I have often thought that if there were a national referendum on whether to scrap either the Royal Family or Marks and Spencer's, it would be the tiaras and state banquet dinner services that the removal men would be wrapping up in tissue paper, not bundles of reasonably priced reinforced gusset knickers.
So much as I hate kicking M&S, (I am currently wearing a pair of their jeans) I cannot help agree with Sarah Mower's account of its new Portfolio range, aimed at the over-50s:
If there's one thing worse than mutton dressed as lamb, it's mutton dressed as mutton. I wanted to approve of M&S's Marie Helvin-promoted Portfolio range, but wild horses wouldn't drag me into that stuff. I just can't see how it's supposed to offer anything different from the rest of the M&S stock, and the attempt at "elegance" for the over-50s is worse than patronising.
What woman (of any age) could possibly want a pair of pull-on jersey bell-bottoms with gold "sailor" buttons? For a start, the shape is not fashionable in any sense. Second, the thought of what they would do to anyone's backside and thighs is enough to make one cry. And third… hang on, aren't these just souped-up versions of the synthetic slacks M&S has sold since time immemorial? I had a Saturday job in Bath's M&S as a schoolgirl, and I know of which I speak. At that age, I hoped someone would shoot me before I got old enough to need flared crimplene bottoms.