Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery,heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!
Like the words "obsessed" and "viral," the term "household name" is one that's bandied around way too often these days. What can I say? Gen Z loves hyperbole. However, it's hard to think of another store that can be considered more of a household name than good 'ol Marks and Spencer, an establishment that has presided over the Great British high street for over a century (yup, that's a whole lotta tights).
While it may still have the most comprehensive menu of knickers you'll find anywhere, it has historically not had a reputation for being the coolest fashion brand on the block. But it has since proven its fashion credentials thanks to various shakeups in the design teams and the creation of trend-led lines such as Autograph.
I've not ventured up the escalators in an M&S for a while—apart from when I need the aforementioned underwear—but there's something about it that feels like returning to your parents' house after a tiring term at uni. The Oxford Circus store is a spacious utopia of neatly stacked tees and comforting rails of cashmere. But don't be fooled by its homeliness: Once you get to the good stuff, you'll be wondering why you haven't been shopping there more.
It might be the old faithful of the high street, but trust me when I tell you that there's nothing boring about M&S's S/S 19 collection. From pastel blazers and printed midis to luxe trousers and tie-dye tanks, there's plenty of goodness to be found in-store right now. I've done all the hard work for you and found the pieces you need to see this season. Happy shopping!
The Versatile Tote
Style Notes: M&S are nailing accessories this summer. Case in point? This colourblock shopper bag stopped me in my tracks thanks to its expensive-looking shape and stylish tan-and-beige colourway. Ideal for both work and play.
Style Notes: I'm loving all the roomy, smock-style summer dresses that are proliferating right now, particularly when they come in minimalistic fabrics, such as this M&S striped number. Note that the fit is quite oversized.
Style Notes: I don't usually do shoes in this column, but it seemed wrong to forgo M&S's generous shoe department, which was jam-packed with trend-led, affordable and comfy styles. This strappy pair is one of my faves, as it offers all the '90s appeal without the blisters. Just thank the sandal's sturdy heel support.
Style Notes: This is pure "lounging with an Aperol on my yacht" dressing. The shirt is made from silk, making it feel super luxe (they didn't have my size, so this is far baggier than it should be). The trousers are also super comfy but fitted enough on the waist to create shape.
Style Notes: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Co-ords are one of the easiest and most low-maintenance ways to look cool. The styling is already done for you; just throw on shoes and go. I like the unusual tailoring of this M&S set, and I can imagine it looking equally as chic with heels.
Style Notes: Yup, tonal dressing is still going strong, and my current obsession is this pale yellow hue. The trousers are such a lovely fit. I accidentally picked up the short versions, but I quite like the cropped flare finish.
Style Notes: I've seen a couple of influencers repping this bold printed midi, and I like how it feels quite different to most of the other summer dresses on the market right now. They didn't have my size (seems to be a recurring theme), but I didn't mind embracing the roomier proportions.
Style Notes: This is one of my favourite finds from the shopping trip. The linen fabric and wide-leg fit are just what I want on a hot holiday, but it's also fitted enough on the top to feel polished and not too slouchy.
Style Notes: Another pair of winning strappy sandals, but this time with an even lower (read: comfier) heel and cheeky toe loop. These come in a few different colours, but I like the white, which would look fab with jeans.
Style Notes: I feel very Out of Africa in this beige getup. Shorts can be a tricky thing to wear, but this M&S pair gets the proportions right with the longer length and waistband that sits just above the hips. This top isn't available online yet, but you can shop a similar style below.
Style Notes: I've been a little ambivalent about the denim-jacket renaissance, but unexpectedly, Marks and Spencer might've just converted me with this oversized, boxy iteration. Style with straight-leg jeans and a white tee for '90s supermodel vibes.
Style Notes: First things first: This outfit feels so damn expensive. I'm a big fan of the knitted top (this season's slightly curveball trend), which is perfect for tricky spring temperatures. Also, the weighty fabric looks super luxe when paired with draped drawstring trousers.
Style Notes: Marks and Spencer has a great selection of maxi and midis this season. I'm a big fan because they don't feel like the sort of bohemian dresses that only really look good in 30 degrees on a beach in the Maldives. This drop-waist number will look just as great in London as it will on your summer hols.
Style Notes: I know there was a bit of a slip-skirt frenzy last year, but I do think they're a great and timeless addition to any wardrobe. This rust-coloured style is lined, so you don't have to worry about VPL, plus it offers just the right amount of polish to a textured tee. It's also available in black, FYI.
Style Notes: This pleated skirt does exactly what it says on the tin: It's flattering, flowy, mid-calf length and has a versatile monochromatic print. All in all, a solid staple that will go with everything you own and be adaptable for all seasons. A wardrobe win if we ever saw one.