Hi, all --

Over a month ago I placed an order with M&S. Yesterday that order finally arrived. I can't really blame the merchant. It came from the UK. They have had strikes there. And we have had outrageous weather events all over the country. But this was actually stuck in Burlington, Ontario, for weeks before the bad weather. So I do blame the carrier, and I do think M&S could make it more clear how to contact the carrier in case of trouble. (There was no phone number or email/ text option on the carrier's tracking page and when I contacted M&S, their first response was "contact the carrier." To their credit, they eventually contacted them and got back to me.)

Is it frustration about the delay that is making me want to send it all back? I'm not sure.

First up: checked drawstring wide legs. These were intended as "work from home" pants in a silhouette new to me -- wide leg, at the new full length.

The positives: they are a cozy, substantial knit, quite warm. They have a nice drape. The quality is high for the price. (Esp. the sale price.) Would be a winter pant here. They fit well.

The negatives (for me). I think perhaps they are just a bit too short. I wouldn't want them dragging, but at this length (I ordered the short) they seem just shy of where they should be and that definitely contributes to their widening effect. Having said that, in order ever to go outside in these, where I live, I could not actually wear them any longer. There's too much muck on the ground in winter here -- it's just not possible to wear dragging pants. Would I go outside in them, though? OTOH, do I want to have to change just to dash out? Hmmm. If I consider them as lounge pants, fine (and they'd work as such -- basically sweat pants). But I was hoping for a bit of crossover, I guess.

Also, I don't care for the ties in front. I know you can remove them, but then you have two holes on the waistband. I really don't understand why they left these here because the waist is nicely finished.

Wearing them first with a crossover gear top (1/4 zip Smartwool) which is how I'd honestly wear them at home, then with an old red BR military style jacket I can't seem to let go of despite some waffling, then with my other bright blue sweater, then trying volume on volume with the white top.

In short, I am undecided about these and welcome thoughts. Thanks!

Next: lilac merino crewneck. I am on a lilac hunt because the grey in the Liverpool suit pants (yes, they still have tags on...not yet shortened...) has a slight lilac cast that I want to play up. M&S merino is thin (as I already knew). And this sweater is definitely a size large for me. However, because it is thin, it drapes and possibly looks intentionally oversized? Verdict: undecided.

Third: sparkly top. An Angie top pick. First, this is a lovely top. The sparkly knit does not itch (as sometimes happens) I like the diagonal stripe, I had wanted to try a gentle puff sleeve (I don't have any) and I like the long cuff detail on the bottom here -- like a modified mutton leg sleeve. And I wanted to try the welted front. The fit is excellent.

However, what I should have realized before ordering is that this top really needs a flat fronted bottom to work. I do not like it with a bottom that has a front zip. (Pic 9) It's not short enough to be cropped on me and ends in an awkward spot. It works with a skirt but I don't have one that matches. It could work with a flat front pant but I only have one of those, an older near-skinny from Kit & Ace.

Anyway, here I am, trying it a few ways....first with the Liverpool pant, next with Kit&Ace. Note how differently the outfit comes across with silver boots and pants worn longer. Far less contemporary, to my eye -- I wouldn't wear it this way, though it's definitely leg lengthening.

I can return any or all of these items. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that I will pay $22.95 CAD for the privilege of doing so, so at what point does that become worthwhile? If I plan to return them all, it's worth it. If I plan to return only one sweater, maybe not so much. Hmmm.

Anyway, I welcome your thoughts and observations!

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