* Prices may differ from that shown
A lot of people in my age group generally have two opinions about Marks and Spencer - it's expensive and old fashioned. I can understand why but I'm going to defend these points. It's a little higher priced than the likes of Tesco and Primark, but not a high price to pay for the quailty. Secondly, yes they do cater for all age groups fashion wise, meaning you may have to walk past a few lilac cardis and elasticated trousers to get to the trendy stuff. However it is there, and when you find it, it's a treat.
There are a few ranges at M&S focused at the more fashion concious customer, than maybe the customer who would shop their core range. 'Per Una' has been a great success, good quality unusual clothing with a hippy feel. 'Autograph' which I do think is a little overpriced. This is aimed more at the business crowd I think. Simple, well cut sharp pieces are what this range is all about. Thirdly, there's Marks and Spark's Limited Collection. One of my favourite fashion brands. The clothes here are trendy, excellent quality and fit beautifully.
I work next door to a Marks and Spencer and often pop in on my lunch. I'm a fan of the brand anyway, but must admit not all the clothes are my cup of tea, though they have always been good for basics. M&S used to be about good food, sensible work shoes and underwear. Now on my trips in there things get altogether more expensive!
I'm not sure why Limited Collection is called that. Is it because they have a limited number of styles, that they produce a limited amount of each style, or that it takes up a limited amount of space on M&S shopfloor? All of these could be true. Perhaps the fact that my local (rather large) M&S has dedicated a minute section of floor space to this brand is part of the reason why I had not noticed it for so long. There are never a huge range of styles there at one time but turnaround tends to be rather brisk. I visit fairly often and there always seems to be something new to tempt and the top I maybe bought last week will no longer be there.
I think this is a great way for a brand to be. It's keeps it fresh and exciting and the customer coming back. The clothes and I mentioned, and as you would expect from M&S are very good quality. The sizing is also very accurate, no scrimping here. The thing I love about this collection however is it's so on trend, super fashionable, but not in a throw away Primark type way. Limited Collection seem to have got the balance between on trend and classic spot on. The purchases I have made from the collection I can see myself wearing for a long time, they are not going to date, yet they are selling these items when everyone wants them. For example, the animal and print theme is big in ladies fashion right now. The 80s revival is still in and colour is big business. Whilst their current collection has a strong influence from those trends, you won't find the same top that seems to be reproduced in every high street store. Limited Collection will keep it simple and unique to them so the pieces don't date so rapidly. M&S has never been about throw away fashion, it's always stuck to quality, and it's not going to change now.
I've focussed very much on the core womenswear, but Limited Collection has spilled over into swimwear, shoes and lingerie too. In M&S stores, these are merchandised by department so if you want trendy knickers you are still going to have to find them amoungst the big bloomers, but I can understand why M&S do things this way. On the website, however, you can shop by department or collection, so you can browse Limited Collection shoes, clothes and lingerie together.
Price wise I'd say they're 'TopShop' sort of prices. Expect to pay around £10-14 for a basic top, £15-25 for one with more detail, £20 and up for skirts and trousers, the same for shoes and prices for lingerie start around £5. I do think they beat TopShop on class and quality however. Plus, you're less likely to see another girl with the same top as you. Why? Is it because the stocks of this collection are so 'Limited' or is it because the number of young trendy females shopping the collection is so 'Limited?' I think it's the latter. I'm not sure whether I think this as a plus or not. I quite like having it as a relative secret amoungst my friends. They all seem quite shocked if they ask my where I got my top and I say M&S! At the same time however, if it is always kept as M&S little secret it may not survive and that would be a great shame. M&S is a department store at it's heart after all, which means there's something for everyone.