store last week and found this fabulous party-season pencil skirt in embroidered stripe sequins, which looks much better in real life than it does on the website, it’s like a Christmas bauble decoration in a skirt.

It’s pricey – £239, but the gorgeously decorative fabric is versatile enough to wear to work and then out afterwards, or you could keep it for parties-only. It would pair up nicely with navy, black or that blush pink we’ve been talking about. Clever people could mix it with a pattern for a Tziporah Salamon take on things, but I think I’d keep it plain and simple on top, maybe a lux sweatshirt shape or a plain cashmere jumper.

The website really doesn’t do it justice, I think it looks a bit shiny and the stylist clearly didn’t have the time to steam out those flat-packed folds but it is worth nipping into your nearest store to view, should you be considering a party skirt that might have seasonal staying power. Buy here, it is generously cut.

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  • Becky says:

    239 pounds for a Jigsaw skirt ? it seems crazy to me that people would pay that – I mean it’s nice, but really it’s Jigsaw and it’s madly expensive. I cannot understand why clothes seem to be skyrocketing pricewise. I know there is good quality material and great workmanship to take into account, and I know that I am totally out of the loop on the shopping front, it seems to be me though that JCrew has a lot to answer for with their mental prices on everything and the amazing thing is – people are paying it, where do they get the money from ? Anything over 100 pounds to me has to really be justified and a splazy skirt that you’ll wear a couple of times are year, would not meet the criteria. Pretty colours though !!!

  • Amanda says:

    Becky, you are absolutely right, prices do seem to have sky rocketed, I personally blame it on handbags and shoes, once we had £1000 handbags and £500 boots in stores, everything else seemed to run to catch up.
    The weird thing is, people pay these prices. Not all people obvs, but enough to make retailers think they can justify carrying on. what I liked about this skirt was its versatility, you can wear it during the day but still sparkle at night. I HATE having to buy party clothes that I wear once a year (I obvs should go to more parties, but you get my drift) and if you need something a bit more theatrical, this could work and you could still be wearing it in January.
    But it’s a really interesting point. Jigsaw is a mid-market brand trying to re gain its credibility, and the trend is for quality fabrics and attention to design detail in this bracket…and that costs. What does it do to differentiate itself and still seem a good buy?
    What you do think guys? is £239 too pricey for a mid market skirt? A

  • Sue says:

    I don’t think £239 is necessarily too expensive for a mid-market skirt, but it is too expensive for a Jigsaw skirt.And, I’m certain it will go into the sale. Becky is dead right about JCrew (and also their £ for $ hogwash in the UK stores).It is difficult to reposition a brand once it is firmly lodged in the mind at a certain level. I see Jigsaw and immediately think of their decades of marketing with winsome girls my daughter’s age and it’s a problem. Also, the Outnet (and Net a Porter sales) have hardened my attitude to prices.To go back to your other point: I have no idea who is paying full price, it isn’t me.I’m sorry I didn’t mean to sound so ranty.

  • Amanda says:

    SUE, so it’s YOU competing with me for the ‘just one left’ on the Outnet is it?!! I agree, the canny shopper buys on the Outnet, Ebay or during sale -and it’s only a week or two until retailers launch into their pre Christmas markdowns so you are right…watch out for it in the sale…
    But por Jigsaw, what is it to do….nice fabrics cost a bit more and many of us who’ve grown up with Jigsaw want to keep buying quality clothes…isn’t it just updating with its customer base? ‘discuss’ A

  • Belinda says:

    I’d buy it. It’s expensive fabric, it would take longer to make than an ‘ordinary’skirt and need machinists who are very skilled, wherever they are. I could wear it day and evening and it’s fun.

    Rather than blame J Crew, I think the budget end of the market is still to blame for lowering the price people think they should pay, the fabrics are cheap, make often not too good and the workers not always terribly well looked after but the bar has been lowered.

    Even if this fabric only cost £5 more for the entire skirt than a cheaper fabric you’re already looking at around an extra £27 on the retail price.

  • Cathy says:

    I think £239 for a Jigsaw skirt is too much. I agree with Sue it will end up in the sale. Perhaps Jigsaw should spend some time on concentrating on how they present the skirt. I know Amanda you said that the stylist didn’t have time to steam it and the the skirt appears shiny but somebody should have spotted these simple errors before loading it onto the website.

  • Monix says:

    I have a very similar skirt from Prada, in all black, that I paid about £400 for 9 years ago. I wear it all seasons and about twice a month -I always get comments on it, BUT it is Prada, it is black (so I don’t get so bored with it) and the seams DO line up at the back (unlike the Jigsaw one, which also has a split up the back – in an A line skirt? Skimping on fabric?). Cost per wear? Pretty good (and like you Amanda, I hate having “party wear”).

  • Amanda says:

    All good points, and I think Cathy that you are right, if you charge that much for anything, the whole process of buying needs to be wonderful, be it online or in store, no room for mistakes. And Belinda is really does look expensive fabric so I suspect that’s where the cost mostly is. Let’s see if there are any left in the sale, i suspect there wont be.A

  • Helen says:

    I’ve gone off buying *theatrical* (great word, Amanda) skirts because I seem to go to more dinners than stand-up parties, and it seems a bit of a waste to have all the loveliness going on under the table, so to speak…That makes me sound rather miserly and slightly bonkers. Oh dear.

  • Amanda says:

    Not bonkers at all Helen, this is in fact a good example of ‘Strategic Dressing’, investing in the correct bit of clothing! I happily plan where to spend my money then see something like this skirt and get pathetically easily distracted and buy the sparkliest thing on the floor….that’s truly bonkers Ax

  • Tiffany says:

    That seems like a lot to me for Jigsaw (who I loved back in the day, but haven’t been near for years), but I would rather spend more on one really good piece than lots of tat from cheap shops. I just bought a pair of black wide-legged dress pants that cost about £220 – they are beautifully cut, extremely flattering, and will be the bottom half of almost every ‘party’ outfit I wear, probably until they wear out. A little pricey, but well worth it.

  • Amanda says:

    Tiffany and Mon, I think as we get older and wiser, we know that investing in the perfect thing, that fits well and makes us feel really really good, is worth it. We can’t be duped tho, we know a good fabric/well cut trouser/lovely yarn when we feel it, so the product has to be authentic, but when it is, then it’s generally a good investment . A

  • Becky says:

    I think that paying 220 pounds for a beautifully cut pair of flattering trousers that you will get lots of wear out of it totally reasonable. I am just not convinced that that sort of price bracket for a skirt that is very obvious and you may not want to wear over and over again is a good investment. I suppose also, that living where I do, these sorts of materials are everywhere and they don’t seem that special to me. Maybe that is the issue for me – also I’m tight !!!

  • Karen says:

    I have this skirt (I bought it on a 20% discount promotion, which made it a little more attractive, it must be said). It looks amazing with a beaded Dries Van Noten coat that I have and love (about 12 years old and still worn constantly), and a pile of chunky necklaces. It is alot of money for a skirt from a mid market brand, but I believe that you always have to ignore the label (brand and size) and choose something you love, that makes your heart flutter, and pay what you believe it’s worth to have it in your wardrobe. I know I’ll wear this for years. If I’d found it in Browns or Matches, with a Dries / Etro label in it, I’d have considered that a bargain It definitely looks better ‘in the flesh’ and you need a steamer to really ensure it looks its best.

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