In recent years I’ve struggled a little with style. I’m in that in-between stage of no longer wanting to wear the majority of clothes you pick up in New Look, but I’m not quite ready to hang up my fashion credentials altogether and head defeated into Wallis. (Sorry folks.) As a 35 year old woman I want to look and feel fashionable without the short skirts, crop tops, slogan tees and ‘hot off the catwalk’ pieces – because they’re mostly uncomfortable and make me feel like a bit of a tit. I want to be elegant, nod to the trends and wear pieces that flatter my shape (and we all know the majority of the high street has never even seen a proper curve, let alone know how to accommodate it) so a handful of stores have become my go-to destinations. Marks & Spencer is definitely top of that list, because it nails the looks I want and simply stops me struggling with fashion in my 30s.
Unlike the days of old when you wouldn’t be seen dead in anything from M&S (other than your school uniform or a pair of granny pants,) in recent seasons they’ve really been pulling it out of the bag and delivering covetable pieces that I just can’t get enough of. The leopard print dress I featured here has been such a go-to and amazing for this awkward weather when you’re not quite sure what to wear, while this leatherette skirt has been worn so many times in so many ways – it’s a staple that was such a good investment (thanks mum!) My trusty go-to wedding guest dress is also an M&S number (more on that soon,) while I’ve also got a couple of Christmas outfits already waiting in the wardrobe after snapping them up online and being super prepared for the party season.
They just seem to ‘get’ fashion right now, offering modest but not old-fashion ways to wear the trends. I don’t want to wear clothes that make me feel exposed or uncomfortable, preferring a midi length, a higher neckline and a little sleeve, but that often means you sacrifice on style. This dress 100% proves you can still look effortlessly chic without flashing the flesh (if you want to though, go you!) and I couldn’t be more here for it. Does this mean that struggling with fashion in my 30s is finally over?
Admittedly I picked this up in a secret M&S ‘seconds’ shop near my mum’s house in the midlands (they slash the prices because there’s some minimal damage, which often you can’t even spot) for £35.00 instead of the usual £79.00, but that doesn’t make it any less of a wardrobe win; the sales assistant also informed me it was a top pick in Vogue! I love the colours, the fabric, the subtle layering and the little belt that nips you in at the waist to stop it feeling too much like a tent. It’s cool enough for warmer days, but with a slip and a leather jacket will keep me going all Autumn too.
Unfortunately it’s sold out online, but you may be able to find it in some of the bigger stores – or just settle for some of the other amazing pieces M&S have available right now. I’ve spent far longer than I care to admit scrolling through pages of beautiful dresses and statement pieces, with far too many on my wishlist (or in my basket!) With so many long-sleeved, jewel toned, midi-length, perfect-for-layering pieces to choose from, I guarantee that M&S will be your go-to destination for Autumnal fashion this year.
In the interests of being helpful I’ve picked out my fave pieces from the new collection below, some of which I’ve already added to my basket (oops.) But it’s well worth having a browse online, especially as so many pieces are website exclusives or harder to track down in some of the smaller stores. I can always rely on M&S to be true-to-size, work with my curves (they always have room for boobs / hips / bum) and be made from quality fabrics that don’t start to look tatty after a few washes – in fact some of my oldest summer dresses are from good old Marks and Sparks, because they just keep their quality for so long.
A special mention also to this beautiful silver bracelet from Stephen Einhorn, who makes some stunning and truly unique luxury jewellery. It’s that little bit of something that adds effortless elegance to a look, perfect for layering or wearing alone; a piece to be treasured, thanks to its timeless appeal and unexpected shape. I’m a big fan of jewellery and have been thinking about a chunkier bangle for a while (mainly to counteract the more delicate Pandora stuff I have coming out of my ears) and this couldn’t have been more perfect. Make sure you check out the entire collection!
Am I the only one that’s been struggling with fashion in my 30s?
Let me know your top tips, places to shop and go-to styles!
SHOP MY FAVE M&S DRESSES FOR AUTUMN