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What is up with M & S?

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susiecb Sat 06-Aug-11 09:47:39

I despair! I have carried on with M & S through thick and thin, loved it when per Una and Autograph Weekend came to town but recently forays have left me purchasless. Have their designers and buyers all got terminal depression? The colours are dire, the styles difficult to wear and repetitious - how many Per Una funny buttoned cardigans can they turn out and where have the nice skirts gone? In one of their larger stores this week just outside Leicester I tried to buy nice linen trousers and tops for a holiday. The linen trousers were very cheap admittedly but my dish cloth has more style and wearability- as for tops if I was taking up a job in an undertakers they might just suit. As for lingerie the choices were lurid spotty things with those aweful Brazilian shorts instead of knickers or those sponge cup things you could bake a Yorkshire in. If you dont wear pyjamas but nighties like I do (pj's ride up in the night) then its a nice floral wyncyette type; and what has happened to the Knitwear - can noboldy finish a sleeve - does everything chunky have to end half way up my bicep and forget the cashmere - too pricey and difficult to wash. M & S used to be famous for its knitwear - what happened? End of rant. Is it me?

JessM Sat 06-Aug-11 10:02:20

Oh no susieb. How on earth they stay in business is a total mystery to me. Does the food section subsidise women's clothes - it cant do when you see the floor space. Just occasionally i like something in peruna but normally head next door to Gap. Even my MIL complains and she is v mainstream Union of Catholic Mothers in her style.
The mens dept too is a mystery. How do they sell business clothes to men without offering any help e.g. Have you got a pair of charcoal, flat fronted trousers in 40 waist and long length? Well just spend half an hour looking yourself why don't you. Cos there is no-one to ask.
It seems a shame that such a well known british brand cannot do better.

em Sat 06-Aug-11 10:31:06

Agree - what's going on? Saw an outfit that merited a second glance but was disappointed to see it was one of those all-in-one jobs pretending to be a blouse and crossover cardigan. Might have bought it as separates but can't stand these combined thingies (or is that just me?). Not another thing worth looking at!

susiecb Sat 06-Aug-11 10:32:24

I'm glad I am not alone - and did I mention have to traipse all the way round the store to find a pay desk. The assistants have all been trained to say 'thank you for waiting' as they know we have all been waiting but thats all M & S are going to do about it!

gma Sat 06-Aug-11 12:18:10

Agree with all comments. In our local M&S-incidently having a huge make over-I can never find an assistant to answer a query! e.g. Why have a huge banner showing a model wearing a top and trousers which. I am reliably informed, are not available instore? Yes, I know that I could order them on line, but I am in the shop NOW!!! By the middle of July all summer gear has been spirited away only to be replace by school uniforms and dreary 'seen it all before' tops and 'very ordinary' trousers. Dont mention the cardigans. There cannot be any further colour combinations to churn out or any odd buttons to use up!! Come on M&S get your act together!!!! Get some new designers and manufacturers. Right, now that I have got that off my (M&S upholstered) bosom- it must be wine o,clock !!! Cheers wine

goldengirl Sat 06-Aug-11 12:25:35

Oh dear, oh dear! How very sad. I've bought some T shirts in there recently but the jeans / trousers never fit properly so I too have virtually given up on them. I buy bits for DH from time to time because they actually fit him in his size, but I've been decanting to Next recently even for him - more modern looking. I too find their knickers not my style. I'm a big pants girl I'm afraid because I don't like bulges where there should be any, but I do like pretty ones - if I can find them.

Joan Sat 06-Aug-11 13:20:04

We don't have M&S here in Queensland, well, not that I know of anyway. I have good memories of the place, but obviously things have changed in 30 years!

I've noticed most clothes here are dull too - so much black, grey and red. Sometimes a clothing display looks like an op shop, though op shops seem to have better colours these days.

Luckily I don't need clothes for the office anymore - shorts and TShirts, or trousers and jumpers are all that is needed these days.

susiecb Sat 06-Aug-11 14:15:41

I had a naughty Boden moment this week and my things have all come together a couple of days after ordering, free delivery and a lovely qualty. before you say it I know they cost more but then I shall have to buy less and they all fit and I am an odd shape.

I think I am giving up on M & S (is there anybody listening out there in executive land or are you all on holiday with David Cameron and Nick Clegg fiddling while Rome burns but thats another story).

sylvia2036 Sat 06-Aug-11 14:44:31

susiecb - A few years ago I wrote to the CEO of M&S (this was before Stuart Rose) complaining about their lack of quality in everything, how out of date all their women's clothes seemed to be (I think I said something about my granny not wanting to wear them), how colours always seemed to be pink, purple and black etc etc. I received back the most patronising letter ever, from customer services (nothing from the man himself), and was so mad about it. There was no point writing again because it was obvious they had started dumbing down the women's section and they didn't give a damn. Quality does not matter as they are now aiming the majority of their clothes at the great unwashed who are happy to pay £5 for a tee-shirt made in a sweatshop in India. On the other hand, my husband can always find great quality clothes.

townie Sat 06-Aug-11 15:36:07

susie - I buy quite a lot from Boden and agree with you that they are a better prospect than M and S. I always buy when they have a reduction on (eg, 20% preview, etc), so the price doesn't come out so very different from the stuff I'd buy at M and S (not interested in their cheapest stuff).

Like others, am very disappointed by Marks now, specially Per Una which is truly ghastly - it's almost unbelievable that a human mind could have conceived of some of their garish naff patterns and horrible 'embellishments'. As for the so-called Classic Collection, I try not even to look at that, but it makes me cringe any time I glimpse it in crossing the store!

Do have to make a bit of an exception for Autograph Weekend, though. Their quality is OK and, unlike the dread Per Una, they do generally understand that less is more! Some of the stripy tops I've bought in that range over last couple of seasons are as stylish and useful additions to my wardrobe as are my Boden tunics.

JessM Sat 06-Aug-11 15:45:29

MMm yes sylvia2036 i once wrote to him as well about the fact that they were selling chickens in aluminium baking trays. Yes, a snotty letter back. Eventually after several years of claiming to be green they gave it up but still sell lots of things in aluminium trays.
I can't remember his name but he was the one that chaired a government committee on corporate governance and then ignored the recommendations by being chair and MD at the same time. Apparently he used to want to join the women's underwear decision making meetings and then fall asleep...
They have recently revamped the whole of their childrens range (as have Next) . Both of them used to be totally ghastly design but both have improved.

Charlotta Sat 06-Aug-11 15:57:25

I have despaired of M&S for a long time now. I buy their cashmilon short sleeved jumpers (£12) which I have in all colours and they look good under jackets as I don't want these deep cut necklines. I did order the long sleeved version on- line once and one had sleeves of different lengths, and with the other two the 14 was bigger than the 16. You have to buy such basics on the internet as they are never in the shops in all colours.
I also buy their wide leg house trousers which I usually have to shorten.
I have a navy lambswool pullover which I bought over 20 years ago and which I wear in winter a lot. It is indestructable.
They had a spread for the older woman in 'The Lady' this week, and there was not one garment I would consider wearing.

HildaW Sat 06-Aug-11 21:40:08

Susiecb..........yes the staff who trot out 'thank you for waiting'..its a hoot because they have not looked up at us customers, so how do they know we have been? and (dare I say it?) sometimes I have not actually been waiting and I'm bursting to say something....but then realise I really cant be arsed! And what have I actually bought in M&S of late.....a few items of food, childrens' socks and one pair of cheap trousers for throwing in a suitcase, compared to how much I used to get from then 10 -15 years ago its pathetic. The trouble is they still seem to make a profit so are not interested in comments. All my everyday wardrobe now comes from Landsend or Boden, if I'm feeling a bit more trendy. I had been very happy with the Portfolio range but thats history now!

JessM Sat 06-Aug-11 21:59:40

This is fun. Slagging off M and S. I think they are a fair target as they are so darn smug. And IT BELONGS TO THE SHAREHOLDERS ("your M and S" indeed!)
The staff that stomp around the store expecting you to get out of their way are quite special.
Colours they have a problem with, I agree. For a long time they were fixated on powder blue and red, for decades, i swear.
They were doing a limey colour a couple of seasons back, which can suit me - but their version was a particularly toxic looking nasty acidic version.
Why is it so difficult susieb to buy nice plain cotton nighties with long sleeves that don't look completely naff. (trying not to be great-granny-ist !)
Companies make all kinds of efforts with pyjamas these days. (loungewear, sorry, you hang around watching TV in them it seems)
Past Times used to be a source but no longer a local presence (did they go bust?) Bonsoir by mail order, sometimes.... any ideas?

goldengirl Sat 06-Aug-11 22:20:33

Bank staff say thank you for waiting as well which I find frustrating because what choice do I have if I need the service. I have retorted same to M & S staff with a smile and had a nervous laugh in response! I felt better anyway.

Grumpyoldwoman Sun 07-Aug-11 00:09:07

we only have a food store near us (15 miles) and I hardly ever go into a larger store.
I do like M&S food which is much better value than it used to be with some excellent 'reductions' in the afternoons
I buy a few things online...but find fewer and fewer items I really like.

Mind you ...I buy dozens and dozens of M&S kids socks to make my Sock Monkeys. The only place I could get camoflague socks to make ''soldier'' Monkeys this year.....hope they get more .

Baggy Sun 07-Aug-11 06:26:59

I don't even know where my nearest M&S is! Well, I know which town it's in.

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 07:37:50

Congratulations Baggy, that is quite an achievement.

christineH Sun 07-Aug-11 09:16:08

For the first time ever I recently went into M & S and took three items into the changing room to try. I came out and said I love them all! I'm just grateful that the fashion for jumpers that only reach to your tummy button has passed. Everything looked like they had been in a laundry accident.

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 09:56:52

combined with trousers that fail to cover your bum crack. What a great look it was for the middle aged!

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 10:19:47

I heart per una.

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 10:20:05

I heart Welsh cakes, but that's another story.

townie Sun 07-Aug-11 12:20:00

I hate Per Una, I'm afraid - but obviously lots of people do love it or M and S wouldn't give it so much store space. Also hated Portfolio - at least that's gone - if only Autograph Weekend would expand a bit to fill the gap!

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 14:42:19

Welsh cakes when freshly made in Swansea market?

riclorian Sun 07-Aug-11 14:44:30

Agree with all of you . The only thing I buy in M& S now are bras . I find I walk through our local giant store these days amd find nothing interesting enough to leave the walkway for . I may be a great gran but I certainly don't want to look like one !!

Oldgreymare Sun 07-Aug-11 15:07:46

All so true.....I'm not particularly tall ( never quite made 5'4") but trousers are a nightmare, far too short in the crutch ( can I mention that word, oh dear, just did!), colour combinations are strange, even to one who lived thro the flower power era! and Per Una designers seem to have completely lost the plot...... why must they add cheap plastic belts or dangly jewelry to everthing?
I do, however, thank them for the quality and variety of food and wine in their food halls especially if, like Grumpyoldwoman, I have popped in later in the day and discovered a bargain!
Our 'M&S Food' ( a joke as they sell much more than food but suspect that name was designed to confuse the local planning authority!) has stopped selling Welshcakes..... shame! However looking for ginger parkin in Bettys in York recently, I was told it was only sold in the Autumn and Winter!!!

silversurfergran Sun 07-Aug-11 16:50:41

I have been buying their "control" bras for years but the last lot had a band of elastic all round the bottom instead of proper bra material. It just rolled over as soon as you put it on and showed about as much control as a paper bag.
Have given up on them totally, although I must say the packs of white cotton briefs do seem to last for ever, even if they're not white anymore . my daughter always used to buy my size in them when she was 6 months pregnant! I was mortified the first time but after her second son was born I had accepted my middle aged spread.
I also couldn't bear the stuff that came with a camie/cardie/necklace all together in weird colours and horrid acrilyc-y fabrics for summer wear. We have all gone black grey and purple again so I guess winter is coming.

susiecb Sun 07-Aug-11 17:09:07

I buy the Classic range for my 97 year old mother in law and she loves it - but then she hasnt been shopping for the last ten years.

I find the bras are not the quality they used to be so am now looking for another brand.

I quite like Joules for tops and trousers but the designs are a bit horsey. My daughter tells me Cath Kidson is doing clothing now including nighties and pyjamas so will have a look at that. Oh message coming in from daughter The White Company has lovely nighties and dressing gowns apparently.

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 17:18:27

An I did buy a nightie from BH that met my approval. The rest suffered from the same time warp though..

HildaW Sun 07-Aug-11 17:37:23

Oh yes jangly, freshly made welshcakes are yummy, had some lovely ones still warm from the Farmers market at Craven Arms last month!

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 18:36:55

Oh great. I don't get the kind in packets though.

helshea Sun 07-Aug-11 18:40:27

What exactly is a welshcake?

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:43:39

Well. Its flat and round. Its made of sugar, fat and white flour. Cooked, I think, on a griddle. Then sprinkled with more sugar.

Absolutely delish! grin

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:45:35

And we went to a Welsh fete yesterday. Bought a lemon cake, an orange cake, a victoria sponge and some butterfly cakes.

The Welsh ladies can really bake a cake!

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:46:35

You could say they were Welsh cakes too.

[thoughtful emoticon]

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:47:07

Sorry for the hijack!!! shock

helshea Sun 07-Aug-11 18:48:30

When I saw the headline "what is up with M & S" I thought I had stumbled onto some "rude" website... I was wrong unfortunately

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:49:40

explain that a bit more.


jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:50:26

well, perhaps you'd better not. hmm

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 18:50:53

I'm off to eat some cakes.

helshea Sun 07-Aug-11 18:53:29

What exactly is a welshcake anyone?

gma Sun 07-Aug-11 19:06:12

Can you buy welsh cakes in M & S? Only in Llanfairpwyl.................probably!!!!!
Opps! its wine o'clock wine

JessM Sun 07-Aug-11 21:49:31

Jangly explains above. Its a bit like rock cake mix only rolled out, cut into rounds and cooked on a griddle. Best eaten warm.

yogagran Sun 07-Aug-11 22:03:55

Lovely -can I have a welsh cake please. Do they sell them in M&S - what size?

elizabethjoan Sun 07-Aug-11 23:00:28

The only department that seems to work is the Blue Horizon dept for the 63 yr old husband who I try to keep up to date ish. Yes he is a bit conservative, but the shirts are fine and the variety in waist and leg length for trousers is v good. Sadly, for me, I do a mental slump as I enter the doors, but go in, just in case there is an unmissable. Trouble is, the cut is rubbish. Everything is cut in rectangular lines. The Roma jeans aren't bad though, but the last ones I bought were 3 years ago. Since then, Oasis (fab) and Gap.

Oldgreymare Sun 07-Aug-11 23:05:35

M&S welshcakes are delicious warmed up, they taste like the real thing! Ooooh, I could just do with one and a cuppa (almost a midnight feast!)
Yogagran, we're talking about welsh cakes not cup cakes! What size indeed!

jangly Sun 07-Aug-11 23:07:15

The only size we have to worry about is ours after we've eaten them wink

elizabethjoan Sun 07-Aug-11 23:07:29

Got stuck with M and S! Sorrry! Am half welsh and need welsh cake recipe. My Granny used to make them. I thought they had raisins in them too?
Went to Wales twice, and for the first, and second, times ever, felt truly at home. I looked like the people, and I felt my weirdness not so weird! I was in the right place....a new feeling, and a good one. Need to return, and feel the roots.

JessM Mon 08-Aug-11 14:48:52

Hi elizabethjoan. Try a rock cake recipe.

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 14:56:07

It's a sweet scone, with raisins, cooked on a griddle, and dusted with caster sugar. Flour, fat, sugar, raisins. Roll, cut, cook, dust.


Dordor Mon 08-Aug-11 15:08:14

gma - my local M & S is having a huge makeover too - I'm in Norwich - are we neighbours? And I agree with everyone that M & S is not what it was. My bugbear is trying to buy skirts for my small mother-in-law who is fussy about quality. M & S is no longer a byword, and most other stores have given up selling skirts it would appear sad

pianoplayer Mon 08-Aug-11 19:25:01

About 3 years since i shopped in M & S. All the clothes are poor quality, frumpy and badly designed. This summer most of my wardrobe has come from Boden and am just viewing the Autumn/Winter on line too. I shall definitely be ordering from them again .Sorry M & S you dont get my custom!

JessM Tue 09-Aug-11 17:14:23

Waiting for the men in the garage to charge me extortionate amount for a new indicator stalk. Went in M and S. Who buys those high necked t shirts? Good for kids and size 10 flat chested models maybe? In those colours? Few customers, scowling at clothes. No staff in sight apart from security man.
Did not feel moved to lay my fingers upon a single garment.
Next door in Next they had lots of lovely things. Bought a pair of navy leggings and a flattering creamy t shirt with flecks in it, with scoop neckline. Bought a Kaftany shaped print tunic. Admired lots of their more formal tops. They are really trying hard. Interesting colours. Staff were young but sweet. "I bought one just like this for my mum and she loves it" Even the customers were smiling.

GoldenGran Tue 09-Aug-11 17:29:45

I agree about Per Una, who are they aiming those awful clothes at? I went today but am writing to them and boycotting them for a while, I want colours but not garish, sleeves but not those tight ones that end right at the top of the arm and make them look like sausages, and skirts just below the knee or mid-leg, not dragging on the ground,is this too much to ask?

Bellesnan Tue 09-Aug-11 18:32:44

What a relief to read all this - I thought I was the only one having bad thoughts about M&S wear. Used to be a time when M&S was the first place to go to, prices right, quality material etc., made in the UK. Other half got bored with me buying from them - now its his turn - the mens stuff is so much better than what we women have to choose from. Is it the Chinese influence - so much seems to come from there these days?

phoenix Tue 09-Aug-11 18:47:58

I'm still really pissed off that they don't seem to have t shirts with a reasonable sleeve length. It doesn't seem a lot to ask, in the great scheme of things. I just want them in white, red, black, and maybe a sort of tan-ish colour, reasonably fitted (i.e. not baggy beach wear type) with a sleeve that comes about an inch or two above the elbow.

The Portfolio range fitted the bill, but they have discontinued it. (Ignore the bloody crap on the website where you click on the Portfolio range that says all items can be found in their usual range, they can't. Their "standard" t shirts are def. very skimpy in the sleeve!)

My local M&S outlet still has some Portfolio t shirts on the rails. Great if you want lime green, orange, purple or a particularly eye-watering shade of fuschia, in a size 14 or above.

borstalgran Tue 09-Aug-11 19:22:33

I hate Per Una too: too floaty and frilly, but I find myself unable to buy anything in M and S! Agree re awful colours, bad fit (OK it might be my shape!) and frump. Autograph best of a bad job. Read a Tweet which said management had told the company to ignore over 60s! Fine by me, I'll have Gap any day.

jangly Tue 09-Aug-11 19:25:46

I don't believe they would ignore the over sixties! hmm

Autograph is a bit old lady-ish, isn't it.

I like per una.

I like frills.

jangly Tue 09-Aug-11 19:29:51
jangly Tue 09-Aug-11 19:33:25
yogagran Tue 09-Aug-11 20:37:03

I bought two pairs of trousers today in M&S and I'm pleased with them, but the dresses were not for me

townie Thu 18-Aug-11 12:36:39

Just as well we don't all have the same tastes, but I must side with those who think Per Una truly awful and deplore the amount of floor space it takes up in M and S.

I've never understood who the 'brand' is are aimed at - I'm a baby-boomer, and neither I or my friends would wear it. The 'designers' apparently have no idea that less is often more when it comes to style and pile on the colours, decorations, frills, etc wildly. I'm afraid I find that stripe shirt on the link above an example of that - too bright, too much for me.

Autograph Weekend on the other hand I can't agree is 'old-ladyish' - though there are some dull pieces in that as in almost any fashion range. They are the only one of the M and S brands I still buy. The best of their stripy tunic dresses, for example, can look good at any age, dressed up or down with the right jeans (or leggings for those who like them), plus interesting shoes/ boots and accessories.

JanetnotJohn Thu 18-Aug-11 13:00:05

I was a great M&S shopper until the fashion part was driven relentlessly down market and the manufacture changed from largely UK to third world sweat shops. In recent years I've gone in and found, bizarrely, that there was nothing there expensive enough for me.
Agree re Per Una (can't bear that dishscraper fabric they embellish so many clothes with). M&S has never been great on colour but used to be reliable for classics made of quality materials, but now generally seems to use cheap fabrics.
Having said that, I have actually bought three items there in the past month - a casual shirt (all cotton); a silk and cotton patterned top and a cheap short raincoat, so perhaps my tastes have changed or their stock has!

HildaW Wed 24-Aug-11 13:00:19 took all my effort to contain myself yesterday.........popped into the M&S in Shrewsbury yesterday just to buy my daughter some nice knickers for once shes over the messy post baby stage. 'Sorry to keep you waiting' the girl chirpped....I had not been waiting a single diddy tiny insignificant nanomoment....had just walked straight up to the till. I do wish they would engage their brains or are they all drilled to within an inch of their lives to always say it?

townie Fri 09-Sep-11 12:11:24

Have you seen their latest TV ad? Absolutely yuk, and quite insulting to older women, IMO.

greenmossgiel Fri 09-Sep-11 12:14:13

No - I've not seen it, townie. What's it like?

jangly Fri 09-Sep-11 12:26:06

The shirt I put a link to on this thread looked horrible in the shop. shock

HildaW Fri 09-Sep-11 12:56:04 certainly leaves a nasty taste......cliche ridden nonsense!

JessM Fri 09-Sep-11 13:08:53

Not sure if better or worse than all that irritating rubbish with twiggy and underwear that they have been doing in the last few years. I wonder if the ads actually work.
The other one with the younger woman who looks like her implants are much too big is even worse. Why would she want a second date with him? Or is it meant to be funny? Why on earth would that model be needing control knickers?

kittylester Fri 09-Sep-11 16:50:55

This might make you all feel a bit better about M&S

Annobel Fri 09-Sep-11 17:28:52

Lovely, kitty smile
Hilda - got news for you: Debenhams are doing it too - the girl at the checkout apologised for keeping me waiting when she hadn't! confused

HildaW Fri 09-Sep-11 17:38:29

Annobel, its just so silly, as if they are on some automatic response which then of course sounds most insincere.

JessM Fri 09-Sep-11 17:40:32

nice dinosaur. I would give that chap a job in customer service.

harrigran Sat 10-Sep-11 00:03:11

I have a wardrobe full of per una, I hasten to add that every garment was a gift and probably I would not have chosen them if I had shopped. The surprising thing is that most of them really do look quite nice on, but I do usually leave the necklaces off.

JessM Sat 10-Sep-11 09:45:51

They do have better colours than mainstream m and s don't they.

greenmossgiel Sat 10-Sep-11 10:17:21

Saw the advert last night - crikey! If only I needed 'control knickers' that size! grin

glammanana Sat 10-Sep-11 10:22:26

green I must say that I liked all the dress's shown in the advert but will they have them in stock when I go to the store is another story.

townie Sat 10-Sep-11 11:09:12

Can't agree that Per Una have better colours than rest of M and S, I'm afraid. For me, they are gennerally much too garish. Only Autograph seem to have the idea that subtle and understated is more stylish than throwing everything but the kitchen sink at an outfit.

Have now seen both ads. As a feminist (who also loves clothes) I just find them both so depressing in their assumptions about what women want. Could have been made made decades ago - or are they 'ironic'? (Doubt it).

And I didn't like most of the clothes - the pink dress the girl in the 'Date' one ends up in is downright tacky, IMO, despite the stylists' best efforts.

JessM Sat 10-Sep-11 11:25:59

I looked at the ads on the website and agree townie. I don't think they are ironic. Only dinosaur man has a sense of humour. There is a whole industry out there trying to convince thin girls they need control knickers if they to get a second date. BIG SIGH EMOTICON

townie Sat 10-Sep-11 11:57:23

It is indeed sad - particularly when you think that we were the generation that liberated ourselves fromt the dreadful 'girdles', corsets, etc our mothers' generation used to wear.

Granny23 Sat 10-Sep-11 12:18:20

All I wanted was a pair of straight leg dressy (i.e. NOT shiny polyester) black trousers with a small or no waist band. Tried 2 big M & S stores and eventually tracked down half a rail of exactly what I wanted but only in sizes 8 to 14 and 20 to 24. Obviously this style must be very popular with the 16/18 group so why were there not more pairs. There were racks and racks of huge variety of hipster jeans, leggings, jeggings, etc. but hardly any younger people shopping. I expect that trendy young things will not go looking for trousers in M& S - indeed would not be seen dead in there - so why are they so geared to that demographic?

I know I could have ordered on-line but I wanted the trousers for my few days away. Walked into local M & Co. and saw the exact trousers, short leg size 18, much cheaper, staring me in the face. I am wearing them now and think I will go back and buy a second pair to keep for 'good'.

JessM Sat 10-Sep-11 13:00:41

Oh I love leggings. So comfortable. With a tunic to cover the tops of my thighs. Would like to find some mid-calf ones. In other colours than black.
Not sure who their demographic is...
But yes Granny23 sounds like a standard classic - others like you got there first.

dahlia Mon 12-Sep-11 22:46:28

My Mum worked for M & S in the 1960's when their proud boast was that about 95% of their goods What were British made. However, even their Autograph make-up is made in China. And although the prices are low, so is the overall quality. Bought a lovely pair of light linen trousers in July, fitted beautifully, couldn't believe my luck. One wash later, they're down round my ankles unless I use the tie belt supplied! Whatever happened to all their green credentials? What a lot of us want is a) good quality b) stylish without being too edgy c) at a price we can afford, but we don't expect rock bottom prices. Hang on, their new advertisement has just come on television - where do they hide these clothes?
I have managed to buy comfortable yet pretty nightwear from David Neiper, though it might be a little "prissy" for some of you gals out there! Was glad I had one of their little numbers with me when on holiday recently - one of the cleaning ladies liked to arrange it in pretty patterns on the bed!

christineH Tue 13-Sep-11 07:15:08

I just go there for bras too. I asked what had happened to their petite range and was told they are substituting a lot of it for larger sizes. Like you can't get larger sizes everywhere else!! It used to be the only place where I could find nicely fitted trousers in the right length, so it's back to the sewing machine for me. sad I used to be prepared to pay for their cashmere but no more, the colours are dismal.

Annobel Tue 13-Sep-11 08:27:56

M&S trouser lengths went haywire last year. Medium length were always just right for me but suddenly they were far too long. Short was still too short. However, medium navy ones I bought recently are again the right length. I really dont think my legs have changed length!

glammanana Tue 13-Sep-11 08:43:57

While I like the dresse's shown in the ad when lady meeting man for dinner specially the beige block dress HALF shown in the wardrobe where are the nice cut jean's that they used to do,you know the one's you could dress up or down depending on the occassion,how can I fit into hipster type cut jean's? not very well I can tell you,a few year's ago they did a classic cut trouser with just a bit of elastic at the side's which helped when you tended to put on a 1lb or two during the month but these have all disappeared.

virginiaplain Tue 13-Sep-11 23:38:16

Don't get me started on M&S, their t-shirts are rubbish, one wash and they grow in size - widthways, I asked an assistant if they had any t-shirts that weren't £7.99 as I would like to buy something with a little more quality, she looked at me as if I was mad. All their fitted trousers, whether you are a size 6 or a 18 are made like jodphurs, with huge bulges on the hips. I brought two pairs of linen trousers, one black, one white, identical style, same price, upon washing them (only once,I may add) one pair is lovely and has retained its look, the other pair looks like a dish cloth and the leg is at least 1" wider than the other pair. I have checked the label, both were made in the same country. Do their cashmere sweaters only come in plain colours & styles, no choice, either round neck, roll neck or V neck - same length, nothing different and what's with this hankerchief bottom on everything from dresses to sweaters, haven't we now seen this for the laqst 3 years??? As you can possibly gather, I do not shop there anymore - thank you for listening if you have reached the end of this blog without dropping off to sleep!!!

JessM Wed 14-Sep-11 08:10:59

hi there
Every woman is entitled to at least one good M and S rant!

GoldenGran Wed 14-Sep-11 08:45:20

I had my rant on here a month ago and vowed to boycott M&S forever, very po-faced looking back on it! I now have to eat humble pie and admit I have just bought a very pretty skirt, black with orange flowers, and a great top-black with a cut out flower detail round the neck. I guess even M&S can only please some of the people some of the

MaggieP Wed 14-Sep-11 08:48:16

Looks like M & S is about to have another big update, with new style Delis ( if you are a foodie ) and clothes being grouped into more sections for style etc as Per Una is now.

I read this in the Press so it must be true! So will wait with eager anticipation as I have always been an M & S shopper and can agree with so many of your comments. I hope Marks and Spencer staff are also reading them.....

GoldenGran Wed 14-Sep-11 08:50:01

I would like to see more M&S staff on the floor ready to help.

Twobabes Wed 14-Sep-11 09:06:56

M&S staff available to help? Oh, come on, GG, be reasonable!!
That's like saying their prices and sizes should be clearly shown, clothes on display should be available in that store and that staff should know where to find them. There are limits, you know! sad

JessM Wed 14-Sep-11 09:37:23

Yeah, men in particular don't need any help buying clothes do they...
Another reason why I go to Gap where they genuinely try to be helpful in the changing rooms - e.g. run and get another size for you.
Just to digress, and to put off getting on with some work, I once, in a moment of madness, tried on a karen millen dress. The sizing was about 2 sizes out (their 14 is more like a 10 etc). Got the darn thing half on and then couldn't get out again. Alone in changing room, worried about tearing expensive dress, arms wedged above head, thought there should be a new word in the language for that particular brand of panic!

susiecb Wed 14-Sep-11 15:45:52

Popped into M & S in Truro as the car park led into it and though I would look for a winter hat and scarf - are they all made out of carpet remnants this year - they were so rough and hard!

Annobel Wed 14-Sep-11 15:54:00

I was in M&S this morning, likewise John Lewis and in both I was completely disoriented as they have re-arranged all their sections. JL has even moved some sections up two floors and relocated the ladies' loos. If only they would supply a map because there are never enough staff around to show you the way.

GoldenGran Wed 14-Sep-11 17:48:08

OK Twobabes, I get your point, i must have had a blow to the head!

Twobabes Wed 14-Sep-11 17:49:29

Suspected as much!

expatmaggie Wed 14-Sep-11 19:05:05

I missed M&S when I first came to Germany and used to fíll a suitcase with children's clothes when visiting Sheffield. I still buy on line sometimes but the quality is disappointing and some items are badly sewn. I complained about a jacket, one side was longer than the other. They removed it from their online pages but refused to refund my postage ( from abroad)

There is no danger here that anyone will apologise for you having to wait at the checkout, nor at a bank. If you have to wait then you wait.

On the otherhand when we have vistors from the UK they now go home with lots of clothes bought in Germany. We still have C&A which is fashionable in the cities and dowdy in the country areas amd quite few reasonable lables selling clothes for the mature wowan.

jogginggirl Wed 14-Sep-11 20:01:58

I was in my local M&S yesterday and they were telling me of new plans/updates etc., etc., - I have to say the staff in my local store are lovely and very helpful. However they do not stock Autograph and I love this range so buy from the internet and am not usually

Annobel Fri 16-Sep-11 14:09:14

virginiaplain, I've been in our local, quite large, M&S today and they had a variety of cashmere sweaters and tunics in multi coloured stripes. Don't know if they would have them in the smaller stores or on-line.

Ariadne Fri 16-Sep-11 17:07:17

AND - what is with this fashion for putting the adjustable part of bra straps at the back? Have just bought the usual bra from M&S - bet lots of you know which one, and lo and behold, it too has the * things at the back. I do like to be able to give myself a little rest now and then....(am quite well endowed apart from bit missing on the leftsmile) Another black Mark for M&S.

Hattie64 Fri 16-Sep-11 20:12:22

Today I tried on a dress, can't think why, as I rarely wear them, but also took into the changing a very tight short black skirt. I was trying to visualise myself with black tights and heels, but had second thoughts, as I go nowhere to wear such clothes!!! I really don't like their clothing in the 'granny grunt' section, it must be popular though???

Gally Fri 16-Sep-11 20:38:21

I was at M & S today - first time for ages - with daughter looking for emergency shoes for a wedding tomorrow (left hers at home!). Found shoes, but there was sooooo much stuff there that I took fright and ran back to the car and the safety of home grin

goldengirl Sat 17-Sep-11 11:21:18

I visited M & S to get a little dress for my GD this week. I also wanted a child sized duvet but was told that whilst M & S do them, this particularly branch didn't, which was disappointing but not the end of the world. When I was paying for the dress, a young employee rushed up to the desk and asked for the key to the disabled loo [it should be 'accessible' not 'disabled' but that's me being pedantic!!!] as he couldn't find it and someone wanted to use it. The girl serving me said it had been lost since the previous day! I was absolutely horrified. There was this person in a wheel chair having the embarrassment of asking for a key because she didn't have one and then it was lost! I don't know the outcome of the story but I personally find it totally unacceptable and will be writing to the manager. It's not what I expect of M & S

Elegran Sat 17-Sep-11 11:54:16

ariadne I agree, they seem to think we are contortionists. I can no longer fasten my bra behind my back (have to fasten at the front then twist it round and pull the straps up), let alone work a strap adjuster that is out of sight and reach, between my spine and my shoulderblade. The straps are harder to pull up onto the shoulders unless they are loosened, so they then need tightened again after the bra is in position ........

It gives a second answer to that old riddle "Put your right hand where your left hand cannot reach it" (standard answer is "on your left elbow")

glammanana Sat 17-Sep-11 22:51:23

Looking in M&S this afternoon in Liverpool I saw a nice Parka Jacket just below hip length and with the usual type of fur trim which you get with a normal Parka style coat,all very nice and very good fitting thought I,on looking under the collar to find how the hood was folded I find no hood,what is the point of doing a rain jacket without a hood ? What has happened to the designer's have they gone daft or something.

sixtiesgirl Sat 01-Oct-11 00:09:24

I've at last got over my disappointment with M&S and have accepted that it died a long time ago. Since I stopped frequenting the awful place I have discovered that, yes, I can get nice clothes in places like Wallis and Monsoon beautifully styled, coloured and good fitting. I would advise my contemporaries out there to 'quit the habit' of allowing our feet to automatically shuffle us to the old familiar shop hoping it has improved only to come out sorely disappointed and astonished at their awful merchandising. Forget M&S, after all, it has forgotten us.

FlicketyB Mon 10-Oct-11 17:07:06

I'm bucking the trend on M&S. Between the ages of 21 and 60 I rarely went near the shop as I found the clothes so dull and boring. When Stuart Rose took over, stylewise, I thought the store picked up and I bought a few items but the quality of what I bought was so poor and the items so quickly ended in the ragbag that I didnt go back. This autumn M&S clothes seem to have both style and quality and I have bought a military style winter coat, several pairs of shoes and trousers there. Yes, there was an awful lot of black in the shop, a colour I never wear, and those dreadful Boudicca bras...... As for all the sub-brands, I cant say I take any notice of them or have clue what they stand for. I just get irritated because all the trousers, for example, are not in one place but scattered round the store. In the store I visited women's wear was all on the ground floor - except for another smallish area on the first floor. If I hadnt gone upstairs to see the shoes I would never have found this clothing section or winter coat I bought.

kittylester Tue 11-Oct-11 09:34:43

After Stuart Rose retired, I understood his successor was aiming to have all similar items (eg trousers, blouses etc) all in one place and then "subdivided". That seems to be happening in our M&S but not completely so it's a bit confusing! I love Indigo for casual stuff and their Tshirts are not bad quality for the price. Per Una is a bit over the top for me and I can't stand faux layers either! But I can always find something I want to buy!! smile

susiecb Tue 11-Oct-11 09:50:33

I tried again last week M & S Fosse Park Leicester and it was so depressing and drab. i popped into river island recommened by Mary portas as having done a good makeover in their shops. I have to say although the styles are not for me the layout was fabulous, easy to get round and lost of suggestions for co-ordinating their clothes and accessories. Ended up in Gap for day to day t-shirts - I could see my hand through the ones in Marks!

greenmossgiel Tue 11-Oct-11 10:28:59

The t-shirts I bought from M&S last year are now cut up and are being recycled into my rag rug.....sums it up really!

susiecb Tue 11-Oct-11 15:55:49

Against my better judgement I have just looked for smart black trousers on their website having been terrified by the prices in John Lewis and couldnt find any. I want something not too wide that holds a nice crease and is suitable for going out perhaps for a meal or somewhere semi smart. M & S used to do a range called PERFECT and they were a good price, washed well and stayed smart - all gone now! Any recommendations please

bagitha Tue 11-Oct-11 16:06:58

I haven't checked recently, but have you tried Lands End, susie?

Annobel Tue 11-Oct-11 16:54:11

I've seen some smart ones in Next recently, though I couldn't be bothered going to try them on. I hate trying on clothes!

susiecb Wed 12-Oct-11 08:54:50

Next clothes are dire - rough and poor quality which falls to bits in the wash - it used to be so nice when it started. new Boden catalogue came through yesterday some lovely things but the prices!!!

gamzatti Wed 12-Oct-11 13:49:55

My M&S problem is with their trousers. I tried 3 pairs on yesterday, which claimed to 'Sit on the waist'. Whose waist? Not mine! The sales assistant told me to look in the Classic,(ie Granny) section. They don't do black denim there, though.

I have some ancient M&S jeans and trousers which do reach my waist, so I think their crotch to waist measurement has changed.

Annobel Wed 12-Oct-11 19:47:47

I am finding the waistline either too high or too low.Their medium trousers used to fit me perfectly. Not now.

Ariadne Fri 14-Oct-11 07:00:06

In M&S, "Classic" generally means polyester and elasticated waists! (Mind you, a little elastication here and there can be nice....)

Grandmama Sat 22-Oct-11 21:53:55

Trousers!!M&S are hopeless. All the trousers that say 'on the waist' actually stop in the widest part of my tummy. I have a waist but immediately below that is a bit of a tummy so a waistband on the widest part makes my tummy even bigger. I have several M&S trousers bought from charity shops years and years ago and the waistband is actually on the waist so there is a much smoother effect over my tummy. But, they are worn out and I have tried loads of pairs on in M&S and nothing looks right. I need 12" from crotch seam to waistband. Can anyone suggest a reasonably priced alternative source of trousers?

Also, I know someone who works at M&S and she told me that sizing on the same garment can vary by up to 2" so if, say, a size 12 doesn't fit you in the garment you want, try another one, exactly the same and it might fit you.

susiecb Wed 22-Feb-12 15:37:26

i though I would give dear old M & S another try as the Spring styles should be in. IT WAS AWFUL THE WORST EVER. Not only are the colours horrendous but the quality is the lowest its ever been, thin scratchy materials badly cut, bad shapes and repetitious designs. Worst of all although the shops were fairly quiet yesterday and not too many people in Marks apart form the Food Hall there was only one till on the whole ground floor of Leicester City Centre Store and a queue of 20 people. I put the black cardigan I had found down on the costume jewellery stand and walked out. M & S should stick to food and Homeware or they will go the way of Woolworths and disappear from our high streets. Why arent they listening?angry

Nonu Sat 25-Feb-12 15:54:13

marks and spencer have let me down a bit, my dd bought me some lovely Tess Daly body glow for my holidays which was lovely as it gives a nice sheen to sun parched skin. So I thought on my return I would get another pot but lo and behold they have taken it of the shelves till Christmas but surely people go on holidays in the Summer or didn"t m and s realize that hmm

artygran Sat 25-Feb-12 16:39:02

gamzatti I don't know what they've done with their trousers either. I always buy trousers from M&S because they are the only ones I can find in the right length. I have had a gift voucher burning a hole in my pocket so went in on Friday to buy a smartish pair to wear with my blazer. When I managed to find two pairs the right size, and tried them on, they looked like jhodpurs, the side seams on the legs were cut so badly, almost as if they expect people to have bulging thighs that extend down to their knees! I mentioned it to the sales assistant and she said "We've always cut them like that!" Er, no, you haven't - the several pairs I have in my wardrobe are testament to that. I managed to find a pair of skinny jeans to soothe my ruffled feathers. Perhaps all these posts should be printed off and sent off to the buyers at M&S!

gracesmum Sun 26-Feb-12 10:57:19

I used to find that Gap trousers were cut straight down the outside seam rather than curved which fits few actual shapes. Gap is getting a bit too young though - but if you can find their classic cut, worth a try.

phoenix Sun 26-Feb-12 16:33:47

Message for Gransnet HQ! How about a live chat with someone from M&S??

glammanana Sun 26-Feb-12 18:25:27

I'll second that phoenix

phoenix Sun 26-Feb-12 18:28:13

Any one third it?

jeni Sun 26-Feb-12 18:37:24


phoenix Sun 26-Feb-12 18:41:56

Do you think we need to approach HQ, or will they read this and react?

Ariadne Sun 26-Feb-12 19:26:11

I have e- mailed them recently (twice) to say that their reputation is suffering, according to a survey of women in our age range (i.e. GN but didn't mention us by name - felt I shouldn't speak for us all)

I listed the issues, and also reminded them that we are, on the whole, a generation with money (yes, I know, not all of us!) and that our opinions should not be ignored etc. etc. Also mentioned that we had probably helped keep them in business over the years.

Have I heard anything? S** all! So yes, get them on here - please, GNHQ!

nanachrissy Sun 26-Feb-12 19:42:58

I'll fourth it! I think you can buy better quality stuff on a market stall!

phoenix Sun 26-Feb-12 19:49:44

My biggest gripe is over their T shirts! I want ones with a longer sleeve length (just above the elbow) to go under business suits. The Portfolio ones were fine, then they stopped them.

A while back when I looked at the website it said that items in the Portfolio range could be found under other ranges. NOT WITH THE BLOODY T SHIRTS THEY CAN'T!


Carol Sun 26-Feb-12 20:31:41

My gripe too phoenix and I want a tee shirt that doesn't end an inch below my waist, too. I'd rather pay an extra couple of pounds and have more length on sleeve and body. If Gransnet passed on these comments to M and S they might find their sales go up - we all know exactly what we want from them.

Also, I want to know why I can't get a straight mid-calf length jersey or polyester crepe skirt in various plain colours. If I see another viscose skirt, I'll scream!

HildaW Thu 01-Mar-12 16:33:59

Have just found out what M&S did with all the Portfolio stock.....its on their 'Outlet' part of the website....have ordered one of the wrapover jersey dresses that were so successful!

specki4eyes Thu 01-Mar-12 23:20:51

Oh wow M & S! The most frustrating retail enterprise.

I am 5'6" stock size 12, 36B cup etc etc. I have stood for hours trying to find the tights/bras in the colour and design I want, in my size. My main beef is having to negotiate my way around groups of smug M & S execs with their sodding clipboards, who fail to notice that there are queues of customers waiting at the undermanned pay desks nor that I have got steam coming out of my ears with the frustration.

Dont go there girlies! I shop for all my basics late at night on line or on the phone with Lands'End. Their stuff is great quality and lovely ranges of colours. They have great sales and their swimwear is the best ever. Trouble is, they don't do bras or tights! Never mind, here in France, we've still got C & A!!! WOO HOO!

Mamie Fri 02-Mar-12 07:08:30

I agree about Lands End. Although I do a lot of internet shopping I always ring them up for the pleasure of talking to their lovely sales people.

GeraldineGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 02-Mar-12 11:26:46

We have read this (now!) and we'll do our best!

Nsube Fri 02-Mar-12 11:53:40

There are a lot of tall people on this site! Spare a thought for the 7 stone 7, less than five foot, granny who can never find anything that fits (appropriate or a granny that is ).

Annobel Fri 02-Mar-12 12:12:32

Lands End - great service, great range of products. But i find their trousers are a peculiar fit - perfect round the behind, but the waistline comes up to my ribs!

helmacd Fri 02-Mar-12 12:19:47

And spare another thought for the very much larger 5' 1" gran who has to shop at M and S because it is one of the few places that does different trouser and dress lengths. Even then, either I've shrunk, or their 'short' trouser length has become longer recently so that some trousers skim the bottom of my shoes. As for longer sleeves, my bete noir is the number of sleeves that are really wide at the edge; having short arms too, I need knitwear to have ribbed sleeve edges so that I can turn them up and they will stay up. It's not very smart, I know - but wet sleeves every time you wash the dishes aint much fun.
I agree totally about the dowdy styles; as for Per Una - it seems to have stuck in a time warp ever since it began. I like some of the Indigo range though. I don't buy the jeans of course - sadly, denim clad big bottoms are really yuk!

seasider Fri 02-Mar-12 23:55:03

I love m &s food and school uniform and I used to like their shoes but now on the whole they are not wide enough for me. I used to buy undies from M & S but few clothes . When Per Una was introduced ( I think George Davis was in charge) I loved the clothes as they were modern but still looked good on slightly older ladies and pretty good quality. Now I cannot find anything to buy it is all hideous flowery enbellished clothes with elasticated waists. Come on M& S get some decent designers in who understand their customer base.

Annobel Sat 03-Mar-12 00:18:16

Isn't it frustrating when you are faced with hundreds of pairs of tights and hold-ups and none of them is the combination of size, denier and colour you were looking for? That was my fate in M&S today!

helmacd - no, it's not just you- M&S trousers have all got longer. I used to find medium was just right but that changed about two years ago. Annoying!
seasider - please don't knock elasticated waists!

Sylvia Sat 03-Mar-12 09:08:31

Aah, you may well moan about M&S but has anybody seen the bunfight that is BHS ? Everything needs a good iron, they try to put everything they sell into one store. its just a jumble. Sylvia

Butternut Sat 03-Mar-12 09:23:45

I know I was mad to go, but future daughter in law wanted to visit M&S when I was with her in London at Christmas. The Sales were on!
Well, being a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, I grabbed a couple of bargain T's and marched off to the changing rooms - only to find them taped up with a sign saying : FOR THE DURATION OF THE SALE, THESE CHANGING ROOMS WILL BE CLOSED! I explained I didn't live in the country etc. etc. but they would not budge.
Needless to say, I didn't give them any of my money, and I could do without the T's anyway.

Sylvia Sat 03-Mar-12 09:51:51

And another thing, why are the sleeves so skimpy. We need nice sleeves, not cap sleeves or fluttery bits of material Sylvia

Carol Sat 03-Mar-12 10:06:14

Why does M and S insist on manufacturing jersey and polyester crepe pants that are too wide and flare out at the bottom? They hang really badly. What's wrong with trousers that gently taper so they sit neatly above your shoes, and if they are a bit long, they don't drag on the floor.

Butternut Sat 03-Mar-12 10:14:23

I think the manufacturers are making trousers longer because the fashion is to wear them with high heels!

Bez Sat 03-Mar-12 10:40:20

Lots of places seem to be making jumper/cardigan sleeves much longer too - I love the ones with a line of buttons on the rib but if the sleeve is too long turning sleeve up spoils the look.
I agree about the cut of the trousers - it is as if the seams are not straight so the legs go all strange.

Carol Sat 03-Mar-12 11:01:44

If I wore high heels nowadays, I would break my neck - just a gentle slope these days, and my feet are so much healthier now I don't squeeze them into the court shoes I used to wear at work.

Butternut Sat 03-Mar-12 11:37:56

Think I'd definitely break my neck, carol - hardly ever worn heels.

dahlia Sun 04-Mar-12 18:21:48

Popped into M& S for a coffee in Oxford Street the other day, and the clothes looked quite sharp - though whether they will be as nice when you actually try them on is another matter. And in our neck of the woods here in Cornwall, the choice is really limited. It's not always possible to make a wise choice from a picture on a website.
Bought a chunky spring sweater from Sainsbury's the other day: £16, compliments all round!

seasider Sun 04-Mar-12 22:49:49

Sorry Annobel about the elasticated waists they just do nothing for my body shape!

nanapug Sun 04-Mar-12 23:15:45

I have bought trousers from M&S, for my grumpy old man, for as many years as I could count, and they have been great. Now for the last few years I can not find a pair to fit him. He has not put on weight and not changed shape overly much (certain parts of his anatomy may have lowered a little!!) but we are totally flummoxed. I loved the price and quality and can't find an alternative. Has anyone got any suggestions please? (He refuses to wear jeans). I agree with what people are saying about the ladies wear too, especially the nightees and skirts. I used to get all my clothes from there, but now have to take out a mortgage and go to East.

RollOnFriday Mon 05-Mar-12 05:28:28

I live in Canada and normally return to the UK at least once or twice a year. usually I go crazy in M&S and other familiar stores, stocking up on fashions to bring back with me ensuring that I always have something different and up to date to wear. However I was home in February this year and its the first time that I can remember that I didn't purchase anything at M&S. I thought it was me but the comments I have just read seem to back up my impression that the stock was boring and lacking in inspiration. Come on M&S there are people relying on you to come up with the goods.

Ariadne Mon 05-Mar-12 06:20:12

Still no reply to my e-mails! I shall write a letter, I think, because they need to know what we think, and the powers that be need to know that their customer service is useless. I feel a strop coming on!

Annobel Mon 05-Mar-12 09:33:05

Summer tops with sleeves that cover the bingo wings, please, though I've been unimpressed with the quality of their tees in recent years: last year's tee shirts are this year's dusters. Landsend does a good line in polos with elbow-length sleeves, pricey but they last for ever.

Ariadne Mon 05-Mar-12 11:38:42

I have just bought a T shirt, from M&S, with sleeves that come just above the elbow! Glory be! However, only in black or white, unfortunately.

susiecb Mon 12-Mar-12 10:00:00

I keep trying with M & S but OMG! if you have a mo have a look at their website on Womens Trousers- Chinos- are they all ready for a day on a building site or what? - needless to say nothing bought today again!

gracesmum Mon 12-Mar-12 11:29:07

Can anybody recommend a scoop neck T-shirt style jumper with short or elbow length sleeves - could be a T shirt, but the fabrics are usually so flimsy. Not wool (itchy) and not too clinging round the muffin tops!

susiecb Mon 12-Mar-12 11:37:12

gracemum I would look at Boden for something like that their fabrics are lovely and some nice colours too!

GoldenGran Mon 12-Mar-12 12:25:24

gracesmum, I have just had a catalogue from Lands End and they have lovely scooped neck tee shirts, they are more expensive but last for a long time and made of very good cotton.

Anagram Mon 12-Mar-12 12:41:55

I agree with everything bad said about M&S! I used to buy all my work skirts and trousers from them but there is just no choice any more! Per Una a bit better but small sizing and so expensive. We don't have a great range of clothes shops where I live - Debenhams is not much better these days.

kittylester Mon 12-Mar-12 15:20:21

I have decided to buy my t-shirts from Lands End or Kettlewell - both more expensive but they last ages and buying in the sale is really good value!

Annobel Mon 12-Mar-12 16:01:32

kitty - I hadn't come across Kettlewell, so have looked it up. They do have a lovely range of colours and their prices are on a par with Landsend. Thanks.

kittylester Mon 12-Mar-12 17:04:16

I think they last longer than Landsend and are a teeny bit more trendy, as befitting a person of my advanced years. If you sign up for the pesky emails you get to find out when the sales are on and can bag a few bargains. Have you had your colours done Annobel - it's their big thing, My sister in law did and the colours they suggested really work for her but I'm scared they would say that pinks and purples don't really suit me and that could be REALLY expensive! shock

Ruthdpl Fri 30-Mar-12 15:30:05

I think that M&S suffers from the 'needle in a haystack' syndrome. They do have some nice stuff but it is sooo difficult to find. The shops are too crammed & when you descend from an escalator you are confronted with a sea of mediocrity. It's very off-putting.

I agree with all the comments about Per Una; like other Gransnetters I equally dislike all the mock cardi/cami numbers, tops with plastic necklaces and endless fluted hem dresses & skirts. The quality of the knitwear is dreadful too.

It's ridiculous that we all TRY & find things in M&S because we are so loyal to it. How long can that loyalty survive though?

GadaboutGran Fri 30-Mar-12 18:54:26

Can someone high up in M&S be invited for a webchat session?

Our M&S was expanded last year & after all the disruption I was really disappointed as it didn't seem any better - apart from a cafe which always has a queue.
Best thing about M&S: Dine in for £10 when you can find high priced items - I got a £7.99 bottle of wine today. Waitrose got too expensive & the reductions can be good if you time it right (the best was a £14 joint for 50p!)

But as for clothes now - in decline. Trousers:short legs suddenly became too short and the medium too long. Sleeves: always too long, esppecially on coats. Fabrics: hate all the elastane in cotton T-shirts and other sweaty synthetic fabrics; some 100% cottons though too cheap and shrink.
I'm not a confidant shopper so still rely on M&S a lot but buy far less. Size availability - could never find an 18 and now can never find a 14.
Why do they discontinue the things I really liked? - like the smart wool trousers of a few years ago, silk knitted tops (warm in winter, cool in summer) of must be 15 years ago, and T-shirts with a collar. I'm still wearing mine even though I've gone down a few sizes.
I can still find the odd decent thing & have less luck with sizes in Monsoon; quality in Debenhams and expense in smaller shops. Dash is good for my size but T-sirts are too synthetic.
My DIL gave me a pep talk as I'm not a confident clothes shopper, She got me to buy some clothes in Phase 8 but I still can't deal with the guilt of buying expensive things I don't wear that much.

Ariadne Fri 30-Mar-12 19:01:59

I have had no reply to my three e-mails to M&S telling them about our cross ness, so tomorrow I think I will write letters to the big cheeses, and will make them succinct but convincing. looking forward to it. Will post copies. Pillocks!

Anagram Fri 30-Mar-12 19:14:55

I agree, GadaboutGran, and all those tops in jersey fabric which show every lump and bump! They used to do all their skirts in three lengths - now they're either too short for me or down to the floor!
I still like their trousers, as 'long' is just right for me with a medium heel, but the colour choice is dire. They don't even stock the Per Una range in our local M&S, and I know you can buy online, but I like to have a look at the actual item first!

FlicketyB Sat 31-Mar-12 17:24:21

I have never understood the attraction of M&S. I gave up shopping there when I was about 20, everything seemed to be designed for women at least 20 years older than me - and that applied even when I was 60. When Stephen Rose took over styles did improve but quality went through the floor and most of the stylish clothes I bought when he first took over were unwearable within months, t shirts that were transparent if you got water on them, sweaters that pilled unacceptably within weeks and trousers whose 'body' came out after one wash, turning them into dishrags.

As for those awful foam shaped bras, which are everywhere. My daughter says they are popular with shops because they are cheaper to make than ordinary bras Non-foam bras require a lot of designing and a lot of fabric pieces to give a good fit - and therefore a lot of machining and a lot of waste fabric.

phoenix Sat 31-Mar-12 17:43:41

I too have suggested that someone from M&S takes part in a Gransnet webchat!

I have also posted before on the t shirt issue. I want a range of colours, elbow length (or just above) that are appropriate for wearing under suits, rather than baggy beach wear types.

Is this really too much to ask?

girlracer Thu 05-Apr-12 18:57:39

Quite agree - all those ghastly prints and lacey bits and shapeless jumpers. Where is the smart casual stuff nowadays? And being a bra size 34G, none of their bras ever seem to fit me. And shoes - size 4 and a half always far too narrow. Have just discovered shop UNIQLO - they have some great reasonably priced separates and are great for stylish warm winter undies. Look at their summer t-shirt range with retro Laura Ashley prints - lovely!
And any gran reading this - please NEVER wear light coloured trousers with a black thong underneath . . . .

uttley Sun 08-Apr-12 17:26:56

I Live very Near Meadowhall & shop at M/S every-week & I nearly all ways manage to find some-thing to suit. I keep up to date with fashion & get plenty of compliments. I all so shop at Wallis which caters for all age groups.
So I do not agree with your comments.

granbunny Sun 08-Apr-12 19:06:07

m+s is very puzzling - how on earth do they keep going? the clothes are very poor - i recall daughter and i stopping to laugh, literally bent double laughing, at one horrible dress that begged for the style police to arrest it and take it away.

when they get a good idea, they spoil it. i bought some soft, floppy pyjamas for daughter - and found later they had short legs. why would anyone want that? bizarre.

their underwear section might contain some gems (like my favourite knickers) but its set out like an invitation to perverts to linger... the most vulgar and unpleasant underwear proudly on display.

the only good thing about m+s is that in manchester, you can use it to cut through from the arndale to st ann's square.

greenmossgiel Sun 08-Apr-12 19:14:13

granbunny, I know what you mean about how they set out the underwear! The other day I was trying to find some of my favourite support knickers blush, and, as the underwear section is right next to the checkout for the food aisle, there were one or two men hanging about waiting so pack the shopping coming through. I felt quite embarrassed.....though perhaps I wouldn't have felt quite so bad if the knickers I was choosing were frillies - and not 'low-leg tummy support' blushgrin

jeni Sun 08-Apr-12 19:20:19

Oh who cares! They will have seen it all before. I don't embarrass easily!

Anagram Sun 08-Apr-12 19:54:37

At least our M&S food hall is on the ground floor and the clothing department on the first!
All the same, I do hate men hanging about when I'm looking at bras - can't they just leave their wives/partners to it and stop loitering?

Annobel Sun 08-Apr-12 20:11:47

I have no reason to assume that men are looking at me when I'm trying to find a bra. And if they are? They have seriously bad taste. grin

Anagram Sun 08-Apr-12 20:22:49

They do look, though! Not especially at me, but at what I'm looking at, if you see what I mean....

Annobel Sun 08-Apr-12 20:46:02

Perhaps they are looking at the lingerie because they want to buy something but can't think how to choose. They might even be buying for themselves...grin

greenmossgiel Sun 08-Apr-12 20:50:20

Just re-read my post and it looks like I've been buying knickers for a 'low-leg tummy'! Not far off the mark, really! grin

granbunny Sun 08-Apr-12 21:52:59

women's underwear shops/departments should be out of bounds for men. who knows, i might like to buy a big tarty bra if there wasn't some woman's pathetic little husband salivating at the thought!

granbunny Sun 08-Apr-12 21:54:14

erm, don't call me 'samantha' for that remark! its not that i think i'm irresistible, its just that those blokes do seem to hang out in m+s. wink

Annobel Mon 09-Apr-12 16:34:43

I have been in M&S today, buying a bra. I can categorically state that any men in the lingerie section were with a female companion and looking decidedly bored. Definitely no 'lurkers'. Perhaps we have a different type of bloke in NE Cheshire! wink

Annobel Mon 09-Apr-12 17:01:30

Of course, it now occurs to me that the M&S that I frequent is out-of-town, accessible only by car and the occasional bus. So most of the men who go there are with their partners, albeit reluctantly, by the look of them

Anagram Mon 09-Apr-12 17:20:46

Annobel, the loitering men I was referring to are actually with their partners, it's just that they stand and stare, probably for something to do...

gracesmum Mon 09-Apr-12 19:58:57

Oh granbunny I hope that wasn't you in John Lewis many Christmases ago when I was returning some underwear DH had bought me - he liked red with black lace, I don't and I just lost my cool and thought I would rather have something I liked for the not inconsiderable amount of money he had spent. Anyway, the girl on the till asked why I was returning it, if there was anything wrong etc. I just said, No, I thought it all looked a bit tarty, frankly. She gave me a funny look and I realised the woman behind me was buying exactly the same stuff!!smile

jeni Mon 09-Apr-12 20:20:09


Annobel Mon 09-Apr-12 20:38:30

gracesmum grin

Annika Mon 09-Apr-12 21:27:50

gracesmum so that was you I was stood behind in John Lewis many christmases ago . I was about to buy some red undies with black lace on but someone or something put me off buying then ,can't think for the life of me why wink

jeni Mon 09-Apr-12 21:31:47


susiecb Tue 10-Jul-12 16:48:00

Well clearlly something is very 'up' with M & S. Their shares are down and clothing sales poor compared to other retailers for the same time period so its not the bad weather - well we did tell them what we wanted and they didn't listen- perhaps now they will! I went to find some nice tailored black trousers yesterday - they all looked like dish rags and the fit was appalling.

gracesmum Tue 10-Jul-12 16:59:00

We could provide a brilliant focus group to get them back on the right lines!

Anagram Tue 10-Jul-12 17:00:57

And more choice in lengths of skirts!
Fewer plunging necklines and more sleeves!

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 10-Jul-12 17:02:02

gracesmum we did casually mention this on twitter today...

gracesmum Tue 10-Jul-12 17:28:31

Why only casually? Is this a possibility?

Anagram Tue 10-Jul-12 17:29:23

Why only on Twitter? I don't tweet!

Mamie Tue 10-Jul-12 17:37:04

I saw it on Twitter - could you invite them formally Cari? Surely they must want to hear what we have to say. grin

nelliedeane Tue 10-Jul-12 17:44:05

I am absolutely hopping mad at a comment made last year by sylvia2036 6/8/11 at 14.44 ..with regard to the great unwashed and the £5 tee shirts...well I have news for you sylvia2036 we are not the great unwashed but maybe those that are not fortunate enough through our circumstances to be able to afford anything else but we are not the great unwashed what a snob angry angry

Annobel Tue 10-Jul-12 17:46:42

The new woman in charge of fashion is coming from Jaeger. She might be more in tune with our needs - or will she try to muscle in on the Primark market? Please, NO!

Annika Tue 10-Jul-12 18:17:49

Might be a good idea if the 'head of M&S popped on here and had a word with us 'gransnetters' . He/she could ask what we want , what would make us once more buy from them.
We all know that tops with sleeves would be a good place to start and skirts that come in other colours other than black or black/ grey mix !
And when we have paid through the nose for these clothes it would be nice if they were to last more than one or two washes. M&S t-shirts are way over priced for what they are, you can but two t-shirts at Matalan for the price of one at M&S and they last longer !

Annobel Tue 10-Jul-12 18:28:37

Sainsbury's t-shirts are also good value. Their sizes are quite large, so beware.

johanna Tue 10-Jul-12 18:31:21

Yes anno, she was also with Aquascutum.

If WE want the quality and choice of old we will be in for a price schock.
It will not be possible for M&S to do so without a price increase.
To manufacture a top with sleeves is a lot more expensive than a top without.
And so on, and so on.
So I hope they do their marketing properly and learn what people want.
Even their cashmere sweaters of late are s..t made in China.

Butternut Tue 10-Jul-12 18:35:17

Anyone noticed their cotton tops/T-shirts are getting thinner and thinner - so that unless one wears a cami underneath, the old bod shows more than it should?
Only good for knickers, bras and camisoles in my book.

AlieOxon Tue 10-Jul-12 18:52:50

Sainsbury's men's T-shirts are long enough for me - but too many have slogans on. I have a few.

Annika Tue 10-Jul-12 18:55:49

M&S mens clothes aren't much better, ok if you like grey or beige. hmm

nanaej Tue 10-Jul-12 18:58:48

Susie I found some good T-shirt style nightdresses in Debenhams which are cool and comfortable but not old lady nor do they have have girly motifs!

Annobel Tue 10-Jul-12 19:06:00

The Maine brand in Debenhams often has tops that work well for the 'more mature' woman.

JessM Tue 10-Jul-12 19:28:31

butter I think it is a fashion at the moment. I am wearing a nice thin t shirt i spotted in River Island while shopping with niece. It is mainly polyester and very light.A sort of dark wine colour, almost black, with pink flecks. I went back and bought a second one.
But there is a lot of showing your underwear in fashion at the moment. We went to the carver at the weekend and there was a kind of big brother thing going down - long bleached straightened hair. lots of makeup. a kind of layered and showing your underwear arrangement. hmm

jeni Tue 10-Jul-12 19:35:27

I hate this off one shoulder showing a bra strap fashion!

Bags Tue 10-Jul-12 19:53:19

That's a fashion? confused I thought it was just sloppy.

jeni Tue 10-Jul-12 20:02:56

It's a fashion [heavy sigh]

crimson Tue 10-Jul-12 20:36:36

Annobel; I love Maine clothes [especially their tops]. A slight 'eastern' feel to them, and they look lovely with ethnic jewellery..very flattering and with [a 'must' for ladies of a certain age smile] 3/4 length sleeves. Haven't seen their range for this year but, having lived in one of their tops that I bought several years ago I went on a spending spree and bought several last year [none of which have been worn yet]. Made from 100% cotton as well.I used to love Phase Eight but not impressed with what I've seen recently.

Oldgreymare Tue 10-Jul-12 20:48:42

What has happened to waists? Low-slung trousers, low-slung skirts, even worse, low-slung shorts. I'm not overweight, but everything overhangs these days. I suppose it saves time and material not having to fit a proper waistband. HMPH!

jeni Tue 10-Jul-12 21:18:06

What is a waist?
I seem to remember something about one of those years ago!
But it's soooo long ago , I can't remember what the word meant!confused

nanaej Tue 10-Jul-12 22:11:49

Waste of time looking for minegrin

jeni Tue 10-Jul-12 22:18:30

Waste of time waited to want a waist?

Ariadne Tue 10-Jul-12 22:54:17

Did you hear the business news today about M&S's losses? They should have listened to us!

Ariadne Tue 10-Jul-12 22:57:51

Just went back a page and realised that M&S losses had already been discussed! Sorry, just got in and having a quick dose of GN. Night night xx

Annobel Tue 10-Jul-12 23:12:48

I miss my waistline. It used to be my one good feature. OK - that was 50 years ago, but I still remember it with affection. sad

JessM Wed 11-Jul-12 07:18:50

Ys bags the hooker look is in. celebs have a lot to answer for.

Oldgreymare Wed 11-Jul-12 07:57:02

O.K. middle then. Everything stops well below my middle.... just realised what I had typed (Jeni is sure to make something of that!) and I am not tall. confused

FlicketyB Wed 11-Jul-12 08:54:05

A long time ago, well lets be honest, back in the 1960s, I worked for a large firm of Management Consultants and as part of my work saw all the business magazines. Computers were just coming in and M&S were in the vanguard. The magazines would be full of articles saying how wonderful M&S stock control was, how shops were kept fully stocked with all the most popular styles/sizes etc etc. In my lunchtime I would go to M&S to find that what ever I wanted they didnt have it in my size/colour I wanted/length because it was so popular/not much in demand etc and that has never changed. On those rare occasions when I go into M&S if I see anything I like, and that is even rarer, I can bet my bottom dollar that it is not in stock in my size/preferred colour/length and I am 5ft 4 and a standard size 14.

I have also always found that their styles are aimed at women at least 20 years older than me - and at nearly 70 I still find that. I visited my local M&S recently and the majority of the customers looked considerably older than I am.

Anagram Wed 11-Jul-12 10:25:41

FlicketyB, are you really saying that M&S styles are aimed at 90 year olds? grin Perhaps in the Classic range....
I find the opposite in most of their ranges - the styles are too young and dresses etc. too short (I am 5'7"). If you want your arms covered the only things that seem to be on offer are those bolero-type cardigans, which would look ridiculous on me!

feetlebaum Wed 11-Jul-12 11:07:11


Your nearest M&S is here:

... that's where mine is!

jeni Wed 11-Jul-12 11:30:11

Anagram I'm 5 7 as well and a standard 18. I find the same problems as you.
I don't want to go around displaying my unmentionables in a pelvic pellet!

Anagram Wed 11-Jul-12 11:36:45


susiecb Wed 11-Jul-12 12:24:11

It isnt just the quality which is a huge issue but the styles and colours are awful. I really think they have too many ranges which are confusing. As for the Twiggy clothing is she wears those she certainly has lost her fashion sense.

FlicketyB Wed 11-Jul-12 16:42:25

Well, based on the Witney branch M&S are awash with loose gingham and stripped cotton shirts, baggy pants and shapeless skirts in sizes 10 and under or 20 and over. With my 69th birthday approaching fast, most of my fellow customers were wearing clothes similar to the M&S stock and looked considerably older than me. Knitwear seemed to consist of shapeless jackets in fetching shades of beige or that indeterminable shade between beige and cream. I did find one item I liked, but of course it wasn't available in my size.

I saw nothing that could appeal to anyone under 50, although it obviously appealed to those in the store who seemed well over 70.

The stock could, of course, have been selected to match the demographics of Witney, but I think that is unlikely. It is a town with growing estates of small family homes most likely to attract young families.

Anagram Wed 11-Jul-12 16:57:36

That's odd, FlicketyB. There's not much of what you describe in my local M&S, doesn't yours have a Per Una section? Nothing beige or baggy in their selection. I'm not defending M&S (far from it!) but it doesn't sound like the same store. It actually sounds more like Bon Marché! confused

Mamie Wed 11-Jul-12 16:59:03

I have heard the media reporting that the M and S range is fine for older women, but they have got it wrong by not being fashionable enough for younger women. hmm

Anagram Wed 11-Jul-12 17:00:45

They seem to have got it wrong on both counts! They should make up their minds which market they're going for, instead of trying to have their cake and eat it.

Anagram Wed 11-Jul-12 17:41:05

Just read a report listing complaints about M&S from shoppers, which includes one about loud music in their stores. There's no music at all played in ours, which at least proves that policies vary from store to store.

Nonu Wed 11-Jul-12 20:27:59

love marks and spencer, everything the staff are so help[ful and polite

johanna Wed 11-Jul-12 21:24:10

Mamie has heard the media reporting that the M&S range is fine for older women.
Since when do we like to look as if we have altered the curtains into an outfit?
Or wear a white shirt which looks council park worker issue?( With respect for their being.)

Marks used to be famous for quality and cut, maybe they should go in that direction again.
If they do not ask us gransnetters for our opinion it will be to their detriment.
Although they may not have to, since they are probably following every forum.

So, whilst you , M&S ,are reading this, your styling, cut and quality cannot match Tesco at the moment.!!!!!
This comment is not from any old codger. I grew up in the world of textiles and fashion.

johanna Wed 11-Jul-12 21:38:41

Just re read my post. The "really " is aimed at the media, not

FlicketyB Wed 11-Jul-12 22:48:50

the Witney store is quite small. I didnt see any of the separate brands, but then I wasnt looking for them. I find them irritating. If I am looking for a top or a coat I do not want to go to several different locations in the same store just because they have several sub-brands. I never shop in Debenhams because it is too time consuming going from brand boutique to brand boutique to look at one or two items in each one.

jaskie Thu 12-Jul-12 17:23:48

The food has always been expensive but WAitrose is just as good and now local in 'Little WAITROSE'.
I find the whole idea of huge clothes shops with millions of the same item such a turn off....... I like vintage OK second life .... but you can get fabulous quality things , be green and support small businesses( often owned by ladies),
or a wonderful charity!! Who wants to put money in the pocket of some vastly overpaid exec at M and S!!
All the huge concerns have ruined so many small towns..... they all look the same , rates are up in the sky ..... small start ups do not stand a chance!
Watch the space...... I think some well known names may fall before long !!

JessM Thu 12-Jul-12 17:33:22

One of the strange things about Marks is that they have such a limited and boring selection of business wear. Loads of women have to wear smart clothes for work, meetings etc.
I went shopping with my mate who specifically needed a whole new work wardrobe. Anything in M and S ? One possible jacket tried on in Per Una was all. Main business wear section completely depressing and dreary. What is wrong with having one fabric and doing a mix and match range for instance with 3/4 skirt and trouser styles and 3/4 nice jackets that suit different figures (and are not boring in the extreme). Why on earth do they not do that kind of thing?

yummygranny Thu 12-Jul-12 18:03:45

Every time I go in M & S my eyes have glazed over within 5 minutes: far too much stuff, too 'busy', no focus and no clear indicator as to where anything is. Most shoppers are on a quest - i.e. a dress for a wedding, a new pair of trousers for work - yet you have to dart from one side of the store to another to to find them dotted all over the place and, by the end, you probably can't find the first one you saw and now decided that you want to try! Also, it's time the scales fell from their eyes as to what older women want. We don't want elasticated waists, ghastly prints and floaty dresses. We want jewel colours, elegant but snappy designs (with sleeves please!) and, most of all, please can we have small sizes as well as large! A lot of older women are the ones who have kept their figures and work out, so please don't penalise us for that and not have enough 6, 8 and 10s! These used to be called size 8, 10 and 12 anyway in the 60s and 70s.

Anagram Thu 12-Jul-12 18:07:54

I used to buy all my office-wear from M&S, because they had plain, well-cut skirts in different lengths, with jackets to match if you wanted, and proper fitted shirts/blouses. That was many years ago - now there is hardly any choice, everything's seasonal, hence the wall to wall florals and dippy-hemmed t-shirts....angry

Maniac Thu 12-Jul-12 18:40:28

Waitrose check-out staff also say'thank you for waiting'.They only have one 'baskets only' checkout and there's always a long queue there.

haven't shopped at M & S since I moved here over 4 yrs ago- not worth going into Bristol for.

jeni Thu 12-Jul-12 18:52:59

That's the nailsea one NOT the portishead oneangry

Anagram Thu 12-Jul-12 19:05:29

What is? confused

Charlotta Thu 12-Jul-12 20:26:17

it is awful in there at the moment. Those blouses and trousers so boring. my mother always warned me to look at who was buying, or appearing to consider buying the same item in M&S when I was looking at clothes. Lately it was always somebody rather frumpy. Who else would buy there?
On the radio it said their shares were going down.

It is just that I keep hoping. I have bought so many things there in the past and have such nice memories of browsing round pushing a buggy and enjoying a bit of shopping, breaking up a boring day with small children. When I had a bit of money spare I could always find something.

jeni Thu 12-Jul-12 20:41:24

Waitrose! The portishead one won't give me a helper. The nailsea one does and theyre much friendlier.
The manageress at portishead told me there were too many old folks complexes near them so they couldn't give help!

Anagram Thu 12-Jul-12 20:44:51

Oh, I see, jeni - lost track of the posts, there.
What a cheek!

Grandmanorm Fri 13-Jul-12 11:24:20

My husband wears M and S trousers. He went by himself to buy two new pairs (he is a pain to go clothes shopping for himself so I refuse to go with him now as he wants the same clothes he had years ago!!!) He came home with his usual two pairs of chinos, the tag said they were his size. Neither pair fitted and so we took them back. I think because the clothes are made all over the world sizes are rubbish. Sad really I was always a fan of Marks but it is too "busy" now with too much on show and as was written earlier, all mixed up.
Oh and Tesco now say "thank you for waiting" I think it is hysterical nonsense, it makes me laugh, not at the staff, but whoever thought up the nonsense.

Anagram Fri 13-Jul-12 11:31:56

At Asda they say 'Thank you for waiting', 'Are you all right for bags?' and 'Would you like any help packing?' - but they do seem genuinely friendly, unlike some of the checkout operators in our local Tesco.

Annika Fri 13-Jul-12 11:48:40

Just noticed M&S have a half price sale on,I've had a look and I have not seen one thing that I would want to spend my money on, please M&S we want more that T-Shirts and knee length black skirts

glammanana Fri 13-Jul-12 12:03:08

DD and I went browsing at our store here on Wednesday and the t-shirts that I wanted to replace where not to be found I have bought the same style for the last couple of years but they are not available now for some reason,they where just plain colours with scooped neck all I found where stripped colours with round necks and they where practically see through the material was so thin.Most of the dresses that I looked at only had no sleeves they where just strappy things so not suitable without a cardigan or jacket,we ended up in JLewis and found a much better selection and the prices where better as well.All we bought in M&S was £10.00 dine in meal for 2.

JessM Fri 13-Jul-12 13:05:16

Last time I dragged OH into M and S to try trousers there was a total absence of assistance in the large menswear dept. Quite a bit store. One person on changing room is all. So if you were on your own and wanted a different size, no help. And if you wanted to ask a question like "Can you point me to anything with a flat front, long leg length in charcoal" no chance. How can they sell suits and trousers in this way? A mystery. Last time I looked they were useless at providing t shirts etc for larger chaps. They cut the bigger sizes as if they have the same body proportions as small skinny chaps. Which they don't.

Caroline Fri 13-Jul-12 15:32:27

Marks and Spencer clothes! How I wish I could 'walk through' one of their clothing departments with 'the boss' and tell him what's wrong with the majority of the garments. Per Una - who wants to look like an over decorated Christmas tree? Classic - haven't got words to describe it, cotton Tee shirts - how many years have they been churning out the same style? Smock tops - last time I found those appealing was when I was pregnant! When my children were young, I didn't have the money to 'splash' on myself, at that time M&S had an abundance of clothes I wanted, but couldn't afford. Now, my family have 'flown the nest' I have the money to spend, but there is nothing I want to buy. Visiting one of their stores is a depressing experience

maturefloosy Fri 13-Jul-12 17:44:49

I think M & S should decide who they are -- they should not be competing with the young High Street -- others do it cheaper and better now -- they should return to the things they were always good at -- classic, great quality clothes that go on year after year - wash after wash -- with just a nod at the current fashion. Some of the rubbish colours, styles and attempts to be trendy are quite horrendous -- see the Speziale range for some hilarious examples.! grin

Annobel Fri 13-Jul-12 18:24:55

I was there today trying to find chino style trousers. The nearest ones were either bright red or a strange colour that might be best described as puce. I want a neutral colour that isn't black, grey or navy blue! Saw some nice tops in Wallis - with sleeves, would you believe!

POGS Fri 13-Jul-12 19:58:21

They closed our local M&S store a year ago. So sod em.

girlracer Sat 14-Jul-12 08:52:39

Can they please start making stuff for ladies with BOOBS? And all those awful smock style print tops which look awful on anyone. I remain loyal to their trousers though, so many styles in different lengths, bound to find a pair to fit perfectly. I love the animal-print mac I bought there a few weeks back - it has certainly had plenty of wear!

Grandmama Sun 15-Jul-12 17:31:24

M&S Trousers - I have several old M&S pairs (very old, bought in charity shops a long time ago) that have the waistband ON MY WAIST, ie, where my tummy actually goes in a bit where my tummy button is. I need to replace these old worn-out, shiny trousers but all the M&S ones have too short a crotch - the waistband sits below my waistline, just across where my tummy bulges. I think that the Classics elasticated waistbands would probably sit on my waist but, as I say to my daughters, I can still do up zips and fasten buttons so I don't need elasticated.

The bra fitting a couple of years ago was disappointing. Not a good fit. I had a much better fitting at York's family-owned department store - and I was given washing instructions (for the bra, not for me) and it was carefully wrapped up.

inatthedeepend Mon 16-Jul-12 12:52:29

M&S has gone steadily downmarket. Their style was never great but their quality was good. Both are now on the floor. We have Primark and BHS for cheap and cheerful so why go to Marks?

I would say they are losing money because

1 Quality is no longer there.
2 Style is absent (I've heard Per Una described as "holiday clothes for Daily Express readers" ....snobby but accurate)
3 Too many different items/too swift can never go in and find that 'camel coloured cardigan you saw last month' for example.
4Service is sloppy
5 Sales and offers are poorly displayed
6 It is not an inviting store to enter

PRINTMISS Mon 16-Jul-12 16:15:18

I was interested in your comments Grandmama about trousers that actually come up to the waist. I have always shopped for trousers in M&S because I like the 31" leg and a little bit of colour, or at least something different, but the last pair I bought there - unfortunately didn't try them on in the shop, because they are always o.k. - were too tight, short in the crotch and very uncomfortable. I find Cotton Traders now do the length I like, and the quality is good, plus some decent colours. Just because I am getting on a bit doesn't mean I want to dress in dark colours. Incidentally, the fact that the trousers were too tight, had nothing to do with me being a little bigger in the rear area the one's from Cotton Traders fit fine. I do find these days that when I go to M&S it appears to be the mostly very well heeled ladies who are there, perhaps because they are able to shop and buy without counting the pennies,as we do, but then again, perhaps that is just me being envious, although envy is not part of my make up.grin

FlicketyB Fri 03-Aug-12 14:58:51

Sorry to resurrect this subject again but I am thoroughly p****d off with M&S today

In early May I bought a 70% cotton 30% silk top from said store.It cost about £25.00. Since then I have worn it most weeks and it goes in the wash every 10 days or so. This morning I put the top on, over trousers, and when it was on gently tugged the back to make it even over my bum, when there was a tearing sound and the back 'gave' more than expected. When I looked at my top there was a 4 inch rent in the fabric, of the type you usually get when fabric is very worn and thin. Looking over the top I found another smaller, half inch, rent that I had not previously noted.

My nearest M&S is 15 miles away in a town I rarely visit. Anyway I have no time at present to do a 30 mile round trip to return it so I have done a repair and it should last out the summer. I have never been a regular M&S shopper, it is generally my shop of last resort, but it is noticeable than almost every garment I have bought there since Stuart Rose and his sucessor have been in charge has had to be returned or ditched early because the quality is so poor, sweaters unwearably pilled within six weeks, T shirts transparent when wet, not a pretty sight, and shirts, like this one but including several others, where the fabric has torn or trim has come off within weeks.

Well, they have now lost my custom completely.

susiecb Fri 03-Aug-12 16:21:32

Flickety interestingly they are now losing serious money on the clothing ranges. I just ordered a swinsuit on line and it was see-through before it was wet, no suppport form the padded cups and the supposed tummy control absent.

Ariadne Fri 03-Aug-12 16:34:20

I am noticing a real deterioration in the quality of things I buy regularly from M&S - like their bras, which are now made of a much flimsier fabric than before (AND if you're not watchful will have the strap adjusters at the back.) Even the knickers are harsh cotton now.

I also wear the black jogging bottoms for pottering about in - they are still just under £10 but again, the quality is now poorer.

I don't buy much clothing there anymore, to be honest. I don't like the colours, or the styles. Still like the fruit and veg., though!

Such a pity.

FlicketyB Fri 03-Aug-12 17:25:16

To generalise my complaint about M&S. In recent years chain clothing stores have been racing each other downhill in quality in order to be cheapest.

Skirts and trousers no longer have pockets, the fabric trousers are made from is stuffed full of filler so that they feel fine when you buy them but as soon as you wash them they go as limp as a rag, bright colours wash out and tone down in weeks.

I live in a rural area, my nearest town is 15 miles away, I'm retired. I simply do not have time to constantly give up whole days to visiting a shopping town to comb all the shops, big and small, looking for garments I like that are of a decent quality. I would happily pay more for better quality clothes. It would work out cheaper because I would not have to keep replacing cheap shoddy clothing that is only fit to be used as a duster after only a few months.

Online shopping is no use because the clothes are just as shoddy and you have all the trouble of parcelling them up and sending them back if not satisfactory.

Anagram Fri 03-Aug-12 17:36:23

I agree with what you say about M&S clothes, FlicketyB, but I have to say I prefer skirts and trousers without pockets. I never use them anyway, and they spoil the line.

johanna Fri 03-Aug-12 17:37:44

flickety, do have a look at Land's End. Don't know if their stuff is the type of thing you are after, but up to now their quality has been superb.
Good service too.

FlicketyB Fri 03-Aug-12 18:11:32

Johanna, I agree Landsend is one sparkling exception, but recently I ordered jeans from them in my normal size and the fit was dreadful, my shape not their fault and I then had to go through all the palaver of sending them back, which means it takes weeks from the decision to purchase a garment to finally being able to wear it, assuming you dont have to get your money back and start again.

I am just nostalgic for the days when clothes shopping meant a quick visit to your local High Street where there would be a variety of shops, chain and independent, with a good range of good quality clothing. Now High Streets are dominated by chain stores selling shoddy and the independent stores and small chains are banished to the back streets and small towns so finding them and visiting them is time consuming .

Anagram, many years ago I attended a talk on personal safety and the police officer giving it advised us never to put our house and car keys in our handbags. That way you didnt have to worry about not being able to get into your home and having to replace all the locks etc etc if your bag is stolen. I was very grateful for that advice a few years later when my bag was stolen but my keys were in my pocket.

gracesmum Fri 03-Aug-12 18:44:36

Ever since middle DD was mugged at knifepoint in London a few years ago, losing her flat keys, passport, cash and credit cards, phone, filofax with all her business contacts , etc I have often though about how stuck I would be and resolved that if I felt it necessary (as in St Petersburg on holiday also some years ago) I would have a small "body bag" under my outer clothes with the really important stuff and only have in my handbag things I could afford to lose. Youngest DD was also advised when travelling round the world to carry a small amount of money on cash (any denomination) which she could throw at/to potential muggers and gain time while they gathered it up. Would my library ticket serve the same purpose?

Annobel Fri 03-Aug-12 18:58:41

Never mind trousers - whatever has happened to skirts? I visited a number of high street stores today (not M&S but they're just as bad) and there were hardly any skirts available, though numerous trousers in various styles. I know I wear trousers most of the time, but I do like to have a choice.

Anagram Fri 03-Aug-12 18:59:12

Probably not, gracesmum. Perhaps some Monopoly money? grin

gracesmum Fri 03-Aug-12 19:03:21

All they'd be likely to get from me!grin
I am realising that I am more and more wearing clothes I have had for years, partly because I no longer need the sort of work clothes I used to buy, partly because I can't afford to "splurge" but mostly because they are so much better made. Trouble is, nothing lasts for ever and when my favourites do give up the ghost - what is there to take their place?

Annobel Fri 03-Aug-12 19:11:29

Thank you, gracesmum, now I know what to do with the Hong Kong dollars that have been languishing in my drawer for several years!

johanna Fri 03-Aug-12 19:19:43

You are right gracesmum , there is nothing to take their place!
Even the " designer " clothes are mostly made in China.

I remember makes like Ballantynes, Pringles, Munrospun, Lyle &Scott, etc.
All Scottish , and they screamed quality.

Sewsilver Fri 03-Aug-12 19:43:54

I agree, M and S not really worth going into now as styles and quality bad.Brora is good and Scottish but expensive. Sales good though as are Toast. Both makes great quality and last for ages. Some White Stuff clothes good too but many too 'young ' for me ie no sleeves. Having just thrown out lots of clothes , as part of attempts to clear house of things I'm trying not to buy more. Also stuck on sofa with knee doesn't seem to matter much what I wear. Window cleaner did look startled at 4 today to see me in pyjamas. Don't think DH notices.

numberplease Sun 05-Aug-12 21:40:22

Bring back St.Michael!

NfkDumpling Sun 05-Aug-12 22:34:05

having discovered M&S on line a couple of years ago I went back to buying from them and opened an account. Since then Per Una and Autograph have gone steadily younger, slimmer and shorter in style. Ok if you're size 12 but not a chunky 16.
And I'm with numberplease. Bring back St Michael and a bit of quality!

gracesmum Mon 06-Aug-12 20:06:32

Looking at mail order - and there are some excellent retailers - Patricia dawson, Box2 and Gudrun Sjoden among them, has anybody bought from Denny Andrews?

Oldgreymare Tue 07-Aug-12 17:25:28

Denny Andrews used to 'show' in the Bath area some time ago, mostly lovely Indian cottons. I didn't buy as I tend to wait for sales at East and Anokhi for similar items.
M&S under-pinnings are great as is their menswear but forget trying to buy anything else other than food!

FlicketyB Wed 15-Aug-12 17:48:56

Today I once again wore the M&S top that started the revival of this topic. Last time the fabric just split as if it was decayed. I mended the four inch rent, washed it and today I put it on again and the fabric just continued splitting the full width of the back a few inches above the hem. It is a loose top and the piece of fabric involved was gathered so it wasn't under any tension. It is now in the dustbin. And M&S can go in with it.

I have bought garments from Boden and Toast and again been unhappy with the quality. An expensive wool coat from Boden pilled very badly within months and a needlecord top from Toast cost £90.00, a mad extravagence but I had worn a similar dress in the late 60s and went all nostalgic. It was unlined and had lost all its shape by the second wash. I then went into M&Co and bought a very similar top, fully lined, for £45. It is altogether a far superior garment in quality and finish. DDiL, once a Toast fan has also complained about the quality of the garments recently.

I have been happy with everything I have bought from M&Co because I can try it on and examine it before I buy but find that a lot of their clothes are aimed at the more conservative older dresser, too much embellishing and glitter, tops that drape and the brighter colours seem to be hard and garish.

I like East, Monsoon, but again some quality issues, Phase 8 - and Sainsbury's, good styles, good fit and good quality, unlike Tesco, whose clothes are generally poor quality and wash badly.

Ella46 Wed 15-Aug-12 18:53:41

Flicky I've had some really great jeans and T shirts from Sainsburys in the last year. M&Co are quite good for sizes but they are a bit glitzy for me too.

Ariadne Wed 15-Aug-12 19:27:40

When I shop at Sainsbury's once or twice a week, I have to turn right and wander through the clothes before I do the boring stuff. I love coming away with something cheap but stylish. Mind you, I think the Gok stuff is truly appalling - all lurid colours and polyester.

Annobel Wed 15-Aug-12 19:51:00

I've had a couple of good shirts from Sainsbury's. Their sizes are more accommodating than most and their tee shirts are far better quality than M&S.

grrrranny Wed 15-Aug-12 21:50:45

Agree Annobel I bought two white shirts from Sainsbury's basics range 3 years ago for work. Still white, still going strong and were only £4.00 each. Couldn't ask for better.

FlicketyB Thu 16-Aug-12 09:21:52

Like many I too find the Gok stuff really unattractive, and why is polyester so popular with designers, particularly those catering for the older market? It is unpleasant to wear, slimy and sticky in summer weather and provides no warmth in winter, and almost always comes in ugly patterns and lurid colours

HildaW Thu 16-Aug-12 16:38:59

I've bought several things from Denny Andrews and been very happy with them.

HildaW Thu 16-Aug-12 16:42:06

I used to pop into the Oxford branch of Toast from time to time and it was always staffed by very sniffy young ladies who did not give me eye contact so I would walk out - and then spend my money in Sahara where the staff could not have been more approachable.

susiecb Sat 18-Aug-12 17:06:21

I tried again today beacuse i keep hoping M & S will come back. the nes section was nicely arranged good clothes, good quality we found DH a winter coat so far so good. I went downstairs to Per Una and Autograph they had two looks for me my 99 year old MIL or Bett Lynche's less tasteful sister.

LindsaySG Mon 27-Aug-12 11:38:30

After reading all the negative comments here I find myself asking why anyone bothers looking for clothes in M & S. I only buy knickers there, when I find a suitable style and fit I buy half a dozen pairs, and children's socks as adults socks are too big for me. In the past I bought their 34AA bras but now they only stock them in mega padded "two sizes bigger" styles and children's bras.
I am 5ft and 7st 7lbs and size 6 so usually need to buy from petite ranges. The minuscule M & S petite is only available on line and is even more dire than their main ranges.
Petite ranges, across all stores which offer them, lack style choice and quality and are invariably aimed at the very young or very old, I am 55. Principles used to be good but since being taken over by Debenhams has gone downhill. Monsoon did a reasonably good range but that has now been discontinued. Next has the most extensive range but much of it is very boring and there is far too much polyester. Banana Republic Petite is easily the best for fashion conscious women in their 50's but unfortunately it is not available on line unlike their standard sizes. I now buy over 90% of my clothes from ebay and mix and match items from petite and standard ranges. The majority are from Gap, the old Principles, Banana Republic, H & M, Next, Topshop, Monsoon along with various others. Where do other small fashion conscious women buy clothes I wonder? There is so much more choice for large women but unlike the overweight or obese, who could possibly lose weight, I have no control over my height.

Nonny Mon 27-Aug-12 17:18:53

Have just returned from a trip to our local M&S to buy a bra. I wanted one without wires and had found one earlier in the year there and wanted to buy two more. When I asked the assistant where they were she said I would have to order on line. She was quite rude. Presumably on line can check the fit should I send a photo I wonder? I went to Debenhams where at least they can order it in store.
The local M&S here is always poor for choice. The range of toddler size boys clothes is poor. It is a waste of time visiting the place!!! Grrrr!

HildaW Mon 27-Aug-12 19:39:42

If there is something I want to buy from M&S and know I dont need to try it on...presents for GCs, basic underwear, stuff for husband etc. I order it on-line for 'store collection'. That way I can just waltz in and pick it up, saves so much hastle - its as if they have done the dashing around for me.

Ella46 Tue 28-Aug-12 19:52:20

Went to M&S today to get some slippers.
Everywhere I turned there were assistants in groups of three, chatting.
At the shoe section, two women asssistants were actually trying on boots!

Get a grip someone!

annodomini Tue 28-Aug-12 20:32:45

Waltz in. Hilda? I waited in quite a short queue for about ten minutes to collect a swimsuit I had ordered on line. Their system is chaotic!
Ella, I wonder if we were in the same store at the same time! I bought yet more knickers - five pairs for £7 - not bad value! Job for tomorrow - clear out all the old raggy pairs.

johanna Tue 28-Aug-12 20:37:33

Have you looked at the new cashmere knit ware?
Not bad at all.

annodomini Tue 28-Aug-12 20:46:26

Oh yes, Johanna, I was looking at a lovely, amethyst coloured, long cashmere sweater, but reluctantly decided that I would have to make do with the two I bought last year.

johanna Tue 28-Aug-12 20:53:17

anno Please buy it.
You will be sorry you did not.
The whole world is going to pot anyway. Let's join.!

Ella46 Wed 29-Aug-12 07:20:09

Anno We probably were there at the same time!

I got my slippers and then got some really nice clothes (2 tops and a jacket) at a very reasonable price , at the Outfit store (BHS?) and a short dressing gown from Tesco!

Result, one happy shopper no thanks to M&S!

HildaW Wed 29-Aug-12 10:41:18

Annodomini, well not quite waltz........I over simplified it a tad. Its certainly a lot more convenient than trawling around the shop for my size - they never have my size - but in truth the collection desk is badly placed. As soon as anyone is waiting at it you block an aisle and thus spend the 5 mins or so saying sorry for getting in folks way, so yes, its badly organised.

GGC281HR Wed 29-Aug-12 13:20:26

Not sure if anyone from M&S reads this or not but when we first were married in the 1970s it was our dearest wish to be able to afford M&S because the quality and style was exactly what we wanted. We shopped there for years but over the last 10 years or so we only go there if we can't find anything else.

The quality, style and service have all but disappeared. Cheap imorted tack is just that - cheap. You get what you pay for and until they buy decent stuff again I feel they are doomed to continue their slow but steady demise. Changing the CEO is not the answer - it needs a change of attitude.

Rant over.

Ella46 Wed 29-Aug-12 13:23:43

I couldn't agree with you more GGC. It would be good if they did read this thread!

HildaW Wed 29-Aug-12 14:58:06

Oh so very true GGC....I can distinctly remember paying £7 in M&S for a shetland wool jumper with a pleated wool skirt to match in shades of cream and lilac/lavender. I was 17 and it was equavalent of a whole weeks wages. That set lasted me years and years and never really wore out. I come from a very working class background - this is not a class thing. Buying quality clothing that lasts seems to have gone quite out of favour. About time we brought it back.

annodomini Wed 29-Aug-12 15:41:08

When the children were small, we lived in Leicestershire where our market had a stall full of M&S seconds, from the factory where they were made in Leicester. Down the road from our house was a knicker factory where I used to go and buy my supplies from the factory shop. Happy days - I'd have to go to China to find those now!

petra Tue 27-Nov-12 16:21:18

I had a very interesting experience in their Gibraltar store this year.
I was spoilt for choice. There were so many lovely things to buy; things that you just don't see in the uk.
I asked the assistant why this was. She said: the shops in the uk have to take what they are given; but the Gibraltar shop can pick from the whole of the uk range.
Confused of Westcliff.

JessM Tue 27-Nov-12 16:30:39

Last week I was looking for a nice v neck cashmere sweater to give to my sis for her 60th.
M and S you would think, this time of year...
They had the most dingy and depressing colours. What is it with M and S and colour? For years they were fixated on powder blue and scarlet and they have diversified a bit. But they ain't got it yet.
Trudged to the opp end of the centre and in JLewis they have fewer shapes, and fewer colours - but my goodness what beautiful colours they were - deep sky blue, peacock blue, leaf green etc. hmm

crimson Tue 27-Nov-12 17:04:17

First time I've ever been to M&S and not been tempted to buy anything [other than a rather lovely handbag]. Long queues at checkouts but someone stood in the middle of the shop playing a guitar; what was that about? One thing that did look rather lovely was a sort of fifties style dress that looked as if it was made of crimplene; the cut and style was beautiful. Not however, the sort of thing that I could wear now. Funny things, knickers [and socks]. Like light bulbs, they all seem to go at the same time. Perhaps they should have a 'use by date' on them. Be warned, your elastic will go it 2 years, 12 days and thirty seconds..and counting.....

MiceElf Tue 27-Nov-12 17:07:23

They've just put on display a big magnet and a marble run.

And they are labelled BOYS STUFF.

JessM Tue 27-Nov-12 17:48:17 indeed.
report the b** and they will get tweeted
complain to the b*** - people are having some success with newsagents categorising all serious interest periodicals as mens!!!

MiceElf Tue 27-Nov-12 18:11:14

Done it. Thanks for that link.

Deedaa Tue 27-Nov-12 21:32:50

Over the last few months they have been revamping our local M&S. We were promised bigger & better and we would all love it. Unsurprisingly everyone I've spoken to while shopping hates it. I used to be a complete Per Una fanatic but in the last couple of years most of the clothes have become unwearable. Skirts too short & too tight, colours & patterns horrible and fabrics thin and cheap feeling. I'm still wearing mainly Per Una but mainly garments I bought anything up to 10 years ago when the cut was good and the fabrics were interesting. The final straw came when I had a quick look round at the weekend and found that Per Una no longer had its own counter and fitting rooms. One of the girls told me that the idea was that we should just be able to see all the ranges across the shop. What's the point? Why not just call them all M&S full stop?

FlicketyB Wed 28-Nov-12 09:42:04

Fortunately for me my nearest M&S is 15 miles away. Last summer's disaster when the fabric of a quite expensive silk/cotton top came apart in my hands six weeks after I bought it was the final straw and I decided never to shop there again. Since then when I go shopping I just walk right on by. I was shopping in a town I rarely visit last week. I was in and out of all the other shops looking for some clothes and doing Christmas shopping. When I came to M&S, I ignored it and that is how it is going to stay.

I never have been much of an M&S shopper I used to find their clothes boring and their stock control was always/is(?) very poor, they never had the style/colour/length I wanted in stock, and I am a very average height and build. Boring clothes one occasionally requires so I did shop there on occasion but the really shoddy quality that has consistently characterised their clothes since Stuart Rose took over and continues under the present management is quite unacceptable and they have lost my custom long term.

harrigran Wed 28-Nov-12 10:53:41

I have been shopping for clothes for GC and M&S have the poorest selection. Clothes for girls seem to be far too grown up for the suggested age, I do not want my GDs to look like miniature 21 year olds.
When they took the manufacture of clothes out of the UK the sizes went haywire especially in underwear, I have not been able to wear M&S bras and briefs for many years. The food department is the only reason I enter the store now.

JessM Wed 28-Nov-12 12:45:36

oh the other week I noticed that our large store appears to be on the brink of giving up entirely on children's clothes! Shoved into a tiny corner.

And this in the youngest population in the country.

Barrow Wed 28-Nov-12 14:32:54

The only time I go into M&S these days is as a short cut from the car park to John Lewis! Colours are awful. The last time I went in to actually buy something was last year. Found a blouse I liked and went looking for a skirt to go with it - everything clashed - put back blouse and haven't bought anything there since.

jO5 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:35:16

I think they have turned up trumps for Xmas. Got far too much lovely stuff!

glassortwo Wed 28-Nov-12 14:39:46

Jingle I have not forgotten you I am waiting for SIL getting back in touch she is terrible for answering texts/phone/emails, I sent another this morning, I will let you know asap about the pillow.
I am not going into M&S to look at the Christmas things as I know it will cost me, so best stay away grin

jO5 Wed 28-Nov-12 14:46:56

That's fine Glass. Thanks again.

I'm not going in there again. Or at least wear blinkers through the women's wear bit. It can get ridiculous! grin

(and they'll probably take half of it back.) hmm

JessM Sat 01-Dec-12 09:41:21

We are getting a third M and S here.
Big full page ads in the local free papers. They all feature:
Twiggy (hasn't anyone bought her yet) in a dark forest green top. A kind of ribbed rugby top with a dropped hemline at the back (like the ones that were fashionable last year - or has the cycling bum fashion been revived by Saints Wiggins and Pendleton) I cannot find this item on their website.
Am completely bemused by this advert.

absentgrana Sat 01-Dec-12 09:44:30

I occasionally buy knickers and pyjamas at M & S. I never look at the rest of the clothes as I have always regarded them as being for old women. wink

crimson Sat 01-Dec-12 09:47:41

They're doing very well in France I believe now they've been allowed back. I'd love to know what they're selling in their shop on the Champs Elysee's [unless that's just for food; it hadn't opened when I was there].

granjura Sat 01-Dec-12 16:28:48

For those in the Leicester area, do you remember the great days when all M&S clothes were made by Corah's in the town centre - and the great factory shop there?

annodomini Sat 01-Dec-12 16:43:10

Yes, granjura, I do! I visited that factory shop and on Hinckley market there was a stall full of Corah's seconds, at a fraction of the M&S price. An underwear company had a factory shop just down the road from our house. So convenient for knickers!

kittylester Sat 01-Dec-12 16:48:49

granjura I worked there!! Not for very long, luckily, as I spent nearly as much in the shop as I earned. DH's brother worked there 'learning to die/dye' as he put it! I met DH at Corah's Christmas party as he had been smuggled in by his brother. Our first dance was the Gay Gordons grin

M&S was Corah's downfall as they insisted on Corah's making only for M&S and then moving manufacturing somewhere else at a moment's notice leaving Corah's with no work at all! M&S's quality was so good in those days!

DH's father was a director of another hosiery/knitwear company in Leicester called Poole, Lorrimer and Taberer on King Street.

Sorry for the digression. smile

supernanauna Thu 13-Dec-12 13:28:38

About M&S - I have several old pairs of M&S Classic jeans - the type with about 3 inches of elastic either side of the waist. Having a big waist but thin legs, these gave me a perfect fit. But it seems they don't sell them any more. Does anybody know of any other store where I might get them please? I'm desperate!

Nonu Thu 13-Dec-12 13:46:47

Bon Marche ?? smile

supernanauna Thu 13-Dec-12 13:51:06

Worth a try, I suppose - thanks Nonu! I'll have a look on their website.

annodomini Thu 13-Dec-12 16:35:25

I once had some like that from BHS, but haven't looked recently.

stardust Sat 15-Dec-12 18:06:08

If you want party clothes that are good value try M&Co. I recently saw a beautiful little black dress with sleeves and some really good tops with a little glamour. I'm a granny and proud of it. I don't want to look like a teenager, but I don't want to look like a frump either. Have a look at their site!

Deedaa Wed 19-Dec-12 23:44:47

Suddenly I love M&S again! I've just discovered that they are selling Fragonard perfumes. I've loved the original Fragonard scent since we did a tour of the factory in Grasse and to be able to buy it in my local M&S is great. Now, if they could just do something about the clothes..............

JessM Thu 20-Dec-12 07:18:07

Yes I recently bought some lovely stylish leggings in Zara. They have an elasticated top that smooths out bulgy middle and pretend zips. M and S have a very sad unstylish version. No zips, less elastic. hmm
(I noticed the other day when picking up slippers for MIL. I rest my case.)

Deedaa Thu 20-Dec-12 17:21:24

Isn't stylish leggings an oxymoron, or is that just me? smile

Ariadne Thu 20-Dec-12 17:22:39

deedaa grin

JessM Thu 20-Dec-12 17:38:56
Deedaa Thu 20-Dec-12 22:55:40

You see that's the trouble JessM with what I've got to put inside them Style wouldn't come into it. Pregnant women would avoid me for fear of marking the child. grin

Deedaa Tue 29-Jan-13 21:50:56

Hope still springing eternal I picked up a rather attractive Per Una top (a miracle in itself these days!). To be on the safe side I tried it on. Just as well because it looked very nice, the colour was right, but the sleeves were cutting off my circulation! When did size 16 women grow Biba type matchstick arms? You'd think that a company that makes most of its money from clothes would be able to get the sizes right!

lilybet Thu 28-Feb-13 17:32:01

Used to go once a year and get new Bras. Those days are gone. They have the same Bra but it no longer fits no matter what size I try. When you tell the assistant they look at you like your on day release from some "care in the community" I even waved the bra I was wearing at them(bet that's why they looked strange) but its the same bra. Oh no Madame it has changed. Well so have I no longer will I visit the dreaded department again

Ariadne Thu 28-Feb-13 17:35:19

lilybet the bras have changed; the material is scratchy and poor quality and the sizes are variable. No more for me, either!

JessM Thu 28-Feb-13 18:19:54

I have a very old bra. It is the most comfy one I ever had. Bought it one Sunday in Texas in 2001. Is this a record?

Hunt Thu 28-Feb-13 23:30:02


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