I like to stay true to my style on this blog and only feature brands I wear or would buy myself so when I was asked if I would like to preview the new Gant collection I wasn’t sure. There is a Gant store in Guildford and whenever I pass I don’t feel as if its a brand for me, to be honest I would even say I feel too young to even think about buying from Gant. However, I was sent a copy of the lookbook and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the pieces and styling and it didn’t feel like the perception I had of the brand. So I agreed to go and spend some time in the Guildford store with Natalie to find out more….
When I think of Gant I immediately think of polos, coloured chinos and cable sweaters, a very classic look but not really very me. I guess I always think of it being more of a mens shop too, as the majority of the window display when I pass the shop seems to be focused on the mens collection. I was quite wrong on both fronts; yes, the menswear section is bigger and placed at the front of the store and yes, there are polos, cable knits and chinos but there is oh, so much more to this brand. What I didn’t know was the history and heritage behind Gant. Gant is an American brand established by Bernard Gant way back in 1949, on the back of his impeccable tailoring that was loved by Yale male students. The brand has come a long way since then, changing hands several times and while keeping loyal to its American roots the brand is now under European hands, with the head office in Sweden. The brand sounds almost like one big old family as Natalie explained that a lot of the clothes are made in Europe, mainly Portugal with the company having long term relationships with suppliers dating back over 30 years so you know you’re buying from a brand that has a social conscience.
So onto the clothes, the mens collection was, as I sort of expected, lots of very well tailored shirts, blazers and coloured chinos but there is more of a heritage feel for autumn and the American nod is there in bucket loads with stars and strips featuring throughout the collection.
Not all of the women’s collection had dropped when I called in but some of the main autumn pieces were in and the collection is just so lovely. Yes, there is the core Gant pieces but the AW15 collection felt so different to anything I had seen from this brand before. The collection felt more youthful and I was surprised to hear that for women the average age of a Gant shopper is 45, the new collection really has something for all age groups and I see the new collection as a rival to some of the other high end, High Street retailers like Whistles or Reiss.
The blazers were very well tailored with so much detail around the cuffs and on the collar, even the lining. I’ve been wearing a lot of boyfriend style blazers over the past few years but I liked the more tailored shorter blazer on me, it was the collar detail that really hooked me in though. The shirts were fab, lots of causal weekend styles but also some great prints for the office or dressing up, the prints ranged from almost Liberty-esq flowers, to denim stars, to silk prints, strips and of course the plain Oxfords – basically every shirt style covered! Black which is a wardrobe staple for most women has also found its way into the Gant womens collection for the first time, with tailored straight leg trousers and jeans. Then theres the dresses, coats (not all had arrived when I visited) and my standout piece the Varsity jacket. This grey wool-mix Varsity jacket was just perfection and is high on my AW15 lust list. I tried on the size small and it actually came up quite big, I really didn’t want to put this back on the rail.
Wool-mix Varsity Jacket by Gant – £195
The Gant range isn’t cheap, it’s up there with high end, High Street pricing with a shirt starting at £80 but you’re paying for the quality and detail here, and you know a piece from Gant will work hard in your wardrobe year after year. While there is a fashion edge to this new collection the pieces are still quite classic and really won’t date. Obviously Gant aren’t on every High Street but check out the collection online and if you live near a store like me you can have your order delivered for store collection.
So the big question, would I buy/visit Gant again… Yes! There were several pieces I have my eye on, I just can’t stop thinking about that Varsity! I have agreed to go back in-store in September when the entire collection will be available so I get to have a proper look and trying on session. Many thanks to Natalie at the Guildford store for taking time out of her busy day to let me play dress-up with the collection.
What do you think of the new collection?