Fondly known as M&S or Marks & Sparks to the locals, Marks & Spencer is a powerhouse of the British high-street. It’s gradually expanding worldwide but has yet to reach US shores. If you love lingerie though, this is a name you should know.
Founded in 1884, Marks & Spencer is a department store with a difference. From the food to the makeup, almost everything they sell is the store’s brand. This doesn’t mean though that the Marks & Spencer lingerie department is just filled with lots of the same stuff. Far from it.
Over the years, Marks & Spencer have developed a range of different clothing and lingerie brands, each with a unique aesthetic. Accounting for over a quarter of the UK lingerie market, for many Brits, this is the place to shop for bras and briefs. And thanks to the internet, you can get a slice of that lingerie pie wherever in the world you are based.
For our US readers, Marks & Spencer has a US website which, although it ships from the UK, offers free express delivery when you spend over $50. They deliver all orders duty-paid (so no customs fees for you). If you want to send anything back, you only have to pay for return shipping to an address in the US.
To help you decide where to start your bra hunt, here’s a guide to the three primary Marks & Spencer lingerie lines:
M&S Collection is Marks & Spencers’ main clothing line and makes up something like 90% of the brand’s lingerie offering. With hundreds of products, it includes everything from your basic two-pack of white t-shirt bras, through to pretty lace designs. There are also sports, post-surgery and maternity bras, and shapewear, sold under this label.
Marks & Spencer claim that one in three British women buy their bras from the store. While I don’t know if that’s true, they certainly do cater to a wide variety of lingerie styles. M&S Collection includes wired and unwired bras, padded and unpadded ones, and everything from full-coverage to plunge shapes. Prices run from $16 to $46 for bras and $10 to $17 for briefs. Sizes go from a 30A to a 44GG.
Autograph is Marks & Spencer’s premium clothing line. It launched in 2000 with a contemporary, minimalist look in mind. The lingerie component of the Autograph brand is where you’ll find the most elegant designs. This line is for those of you who value chic, classic style.
Nightwear fabrics are chosen with quality in mind, including cashmere blends and soft and breathable Tencel. On the bra sets, embroideries and laces are more delicate and expensive-looking than anything you’ll find in the mainline range.
Prices are in-line with the top end of the M&S Collection styles, at $53 to $62 for a bra and brief set. The size range is slightly smaller but still pretty extensive, spanning 30C to 42G.
Rosie for Autograph
Sort of under the Autograph label and a brand by itself, Rosie for Autograph is the crème de la crème of Marks & Spencer lingerie. Whereas Autograph focusses on quality, but not necessarily luxury, Rosie for Autograph is where you’ll find the pure silk and cashmere pieces.
Launched in 2012 in collaboration with model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, it’s the best-selling lingerie line in the store. I can see why! This is their most fashion-focused range, with brighter colors, bolder prints and on-trend shapes such as a high-necked bodysuit. And notably, it’s where you’ll find the only garter belt in all of Marks & Spencers’ 1000+ lingerie items.
It’s not just the modern aesthetics that make Rosie for Autograph so popular though. With prices that run from $44-$60 for a bra and brief set, it can be more affordable than the mainline Autograph collection. At least, it is if you’re only shopping for a bra set. The nightwear is where the high-end stuff is at, with cashmere dressing gowns going for $322.
Bras are available in all but the 42 band lengths of the main Autograph collection, from a 30C to a 40G.
Which of these Marks & Spencer lingerie lines interest you most? If you’ve bought online from the brand outside of the UK, leave a comment and let others know about your shopping experience!