I Just Tried on M&S's Entire Summer Collection—Here's What I'd Recommend

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 is bandied around way too often these days. What can I say? Gen Z loves speaking in hyperboles. However, it's hard to think of another store that can be considered more of a household name than good 'ol Marks and Spencers, an establishment which 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 shake-ups in the design teams and the creation of trend-led lines such as Autograph.

I've not ventured up the escalators in a Marks and Sparks 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, because 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 spring/summer 2019 collection. From pastel-coloured 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

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: M&S are nailing accessories this summer. Case in point? This colour-block 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.

The Striped Sundress

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Tie-Dye Tank

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Who knew M&S did tie-dye? Not me. This isn't something I would typically reach for on the high street, but when paired with tailored beige trousers, it suddenly feels incredibly chic. 

The Linen Suit

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: This pinstripe linen suit caught my eye the moment I entered the store. It hangs really well and doesn't have that crumpled appearance that some tailored linen pieces do. 

The Comfy Strappy Heels

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Slip Dress

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Slip dresses are officially the dress of the season, and M&S has created its own iteration in the form of this teal-coloured gem. I'm so into the square neckline and the asymmetric hemline.

The Silk Shirt

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Slip-On Mules

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: I can't believe these mules are only £20. The square toes look so stylish and I like the simplicity of the straps. To top it all off, they're also so comfortable.

The Co-Ord

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Co-ords are one of the easiest and low-maintenance ways to look cool. The styling is already done for you, so you just need to 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.

The Yellow Separates

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Joy Montgomery

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. 

The Velcro Sandals

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Of course, M&S has jumped on the Velcro-sandals bandwagon, and these chunky shoes feel like a slightly more accessible alternative to my Tevas. You won't regret it.

The Printed Shirtdress

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Linen Jumpsuit

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Toe-Loop Sandals

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Joy Montgomery

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. 

The Pastel Blazer

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Joy Montgomery

Style Notes: Blazers for spring? Not so groundbreaking. But make one in a head-turning shade of lilac and throw it over a midi skirt? Now you're in fashion-editor territory.

The Tailored Shorts

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Double-Denim Pairing

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Kitted Top

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Printed Maxi

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Summer Slip Skirt

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Joy Montgomery

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.

The Pleated Midi Skirt

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Joy Montgomery

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.