I'd been really impressed by some of the new range when Alex featured it over on The Frugality recently so I was already thinking that AW16 could be the season when the on-trend, Zara-loving 35-50 demographic starts to shop in Marks & Spencer again.
Now I was getting the opportunity to road test it...but the pressure of model and me was thrown into the mix. Luckily, I have a lovely friend Nic who blogs over at Strawberry Blonde Beauty who is amazing at photography so she was kind enough to offer to take some photos so that my efforts wouldn't seem amateurish in comparison to the lookbook.
There are two 'stories' in the lookbook from M&S this season and you can see them all on the website on this link. The 'story' from the lookbook that appealed to me most was called 'Romantic Explorer' and more specifically, these three items:
The coat is a wool blend in a gorgeous soft khaki marl colour. It's double breasted but not baggy and overwhelming to wear as DB coats can sometimes be. It looks great worn casually also and with this colour matching pretty much everything, I'd go so far as to say it's the only coat you'll need this winter...
This style of blouse isn't usually my style but ended up loving it when it arrived and I can't wait to wear it with boyfriend jeans for a more casual look. The blouse is largely sold out online but there were plenty in my local M&S the other day.
and just a little look at the button detail on the pocket of these wide leg trousers. They are a fantastic buy and are almost sold out online. I've seen plenty in my local store though. I originally bought a 10L but changed them for a 10R as the Long was SO long. Good news for taller girls.
as for the shoes...check out these bronze beauties that have insolia comfort built in. Absolutely gorgeous to wear and oh so comfortable
I'm wearing the size 6 in these and they are a good fit - perhaps a little generous so if in-between, you might want to size down. These are the gold colour way so they're not as gold looking as they are online. Definitely more of a bronze. I actually think it's a shame to wear them under wide trousers so I'm going to enjoy wearing these with skirts and culottes this winter.
The whole outfit came in at just under £200 but each piece is going to work with lots of other items in my wardrobe so it's a good investment. I've already worn the trousers to work with a white shirt and flat pumps.
Is it the season for the M&S turnaround? Time will tell I guess. I know that there are a couple of other pieces I am keen to get my hands on and that's a good sign as I definitely didn't have that feeling last year. I really want to be eager to shop there again so here's hoping.
Oh and before I go, if you're tempted but would love a discount, there's 20% off all clothing and footwear this weekend (16-18 September) for all Sparks card holders and I also know there are friends and family vouchers floating about from the most recent M&S credit card statements as my neighbour just gave me one!
UPDATE - I've got links for a few of the other bloggers taking part in this M&S challenge. Go check out Nikki at Midlife Chic, Michelle from Retrochicmama ,Lisa from The Sequinist (Lisa and Michelle both styled the coat but in a really different way!) and Elizabeth from What Lizzy Loves chose the same outfit as mine!
Hope you have a great weekend,
Disclaimer - I was gifted the items I've featured by M&S but was not obliged to or indeed paid, to write the post. All the content is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.