Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Holly's Must Haves - The Denim Edit | Style | Ad

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Once again, I've been in to try on the new Holly Willoughby range at M&S ahead of the launch and I've been working hard since my visit to get this post ready to go live at the same time as her range drops onto the website so that you are armed with my honest opinions (and you get to see that boiler suit tried on!!) before purchasing online.

This latest range is Holly's Denim Edit and as you'd expect, it's mostly denim. There are 2 shirts, a skirt, 2 dresses, skinny jeans, and a boiler suit - all in blue denim. Accessorised with 2 bags, 2 pairs of ankle boots, 2 cotton tops and a pair of AMAZING trainers. 
Here's the list of pieces in suggested outfits from the press pack I was sent:

Now I love denim as much as the next girl but double denim jars with me so the press photos of this collection didn't make me jump up and down. However, if you take the collection as separates and think about how you'd incorporate them into your existing wardrobe, it's going to be easier to shop this one. I'm thinking the denim shirt with a midi skirt, the skirt with a bright knit, the skinnies...well with everything!

So for that reason, I purposely tried on the shirts with my own pleated skirt as I think that shows them off in a more realistic way. Overall, it's a collection of good basics that every wardrobe should have and you can make them all work with leopard, coloured knits, bright boots and statement accessories. Denim really comes into its own when it's lifted with pattern and colour.

Let's get the boiler suit out of the way first though. For the record, I CAN'T STAND boiler suits. No matter how stylish other women look in them, replace that handbag with a spanner and you're a mechanic. Tis a fine line and not one I'll be treading. But for the laugh, I tried it on...and actually it wasn't that bad.
It's long in the body - great for those of us more used to wedgies when we wear jumpsuits - and it's got a bit of nipping in the waist to make it look a tad more feminine. 'Mummy you look like you're going to build a house' were the first words out of my daughters mouth. 'Nuff said....not for me. I'm wearing a 10 by the way and I'd say it's true to size. 
If you're braver than me and want to rock a trend that's ALL over the place this season, you can't go far wrong with this but don't come crying to me when you need a wee. It can be made to work and look super on-trend but it's utterly pants when it comes to toileting. Pun intended.

Moving on to the denim skirt and I was impressed by it. 
Denim skirts can look a bit mutton (and I'm not one to talk about what you should and shouldn't wear in your 40's) but this one is actually really wearable as long as you're happy to get your pins out. It's the right dark shade of indigo and the length is spot on. It made for a lovely outfit with the t-shirt from the collection. I'm wearing a 10 in the skirt and a Medium in the t-shirt. 

Moving onto the dresses, starting with the midi 
and this is going to be a great basic dress for Spring Summer and beyond. It's a lovely fit, so flattering with the waist detail and the ways to wear it are endless. I would have loved it to have been a few inches longer but that's me with my midaxi love - I'm funny about midi length if it ends mid-calf (I'm 5'7" for info)
The one thing I'll say about this is that it's neat. I'm wearing the 10 and I think I'd be trying the 12 if I was going to purchase. It was just fitting me and with button down front dresses, you're best not wearing them too neat.

Which brings me nicely onto the shorter dress which I thought would be my preference of the two. 
It was a very neat fit and just didn't sit right on my hips. It's a gorgeous stretchy denim though and I think on the right person, would look amazing this summer. Do test the buttons on a sit down. I felt that they popped a bit easily (though that was probably because it was so tight on me). Definitely a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen! 
The bonus with both of these dresses is because they are fully button down, you could actually wear them like a lightweight coat over leggings or coated jeans and a t-shirt. I tried this with the shorter dress - not the right t-shirt and jeans but hopefully you get the gist.

The shirts were next and looking at them, I thought the dark one would work better on me. I loved the detail at the shoulder and it's nicely fitted.
Skirt (my own)
But actually, upon trying on, I fell in love with the lighter one...
Skirt (my own)
I begged them to let me buy it early! I think it will look amazing with some navy trousers for work, but also worn casually with culottes and black or white jeans. I can see it worn open in the summer with a white vest underneath too. Perfection!

I've already shown you the t-shirt, which is such a good piece for the price but the other top from the collection is even better. It's this boat neck, three quarter sleeve breton top.
The cotton is good and opaque, it's stretchy but not clingy and it's £8.50. An absolute steal - I bought 2. I'm asked all the time about where to get a good breton....this is it.
I'm wearing it here with the skinny jeans from the collection - also called the Ivy and part of the Best Fit Ever collection in M&S, which you can read about here. I find M&S jeans a bit hit and miss but these are definitely a hit. The rise is perfect - it's a mid rise but I'd say it's something between a mid and a high. They are true to size - I'm wearing the 10 Regular - and they're a lovely fit at the ankle too. Nothing worse than a skinny jean with a baggy ankle. I bought these - no hesitation. I've to wear them for a full day to properly judge so I'll report back but for £19.50, they're hard to beat.

There are two colours in the same style of bag - you saw me wearing one of them above. It's my favourite of the two. This is the other one - a tan faux leather and natural fabric mix.
And you've seen me wearing the shoes across all of the photos already so here are the close ups....the trainers first:
These are going to sell out so fast - they're absolutely fab. Leather lined, nicely finished, so comfortable and with more than a nod to a certain distressed trainer brand. M&S have found a winner here. True to size - I bought them in my usual M&S 5.5/39
The tan suede ankle boots are also really great value for money. The colour is so good for spring summer and the suede is a lovely quality. I was surprised that they're less than £50. 

And these putty coloured western style ankle boots are the third piece of footwear from the collection.
Great if you love the white ankle boot trend but haven't been brave enough to embrace it, this neutral colour is just a bit easier to wear. They're made from lovely leather and have a nice stitched detail on them. A great boot for wearing with skirts or dresses. Not so great (on me) with jeans as they come up a bit high on the ankle. Again, really well priced at £55.

And there you go - Holly's Denim Edit in one frantic try on....I was so weary after it, I was shaking! Didn't help that I'd gone to one of those manic gym classes that morning that all the super fit people go to.....I actually walked out before it was over. God never intended us to suffer like that. Anyway, it meant that I was feeling a bit rough but we were looked after SO well in the Fit and Style room in Sprucefield and I must give the girls a shout out here. 

I've mentioned it before but in case you missed it, there are Fit and Style shoppers in many of the bigger M&S shops and you can book them to bring in a selection of items for you to try on in a private changing room. It's such a lovely space with a big mirror, sofas to sit and rest and advice from a team who know all the ins and outs of the current M&S range. It's a completely free service and you can book it online or give them a call. Full details on this link. 

The girls from this local team invite me in to try the Holly range in advance and they are all so lovely and friendly. It's the nicest way to shop! So a massive thanks to the team there - I feel so privileged to get to try these collections early and I know that you all find it really helpful to see the items tried on and reviewed before they sell out.

In the interests of disclosure, I was gifted one item by the Fit and Style team in M&S to thank me for coming in and giving them a shout out here. I also use affiliate links in this post. This post is part of a monthly paid collaboration with M&S.

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4 comments

  1. I really enjoy your 'shop ' blogs and appreciate your honest and very useful comments. You suit denim and bet you had a field day surrounded by so much of it !!! I am a decent bit older than you and thought all the clothes were nice, though the midi dress and stripe top were the most wearable for me. Thanks Avril x

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    1. Aw Karen, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you found it useful and you are right - I was in my element!! I'm in my happy place with gorgeous clothes to try on x

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  2. Oh dear me its says I am 'unknown' as my title when I've posted !!!.....I am Karen from North East England incase you are wondering !!!

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    1. Aw I don't know why it does that and it's always more difficult answering 'unknown' messages as I like to use people's names so thank you for letting me know Karen! x

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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