GOOD ol’ M&S, stalwart of the British high street.
It’s where your great-grandma would have got her petticoats, where grandad got his first suit, and it might be a favourite of your mum’s. But isn’t it a bit…well…old fashioned?
That’s exactly what my other half said when I was stalking the M&S website the other day. “You’re looking at Marks and Spencer?” he said, “why are you looking at Marks and Spencer?”
Erm, let me think, Lee – BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.
Whenever stories hit the headlines about Marks and Spencer struggling, I read them with great sadness. Sometimes you get the feeling that there are certain news outlets that almost want it to fail.
In January 2018, M&S announced the closure of 14 stores, with the loss of up to 468 jobs. It said it was downsizing its home and clothing offering to concentrate on food.
The list of axed stores included the one in the town where I grew up. I have fond memories of mooching round there with my nan, who is a very fashionable woman, and it’s where I first learned about the difference in fabrics, and quality over quantity.
As I moved into my teenage years and early 20s I had that perception that M&S was for older people (and when you’re in your teens even the thought of being early 30s is horrifying).
But now as I move through my
mid late 20s I’ve fallen head over heels for Marks and Sparks.
The love affair started with a beautiful rust-coloured cocoon coat I found in the sale at the end of summer last year. It was reduced from £89 to £30 and I felt like I was stealing it.
Since then I discovered a whole wealth of good-quality pencil skirts, shirts and shoes – and let’s not even TALK about how comfy some of the pants are.
Three items I get comments about all the time are a pair of Carrie Bradshaw-eque heels (see below), a leopard-print a line midi skirt and a jacquard pencil skirt. ALL from the M&S sale. One of my most beloved pieces is a vintage Marks and Spencer blazer, which I usually pop a belt over and wear with a midi skirt, which I picked up in a charity shop for a fiver.
We’re told never to judge a book by its cover, and I’d argue that’s true of Marks and Sparks. Though recently it’s been helped with some genius paid partnerships with the likes of style icon Erica Davies and items worn by women like Holly Willoughby (this yellow skirt sold out almost immediately when she wore it last year…luckily I got it in green in the sale *smug face*)
If you’re willing to give it half an hour and get elbows-deep in the rails, you’re bound to find some gems.
So, without further ado, here are some of my favourite M&S picks this spring….
These Carrie Bradshaw-esque shoes seem to be an every-season piece for M&S, only £35…and a nice wedding version, below
Below, pencil skirt and paperbag waist skirt (in store soon) – love love love
This dress is so Chloe (and has been featured on all the fashion websites) – it’s pretty much a sell-out already.
Below; how cool are these 60s-style hoops?
And this kimono-style dress from the limited collection (on sale soon)….if only I were cool enough to be able to pull off such eveningwear!
This coat (most sizes have already sold out online) – it comes up really big, so I’d suggest sizing down. But it’s lovely, perfect from spring and just a snip at £39.50
The skirt *everyone* has got. And by everyone I mean all the women who are obsessed with Erica Davies. Ifeelyasister.
It’s freezing now but imagine how cute this will look come summertime.