M&S is so much more than a shop, it’s a British institution. And it’s better than ever for AW16. Fashion Writer Hannah Banks-Walker explains why…
My mother refers to Marks and Spencer as her happy place. In fact, when I told her I would be writing this article, she sent me a long message waxing lyrical on everything from M&S’s excellent use of floor space (honestly) to the courteous staff and, of course, the gastronomic miracle that is the coffee shop. Now, while I fully admire my mum’s sartorial flair, I never really expected to shop in the same places given our age gap (which will remain a secret to prevent my being disowned).
But then, that’s the beauty of M&S. It might be the place that matriarchs up and down the country rely on, but it’s also the place chosen by Alexa Chung to collaborate with on a collection of pretty tea dresses, ruffled blouses and slogan trainers. And she’s a bonafide style icon (and young person).
I’ve personally been shopping in M&S for a while now, ever since I happened to accompany my dear mother on a quest for a new pair of shoes (for her) only to find a vintage looking, polka-dot midi dress (for me). Since then, I’ve filled my wardrobe with the sorts of clothes that collect compliments and inspire wonder in all those who ask where I bought them. But the new collection might just be the best yet.
Not only is it packed with trend-led, flattering pieces including metallic pleated skirts, velvet shift dresses, pussybow blouses and luxe leather accessories, it’s also so affordable I thought there’d been a typo. Statement skirts come in at just £35, knitted midi dresses under £50 and the aforementioned blouses are just £29.50. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Reports earlier this year suggested that M&S’s sales were down, but this new haul confirms that it’s more than got its mojo back. With such great quality (seriously, these clothes have longevity) at such accessible prices, you won’t want to shop anywhere else. You might even bump into my mum…