Jax Meehan tells the story of JAX Jeans in Hungerford
PUBLISHED: 11:09 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:09 31 July 2018
Jax Meehan knows quite a bit about racing ahead, so when she tired of heading to the capital for her favourite 'smart casual' styles and labels she set up shop in her home town
With its deserved reputation as a treasure trove for antiques, curios and intriguing and bijou independent stores, Hungerford has avoided the ‘identity crisis’ which has afflicted so many towns. Indeed, additions to the traditional West Berkshire hub where countryside meets the county set have only added to the shopping and dining ‘recipe’ in recent years.
Nestled in the midst of a pretty shopping courtyard, in the burgeoning metropolis of (yep, that’s right) Hungerford, we have found the treasure that is JAX Jeans – a gorgeous boutique to satisfy all your smart casual needs… well wants… who’s quibbling?
JAX Jeans stocks designer jeans, luxe cashmere jumpers and gorgeous tops to save us – both guys and girls –the tedious shlep to shop in London. Hurrah! The moment you enter you are greeted by JAX’s happy helpful staff and you can feel your spirits lift. They make you feel instantly at ease as you navigate the minefield that is the perfect smart casual outfit to compliment those curves that you’re not sure should really be there but let’s face it, they’re not going anywhere, go with it. If you are on the hunt for butt sculpting jeans, pretty tops and cashmere which is always needed in this British weather no matter what, then this is where it’s at. There are accessories too: jewellery, scarves, bags, clutches, shoes, the list goes on.
Founder Jax Meehan, married to racehorse trainer Brian Meehan, has lived locally for 16 years. She reveals: “I was styling clients both here and in London, clearing out wardrobes and replenishing them, but we would always have to trek to London to do any shopping and I thought this is ridiculous! There are lots of people in this area who appreciate style and fashion and everyone wants to look and feel their best so I wanted to create a happy, welcoming place for people to find their confidence and style.”
Elegant with an edge
So in October 2014 she set up a little shop just outside Hungerford to test the water. Having now moved twice to bigger and better premises, she has settled in the newly built shopping area of Barrs Yard on the Bath Road in Hungerford and couldn’t be happier there. “We now have a wonderful range of designer jeans including FRAME, Paige, AG, 7For All Mankind, our cashmere includes 360 and Cocoa, we have silk shirts, dresses and tops, accessories and much more - an eclectic mix that says ‘elegant with an edge’. We add brands every season so there is always something new and exciting to see and try – I love my job!”
Having set up the womenswear, Jax was surprised to hear cries of ‘What about the boys?’ Now, a fully stocked men’s department has been created upstairs. Here, the chaps will find stylish, smart – and flattering –jeans, cashmere, shorts and shirts, including summer linen .They also stock the increasingly popular and smart velvet, cashmere and linen gilets and to top the range off there are Sunspel Boxers and a variety of accessories from Italian brand 40 Colori. It really is all here.
If you have lost your fashion mojo – we all do at some point – then you can make an appointment with Jax, free of charge and she will talk you through your best colours, fits and outfits to put the pizzazz back into your wardrobe, her favourite thing to do. However, all the staff do know the collections inside out and will also be extremely happy to help you find that perfect outfit.
If you can’t get into the shop, they have just built a spangdangly new website where you can browse their range. Jax explains: “Our brand new website is dual purpose; a lot of our customers like to get an idea of what is in stock even before they come in, but also obviously if you are not local you can order online very easily and we are always at the end of the phone to answer any queries about sizing, fit, colour and anything else you might need to know.”
JAX Jeans is stocking this season’s hottest trends, grey jeans feature alongside hem detailing such as frayed, unrolled and tie-dyed. Crayola colours red, green, orange and yellow and glorious prints are seen in their stunning tops from brands such as Mercy Delta, Rixo and SET Fashion.Pretty fluorescent jewellery and accessories from brands such as GiftPop, Boho Betty and Beck Sondergaard can all be teamed with metallic vintage trainers from Crime London, or summer cut-out wedges from Kanna.
To keep things interesting, they host regular pop-ups. Last month it was the beautifully creative Rae Feather and her heavenly beachwear and celeb-loved monogrammed baskets and clutches. This month they have an interiors pop-up from the lovely girls at Pepper and Ink. Over the coming months they have the celebrated milliner Jess Collett who created a number of hats for guests at Harry and Meghan’s wedding – including Pippa Middleton and the Duchess of York – and they are busy scheduling London brands Miranda Dunn with her sumptuous faux fur coats (which have the added twist of having your initials emblazoned on the back!) and Rock the Jumpsuit who will also be rocking up with their incredible party season jumpsuits.
Back on the ground you might well find her either cosying up at home with her husband, four children and spaniels, or long lunching at The Pheasant Inn at Lambourn or The Queens Arms at East Garston.
• Hungerford looking to the future - The busy market town known for its antiques loves tradition, but rightly looks to the future, says Sue Bromley