I for one am extremely excited for the new autumn-winter collections about to hit the high street.
The September issues of all my favourite magazines are coming out. This is the best time of year to be a dedicated follower of fashion.
If you’re into tailoring, dresses, blazers and a bit of daytime glam – this is the season for you.
The collection I’m most excited to snap up is Marks and Spencer. Yes, that’s right, the place you go to buy your underwear and two dine for £20.
The struggles of this high street stalwart have been well documented over the last couple of years, with a number of stores closing.
This – and the closure or reported struggles of other retailers – opens up a bigger debate over the future of fashion, its place on the high street and the boom of online shopping.
Marks and Spencer reported a pretax profit slump of 62 per cent last year. And a drop in clothing sales was part of this.
Personally, I love M&S for work staples like shirts and pencil skirts, underwear and the occasional statement shoe (they’re so comfy, too).
But oftentimes stores feel like a mish-mash of stuff my nan would wear and stuff I’d wear.
Rather than finding gems in store, as I would at Zara, it’s usually the case that I’ve seen whatever it is I want in a magazine or on Instagram.
You have to search hard for the directional pieces and I find myself giving in and heading online instead.
We’ve been here before with M&S – it has a savvy PR department capable of making one garment the must-have of the season.
Take the pink Chloe-esque dress from Spring ’18. Or the ‘Alexa Chung’ suede skirt in 2015. This summer, it’s been all about the polka dot jumpsuit.
Product placement – being seen on the right star at the right time (this year the polka dot jumpsuit has been sported by the likes of style queen Erica Davies) – has been a huge success.
All the powerful fashion journalism brands are writing about that jumpsuit.
Behind the scenes, as said above, M&S seems to be struggling on clothing sales.
It seems that no manner of one-off ‘it’ pieces have tempted shoppers back into stores.
So is this new collection make or break for our beloved M&S? And can it persuade women to come back to the brand?
My verdict – YES. A big fat yes.
It’s arguably the best A/W collection I’ve seen so far from high street brands this year. Why?
The new edit is about making every day dressing easier. Whose wardrobe doesn’t need a classic blazer, trench, shirt or go-to court shoe?!
And don’t even get me started on the coats! Wowza, the coats!
Lots of Meghan Markle last winter inspo right here, with big woollen 90s cuts and a gorgeous oatmeal number in there, too.
There’s a lovely black blazer with large buttons reminiscent of something Princess Diana would have worn.
Then there are stand-outs like the bright pink skirt and fluffy coat, and a bit of leopard print thrown in for good measure.
If I could just buy from just one store for the upcoming season, it would be this one. The collection has everything you need – from pants to bags- to see you through.
The yellow pussybow dress is set to be a sell out – it’s the kind that can be word with sandals during warmer weather and tights and boots come deepest, darkest winter.
M&S, please reserve me one!