Lisa Markwell: This summer hasn't left its Marks on my wardrobe

FreeView from the editors at i


It was more in sorrow than in anger that I approached Marks & Spencer yesterday to see what had gone wrong. After woeful figures for its womenswear sales, I scooted round the nearest store and found not a lot to love.

Clearly the designs and range were at fault. For once, the excuse trotted out couldn't be the weather.

Yes, the weather is terrible and who'd want to buy a white broderie anglaise dress when it's cold and grey outside, but no one wants to buy a garish, fussy, embellished, wobbly hem dress, no matter how hot and sunny the day.

So I did get angry in the end. How Kate Bostock got paid £944,000 to sign off on gold hotpants and pearl encrusted sweatshirts beggars belief. I wonder if she actually wears any of the merchandise she tried to foist on us. The lacklustre offerings on Britain's high streets – it's not just the weather or M&S that is leaving me cold right now– make me glad (for once) that I'm a hoarder. I've been "shopping my own wardrobe" – a hilarious fashion industry euphemism – and it's been a blast.

In the course of researching the fall of M&S I found a butter-soft matelot top from its Autograph range at least five years ago. Out from a canvas bag under the bed came a navy and a white version of a fab Day Birger et Mikkelsen shirtdress that I remember I bought in a sale during a mad pash for the label in 2005.

A seersucker trouser suit from the never-not-trendy French label APC was next. OK, so the seams were creaking, but as long as I don't sit down, I think I can pull it off.

The point being, the combination of undesirable clothes, unpredictable weather and low-level anxiety about money might just be the cure for our addiction to fast fashion and buying into ill-considered trends.

There have been moves in recent years to persuade Britain's women that a £3 T-shirt from Primark is not good for the person who made it, the environment or the wearer (who might find it doesn't look quite the same after several journeys through the wash). Sales have still been strong. But the perfect storm of circumstances might just succeed where edicts from on high have failed.

If that's what it takes to make us buy less, buy better, buy less "on trend", lasting clothes, then I'm prepared to suffer the rain.

Meanwhile, retailers must be desperate to put the raincoats and boots into their shops that usually arrive at the beginning of August, heralding "the new season". It's their only hope to shift stock in this peculiar "sprautumn" we're having.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

Read Next

Errors & Omissions: how to spell BBQ and other linguistic irregularities

Guy Keleny

South Africa's race problem is less between black and white than between poor blacks and immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa

John Carlin
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own