Marks and Sparks, M&S - whichever you call it is the most dependable of shops. Now, dependable isn't the most enticing of descriptions but sometimes its exactly what you need. From years of working in retail, customers would frequently ask for basic pieces to match with what they were trying on, and often I would send them to Marks & Spencer as they are so great at classic staples.
Recently I was on the hunt for a classic red cashmere jumper. A seemingly simple request, no? After weeks of searching the high street everything I found had a slogan, sequins, a roll neck, even pom-poms. So I turned to the ever reliable Marks & Spencer, and found the perfect classic red jumper of my dreams.
Despite the fact you can almost always find what you need here, as a brand it is best known for its food hall or as a place where older women shop. However there is more to M&S than twinsets and Colin Caterpillar cakes.
If you need a dress for work, a wedding, or just everyday you're bound to pick one up in M&S. Workwear is what they are better known for, but I am loving its current selection of midi-dresses, which would even give high-street dress hero & Other Stories a run for its money. All of these look great paired with trainers or ankle boots, or they look effortlessly cool layered over trousers or jeans.
Marks & Spencer's shoe department is seriously underrated. About a year ago I picked up an amazing pair of black suede heels for a bargain in the sale. Since then, I frequently check out the shoe section as they have a great selection of wearable party shoes, perfect for those of us who can't do teetering stilettos.
My personal favourite is their underwear department. They have a huge range of everyday basics and will also measure you for a bra with no charge. A highlight is their Rosie for Autograph section. Designed by Rosie Huntington Whitely, this underwear is anything but basic. Expect to find gorgeous bras with lace detailing as well as her range of luxurious loungewear.
After a number of years of M&S being in the headlines because of its struggling sales, it was no surprise when earlier this year it announced it would be closing one third of its 300 high-street stores. There is nowhere on the high street quite like M&S and it would be sorely missed if it was no longer around; its basically an institution at this stage. So next time you're heading in for Percy Pigs, don't beeline for the food hall. Stop, have a browse and you might get a great pair of shoes and a new bra on your way out.