Today, Marks & Spencer’s first pop-up menswear store, Mike & Tom’s – a nod to the names of the co-founders, Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer – opened on Bateman Street in the heart of Soho. Not only does this new space welcome in the new season (more on that later), but it signals the beginning of a new era for the brand. The M&S your granddad goes to for his Y-fronts, this ain’t.
Unlike the big department stores the brand is known for, this shop is far more intimate: a stripped-back, clean and inviting space that feels far more on par with the coolest menswear outposts nearby (like Sunspel on Old Compton Street or Grenson on Meard Street), punctuated by black Scandi-sleek rails, on which hang roughly 80 of the most exciting pieces from the in-store men’s collections (Autograph, Limited, David Gandy for M&S etc). Needless to say, as it’s M&S, the prices are pretty damn reasonable too, scaling from £6 up to £200. The same goes with the materials used across the range, which is to be expected as M&S has always done a sterling job in using natural fibres in its lines like wool (it’s a longstanding partner of Campaign for Wool), cotton and cashmere.
It’s so good, and so comprehensive, that you might need a sit down. Rather handily, there’s a coffee bar at the back of the space where you can do just that, where you can kick back with a double cap and a copy of The Jackal‘s September issue (find out more about that here), while listening to a soundtrack of hip-hop, jazz and R&B specially curated by M&S’s director of menswear, Wes Taylor.
We don’t want to give it all away, though, and suggest paying it a visit as soon as you can (the shop closes on 28 September). However, to tickle your tastebuds, take a look at three of our favourite pieces from the collection in store below…
Brushed wool Harrington jacket
A great transitional layering piece thanks to its unstructured and unlined design which allows you to add multiple layers beneath. Cut from a midnight blue wool-blend fabric, this jacket sits on the formal side of casual, so you can wear it in lots of different scenarios – try a pair of slim-fit jeans from its recently revised denim collection or a pair of the brand’s tailored trousers (there’s a great puppy tooth option and also some subtle checks, too).
Cotton textured knitted polo shirt
Drawing inspiration from the 1950s, this polo shirt is made from 100 percent Supima cotton (considered to be one of the softest and strongest forms of cotton in the world) and features a waffle knit panel on the front. It’s a style of shirt you can imagine Jude Law wearing in The Talented Mr Ripley thanks to its cuffed hem and sleeves and soft texture. Wear it with the buttons undone and a white vest peeking out beneath.
Scuff resistant tote bag
There are two types of men in the world: those who carry tote bags and those who carry backpacks. We’re firmly on the tote bag side. Why? Well, all your contents are easily accessible, it looks smart and can be taken into meetings with confidence, and doesn’t irritate every person you’re next to on the tube. This is a lightweight, durable and seriously smart option for the commute – one that’s not going to look scuffed the second you take it out into the real world.
Mike & Tom’s is open until 28 September at 15 Bateman St, Soho, London W1D 3AQ