So the M&S assessment wasn't so good but after a couple of dismal seasons, I can see Next getting its act together again with more than a few things catching my eye when I called in the other week.
First up, some more formal/work wear options and they're so on point in this regard. This dress is stunning - flattering with a beautiful shape and an on-trend hemline:
I've also seen this jacket featured on a few instagram posts. It's part of a suit but looks good worn casually also as it's quite long-lined:
Another great dress for the office or for a smarter occasion. A bit low cut but it would look great with a white shirt underneath:
Moving onto more casual pieces, Next jeans just keep getting better and better. These grey ones are on my wish list:
Black Coated Pull On Leggings (but shaped like jeans with a fake waist/pockets etc)
and this coatigan is ace - I shared it online the day I tried it on and a few readers had already bought it and were also highly recommending:
Monochrome Duster Jacket (more like a coatigan)
and this tunic caught my eye - loving the grey trim on it.
Finishing with a couple of styles from the footwear selection. I think I have a navy footwear obsession going on!
and these navy leather look trainers - so much nicer in real life:
Leather Look Baseball Trainers (also in white)
So lots to make a trip in-store worthwhile and actually, in finding the links for all these pieces, I saw quite a bit more I'd like to try, including some great swim and beach-wear. And that's the thing with Next - I'm more inclined to order online than go in-store because my issue with Next remains the store lay-out and fittings. There's just a bit too much being squeezed onto the shop floors and some of the stores (Sprucefield, I'm looking at YOU!) are simply too dark inside. I'm looking for brighter, whiter Next outlets and more room to move between the rails.
But actually, with Next's amazing online offering, it's an absolute pleasure to order from their website. I mean, next day home delivery? My only gripe with their site is that since they've opened up to other brands, I feel it's diluted the Next brand. I've honestly no interest in ordering SuperDry or Oasis from Next.co.uk....it just feels wrong to me?
As always, let me know what you think. Back with some outfits tomorrow - what a week...I've a LOT of catching up to do on here :)