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NOW CLOSED Tell House of Fraser what you think about the Mary Portas Collection and win a personal shopper session and £500 to spend at House of Fraser

(134 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 10-May-12 10:09:04

We've been asked by House of Fraser to find out what you think of the Mary Portas Collection

Here's what Mary says about the Collection: "Just follow the Pret-a-Portas cocktail = one part simple chic, one part edge, and decorate!"

What House of Fraser would like you to do is take a look at the Collection online here or visit your nearest House of Fraser* to check it out in real life, and maybe try some items on. Then they'd like you to come back to this thread and answer these questions:

~ What's your favourite piece in the Collection? Do you have more than one? Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection? What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

The team at House of Fraser and Mary (!) will read all of the comments submitted on this thread and the MNer whose feedback they find the most interesting will win a styling session with a personal shopper and £500 to spend at their nearest House of Fraser. Please see Terms and Conditions here.

Thanks
MNHQ

*Mary Portas is available at House of Fraser Oxford Street, Westfield, Manchester, Glasgow and Guildford

missorinoco Thu 10-May-12 20:40:46

I liked the "no brainer" dress and the wide leg zipped trousers, although I would never buy the latter in white. Too many small mucky children in my lif; I suggest you add another colour in the line, preferably dark! I also liked the chocolate belt waist stud.

But out of 200 items that was it. I disliked the prints, colour and style of most of the rest. I think either it's just not my look, or I have not recognised my inner frump.

I thought the items looked as if they were a good quality. I would like to see less prints, and more classical items.

I really liked the fact hat if I scrolled over the item, most of them showed the clothing being worn by a model. It gave me a much better idea of how it would look, especially helpful for the baggy tops. Although again I maybe need to embrace my inner frump or sack her, as it didn't improve my liking for any item other than the wide legged trousers.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 10-May-12 20:41:53

I feel a heel saying this - Mary was great in the web chat - but I agree with what Katie Scarlet said - I already own the one thing I would wear (Aurora dress) and it cost £30 from Dotty P's.

I think it will appeal to people who like to pay over-the-odds for garish, shapeless, baggy clothes.

The first thing that struck me was that, as usual, the hourglass figure is not catered for - not everyone needs or wants camouflage! I know drapey can be flattering if cut in the right way but this was more of a Demi Roussos fest.

What's your favourite piece in the Collection?
Aurora dress but see Dotty P's.

Do you have more than one?
Also liked the ponte jacket but I don't wear black and again it's overpriced - isn't ponte polyester? Digging around, I did like some of the tights and the scarves, especially the chatty bird scarf.

Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to?
No.

If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?
See above.

What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?
There's a good variety in each category, so if it suits your style you could mix and match a lot of it.

What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection?
More fitted things, less of the baggy. Also no less polyester.

Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?
Don't think I need to see Mary's take on any style, tbh - she looks great and has her own style spot on, but that doesn't mean she can translate it into something that would suit me.

Abzs Thu 10-May-12 20:43:47

We have a HoF 'concept store' in Aberdeen. So I've had to look at the collection online.

What's your favourite piece in the Collection? Do you have more than one? Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

The only item I'd consider is the Cupro Wrap Skirt. But not at full price, and probably not at half price either.

I was intrigued by the Neoprene Mac, but mainly because I couldn't believe it was actually made of neoprene (it isn't, so why is it called that?). I like the look of it, but fear it would swamp me.

I'm quite short. The skirt lengths look nice on the 5'9" model, but would be awful on me. There nothing that interests me enough that I'm going to go to Glasgow to check.

What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection? What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

I'd want considerably fewer baggy tops and skinny trousers. There isn't much that I'd want to pay that sort of money for. Obviously viewing online doesn't show off the materials and construction quality, but with so few stores stocking it how else are we to see it?

The tailored pieces look more appealing than the casual pieces.

Oh dear - I don't like any of it. The colours are garish, the dresses are horribly shapeless and a lot of it looks cheap but isn't. That's me with no chance of winning the prize then! smile

fivegomadindorset Thu 10-May-12 20:57:16

Too expensive, not practical enough for work and not in my size.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 10-May-12 20:58:33

Oh, forgot to say - do I win then?

coffeewhitenosugar Thu 10-May-12 21:26:58

This collection is sadly not really me - although I love the handbags and the slub jersey t shirt is nice. I don't feel the collection suits my shape at all which is sort of butternut squash shape grin and would feel way too ordinary to look good in any of the items - to appeal to me it would need to flatter not emphasise my shape, I think I would look like a tent in the looser garments and like michelin man in the fitted ones and would like to see more everday type pieces, I liked the plain fabric but would like a bit more funky-type or pretty fabric. Love the handbags though and would happily spend some of the voucher on 1 or 2 if I win!!wink

ChooChooLaverne Thu 10-May-12 21:33:30

Right, I've looked at the online collection, which is a little confusing to find your way round at times - I know we're not critiquing the website but still.

My favourite things are some of the patterned shift type dresses - I'm a bit of a twig shape (with belly) so I know that this style hides the worst of the flab and looks ok on my shape. If I was more curvy with big boobs, I don't suppose it would. So, I guess the collection suits some shapes better than others. And I like a pattern.

I like the fitted skirts too.

I like the accessories generally. Scarves and shoes look lovely.

Am intrigued by the No-brainer dress - looks a bit sacklike in the picture but the woman in the video looked OK. I'd like to try it on but I suspect it would look like a sack on me.

I'm not convinced by the armery business - think the examples shown in the video would look better with a long sleeved t-shirt underneath. And I think they look silly on top of a vest top.

My least favourite things were ALL the trousers. They look hideous, sorry. Can't imagine who peg legs would suit.

I didn't notice the fabrics but one of the fitted dresses modelled by the very slim model in the Flatter your figure with dresses video shows up all her lumps and bumps so God knows what it would look like on the rest of us.

I think the most appealing thing about the collection is Mary herself. If you didn't know it was designed by her then I think people would be even more shocked at the prices.

In Mary's next collection I would like more fitted stuff, some more flattering trousers and for it to be just a bit cooler.

keepmoving Thu 10-May-12 22:02:39

I have bought a Whistles jacket from Mary Portas in HOF Oxford Street and have to say, experienced some of the best customer service I have received in a "chain" in a long time.

I went back a few weeks later to buy blouse/blouses and tried a few on including a bright orange tee. The colour didn't suit me (would have prefered a burnt orange shade) and I was disappointed to find the tops were polyster, I would have expected silk. Again, a great shape and pattern but polyester for £120 (reduced to £84) http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Mary+Portas+Geo+print+blouse/163552677,default,pd.html.

Dresses are good shapes and not too short (rareity these days!) and would consider buying from Mary Portas when I need new work dresses.

I like the mix of own brand and branded products (eg Whistles, Hoss Utopia) etc in store.

Once again, great service!!!

avelte Thu 10-May-12 23:02:45

What's your favourite piece in the Collection?

the collection has the unique appeal not to everyone maybe but it will be loved by others,my favorite is Throw On Placket Front Shirt,
Do you have more than one?
yes,The White Shirt
Product code: D290965
Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to?
the fresh and light colours

If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?
like the style and simple pattern

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?
quality and the simplicity
What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection?
anything ,its welcome
Would you like to see her take on a different style all together?
i can find myself in many of the clothes,looks like my style but willing to try new things all time
Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions?
simple short video how to combine clothes and accessories

If so, what would those additions be?
n/a

stephgr Thu 10-May-12 23:49:52

Unfortunately I don't have a favourite and despite going to the Oxford Street store with money to spend I struggled in vain to find something that looked good and fitted me. It's so disappointing because I'm a huge fan of Mary and have great admiration for her. I'd really like more unique and stylish fitted items as many of the garments seemed a bit frumpy. I'd also love to see a range for petites. I'm only 5ft 2 and fairly skinny so finding anything to fit is a real trial.

Aurora dress because it is about the only one I would wear. I prefer the black. I have a funeral to go to and it looks appropriate (this is probably NOT what HoF want to hear).

The collection is very colourful and there is a lot of variety, BUT it's not really my sort of thing. It all appears to be for skinny middle aged women and I'm not that.

MustControlFistOfDeath Fri 11-May-12 12:29:58

What's your favourite piece in the Collection?
The capri trouser. Caught my eye straight away, definitely my colour, and many items in my wardrobe would co-ordinate with them.

Do you have more than one?
The dress coat. That looks like something I would get a LOT of wear out of. Stylish and practical. Also really liked the look of the boyfriend knit cardigan, although I am ahem ample of middleage and fear it would not look as I would like it to (ie as per the model grin )

Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to?
I did an initial quick scroll down of all the items, to see if anything screamed 'wow' at me...the initial items that caught my eye were the leather jacket and the capri trouser. When I went back for a proper look, I fell a little bit in love with the dress coat.

If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?
The style and cut of the jacket appealed, and the colour of the capri trouser.

What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?
Seems to cater for a good range of sizes and styles.

What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection?
Less of the hideous patterns. Colour - yes please; garish - no thanks.

Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?
No need, you can't please everyone, there will always be items in any collection that some people love but others hate.

worldgonecrazy Fri 11-May-12 13:08:47

Does "no brainer" translate to "so baggy it will hide all your lumps and who gives a shit if you look like you're wearing a tent"?

The collection seems to veer between extremely tarty, bordering on S&m, through to cheap and nasty and a few fitted dresses in between.

The "armery" looks like the model is wearing a pair of leggings over her shoulders.

Palazzo pants - here's a clue, they look awful on a model who is paid to make clothes look good. Nuff said.

The only thing in the entire collection that I thought I might buy is the high waisted skinny jeans, but they are quite expensive compared to other High Street brands so probably wouldn't buy them.

I really, really, really really really wanted to like some of the "Made in Britain" items. I'd love to support clothing made in the UK, but I hated all of it.

I dont' know what target customers would find appealing about the collection - maybe it looks better in real life (nearest HoF doesn't stock it). I can imagine who the target customer is because I know one or two ladies who wear clothes like this, but that is a tiny percentage of the women I know, so I can see why the items have been reduced already.

Sorry, would love to have something positive to say about the collection but I can't really think of anything.

BoffinMum Fri 11-May-12 13:11:16

What's your favourite piece in the Collection?

I don't think I have a favourite. I thought the clothes were a bit old for me. I liked the idea of an armoury collection though, to cover bingo wings, although I imagine most people would just wear 3/4 sleeves in real life.

Do you have more than one?

No

Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

The patterns, although they looked rather frumpy to my eye (sorry Mary). The cut of the clothes in some cases looked rather droopy as well, but perhaps they look better on.

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?

I liked the way the website has woven in fashion tips and advice.

What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

For me there would have to be a lot more exquisite tailored clothes in Italian wool and things like that, as the current collection would not suit me at all. I also like sexy but classic silk shirts and witty little cashmere things.

Elegant comfy shoes is always a good bet - I noticed people were making positive comments about Mary's court shoes, and this might tempt me in.

HannahLI Fri 11-May-12 13:26:38

My favourite piece in the collection is the Blouse twisted print shell as I thought it was so pretty and flattering and I was immediately drawn to it on seeing it. I am currently breast feeding so I have been looking for nice tops that are flattering and pretty that will make me feel like that too. At the moment I am wearing older clothes in my wardrobe and they are nearly all plain and drab so colour is good! The collection seems really balanced that it's pretty but also practical for everyday living hitting for me the balance between smart and casual - for example I love skirts but as a mum crawling after a toddler and looking after a new baby it has to be trousers! To add there as several items that I liked.

One of the most appealing things to me was the searching function allowing you to pick your shape and pull up clothes that will suit, for me I could see myself using this to be able to search quickly without getting frustrated at everything that wouldn't work for me.

In future collections I would love more colour, and I personally would love more clothes that look pretty and feminine but I can wear to walk 2 miles, chase a small person in but that still have that style element to them. As for additions I like v necks and interesting necklines over the round neckline that seems to feature so often at the moment so that would be nice. Also maybe a coat that is brighter (obviously realise this is the summer collection currently) ready for autumn. I feel that when I shop generally on the high street a lot of the fashion is aimed at younger audiences and as I age I don't want to look at 30 like I am trying to dress like a teenager!

I looked at the collection online and if I wasn't aware of who Mary is and very admiring of her own personal style, I probably would have skipped past it as some of the pieces seemed a bit shiny and loud. However as Mary herslef looks good and I'm not much of a stylist, I looked again with more open eyes and tried to see myself in them. I'm 36 but like to think of myself as younger, generally a bit of a jeans and converse scruff - but I would like to smarten up and after 2 babies, need some guidance on how to do this and I think the drapey cuts of most of the tops with some sharp trousers would do this. The shirts overall didn't really appeal. Anyway to answer the questions:

~ What's your favourite piece in the Collection? Do you have more than one? Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

Really like the No Brainer Crepe Dress and also the Anemone Dress - liked the dresses very much over all although the patterned ones were a bit garish - reminded me of Wallis! Also LOVED the La Antoinette Ankle Boots - sharp and chic. Also loving the Ponte Crop Jacket.

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection? What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

I generally liked the dresses - the palette and the cut seem very flattering and not too young or try hard yet still retain a sense of "fashion". But with 2 young children, the price point for me is steep so I would be browsign the sale rail - there is no way I could ever pay £80 for a swimsuit. The tops didn't appeal, the patterns were a bit frumpy I thought but then I personally tire of a pattern and prefer plain clothes. My Mum is 60, I would LOVE to see her in some of the dresses. The sharp tailoring is great - this is because Mary makes it look so good and it does smarten up an outfit.

I have seen Mary's collection both in store and online and I love the pop up shop at Westfield and the way the collection is displayed with accessories woven throughout. Great for accessing a complete look, and the Tatty Devine jewellery adds a quirky and youthful edge to some more classic designs.

My favourite piece is definitely the Coralia dress. Very flattering shape, with the contrasting band emphasising the narrowest part of the silhouette. The fact this band does not run all the way around would, I imagine, create the optical illusion of a narrower waist - a clever feature. I like both colour ways, though the grey/neon combo edges it for me. I also really like the Ray dress, which I think would look super on a more boyish figure than my hourglass.

What I like most about the collection is the fact that while it is obviously trend-led to an extent, the needs of the wearer have been kept in mind, so hemlines are a reasonable length, the cuts are superior (even that of a simple t-shirt or vest) and the shapes stylish but simple. My main bugbear with the collection is the over reliance on manmade fibres, which I found off-putting. I prefer to buy 100% natural fibres where possible and a high percentage where it is not. My favourite dress from the collection is 100% viscose, which is why I would not buy it. Also, some of the patterns look a little like something that might grow in a petri dish - I prefer the clean simple shapes and bold colours. I would like to see more scarves (Mary has excellent taste in scarves), and while I love some of the tops (the neon oversized tee, for example) they really should be made in silk. 100% polyester at £80 is a bit cheeky IMO. The price point of Mary's collection puts her in the Whistles, Reiss, LKB bracket, so really I'd expect quality fabric to match the design. The overall look of the collection is slick and luxe, the materials need to measure up. I would be interested to see some outwear come A/W (wool coats though please!)

Cartoonjane Fri 11-May-12 14:36:29

1. My favourite piece is the pleat front dress, also the marble no brainer dress. I like the colours and patterns, especially the orange.
2. The most appealing thing to me is the number of dresses. I love wearing dresses as they are easy, especially when in a rush in the morning. I feel generally that the collection is a bit old for me and I'm 44. The shoes especially look quite frumpy. I would like the dresses to be on the knee or just above. The one I mentioned above, the pleat front dress, is way above the kneee so not really suitable for me. When I wnet into H of F to look at the collection, my overall feeling was of disappointment. I like Mary and wanted to love her collection but I just didn't, mainly because it seemed a bit frumpy to me.

Snapespeare Fri 11-May-12 15:30:06

~ What's your favourite piece in the Collection?
Siren dress. simple and classic. I dont like lots of clashy prints, so this appeals. good price as well, but only on sale.

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?
I think it does appeal to 'women of a certain age', a bit like a high end marks and spencers (!) I think the collection as a whole works really well and can be complimented with high street buys. stuffed if I am paying £75 for a pair of leggings though!

Lilyloo Fri 11-May-12 15:34:08

My favourite items were the scarfs, especially the feather one. I also liked the dog print cushions but they are expensive.
I wasn't really keen on much in the clothing range other people than the pleat front blouses.
It all seems very 'safe' and a little frumpy. I did like the bright orange in her collection and think more colour would be nice. I also would like a larger handbag / jewellery range.
There. Seems a lot of slouchy, tunic type dresses / tops maybe something more fitted would be nice.

thisthreadwilloutme Fri 11-May-12 16:09:35

~ What's your favourite piece in the Collection?

I love the leather biker jacket, it has great detailing and looks like a designer piece. It would look great for any situation slung on with a pair of skinnies or over a dress for dinner out. I also love the white shirt, the shell blouses, high wasted jeans and scarves. That would be my go to everyday uniform.

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection? What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

I think the collection offers lots of great pieces not available on the high street. I love the fact you could get a great capsule wardrobe just from the Mary Portas collection. I would love to see her add another leather jacket in a couple of colours. More of the same please!

Thetokengirl Fri 11-May-12 17:03:33

I don't live near a House of Fraser that has the Mary Portas collection, so I have looked on line. However, as I work full time and have three young children, this is a true reflection of how I shop. I have never bought any of this collection before as what I have seen on TV seems to be geared towards tall, skinny women. I am 5'2" and a curvy size 12/14.

What's your favourite piece in the Collection? Do you have more than one? Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

After scrollling through quite a lot of shapeless dresses that would make me look huge, I saw the Siren dress in deep red and absolutely loved it. I often wear dresses for work where I have to look smart but functional and this is just the sort of dress I would go for. I was drawn by both the shape and the lovely colour. I tend to wear lots of black and navy and it was nice to see something with lovely depth of colour that would not be too gaudy for work. I also really liked the Corelia dress in the pink/orange (although I might not be brave enough to wear it). Lastly, I loved the twisted detail swim costume as I thought it would be forgiving of my tummy post 3 children but still look flattering and make the most of my curvy figure.

What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection?

The most appealing thing for me was when Mary has combined structure and colour as this is often lacking in the clothes (especially the dresses) that I seek.

What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be?

In her next collection, I would like to see more of the structured/colour combinations and less of the shapeless dresses/shirts. I think her use of colour is excellent and would like to see that maximised. I didn't see any trousers that I thought were the correct shape for me, so I would like to see her design trousers with the shorter woman in mind. That, to me, was the biggest hole in the collection.

First impressions: the site is TERRIBLE on a mobile device, but I guess that's not Portas' fault.

~ What's your favourite piece in the Collection? Do you have more than one? Was there anything in the Collection that you were immediately drawn to? If so, was it the colour, pattern, style or something else that grabbed your attention?

I was drawn to the “armery” out of curiosity, but it was immediately obvious what these products were: lightweight sleeves for people who are self conscious about their arms. A nice idea but not for me, I don't mind sleeveless things.

I liked the Siren dress, because of its nod to body-con, Herve Leger and Roland Mouret. I liked the red colour and how it looked on the model.
However, I don't feel this collection is for me. A lot of it looks like it would swamp me, with bold prints and swathes of fabric, and it also appears to be designed for a woman about 10 years my senior.

I am very short and a size 6 and I have endless trouble finding stuff that fits properly. The Siren dress would come down past my knees and its nice tailored effect would hang and bag on me as my hips and waist are not where it's expecting them to be.

The “no brainer” dress looks like a sack, but would probably look great on a tall woman. Not me, I'd look like I'd gone out in one of my husband's t shirts.

I am not a huge fan of the watercolour floral prints either.

I think the Collection is for someone in her 40s or 50s, so I'm out in that respect too. I think a slender, tall 55 year old would look really fab, modern and appropriate in most of the Collection.

~ What do you think is the most appealing thing about the Collection? What would you like to see in Mary's next Collection? Would you like to see her take on a different style all together? Or would you like to see something similar but with a few key additions? If so, what would those additions be? 

I think the most appealing thing is that she has really thought about what women of a certain demographic want. They don't want to hide their figures, which is the message Gok Wan often promotes, but to show it off and hide the odd bits they don't like (hence the Amery). I could see most of these outfits in my quite conservative workplace. The fabrics and colours are quite appealing and the prices are reasonable, especially as some of it is on sale.

My dream is for a collection designed for petite women that acknowledges that we are not all the same shape. Next's petite range, (I am picturing Portas looking at some of the limp prints and baggy tops there with pursed lips) for instance, assumes that anyone under 5'2” is shaped like Humpty Dumpty, with tiny short legs and a big tummy. Well, I'm not shaped like that. I fantasise about a skirt or trousers that didn't hang loosely 2 inches below my actual waist. I usually end up wearing dresses because of this.

ScorpionQueen Fri 11-May-12 19:25:06

I wasn't keen tbh, but am probably not the target market. I liked the look of the high-rise jeans but wouldn't pay £80 for a pair of jeans. The rest was a bit boring, not really me at all.

The quality looked good and some of the cuts flattering. Maybe when I'm older and more of a conventional dresser...

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