Back to doing what it knows best - fashion for the over 30s - but service levels cost Next marks.
A toned-down version of last season’s trend-led collection, Next has gone back to watered-down fashion for the over 30s pretty successfully. Best is the Nigel Cabourn-inspired outerwear with rope detailing, which wasn’t seen anywhere else. Rounded-collar shirts also offer something different. Suits have piping details on the lapels and there are great versions of staples such as cargos and chinos.
Go in the wrong door and you are likely to leave this store under the impression it doesn’t stock menswear, so hard is it to find the upstairs escalator. That aside, the department is easy to navigate as a circuit through casualwear, sportswear and back round into tailoring and there is plenty of product information. Unusually for Next, staff were a little surly.
Expect to pay a little over the odds for some fashion pieces - chinos are £38 - but others look very competitive, particularly where styling is unique. The rounded-collar shirt is £22. A trimmed 1sb suit is £130 - that’s good extra detail for a competitor-matching price point. Flannel checked shirts are a touch too much at £38 and cargos are a bit dear at £30. A shirt and tie set is £28. Jeans are pricey for the high street but the washes lean to branded quality - prices are £35 to £45. Cuff-hem chambray pants are £40.