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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

daisychicken Thu 21-Jun-12 13:42:08

~ 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 and value for money is important to me besides a good fit - I have 2 boys, both climb trees, play football etc at school and both come home with stained ripped clothes so being able to replace as and when because the price is good matters to me. I also have skinny boys so need trousers with adjustable waistbands so that does determine where I buy trousers from.

~ 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 am not a loyal shopper nor do I stick to one method of buying, I buy when I see stuff at a good price. M&S is a bit of a trek so I do like to look and buy online especially as I cannot guarantee stock levels when I visit the store. The cheaper the delivery cost the better as I do find that can make the difference between affordable and non affordable when on a tight budget.

~ 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 uniform from Tesco, Asda, Matalan and M&S. I did like M&S school wear but didn't find it lasted any better than supermarket clothing.

~ 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?

A wider range of styles would be good to suit different age groups and their preferences. More sizes stocked in each range would also be good and to be able to buy uniform easily all year round - I need to replace as and when not just for the start of a school year.

My older son hates jumpers and sweatshirts so a zip up jacket in sweatshirt material rather than fleece would be popular. I'm not interested in a catalogue as I tend to look online first.

cherryjellow Thu 21-Jun-12 13:52:06

~ 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.

In a younger child I wouldn't worry about fit so much (unless it looks silly) but I would say its a mix of price, quality and style. (although style less in younger child).

~ 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 buy in store, then it can be tried on, I could see the quality without delivery charges.

~ 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?

A mix of next, tesco, m and s (although not for a long time, I cant remember what t was like), new look. normally where ever I am at the time, I'm not overly fussy, as long as its a good price and good quality. I would try M and S again though.

~ 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 think a school wear catalogue would be good in store, I think the range is good smile

I have a DS 13 and a Dd 11
What's most important....
Fit, quality and zipped pockets! My Dec are both tall n skinny so the long length trousers are great as they fit better, and I buy the ones with zipped pockets so they can store keys, money, dinner tickets etc without losing them

Also like the girls 3/4 sleeve blouses, nice balance between style and practicality - always buy short sleeve for DS so he doesn't get sleeves covered in ink....

Buy a mix on online and in shop - usually as soon as the back to school offers start wink - prefer to buy on line as taking them shopping is torture but sometimes need to try things on

Occasionally buy uniform from next - as I can buy on line and their quality is good too, and if I get caught out and need emergency replacements for ripped trousers etc, will use tesco as convenient to get to same day....

But I have to say quality is not as good, m&s and Next stuff lasts all year and still looks good, Cheaper stuff from supermarkets never lasts as well....

Only gripe is that often can't get size I want straightaway, and sports kit choice can be hit and miss though now both are at big school, I have to buy done stuff from school as it is logo'd....

BigBadBear Thu 21-Jun-12 13:58:18

~ 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.

I think value for money sums it up for me. I don't want to spend loads but I want it to fit, look smart, wash well and last, not only for DD1 but also so I can pass it on to DD2.

~ 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 do both. Online reviews really help identify what it likely to work or not work, and online has the advantage of most sizes being in stock. Instore I get a better sense of quality and fit, but often the sizes I want aren't in stock, which is frustrating. I tend to take advantage of free delivery or other online offers, as I don't like paying more for online shopping than in person.

~ 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?

Most of DD1's school uniform is from M&S, as I find the fit good (for the stuff with adjustable waistbands anyway, I have no idea who the fixed sized items fit), the prices fair and the quality excellent. I also buy from Matalan.

~ 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?

Please bring back your 3/4 length sleeved polo shirts! Make the instore experience better - why is schoolwear often only stocked for a few months a year, for example, and why is it so difficult to keep all sizes in stock? Maybe stocking ranges for different ages would work better. A schoolwear catalogue would be brilliant - maybe an App would work?

Forgot one thing

Girls skirts are far too short!

Always had to buy a size up for my DD so she would look half decent wink then have issues as she is quite skinny anyway

She'll be in trousers for big school as they insist on a-line, knee length skirts and as she has long legs, it's hard to find anything suitably long that an 11 going on 15 yo will agree to wear.... grin

LoonyRationalist Thu 21-Jun-12 14:06:47

1. Uniform has to be hard wearing, fit well and stay looking good. It doesn't have to be super cheap, I'm willing to pay for something that will wash and wear well.

2. I bought school uniform for the first time last August. I went to a M&S store to try some on to get an idea for sizes. I couldn't buy in store as they didn't have the styles I wanted in Dd1's sizes so I ordered online. Website needs to be clear and checkout process hassle free for me to consider shopping online. Free delivery is a bonus, although as my nearest stores are 15 miles away it is cheaper for me to pay a reasonable delivery charge rather than making a special journey. It would be good if items were consistently available in store in the majority of sizes.

3. I bought most of dd1's new uniform in m&s last September. I'm really happy with the way it has lasted. The 3 pinafore I bought still look like new and will be fine for dd2 when she starts school. The police shirts too have worn well. Tights were ok although I had to buy 7-8 for my 5 year old as I found they came up very small. I bought Dd1 a pair of trousers from Asda which were awful, terrible material and looked scruffy after 2 washes, list elasticity and started to fall down after 4 washes. I bought a skirt from Tesco's finest range which nearly compares with the quality of the M&S stuff. (Haven't tried jumpers/cardigans as dd1's are logoed from school)

4. I found the shopping experience ok, dd1 was excited about her uniform and loved the school wear booklets.

BigBadBear Thu 21-Jun-12 14:09:50

I agree that skirts (and pinafores and summer dresses) are often scandalously short. I end up sizing up for DD1, but as she is so slim thsi doesn't always work. Maybe a range of lengths would help?

I have also bought uniform from the supermarkets, but soon realised that it isn't much cheaper and the quality is far inferior. So it's M&S pretty much all the way for me now, unless I can't find what I need.

sleepingbag Thu 21-Jun-12 14:17:39

~ 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. 

Important things are fit, generally need ajustable waist bands or they are too big for my children.Style also important, like cargo style trousers/shorts for boys and easy take on off for youger ones ( ie sips on dresses). Am happy to pay abit more so clothes don't look cheap/ naff.

~ 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? 

Usally buy on line and collect in store if for bulk order. Socks/tights I usally buy in store unless aready buying on line.

~ 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 mainly buy from m & s and next. Resently have brought tights which are good fit and have lasted well. Summer dress nice as a longer length and some polo shirts which have washed well and not strunk to much. Also mary jane plimsoles – love them.

~ 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? 

Catalogue would be good as easy for children to choose things that way.

shelley72 Thu 21-Jun-12 14:17:40

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

I think above all, fit. DS is quite slim and trousers need to have a REALLY adjustable waist to have any hope of staying up. It will also need to be of good quality and wash and wear well. I don’t mind spending a little bit more (eg for M&S, JL uniform) as long as the item lasts better than supermarket alternatives – would rather pay once for something that is worn until its outgrown rather than having to keep replacing the same item. Its my first child starting school so at present I have no feel for the cost of uniform really.

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?

So far I have bought online and made use of the 20% off and free delivery. As long as I can return items easily I would prefer not to have to drag DS along to the shops and make him try on clothes there. Shoes obviously I will buy in store, and logoed uniform will be purchased from the school.

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?

My DC1 is due to start school in September and so this is the first year I have had to look at uniform. We have so far purchased school socks, one pair of trousers and cotton PE shorts – was lured by the 20% discount! As they have not yet been worn, I cant comment on how the items will last in terms of washing and wearing. I trust that the socks will last well (as his M&S socks do currently). The only thing that HAS annoyed me with M&S is that they have a 35 day return policy – compared to John Lewis’ 90 day return – which means you need to be REALLY confident if you buy in July (before its all out of stock) that your child wont have a growth spurt mid August – our local M&S store wouldn’t even offer an exchange after this time period. As such I am going to try JL for extra trousers and his polo shirts.

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?

When looking for school socks I did find it difficult to find his size (8.5 - 12) in stock – school socks were mostly in the larger sizes – I like the fact that they have spaces to write in names though! Also the school coats look a bit drab and disappointing – I wouldn’t want character based / pirate / camo print but something a bit more interesting would be good. We picked up a schoolwear catalogue last week – which made my DS really proud he was going to big school and he enjoyed showing all his friends / teachers at nursery!

walkingonthemoon Thu 21-Jun-12 14:18:06

Most important: price and quality. Al tied up in this is whether the skirt is long enough - I have a very tall 9 year DD!

Prefer to buy in-store so we can try on (see above!)

Retailers: M&S and Asda. M&S lasts well and are generous with sizing (tend to get skirts and trousers from M&S), Asda really convenient and cheap to buy basics like socks, polo shirts.

M&S could do with a wider value range - I would buy from them if the price was good - even to get a spare skirt, etc. for emergency yoghurt spills on the last clean skirt on a Thursday night!

soontobesolo Thu 21-Jun-12 14:23:33

~ 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.

My DC attend/attended a non-uniform primary so this last year with DC1 in Year 7 is my first year of buying uniform and I bought a complete set from the recommended supplier as the list wasn't very detailed and I didn't want to buy the wrong items. I have since bought some extra shirts from Sainburys and M&S as I could see they were the correct items but a lot cheaper! I tend to go for quality of materials so cotton/cotton mix over 100% polyester and would pay a bit more for something that I expected to last better so I don't have to keep replacing. So I would choose M&S over Asda even if M&S more expensive.

~ 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?

First set of items I would buy in store to get an idea of the required size then I would happily buy the next size up from the same range online. If the store was easy to reach I would probably drop by without the DC to pick bits up, especially if there was a no-quibbles return policy. I wouldn't buy online if I had to pay return postage for returns and even then I may not always do so because I work and don't want to wait in for deliveries. I would prefer to buy online over visiting the store if I could choose my delivery slot without paying extra but that's uncommon. In theory there is nothing I wouldn't buy online because DC are standard clothing and shoe sizes and really easy to fit.

~ 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 the bulk came from the school supplier as it was my first uniform experience however I was really pleased with the school shirts I bought from M&S, still going after almost a year

~ 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 have a real problem buying school shoes for DS as he is in adult sizes and so there are fewer school shoes in that range. The rule is completely black but no trainers/heavy boots, this rules out the majority of shoes he is willing to wear, so far the only shoes we can agree on are Kickers which cost a fortune in adult sizes and don't even last one term. So, I would love to see some hard wearing plain black classic (not trainer) shoes in adult sizes that are not completely uncool!

StainlessSteelCat Thu 21-Jun-12 14:26:02

~ 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?
I look for clothes that are of the right style/colour at the right price. I wouldn't buy the cheapest if it wasn't the right style, but I wouldn't pay a lot more just to get a certain style either (this may well change, my oldest is only 6, so is still fairly unconcerned about fashion details). I don't want to pay too much for uniform as it does tend to get lost (maybe one item a term at the moment, but it's guaranteed to be the newest item ...) or stained (white board pens, yes I'm looking at you) but I do want to buy decent quality items so the ones that don't get lost/destroyed stay looking decent. I have given up taking the DC with me to try it on due to temper tantrums (mine, brought on by incessant whining), so I either buy it in store or order online, then check it fits well enough at home. I've rarely had problems with this, although one or two items have had to have been grown into. However shoes are a nightmare and tend to involve multiple shoe shops and a few tears before we can find ones that fit. By that point I don't care if they are "school" shoes or just shoes. I'm just hoping that the price is below £50 and they aren't about to have a growth spurt out of them.

~ 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 tend to do a big online shop now I have 2 DC to buy for. I then top up through out the year as needed. I would buy all/any clothing items online, but shoes would always get fitted. I would avoid taking both DC with me however lovely the store - it is that's good and I can get there, then so can everybody else and it'll be a scrum! I would tend to look for offers/deals when shopping online, and I need to know there's a good returns policy- ie it's easy to make returns, either to a nearby store or by post.

~ 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 from M&S or John Lewis as they are the stores most convenient to me. I also buy some logo items from a local independent shop. Trousers from both large retailers have lasted well, but not well enough to pass on. I have cut up some for shorts and repair patches for other trousers. I have just placed an online order for uniform from M&S. I went with them because they had the items I needed in stock, there was 20% off, free delivery and there is a store near me if I need to return any items.

~ 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 was surprised how many item s I found that were out of stock in the size I wanted (age 7 grey boys trousers). I was looking for plain white T shirts, and only found them by accident. If there had been funkier girls tights I would have chucked a couple of pairs onto the end of my order, but the range available was too boring for me smile Catalogue is not something I'd be interested in.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 21-Jun-12 14:30:03

I often buy uniform from M&S. They offer really good value for money (only one pair of the cheapest M&S trousers has gone through at the knee). The only time I don't buy from M&S is when my small local store doesn't have something in stock that I need quickly, when I'll go to Asda who have a much bigger range although I'm not as keen on the quality.

I have ordered M&S uniform online to be picked up in store, but only polo shirts that I don't need to have a feel of like I do with trousers and jumpers (I like to have a feel of the fabric and get a better idea of real life colour on those items).

I'd love for there to be green school tank tops, but M&S only sell grey or navy. They're great for spring and autumn, really smart and practical, but I can't find green ones anywhere.

~ 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.

Most important for me is price and durability, I have two boys who are rough on their clothes so tend to take recommendations from other mums on what will 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 like to buy online for the logo'd stuff from the school store, but for everything else I go in-store take the boys with me so I can see what the fit and cut looks like on them (and to see how much bigger I can get away with buying)

~ 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 bought my DS1's trousers from M&S and was very impressed by how long they lasted and still looked good, I will be buying from there again this year for both boys as youngest starts school this year, I do like the school socks as well with the panel for labelling

~ 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 a slightly larger variety of trouser cuts for boys and possibly discreet reinforcement for the knees, also in store it can be difficult to find the school-wear section out of season so larger signs would be good

~ 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.

Main thing I look for is price and the quality of the items, with having a DS I want to make sure that the trousers wont end up with holes in the knees by half term!

~ 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 tend to do a mix of the two, if im out getting shoes for example I'll look in the shop to see what they have in stock. I do get online stuff as well as if I've bought something once and know the quality is good then its much quicker than going into town.

~ 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 uniform for the last two years, the quality is excellent and the price is good. All the items I have bought have lasted the full school year and only now at the end of the year are they looking a little worn, due to an active DS not inferior quality. The only thing I dont get from M&S is school jumpers as they are logoed

~ 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 think the range is excellent and will be getting next years stuff soon. A catalogue in store and online is a good idea, a good chance to see styles especially as the boys are getting older

lambethlil Thu 21-Jun-12 14:55:55

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 durability- ease of washing and low iron. I hate fashionable school uniform, charms on zips etc.

~ 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?
DDs have uniforms available exclusively on line. DS I could but from supermarkets and I used to get his shirts and trousers from M&S, but they have recently specified John Lewis and specific stock items- no scope for personal preference at all.

~ 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?
As above- all three schools specify specialist school suppliers.

~ 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?
When I could, I liked buying from M&S. I would love to see Girls in Senior School wearing summer dresses, and would like to see School uniform Shalwar Kalmeez readily available.

archfiend Thu 21-Jun-12 15:06:20

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.

I look for quality/durability and if it will last size wise for more then a couple of terms. I like to buy stuff that fits well but has room to grow e.g. adjustable waistbands

~ 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?

Usually in store as I live near an M&S and it is easier to try on etc.

~ 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 do buy quite a lot of DD's uniform from M&S as I have found that it wears well and she gets a decent growing period in it. Having said that, their school tights are awful! They shrink like mad and are very thin - she ended up in age 7-9 tights at age 5 because they shrank so much.

~ 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?

As above - the tights are dreadful! I like the fact that most girls' trousers have adjustable waists as I have a tall but slim child who is usually 1 size up for height but not for width. Maybe slim fit trousers if they don't already do them? Not bothered about any character tie-in stuff (HSM etc) and would actively avoid buying this sort of branded uniform. Catalogue would be useful although I can usually find most of what I need already

~ 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.

Most important factors are price, quality, that it washes well, fits well (i.e doesnt fit on waist then not fit on legs)

~ 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 tend to shop in store and then get any bits that I cannot get hold of online.
I prefer instore as I can check the fit.

~ 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?

M and S for bottoms/skirts/dresses and such and Tesco for the rest usually.

I do prefer M and S but I find that their value range only ever has a couple of sizes in store meaning I have to either get it online and wait or buy elsewhere.

~ 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 do prefer M and S but I find that their value range only ever has a couple of sizes in store meaning I have to either get it online and wait or buy elsewhere. Also better sizing on polo tops. My dd is small for her age and we always find them quite small on the arms and shoulders so we have to buy bigger and then they look ridiculas in length then!

SoTiredoftheWheelsontheBus Thu 21-Jun-12 15:10:47

Will post more later (almost school run time), but as mum to a skinny boy, adjustable waistbands are an absolute must. Trousers/shorts have to be tried on to be sure of getting them to fit. Ds1 is only in reception, but some uniform had to be ordered from myschooluniform (I think, can't check at the mo) as it has the logo embroidered on, but trousers, shorts, pe kit, socks and plimsolls were all from m&s. The trousers are thinning at the knees, but after 9 months wear by an energetic 5 year old, I guess it's to be expected.

glitch Thu 21-Jun-12 15:37:05

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.

I tend to buy based on fit and price. At the moment my son is 6 so he gets whatever style there is although he finds fastenings tricky so elasticated waists are better. M&S trousers seem to fit him quite well, length and waist seem to be well proportioned. I really don't like it when hems come down through poor quality. I tend to buy from the shop where the size fits him best as I don't want to turn up 5 pairs of trousers.

~ 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 only ever buy uniform instore as it is size I need to make sure is right and that is best done in the shop rather than faffing around with online and returns.

~ 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?
His last uniform trousers came from Asda as I was in there and they had his size in stock, it fitted well and was well priced. His socks are from Primark as they are cheap!
He has had uniform from M&S before but I do find getting the right size a bit of a pain as my local store always seem to have depleted stock and I just want to buy it there and then.
I would try it again but only if his size is there when I'm looking.

~ 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?
Make sure more sizes are kept in stock. A catalogue would be great but again, only if stock is in store when you go in.

iwantavuvezela Thu 21-Jun-12 15:45:24

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?

I definately used a mix. My daughter started school last year, so I went into M&S and bought a whole lot of things. I now (after a year) have a clearer idea of what really worked in terms of wearing for my daughter. I have subsequently topped up with school wear over the year by buying online. I did like the fact that when i went into M&S (Oxford st branch) to initially buy, there was a big section for school wear, and i could wonder around it comparing items etc. I am not that worried about an in-store experience, just that it is well stocked, i know where to find it, and have an online buying option when needed.

~ 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 bought from M&S this year. (first year of buyinga school uniform) The items have lasted well and I have topped up during the year. I found the size true so it was easy for me to buy online. However I did buy some of the "stain resistant" items. I found that whenever i washed these they would be marked or smeared with the washing powder, so I would not purchase these again. I am happier with the cotton and natural fabrics for my daughter to wear.

~ 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 use the shoolwear funciton on the online site which takes me to most of the itesm. I would not want a catalogue as this would just end up in recycling. Perhaps online? Please keep stocking plain vests; underwear; cotton socks. I find it disheartening to only find very patterned vests, and loved the boxer type girls underwear you sold. It has lasted well. I have also purchased many vests from you and appreciate not always having logo's stuff!

In general buying school wear for me was a fun experience! Finally a child at school! I used M&S as I felt i would get everything under one roof which i did. I have subsequently topped up on some gingham type school dresses from Sainsbury's and plain school cardigans which were really good value and in plain colours.
I appreciate not paying a delivery cost on school wear and would be a factor in buying from you. I would then probably buy more frequently over the year when i needed, however if i need to pay a delivery charge i probably save up an order.

Willemdefoeismine Thu 21-Jun-12 16:26:21

I look for good value, decent looking clothes that fit my slender children! I do buy M&S trousers for DS (although they often need adjusting to the tightest elastic banding at the waist to fit properly) and the pinafore dresses for DD. Have been put off buying cardigans/jumpers because the one time I bought a non-logo'd 'spare' jumper for DS it started unravelling at the neck after he'd worn it only a handful of times. I am not however sure that I'm not deluding myself about the quality. Don't think the much cheaper trousers I've bought in Sainsbury's are any less quality or durable. Think M&S schoolwear is relatively expensive for what it is though and some of the styles for girls' skirts etc...are a bit naff and not smart looking. I would never consider buying even leather school shoes from M&S as I've read bad reviews - at the end of the day I'd rather spend £10 extra on shoes per child from Clarks to get pairs that last the whole academic year.

I tend to mix and match schoolwear items depending on how flush I'm feeling and whether I'm out on a specific uniform shopping trip or just picking up an item ad hoc in with my food shopping!

I would always buy in-store really to get a feel for fabric, perceived quality and sizing. I would buy things like school socks and undies online though. However, I do find that out of season (i.e. aside from the June-September uniform buying season) there are big gaps in what's available school-wear wise even in the larger branches. I was looking for black sports shorts in May for DS for secondary school and the large branch near us had none at all!

Do also find that the uniform purchasing experience in-store in uniform season is a bit of a bun-fight particularly if you wait until August and/or the uniform offers are on!

The DCs uniforms come from school supplier (for compulsory logo'd clothing), M&S, Sainsbury's and John Lewis depending upon what I'm buying and how many of said item I have to buy. Do like the more traditional pinafore dresses that John Lewis offers for girls. I thought from the M&S Uniform Catalogue I picked up yesterday that M&S was doing a similar one (some of the models seem to be wearing one) but couldn't actually find any details of it listed!

Why can't the senior boys' skinny legged school trousers be available in navy and charcoal as well as black. Got all excited when I saw them modelled in the catalogue as my son has very long slim legs and would suit such trousers - but very disappointed that they were only available in black! You need to ensure all your styles are available across the traditional colours really!

Also, more traditional girls' skirts/pinafore dresses as some of us like a cute, traditional uniform for our DDs rather than fashion-led ones!

Also, think there's a place for unisex sleeveless pullovers in a range of school colours too.

steppemum Thu 21-Jun-12 16:37:57

I choose schoolwear around 2 factors, value for money and fit.
I have had trousers and skirts from all the supermarkets and M&S and most are fine and wear well, and none are overly expensive, so then I am looking for them to fit. M&S are more expensive than supermarkets, so I will try supermarkets first. My daughter has this year (aged 7) become more fussy about whether she likes the style, she is not easy to fit (most trousers sit too low on the hips, so when she sits down she is showing her bottom) and very fussy about skirt styles, so we go round asdas tesco sainsburies and M&S and I buy anything that she will agree to and fits! My son is easy, just pick up the right size. I also find girls skirts very short, I don't want her in shorter than knee length. She prefers stretchy styles as they spend time sittign on the floor, but most stretchy fabrics are horrible looking.

as regards fit my son is tall and skinny, hates having bulky elastic adustable waist. Now he is 9 he is finally the right size for the length. Extra long trousers for skinny kids would be great.
The same in reverse for my daughter. She is below average weight, but is pear shaped (already poor kid!) and so I have to go up 2 sizes to get one with a bottom and then take them up 3 inches.

I bought M&S summer dresses this year, as they are 100% cotton. I won't buy non cotton ones, they are too hot. My girls prefer the contrast collar and straighter style rather than fuller skirts. They love the pockets on M&S dresses too (pockets on girls skirts and trousers would be a massive bonus for them )
We like dark blue and white dresses, but most are light blue, not nearly so nice and doesn't match their uniform.

polo shirts. Last year my daughter had asda and my son had M&S white shirts. The M&S ones have washed better, kept their shape better and stayed whiter than the asda ones, so I have just bought all M&S ones for next year, for all 3 kids (youngest starts reception this sept)

I buy in store. I would buy shirts on-line and maybe boys trousers once I know which size he is, but not girls trousers and skirts as I need to fit them.

I don't buy pe kit from M&S as I buy cheapest and am handing it down through the family! (never wears out, it isn't used often enough)

I would like to see:
pockets as mentioned above
a wider variety of shapes for girls trousers
girls skirts in knee length not mid thigh (how about culottes for girls? or summer shorts or skorts in proper uniform - not cycle shorts?)
pe shirts in packs of one not 2 packs (they only need one of each)
trousers in short, regular and long (I think you would need fewer styles if you had a variety of lengths

My biggest bug bear about school uniform is that it is in the shops in June, and then sold out. If you shop in August there is none left. I would prefer to shop in August, once I can see how much they have grown over the summer, but have to shop in June before it all goes. Then if you run out through the year you are stuck

ouryve Thu 21-Jun-12 16:44:28

~ 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.

It has to fit, it has to fit in with the school uniform requirements and it has to be easy to wash and tumble dry. It also has to be hardwearing because my boys are hard wearing.

~ 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?

A mixture. I live in a rural area with no big stores locally, so online is more convenient.

~ 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 all the boy's school trousers from Next. They fit well, are easy to adjust and last well. Most trousers from M&S are too short by the time they fit around the waist and end up with pulls and holes in after a couple of weeks, so I've given up on them. I used to love the fairtrade polo shirts with stainaway because they lasted longer without looking stained and grotty, but M&S only do those in white now and the boys need blue. The value ones M&S do sell in blue are rubbish, so I just pick up polo shirts at Sainsburys, with my weekly shop, when DS1's get too embarrassing.

~ 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 want the stainaway polo shirts back in blue and slimmer fitting (pref adjustable) harder wearing trousers.

Furball Thu 21-Jun-12 16:50:12

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 - I have a tall skinny ds

~ 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?

Ds has to try stuff on, so we usually have an annual school uniform 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?

Last year = sainsburys trousers - 2 x in the right size and 2 x in the right size but longer length. Both lots have lasted really well and still look like new (although the shorter ones are now to short)

This year and currently started wearing this week are M & S trousers - look and fit great and a decent price. (I think they were £13 for 2 pairs)

last year - Shirts = sainsburys - excellent value
Tesco ones I took back as they had a pinky white tinge to them confused
Haven't decided yet for this year. but don't see why it can't be M & S. (it depends on where I am and what stock they have on the shelf at the time)

Bought the M & S trainers last year for pe (£13) - which were very good although they are now too small so I gave them to someone else.

~ 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?

For me it would be to stock all sizes, (although I know that is difficult this time of year as some sell out) as there's nothing more frustrating than not having the right size in stock. This is one of the factors for me. I buy from the shop that has, so if I've been caught out as stock is limited, I will buy it elsewhere if I am at elsewhere who have it. Rather than chance delaying and it not being in stock again.

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