Oh no - 30% discount and the world has gone shopping mad in Aubin & Wills. I waited patiently for ages for a promotion to come along so I could purchase one red Wilpshire cardigan and everyone got there before me. Ah well - c'est la vie, it wasn't meant to be.
Aubin & Wills - where do we start - how about the opening statement on Wikipedia :
Aubin & Wills was launched by Jack Wills in September 2008. The label is aimed at a more mature customer than Jack Wills, namely age 25 and up, who have recently graduated from higher or tertiary education and are in full-time employment.
Translation - Jack Wills is for students with expensive tastes funded by parents. Aubin & Wills is for the same students who grew up and now have their own money and a little bit of discretionary taste and don't need a logo emblazoned on every article they wear. Is that a bit harsh? It is really. I actually like to think that the Aubin & Wills devotees are a nice arty bunch - probably over 30 rather than 25 with reasonable disposable incomes to spend on expensive but relatively plain jumpers. I do actually like Jack Wills as well - I even have a few pieces of Jack Wills clothing picked up in their quite lucrative sales and online "discounted outlet" but sometimes when I walk past their stores and it's swarming with young teeny boppers clutching their pink and blue stripy bags, it all gets a little bit too much for me.
Anyway, back to Aubin & Wills. I purchased my first couple of pieces in 2010 as I think I've had my yellow rain jacket for around two years now. This was when the label first came to my attention. I've featured the jacket before in my blog and it's my little ray of sunshine for a dull grey day. Not sure how fully waterproof it is but whoever said fashion was practical? I have my black Sprayway walking jacket for practical.
Bring me sunshine!
Big sloppy tee
Then I have my fail safe grey marl sweatshirt tunic for over the winter months with a pair of skinny jeans or jeggings tucked in boots. You can dress it up or dress it down and layer underneath it for warmth. Looks like nothing much and when my friend saw it, she said she wouldn't have paid the money for it (and it was discounted at the time) because ....it didn't look like very much. But I have had my wear out of it so it has paid for itself.
This brings me to 2012. They really peaked this year with their Spring 2012 almanac which had a beatnik vibe and their use of Irina Lazareanu and Alex James for their campaigns. So many of the images from the almanac were featured in so many blogs and pinned and repinned everywhere. But this one of Irina wearing the Annaside blouse won me over.
From 2012 Spring Almanac
I succumbed and bought it with my birthday money back in March. There was a 30% discount promotion again and I thought it's lovely and I want to look like the model, all nonchalant and hip and cool (in my dreams). Their campaign was so successful that when I went to order, they only had a size 8 left but I ordered it anyway. It was not to be. Bingo wings. I am of a certain age and the dreaded bingo wings have set in. Not to be defeated, I remembered Net-a-Porter also stocked Aubin & Wills and as luck would have it - the blouse was there but no 30% discount. Can't win them all. Size 10 fitted. Perfect.
The blouse has some lovely delicate embroidery detailing and I am more than delighted with it. To some people, the price £75 is too much and for some it will seem relatively cheap but I am happy to invest in an item which I don't think is a one season wonder and can be enjoyed from year to year. As they say, if you do your fashion maths right, the cost per wear equation speaks for itself.
So, that is my Aubin & Wills journey so far. It has been enjoyable and I have been pleased with all my purchases to date. I've not yet had the pleasure of visiting an actual Aubin & Wills store but I have been assured by a friend who has been to the Manchester King St store that it is wonderful. He couldn't leave without buying a £30 dicky bow just because he wanted to have something from the store and he could go home with a bag (and he's not a teenager). So here's to hoping that I will be granted another Shopping Day permit soon where I can hotfoot it to Manchester and see the store for myself.
I will also finish today with a link to Mary Portas's review of Aubin & Wills for the Daily Telegraph.
I like them. Mary likes them. Do you?