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The weather might be predictably unpredictable, but spring is finally on the horizon. The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are lighter, and warmer months are just around the corner. 

I’m Head of Womenswear Design at M&S, so it’s my job to shape our new-season ranges, bringing our 22 million customers fantastic everyday style and great value that they can’t find anywhere else - product that’s relevant for how they’re living & working.

 As a Clothing team we’ve been focused on building strength in transitional product and building on the opportunities to grow in key Spring/Summer categories, so I’m really excited about our optimistic new collection of really versatile product for Spring. Clothing has begun to land and this week we’re kickstarting our marketing campaign, Anything But Ordinary Spring Style, to really showcase the offer.

This new collection really shows off the very best of M&S – great designs, fabrics, and fits, created with care and built to last. At M&S, we know our customers are gearing up for a season of socialising and so will want stylish, confident clothing for a range of occasions. Wedding bells are set to ring all summer long, thanks to Covid cancellations over the past couple of years. Customers are also looking forward to well-deserved summer breaks, whether they’re staycationing or venturing further afield, and many are planning something extra special for the extra bank holiday in June. 

And of course, there’s the usual roster of family events. The product range we’ve put together has real breadth – whether she wants a dress for a casual weekend BBQ or is looking to wear something special for a big birthday.

Bright Ideas

There are a few key trends shaping Spring/Summer at M&S. Firstly, the return of long-awaited summer events means there’s a big emphasis on dresses this season, particularly in bright, optimistic colours. What some refer to as dopamine dressing – wearing colourful outfits that boost your mood – is already proving a hit with our customers. We’re really lucky at M&S to have a strong team of colour specialists, who drill down into finding the right colours for our collections and customers. Look out for our bold fuchsia pink midi dress with delicate frill detailing at the sleeves and hem as a key example of this trend. It’s one of many dresses that’s perfect for dressing up or down.

It's not just about colour – print and patten are also really important for this season. Our design team constantly use our Archive in Leeds for inspiration plus trend print directions to create exciting prints. Print and colour have really elevated our holiday shop must-haves this season, particularly our swimwear. Our ditzy print swimsuits are a great example and come with chlorine resistant technology, so they look great for even longer.

Much of our swimwear is also ‘mix and match’, meaning our customers can choose the style and fit that best suits them. I’m really proud of our refreshed Holiday shop – not just swimwear but we have a bigger range of cover ups and beach dresses – areas customers have said they want to see more from us. 

You’ll also find confident colour and energetic prints across our athleisure range, Goodmove, which is now our biggest in-house womenswear brand. We know customers loved our leopard print Goodmove pieces for Autumn/Winter and we’ve continued to build on that with attention grabbing tie-dye and pops of pastel. We’re also hosting our first ever standalone Goodmove pop-up shop in the heart of London’s Covent Garden until 23 April to help drive customer awareness of Goodmove. 

All About Attention to Detail 

Another key trend for this season across our ranges is refined, delicate detailing. We know customers are looking for something eye-catching – those extra special pieces that they can pull on and instantly look and feel great. In our Per Una range, for example, we’ve concentrated on a versatile, feminine aesthetic and created a premium feeling using delicate embroidery. You can see this trend on our cotton-rich textured jacket – great for throwing on when the sun goes down – and across our midi dresses, which feature embroidery around the necklines and sleeves. 

Refined details are also at the heart of our Autograph range, which offers our customers elegant styles and timeless staples in luxe fabrics. We’ve taken a soft, relaxed approach to Autograph this Spring/Summer season, inspired by sports luxe athleisure.

Bags of Appeal 

Finally, I’m really excited for customers to see our accessories offer this Spring/Summer. Accessories are really having a moment – customers are becoming more playful with their accessories and almost taking an ‘anything goes’ approach, as long as it’s stylish. As a design team, we’ve really been able to experiment with fabrics and textures to add extra interest to our accessories. For example, this season we’ve introduced some rustic-inspired straw tote bags with contrasting details in a smooth faux-leather – which are the perfect summer bag and are sure to be a hit with customers. We’ve really built out the finishing touches within our Holiday shop too – with sunglasses and footwear which offer style, quality and value for the beach.

The season of socialising is coming and however customers are going to enjoy it, they can count on us for the perfect summer clothing & accessories.