Do you remember a couple of weeks ago and I was lucky enough to spend the day at Marks & Spencer’s HQ? Well I can now reveal what I got up to!
I spent the day with a handful of fashion and style bloggers bloggers – some of who I had met before, others I hadn’t, but we all got on great … phew! Just to briefly introduce who else was there. First up, Catherine from Not Dressed As Lamb, Natalie from Style Me Sunday, Eva from Glamazon Blog, Amanda from The Online Stylist and Rachel from Lady M Presents. A great group of inspirational women, do go and check out their blogs because they’re all fantastic!
Anyway, back to M&S HQ. The theme of the day was ‘Style Evolution’ and each of us was given a certain stage in our life to dress for. The style milestones were: Job Interview, New Mum, Wedding Season, Working from Home, Ageless Style and mine was *drumroll* … First Date!
We all sat down on the sofa and had a chat amongst ourselves about each milestone and what it meant to us, and you can see that footage below:
I’m really pleased with how the film turned out. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m pretty confident in front of the camera but sometimes I adopt the attitude of “fake it till you make it!” If I act confident, I come across as confident. Works a treat and hopefully that came across on camera. Plus, I’m a bit of a show-off, which always helps! Having said that, after filming I always sit there with my fingers crossed worrying about what I might have said and whether I’ll end up looking like a wally! But I’m really pleased with this film. It didn’t catch all of our conversation and there was definitely way too much earnest head nodding from me, but overall I think it’s great.
Moving onto my style milestone … as you know, I’ve been single for a ‘while’ now and even though I haven’t dated for a year, I’ve dated A LOT in the past and definitely have a view about first date outfits. You can’t see all the outfits that I chose in the video, but I went for a pale blue below the knee flowing skirt, a fitted khaki dress (that is featured in the video), pretty tops, skinny black jeans, a ¾ length coat and really I just chose staple wardrobe pieces that can be mixed and matched. I made the point that as much as you want to look pretty on a first date, it’s really important to feel like yourself, so make sure that you’re comfortable in your outfit otherwise you will be adjusting yourself all night! (And no one will want to see that, right?!)
I also made the point of not putting on too much make up because I personally feel that your natural beauty should shine through, especially on a first date – plus kissing a woman wearing red lipstick gets very messy (allegedly.)
After filming, we were given a brief to shop for 15 or so outfits from the shopfloor that encompassed our style milestone and you can read more about what I chose from the main Marks & Spencer’s website. But it was a bit like Supermarket Sweep – we had an hour to choose our outfits carefully, including accessories, and trust me, it’s a lot harder than it sounds! But oh so much fun …
I had the most amazing day. We were treated like VIPs and because I’m already a huge Marks & Spencer’s fan, the whole day was like a dream come true for me. I’ve been shopping at M&S for as long as I can remember, from back in the day when mum was alive, to at least once a week now, and so I felt that working with this brand was a perfect fit for me (and hopefully you find it interesting too!) I think that they have a fantastic range of clothes to choose from and, as a plus size women, they always have clothes in my size. It’s a relief knowing that whenever I go into one of their stores, I’m not made to feel like I’m asking for the moon on a stick just because I need a fitted dress in a size 18 or 20. Instead, I know that they will always deliver. (Literally deliver too, I’m always shopping online. In fact, as an aside, I have ordered two presents from their online store recently and had them sent to two friends who have reported back to me that they were fantastic gifts … they were, of course, both alcohol related mind you!)
I sometimes have to pinch myself as a blogger when I get invited to take part in projects like this. I know I’ve been blogging for a long time but as a single parent, blogging isn’t my main full-time job (unfortunately), and a lot of my time is spent working at my day job so that I always have guaranteed money coming in to pay the bills. It’s hard. I’d love to blog full time but it’s a big risk for me being on my own. And so when invitations like this come along, I often think wow, they chose me? How lucky am I? I worked with M&S on another blogger project a couple of years ago which was all about dressing for your shape, and I think that went so well they were more than happy to work with me again, so I do feel really honoured.
A big thank you to the M&S team who organised such a fantastic event. I’d love to hear what you think!