Yes it’s that time of year again, Wedding season is upon us, as is Prom Season, actually while we think of it our work wardrobe is in need of a little refresh. Well, let the National Treasure, that is Marks & Spencer get you a helping hand, well an exceptionally well tailored, sartorial one at that.

M&S introduced its first in-store suiting department 45 years ago in 1972, and has focused on style, innovation and fit through the decades. Market-leading innovations and first to market ranges have been at the core of the department, with M&S pioneering colour match technology that enabled customers to buy jackets and trousers separately, which at the time was seen as revolutionary and an extended size range including tailoring options first launched at M&S in the late ‘80s.

For Summer 2017, Marks & Spencer is helping men across the nation find the perfect suit for them with the launch of its biggest ever suit range. There will be 53% more options to choose from, with more styles available across fits and sizes. If that wasn’t enough, over 100 trained suit fitters work in our stores, suit alteration services are available across 70 stores, and size guides are accessible online. M&S also offers a Personal Tailoring service, available in M&S Marble Arch, Bluewater and Westfield White City stores, with a broad choice of suiting fabrics, created to the specific styling requirements and to fit each customer. Made to order shirts are available online, providing premium quality, perfectly fitted shirts, with fabric, lining and buttons all customisable and created to specific styling preferences.

To celebrate the launch of its biggest ever suit range, M&S is working with rugby player George Kruis, fitness expert Louis Rennocks, and model John Todd to showcase the breadth of offer.

George Kruis (below)says, “I’m really excited to model the latest tailoring range. I have been shopping at M&S my whole life, so have well and truly grown up with the brand. As a professional rugby player I have always struggled to find tailoring that fits due to my height and build. This jacket fits well on my shoulders and is tailored at my waist, which makes it a great piece to throw on over casual wear to sharpen up my look.”

M&S will now offer over 150 suit styles in up to four fits, in sizes ranging from 36” to 54” on jackets, in lengths ranging from short to extra long, and 28” to 48” on trousers, with leg lengths from 29” to 37”.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 18.13.25Way back in January of this year, during London Collections:MEN, we had an invite to come along and have a look at a best of British range, yeah OK, be a bit of a break from the treadmill of show after show in the pouring, freezing rain. Yet this invite was from no fashion designer, or cutting edge East London label, no, but from a very bastion of Britishness a quintessential National Treasure, none other then MARKS & SPENCER ! Yep, you’re not mistaken and any of you more loyal readers will note what followed, was yours truly falling in love with a Marks & Spencer product range more then their Christmas Sandwich selection !

Even M&S had underestimated their pulling power, for as we turned up shaking off the excess of the wintery showers, so did Supermodels David Gandy & future face of the collection Oliver Cheshire. Fashion Director of the Sunday Times STYLE Richard Grey, Shortlist’s Style Director, Adrian Clark, British GQ’s Editor, Dylan Jones and a plethora of style press big shots.

The collection is a celebration of the best in British design and manufacture, using some of the industry’s best cloths, suppliers and age old knowledge to produce a collection which is completely contemporary all the whilst drawing on inspiration from stylistic British icons.

The Man behind this concept is Tony O’Connor(see below), the brand’s Head of Design for menswear, who joined the company in 2008 bringing with him a wealth of experience and a strong focus on design and brand clarity and who we caught up with to find out a little bit more about the collection and his good self.

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In your words, describe the collection ?

The Best of British collection is an edit of timeless pieces – I would describe them as confident and masculine, constructed in contemporary shapes with an emphasis on traditional British craftsmanship and quality

What was the inspiration for it ?

The M&S archive in Leeds was a key reference point for the collection. We were able to look back at traditional British styles that M&S has made through the decades, and the craftsmanship that went into British made items, to produce an updated collection that not only shows an appreciation for the technical skill involved, but also has a timeless essence that remains relevant today  

What are the key pieces in it

The double breasted suits and coats are a key stand out shape for the collection

If you could collaborate with one brand (Who you currently aren’t) who would it be and why ?

Quite honestly, it’s been really exciting working with the British suppliers for this collection, such as Cheshire Bespoke for suits and Cheaney’s for shoes

If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be ?

Start thinking about what you want to do as a career, explore it and do it! I got into art and photography at an early age, which was a useful start to my career

How did you get into the industry, what was your big break ?

I got a taste for menswear, after getting a Saturday job at a clothing store in Newcastle. Working here helped me decide what to do creatively

What piece of clothing best describes you ?

The formal jacket and the pocket square

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101 ?

Dungarees

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe ?

A tuxedo for special occasions

What piece of style advise do you live by ?

Choose British made shoes

Who is your style icon ? Why ?

As young men, Hugh Hefner and Oliver Reed. They had a sexy masculine style.

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be ? Why ?

Working on a collection born in Britain and with British suppliers has been a lifelong ambition of mine, so it would have to be this brand!

 The Best of British collection hits Marks & Spencer Store and website from 10th October.

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