Ad|Press Event. Something that you might not know is that the Marks and Spencer’s Archive is here in Leeds! (Or even realise that there’s a Marks and Spencer’s Archive) If you are interested in the history of U.K. Fashion then it’s certainly worth a visit. I hadn’t had a chance to go before being invited to an event at the Marks and Spencer’s Store on Leeds HighStreet. It was a focus on lingerie event which showed us some amazing archive pieces and which made me reminisce on my younger years!

various lingerie and nightwear from the marks and spencer's archive

A Chance to Reminisce

You see, back in the day, when things were actually made in England, my mum worked for the manager of a factory called Bairnswear (and then Courtaulds) in Worksop. I’ll always remember they had a factory shop where you could get seconds (clothing rejected for the main stores because of small faults etc) for super cheap. My mum purchased many a matching Minnie Mouse T-Shirt and Bermuda shorts for me from there. However, my favourite purchase had to be a kid’s Rugrats Tee when I was about 15! They made a lot of garments for Marks and Spencer and as I got older they even had Gossard Ultra Bras in the shop. My teenage self was very happy with that situation! I didn’t own any knickers from anywhere else growing up.

My first bra was still directly from M&S though and I remember going for that first fitting being all nervous but excited to own a bra! Seeing these Archive pieces especially the ones from the ’80s and ’90s really brought back some memories for me.

'80s french satin knickers from the archive
one of the first marks and spencers bras

This particular pair of pants above I swear my mum owned back in the day! At the event, we saw one of the first-ever bras made, although it was pretty with its peachy satin it didn’t half look uncomfortable. Lycra wasn’t invented then so it was very structured. Luckily they started to develop more comfortable ones as the years went by. When the seventies came round the pattern bra trend really came into its own. Check out the print on this one!

original '70s blue pattern bra
original '70s blue pattern bra

We also saw girdles (basically the OG spanks!) and some of the promo videos they used to advertise in cinemas with. I imagine that was one for the dads back in the day!!

one of the first marks and spencers bras and girdle in peach

From Old to New

We then got to try on some of the current range, to try and find one to take home. Having big boobs meant it did take me that bit longer and it was an effort! My lingerie fitter had the patience of a saint though. We quickly found some bras that fit me that I liked. loved the print on this one* so it just had to be mine. I also fell in love with the green version but they didn’t have my size at the time. I can now report I’ve just bought it in the sale! They are both Rosie HW for Autograph and contain real silk- making them feel fantastic. I love the fit of them too and they are comfy whilst being pretty.

pink and cream patterned bra in a flatlay style
marks and spencers pink and white floral bra
lucy in a green longsleev top and pattern skirt holding a vintage handbag and leaning on the lingerie fixture
green bra hanging in the lingerie department of marks and spencer

Once I got home I called my mum to tell her all about what I’d seen. I’m now arranging to take her to the Archive so she can reminisce there too. It’s open Monday to Friday’s (10 until 5) and it’s free to go. They have activities for kids so could be a good school holidays occupier too! I’m so grateful to have been invited to this event to learn more about the history of lingerie. So thanks to the Marks and Spencer’s Archive! It’s reignited my interests in fashion and style of years gone by now. So I’ll be spending my time looking at late sixties fashions pretending I’m in my GCSE Textiles course if anyone needs me! Let me know if you go along to the Archive, won’t you!?

*Indicates an event I was invited to as a blogger. I may also receive gifts as part of the event for consideration of review after. As always thoughts and opinions are my own. Post may contain affiliate links. For further details please refer to my PR and Disclaimer Page in the menu above