anything you can do, alexa can do better.

I was still a little stuck for what to write about today when suddenly inspiration struck and to be completely honest, it was while I was aimlessly scrolling through Instagram and Twitter. I guess you can find positives in time-wasting!

On Wednesday Alexa Chung’s collection for Marks and Spencer was released and so there were many images and hashtags on social media relating to it and it was still trending on Twitter into the late evening. The Archive by Alexa range was up on the M&S website on Wednesday morning too and so that was the first time I had got to have proper look at the entire collection. Before then, I had only seen a couple of the pieces on Alexa Chung herself in the few weeks leading up to the launch. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is actually quite affordable. Most of the time when celebrities and designers collaborate with high street brands the products are a lot more expensive than what the stores own usually are. Plus, as Marks and Spencer is involved I trust that these clothes will be of a high quality regardless of what they are priced.

When looking at the collection online, I noticed something very important: it is really wearable. There are many pieces that would easily fit into most women’s wardrobes without having to buy several other items to go with them. Although Alexa Chung has a very slim figure, this collaboration doesn’t leave out those who don’t which I do think is something that working with M&S has encouraged. I believe that the success of Archive by Alexa will be that Marks and Spencer picked Alexa Chung and vice versa. Her style is actually quite classic with modern twists here and there and that is exactly what this collection is all about – reworking the old to appeal in the now. Nothing in this range is over-the-top so it still fits in with the M&S brand but it now has some added cool to it. This collaboration was a very clever move by M&S due to the fact that there was really no doubt that it wouldn’t be a hit. You only have to look to other brands that she has worked with, such as Madewell and AG Jeans to see how successful the ‘Alexa effect’ can be.

There are a few pieces from this collection that I really like the look of and I can’t wait to pop into my local M&S to try them on. My size is actually still available online in all of the following items too and it’s nice to have a highly anticipated celebrity/high street collaboration that isn’t super stressful and frenzied (ahem H&M). You don’t have to get up at 5am to avoid missing out.

One of the first items that caught my eye was the Elsie dress. Even though it’s quite cutesy with the short puffed sleeves and tiny white polka dots, the shape of this dress can’t hide its vintage inspiration. I think this does stop it from being too sweet and I can imagine this being the perfect dress to wear on a late spring/summer day. Additionally, the more I look at this dress, the more I can see Alexa’s style in it and I don’t think that’s a bad thing!

alexa x ms elsie
Elsie dress, £39.50
I can never resist a good jumper and the Lillie is no exception. I like that it is a cable knit jumper without being super chunky and the navy blue colour means I can totally justify buying more knitwear because it’s not black! I think it could easily be paired with many items and so could be dressed up or down. It would look equally good with denim as it would with a more tailored trouser or with a skirt like M&S have shown it with below.

alexa x ms lillie
Lillie jumper, £35
There is definitely nothing in my current wardrobe that looks like the Harry blouse. That applies for both the high, ruffled neck and the pale pink colour – two things I never wear. Yet despite that, I really like the look of this blouse. I think the way that Alexa has worn it both in pink and in white and how it looked in the campaign images convinced me of its wearability. Furthermore, I have been feeling the urge to mix up my wardrobe a bit and the Harry blouse is looking like a good way to do just that.

alexa x ms harry
Harry blouse, £35
The Lydia skirt is a bit of a weird one for me because although it is one of my favourites from the collection I know it’s very unlikely that I will buy it. I purchased a skirt from Zara last month that is similar enough that I couldn’t really justify buying this one. What I like about the Lydia skirt is what I liked about my Zara skirt; it would work just as well in a more formal situation, such as an interview, as it would a more relaxed, casual one. The style of this skirt is flattering on most shapes, it isn’t really bright and it doesn’t have a loud pattern either and all of these factors just make it more versatile.

alexa x ms lydia
Lydia skirt, £29.50
I didn’t actually realise that Archive by Alexa included footwear until yesterday – a day after I had looked at the rest of the collection! I have gotten so much wear out of my Chelsea boots which were quite cheap, that I wouldn’t mind spending more on a pair to replace them and like I said previously, I would trust that ones from M&S would be comfortable and long-lasting. You can’t really go wrong with Chelsea boots as they go with everything and due to them being a classic style they won’t ever be out of fashion.

alexa x ms nellie
Nellie boots, £65
N.

images via google image search “archive by alexa”, telegraph.co.uk, marksandspencer.com
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