Holly Willoughby is fashion gold, a walking, talking daily style phenomenon with 4.6 million Instagram followers, so it’s hardly surprising that Marks & Spencer is thrilled at bagging her as its latest muse.
She is a dedicated leader, not a follower, of fashion. Joining Dec to present ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here has seen her invent a whole new jungle look, mixing up mini Bardot dresses, frayed denim skirts, motif tees and hiking boots. She regularly posts pictures of what she’s wearing both on I’m a Celebrity and This Morning, and whatever she names, sells.
Holly’s latest Must-Have “curation” (don’t you just love a curation?) for Marks & Spencer brings an edit of 14 fresh pieces, each hand-picked. It reflects much of her own signature style, featuring an A-line mini and a hero high-neck blouse for starters. The animal print midi dress with ruffled sleeves, priced at £39.50, was the first piece to be released last week, ahead of this week’s release of the rest of the collection. It’s a go-anywhere piece to style it up with heels for night-time glamour or pair with Chelsea boots (or Holly’s jungle mountain boots) for a laid-back, street-wise look.
Soft blush and rich ochre, anchored with black, forms the colour palette of this collection, warm, soft and flattering, so you can layer tone on tone or team statement print with simple tailoring.
I went along to the Leeds Briggate store on launch day yesterday and found a bright, flattering and ultra-wearable collection that chimes perfectly with Holly’s ”everywoman” attitude and style. The striped sweater at £17.50 is a striking piece, so bound to be snapped up. The womenswear department and expecting the pink coat to sell out quickly, and the skirt, which comes in two lengths, is easy and super-flattering. The yellow print dress is too handy to ignore.
The campaign fashion shoot featured here shows Holly strolling through London wearing her must-haves. It’s all very pre-Christmas and speaks of brunching and lunching in-between working and popping out to buy stocking fillers for loved ones.
This collection comes just a few weeks after her previous edit. On the first day, M&S sold one Holly Must-Have every two seconds. Of this collection, Holly says: “I love how versatile this edit is. For example, a striped top goes with everything; this vibrant take on the classic will seriously brighten up a winter afternoon and will look just as great with cute jeans and heels come the spring.”
Holly also passes on her style tips. Top of the list is asking other people what they think of your wardrobe. “I’ve improved my style by listening to those around me, including my stylist, Angie, and mum, who is 70 and dresses well,” she says. “Listening to other people’s opinions helps push you out of your comfort zone, and you may find clothes you actually prefer to your normal look.”
Don’t write off certain styles, she adds. “Until two years ago, I never wore trousers – I was a dress and pencil skirt girl. Sometimes you get stuck in a rut where you feel safe, and I thought I was the wrong shape for trousers. It changed everything when I tried on a high-waisted pair. It’s all about experimenting and finding the right fit for you.”
Classic separates are the mainstay of her wardrobe. “A white shirt goes with anything – if you can’t decide what to wear, it’s a definite banker. If you’re not sure what to team with a bright, patterned skirt, pick out one of the tones in the print and wear a plain knit in that shade. Another option is to wear simple, muted separates and then stronger-toned accessories, like a mustard bag.”
A mum of three, Holly maintains that lifestyle has to be a chief consideration. “I hate the idea of wearing a pair of low-rise jeans with your bottom hanging out in the park. No one needs to see that on the school run. I’m definitely a high-rise, skinny jeans kind of person.”
Balance soft and edgy pieces. “I love a baby-pink cashmere jumper with a leather or PVC skirt, or a pair of black boots – it hardens up the girly-girly side, making it edgier.”
Holly’s new M&S Must-Haves are available from December 6 online or in selected stores, including the Leeds Briggate store. #hollysmusthaves