Marks and Spencer got word that I’ve finally stopped ridiculing their Per Una range! They got in touch the other week and asked if I’d like to check out the new collection properly and show you the pieces I liked the most. They have paid me for my time, but they had zero creative or editorial control over this post. This could mean they never want to work with me again…
A few years ago, or even last year to be honest, I would have given them the side eye, but I am telling you, Per Una has changed, and for the better. For a second, I thought it might just be me getting older, but no, a real transition has been made by the brand.
You can also breathe easy that you will never be tempted by something from the Footglove collection, that’s gone now too. I will no longer have to stand behind my friends bellowing ‘Step AWAY FROM THE FOOTGLOVE’.
But back to Per Una…Gone are the waterfall cardigans and overly embellished maxi skirts (sorry if that was your thing, you need to look elsewhere) in their place are some great dresses, classic coats, and prints that are classy not garish. They are using quality fabrics, and I think the slightly higher prices reflect that too. It feels like a collection that is made to last. This is the first season of the new direction and I have high hopes for what is to come from here on in. Here’s the key pieces I’ve picked out.
THE CHECKED JACKET
Not quite a coat, but not quite a jacket, this hip length checked number is a great casual throw-over for the weekend or the school run, if you have to do that. That’s something I really don’t miss. Now my kids have to get themselves to school there is a whole lot less stress in our house pre 8.30am. I would pair this coat/jacket with cropped Boyfriend style jeans and trainers. Obvs. I’m fairly predictable in that way.
1. M&S Collection Checked Back Pack £29.50
2. Autograph Pure Cashmere Relaxed Ribbed Jumper £99
3. Per Una Checked Overcoat £69
4. M&S Collection Straight Fit Ankle Grazer Jeans £25
5. M&S Collection Lace Up Hiker Style Trainers £29.50
I love this dress. I think it’s my favourite piece from the collection. It’s loose fitting without being too sack-like. (although you know I love sack/buffet dress) I would maybe size down one or two sizes if you want it a little more fitted. You know what else? It has POCKETS! For me, pockets make any dress instantly more palatable. I need a place to put my tissues, and also my hands when I don’t know what else to do with them. I’d pair it with a classic navy coat. M&S do the best classic navy coat, I still wear the one I bought 7 years ago. One of the hardest working coats I own.
1. Per Una Floral Print Midi Dress £89
2. M&S Collection Mini Leather Saddlebag £49.50
3. M&S Collection Lace Up Ankle Boots £45
4. M&S Collection Wool Blend Waisted Overcoat £99
THE FLORAL SKIRT
This skirt was one of my stand out items (along with the dress) from the Per Una collection. It was this skirt that I saw at their Press Day back at the start of last month that made me question the changes going on at the brand. I bought it as soon as I saw it in the shop the other week. This skirt looks and feels so different from the kind of thing I previously expected from M&S. It feels expensive, and the print is great. The wrap effect is also sturdy, no chance of showing your undercrackers to the world if a rogue gust of wind catches you unawares. If dresses are more your bag, it does come in a dress form too.
1. Per Una Cable Knit Roll Neck Sweater £39.50
2. Per Una Herringbone Double Breasted Coat £149
3. Per Una Satin Floral Print Wrap Skirt £49.50
4. M&S Collection Leather Hiker Boots £75
THE VELVET SUIT
Finally for something completely different. A velvet suit. Of course you don’t have to wear it as a suit, it could be separates, but together for a party outfit over the festive season this is such a good look. I would pair it with their pyjama style shirt and flats. because I like to feel comfortable in every situation, specifically at parties. I don’t go to parties that often. To be honest I like to be in bed by 11pm these days. But a festive lunch? Yes please. I’m open for invitations…
1. Per Una Velvet Belted Blazer £89
2. Per Una Velvet Wide Leg Trousers £55
3. M&S Collection Glitter Chain Bag £25
4. Per Una Floral Pyjama Style Top £39.50
5. M&S Collection Flat Glitter Strap Pumps £19.50
Oh, and yesterday I got a load of Sparks vouchers through the post for 20% off Clothes, Homeware and Beauty. I assume you did too if you have one of those cards, but I’m never sure! Anyway, that promo runs from tomorrow 17 Oct to Monday 21 Oct. So maybe just wait a few hours before you hit buy on any of the things you like.