Fashion highs and fashion lows, Next can and does do better elsewhere.
Next strikes a balance between men’s fashions that seem to run and run (checked shirts, Lyle & Scott-inspired knits and engineered denim) and some newer, albeit watered-down, looks. Shawl-collared grey chunky cardies sit alongside zip-detail shirts and quilted jackets. Overall though, outerwear misses a trick.
Probably the best store environment for men in the town but the experience is still lacking. Coats are shoved in a corner and some are hung backwards. Jeans hang from hooks - a technique clearly borrowed from stores like All Saints.
2sb suits match Burton’s at £99, but certainly win on fashionability thanks to slimmer fits. In fact tailoring edges M&S out on price combined with style - a wool-rich suit is £130 and an Italian fabric suit is £160. Easy-care white shirts are £22 - a touch up on rivals. But items like cargo pants at £38 and a checked shirt at £32 tip it way too far up into Gap territory. Jeans also fail to command their £38 price ticket apart from a grey pair with a leather-trimmed coin pocket.