A new Tuesday and another retail spotlight. This week I’m looking at Jigsaw because after a while in the doldrums, changes are afoot. With a midlife female CEO at the helm there’s a store reopening programme, the aesthetic has been updated and there are some beautiful investment pieces that will live in your wardrobe forever. So here we go, Jigsaw review – retailer spotlight, let me tell you more.

Jigsaw – brand background in a nutshell

Disclosure: as with the majority of blogs, products featured on Midlifechic sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, you are helping to support the site because a small referral commission may be paid. This contributes towards hosting fees, software costs, site maintenance and other plug-ins. Midlifechic could not exist without these small payments, so every contribution makes a big difference.


Peter Robinson comes back from a holiday in Turkey with a black sheepskin coat. Everybody wants one so he goes back to Istanbul with an old Post Office van, fills it with coats, they sell out straightaway and so it goes on until he opens his first Jigsaw stores in Brighton and Hampstead.

1990s – early 2000s

At the top end of the high street, Jigsaw is thriving, loved by young professionals in their 30s. It is particularly well known for its coats, tailoring and boots, as well as bias cut silk satin skirts and knitwear. Pieces are always released in colour co-ordinated collections that offer great scope for building chic mix and match capsules.

2010 – 2020

After the financial crisis of 2008 – 2012 household budgets are limited. A proportion of Jigsaw’s core customer now has a family so income is stretched and she is less likely to buy premium, dry clean only fabrics. Jigsaw is slow to adapt to online shopping, losing ground against competitors. The brand neglects its design edge and starts to churn out safe clothing that is still expensive. Customers move elsewhere.

In 2019 a new CEO, Beth Butterwick (56, ex Karen Millen) is hired along with Jo Sykes a former designer for Nicole Farhi, well known in the fashion industry for her own tailoring and occasionwear label, Sykes (now on hold). Beth is faced with an estate of 76 stores across the UK, US and Australia and sales that have been falling rapidly for four years.

She puts a three year stabilisation plan in place and sees lockdown as an opportunity to completely remodel the business. She closes 30 stores under a CVA and implements a digital first strategy. After a loss of £21 million in 2021, the turnaround pays off and Jigsaw declares a £1.9 million profit for 22/23. Four new stores open in Manchester, Islington, Battersea Power Station and Kingston with more in the pipeline – the plan being to focus on market towns where the legacy Jigsaw customer now lives.

What’s the future plan for Jigsaw?

Following her appointment, Beth said she felt Jigsaw’s collections had become “bland and homogenised.” She summed things up by saying that the demise began when they stopped thinking about the customer and what she actually wanted. Working with Jo Sykes, she’s keen to draw the original customer (who is now in her 50s) back to the store. She is also targeting the next generation of Jigsaw women – a new 30-something customer who she believes is looking for quality classics with a twist.

In an interview with the FT, Jo Sykes explained, “the customer who has grown up with the brand wanted something cool from us again. When she was buying Jigsaw in her twenties and thirties she was very cool and she still is now. She just happens to be 55 or 60.”

So what can we expect from Jigsaw going forwards? Sykes is very aware of the new thirst for strong colour – when she introduced a bright pink tuxedo jacket last year, it sold out in less than a day so rich colours will continue to be key. She’s also keen to introduce strong, bold patterns as an antidote to the ditsy aesthetic that’s been dominant for so long. Quality, both in terms of fabric and manufacture, has always been key and she’s refusing to compromise on that so the prices of some top end pieces such as the 100% wool coats have gone up – but they’re a lifelong investment. In the meantime she says that Jigsaw will keep entry point prices stable. My hope is that they’ll build further on the tonal collections – the multiple pieces that mix and match effortlessly, if so they’ll soon return to being a prime destination for seasonal capsules.


Good On You hasn’t assessed Jigsaw since 2021 when it categorised it as ‘not good enough,’ largely because of the lack of published information on clothing production. In terms of supply chain, labour and environmental standards it adheres to the Ethical Trading Initiative’s base code. However it would be good to see them having some stronger and more clearly articulated targets in place. There is some information about their practices on the website here and here

The positives are a rental scheme where you can rent limited pieces pieces as well as a subscription service to hire a monthly wardrobe. You can also book a repair for your Jigsaw pieces here.

Jigsaw review – retailer spotlight – the lowdown

So let me talk you through my Jigsaw top 10 right now.

Jigsaw review – top 10 AW23

1. City coats

I know I keep talking about these coats but they are the stuff of dreams, made from a lustrous 100% wool. Yes they’re expensive but when you bear in mind that they’re MaxMara quality then they’re almost a bargain. I have one in a lovely minky grey (as you can see in the picture at the top), one day I’ll invest on the navy, there are five colours available in total. If you find the maxi version too long then there are knee length city coats here too and they currently have 20% off.

2. Soft textured blazers

Shorter still are the blazers, this camel version is a classic in soft felted 100% wool. A long, lean look without being oversized and boxy.

3. Streamlined 100% merino knitwear

A neat ribbed jumper with raglan sleeves shaped to your shoulders. Available in five different colours , 100% responsibly sourced merino wool.

4. Cashmere blend jumper

For those who prefer their necklines low, this is an entry point cashmere wool blend that comes in four colours. Fitted on the shoulder it gives a relaxed look without being baggy and oversized.

5. Straight leg jeans

I spotted these recommended in The Times, they’re a great cut with a nice heavy hem that sits well. They were just a little too short for me at 5ft 8 but if you’re 5ft 7 or under they should be good for wearing with trainers.

6. Quirky pieces

With my love of bomber jackets this makes my heart beat fast, coming soon you can register for a notification of the limited drop. It would liven up any simple jeans outfit, look great for a night out or worn with a midi. Jigsaw were two seasons ahead of the silver leather jeans trend and they’re continuing to release quirky pieces – another that I keep hovering over is the imminent arrival of these zebra boots.

7. Special dresses

If you’re avoiding sequins this season, Jigsaw has some stunning alternatives that are dressed up but not too blingy. This is jersey so it will be especially comfortable to wear, the gold thread picks up the sparkle without being too OTT – and it’s machine washable… Me+Em style at half the price. If you’re looking for something brighter, this turquoise dress stopped me in my tracks at the weekend – it’s much nicer in real life than it looks on the model, I wish I had a reason to buy it.

8. Great bags

Lots of you asked me where the zebra bag that I used at the middle one’s graduation came from and it was one I’ve had for a long time from… Jigsaw. Zebra is always such a good way of giving a lift to a neutral outfit, especially if you’re not a pattern lover and it’s not as ubiquitous as leopard.

9. An absolute classic

My tan suede shoulder bag is the one I use more than any other. I love the way it sits comfortably just under my shoulder which makes it so much easier to carry – and it doesn’t break my outfit up either. This is the first one I’ve seen that’s just as good.

10. The perfect classics with a twist

You can’t beat good Chelsea boots at this time of year as long as you find a pair that isn’t too standard. These are great with their squared off toe and cool heel plus the long shaft makes them perfect for wearing with cropped trousers as well as full length ones.

So this ‘Jigsaw review – retailer spotlight’ has given you a quick run through a retailer that I’m hoping is about to make a strong return to the high street. Everything is changing in the retail world at the moment – some store groups will disappear and others will be swallowed up by the bland conglomerates. A few, however, will think about what people actually want to buy rather than just telling us what they have to sell – and they are the ones who will thrive.

I’ll continue to alternate higher end retailers with the value ones so it will be less about investment dressing next week and more about set price affordability. In the meantime I’ll be back on Friday with a catch-up – we haven’t had one of those for a while. Enjoy your week.

Disclosure: Jigsaw review – retailer spotlight is not a sponsored post

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    Disclosure: as with the majority of blogs, products featured on Midlifechic sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase, you are helping to support the site because a small referral commission may be paid. This contributes towards hosting fees, software costs, site maintenance and other plug-ins. Midlifechic could not exist without these small payments, so every contribution makes a big difference.