How to Style up Everyday Basics #TheEverywearChallenge


Style Theory: I know M&S comes in for a lot of stick for their clothing ranges, we in Britain have grown up with them, they are part of our high street heritage, our Mum's, Dad's, Grandma's and Granda's shopped in there, therefore we believe they should offer us some pretty good style solutions and not just for us but for pretty much everyone, the question is do they?

The challenge Marks and Spencer's put to me was to style up four outfits using key M&S items ..a pair of skinny jeans, a white shirt, a spring jacket, a pair of mules ie: a selection of wardrobe basics styled with with anything from the M&S Spring/Summer 2017 collection, putting my unique spin on each each look..Now this kind of challenge is my dream, I continually champion M&S to the doubters, I can always always plenty of items I love in there, but then I love shopping, I would happily spend hours browsing, trying on, swapping this item for that, picking out colours that work, clothing with the right cut that fits my body. So this was right up my street and I hope from the items I have selected and the outfits I have styled up, prove that M&S is a treasure trove of really fabulous items. It just takes a little digging around and some inspiration to create some pretty cool outfits..

Here, on this blog post, are the first two outfits..The Ultimate Shirt and the Skinny Jean..

SHIRT - M&S Everywear Shirt £25
SKIRT - M&S Cotton Rich Gingham Skirt £35
BAG - M&S Faux Leather Across Body Bag £15
SHOES - M&S Suede Stiletto Court Shoes £49.50
So here is my first and perhaps my favourite outfit, styling up the 'The Ultimate White Shirt'. Now, if you know me, you know I am a fan of a fluid look, comfortable is the word I use most when describing my favourite buys so normally I would run a mile from a fitted shirt however this Everywear Shirt looks fabulous on, it skims the figure and has just the right stretch to make it incredibly comfortable. The key things to look for when buying a white shirt is the colour, is it bright white? the cut, does it fit and flatter? and the collar, does it sit beautifully and on the neck and decolletage, this M&S shirt ticks all these boxes and more. 

I chose the most fabulous gingham skirt to style it with, this is a super flattering take on the gingham and ruffle trend and it looks great with my new favourite black bow heels. I love juxtaposing a tailored white shirt with a fluid skirt or pair of trousers, the frills of this gingham skirt balance out the structured shirt perfectly. To finish the outfit I added a bright red pop of colour with the M&S Faux Leather Across Body Bag and I had a great summer work outfit (throw a blazer over the top) or a gorgeous 'event day' look. 

My next item to style up was the M&S 'Ultimate Skinny Jeans'....

These M&S High Rise Super Skinny were easy to wear and style, the skinny jean is now such a classic staple item of clothing I think all of us have at least one pair of them in our wardrobe. These high waisted jeans are great as they flatter, elongate legs and hide all the lumps and bumps perfectly. I always tend to wear my skinny jeans with flat, ballet pumps and an oversized top or dress as it gives a rock chic vibe with a girly edge. I find the proportions work best if tops are hip length or slightly voluminous - it makes my legs look thinner and I do love an ankle length, skinny jean it looks fab in the summer (just turn up your skinny jeans so they are just above the ankle bone) These skinny jeans have the perfect stretch, a great waist height, are a beautiful colour of blue and most importantly are so comfortable.

The Pure Cotton Striped Dress was an immediate hit as soon as I put it on, chic, summery, with a generous full skirt, it is girly and flouncy without being too over the top. We all know that M&S excel in handbags and accessories (not forgetting underwear and food!) and I adore these softer than soft, leather, ballet pumps. They come with a black tie but I took it off as I prefer them plain, I was padding along the street like a had just come out of ballet class! Just add a neutral bag to pull the look together...and voila an outfit that I think look pretty cool, hides my less that toned legs but looks chic and stylish..

JEANS - M&S High Rise Super Skinny £19.50
DRESS - M&S Pure Cotton Striped Dress £59.50
SHOES - Lace Up Ballet Pumps £45
BAG - M&S Faux Leather Metal Handle Tote Bag £39.50
Photos by Victoria Metaxas

I do love a good retail challenge...I was like a kid in a sweet shop in the M&S buying offices working on ideas for outfits, what do you think? As I said above, I am inclined to be a fan of M&S having worked in buying I know it is pretty much impossible to be everything for everyone and if you know where to look, M&S do produce some fab pieces at affordable prices..the problem for M&S is that they do not make it clear what or where to look. In my next blog post, I will show you my next two 'Everywear' outfits and I have a few ideas up my sleeve of how M&S could make shopping in their stores and online a whole lot better and easier...(I love a bit of strategy and am up for being drafted in to help ;-)

Here's the link to the campaign and you can see how the other fab fashion bloggers, Emma Hill, Danielle Vanier, Sasha Wilkins - Liberty London Girl, and Julia Rebaudo- Stylonylon style up the M&S everyday wardrobe essentials, it so interesting to see all the different takes on the four keys items, it shoes just how versatile fashion can be... 

Any ideas you have let me know too, what do you think of M&S? Are these looks something you would wear? As always I love to hear your thoughts and comments, until next time Fran xxxxx

This post was written in collaboration with M&S, all words and styling are my own.


  1. I like the second outfit. You look stunning in it. Perfect connection the bag and shoes and this blue dress is lovely.

    1. Thank you so much, yes I must admit I do love the shoes and bag!! Xxx

  2. I really like your blog but do you mind if I say the photos are very amateurish. Sorry but they are so small it is impossible to see the detail. Maybe it's because I view on my iPad. I really don't mean to be critical but expect a bog to have good quality photos as standard. Hope I'm being constructive.

    1. If you tap on the photos they become larger, they are taken by a professional photographer and maybe you mean my photos are too small rather than amateurish?! I am plannning on re-doing my website however at the moment I do not have the technical ability or the finances to do it myself. Perhaps when I re-do it then you can check back in with it, until then I am afraid if it really isn't to your liking you may want to avoid reading it. Fran

  3. I don't understand the comment about the photos, they are not small on my PC, no different to many other blogs and are certainly not amateurish. Could you tell me your height please Fran? Many things are too long/swamp me as I am only 5ft 4 and small framed.

    1. Thanks so much xxx I am 5ft 3 so a little smaller than you and a good generous size 10, hopefully this helps when you are judging if something will work or not xxx

  4. Thanks so much, yes I would maybe avoid a big ruffle around the hips as it does accentuate them a little, a good gingham skirt to go for is the Topshop one as it has a ruffle down the front and is fitted at the hips, it will look fab on xxxx

  5. Fran I love your blog.
    I've picked up most of my wardrobe from you
    Just bought the gingham skirt and blouse and also the red next blouse .
    I find your blog really easy to use . I love that I can just click the link under the photo and go straight to the relevant page.
    I think the photos are fab you always look stunning .

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