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MARKS AND SPENCER

Looks 9                                                 

A pleasing mix of sharp styling and casual comfort make a true wardrobe builder here. Blue Harbour offers washed down, soft handle chinos, knits and wovens in a pastel palette but with an extra emphasis on performance fabrics. A super-sharp black and white story in Autograph by Timothy Everest is business-like and the mannequins deliver plenty of punch. Collezione sticks to its biscuit shades and luxe-handles. Slim-fit suits are tailored to more generous proportions than at young fashion counterparts. The only let-down is a lack of availability across all sizes.

Store 8                                                  

It is so well signposted that this men’s section makes me lament the failings of my local M&S. This store keeps it simple in terms of branded ranges and its constant communication through wall decals clarifies the origins of fabrics, tech specification and even tells me that the lights in the changing room work by movement sensors. A blip – the signs highlighting the Savile Row credentials of tailors Timothy Everest and Mark Powell are misspelled with two Ls. A bit embarrassing but it won’t halt a sale and heck, we’ve all been there.

Mix 9                                                    

The Blue Harbour and Autograph brands are the stars with support from a small Collezione offering and a steady sprinkling of footwear. A dedicated jeans section and a sizeable range of tailoring add-ons, which includes a wide sweep of price points on shirts, add the counterweights to the branded offer. Sub-ranges as well are wisely not over-emphasised and instead are used to orbit the appropriate headline grabbers.

Value 8                                                 

It is difficult to bemoan prices here. Blue Harbour knits start under £10, formal shirts at £9.50 and a 2sb linen jacket at £39 is amazing value. Autograph knits at £25 offer great quality for the price and further quality-driven pieces include a techy multi-pocket Prada-esque gunmetal silver jacket, which is astonishing at only £100.

SCORE 34

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