And Marks and Spencer is making it easy for customers to stock up on staples by launching the Foundation Edit — 12 pieces they think every woman should own.
Starting from £3.50, up to £99 for a trench coat, some items are available now, but will be marketed together in-store and online from August.
The capsule collection begins at the core of every good outfit — good underwear, yours for £32.50 for the set.
Blue straight-cut jeans, a Breton striped top, white shirt, fine-knit jumper, smart black trousers, heels and boots all have a place.
And the sports luxe trend has had a big influence, with quilted coats, jogger-style striped trousers and sweatshirts emerging as one of the biggest themes.
Sporty details have even made it into the underwear drawer, with stylish additions such as mesh on lingerie sets.
It might be the closest I’ll get to owning gym gear.
But it’s not all minimalism. After a run of sell-out dresses, this Christmas we’ll all be fighting over the sequin skirt instead.
And M&S has used a so-called “plus size” model without any fanfare.
I’m a bit nonplussed though — she’s still an amazingly toned size 12, used alongside the “regular”-sized girl.
It is refreshing to see for the millions of us who aren’t a size eight, and it’s even more impressive M&S isn’t using it as a selling point.
Head of Lingerie, Soozie Jenkinson, said: “We do bras up to a K and knickers up to size 28. We’re reflecting the diversity of our customers.”
Not that M&S hasn’t had a slice of the plus-size market. This year it launched its Curve collection, which ranges from sizes 18-32, and the brand keeps adding to it.
But it’s not all smooth sailing at the high street store. Last month, it announced the closure of 100 shops by 2022, and suffered a 3.4 per cent drop in sales.
And as more customers go online, Chief Executive Steve Row said he aimed for a third of sales to go digital over the next five years.
MARKS AND SPENCER PRICE GUIDE
So how can M&S catch up with the likes of Asos?
New managing director of clothing, home and beauty, Jill McDonald, said: “We’re permanently looking at how we improve the online journey, investing in our photography.
“The site speed is improving, we’re trialling a later cut-off for home delivery, and looking into making Click and Collect quicker.
“The high street isn’t an easy place to be but we’re focused on the customer.
“That’s how we’ll ensure we are successful.”
I hope so — it’s not just any shop, it’s our M&S.
I hope sprucing up its website and doing what M&S does best — good, reliable pieces — turn around its fortunes.
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