All items: Archive by Alexa at M&S
When Marks & Spencer first announced that they were collaborating with my favourite style maven, Alexa Chung, I was incredibly excited to see the collection and I also had hopes of picking up a few pieces. Alexa visited the M&S archive, and reworked pieces from across many different decades to make them wearable for today. She named each piece according to the most common names in use in 1884, when M&S was founded.
I was at my local store at 8.30am on the launch date, but I left feeling a little underwhelmed by the collection; some of it was lovely (I bought the white Harry blouse) but I didn't like a lot of the fabrics used in the items and also my local store only had a small selection of the range, so there were some pieces I didn't get to see. I considered buying a couple more items online, but ended up not because a lot of it sold out very quickly.
So quickly, in fact, M&S must have done a major re-stock, which maybe then didn't sell as well as expected. Browsing the sale on their website, I was surprised to see a lot of the items were included in the up to 70% off sale! I thought I would pick up a few things to try as delivery to store is free and you can return items for a refund if unsuitable.
The first thing I ordered was the Olive slip (here in white and here in black). This is now £7.99! I loved this but sadly the length was completely wrong on me; I am too short for it to be above the knee so it came to right on my kneecap, which is a terrible length for me personally; it cuts my legs off at just the wrong point. So that went back, but if you are tall enough to pull off the look, it's a great buy! I also picked up the Edna shirt dress (here) which I wanted to love but it was so broad on the shoulders, it looked really wrong on me. Again, a real shame as this is 100% cotton, beautifully made and a great alternative to a sundress; it's also £7.99!
In terms of the items I kept, I really liked the Mae playsuit (here) which was reduced to £9.49. The fabric is beautiful and the design is really classic; based on an item of nightwear that Alexa has reimagined as a playsuit perfect for hot summer days. The two pack of Daphne tees for £4.79 here was also too good to pass up; I think these will be so useful now and into the colder months as layering pieces. They aren't particulalrly special but undeniably useful!
I bought a couple of jumpers; this Lillie navy cable knit is a really classic style and I know I'll get a lot of wear from it. I was also drawn to this fluffy pale pink Myrtle jumper; at around £7 it's a lovely way to add colour to an autumn wardrobe and is also good for summer evenings. This comes up very small, size up if you like a looser fit!
I was surprised to see the Harry blouses in white and pink available and now only £8.49! Bargain! These are so well made and even though the buttons on the back of the neck are fiddly to do up, it's a standout item from the collection and well worth investing in. Speaking of which, I also managed to snag the Ada jacket (£14.99) and matching trousers (£9.49) which will be great for autumn; Military is set to be a strong trend and the buttons on this jacket definitely nod to that.
Finally, I also thought I'd try the Misty dress. Its' a midi length which I love, and whilst I wouldn't usually choose so bright a print, I thought with black sandals and a leather jacket I could make it work. Also, it was only £10.99! The fabric isn't my favourite - 100% viscose - but it feels like a sort of technical viscose with an acetate feel, which is a fabric that Whistles use a lot in their designs. I'm not sure why, because the handle isn't very nice, but the drape is beautiful and the cut of the dress is pretty.
Whilst a lot of what I bought has unfortunately sold out, there are still some Archive by Alexa bargains to be found. I noticed the Bertha cardigan in yellow and blue, Hattie cami in lemon, pale green and ivory, Harry dress, Lydia skirt, and Ruth vest two pack are still in stock and at amazing prices. If you want to pick up a piece of the collection, now's the time!