Revel in feminine clothing on a beach!
Written: Sep 16, 2002 (Updated Jun 8, 2005)
UPDATE June 2005: I recently ordered some clothing from J.Jill and see now that you can make returns to the store. I made a return to the store and it went very smoothly.
I have purchased J.Jill clothes through the web site a couple of times. The company also mails catalogs. There are some stores with more opening on a continual basis. A store opened near me about a year ago and I now shop there for reasons described below.
The clothes are only for women. They are private label, meaning that they don't carry other companies brands, but only market their own designs. The clothes are generally only for casual wear and they carry a full line: button down shirts, sweaters, pants, shorts, t-shirts, underwear, outerwear, dresses and skirts. They also carry shoes, that are occasionally brands other than their own, accessories such as handbags and belts and some costume jewelry designed to compliment the clothes.
Although the clothes are for casual wear, you won't find the urban $10 on-sale t-shirts like you do in the gap. J. Jill doesnt really market to the jeans and t-shirt crowd. Instead, the clothes are more romantic and feminine. The catalog frequently shows models walking on the beach, in resorts and other relaxing locations. The clothing is also more expensive than other casual clothing mass merchandisers.
While some of the styles appeal to me and I have a few pieces, I usually don't spend significant amounts of money on clothes unless I can wear them to work. While it is a nice concept to be strolling on a beach in a $120 outfit, the reality is that my days are not spent on the beach and, in my opinion, expensive outfits are best left for nights out or work.
The clothing is made from all natural materials: cotton, hemp, linen and wool. The quality is just okay. Some of the more expensive clothing is not lined. Some of my pieces have held up through multiple washings. However, one corduroy dress I purchased had such thin material that it was practically see-through. In only a few wears, the buttons ripped right off the dress, one causing a tear in the fabric. Other buttons fell off. The $80 dress was really the poorest quality item I have ever owned.
BEWARE - SIZING
The web site offers a wide range of sizes including petite, misses, tall and womens. I have only ordered misses sizes. After trying on many of their items, I have found out that the misses sizes run about one size smaller than most other mall-type stores. Since their clothes are private label, this seems to be consistent across all of their offerings. The web site and catalog do not call your attention to the sizing discrepancy. So, if you order your regular size, you may have to return it or exchange it for a larger size (not to mention face insecurities about your diet). This is a major problem if you needed to wear the item right away or if you cant make an exchange and end up sucking up all of the shipping charges.
WEB SITE ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION
You can click on a category of clothing such as shirts, pants or shoes to see those particular offerings. In my opinion, it would also be helpful if they would provide suggestions of matching items. Instead, they show other great items from the same category. For this reason, it is easier to choose items from the catalog where you can see different combinations of their clothes.
The web site loads quickly and is easy to use. There is a live concierge, but I have never used that service.
SALES AND DEALS
They do have an "on sale" part of the web site. You can sign up to get special offers on their web site. They send me postcards and e-mails with special offers. I currently have one that says buy one pair of pants and get $20 off each subsequent pair of pants. On the web site, they are offering a deal to defer financing if you spend a certain amount. You need to get their credit card to take advantage of that offer. Also, if you use the J. Jill credit card to make purchases, you get a 5% discount.
If you shop J. Jill on line you can also get a rebate on your purchase if you shop through the Upromise site. This rebate does not apply to instore purchases.
The clothing comes in sealed plastic wrapped in paper in a cardboard box. No surprises here. No attempts to make the packaging special.
If you get their credit card, you will get 10% off your first purchase and 5% off every subsequent purchase.
*** Unlike a lot of on-line stores, they do not take returns from catalog and web site purchases in their brick and mortar stores. You will have to suck up the shipping costs if you want to make a return.***
My personal opinion is that the prices are high for casual clothes, particularly given the quality. However, if you love the style of the feminine clothes, then the prices are probably average. For example, Eileen Fisher has many similar pieces for more money but offers more quality. I suppose it comes down to what you like.
THE BRICK AND MORTAR STORES
Even though this is a review of the on-line store. If you like the clothes and get the opportunity, you should check out the physical stores. They feature a lot of wood and stone work and are really quite nice. They are much more themed than the typical mall store. As I mentioned before, the sizing is off from many other brands. Instead of buying by catalog, I tend to drive over to the store to try the item on. That way, I can be sure of the fit and check the quality.
I have had mixed experiences using J. Jill's web site and catalog. One item was really poor quality and others have been only average quality. When I needed to return something because the sizing was a bit small, I had to send it back rather than bring it to the store and therefore, had to pay shipping costs. I recommend shopping in the stores if possible to check fit and quality. Because of these bad experiences, I doubt I will use the web site again and can't recommend it. However, I may purchase in the store because there are some nice items.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: Talbots; The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Miscellaneous: Babystyle; Shutterfly; 1-800 contacts.
What product did you purchase or try to purchase? clothing