This is a paid collaboration with Marks & Spencer.

During our recent shopping trip to Marks and Spencer in Longbridge, my Mom and I got talking about the future for fashion shopping. We’d planned an afternoon treating ourselves in M&S, picking up some bits and pieces for the upcoming summer months and enjoying a cuppa in the Cafe afterwards: a proper Mother-Daughter laugh-filled day out. It was SO MUCH FUN, although we couldn’t help but speculate whether these kind of trips had a shelf life. In a world that is becoming increasingly digitised, and with news of the ever-declining high street constantly ringing in our ears, we were worried about our future fashion purchases being solely online based.

Mannequin fashion inspiration at M&S

In an effort to celebrate our high street, and the fun that can be had there, I wanted to not just share the pieces I purchased, but spend some time talking about the whole experience too: a love letter to the Longbridge store, if you will.

Marks & Spencer in Longbridge

The Longbridge store is the largest Marks and Spencers in the Midlands, and has been open since 2015. It’s bright, it’s airy, there’s plenty of parking and the two large floors (covering Womens, Lingerie, Mens, Kids, Home and Food) offer lots to browse and be tempted by. It’s the kind of place you could spend hours wandering around – or, if you’re like me, end up spending hours going up and down the escalator with an over-excited toddler!

The outside of Marks and Spencer in Longbridge
Homewear section at Marks & Spencer in front of lingerie

Child Free Browsing

Getting to enjoy the store, child-free, was a real treat. Ordinarily, if I’m needing a new item of clothing – I have to strategically choose the shop based on it’s toddler-bribery potential (this M&S is quite a good one, as there’s treats in the Food Hall as well as in the cafe that can be used as an incentive for good behaviour!), I speed around, skimming the rails of clothing, grabbing my size and crossing my fingers at the checkout that the fit is alright after having to forgo the fitting room. Sound familiar?

Close up of clothing hangers with size tags on

In comparison, our afternoon was much more relaxed and chilled. After enjoying a bit of a fashion show for some inspiration, a hefty browse around the various sections and a debate on whether we could pull off a white jacket, my Mom and I each arrived at the fitting rooms with numerous hangers tucked over our arms.

Fitting Room Fun

The Fitting Rooms sign at Marks and Spencer

There are a few things to love about the fitting room experience at Marks & Spencer:

  • they’re gorgeous and classy
  • the cubicles have proper doors, rather than flimsy curtains
  • the staff are always on hand for styling advice
  • and the other customers are lovely too!

We had fun twirling around the dressing rooms, laughing at the Boomerangs we filmed and had some lovely chats with a woman who looked like she was also having a Saturday afternoon shop with her daughter. Don’t you just love it when strangers compliment each other? My Mom and I both found some pieces that we loved, including this slogan t-shirt for only £6.50 (I sized down as I wanted a slightly snugger fit) and these botanical print chinos that I just can’t get enough of. I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of them in the coming weeks over on Instagram.

An Excuse to Return

The bag I've got my eye on

I could have walked away with a lot more than I did! There are still some items I’ve got my eye on that I’m sure will be ending up in my wardrobe soon – including the white version of the green blouse I bought and this gorgeous brown cross-body bag that I’ve had my eye on ever since I went to the #HollysMustHave edit event back in February. Isn’t it lovely?

Close up photo of mannequin heads in Marks and Spencer Longbridge

The Resulting Outfit for our Anniversary Date

There’s something about a brand new item that just gives me a little boost of confidence. I can’t quite put my finger on why – but there’s something very special about the first time you wear a piece of clothing. After our shopping trip, I was spoiled for choice the following day when Jim and I went out for a special anniversary treat (it was our fourth wedding anniversary!).

Walking out of the hotel wearing M&S clothing

I started with this cropped utility jacket – which is something really different for me. It’s boxy over-sized look is casual but stylish and feels really easy to wear, making it a really versatile piece over the coming months.

Posing against a tree wearing M&S clothing

I wore it over this khaki lace long sleeve blouse with my new favourite jeans – the Ivy Skinny jeans in Dark Indigo. The detailing of the blouse is really pretty, and the size 10 was a perfect fit for my frame. I’d been eyeing up shirts with frills and flounces for a while (like this rusty coloured cotton beauty), but despite me trying several different kinds, there’s something about frills around the shoulder area that just doesn’t work for me – so this felt like a really good compromise. The same kind of shape and detailing, but without the added 3D effect.

Laughing whilst leaning on a tree wearing Marks & Spencer clothing

The resulting look (dressed up with my wedding heels – a nice little nod to our wedding day!) made me feel effortlessly chic and totally relaxed. If the grin from ear to ear doesn’t give it away: we had a really lovely time.

Sitting on a wall, wearing khaki cropped utility jacket, jeans and trainers

Cheers to M&S!

All in all, I owe a big thank you to Marks and Spencer. This week, I’m raising a glass in celebration of mother-daughter bonding time, to giggles in changing rooms and compliments from strangers, to walking taller with confidence on anniversary dates and feeling sassy, stylish and sexy! Whatever the weather holds for the next few months, my wardrobe and the pieces from M&S have me covered.

Wearing Marks and Spencer from top to toe: blouse, jacket and jeans

Disclaimer: this is a paid collaboration with Marks & Spencer. All content, views and opinions remain my own, and as always, are 100% honest.