So when is M and S actually going to improve?(135 Posts)
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?
I used to go there what in the 90s/2000 mark and picked up a few gems (a snake print top that both me and a friend got) and their underwear and nightwear was 2nd to none.
I got my mum some nightwear for Xmas which is nice but I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. They changed their great nude tights to different ones which laddered immediately etc.
My mum used to like Per Una until they got a bit creative and put big flower applique on everything. The Limited dresses can be fab (print ones) but now whenever I look in my local M&S Limited section there's nothing that grabs me.
They need to concentrate on proper fabrics, wool, cotton etc and good designs. And their childrenswear is dire. even the home wear - Next at Home and John Lewis do it better and cheaper.
The smaller branches are dire. Why do they only seem to stock the worst of the worst, frumpy frocks, the boring collection range, a bit of droopy Per Una.
Occasionally I've had cause to visit a city centre branch & was amazed to see they do stock a few decent, wearable things but the small branch in our nearest small country town would be better sticking to food.
The plus size range is awful - hardly any natural fibres and 90% boring and black. I can wear black but what about all the people who can't? And it's only available online. Seriously they're happy to have Per Una abominations in store but not a plain jersey dress just because it's over a size 20?
I love the beauty department and it's really improved (the makeup is largely very good and is bunny friendly, and there's a great fragrance range now), so why can't the clothes improve too?
Very, very occasionally they have something lovely, but I'm fed up of trawling through the whole store every season for ken gem every 2 years or so! Also, some of the staff who dress the mannequins do an absolutely shocking job (generally smaller stores, the one in our big town is fine).
[slightly off tangent] I bumped into some buyers today and interrupted their conversation to ask them to feed back to the powers that be that the website is awful! with the photos making everything look horrible. They informed me the website is being re-launched very shortly. Watch this space...
Yes the website is dire! Although the Boots one is too actually, lots of big high street shops have shocking websites.
I loathe it. Everything PP have said is right - too much stuff, nearly all of it tat and if there ever happens to be anything you want (rare) they don't have it in your size.
I too think the Indigo range has some great stuff - I've had some truly beautiful things for DD from that range. And obviously the food is nice. The homewares are OK but ill-stocked and overpriced. But everything else is dire - nasty hideously-gendered children's clothing, staff that don't know the stock, poor customer service, the most godawful police-cell photography on the website which makes even nice clothes look terrible.
And the sizing - last time I tried to buy an item for myself there I ordered a size 6 dress and you could have fitted two of me in there.
Just do basics - not 300 items - and stock them IN ALL THE SIZES THAT YOU MAKE. Natural fibres. Neutral colours. Regular sizing. Flattering cuts. Normal necklines and hemlines. Enough with the heart-shaped buttons and horrific appliques. Or just let me come over there and I'll sort it out for you.
I bought my mum their cashmere cardigans from the winter collection in 5 diff colours and they're great. Nice colours, have washed well. No complaints.
I also bought a dress at Christmas not bought M&S clothes since I was a kid!
I got an M&S gift voucher from BIL at Christmas (was vaguely insulted that was the voucher of choice but that's a separate issue!) and I still haven't managed to find anything I want despite three visits to two different stores. I may end up getting pkain white towels for the house which is frankly depressing. Especially as I could get cheaper, similar quality in Tesco.
TheGirl I'd spend it all in the beauty section tbh. Monotheme perfume, Nuxe and REN skincare, Autograph makeup (their foundations are fab for palefaces like me).
The beauty section has vastly improved I do agree - some great make up and fragrances. Monotheme vanilla perfume is just gorgeous!
Answer to OP is 'never' I think.
Small stores truly dreadful. Our local one ( though in affluent London suburb ) makes me lose will to live!
Very little in bigger ones - so much horrid synthetic material and so many cheap nasty colours and patterns.
Some Autograph tights and some cashmere OK. Beauty much improved though prefer Space NK.
Used to get some good basics from Autograph Weekend up to a couple of years ago but they are long gone and most of Autograph seems to be going towards Per Una fabrics and design. Indigo seems mostly dreary wispy florals .
I no longer shop there - too frumpy and trashy as another poster has stated. Basics are overpriced and dated and the niche ranges used to have lovely stuff but don't now. I get my work wear from Sainsburys now, excellent quality, on trend and good choice.
Kids wear - forget it. Bought some macs for our DC a few years back and nothing like that in since to get bigger sizes. Boden or jojo Maman bebe better.
And homeware. Dull, dull dull.
I want to shop in M&S but echo what other posters have said about rows of uninspiring blouses and poorly cut clothes in cheap materials.
Having said that though, I did get a couple of great bargains in the sale recently - a lovely pair of Autograph shoe-boots for £20 and a large bottle of Fragonnard eu de toilette for £12.50!
I agree with pps, M&S seems lost.
I used to buy their underwear and socks but last time I bought socks I actually took them back as they were such poor quality. The quality of the primark socks I bought instead was much better and IMO that's one of their big problems.
Lots of people would pay a premium for good quality but are v peed off to pay a premium for rubbish quality. The same goes for school uniforms. I wish they'd stop looking for cheaper fabrics and stick with what wears well even if it's a bit more expensive.
But I did get some great tights - they look good and don't fall down and fit well.
My little boy is 3, and I must admit I do really like the stuff they have for his age. The problem is more that the store (Edinburgh Princes Street) is truly unfit for purpose and the kids clothes are located in what is essentially a corridor. It's so off putting.
With women's wear, I wish to god they'd grasp that a tshirt with a boat neck is not and never will be 'perfect', unless you want the world to see your bra straps. I see these tshirts on the rack in size 20 etc and think really, women that size are wearing boat neck tshirts and their tits are staying up how, exactly? Magic?
Agree with you Morris about the Princes St store. It's a ridiculous layout with varying levels and hidden lifts. Hard to navigate with a pram or someone who can't manage steps. The food hall toilets have to be smelt to be believed!
I haven't bought anything in there in a long time but make the occasional pilgrimage to return unsuitable presents
The good thing about Princes St of course is that Per Una are in their own section of the shop with their own door, so you don't have to see it all unless you want to. The bad part is the excessively large collection of black polyester trousers.
If its raining and I'm approaching from the west (like the witch that I am) I duck straight in the first door and nip through the bedazzling wonder of Per Una. One day the weather'll change and I'll be stuck there for all eternity
Oh lord yes the food hall toilets are grim! The ones upstairs aren't much better either. Thankfully John Lewis are nearby with their infinitely better facilities.
My local stores are either dunfermline or perth. Both not great but I will say, I find their shoes and boots to be very good. Tights are good and I got a really lovely skirt to go with thick tights and knee high or shoe boots just before Christmas.
Yes, a lot of their stuff is awful and yes, I agree their basics need improved on. I'd also spend a bit more for good basics but I suppose, like Dunfermline, they are competing with primark which is directly over the road.
I have not bight a bra from there is years preferring Jenners or Bravissimo in Edinburgh.
And I agree, there is lack of though in their clothes and the sizes they produce. As you say, a boat neck top will probably look nice on smaller sizes but no lady above a 18 will ever wear one.
Bigger ladies want good quality fabrics with v or cowl necks and, do you hear me marks and spencer, SLEEVES.
Some of us 'bigger ladies' (though personally I'm a woman, not a lady)actually hate cowl necks on top of our large busts! The simpler necklines, the better - V or moderate scoop is ideal.
Keep it simple - and good quality - is just something M and S can't grasp, though.
Don't find their shoes good enough quality either.
What is it with the M&S toilets? They almost universally stink! Sauchiehall St in Glasgow is particularly bad. If other large department stores can manage to have decent, clean toilets, then why can't M&S?
And agreed with all the points people have made. Clothes awful- awful styles, colours and materials. I used to like Limited Collection & Autograph, but they both look frumpy now.
Their girls' clothes are terrible too. When my DD was around 1, I got loads of beautiful clothes. They used to make really lovely Autograph party dresses for reasonable prices. But now, everything looks so cheap and flimsy.
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