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The preppy look is back |


The preppy look is back

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
The preppy look is back
Jean genies: Denim is a key trend in Marks & Spencer spring 2023.

Marks & Spencer spring 2023 is all about the preppy look, color, prints, and sustainable fabrics like recycled nylon and responsible cotton.  After all, M&S was sustainable before it was trendy, ever since Al Gore’s documentary An tInconvenient Truth came out in 2006. Marks & Spencer was the first retailer to become carbon neutral, and their target for 2040 is to reach net zero.

With 20 branches at present — the Glorietta 4 store being the largest and top performing — we surveyed the spring trends and found a lot of reasonably priced styles that even the younger market will want to wear, starting at P695 for tops.

Sporty on the beach: M&S pure cotton baseball cap and pure linen printed oversized shirt in fuchsia


As early as February of last year, M&S’s merchandise managers say that real revenge shopping was going on, so spring feels like a rebirth and M&S has refreshed its women’s wear. Colors are bright, happy, and optimistic, in easy pieces you can incorporate into your work wardrobe but also wear casually. The key prints for this season are geometric and abstract animal prints.

Autograph is a more premium brand within the store that has more of a designer feel to it. The fabrication is also more premium, with good-quality viscose, polyester, and silk.

Another sub brand, Per Una, has a more casual feel, with wide-leg pants and embroidery that are key for the season all across the store. Wide legs are an ideal piece to transition out of the lounge-y stuff we wore during the pandemic.


If you’re into more natural tones, M&S’s Linen Shop is where to score effortlessly chic pieces. They have Linen Rich, which is a linen blend, but also pure linen in a variety of colors. More conducive to our environment because it’s all natural, M&S is also pushing for sustainability and responsibility in terms of sourcing, so linen is one of their key fabrics.


What I like about M&S swimwear is that it’s very inclusive in terms of sizing. They start at size 6, which is roughly a US 2, all the way up to size 20, which is a US 16. Swimsuits are in bright colors, and check out the one-piece in neoprene with scallop detailing. Neoprene is a scuba material, so it absorbs water really well. They also have separates, complemented by hats, caftans, bags and sunglasses.


For men, spring is all about the preppy trend. Classic heritage pieces are given a modern British twist through graphic styling and colors like ocean blue, fresh green, antique rose, and cognac.

Key pieces are the varsity jacket, rugby shirt, and long-sleeved jersey top (with matching jersey shorts), giving an athletic-club feel. Preppy stripes are in, as well as madras checks.

As with women, embroidery is also in, evidenced in the classic M&S logo resurrected from the archives and emblazoned onto many of the shirts.

Swim shorts are available in navy, orange, green, and water-repellent seersucker, which is a key trend. There are also ’80s retro shorts and longer cargo shorts for more conservative males. Chino shorts are sold two per pack, offering value for money.

Denim pants are in slim, tailored and straight fits. For a smarter look there are chinos, and perfect for our weather is M&S’s Stormwear jeans, with their water-resistant finish.

For men, Autograph offers more contemporary dressing. Linen-blend shirts are rendered in cognac and antique rose, and a popular choice is the Supima cotton shirt with zip-up collar.

In men’s footwear, chunky sneakers are in, colored in ivory or ecru to go with everything.

While M&S also offers formal suits, sleepwear has been their number one-performing department since the pandemic and still is.

So fly: Cotton Rich butterfly-print leggings for kids


Bestsellers for kids are sleepwear and underwear, available in multipacks. Key lines for spring 2023 are denim and swimwear, featuring florals for girls, underwater creatures for boys, and Disney characters for all, in line with Disney’s 100th anniversary.

Other bestsellers are bodysuits for babies and kids’ clothing bundles that start at P500.


Marks & Spencer’s five-per-pack knickers are priced at a very competitive P850. For spring they offer a lavender mix, and sea green with floral prints or stripes. Core lines are the nudes, blacks and whites, with the bestselling fits being the full briefs and midi.

M&S is moving into cotton bras from synthetic, as part of the Better Cotton Initiative. Core are the strapless and multi-way bras, which come two per pack at P1,950. They’ve also just released non-wired and wired bras in prints.


New bath and body ranges include Apothecary and Fragrance Society, with offers like “buy two, get one free,” and more scents included in one pack.

For men, new brands are No Ordinary Day, the newly repackaged Harvard line and higher-end Autograph line.

Soon M&S will be transitioning to Monte & Wilde roll-ons, body sprays, soaps, and shower gels.

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Marks & Spencer has 20 branches in the Philippines, with the flagship store in Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati.

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