Monday, 5 September 2011

M&S: a promising peek at their Autumn/Winter lookbook

[Images taken from Look Magazine online].
Luxe and ladylike cannot go far enough to describe how much I love this image from Marks and Spencers' Autumn/Winter clothing. The lace-upon-lace effect is gorgeous and the addition of a chunky waist belt goes against the softness of the fabrics. At £65 this dress is pricey for the high street, but it's a worthy investment because it is both intricate and neat. The high collar means it's one to avoid if you have a short or thick neck, but otherwise it's a winner on many different body shapes - modest for those of you with a large chest, and cleverly distracting for those of you without curves, making the eye focus on the pattern.

A look that screams debauchery, this mix of textures is much more challenging than many shoppers would give M&S credit for. The coat is very boho, whilst the dress is more formal but would look great at a winter party. This outfit also ticks the colour trend box nicely (rustic reds and deep mustard, with a sprinkling of gold).

A very English-looking blazer with simple button fastening and the right level of androgyny (not entirely hiding your form). The leather trousers hopefully wouldn't be that wrinkly all the time, though. Pairing it with a mannish shirt is a good move, but I'd have gone for something with stripes to add a bit of pattern. The patent brogues should be flying off the shelves, too.

Cool hat that looks vintage? Check. Timeless maxi dress with tasseled belt? Check. For those of you who freaked out at the length of the earlier black lace dress, this is perhaps a more wearable option. It's easy to wear (flattering neckline and no glitz, so you could dress it up or down), is a forgiving fabric and will probably last you a good few years. As for the hat, I'm totally in love, and even my incredibly man-sized head would probably cope with its jaunty angle.

Ultimately, these images prove that Marks and Spencer is a British fashion stalwart for a reason. Yes, they also do great underwear, make-up and food, but their main clothing lines are not to be sniffed at. Prices are competitive (similar to Topshop) and they are also notorious for having good sales, so if you spot a basic item you can't quite afford then there's a good chance it'll be down to a tenner in a month or two. If you have your eye on a trend-led piece then it's best to grab it as soon as possible, because they get a lot of positive press attention so there's likely to be a stampede in the aisles for 'that' dress. M&S: you've got my attention.

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