Is Marks & Spencer Still Hitting the Mark?
Why Marks & Spencer isn't just for your Nan's knickers.
"What's the first thought that pops in to your head when I say Marks & Spencer?" A sensual voice describing an overly sexualised fig and stilton tart serenades the back of my mind as I asked myself this. The majority of others I asked replied with 'old people', 'granny clothes', 'knickers' and a 'Packet of Percy pigs'.
Marks & Spencer's is a quintessentially English company founded 134 years ago in 1884 by Micheal Marks and Thomas Spencer. Shockingly enough the clothing, home product and luxury food retailer dubbed themselves 'M&S'- formerly Marks & Spencer and in a more sassier turn of events: later known as Marks & Sparks (to me and my mum at least).
The Company became incredibly popular throughout the last Century, with their lingerie being the staple to many women's wardrobes. Shaping the women of history, Marilyn Monroe's hourglass figure or Kate Moss' androgynous look were made available by the lingerie M&S offered. Still to this day their bra shapes the women you see now; with 1 in every 3 British women buying their bras from M&S. 45 bras a minute and 2 pairs of knickers a second go through their tills - thats a lot of pants per pound. (source:https://www.marksandspencer.com/)
Despite their ever thriving panty profits, Marks & Spencer is on the decline. Perhaps soon we will lose this unlikely gem of British heritage once and for all. I dread this day and here's why... (it's not just the Percy Pigs I promise) Marks & Sparks is actually a real underdog for clothes! And no, I'm not an 'old lady' and no, I didn't just wonder by after my weekly splurge from the M&S food hall. I'm 23, a fashion-enthusiast, trend conscious and damn it do I love an M&S garm. Don't click away! I'll prove it.
( M&S jumpsuits: £24 - £55) The jumpsuit is a wardrobe staple. Not only does this iconic piece suit multiple body shapes (speaking from a plus size 20 perspective) but it also shouts effortless chic. This one-piece can be layered up in winter with a roll-neck long sleeved top tucked underneath or keep it cool in summer with a pair of casual mules.
Here are some key staples to jazz up your jumpsuit: mules- completely on trend this Summer, mules have made a comeback. Easy, slip ons and perfect for that hot summer weather. Or keep it casual with a pair of lace up pumps. Pair them with a set of statement earrings and get ready to release your inner Frida Kahlo. An effortless way to finalise the small details, earrings with a flare to them not only infuse personality into the look but can be thrown on last minute giving off a pulled together vibe (when really you just put them on in the Starbucks drive through). Tip: always keep a favourite pair in the glovebox - along with gloss, a hairbrush and your sunnies #lategirlsgotyou. Speaking of sunglasses, they are the go-to lifesaver of any look. Want effortless glam a la 'Devil Wears Prada'? Sunglasses. Stayed up late and the coffees not hit yet? Sunglasses. Wanna check out the hot barista? Sunglasses.
Next up on the list of summer must haves is a go to staple dress. M&S do these really well, incorporating bold, fresh prints and varying styles. An amazing perk of the brand is their wide range of sizes between 6-24, showing you can be a queen in any shape. I'm loving the floral prints in floaty midi length dresses, the perfect addition to a Summer wardrobe.
THE FLORAL DRESS
Pair these cute patterned dresses with bold staples like a bright clutch or oversized beach bag to bring out the pops of colour in your outfit; work with clashing colours for a bold statement or pair it down and let the dress speak with nude neutrals.
I'm not saying that every item in your wardrobe from now on must be a M&S piece. And I'm not entirely voting that the brands itself has quite 'hit the mark', but I definitely believe there are notes worth taking when looking for that perfect staple summer dress or quirky statement piece. My favourite M&S find has been a faux leather, pleated midi skirt and I'd never expect that from my previous preconceptions of the brand being for middle-class old women (still waiting for the OAP x BDSM crossover since buying said skirt). It's a much loved underdog of the high street. So next time you're buying your Bridget Jones Briefs and fancy hand churned goat butter there, take a little chance on Marks & Sparks.