Thursday, 10 January 2013

"Designing clothes for middle aged women with no fashion sense".

How rude. Not a quote from me I can assure you, but from some money saving woman called Jasmine, I caught the tail end of the conversation on TV this morning over yet another bad year at M&S just in case you wondered who she and now I, am referring to.

I have to confess I totally disagree with this statement. OK so perhaps they could be a bit more fashion forward but they do seem to have most of the fashion buying females bases covered with their Limited and Indigo collections for younger women, Per Una - OK so I am not sure about who buys this, Autograph with its classic investment pieces in quality fabrics and then the other traditional range which is pretty much what my mum would wear.

There are always real gems on offer at M&S, you just have to look for them, in fact there have been two pieces I have been gutted not to get my hands on in the last six months, firstly a sequin front grey sweatshirt which was a dead ringer for a "Vince" one I had lusted after on the Matches website for ages but was sadly out of my price range at the time, and more recently a gorgeous sequin top I wanted to put away and wear next Christmas after I saw Sarah had bought it here.  Both were sold out online in my size by the time they hit my "M&S little gems" radar, although you can still snag the gold sequin t-shirt in all sizes up to a 14 (see below).

sequin sweat
Image taken from Google, a blog called Florence Finds.
I also know that I frequently see Bloggers posting about items they have bought or seen in M&S which are not only fabulous but also a good price for their high quality.  I really don't know what else M&S can do to be honest, I thought their "Ageless Style" campaign last season was spot on and really excited me and my advancing years.

I dare you not to love something from my top 6 fashion forward buys (sorry but I had to include the sequin top) which piece is your favourite?


  m&s

Autograph Sequin top was £49.50 now £23. Limited Collection Bullet Spike Necklace £15. Floral print dress £29.50. Autograph Tweed Biker Jacket £75. Side Zip Western Boot £29.50. Limited Collection Floral print trousers £35.

So how do you feel about good old M&S? Tired out and designing only for middle aged women with no fashion sense, or perfectly capable of interpreting current trends?


18 comments:

  1. Sadly, I agree mostly with the horrid early morning woman.

    I dont want to, but they never seem to know who they are catering for anymore so they do every thing half heartedly. If they could make a decision on who is their best audience, then they could focus on perfecting this.

    For me, I would not buy clothing from m&s - this is not a snobbery thing, but based on the fact that I have not seen a single thing in there that I would wear in a very very long time, and my Mum also feels the same interestingly.

    Food and knickers still get our m&s money, and pc likes their socks xx

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  2. Can be hit and miss in M&S, think you have to be prepared to search! I have some really fab leather Acne Pistol-alikes which cost next to nothing and I've worn to death, a couple of great knits and a sparkly sweatshirt (Limited I think), and can't beat their 'jeggings' (eughh word!) for the price. But then again lots of their stuff can be frumpy and boring.
    To be honest there are very few shops I can say I like the whole range and poor M&S does cater for a huge demographic, so nothing is ever going to please everyone??!!

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  3. I still look in M&S for clothes but it's rare I find anything other than basics that I like. The occasional piece from Autograph or Limited Collection can be fantastic, as you have found. Per Una - ghastly frilly ruffles and long skirts. Indigo - dull coloured, thin fabrics, looks like a heap of rags. Good value and good designs for shoes, bags and jewellery though. And I love the Lana jeans, designed for apple shapes. Would love to see that extended to more styles of trousers.

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  4. There's a massive M&S in town which I get most of my fruits and veggies from. I rarely, if ever venture upstairs to check out their clothes. I never seem to have the patience to go through their racks when I'm there. I've only ever bought a couple of t-shirts which didn't seem to fit right.

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  5. It's still the first place I head to when I'm back and last year I scored two fabulous coats - leopard and faux fur - which were bargains! I love some of their shoes too. Some of it is so bland though - you really do have to look hard - and I found some of the tops when I was back last year a bit overpriced for the quality. If they revamped their website and became more contemporary looking with better photos that would help big time!

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  6. The biggest problem i have with m&s is there website, it's pants, and the pictures don't show ANYTHING in a good light. I find a lot of their clothes a tad mumsy, but as you say there are a few gems to be had. I bought a animal print Jacket last season, a kinda of jersey casual type and i must confess it hasn't been off my back. It's getting embarrassing. I suppose i don't go there that often as there are so many other shops that i can pick up current pieces at a reasonable quality. I'm 35 so i'm not quite sure where i fit 'fashion wise'. Too old for hotpants, but not ready for twinsets :)
    Sharron x

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  7. Hello there. The issue I have always had with M&S is that they diversify their range way too far. There are just soooooo many items - and unnecessarily so. There is no need for 15 versions of synthetic fabric back trousers! But when they get it right, they really get it right and then they sell out! That is crazy with a retailer with the kind of stock projection capability they must have! If I compare them to John Lewis, they are sadly lagging but I wish they would keep up as M&S is a really important British institution. And finally - who on earth does buy Per Una?!! Alway so much going on in that range - too many colours, too many additions. The need to heed the advice: less is more! Lou x

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  8. I don't know much about M&S as I live in Norway, but I do like several of your picks from their lines. But to say that middle aged women have no fashion sense? Nonsense!

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  9. Just bought a fab t-shirt in the Marks sale which I will be wering tomorrow.

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  10. Don't think I've bought any clothes from M&S since I was pregnant. It's not that I dislike their clothing but their tops just don't seem to fit me properly. I like their footwear - like the floral print dress above too. You can't go wrong with their undies though can you? xx

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  11. Hmmmm! I do only buy basics i.e white t'shirts etc and lingerie/nightwear. Other than that I don't even bother to look at the clothes when I am in a store. I just dash straight down to foods without a second glance. I think it's more that their ranges are too diverse and so it's harder to make a decision about anything (for me at least ;-)

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  12. I used to design for M&S and I think that they do a great job of covering all bases at a competitive price. You may need to hunt sometimes but the gem is always there. If nothing else they are a fail safe for underwear and a good prawn sandwich! x

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  13. Wow! What a surprise! I've got more and more into M&S, not just for their quality and classic's, but I love their Autograph and Limited Edition ranges. I think they have got better with fashion and cater for all ages (I am in my 30's). How random! x

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  14. You do have to hunt for the good bits in M&S, sadly the store in my home town is dreadful, we never seem to get any of the 'good stuff', it gets stocked time after time with rails of bland nothingness.

    And then in magazines and on blogs I see some fabulous items, items I would happily add to my wardrobe. But as we all know as soon as something has been in a magazine it disappears from stores over night!

    I do have a wonderful Autograph skirt and dress in my possession though, but both bought second hand, one for eBay and another from a clothes swap.

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  15. I've largely ignored M&S up until now, because I do have a tendency to associate them with middle-of-the-road stuff aimed at "the older lady" (hate that phrase!), I must admit, and our local store tends to always have a lot of elastic-waist beige "slacks" at the front of the store, which doesn't help dispel that notion!

    All of that said, I had a good look at the spring/summer preview a couple of weeks ago and was actually really impressed. If I'd been shown the photos without being told where they were from, I don't think I'd have guessed M&S, so I think I've been doing them a disservice. I've made a mental note to pop in next time I'm near one, anyway!

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  16. The problem at the moment with them is that they do have a few good pieces but you ave to trawl through the whole floor to find thm plus their mannequins are badly fitted so unless you are a great searcher then you have to go thru blogs to find the few pieces by which time they have sold out of them... They do need a better stylist and merchandiser.

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  17. Although I tend to stick to ethical brands now, I have always been a big fan of M&S because their clothes are great quality and fit well, especially the petite trousers. Admittedly some of the styles aren;t really my thing but I do see quite a lot of stuff I like there. They seem to be doing pretty well with sustainability too.

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Let me know your thoughts, all comments are much appreciated, I know it takes time and effort xx