"Feminine, sophisticated & confident, the difference is in the detail" say Marks and Spencer.
That's the problem - there's just too MUCH detail.
Last year I bought two Per Una garments in the M&S sale. There were a lot of Per Una garments in the sale for some reason. When I got home I realised why they were so cheap. They were honestly disgusting. One, a long top to wear with jeans, had the most noxious colour mix, a lace bib thing and - the worst part - ruffles which had no shape or make to them and didn't enhance the garment in any way.
Actually when I put it on I felt that it had aged me by at least a decade.
Then the dress. I thought it was a summer thing and wore it out into the garden (during our one day of summer) where my friend and Himself sat drinking wine.
"No. Just no" said my friend firmly. (This is why she's my friend.)
I turned to Himself, confusion showing in my eyes.
"Where the hell did you get that?" he asked in amazement.
"Per Una... in the sale..." I faltered.
Their eyes met over their wineglasses. "Aha!" said my friend knowingly. "Bring it back. Instantly."
I realised I must have been having a brain freeze and went back inside and changed, stuffing the desperately fussy dress back into its bag to be returned the next day.
This experience just cemented all of my feelings for Per Una. I have honestly found myself confuzzled and confounded by this range for many a long year.
The fashion seems crazy to my untutored eye. Each garment has more ruffles, bows, prints and frills than a branch of Hickeys They take a trend (say florals)- and then add on another trend (animal prints maybe) - combine with a third trend (colour blocking?), possibly throw some ruffles and ribbons over the lot and alkazam!
Oh and lace, I forgot Per Una are mad into the lace.
See - even when they're "keeping it simple" they still have to bang out a few trends in one garment. Not only is the above a leather jacket (check), it's a biker jacket (double check), it's collarless (triple check) AND it's a peplum jacket (quadruple check). And for extra points they've 'teamed' it with a colour block (quin check) body con (sextuple check) dress.
I don't get the whole Per Una "thing". Maybe I'm not the right age or it's just not my style.
Do you like this range? Maybe you've bought gorgeous stuff? Let us know!