M&S FASHION: FIND THOSE BARGAIN BUYS
If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen some of the amazing bargains I’ve picked up these past couple of seasons at M&S. Admittedly not my usual high street shop, believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. I’ve always thought they championed quality, but never really, truly shopped there for myself. And now, over half of my new purchases have been from them and here’s the reason why. Timing is key. I’ve never really gone into my local M&S for anything other than food bits, underwear and of course the kids uniform and clothes. With a bit more time on my hands since leaving full time work as a Fashion & Beauty Editor, I’ve not only discovered the joys of local shopping but with both children in school, I’ve also found this magical hour, just after morning drop-off which has now become my ideal time to recharge with a spot of retail therapy. (Reading this back, I’m thinking, OH BOY! I have changed! Welcome to the 40s club!)
You see, a long time ago, in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to shop on a Saturday. Local shopping centre or up-town, it didn’t really matter, shopping was a strictly Saturday thing with my best friend (shout going out to Mrs Berkshire *muffled DJ mic voice) Very cool times were had in Hennes, Tammy, Shelleys and other similar sounding shops. We’d loiter, laugh at boys, dodge ticket inspectors (sorry about that Mum!) and come home stinking of White Musk and Dewberry. We were living the ‘90s dream. BUT NOW?! Post-kids and turning 40, things have changed. A. LOT! You couldn’t pay me to shop on a Saturday now. It’s not my tribe, nor vibe (Actually, when reading this back, I do think I have a price)
And my choice of shops has shifted too. As I mentioned, M&S for starters has definitely begun to creep into my Top 10, and in particular, their sales – which are not to be missed! One season, I caught them bringing out a rail with kids clothes on that were all £1 or 50p! No lie! I bought SO much and still had change from £30!
For the first few days of the sales, it’s all displayed in full view for maximum exposure. But then it moves to the back of my local store as new stock arrives. THEN, it goes into the ‘yellow sticker’ phase (starting to sweat!) which is where you’ll find the REAL bargains – but refunds aren’t accepted, so make sure you try on before you buy.
I’m a UK size 10/12 depending on brands. In their first phase of the sales there’s a really good selection of sizes across all the departments and the other bonus of shopping this early in the morning is that EVERYTHING is in size order, so you can get to the task in hand, really quickly!
Straight in, I spot this one off, multi-coloured, jacquard, midi length prom skirt for £26 similar to those big prom skirts in Coast. Like a magpie – I am on it but there’s actually no real need as the shop floor is pretty empty. (Stay calm FT!) I check if the skirt has pockets? YIIIIISSSSS! It does! BOOM! It’s in my trolley!
Then, I spy the black version of the red pom pom tassle sandals that I’d already bought at full price (£30). Only two are left, but thankfully, one is in my size (7) I actually start skipping around at this point, looking ridiculously happy and not very in-keeping with the dreariness of todays wet weather. As a couple of lovely elderly ladies walk in, taking off their rain bonnets with such patience and poise, I realise what I’ve always known for so long. I can be so shallow but I BLOODY LOVE SHOPPING! Yes, it’s stormy as hell outside, but as long as I have a skirt with pockets in and these black shoes for a tenner, then life is pretty darn good!
As I head up to the changing rooms that are spotless and EMPTY, I manage to walk the entire length of the mirrors that’s outside the cubicles in what now feels like my own VIP dressing room. I hate packed changing rooms where you have to hole yourself into the cubicle almost as if you’re in hiding. Plus standing up in a 1x1m squared cubicle hardly gives you the right impression of how something feels, or moves, or stretches. You need a catwalk! And this morning, goddamit, I have one! Everything fits and I am beyond happy. I’m on a serious high now as I calculate the saving’s I’ve made in my head. I’m useless at maths, but it’s a lot. There’s time still, so I quickly browse through the coats and make ‘Oooh’ noises as I touch their cashmere jumpers – they have SO many colours, all reduced plus loads of leather bags too.
More recently, I nabbed this navy dress which is just so stunning. It’s got a low back and I love the smock-style which just hangs loosely over the body. It’s so comfy and there’s no need for Spanx. HUZZAH! It’s a bit Handmaids Tale, but in a good way, right? Blessed be the fruit…Oh and it was marked down from £45 to£11. Bargain!
Finally, these pink suede dolly shoes were also just £11. I love pink. There, I said it! While the shade continues to work its magic season after season, it was actually the heel and round toe design that finally won me over. Ideal for wider feet and although I still wear heels for special occassions (really sounding old now, huh?) for everyday, I much prefer a midi.
Mission accomplished! And it’s not even midday! There’s no exhaustion from fending off crowds of humans or breaking up the bickering between siblings or having to bribe them with treats to stop the endless moan of ‘This is SOOOO BORING!’
Some people (*picks mic back up -shout out to Mr Husband!) like to exercise first thing in the morning as it ‘sets them up for the day’ – I couldn’t agree more and have written about my love for road running but let’s be honest, this type of sport can be way more stylish.
*This is not a sponsored post