Regualr readers of this blog know that I have some favourite retailers. They are neither the most expensive, nor the most economical. However they offer a good blend of quality and fit, versus price. T M Lewin, Charles Tyrwhitt and Hawes & Curtis get regular mention on these pages.
However, a fourth emerging favourite is M&S Man. It’s hardly a secret that I am a fan of M&S. I’ve blogged about them here on a few occasions. Their blazers in particular, seem to be tailored so that a 38Long meets my exact requirements. However, I’ve been looking at my closet and over the last two years or so a significant proportion of my purchases have been from M&S.
Now let’s get a few things out of the way. M&S are probably not the last word in quality. There are other places to go if you want the absolute best. That is true of pity much any stores you can find on the High Street.
Nor are they the last word in exclusivity. I can recall a number of times I have come across a colleague or a stranger wearing an M&S item (usually a blazer) that I have in my collection. That it looks much better on me is at least some small consolation….
However, that is precisely one of the reasons that they are an emerging favourite, their accessibility. You don’t need to be a connossieur to be Abel to find something great at M&S and you don’t need a special shopping trip. Just pop along to your nearest high street ad there should be something for you.
Another is the fact that M&S is just beginning to flex its retail muscle to great effect, not least with its Best of British range. M&S team up with a number of outfitters to offer what is in effect another retailers items under the M&S banner. So they have teamed up with Joseph Cheaney, for example, a high end shoemaker, to offer a range of Cheaney shoes via the M&S best of British range. The shoes are branded both by Cheaney and M&S.
If I want a pair of Cheaney shoes I normally need to get to one of only a few retailers that stock them. Now I can have them delivered to my local M&S store or to my home, free of charge. Something they Cheaney themselves, won’t or can’t do, presumabl because they don’t have M&S’ giant distribution network at their disposal.
Recently M&S have teamed up with Oxford University to produce a collection of rugby shirts, and cardigans, which are more than a simple branding job. They are well tailored items.
Certainly for semi formal wear, good trousers, cords moleskins and accessories, as well as the aforementioned Blazers they are quickly becoming my go to shop. And the convenience of it, is hard to ignore. Suits a also a good possibility from M&S man. However, I still prefer my favourite three for shirts, and have yet to purchase a formal shirt from M&S.
Perhaps the best thing about M&S is that I think I now finally understand the overall rhythm of their sales periods. I can predict roughly when the next sales promotions will be one. This means that I Avoid Paying Full Price. If I want somethign wait until the next promotion.
So if you are looking for convenience, a good range a competitive price (though far form the cheapest) you could go to Jermyn Street. However, occasionally you might find it simpler and eas Kerr to go to your high street instead and pop into M&S.
BTW, probably one of the best things about M&S Man is that they have persuaded David Gandy to be the face of M&S Man. When I grow up I want to look as cool and a s manly as him.