It has been a funny old week, style-wise.
The majority of the time, I am bumbling around between nursery runs, play-dates and Sainsburys. But just before Christmas I had quite a few business meetings which meant engaging the fashion part of my brain. Mainly because I didn’t think talc-smeared trousers and yesterday’s jumper would do the job.
It also sent me into a bit of a tailspin as I actually got rid of most of my office clothes when I decided to go freelance. You’ve probably all done it, ditched a whole load of stuff in Oxfam that you will never wear again, only to have a blind panic a week later when you realise you have NOTHING LEFT.
So this week I decided to try something out. Could I find things to wear that would work for my life, business meetings AND deal with the kids all in one shop?
Let’s face it, most people with children have limited time when shopping (read: can’t even begin to face going), so actually a one-stop shop scenario is perfect.
Marks & Spencer should be that store, with womenswear collections ranging from Indigo and Woman, through to Autograph, per una and Limited.
But with profits dropping by 6.8% and the loss of their fashion supremo Kate Bostock, M&S have had a tough time of late.
Jaeger’s Belinda Earl has come on board as the new style director and at their recent press show, SS13 womenswear looks great.
But could they help me now?
I decided I would pick key items that could work with my remaining existing clothes and try to refresh my wardrobe.
And yes, I have taken pictures of myself to do it – something I wasn’t going to do on this blog because I am a LOT happier on the other side of the camera.
But that’s me, so – hello!
Here is how I got on:
I was actually spoilt for choice with knitwear, which looked really strong. I loved this one and a gorgeous hot pink cashmere jumper which would work just as well with casual trousers or a pencil skirt. I wore it with Gap Chinos, River Island beanie and DM boots.
This lovely parka
I really wanted a pair of cropped trousers and I loved these, in this season’s brocade print and which fitted really nicely. Their collaboration with Swarovski offered some really lovely pieces, like this necklace. I wore them with an M&S Woman black shirt, vintage pink bag and Topshop heels.
I did struggle to find something I would feel comfortable in for work meetings. I’m not a fitted dress kind of a girl and the selection at the time did seem to be either a bit too body-con or a little bit frumpy. I also tried a couple of pencil skirts on, which looked lovely on the hanger and terrible on me.
But this Autograph studded bag ticked all the boxes (big enough for files, iPad, purse and make up bag) and I teamed it with an ASOS dress, Hoss Intropia necklace, Topshop shoe boots and vintage jacket.
These per una Speziale waxed black trousers are a revelation. As someone who actively avoids jeans (I’m not a size ten and hate my bottom half), I didn’t expect to like them. But they are stretchy, high waisted and really, really comfortable. I teamed them with this plain black cashmere jumper and a brilliant camo jacket.
My bag is from Zara and the necklace, Hoss Intropia as before.
This pencil skirt
For bags, knitwear and knickers, M&S is definitely the place. And if you like your dresses short, fitted or both you will find plenty.
Personally, I would love to see a few more on-trend printed dresses in a knee or midi length and shoes that don’t scream ‘practical.’
Plus, if the M&S design gurus are listening, please come up with lightweight tee-shirts that flatter, long in the body, tight over chest and skimming everywhere else. Nowhere on the high street does them – and you would clean up.
This is NOT a sponsored post, but thank you to M&S for helping me out with the clothes for this feature.