Bursting with clever classics and quality basics but distinctly lacking in excitement.
The Jsen Wintle for Autograph range plays to both the designer’s and Marks & Spencer’s strengths with a range of cleverly crafted classics – a grey cable-knit roll neck, a slim-line leather biker jacket and a slim bib-front white shirt. Elsewhere, it’s business as usual. Slim-leg jeans and military coats lead the way for the Autograph sub-brand, and rugby shirts dominate Blue Harbour. Across the store there is a dearth of colour, as black, white, grey and navy prevail.
The various sub-brands are well differentiated and the item-led categories offer huge variety – the shirt wall is immense and the outerwear section offers the deepest variety of men’s coats in Manchester. On tailoring it is a relief to see that the labelling which marked up the mills of origin has gone – this was just confusing for the punters.
When you understand and appreciate the quality of fabrics used by M&S, the prices seem great value; if you don’t they look steep. At £69 a cashmere cardigan is lovely, a £45 sheepskin jacket is cheap and a £99 Collezione wool 2sb is very reasonable. In the Autograph, range, a woollen military coat is £129.