I think it was 2010 when I walked into a Uniqlo store for the first time. Back then, the only city with a physical Uniqlo store outside of Japan was New York City.
Having made the trek all the way out there from San Francisco, I had pretty high expectations, especially since I had heard so much about Uniqlo from friends who had visited that were re-buying their entire wardrobes from the store. The good news was that the store didn't disappoint. Even today, I still think of Uniqlo as one of the best companies out there providing stylish clothing at an affordable price.
Admittedly, at the time, I didn't know nearly as much about menswear as I do today. Nonetheless, I remember seeing a really nice line of menswear pieces out in the back of the store marked with a +J logo on the tags. I didn't really know what that meant, but I distinctly remember being impressed with the collection, both in quality and style. I literally ran to a salesman to find out if any of the pieces were in my size (by then the stock was mostly oversized), but it was all to no avail.
Well, it seems as though good things come to those who wait. Uniqlo just recently announced that they will be bringing back their +J line this month.
Now, since I know vastly more about menswear today than I did back then, here's some context for you. The Uniqlo +J line was one of the first collaboration efforts Uniqlo had ever done with an outside fashion designer. This one was with the legendary Jil Sander.
For those of you who don't know, Jil Sander is a very respectable player in the high fashion game, both for men and women. Her stuff is often eclectic, dare I say weird, but you all know how the high fashion game works. Anyhow, one thing that you can be sure of when buying Jil Sander is that most pieces are ludicrously priced. I mean we're talking $700 for a pair of cotton pants.
The good news is that Uniqlo's +J collection won't be anywhere close to that price tag. They're saying pieces will range from $39.90 to $229.90. The official launch will be October 3rd @ their new Philly store, but the rest of us will have to wait till October 10th when it comes out to all the other stores and online.
Just in case you're curious, here are some of my favorites from the collection:
Slim Denim Shirt
Slim White Shirt
Tapered Flannel Pants