Overrated, overpriced, prestigious and preppy - Welcome to Gloucestershire's "iconic" look.
Home to the races, a university and many different shopping centres, Gloucestershire is clearly the place to be - well, it is if you have the cash to splash! Being a student in Cheltenham and living very close to the City of Bath, I feel I have a good knowledge on what is acceptable to wear and what isn't. However, everyone has this BIG idea that going to university, you can wear what you like? So where is the originality these days...
Taking the town of Cheltenham as an example, walking down the promenade, you have your fair share of designer shops to choose from, The White Company, Joules, Crew, oh and the 'student based' British brand Jack Wills. A days shopping in Cheltenham town could really affect your bank balance. Especially if you live up to the idea that in Britain, more importantly Gloucestershire, you should dress as if you have money...as if you're posh.
Jack Wills has been designing clothes based for the student crowd for over a decade now. But can students actually afford their "fabulously British" clothing, even in one of the richer parts of the country, Gloucestershire.
Taking to the streets of Cheltenham, I had a talk to some of the students, from the local university, about the brand, because at the end of the day, the brand is aimed at them.
"Jess Taylor: Overpriced, I don't like it because I can't afford it therefore everyone who wears it is a chump."
"Martin Price: Very expensive for a brand name, people who have too much money or want to keep up appearances that they are wealthy buy it, when the material is actually no different from one half the price."
So is an item of clothing really worth all that money for a logo to be stitched on to it? Well the majority of people I asked said no. However, glancing around the town daily, I have noticed that may not be the case. Many people, not just students, seem to be sporting the brands that many people say 'are too expensive for what they're worth.'
Jack Wills sweat pants especially, is it wrong to dress in a pair from Primark? It seems that if you are a student, the dress code MUST be: Own a pair of Jack Wills's joggers. You have to fit in with the crowd, right?
British brands, such as Joules, Barbour, Jack Wills and All Saints, yes they may be very costly, but they seem to be determining how people dress. Their 'iconic' British look is not only making people feel as if they have to wear their designs but high street stores are quickly catching on, only giving it to people at a third of the price. So again, where has the originality gone, if every shop is producing the same piece of clothing, just with a different shade of stitching? The Jack Wills gilet for example... go take a look in New Look or even Primark next time you're out shopping. I promise, you can find a replica for under £35.00. Bargain right?
Perhaps then, there is a pressure to keep up appearances, whether you are from the county of Gloucestershire or not! So, a tip from me, if you are keen to fit in with the 'British trend,' I recommend saving all the money you have. Then with this money you can go out and buy your one item of clothing and then, with the approval of others, you may be accepted as one of the posh totties. The only problem being... if you are a student, you might not be able to eat for a week or so. But it's okay, because you can lounge in your Jack Wills joggers with another person who is also wearing the exact same pair. Nothing like a bit of individuality these day, hey!