29 In Style

The Marks and Spencer challenge

marks and spencer white shirt

So, one afternoon around the water cooler (and by ‘water cooler’, I mean WhatsApp) my six blogger buddies in The Over 40 Collective and I decided it would be fun to do a style challenge.  We’d each choose a white shirt from a brand we all had access to and put our own spin on it.  Easy, I thought.  I’ll pair mine with a sequin skirt of some variety, load on the accessories, and wear some sparkly shoes… job done.  Then they decided we should all wear denim with the white shirt.  Fine, not a problem, I thought.  Accessories can save anything, even a white top and jeans, so I’ll just go more-is-more with shoes and jewellery.

We decided that Marks and Spencer would be the best place for a good basic white shirt.  I went online and ordered this one (not my usual thing, since I tend to avoid basics or anything that smells remotely like a ‘capsule wardrobe’).  As luck would have it, the week we all agreed to publish our white shirt challenge post, I happened to be in the rustic Austrian Alps with my family.  There went my plan for lots of accessories and heels!  I was REALLY going to have to go basic and wear the white shirt with jeans and sneakers or flats (insert silent scream).   I added just a bit of my trademark sparkle via a favourite necklace which looks like Edelweiss.  It seemed apropos for the Alps!

edelweiss necklace

So here I am, wearing the most basic outfit I will ever feature on this blog.  Luckily, the scenery is so gob-smackingly beautiful that you’ll be distracted by the beauty of Austrian nature and will completely ignore the lack of creative styling.

As for the Marks and Spencer shirt, it is nice quality and does the job well.  I don’t find this top to be particularly flattering on me, but that is only because my shape works better with fitted tops that loose ones. Some of the other ladies in the Collective probably chose better than I did (you’ll see their choices below).  I had 40 white shirts to choose from at Marks and Spencer, and if I were to do it again, I’d probably choose this one or the one that Annette chose instead; the sleeve length and neckline are a little more accessories-friendly on both.

In my experience of shopping with M&S,  I always find the fashion-forward hero pieces are gone if you aren’t super fast.  From Nikki’s preview of the Autumn Winter collection on Midlife Chic, it looks like they will be focusing more on their fashion-forward lines after poaching a Zara executive.   I look forward to that!  Setting to one side our White Shirt ‘Challenge’, for me the usual challenge at Marks and Spencer is finding good pieces with a real fashion edge instead of the basics they are well known for.

Without further ado, here is the result of my White Shirt Challenge.  I hope you enjoy the photos of the magnificent Steiermark region of Austria as much as I enjoyed being here.

over 40 white shirt

Marks and spencer white shirt

cotton flowers baby orchid

White shirt challenge

Marks and Spencer white shirt challenge

Marks and Spencer lupines

lupines

Now have a look at my other stylish friends and see what they came up with from Marks and Spencer.

marks and spencer white top a white blazer on Michelle of Retro Chic Mama

white top marks and spencersheer and sleeveless on Michelle of The Barefaced Chic

Marks and spencer white top broderiebroderie anglaise on Liz of What Lizzy Loves

marks and spencer white challenge modern poplin top on Nikki of Midlife Chic

Marks and Spencer white shirtoff-shoulder knit on Annette of Lady Of Style

marks and spencer white shirt
bell sleeves on Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb

Linking up to: honest mum, fashion should be fun, birdie shoots, notdeadyetstyle,

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Michelle
    July 19, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Hold the phone & back up a mo… I spy heels there lady!
    You’d make a bin bag look glam Lisa let’s be honest! I think you’re right about M&S upping the ante next season – it has been a long time coming & I too am champing at the bit to see how well they do with it.
    I’m seeing another challenge in our future 😉
    Beautiful location by the way, do you ski there in Winter?
    xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 3:13 PM

      Welllllll, sort of a low block heel, I suppose! Thank you, Michelle. You can ski here in Winter, but it is more set up for children’s skiing. There isn’t much exciting for grownups… for that we have to go to Kitzbuhel. xx

  • Reply
    Liz
    July 19, 2016 at 6:54 PM

    Oh wow wow wow!!!!!! The scenery is utterly breathtaking. Stunning photos Lisa. And your necklace and shoes elevate your simple outfit into being a little more “Lisa” xxxxxxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 3:11 PM

      Thanks so much, Liz! xx

  • Reply
    Michelle
    July 19, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    I don’t know whether to be stunned by the scenery or stunned by the lack of sequins ????
    In all seriousness, you are one of those women who would turn heads if she were wearing a sack. Maybe that should be our next Over 40 Collective challenge?
    Michelle xx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 3:10 PM

      Hahaha, the lack of sequins and shine is indeed a shock to the system! Thank you, Michelle xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    July 20, 2016 at 1:03 PM

    Where is annette? You mention her, but I don’t see a photo. Although I know even from getting to know you briefly, you are not a basic girl haha. Nevertheless, you did good with the basic shirt. Even heels in Austria. Indeed Austria is providing you with a very pretty background. Great photos. All the others are doing really well too, I must say. Of course Michelle is stretching the briefing rather a lot: from shirt to jacket… But you’ll forgice her as she looks so good. Nice bunch you are.
    Greetje

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 3:09 PM

      Thanks so much, sweet Greetje! Annette is on now, fear not! xx

  • Reply
    Jan
    July 20, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Beautiful spot! Loved this post featuring your typical analysis of the important things in life and your blogging friends and their choices. Do more challenges. What fun!

    You did not wear those shoes in photo 4 for your stroll in the Alps. They’re not flats. Are those flowers lupine? I have a low botanical literacy so please excuse the guess if I’m wrong.

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 3:08 PM

      Thank you, Jan!

      I wore a pair of Adidas superstars for my stroll in the fields; they are in the washing machine right this minute! I sank about two inches in some marshy substance that I’d rather not think about. And yes ma’am, those flowers are indeed lupines. I adore them. xx

  • Reply
    Abby
    July 20, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    I really like the outfit, I do 😉 But the Alps, OMG! But seriously, Lisa , it’s a difficult task to go beyond white basics in the Alps, unless you wear one of those embroidered aprons:) Yet, as usual, you managed to make it look hot (especially in the picture out of that cabin window) ! Happy to see you enjoying the scenery! xx Abby

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 20, 2016 at 10:40 PM

      Thank you so much, darling Abby! It was sooooo gorgeous there. xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    July 21, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Hilarious fun, as per usual! Fantastic photos — loved all of them but in particular you peeking out of that shuttered gable made me swoon. Hope it was a heavenly trip and the wilderness didn’t insert herself too boldly for a city girl like you!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 21, 2016 at 6:04 PM

      Thank you, Mithra. My husband took all of the photos, so I’ll pass along your praise (and not my criticism!). This city girl enjoys getting wild now and then 😉 xx

  • Reply
    Midlifechic
    July 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    It’s no surprise the shot of you with the antlers went crazy on Instagram – we definitely need a caption competition. You look great in your shirt and as ever, I envy you your fab location. Looking good my lovely. xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 22, 2016 at 2:27 PM

      Thank you so much, Nikki! xx

  • Reply
    Mary Murnane
    July 22, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    These photos are genuinely unbelievable! I’m awestruck, so beautiful!

    Mary
    http://www.marymurnane.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 22, 2016 at 2:27 PM

      Thank you so much, Mary! xx

  • Reply
    Patti
    July 24, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    What a great challenge, Lisa! Love your jewelry and your setting is breathtaking. xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 24, 2016 at 10:18 PM

      Thank you, Patti! xx

  • Reply
    Amanda
    July 27, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Lisa you rock this with or without bling! And the scenery is breathtaking, especially the Lupin (?) field!! You all look fabulous and of course Michelle’s legendary legs!!!!
    Loving your work sparkly! xxx

    • Reply
      Lisa
      July 28, 2016 at 1:04 AM

      Thanks so much, sweet Amanda! xx

  • Reply
    Kandja Sylla
    August 17, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    The scenery is perfect for a photo shoot. I love how you ladies made a basic look more chic and stylish. You really know how to elevate a simple outfit! xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com/6-tips-for-healthy-dining-out/

    • Reply
      Lisa
      August 17, 2016 at 8:52 PM

      Thank you, Kandja! I’m so pleased you liked this post. xx

  • Reply
    Julia
    August 25, 2016 at 10:22 AM

    Enjoyed the scenery and your quick whitted post! I’m all about the basic white tee and the button down. You wear it well! Great challenge!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      August 25, 2016 at 1:43 PM

      Thank you so much, Julia! xx

  • Reply
    LA CONTESSA
    November 2, 2016 at 3:54 PM

    LOVELY AMOUNGEST the LUPINE!

    • Reply
      Lisa
      November 2, 2016 at 6:02 PM

      Lupine is just so magical, isn’t it? xx

  • Reply
    WHITE BLAZER WITH DENIM SHORTS - RetroChicMama
    February 26, 2017 at 7:38 PM

    […] The Sequinist – Lisa’s Instagram Midlife Chic – Nikki’s Instagram What Lizzy Loves – Liz’s InstagramLady of Style – Annette’s InstagramThe Barefaced Chic – Michelle’s Instagram […]

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