So when is M and S actually going to improve?

(135 Posts)
Orangeanddemons Fri 31-Jan-14 12:53:49

Because it hasn't yet. They have the odd Cos type thing in Autograph, but the rest is dire, just dire. And the older girls is also dire. Drab, dull, boring safe and polyester.

Is it really going to ever up it's game?

FrancesFarmer Fri 31-Jan-14 13:15:51

Never, I would say. They're too much of a behemoth to make any substantial changes.

LadyVetinari Fri 31-Jan-14 13:36:25

I think they have improved, actually. I don't go in often, but I find more flattering and durable clothes in there than I do for the same money in other high street shops (as a slim, early 20s woman who likes a slightly bohemian smart casual look).

When I last went clothes shopping (Oct), Indigo Collection had beautiful skinny cords in navy, charcoal, and cranberry which have worn really well on me, plus lovely cord miniskirts in forest green and burgundy, and a few really pretty cardigans and scarves. I noticed some really nice scoop neck t-shirts in jewel colours when I walked through on my way to Sainsbury's last week, too. I also have a kick-ass houndstooth mini skirt which looks great with everything I own and never seems to look any older, a sharkfin grey blazer which looks fantastic with anything smart-casual, and a fuschia 1960s style suit which is great for looking formal but not too austere.

I always find that they have a few pairs of excellent shoes, too. I got some super-comfortable leather Mary Janes with Insolia for £30 two years ago, which still look new. I also have two pairs of almond toe court shoes from Autograph (also leather with Insolia) which were £45 each, and look fantastic two years on.

wools Fri 31-Jan-14 13:44:34

I agree with LadyVetinari. There are some real gems to be found in M&S amongst the dross but you really do have to search. Some of the shoes and handbags are top quality as are the pure wool trousers they stocked in Autumn. I also think their cashmere is very good quality for the price. I do agree with you about the older girls stuff though - dire! And as for Per Una - wtf?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 31-Jan-14 13:49:47

I too like M&S, and can't wait to spend the �80 of gift vouchers for said shop which are currently burning a hole in my pocket - want to see how much weight I lose first though!

I can never find anything in store but often find things online that I think I will give a go and they usually are better than the crappy photographs online. I brought some lovely swing dresses and I guess you would call them skater style dresses, mainly plain. the swing dresses are a lovely thick jersey and drape nicely, dress down with boots, or flat ankle boots, or dress up with tights heels/shoeboots and statement jewellery.

nickEcave Fri 31-Jan-14 14:12:43

As a 4 foot 11 short arse I have to say I've got some nice petite trousers from Autograph in the past 6 months. Very heavy cotton slim leg ankle length with a bit of a sheen to them. M & S has been my go-to place for petite trousers for years. Having said that, I'm not sure I've bought a top from them in the past 10 years and as a 30G who M&S kitted out in 36C bras for years, I wouldn't go near the lingerie department on principle, even assuming there was something in there which would fit me!

francesdrake Fri 31-Jan-14 15:03:15

I agree with dont - the website really isn't helping. I've noticed the main pages have been revamped, and the mail-outs seem better but the actual photography of the products is astonishingly bad. The models look mortified half the time, the photographs are badly lit and unimaginatively shot, and the styling's awful: too-short trousers, wrong shoes, unflattering tops....

My local M&S is stocked with their derisory 'rural selection' of clothes (ie, the clothes Head Office thinks shoppers in the provinces want, mainly elasticated slacks and joggers) so the website is where I get my impression of M&S, and the place I'd buy from. I haven't, for ages.

RockMummy Fri 31-Jan-14 16:17:41

I bought a great olive green wool winter coat last year which has been lovely but not much else for ages. Glanced in recently but wasn' very impressed this season so far.

lookdeepintotheparka Fri 31-Jan-14 16:22:26

Both their store layout and the website are so crap so I usually give up looking for any gems amongst the rubbish! I just wish they would work out what their customers actually want instead of trying to be everything to everyone. When they do get it right it's great - but then they run out of sizes which should really tell them what customers do want to buy!!

It's the kids clothes designers that need the biggest kick up the backside imo - I don't want to dress my 6 year old girl like she's off for a night on the town hmm

newgirl Fri 31-Jan-14 16:28:09

I had amazing boots from m and s in autumn - perfect. Also liked lots of tops but didn't really need them. I agree re kids clothes - pricey for polyester - Surely they should be more like boden?

GeorginaWorsley Fri 31-Jan-14 16:30:59

Too much stuff IMO .
Racks upon racks of samey polyester 'tops',variations on a theme of black trousers,cardigans etc.
I think the ranges need streamlining and the colours tweaking,more classy neutrals,navy,grey,plus some on trend colours but not sickly lemon or pastel pink.
If they produced well cut wool trousers,good quality knitwear,tee shirts in soft cottons with flattering necklines and that don't stop at the most unflattering part of the body,they would be on to a winner.
Having said that I have had some fab footwear from there,plus some excellent denim.

agnesf Fri 31-Jan-14 16:32:11

I find their quality has deteriorated. I've got a pair of black work trousers I bought last year and they are already beginning to look worn and frayed around the bottom hem compared to a pair of blue work trousers I bought from them over 10 years ago (yes that's right although did have a few years of mat leave in there) and they are still going strong and look as dull good as ever.

Tried to buy some plainish work tops last month and the material is really thin and rubbish.

They used to be great basic affordable range for work clothes - range of styles/ colours and good quality but now they've got loads of stuff but its all flimsy and synthetic.

That place is deceptive, I think there's drugs in the air.

I picked up a navy tea dress with rabbits on it earlier - and an old (very old, like 80's) man reached to get it for his ancient wife who couldn't reach it as she was hunched over (not in some hunchback way, just really, really elderly)

So I nearly bought a geriatric tea dress with rabbits on it.

Orangeanddemons Fri 31-Jan-14 16:32:50

I used to be a childrenswear designer. I wish they'd let me sort out their childrenswear. Am sick of droopy beige stuff in there. And agree about their stuff looking like its designed for a night on the town. How they manage to make their childrenswear both trashy and frumpy at the same time is a feat indeed

newgirl Fri 31-Jan-14 16:35:47

Lol oranges - that's it! Frumpy and trashy and twice the price of hennes

harryhausen Fri 31-Jan-14 16:37:41

The only thing I must get in M&S are the seamless knickers for girls. My dd has almost an obsession with seams and labels and these are fabulous knickers that really fit and are wonderfully comfortable. My only issue is that they only ever seem to be available online. Their school uniform is great too (and I've tried all the supermarkets).

As for the womens dept - I stopped looking in there years ago. As a big boobed lady I became incensed that I couldn't buy anything remotely pretty beyond a G cup. I went to Bravissimo and never looked back. I guess my clothes sense just followed me.

I tend to look in White Stuff, Fatface etc now.

I would love to go back for wardrobe staples but I've lost confidence with them. My staples tend to come from Next now, or Sainsburys.

lookdeepintotheparka Fri 31-Jan-14 16:48:35

Yes definitely agree re quality of the affordable basics and workwear. I used to wear the same m&s basic t shirts and trousers to work for years on end! Now they hang all weird and don't wash well.

Definitely needs you in there to sort out the kidswear Orangesanddemons - some nice fabrics and no unnecessary sequins, studs or one direction logos would be great!!

alemci Fri 31-Jan-14 16:49:41

some things are ok. I buy the odd pair of trousers from per una as I find most trousers so uncomfortable and they fit ok also tights, socks and knickers.

I like indigo but often the thing you want has sold out.

alot of their stuff is tumble dryer safe.

nancy75 Fri 31-Jan-14 16:51:24

They need to overhaul everything.

In the winter they brought in very expensive stuff that was ok but ridiculously priced for m&s. They have a coat at the moment in their best of British collection that is £400. if I spend that on I coat I won't be buying it from m&s, I would go somewhere like jaeger.

This year they did some ok cashmere and then stuck a bloody dog on the front! who wants to spend £120 on a comedy jumper?

Then there is the other stuff.

The people that design per una need sacking. There is no saving it.

Again in the winter collection Autograph did some ok stuff BUT they then covered it all in scraps of pleather and bits of Lacey stuff that looked like it had come from the floor of a cheap knickers factory.

The shops need better visual merchandising

The website - even the models look pissed off at wearing the stuff.

Yes I agree that the older girls range is awful. I get plenty of lovely stuff for younger dd in the young girls range but my 7yr old I struggle, beyond basic packs of leggings and socks. I buy the odd thing such as star print denim shirt for her. We did buy some lovely sandals and glitter pumps last summer too.

MoonHare Fri 31-Jan-14 17:00:01

I love M&S as an institution and try to shop there but struggle often to find anything I like, for me or my children and my recent experience of customer service there was atrocious.

They will only improve when they start listening to and acting on customer feedback. Which they blatantly do not since threads such as this crop up regularly.

There is so much free market research for them on MN they don't need their own executives.

FFS -Take heed of threads such as this Marc Bolland!!!

lottieandmia Fri 31-Jan-14 17:00:30

Lately I do not like their underwear - it is very uncomfortable indeed. The bras hurt. I bought a new bra from Freya and I will not be going back to M&S.

The girls stuff has the odd gem but the ranges of clothes are all over the place and difficult to get a feel for what goes together.

I had to laugh at Laurie's post 'there must be drugs in the air' I was looking at the nightwear in there last week and left when I realised all the other customers looking at the same stuff as me were over 75! I have a great dressing gown from there though.

RedToothBrush Fri 31-Jan-14 17:01:59

They need to start by listening.

Given the number of complaints about their bra sizing on MN, they should have got the message - but they haven't. Once upon a time their reputation was all about their underwear. Now its not.

And the trouble with that, is it puts women off using the rest of the store too. Their shoppers just get older.

So until they start to do something about their bra problem, I don't think they will improve as its reflective of the stores lack of connection with who they should be attracting.

In theory they should be direct competitors to John Lewis. You only have to start comparing the two to see what the problems really are.

herethereandeverywhere Fri 31-Jan-14 17:14:05

It's too full of artificial fibre these days. If you walk through too quickly you fear seeing sparks coming off stuff.

Endless polyester granny blouses (whether 'Autograph' or 'classic' for the actual granny). Knitwear that ages everyone at least 20 years. Basics like tshirts and vests getting cheaper and cheaper but feeling it! I don't want to pay £5 for something that gets shorter and wider in a colour favoured by pound shops. I'd pay £15 if I had the confidence it would stay the shape it was bought and in a classic pallette (cream, white, beige, brown, navy, black, red - perhaps introduce 2 additional seasonal colours per season - this can never be mint green if things are to be improved).

Is Per Una still making everything with freyed edges/crumpled fabrics/scrunched up or wonky hems/ weird craft-project looking corsages and a myriad of stretch-lace in colours that don't go together (turquoise, white and green, probably with a bit of orange and cerise thrown in)?

The place makes me depressed just thinking about it!

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