John Lewis is hands down my favourite High Street Department store. Although there aren’t many High Street department stores left these days are there? I love Liberty and Selfridges but they are kind of specialist high-end shops. John Lewis feels more like home. I have been working on a paid partnership with them over on Instagram (I know! how happy am I about that?). This blog post was not part of that deal, but I was so impressed with their own-label brands that I felt the need to expand on them. Note: as ever this post does contain affiliate links.
Previous to last year I didn’t know much about John Lewis’ range of own brand clothes. They have more than you’d expect. 5 to be precise. John Lewis & Partners, which launched last year, Kin, Modern Rarity, AND/OR and Somerset by Alice Temperley. Who knew? To be honest until last year I wouldn’t even have known they had their own labels. I was more drawn to the haberdashery department. I love a good wool selection. In fact, I always harboured a romantic idea that when I’m too old for the music business (which frankly is about now), I would go and work in the Haberdashery department of John Lewis. I know nothing about sewing and can only really knit scarves, badly, but I always felt it would be lovely place to work. Plus I like the word Haberdashery…
It was the launch of the John Lewis and Partners collection last summer that alerted me to their in-house brands. It had such a striking advertising campaign with all those bright block colours, that it really caught my attention. Proving that advertising in it’s classic form, Billboards, Tube posters and magazines still does work if you get it right. For my paid partnership with them on Instagram I picked two outfits, but in reality they make up about 4 or 5 outfits if you mix and match. There was also the Green suit that I tried on but didn’t take home. I may live to regret that. Let’s start there…
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS 1.
I decided not to take the green suit because I feared I wouldn’t wear it enough. I never really have to dress traditionally ‘smart’. If I turned up to work wearing this, people would think I was going for a job interview. But if I worked in a more ‘office-attire’ environment I’d be all over this green number. I did come away with this dress though. Not something I might have picked up from seeing online, but after trying it on I knew it was for me. It has a tie belt which is supposed to be worn around the waist, but I don’t like anything around my waist. I fear the Deirdre Barlow chain-belt syndrome, where instead of giving the illusion of waist, it just highlights the lack-there-of! So I tied it around the back like you would with a trench coat.
- John Lewis & Partners Colour Block Tie Waist Dress
- John Lewis & Partners Green Longline Blazer
- John Lewis & Partners Green Wide Leg Trousers
- Selected Femme Erica Trainers
- Gola Tennis Mark Cox Trainers
JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS 2.
I’m definitely not a natural girly-girl pink type person, but this coat just jumped out at me as soon as I saw it in the shop. I’ve always hankered after a good pink coat and this one was perfect. I’ll be wearing it a lot until the weather dictates I have to ditch it for something lighter. It’s shown online with a belt, again, I got rid of that tout-suite. I rarely ever do my coats up, not even when it’s really cold. These Khaki cropped trousers are also a great addition to my wardrobe. They fit like a dream, leaving zero muffin-top. Always a sign of good trouser!
- John Lewis & Partners Round Raffia Bag
- John Lewis & Partners V Neck Cotton Slub T shirt
- John Lewis & Partners Cotton Cropped Wide Leg Trousers
- John Lewis & Partners Flora Lace Up Trainers
- John Lewis & Partners Pink Wool Mix Coat
Kin has kind of a cool Scandi vibe. Not the first thing that springs to mind when you think about John Lewis I grant you. It’s got a similar design style to Cos. Simple, unstructured clothes made from good quality fabrics. It’s kind of an ageless collection. Nothing fly-by-night, no trend-led pieces to see here people, just the classics. Breton stripe tops, Chino style trousers and quality coats. I think my favourite item is the long line Parka, but I would say that as I have a ‘thing’ for coats. I have 2 coat wardrobes. One of which recently housed a cat maternity ward. Only my cat would chose to give birth in my ‘excess coat’ wardrobe!
- Kin Breton Stripe Cotton Sweatshirt
- Kin Erica Box Cross Body Bag
- Kin Longline Parka Coat
- Kin Elspeth Lace Up Leather Trainers
- Kin Natural Stone Balloon Trousers
AND/OR is the more jeans-focused brand. They are aiming for a kind of California vibe. To be honest it’s a bit hit and miss in that respect. I’ve been to LA twice in the past year and most people seem to wear ‘active wear’ because obviously if they live in LA, they have either just been to the gym or are just going. I love LA, but I don’t think I could keep up with the fitness regime. Plus I don’t really like smoothies. Drinking smoothies is mandatory in LA. AND/OR does a good selection of jeans at a decent price point (around £85, so above high street but below designer) Below are my favourite pieces from their collection.
- AND/OR Hadley Lyocell Light Blue Shirt
- AND/OR Black Leather Biker Jacket
- AND/OR Leopard Print Suede Cross Body Bag
- AND/OR Paloma Studded Ankle Boots
- AND/OR Venice Beach Boyfriend Jeans
SOMERSET BY ALICE TEMPERLEY
If girly dresses are more your thing then Somerset by Alice Temperley will be right up your Strasse. They also do a fine line in jumpsuits too. It serves as a high street diffusion line to her much more expensive own-brand label, but the great prints and dress designs remain in place. Last year there was an amazing Leopard Print maxi dress (which is still available in a few sizes), this season there are more colourful leopard prints, stars and spots.
- Somerset by Alice Temperley Blue Spot Midi Dress
- Somerset by Alice Temperley Star Print Jumpsuit
- John Lewis & Partners Phoebe Chelsea Boots
- Hush Brimpton Black Leather Stud Sandals
The final own brand at John Lewis is Modern Rarity. Where I bought my excellent leather trousers from in the sale. Now sadly sold out. If you’re going to get one thing from that brand, I would recommend this floral dress. For me it’s the ideal buffet dress and it HAS POCKETS!
Apt that this post comes on Mothers Day. I always associate John Lewis with my mother. She really is someone who knows her way around a good haberdashery department. There’s almost nothing she can’t knock up given a few weeks notice, Bean Bags, Fancy Dress outfits, cushions, curtains, she can also knit a smaller wooly version of you. Or Ken and Deirdre Barlow, complete with cigarette and chain belt…