Easy spring looks from M&S and a try-on

Spring’s going to be here any minute – really it is and so for my latest Marks and Spencer edit, I thought I’d look ahead to warmer days. It’s been a struggle to get my head in the right place because we’ve had gales blowing here every day but today the sun finally shone through and I managed to get some pictures outside for the first time in months. As I searched through the Marks & Spencer website I was determined to find pieces that have wardrobe longevity while still keeping SS20’s trends in mind. I wanted the outfits to be wearable but also on point so let me show you what I found – easy spring looks from M&S and a try-on.

Look 1 – utility chic

This has to be one of the most wearable moods of the season and it’s also one that will stand the test of time in your wardrobe because utility comes through every year in one form or another. To work properly it needs to be well cut and made from fabrics with good weight which means it can be expensive. M&S have majored on it this season though and they’ve produced high quality pieces that hang well.

Wide leg ecru crops were a staple last summer and they continue to be a key look this year. As the weather gets warmer they’re such an easy option and they’re more comfortable than classic jeans. I dress mine down with trainers or loafers during the day and then slip on a pair of slingbacks or heeled sandals if I’m going out in the evening. This pair is made from denim but the styling is more like a trouser – if they’d been handed to me without a label I’d have guessed by the design that they came from Cos or Toast. I liked them as soon as I put them on but they come up big, I’m wearing a size 12 here and I felt a bit swamped. I suspect they’ll stretch too so if in doubt order a smaller size to compare with your usual.

I’ve put together a smart casual look here because I wanted to try this wool blend utility jacket. I’ve always liked this style, slightly smarter than a bomber jacket and a key shape for this season; because it’s cut to the waist it will work well with midi dresses and skirts too. I’ve added a simple striped top with a pop of colour at the collar for a clean look which is now in the sale.

It’s the first time I’ve tried M&S trainers, I know they’re popular but with a sneakerhead son I haven’t dared until now. However I do have a particular liking for trainers with gum soles and the tan suede stripe lifts these still further giving them a retro feel that balances the jacket well. Of course they’re comfortable – they have an Insolia lining so they’re bound to be.

Midlifechic M&S casual

Utility jacket; striped top; wide cropped jeans (also available in khaki or pink); trainers

Easy spring looks from M&S – utility

Since I put my request in, new stock has arrived in store so here’s an alternative for smart casual utility chic.

Easy spring looks from M&S

Polo collar top: we talked about this style of top last week, it’s really key for SS20 and an easy way to update any of your jeans or skirts looks. Remember that it needs to be knitted rather than jersey and cut to skim the body, the ribbed detail on this one will make it less clingy. Also available in magenta, khaki or black.

Safari jacket: this is a linen blend so it has the crisp look of linen without creasing as soon as you put it on. The low V is slimming and it’s in this season’s crucial shade of beige but it’s also available in ivory. If you prefer a more relaxed look there’s a cotton alternative here which is also available in khaki.

Oversized Sunglasses: the easiest way to reference the 70s trend this season is with your sunglasses and this bevelled shape is one of the key styles. M&S sunglasses are great value and you have the confidence that they comply with European standards. Also available in tortoiseshell or deep red.

Chain necklace: as we discussed last week, a gold chain necklace is another easy way to update your look and this is the M&S version which is made from hypoallergenic metal. Also available in silver.

Raffia bag: raffia took over from straw this year on the catwalks and bags were oversized again which is always good because as well as being practical, big bags are slimming (strange but true). This will take you right through to the beach this year, also available in black and grey.

Flatform trainers: another M&S flatform winner with a simple navy stripe. They’re made from leather and have consistently good reviews.

Denim 7/8 crops: I’m looking forward to trying these, I suspect they’re one of those quiet pieces that you find you turn to every day. A classic navy 7/8 can look a bit boring but the light denim fabric of these makes them more interesting and yet the dark wash and the tailored fit means that they still look chic. I imagine them worn with a simple t-shirt and flats, Audrey Hepburn style.

Look 2 – workwear chic

This was Mr MC’s favourite outfit, I think his tastes are getting more expensive now that he spends so much time looking at me through a lens. I very rarely wear trousers for work, I think it’s because it’s hard to find a pair that doesn’t make you feel as though you’re wearing a uniform unless you go for wide legs and then proportionally I need to wear heels. On a cost per wear basis though I’ll always choose a skirt over a dress because I know I’ll wear it far more.

The tan suede skirt has become a luxe classic and it’s something I’ve been wanting to try. With the current emphasis on the seventies it seemed like the perfect time and I like the fact that the utility styling on the pockets means that it avoids being too throwback. It’s just gone into the sale so it’s a very good price for something that is such lovely quality; you can wear it with boots now and sandals and a t-shirt when the weather gets warmer. I followed the reviews and sized up to a 14, I suspect a 13 would be the perfect fit for me if such a thing existed.

The timing on this hasn’t been great because the blouse has also gone into the sale now which is great if it’s there in your size. It’s made from the softest cotton and feels like a chambray that has been washed and worn a lot – but in a good way. The style makes me think of Inès de La Fressange and it will be just as good for dressing down with jeans as for wearing for work. Also available in aqua or striped.

Midlifechic Lancaster

Suede skirt; ruffle neck blouse

Easy spring looks from M&S – work or smart casual

And again, new options have dropped this week so here are some other ideas

Easy spring looks from M&S

Polo collar top: so good I included it twice!

Wide leg trousers: a linen viscose blend which should help with creasing. Shades of white and ivory worn together are going to be a streetstyler favourite this year. Remember that wide trousers look best when they almost skim the floor rather than showing your shoes so decide if you’re going to be wearing them with heels or flats before you buy them. Also available in coffee or black and they come in three lengths – short, regular and long.

Raffia earrings: another way to incorporate the raffia trend, statement earrings are still dominant this year but best worn with a delicate necklace. Also available in a lilac and tortoiseshell mix.

Denim blazer: a blue blazer can be a real conundrum simply because so many uniforms incorporate washable versions that you can end up looking like an official of some kind when you wear one. I usually opt for a felted wool or a tweed but denim is another great way of having all of the function of a blue blazer without the slightly depressing form.

Top handle suede bag: bags this year are either squashable clutches or top handle styles, inspired by the queen apparently. It’s a retro, ladylike look but it’s handy to have the option of a shoulder strap too as this one has. Also available in black leather.

Shirtdress with ruffle hem: shirtdresses were the grown-up alternative to the floaty midi-dress last summer and they’re still a key look this year. This one is a bit of a hybrid because it incorporates this season’s much loved ruffle at the hem – and it’s also in a popular polka dot print. It’s already selling fast so be quick if you like it.

Espadrilles – generally became far too expensive last summer in my opinion. These are a reasonable price and they have what I believe to be the perfect espadrille height of 70mm giving you a little extra leg length while still being walkable.

Leather mules: mules returned at the end of last summer as part of the 90s revival. They’ll be even more mainstream this year and this pair will be great for those who wear heels – leg lengthening, elegant and comfortable.

Look 3 – a simple summer shirtdress

One of my favourite dresses is the red shirtdress I got from M&S last spring. I wore it a lot because it had sleeves – great for the unreliable British summer and yet it was light like this one. Shirtdresses fit into the utility trend and this is the ultimate SS20 shade – soft tangerine. You could pair it with neutrals but if you remember us talking about the tequila sunrise palette last week, it will also clash brilliantly with pink and red. You can dress it up with heels like this or dress it down with trainers, it’s as good for the office as it is for the beach so it will earn its keep. Looking at the picture I should have added a belt but otherwise it’s true to size, I’m wearing the regular but there’s also a long version which is selling fast. The other colourway available is peat which is a warm charcoal grey.

Easy spring looks from M&S

Tangerine shirtdress (also available in black)

Don’t forget Mother’s Day

I know that we’re mostly the hopeful recipients of gestures of love on Mother’s Day but should you be lucky enough still to have a mum of your own, don’t forget that M&S is a reliable pleaser of most. The bouquets are bursts of spring promise and a section of the website is dedicated to Mother’s Day deliveries here.

Easy spring looks from M&S

Luxury tulip posy

There are lots of other gift ideas in the Mother’s Day hubnightwear is always a particularly welcome gift in my book or of course a hamper filled with M&S goodies is a lovely treat.

Easy spring looks from M&S

Teatime hamper

Beauty Offers

It’s always worth keeping an eye on Beauty at M&S because great offers pop up all the time. At the moment you can save £10 if you spend £50.

And did you know?

… that you can now order until 11pm for next day delivery either to your home or a store of your choice.

That’s it from me today, have a lovely weekend in these unusual times. I’m trying to decide what to do about the trips to London that I’ve scheduled over the next couple of weeks… and our Easter holiday… it’s the first time in years that we’ve booked to go abroad for Easter. I’ll think it over tomorrow while I’m preparing for the next blogger sale… there are some lovely things on my pending rail so with the wind behind me it will go live on Tuesday at 5pm as usual. See you then.

Disclosure: ‘Easy spring looks from M&S and a try-on’ was commissioned by Marks and Spencer but I had full control of the outfits and the content.

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