Has the floral midi dress has finally fallen out of fashion? John Lewis drops the item from its collection, saying it has ‘been around for too long’
It is the classic spring and summer uniform of Middle Britain, but the floral midi dress is being consigned to the back of the wardrobe by John Lewis.
The store’s new design team believes customers are keen to move on, even from a feminine design that is fine with casual trainers or smart heels.
The high-risk move puts the chain at odds with rival Marks & Spencer, whose fashion brand ambassador Holly Willoughby often wears floral midi dresses to present This Morning.
The John Lewis change, with block colours, stripes and wide-leg trousers is being led by new fashion director Queralt Ferrer and head buyer Claire Miles, whose first collections are about to go on the shelves. They feature trophy knits, wide-legged denim, relaxed linen suiting and flat shoes.
The high-risk move puts the chain at odds with rival Marks & Spencer, whose fashion brand ambassador Holly Willoughby (pictured)
Willoughby (pictured) often wears floral midi dresses while presenting This Morning on ITV
Explaining the absence of floral prints, Ms Ferrer – who spent five years as design director at M & S – said: ‘That was one of the main items that we thought we’ve got to move on from. It’s not easy because customers love them, but it’s a trend that has been around for too long and they were everywhere. We want to give people a reason to buy something new.’
Initial reaction has been mixed. One customer wrote: ‘More than anything, the floral midi has been a hit because at last here was a dress that could be teamed with flat comfortable trainers. Having tasted dress freedom, l am not about to give it up!’
Another said: ‘Midis are a fantastic way to look feminine and effortlessly well dressed. Without them we’d all be running around in leggings. They are fabulous for women of a certain age who still love fashion but need to cover up.’ Other shoppers cheered the shift, with one saying floral dresses ‘make most women look like bag ladies’.
The John Lewis change features trophy knits, wide-legged denim, relaxed linen suiting and flat shoes
ITV presenter Ms Willoughby is still clearly a midi fan. She has worn JL floral dresses on This Morning and still regularly models the latest M & S designs on her Instagram feed.
Recently she was seen wearing the new £39.50 M & S Collection floral round neck midaxi tea dress and, before that, the £45 M & S satin floral button detail midi dress.
John Lewis will be hoping its gamble pays off and provides a much-needed boost. Experts predict it will be overtaken by M & S in the rankings of the UK’s biggest retailers by 2026.
Industry title Retail Week says while John Lewis has a forecast compound annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent, M & S is expected to grow at 2.7 per cent to take seventh spot.
Source: Read Full Article