#SpendItWell with Marks & Spencer

Just last week, M&S launched a new campaign called Spend It Well with a great ad that I saw so many friends sharing on social media. I think it struck a chord in a way.....that idea of making every moment special by focusing on the things that really matter in life.

The official blurb is that ‘Spend it Well’ is based on the insight that in a busy, abundant world, people seek out what is really important: the quality experiences, people and things that make life special....and here's where it ticks all my boxes - it's about burning the nice candles, wearing your best coat, breaking out the best biscuits, saying no to non-amazing food and never EVER settling for uncomfortable knickers! (well...maybe if they're super sexy, you could put up with them for a while?!)
Note - I added that last bit in - it wasn't on the press release. I never cut and paste press releases and to date, I've never had a PR company notice. I write them myself for a living and go into 'editor' mode as soon as I am sent one. And I ALWAYS take out any bull. Sometimes, they're an eye-roll fest from beginning to end but the M&S one only had a couple of moments. The overall premise of what they're doing is great. I 'get' it and judging by the reaction to the campaign on the day it was released, I think it resonated in a way that M&S usually only sees with their Christmas adverts.

So as part of the campaign, I was one of the bloggers invited to #SpendItWell with a budget of £150. The clothing aspect of the campaign is all about bright colours, amazing sleeves and embellishment - not wearing anything 'just so', instead choosing something a little bit special and wearing it LOTS, everyday...even if it's a bit OTT for whatever you're doing that day. 
Starting with this bat-winged, smocked throw-over top.

Now it's described on the website as a jacket - it's not. It's a top. At a push, it's like a throw-over/poncho style I guess but that's as close as it comes to a jacket. It's got beautiful detailing across the chest area, down the front and on the wrists and I love that it's black. So many of these boho-style tops are white or navy so it's a little bit different.
Just look at the detail up close...
It could also work as a beach throw-over if you're looking a shorter style. For me, I don't have a beach holiday to look forward to so it'll be worn with jeans and sandals for a warm but not hot day. No jacket required.
And speaking of sandals - here's another great find and these will sell out as they're just the best throw on, comfortable, inexpensive sandal you'll find on the high street.
Now they're not leather but they're soft with a padded bed and the fact that they have elastic at the back means no buckles to be opened or closed. I love a shoe you can pull on. They come in a great ochre colour too on this link and also in a heeled version on this link. Which brings me onto my next outfit, which includes the most  fab pair of ochre shoes...brace yourself. But let's start with the stunning is this?
It's my favourite bardot style in navy cotton mix and then this wonderful embroidery on the sleeves....
I'd seen this in a blue striped chambray colour last week but the 10 sold out within a few days.  I ordered the size 8 in the navy but it's a fairly free-sized top really given the shape so you could probably size up or down one size if you can't get your usual so I might try the striped one in a 12? Anyway, I've seen this navy version on Instagram and Snapchat several times so it won't hang around. It's a great top and the bonus of the embroidery is that you can tie in a great pair of coloured shoes into the outfit..... these yellow shoes of dreams. I put this next picture up on Instagram on Sunday evening and the reaction was amazing. I've not had a photo loved so much by so many people in such a short timeframe! But I totally get it because I'm in love too. They are STUNNING. Also available in the black/cream colour way and both colours will fly out of the shops because they are only £19.50.
Fit wise, I went for my usual 5.5/39 in M&S and they fit perfectly. As per the flat sandals, they're not leather but I can live with that as they are very comfortable, thanks to the ankle strap and the block heel.
Finishing with a dress...the most perfect light and breezy summer dress which can be worn casually or formally. It would work at a wedding just as well as it works here with a denim jacket and trainers.
I've styled it here with my own denim jacket from Vero Moda and my Topshop trainers.
but what you can't see above is the fab cold shoulder detail....this is what makes this dress perfect for a dressier occasion also.
Great dress but what you can probably see in the photos is that it's a little bit tight across my tummy. I ordered the 8 as I'm mostly an 8 on top but I'm not an 8 on the hips so I really need the 10 there. I'm going to try the 10 in-store when I can get in. My only concern with the 10 is that it'll be too large on the bust as the 8 fits me perfectly here. Pear shape problems! I'll keep you posted. 

All told, my basket came to just under £150 for some fab colourful bits that will really jazz up my wardrobe this summer and more importantly, fit in with existing pieces. I've got my yellow camera bag to match with the bardot top, denim shorts to wear with the boho top and the yellow shoes...well they are going out dancing with me as soon as my back is better. I can't wait to team them with black skinnies!

Hope you enjoyed my #SpendItWell with M&S....and if you've not seen the video yet, I'm sharing it below:

Disclaimer - I was gifted these items for the purpose of the review but I wasn't paid and all the words are my own...apart from the press release blurb at the start (which I edited anyway). Thanks to M&S for regularly supporting this blog. 


  1. Lovely looks. You did spend it well.

  2. I love that dress. I'll be off to M&S this evening!! ❤

  3. Thanks for the blog post, I went out and tried the Bardot top in navy on and I love it. And bought it. Have ordered the striped blue one as well, but they only had size 14 left. I figure it should look ok, normally I'd order a 10 or 12, but I prefer tops to be longer length anyway. Oh, and ordered the flat yellow sandals (don't do heels very often). Thank you.

  4. Great picks Avril - really enjoyed reading this! Those yellow shoes are to die for...x

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  6. Whoop while shopping in Leeds (weekend away from Cornwall) I managed to pick up the navy bardot top. Absolutely over the moon, and my husband loves it. Agree with the sizing. Took a size 12 as the 10 was a bit snug on the arms. Thanks avril. X


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