Growing up, I was the least girly person I knew. I hated dolls, dresses and pink and protested at any suggestion of a ribbon in my hair. When I hit my teenage years I shrouded myself in baggy jeans, black nail varnish and unusual shades of hair die. When my late teens showed up, so did night clubs and parties and they ignited a desire to wear heels and dresses. By the time I was in college I was neither ‘rock chick’ nor ‘girly girl’ but somewhere in the middle. Then one day a switch tripped in my brain and I bought a pink bath mat and matching towels.
Yes, small rectangles of cotton designed to dry your feet and hands may seem insignificant, but for me they marked the moment when my taste in homeware crossed in to ‘girly’ territory. And I didn’t stop there – I bought pink duvet covers, pink cushions, pink wicker baskets and pink lampshades too.
A few years later I’ve gotten it mostly out of my system but not completely out of my house. The pink bath mat, towels and wicker baskets followed me to my current residence and set up camp in my bathroom. I can’t stand the the sight of them so it’s time to get new, more ‘grown up’ (whatever that means) ones.
Where to shop?
I chose Marks & Spencer because they have the largest range of colours in their bathroom section. In fact, they’ve devoted an entire display wall to their towels and have organised everything by colour.
I was immediately drawn to the rust coloured towels but I had to tear myself away because I can’t have every room in my house decked out in my favourite colours. The sunset palette of red, orange and yellow already dominate my kitchen, dining and living space.
Away from the display wall, they have aisles showcasing towels and bath mats with loud, colourful patterns. The quirky, creative side of my brain was encouraging me to go for one of these but I was lured away by practicalities.
I thought it was best to stay away from bold patterns and go for something bright because my bathroom is small and has no windows.
This pale blue caught my eye because it looks light, calm and airy.
I also really liked this bright green because I could incorporate it in to a nature theme.
My friend’s five year old son mispronounces Marks & Spencer in such a way that it sounds like he’s saying ‘Marks Expensive’. His mispronounciation reflects what many people associate with the brand – it’s more expensive than Dunnes and Penneys. True, you can cough up a lot of money in this homeware department (that pale blue bath mat is €27!) but if you’re clever you’ll get a bargain – some of the patterned bath mats were still a steep but affordable €20 and the bright green one was only €13.50.
You get what you pay for
Aside from great quality cotton, I like M&S because they are one of the few brands that have a conscience when it comes to sourcing their products. Through their ‘Plan A’ [https://plana.marksandspencer.com/] initiative, they actively try to “combat climate change, reduce waste, use sustainable raw materials, trade ethically and help customers to lead healthier lifestyles”.
So which colour did I choose in the end?
The vision of a nature theme won me over, as did the price tag. On the day I visited there was a further 20% off everything in homeware so I ended up getting some towels, a bath mat and a mat that goes around the toliet (apparently called a pedestal mat) for less than forty quid.
See ya pink.
By Jenna Crotty