Marks and Spencer recently asked me to choose £200 of items from their Autumn/Winter 2016 lookbook to feature on my blog. It took me all of 20 seconds to decide on the olive peacoat and the olive suede boots. I don’t wear this olive green often, but both the coat and boots are really useful additions to my wardrobe and can be styled so many ways.
Now, most UK residents know that M&S is known for doing brilliant underwear and wardrobe staples. There have been several changes in management and even more changes of direction on fashion (which was fairly non-existent at some stages. A pastel waterfall cardigan is hardly Instagram material). After a few years in the fashion wilderness, they seem to finally be nailing it. REALLY nailing it. They are loathe to part with their core customer who buys the sturdy basics, but in order to attract a younger and more stylish client, they’ve invested more in fashion (yay!). They’ve enlisted the likes of Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington Whiteley to curate collections and infuse M&S with some solid fashion credentials. Every season there are a handful of must-have instant-sell-out items, and every season I personally find more and more pieces that I genuinely love. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll remember the jacquard metallic bomber jacket that I went crazy for a few months back. I’ve learned the hard way to be quick, because their must-have items sell out FAST. I’m already sharpening my elbows to push my way in when the dusty pink velvet trouser suit hits the stores in a few more weeks; it is absolutely gorgeous.
So, when deciding how to style this particular post, I wanted to turn the usual perceptions about M&S upside down… and why not, they’ve been shaking up their own image lately, so I figured I’d do my part. This is definitely not your grandmother’s M&S!
That time I almost balanced a pot on my head!
To be honest, I thought the coat was going to be a few inches longer because that is how it appears in the look book on a model (who I’d assume is taller than I am). The M&S website shows its true proportions. Still, it is a gorgeous, dense, heavy wool coat, beautifully lined in thick satin. I love the slightly variegated green tones in the fabric. It is a superb quality, especially at this price. I am certain this will get a lot of use.
I don’t wear this olive green colour very much, and I didn’t want to wear basic black with it, so out came the iridescent sequins! This is a vaguely zebra print olive slip dress I’ve had for about ten years. I like the contrast of shiny sequins with a military style coat (and am thinking how gorgeous this coat would be over a bronze sequin winter maxi dress…).
Now, we have to talk about these boots. For the past two years, I’ve been feeling very much like Goldilocks in looking for the perfect over the knee boot. There was something wrong with every pair I looked at. Either the heel was too high and the toe was too pointy, which veers into Pretty Woman territory. Or the heel was too flat and the top part was too loose, which veers into Three Musketeers territory. Stuart Weitzman’s Highland boots came close, but I just didn’t love them £665 or $798 worth, and the skinny heel is limiting. I was thrilled to receive these olive suede ones from M&S. They are perfect (and only £125 or $185). The rounded toe means it isn’t too tarty, and gives it a slightly retro feel. The heel is very modern and chunky, not too high, not too low. I understand the practical reasons for using elastic on boots, but in general, I don’t like the way it looks. On these, it is dyed so perfectly that you almost don’t notice it at all. Have a look.
(That’s my slip dress sticking out, not the coat lining by the way). Also, I usually don’t like leather or suede covered heels, because they just get ruined by sinking between the cracks of the pavement, but these are so chunky I don’t think that will be a problem. I’m just a LITTLE bit thrilled with these boots, if you can’t tell! My two year search is over. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, the boots have ‘Insolia’, a patented podiatrist-approved built-in support that distributes weight away from the ball of your foot and on to your heel, so they are extremely comfortable. I can see I’m going to be buying these in black as well.
Let me know what you think in the comments; I always love reading your opinions. Also, check out some of my fabulous blogger friends who also participated in this Marks and Spencer style challenge. See what they chose and how they wore it on their blogs!
Funky 90’s chic with Michelle of Retro Chic Mama
Classic with a side of sexy from Nikki of Midlife Chic
Lacy and Romantic Victoriana from What Lizzy Loves