Top Ten Picks…

Part of my day job is to do store visits and go and check out what the competition are doing… it’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

I got to go and play in the West End a couple of days ago, as well as looking at the lingerie and underwear it would have been VERY RUDE of me not to look at other things as well wouldn’t it?

The Scandinavian brands make me swoon… Arket (the store being SO MUCH nicer than the website), & Other Stories, Cos and H&M – but I will come back to them another day.

The store that made me a little more excited than the rest was M&S. I know.

M&S seem to constantly get a hammering in the press for being too this or too that and not enough of this.

I don’t think I was getting giddy because of the excitement of the new season; it just felt that they had the right mix of damn fine basics and wardrobe staples – mix and match tailoring – pick your preferred jacket and then trouser or skirt shape. Refined and timeless coats, knitwear for every budget – and then also an element of more trend/fashion pieces.

You may well have seen the new M&S adverts on TV or across social media – some fabulous staple wardrobe pieces mixed with fashion ‘right-now’ items. Personally I often get a little turned off by wanting to buy garments, particularly prints if they’ve featured too heavily in adverts – they sort of become too identifiable for me as obviously bought from Store X. Granted not everyone sees all adverts. It’s not them, it’s me.

I could have easily filled a real life basket in M&S – alas I didn’t have time to try and or even buy, but there were things that I will go back and re-investigate for sure.

Working mainly from home I don’t need to have the need for office appropriate clothing as I once did, but I want and frankly need clothes that multi-task. Last winter I re-discovered the sweat shirt again. A black velvet H&M one was my way in, and in fact wore yesterday to combat the school run chills.

I saw this sweatshirt in store, it’s quite thin, but perfect for layering. There were four colours. I was drawn to the black one (shocker). Great styling in this photo – to me this makes it office-able as well, other days, perfect with wide leg trousers or jeans.
M&S Pure Cotton Round Neck Sweatshirt £15

Pure Cotton Round Neck Sweatshirt £15

The side stripe sportswear luxe influenced trousers are going nowhere… smart  and comfy. Hell yes I’ll take that.
There are varying price points for this kind of trouser styling across the store/website – fabric dependant. These ones below are available in navy or black; these are the navy.
Straight leg side stripe trousers £35

Straight leg side stripe trouser £35

Autograph Straight Leg trousers £59, these are elegant and super smart, (but dry clean as they are viscose, polyester and wool.)

Autograph Straight Leg Trousers £59

Should you stroll in to a lingerie department you may well notice there are many more Bodies around again like a throw back to the 80’s & 90’s. Whilst not necessarily sensible for a night out… anyone else remember trying to do the poppers up correctly after a drink or two? This one is a great layering piece (no one likes a draught)…. and at this price, silly not to even try, though you may still need a bra for uplift.
Cotton Rich strappy body £8

Cotton Rich Strappy Body £8

This Autograph striped top I love… oooh the shoulder detail.
Autograph Striped Square Neck long sleeve top £29.50

Autograph Striped Square Neck Long Sleeve top £29.50

(Can we, should we talk about the leather trousers above? Damn, they’re good, online only £199. There’s also a Maxi leather skirt £199 also only available online… be quick, they sell like hotter than hot cakes).

A fine use of leopard print here. Love.
Funnel neck long sleeve blouse £29.50

Printed Funnel Neck Long Sleeve Blouse £29.50

Leather Block heel boots… the cleated soles are drawing me here… good for being able to stay upright when the snow arrives on 1 October. Come on, after the weather we’ve had this year? Anything is possible.
Leather Block Heel Double Strap Boots £85

Leather Block Heel Double Strap Ankle Boots £85 copy

These boots looked great in store too.
Block Heel Ankle Boots £29.50
Block Heel Ankle Boots £29.50

Corduroy is inevitable – embrace it – this is in navy.
Corduroy Oversized Double Breasted Blazer £69

Corduroy Oversized Double Breasted Blazer £69

M&S have got a cracking selection of dresses, of all styles and lengths… many of which I think have longer than winter life… all of which can also be layered and de-layered as the weather dictates. I love this; it may be my way in on the dress front… and the BOOTS!
Floral Print Drop Waist Maxi Dress £45

Hummm, time now for me to get that invoice in, then autumn hello let’s get busy.
Bravo M&S.


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