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NOW CLOSED Talk to M&S about their schoolwear and win one of two £100 M&S giftcards

(213 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Jun-12 09:56:12

As you may have seen, we've been working with M&S over the past few months to find out what Mumsnetters think of a variety of M&S ranges. The next one of these is schoolwear - M&S would like to know whether you do or don't buy their schoolwear for your DC and why, and what's important to you when you're shopping for uniform.

Please note - it doesn't matter whether or not you have ever bought schoolwear from M&S, this is open to all!

We've included a few questions to get you started below but please feel free to add any further comments you have. Everyone who adds their thoughts will be entered into a prize draw to win one of two £100 M&S giftcards.

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 05-Jul-12 16:26:11

Thanks to everyone who added their thoughts to this thread - M&S have found your feedback really useful.

I'm pleased to announce that the winners of the prize draw are:

cantdothisagain
and
goingdownhill

Congratulations - you've both won a £100 M&S giftcard! I'll PM you to get your details

racingheart Wed 04-Jul-12 20:52:13

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

Fit is important and so is how well it washes and lasts. My DC like M&S non iron shirts as they are very soft and smooth (though they do need ironing!) They hate the feel of polo shirt fabric. Prices tend to be similar for similar quality between M&S and BHS or other main stores, so I don't really judge on price, but do make use of 20% off or 3 for 2 offers.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

I shop for other things online but rarely school clothes. Usually because the DC grow so fast I need to see by eye whether something will fit. They can move up two sizes in a term if they have a growth spurt.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

I buy from M&S and BHS mainly, in store. I start at M&S but our local store (Kingston) is notoriously badly stocked and doesn't always have the right size in. Then I try BHS which usually does. But M&S shirts are far better quality. Trousers are the same or BHS has the edge. M&S school trouser fabrics and quality seem to vary hugely. Sometimes they are thin and cheap and other times very well made. It's hit and miss what's on offer in our local store.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

Yes, please. Could you supply socks that don't shrink by 75% when put in the tumble dryer? Busy mums use tumble driers for everything. Even the largest sizes are baby sized after a couple of washes. If Gap can do it, so can M&S.
School catalogue would be good idea.

Doogle2 Wed 04-Jul-12 20:18:08

I would buy boys trousers that have reinforced knee fabric as I am fed up of holes appearing due to falling over incidents!!!

steppemum Mon 02-Jul-12 23:22:48

I posted earlier, but on Sunday we went (inspired by this thread!) to M&S to buy skirts and trousers. Was impressed that girls stuff did had pockets, and there were really nice culottes. Was very unimpressed that the size selection was awful. Found a pair she liked, didn't have it in her size same with every pair. Same with socks, no smaller sizes left. All blue edged ones (which were so pretty) gone except one large set. This is only July, so to be so short on sizes now is pretty poor.

In the end we did get 3 things that she and I both liked and fitted!

Then we looked at the price, boys trousers £9 for TWO. Girls £9 for ONE skirt, and £11 for the other. Why? Nearly took them all back and went to Asdas, but I know how hard it is to find things for dd, so we bought them as there was 20% off.
Will post in October to see how long they last.!!

MrsS3 Sun 01-Jul-12 23:09:36

one afterthought from me. My mother reminded me (of course, only mothers) that last year our biggest issue with M&S was trying to get a faulty item exchanged. We bought the two-pair packs of school trousers for the boys. Elder boy stuff fine, younger boy had one good pair and one with a badly sewn seam resulting in an un-sewn part of the trouser leg. So back we went. This was the first week in September, and we got shocked faces, looking askance "we don't have uniform, not now!". They wouldn't change it. We had bag, receipt, the other pair of trousers in the set, unworn.... not good at customer service imho. Usually, though, I must point out that the clothing is good quality, lasts until outgrown and it hasn't stopped me from going back to get DS1's high school stuff there this week. Generally the positives outweigh. Some plans to stock uniform or a better ordering-in service in store would be good. The uniform "season" is way, way longer than the months of July and August (my children need it all year round, don't others?)

naturalbaby Thu 28-Jun-12 16:52:30

~ Price, quality, style and fit are all equally important! I have a set price in mind for each item and check the quality or choose M&S for known quality. I choose classic, simple styles - and have boys so there's not a huge range anyway. For main items like shirts and shorts I choose higher quality clothes.

~ I look at the school's recommended items then go to a couple of supermarkets and department stores to find cheaper alternatives. If I find what I need in store then I get it there, what ever is left that I'm not happy about or can't find I then buy online. I choose M&S for free store delivery to save money.

~ I only buy essential items from the school's recommended retailer - items with the school logo/badge. I bought most of the other items I needed from M&S last year. I was very disappointed that 2 pairs of sports jogging bottoms I bought from M&S wore through the knee after 1 term, until then I was very pleased with the price and fit. I was very impressed that I got a full refund though.
I have been very impressed with the style and price of the black sports plimsolls, and the option to have velcro or elastic.

~ The only things I can't find at M&S are the school specific items. I struggle to find good fitting longer length shorts for younger boys and adjustable waists for my skinny boys! I don't mind no schoolwear catalogue because I could shop easily on the website and look in store.

thecheekofhim Thu 28-Jun-12 15:50:29

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.
Looking for best price on stuff that will last the year. If it will last it's fine otherwise not interested.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?
In store.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?
Buy mostly M&S on promotion

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?
Keep stock throughout the year

medjool Thu 28-Jun-12 12:55:32

When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

Being able to see the item in store - not possible at my local M&S which only reserves a small area for uniform and has little range and stock.
Price
Quality- I won't be buying polo shirts or cardigans at M&S for September as I found this school year that they shrink terribly, regardless of whether they are tumble dried (which the label says they can be) or not.
Fit and room for growth without coming up too big - a tricky one with summer dresses as different designs had a completely different fit in the same size. One was perfect, the other was massive.
Ease for DD to get it on and off for PE - e.g. zip up school dresses

Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?
My local store has terrible stock problems so I am forced to buy online and return items which don't fit which is frustrating. This is why I might go elsewhere this year.

Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try

Previously M&S. Items don't wear well though and I don't forsee myself saving most of DD1s uniform for DD2, so works out relatively expensive.
This year I will probably look to try other ranges first e.g. Next, Tu at Sainsbury's or George at Asda.

Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?
Better stock (Brent Cross and online). Better availability throughout the year, expecially for school coats which sell out before the weather even gets cold.
Better fit - same size items across ranges as mentioned above - a standard size like adult clothes.
Better quality fabrics which don't shrink or better wash testing so that washing labels can have more accurate instructions.

AuntySib Thu 28-Jun-12 10:25:50

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.
The most important factors to me are fit/style (my son is tall and chunky) and fabric ( he has ezcema which is exacerbated by heat, so synthetic fabrics are not good.). Have just ordered the cotton school trousers online and will collect tomorrow.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?
I would prefer to buy instore so that we can try on various sizes and styles, but this is difficult due to very limited availablity of cotton trousers. i have arranged to collect instore so that he can try on 2 different sizes and we can return the least suitable size on the spot. I wthen plan to order more of the correct size and will do that online to be delivered at home. I have looked online at a number of retailers for cotton trousers, but there are very few - last year M&S had nno cotton trousers, so i ordred from Tesco, but this year, Tesco ( who Itried first didn't do black cotton trousers in teenage sizes, but M & S did.
Delivery options not so important - it would be the last factor I'd look at given the difficulties of finding the right trousers.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?
I have bought M&S schoolwear before for my other children, and did not think it performed particularly well given that it is more expensive than Tesco and George. The price was not reflected in the fabric, which I wouldn't want to wear myself. However, M&S has an excellent range of sizes and styles at our local store ( Brent Cross), much better than competitors, and my sons couldn't really see the difference between M&S and other brands.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?
I would like to see cotton schoolwear available in a wider range of styles ) the trousers currently available look very slim cut, although we haven't seen them in person yet. A comprehensive catalogue would be a good idea - personally I orefer to look at a paper catalogue rahter than online.

prettybird Wed 27-Jun-12 17:13:58

When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can

Fit first, then quality, then price (the latter two within reason and varies according to the item). Although often it was a case of, having bought the logo-ed sweatshirts and poloshirts direct from the school, I'd then buy the trousers, plimsoles, shoes and socks wherever I could find the right size! I don't like buying too far in advance in case he has a growth spurt.

Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

Tend to buy in-store as sizes/fit can vary so much between stores - and even between different styles. I want to be able to see the item so that I can judge whether it will fit and whether I like the quality. I also only tend to buy when I need something, so don't want to wait for delivery.

Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

Have bought from Sainsbury's, BHS, Tesco and M&S. It's usually whereever I can find the item required in the size required. For example, I tired recently to buy some white long sleeved button-to-the-neck shirts (uncharateristically trying to get organised in advance of ds going to secondary school in August) and Sainsbury's didn't have any hmm. I'll be making a trip shortly to M&S to see what they have (I'll only initially buy 2 or 3 shirts - depending on the deal - and will buy the remainder up to 5 closer to the beginning of the new school year). I'm wary of the M&S trousers as last time I got them they were far too big at the waist and MIL had to adjust them (seems to be a common problem, looking at the thread). The Sainsbury's ones he has at the moment fitted ok. The plimsole (and shoe sizing in general) is also absurdly generous.

I recently bought a multi-pack of black "school" socks for ds from M&S. On the first day, there was a hole in one of the socks - but for such a small item, I can't be bothered going back to the shop. angry

Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

Schoolwear catalogue (on-line and in-store) would probably be useful - so that I wouldn't have to do what I did at Sainsbury's a week ago, wandering around to try and find if they even stocked long-sleeved shirts. The fact that basic items are often split between "boys" and "girls" can also make things irritating when you are trying to find things. I'm also now going to be looking for basics like V-neck black jumpers, which I would want to be hard wearing. Black quality sports shorts also seem to be difficult to find.

Fillybuster Wed 27-Jun-12 13:57:01

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

Price, quality and fit are generally the most important factors, but style also counts (a bit - mainly for dd's uniform, rather than ds').

My ds is tall but very very skinny, so I have to buy trousers with an adjustable waistband. Most retailers seem to stop making these above age 5/6, so this also informs my choice.

Finally, I want to know that an item of clothing is going to last!

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

I mostly start in-store, so I can have a proper look at the items, and work out which styles I like etc. It can be quite hard to tell from a website. But I will re-order specific items from a website, especially if there is a free or low-cost delivery option.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

I tend to buy school trousers from Tesco (they last longest, they have adjustable waists and are only £3/pair); school skirts from Asda (they had a lovely skater-style last year) and John Lewis (old fashioned pleats); shirts from John Lewis or Next; socks from Tesco or M&S; summer dresses from Tesco; tracksuit trousers from Tesco. Winter coats from Marks and Spencers. Everything else is branded and has to come from the specialist rip off merchants suppliers.

I have bought M&S school trousers and skirts in the past, and watched as the hems and fabric disintegrated within a few weeks. Knees gave way on trousers, hems on both, and the quality was generally very poor. I do like the boys' school coat selection and these have been pretty good so far; the girls coats last year were a bit shapeless and seemed very expensive (and insufficiently waterproof!).

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

My biggest problem with M&S schoolwear is the utter chaos on the shop floor. From early August, it is impossible to find anything, as all the clothes are completely jumbled up, and there are never any shopfloor assistants around to help. If I do find something I want, in the correct size, then I won't be able to find a second or a third packet.....and if you do find an employee, they just shrug and suggest you look some more hmm. At the moment, there's not much point in producing a catalogue if customers can't find anything they want in store. Pretty much all the mums I know (in NW London, so it's mostly the Brent X store, in case someone from M&S is reading this and wants to do some trouble-shooting!) feel the same way, and everyone avoids M&S at school uniform time.

And then there's the minor matter of the 2 hour long queues once you do find something you want to buy. So mainly this is a staffing/training issue....but John Lewis, Next and Tesco all seem to be able to keep control of stock and display better than M&S.

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Tue 26-Jun-12 13:45:03

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

The main thing is the quality, as it has to stand up to some hard usage and loads of washing. DS is only 4, so he doesn't care about style etc and I tend to buy things a bit big so there's some growing room. If I think things are of equal quality, I buy the less expensive option.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

I always buy in store, except for some things that I have to get through the school. I tend to buy things and put them away as I see good ones, rather than doing one big 'school' shop.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

I used to get things mainly from John Lewis as it's convenient, but the last lot of trousers I bought there were dreadful, and faded horribly after a few washes. I had to dye them back to the original colour. I'm looking elsewhere now for things and will probably buy from M&S for the next school year (also convenient and I'm hoping the quality will be good).

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

The stupidest thing DS has to have for school is green socks. These seem pretty hard to come by. A catalogue would be good.

culturemulcher Tue 26-Jun-12 12:44:02

Would like to second everyone who has pointed out that the skirts are often way too big in the waist. Even if you pull in the elastic, you end up with a huge bunch of material at the back which looks awful and is uncomfortable to wear.

Also M&S times have changed! Could you make your girls' trousers less bootcut / baggy in the leg? I don't want skinny for school, but something less voluminous would be great.

catonlap Tue 26-Jun-12 11:01:11

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

The fit is important, especially with the trousers. I have 2 boys who are tall for their age but slim and I find some school trousers are either too short if I get the waist to fit or they are too loose if I get the length to fit. I have been buying M&S adjustable waist boys trousers for a while now and these are really good. They are also good quality and they are not coming out in holes all the time. The only down side with them is I've had multiple pairs of M&S trousers where the hem has just fell down within a couple of days so I think they are not sewn up very well to start with. I do find that very annoying as I hate sewing and I really don't have the time to be sewing up 10 pairs of trousers each time I buy uniform. For that reason I have reacently bought just a couple of pairs from somewhere else for ds to try but again I was left with the loose waist issue. M&S please make decent hems and they will then be perfect!

I have found the M&S stain resistant white boys polo shirts really good. They are the only ones which have seen it through a whole year. They really do stain a lot less that others (the only one stained was when ds got black permenant pen on one but nothing white is going to survive that). Previous white shirts I have used have all ended up in the bin before long due to dinner stains and losing their shape. The M&S ones do shrink a bit but less than some others I have used. I tend to buy a size too big to start with and then they are ok.

Price is important, although I would more say value for money rather than the cost per item. previously when I have bought Asda polo shirts they have needed to be replaced frequently due to staining etc but they are very cheap to start with so I wasn't expecting them to last forever. The M&S ones I thought were good value because they have lasted longer.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

I shop a mix of in store and online. M&S I found had very little stock so did not have any of the correct sizes I needed. I looked at the products in store to see in terms of material quality and style but then ordered the correct size online.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

This past year we have had M&S uniforms. they fit well and last well as I said above.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store?

Mend the hems.

I find it easy to find the items online as it is. I don't need a catalogue.

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.
1. The price is important, but the quality and style even more so. I only buy non-iron uniform, I don't have time to faff about with ironing. It needs to be soft and feel nice on the skin. Trousers and shorts also needs to have waists that I can take in, as my boys are very slim. I only ever buy cotton shirts.

2. I only buy online if I know the items already, ie, have bought them before and are happy with them. Delivery fee is off putting though.

3. I usually buy from M&S or John Lewis. I have bought Asda and Tesco before, and found the quality, especially Asda to be poor, with hems falling apart, does not wash well, etc. No point buying a cheap low quality uniform item if you have to replace it quickly, thats false economy.

I do find that the size selection in my local M&S can be a bit hit and miss, and I end up having to order to store, and go back another day to pick up. It is a hassle. I wonder if they order in items based on a universal "M&S size mix pick" rather than any intelligence on what sizes sell most across the various stores.

I bought all my boys uniform items from M&S this year (aside from logoed items), and find the trousers have worn well, but the hems of the shorts keep coming down. Also, the lengths of the shorts are not great, mostly too short. My sons are tall and slim, and they look ridiculous in grey school summer shorts which are way above the knee.

3. Better fit shorts!

bruffin Tue 26-Jun-12 08:33:19

Another couple of points

Quality
Buttons that dont fall off, m&s are by the worst culprit
Size
It seems impossible to get blazers to fit 6ft teenage boys. Ds is a 38 long in a man's size, but blazers seem to get bigger widthwize, but not in length once they hit about 14. Ds had to wear a 42 inch chest to get the length in the sleeve

MrsLetch Tue 26-Jun-12 08:30:31

I like M&S school wear (and would go there first when shopping) because the quality is good - but there are some things that stop me buying it there.

My daughters are skinny and your skirts just do not fit them. Even the adjustable waist ones - my eldest has them on the tightest setting and ends up with a flap sticking out at the side, and moans that they're really uncomfortable. I find mothercare best for narrow children, but she's too old for them now.

Please oh please do not stop selling the skort. It is ideal for my cartwheeling dd, and now for her I only buy trousers and skorts. We do struggle with your trousers at times because they can be on the big side.

Thirdly, my Dd likes to have a little embroidery (or something pretty) on the clothes - heart, butterfly whatever - you do thus in your white tops, but not your blue ones, why? Her school uniform requires her to wear blue polo shirts, but you only sell this in the boys section. We usually go elsewhere for tops (she refuses to wear boys tops!). Also why are they not fair trade any more...? I always made a point of buying from you when they were fair trade. I don't anymore.

As skirts don't fit, my girls tend to wear pinafore dresses more... My daughter judges these all by the zip etc - so please make sure they have nice hearts, butterflies etc. my daughters care about this a lot!!

Priorities when shopping..? I like fit, my DDs like style. So I would always buy in shop (never online) to get the fit I want.

escape Tue 26-Jun-12 05:55:34

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can.

A combination of quality vs price - I had to buy white polo shirts from BHS the other year for all three kids, they were dire quality and will not buy again - they were mid range price too. I would buy from a trusted retailer when the price is right, and even 'take chance' on packaged items. I have 'success' every time with Debenhams & M&S, and as prices seem to have come down a LOT, I will continue.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you?

Online & off - I would buy polo shirts etc online without thinking, and school trousers & jumpers only if they were replacements. I wouldn't buy new sizes without first trying on , however if/when have plenty of time, would buy online, try at home and return if necessary.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try?

Debenhams & M&S - Quality & price have been unfailing over past two years.

Luckystar96 Tue 26-Jun-12 04:02:45

I have bought school uniform from M and S and find it to be better quality than the supermarkets, but it is more expensive. I was disappointed with the boys socks last time though as they didn't seem to last as long. I wonder if M and S are using poorer quality fabrics these days?
I like to order online when they are doing a 3 for 2 offer.

ginbob Tue 26-Jun-12 01:55:33

1. I am interested mainly in price - this factor is important as, sadly, we are on a strict budget. Second factor would be the quality and joint second, the fit. No point in buying something cheaply if she won't wear it due to the wrong fit.

2. The delivery / instore options are not important to me. I would prefer to see an item and try it against my child prior to purchase however would consider purchasing via online auction sites or, less frequently, on the main retailer's website, if it seemed easier at the time due to time constraints and price.

3. I would normally purchase from M&S due to quality, or perceived quality. Second choice would be George at Asda due to price - however, I am unhappy at the guilt involved in buying something quite so inexpensive as I feel they must be utilising child labour to be in a position to offer clothing so cheaply. If I can find items on ebay or similar for similar cost, I will buy second hand instead.

4. I find the fit a little sketchy sometimes, and the choice of colours and styles not brilliant. The quality is normally excellent, although I have a lovely checked dress which the collar will not sit down on, not since it was new and not since it was starched and ironed and steamed and bullied into submission - this small defect has made the item unwearable and is a bit annoying, as I paid more than usual for the dress and it would put me off M&S school dresses in future.

melodyangel Tue 26-Jun-12 00:30:12

I brought the really cheap school jumper last September, I think it was £3, and it has been excellent. Has kept it's shape, washed well and still looks great. Very impressed.

I buy most uniform basics from M snd S esp. Polo Shirts, jumpers and vests. Have been pleased with them and I find everything lasts well.

I tend to buy in store if I can but will buy online if the store is out of stock, which unfortunatley is quite often.

Keep up with the traditional uniform esp. for the under 11's please.

And love the tank tops for boys. Would be great if you did a range of satchels too.

ratflavouredjelly Mon 25-Jun-12 23:33:05

When buying school uniform I like to choose trousers/shorts with adjustable waists or pull on elasticated waists.
Quality of fabric and ability to not lose its shape after constant washing and tumble drying are also a must.
I have bought white polo shirts from M & S and George and actually found the fit and fabric quality from M & S far superior. The M & S polo shirts are thicker and haven't lost their shape whilst George are flimsy and have shrunk.

I always buy trousers and shorts from George and Sainsburys as they are good quality and cheaper than M & S. but when it comes to polo shirts, white t-shirts or anything with cotton in it, I would buy M& S hands down.

I would like to see more multipacks of kids sports socks and definitely a school
Uniform catalogue from Marks. I have bought t-shirts/polo shirts online when M & S do a promotion.
School trousers I like to try on my little boy in store.

lilibet Mon 25-Jun-12 23:16:39

I've quickly scanned the thread and think that no one else has replied on behalf of the older child - ds2 is 15 and 5ft11, shoe size 11 and still growing, he is not the tallest of his friends by any means. He plays football every breaktime and is very much a 'rough and tumble' type boy. After summer he goes into Y11, where the uniform changes from a blazer to a sweatshirt. I discovered with ds1 (5ft 10 and shoe size 10 at age 14) that trousers with zip pockets are an essential as they loose the secure pockets in their blazers.

When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Is it price, quality, style, fit or something else? M&S would like to understand how you decide whether or not to buy an item of school uniform so please provide as much detail as you can. Fit and price, it's difficult to find things to fit boys of this age without going into adult ranges

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Are there specific things that you buy online and others that you would only ever consider buying in store? How important are factors such as delivery options, the in store/online experience etc to you? I shop instore and take the child with me. There is no on line option - see below.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? If you haven't bought M&S school uniform before, why is that? What would make you give M&S school uniform a try? I shop at a local independent store, I haven't bough M&S uniform in years as the boys sizes stop at 5ft 9 and the shoes at size 8!! and shoe size 8

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store? Going beyond 5ft 9 would be a start! Trousers with zip pockets and I would also pay extra for shirts with no pockets. The number of shirts that my sons have ruined by having the pockets ripped off playing football is incredible. This seems to be something that only starts when they are older.

I wonder where they have got the maximum height for a school boy as 5ft 9?

LoonyRationalist Mon 25-Jun-12 22:46:55

I specifically went into M&S today to get DD1 2 new summer dresses (hers are indecently short and she will wear them for some of September too if the weather is reasonable). Plus I was planning to get them to her ankles quite long so they would be ok for next summer too..
Not one single summer dress (in any size) to be seen. Now I know that you are concentrating on back to school (even though they have a month to go before they even break up confused but that is ridiculous.

culturemulcher Mon 25-Jun-12 22:44:44

Oh - just one more thing... M&S seems to have a lot of 'fashion' schoolwear. It would be great to have a better selection of a bit more traditional schoolwear. The girls' pinafore dresses are lovely, but I've got a feeling I'll be buying this dress for year after year after year as there's no thing else that isn't a little bit, er, can't think a the word. Tarty? I'm probably in a minority, but I really don't want hearts / glitter / flowers / zips all over a uniform.

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