Bad Mum

Magazine

30 October 2017

Fashion Feature!

My love/hate relationship with Marks & Spencer

Throw back to circa 1985, I'm 8, I hate shopping. My mum loved shopping (can't imagine where I got it from!), we boarded the train for Glasgow City Centre at 9am, returning, on our hands and knees, at 6pm most Saturdays. We often returned empty handed; window shopping for my mum was just as exciting as actually purchasing. 

Shopping as a child in the 80's was a completely different experience to what my kids have nowadays. There was no 'fashionable' clothes for children to choose to build their own identities (you wore what you were given, or more to the point, what was available), there were no 'accessories' to touch, to play with, to try, to want, in every shop you go into, there were no sweeties at the till for a last minute impulse buy, there was no dispensable money to spend £10 on a load of rubbish just to keep the kids happy whilst I'm shopping.

There was less choice. Less choice for kids, and less choice for adults. My mum hated disposable fashion, the thought of her buying clothes every season, and only lasting one season, would not even be considered. 'What Every Woman Wants' (was that just a Scottish shop? - quite like Primark) was passed by on route to M&S, where she knew the clothes were reasonably priced, and the material would last her a good few years. Were the collections stylish? No. Did she even like what she bought? Not really? So why did she buy them? 

M&S was like an institution. If you think of good British shops, you immediately think of M&S, there's even one in Gibraltar. If my dad saw bags from M&S it was immediately thought of as being 'OK', anywhere else and he would ask 'what have you bought now, did you need it?', but if it was from M&S it was OK. 

My 8 year old self and my 7 year old brother had different thoughts about M&S, we didn't like going in there, in fact it's suffice to say we LOATHED it. So big, so bright, so many adult clothes, nothing to look at, nothing for us, no sweets at the tills, so many old ladies trying to talk to us, no iPads to keep us entertained (yes, my kids are spoilt brats!)...and always 10 more minutes, and another, and another, and another. 5 hours later we left, half a person to who walked in. 

I reach my teens, I started to show an interest in what I wore, I swore that in my whole life ahead of me I would never, EVER, shop in M&S. the mere building gave me the creeps and filled me with that dreaded feeling of when I was 8. I wanted Tammy Girl, I wanted Chelsea Girl, I wanted Dash. 

Fast forward to now. I'm 40, still love fashion, still want to shop in the stylish, disposable, high street shops. I don't need M&S...or do I? 

Over the past couple of years I've been slowly but surely adding every fashion blogger out there on Instagram. "Where's it from?" Their followers ask, "M&S" is a frequent reply! 

Now, I'm not sure if they're paid to endorse M&S, but what I do know is that they look amazing in their clothes and shoes. 

So, over the past year, I have become a convert. I still try and not go in with my mum (sorry mum!), and try a 'tapping' method to get the childhood stress suppressed when I walk in, but I have to say, some (and I do mean some) clothes and shoes are just right for my 'too old for Topshop, too young for Jigsaw' kinda age. 

In M&S, what you see is what you get. If you're a size 12, you're a size 12. If you're a size 8 shoe, the size 8 shoes will fit you (and boy, with these 'Insolia' bottoms you could literally wear all in them all day!). 

Here's my pick of what I love in Marks & Spencer right now, and a photo of my latest purchase...when 8 people walk past me trying on these blue ankle boots and tell me I HAVE to buy them, who am I to tell them otherwise?!?!









Abi Rose @toptips4fashion Facebook & Instagram 
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