M&S: the Final Fashion Frontier?

Marks n Sparks. M&S. The high street store that claims to be ahead of the rest. After a recent purchase, I decided to ponder over the one and only Marks and Spencer – is it as terrible as the figures suggest, or can you actually find some of the latest trends, made by the best fabrics that will be worn for years to come?

Perhaps it would be presumptuous of me to imagine you switching tabs back over to Facebook and ready to turn off this article after reading a mere two lines? Or maybe it’s not wrong of me to think that such a scenario isn’t likely, as so often these days (especially amongst students) M&S is better known under the acronym, ‘Monstrous and Shocking’? Don’t forget that I’m talking only about the clothes here, what kind of student would actually complain about the food?!

But after this purchase, which I absolutely love; a tartan print, mohair coat which I got for £20, reduced from an extortionate £90 in the sale (admittedly, I wouldn’t have bought it at that price), I’m here to tell you that it’s really not as bad as you all think. At Queen Mary, there’s almost a sort of stigma attached to campus style, that people only wear the gems they find in the stalls of Brick Lane market or the best bargains found at the ultra-cool East London Thrift Shop. Clothing from Marks and Spencer is certainly not what you hear very often. Of course, it is always that shop which is good for the essentials, especially the lingerie which is cheaper than anything from Victoria’s Secret, and some of the Rosie for Autograph collection is really quite stunning.

I think, most people forget about the number of brands M&S has – Autograph, M&S Collection, Per Una etc, and most of these aren’t exactly niche clothes for our age. Limited Edition however is catered specifically for the 20 year old age bracket, and definitely the store’s ‘fast fashion’ addition. If you had a quick browse online, I’m sure you’d be quite pleasantly surprised at what you find. I like the look of the ‘No Peep Square Boxy Shirt’ – not so awful at £29 and looks like a good transitional item from Winter-Spring (finally). As for men, surely some socks and undies from the British business giant wouldn’t be too bad, especially as David Gandy has a new nightwear and underwear range out.

With M&S, it seems to be so focused on the brand and the image the company upholds. This is something that will continue to cause tension, as the company are continuing to lose some of their most loyal, older customers, who dislike their attempt at making their clothes more up to date. I’m not saying it’s an absolute must when you’re ready for a wardrobe re-vamp. Just don’t snub at it straight away, you never know what you could find.

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