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!
If there's one high-street brand which, in my humble opinion, is the most underestimated, it's got to be Marks and Spencer. Admittedly, every time I step in one of its stores, I'm usually the youngest, but therein lies its appeal: Very few of my friends have discovered its full potential. Look beyond the Percy Pigs and the magic knickers, and you'll find a line-up of wardrobe gems that manage to unite fashion's mythical holy trinity: fit, fabric and fashion-forward design.
Of course, it's all too easy to become discombobulated by the many clothing lines that M&S offers. I've never quite worked out where Per Una starts and Autograph ends. But every season, hidden among the ranks is a selection of around 10 hero pieces that fashion editors are secretly swiping from shelves and passing off as Prada. If you know where to look, the hunt is totally worth it.
With hiking boots, knitted separates and checked coats being the headlining acts of the brand's 2019 collections, for spring 2020 we're seeing a continuation of this elevated-basics theme. In typical M&S style, there is plenty of fantastic tailoring, including a suit in the most appealing shade of dusty pink, alongside minimal favourites, such as utility boilersuits and white denim. For those who want a little more impact, I would recommend M&S's leather offering, which is impressive considering the price point. Its black leather trousers rival designer iterations I've tried on, while the '70s-style midi skirt is sure to become a year-round staple.
Before my introduction turns into a full-blown sonnet to Marks and Spencer, let me direct you to the 13 items I've handpicked for spring and summer 2020. From winning one-pieces to beautiful bags, scroll down to see what I found. Happy shopping!
The Pink Suit
Who What Wear
Style Notes: You can always trust M&S to deliver a solid suit every season. For 2020, it comes in a beautiful shade of dusty pink, which is a great entry point for colour-phobes this spring.
Style Notes: Easy to style and versatile, the "50 shades of beige" trend isn't going anywhere this year. For summer, swap your beige blazer with a belted camo version and style with white wide-leg jeans.
Style Notes: If the idea of full-on flares and dagger-collar shirts fills you with dread, M&S has a great selection of '70s-inspired separates that will allow you to dip your toe in the trend. My favourite combo? A pair of pinstriped trousers and a silken orange shirt.
Style Notes: I never would have guessed that both of these pieces were from M&S. The leather trousers? Satisfyingly high-waisted and buttery soft. The collared top? A super-flattering slim fit. These are two elevated staples I'll be wearing all season long.
Style Notes: If you're looking for a good leather bag without a three-figure price tag, I would recommend heading to your local M&S. Many of its designs are quite simple, which, in my opinion, makes them look far more high-end. For example, this minimalist crossbody makes a good companion for my trusty spring trench.
Style Notes: If you've been reading up on the big trends for 2020, you'll know that trans-seasonal leather is set to spike over the coming months. Not sure how to make it warm weather–ready? Just pair a leather midi skirt with a linen shirt, preferably in a vibrant hue.
Style Notes: If there's one thing we know about bags in 2020, it's that bigger is better (sorry, Jacquemus). M&S is a gold mine of roomy totes, many of which come in real leather. I love the clean-lined silhouette and slouchy finish of this style, which I would happily use for both work and travel.