Last weekend saw the grand opening of the beautiful new Jack Wills store on Blackett St, in Newcastle. This being only the second store to open in the newly renovated Monument Mall means that we’re yet to see what the Mall as a whole looks like but, true to form, Jack Wills have given their little nook a theatrical, period charm, complete with feature fireplaces, hardwood floors, oversized armchairs and chandeliers. Things no Chelsea Chap’s student digs are complete without, naturally, because the Jack Wills brand has long been considered a posh student favourite. A home-grown version of the all-american Hollister, if you will. The branded hoodies and other ‘gym kit’ style pieces are what JW are perhaps most famous for and I think a lot of people overlook the classic, tailored pieces that I have my eye on. The fitted blazers, ‘Made In Britain’ obvs, are my idea of a good time and tweed, no longer just for lecturers and crazy cat ladies, is the perfect fabric for Autumn 2013. It helps that the blazers in question look perfect teamed with one of JW’s soft crew neck jumpers and a pair of their skinny jeans. And before you know it you’ve bought the whole shop…
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Back to the Newcastle store opening; I briefly met with the charming Patrick, a member of the Jack Wills PR team, who showed me around the trademark pink and blue striped shop and talked me through the A/W13 collection like a trooper. He also was wonderful enough to give me a goody bag containing a £50 gift card, with which I went back and bought My New Favourite Autumn Jumper. What a treat! I eventually chose the damson Berridge Merino crew (£49.50) and have already worn it more than is entirely normal. It seems to go with everything and, happily, I didn’t have any maroon-y coloured jumpers already in my wardrobe so this is kind of something new for me. It has the subtle navy logo in the bottom corner and the added benefit of making me feel like I’m “down with the kids”. The wool is lightweight but cosy, and obviously of excellent quality, as are all of the JW pieces. It’s also worth noting that all of the Jack Wills jumpers are made from “Fabulously British” materials and wool, as are the tweed jackets.

If you were under the impression that Jack Wills only sold overpriced vintage style ‘sports’ wear you’ll be pleasantly surprised to stumble into the brands core fashion range at the front of the Newcastle store, meaning you won’t need to venture in too far to find some decent clobber but please do brave the crowds of trendy teens to wander further towards the back of store where, beyond the afore mentioned branded hoodies, you’ll find more menswear and then, at the back, beside the snazzy “bedroom” fitting rooms, there are the pjs, undies and home-ware. Jack Wills also stock accessories, cosmetics and fragrances and I’m told that both the home-ware and the cosmetics sections of the NCL store will be expanded in the months to come so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime take your poor purses and wallets down, check out the new location and be prepared to part with a substantial chunk of your hard earned cash. You won’t regret it.

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