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Tell F&F what you really look for in a school uniform and have a chance to win a £200 voucher NOW CLOSED

(171 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Aug-13 11:27:37

You may have seen we recently asked 100 MNers to put the new F&F school uniform range to the test - you can see what they thought here. F&F would now like to know what Mumsnetters look for when searching for the ideal school uniform for your DCs.

Here's what F&F say: "At F&F we're really proud of the value and quality of our products and have spent the last year really improving our schoolwear range. Our schoolwear offering, which is available online all year round, is designed to last. With features including Teflon fabric protector across skirts, trousers and pinafores, we believe that we've made it easier to get those stains out. Also, we've included adjustable waistbands to ensure a more comfortable fit for your children that will also help the items last that little bit longer as they grow. Finally, we've helped reduce ironing with our permanent pleats in skirts."

If you had the chance to design your own school uniform for your DCs what would it look like? What special features would you want? Extra long t-shirts or trousers for your tall children? Wrinkle free clothes to cut down on the ironing? What's the one thing that is missing from current school uniform ranges?

We'd also like to know what you think of the specific features of the new F&F school uniform range, watch the TV ad here.

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?

Everyone who shares their thoughts with us will be entered into a prize draw to win £200 worth of e-vouchers for Tesco.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

Melissakitkat Mon 05-Aug-13 11:32:52

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform? I always look for these on school trousers so very important - would be great to have a way to easily turn up school trousers as they tend to wear away being scuffed across the ground.
~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not? Never sure - I don't go out of my way to buy them with Teflon - dd just gets a clean dress every day to wear.
~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?
I do like these - makes them easier to iron and looks smarter.

Melissakitkat Mon 05-Aug-13 11:38:43

For me I like to see pinafores for the older girls (dd is nearly 8 and still likes them) they need to be front zip opening so easy to get off & on for pe. Also don't make them so short! Dd ends up having to wear age 9-10 as I don't want her skirt so short! Nor does she - she wants to dress as a young girl not a teenager.

School coats in lovely bright colours - not black!

I buy all uniform in one go from m&s online as its easier. My local tesco never has the correct colours.

Stop selling me uniform at odd times of the year - I want to buy it just before the term starts!

Don't bother with school shoes as always get them from Clarks.

Have more cutesy bits on your clothes - embroidery, heart zips, pockets on dresses.

Hth mel x

Queen0fFeckingEverything Mon 05-Aug-13 11:43:25

I want...

- Adjustable waistbands!

- No gimmicks like Teflon coating

- Natural fibres

- I'd love to see Fairtrade cotton used as standard

- Real leather shoes with proper grip on the soles

CMOTDibbler Mon 05-Aug-13 11:54:24

Adjustable waistbands are an absolute must for me.
Longer shirts, shorts and trousers in an age range.
Non iron fabrics
wide fitting shoes and plimsoles
Name spaces on socks
Sizing on socks (drives me nuts sorting different navy socks out)

A decent stock online all year is really important.

BornToFolk Mon 05-Aug-13 12:05:49

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?

Vital. I accidentally bought DS some shorts without an adjustable waist and they were too big. There were no belt loops so no way of making them smaller. I am hoping they'll fit next year!

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

I like them. DS had a couple of pairs of trousers with Teflon coating and one without and the one without have worn worse.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?

Not helpful at all to me as I only have a son!

*~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?(

Definitely available online. I would love it if you could order uniform to be delivered with grocery shopping...probably not going to happen though.

I bought some of the 75p polo shirts for DS for next year but when they arrived I felt very guilty as firstly they were horribly over-packaged (each shirt in its own plastic sleeve) and secondly they were made in Bangladesh, so I suspect sweatshops. Does anyone know Tesco's policy on overseas labour?

I'd like to see 100% cotton shirts. DS can wear polo shirts but it would be nice to have the option of a proper shirt that isn't mostly polyester.

insanityscratching Mon 05-Aug-13 12:12:19

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?
I would prefer that there was a range of clothes for the more petite children tbh. I have to tighten the waistbands to the smallest setting for dd which ruins the style because of the bunching and dd finds them really uncomfortable.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?
I would prefer them not to be Teflon coated because it goes shiny and the clothes are stiff. Dd has new clothes every day regardless so it doesn't matter if they are dirty and washing detergents are super effective on stains anyway. Not sure that it adds to longevity tbh the uniforms only have a limited life anyway because of growth and being cheap they are easy to replace.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?
I like permanent pleats because I don't like ironing to be too lengthy.

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?
I do order online for uniform purely because I don't like traipsing round the shops so long as the measurements are available and accurate then it makes it stress free.
For me the ideal uniform would be natural fibres, no teflon, stylish cuts, sold in waist and length sizes rather than age (like Trutex), Leather sturdy shoes (not ballet pumps style) and colours that hold in the wash. I don't want belts on trousers or silver gimmicks, I don't want skirts that are already short when I buy them, I'd like culottes and shorts for girls as they are more practical and I'd like zips as fastenings for dresses and polo shirts (used to get the polo shirts from BHS for that reason but can't get them now) or polo shirts that are open necked.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 05-Aug-13 12:48:05

i would like polo/white shirts that are resistant to dry wipe markers.

I would like cheap yellow gingham dresses

I would like pinafores and summer dresses that cover the knees

school coats that are cheap and with the reflective strips for both boys and girls. (the purple spotty ones they did 3 years go have been fabulous. warm, aand long lasting, washed and dried overnight without a dryer.)

longer shirts and polo shirts to cover dc's backs when playing in the sun/wind. ( red heads burn and spd children do not like draughts)

and yes to adjustable waistbands. another must for a skinny child with autism.

non of those silly metalhooks on boys trousers either, not until they are at least 8.

long grey socks. (spd again)

sizes on tights, socks and space to write their name. (not sewing in names to tights, don't have time)

fossil971 Mon 05-Aug-13 13:17:54

I have one slim boy and one extra-skinny one grin. All uniform has to do them both.

Adjustable waistbands are utterly essential and ideally "slim" fit or "long" fit (could be either) trousers so you don't just have gathered-in badly fitting trousers. Next do several ranges in "slim" "standard" and "plus" fit - kids come in all shapes and sizes. PE Shorts should also have good elastic or functional drawstrings.

Decent quality twill trouser fabric and construction - the Next ones at about £9 are brilliant. I've compared them with other trousers people have given us, (even M&S) which are much cheaper, thinner fabric with flimsy stitching and mean seams.

Actually I think 100% cotton shirts/sweatshirts are overrated as they tend to go stiff and faded (red uniform here) in the wash. I now buy 35%poly 65% cotton Fruit of the Loom ones which stay soft and keep their colour.

Fully Waterproof anoraks - British winters are often both cold AND wet.

Coats and bags in bright colours/with hi-vis bits for walking/cycling to school

Water bottles that don't leak or bags with an external bottle pocket

YY to socks with the size knitted in somehow PLEASE and a naming patch.

Trying on - what you should have is a nice child-friendly themed area with a fitting rooms and a few of every size, every item in the range. Then parents can find what fits their children and order it to be delivered to their home or collected another day. Saves the issue of having to stock the whole range in large quantities. (OK dreaming now!)

manfalou Mon 05-Aug-13 14:40:15

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?

Very important My boy can only wear trousers with adjustable waistbands so its something we have to factor in when looking for clothing. He isn't at school yet but I know its something that my other mummy friends have issues with too.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

My much younger brother has Teflon coated trousers and to be honest they have never made much of a difference to how they wear. If he falls they still tear and boys being boys they always have a mark on them somewhere... plus they're terrible to iron because of the shininess

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?

Prefer skirts without pleats but I can see where permanent pleats could be more beneficial when ironing.


~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?

I would definitely make it available online. Uniform doesn't last an entire year and can sometimes be hard to get hold of later in the year so having it available online is a great idea. I would always want to see the quality of it in a shop first though and have the option to order more online later.

manfalou Mon 05-Aug-13 14:47:55

Ideal School uniform:

For boys: I prefer grey trousers to black, which have a pleat down the front and an adjustable waist. Not based on age but on height instead. Short available for the summer month. Polo neck tshirts that are longer in length to last longer as the child grows. Vneck jumpers as the head hole is bigger and with no logo... they cost a fortune just to have the schools badge on. schools should give the option to provide badges free of charge so parents can put on their own clothes if desired.

For girls: Pinafores with a squared neck, knee length, grey. white polo neck tshirts. grey tights for winter, white frilly ankle socks for summer.

choccyp1g Mon 05-Aug-13 15:05:08

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?
Yes, I like them, it allows for the obvious fact that people are not all shaped in the same proportions.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

I think it helps a bit with washing the dirt off.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts? Not relevant to me, but if I had a girl who had to wear pleats it would be essential.

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?
On line is handy for the rest of the year.

I LOVE the "try-before-you-buy" rail at our big Tescos. (if people haven't seen them, it is a whole rail of every size of shirt and polo shirt with "try-before-you-buy" logos. Means you can try on without opening packs and it is a genius idea.

The one thing that I want most of all in clothes is non-iron. If we could have stain-proof against tomato sauce and mud/grass even better.

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?

Very, anything that means they will last longer is a winner for me.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

Again helpful with regard to stains not setting and coming out easily, not sure about adding to the longevity of the garment.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?
Most important, I hate ironing pleats (with a passion)

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?

Yes, I do most of my shopping online, a good sizing guide on the website is essential.

I'd like to mention the advert linked to above, with the 'mums' bit at the end.
It annoys me no end that in 2013 that mums are portrayed as the ones in sole charge of laundry, you use the term parents in the last question here, so why mums in the advert?

How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform? I tend to look for adjustable waists on all clothes for DD, but I would prefer a range of sizes that cater for the tall and slim (DD) and the short and stocky (DS).

What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not? It's something I look for. I'm more interested in whether the clothing washes well.

How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts? I like this, makes it easier for me.

If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not? I bought DD's uniform online this year and it was easier but it's always a bit of a gamble re: sizes.

TheFutureMrsB Mon 05-Aug-13 15:44:17

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?

For primary school age I think adjustable waistbands are great as they are easier to get on and off, but for secondary school age my son thinks they are simply uncool! hmm.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

My 6yr old gets dirty all the time and I do think the Teflon coated fabrics fare a lot better for him as they wash better, no stains stick to the fabric which in the long term means they last him better.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?

I don't have any girls but I would say that this makes life easier for mums of girls as there's no need to spend an age ironing in the pleats after washing.

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?

I like to go into the store as I find some clothes do fit my children and others do not, I do like online shopping though but I do often have to return trousers due to the fit.

DoItTooJulia Mon 05-Aug-13 15:47:22

I need elasticated waist bands, but struggle to find any.

Tbh, I want quality more than anything else. I hate uniform that looks terrible after a few washes.

Not bothered about Teflon either way.

I have never tried Tesco uniform, so maybe I should!

cornflakegirl Mon 05-Aug-13 16:41:17

Adjustable waistbands are very important.

Not really interested in Teflon coated trousers, as they don't tend to get (noticeably) stained. They get muddy, but that washes out easily. I would like trousers with reinforced knees, as I spend a lot of time mending holes.

I would like some sort of coating for polo shirts and sweatshirts that repels permanent marker pens (wishful thinking).

Online availability is a good plan. I shop online at Tesco, but I don't often go into the store. If I buy Tesco trousers again for DS this year, it will probably online with delivery to store so that I don't have a wasted trip. I do like the idea of a "try before you buy" rail too though - dragging DS shopping would be more appealing if I knew we could try all sizes and styles in one go.

WowOoo Mon 05-Aug-13 18:06:20

Adjustable waistbands are very important for me. Have a very tall son who is very skinny.

I'm not sure that I ever noticed if Teflon helps with longevity or prevents stains.
My sons trousers often have grass stains on them.

Permanent pleats in trousers certainly help.

Online is easier for me. The only problem is that I buy a range of sizes to try and have to return some. So free returns or returns to a branch is essential.

fossil971 Mon 05-Aug-13 18:38:49

Actually my ideal school uniform would be more sustainable: as few as possible items that are school-specific and ideally these to have a removable badge like blazer badges used to be. I send all our clothes to charity/recycling and what future use is there for a "Fossiltown Primary School" T shirt if nobody at Fossiltown wants it - it's just going to be insulation. Whereas plain red ones can just go to several local schools or even abroad.

GetKnitted Mon 05-Aug-13 21:24:09

If you had the chance to design your own school uniform for your DCs what would it look like? What special features would you want? Extra long t-shirts or trousers for your tall children? Wrinkle free clothes to cut down on the ironing? What's the one thing that is missing from current school uniform ranges?

It would be comfortable but not too cool (because they can tell the difference between really cool and trying too hard)
adjustable waistbands!! adjustable waistbands!! adjustable waistbands!!

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?
I already wrote adjustable waistbands in my ideal uniform! My ds is slender and the clothes available in some shops seem to be geared for the larger children (no offence meant, I'm not so slender). We've some trousers that are 10cm too short but fall off at the hips.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?

Not sure about Teflon or not, I suppose it stops people burning the trousers by accident. Super duper hems would be better the hems (round the cuffs and ankles) are always first to go.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?

Sorry, no girls smile

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?

Personally, I like to feel the material, so I wouldn't buy online in september, maybe in easter after a sudden growth spurt?

sharond101 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:41:15

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform? Definitely to fit my growing but lanky boy. Girls skirts need them too but may be made prettier by disguising it with a band or belt?

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not? I like teflon and find stains don't persist as much but sometimes it gives the fabric a funny artificial feel which I do not like.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts? Very helpful, a crease in boys trousers too please.

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not? Yes make it online although I do like to try things on more than shop online.

i HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE Teflon with a passion!!!

ok, some people want it on their clothes, but other people really, really don't... it'd be quite nice if we had a choice!

I am not bothered about adjustable waistbands at all

If I was designing my ideal uniform I would have a good range in 100% cotton, or wool/cotton mix for trousers. I would make sure these were available in navy, not just grey and black

oh and can I also mention, trousers should come with some extra fabric like they always used to, for patching knees! or reinforced knees to start with! I would like that very much

stopandgo Mon 05-Aug-13 23:06:30

At the moment I mostly buy uniform from Next because they have adjustable waists, have slim fit sizes, I can order more sizes to try and return those that don't fit before I have to pay and they are reasonably priced.

I have bought tesco and asda previously but with two ds who don't like shopping as well as dd, home delivery for the bulk of uniform makes life easier and happier...

That said, it is still very hard to get clothes to fit dd who is tall and slim. Skirts have always been far too short if they fit at the waist as there is not enough increase in length as the sizes go up. She is now aged twelve and 160cm tall so the clothes are expecting curves where she doesn't have any yet! She is not really thin, just slim and many of her friends have the same problem. I think sizing needs sorted out and at the very least there is a demand for different trouser leg and skirt lengths, this would be at the very top of my ideal uniform list.

~ How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?
Essential, dd and ds2 and tall and slim so trousers and skirts simply do not stay up without them.

~ What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?
I think it does help with trousers, if faced with two similar items I would pick with Teflon in the hope they last longer.

~ How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?
After one year buying pleats that weren't permanent, absolutely absolutely and definitely, and I would buy wider pleats only now, just in case ironing is needed!

~ If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?
Yes to online as we live quite far from department stores and the nearest supermarket is more accessible but it is still easier to order online especially for other sizes that haven't been in store.

If you had the chance to design your own school uniform for your DCs what would it look like? What special features would you want? Extra long t-shirts or trousers for your tall children? Wrinkle free clothes to cut down on the ironing? What's the one thing that is missing from current school uniform ranges?
I'd just want it to be comfortable and long lasting. I'd like the polo shirts and tights to not shrink.

How important are adjustable waistbands to you? Would they factor into your ideal school uniform?
Very, very important. The only school trousers and skirts that fit both my dc have adjustable waists. Dd1 generally prefers to wear a dress. I think this is because there's no bulk around her waist. She will wear a skirt too though. Dd2 likes trousers so we need adjustable waists for her.

What do you think of Teflon coated fabrics? Do you think it is an effective way of minimising stains on school uniforms or not? Do you think it helps improves the longevity of the clothing or not?
I'm not sure it makes any difference tbh. I can feel there's a difference in the fabric but I tend to think it just makes them feel a bit stiff. I find my children outgrow things (height-wise usually) before they get damaged so it doesn't really help the longevity. I've used DD1's old stuff for DD2 and it's still going strong, I'm not sure any of them are teflon coated.

How helpful, if at all, is having permanent pleats in skirts?
It's helpful as long as the length is right. It's a bit of a pain if you want to adjust the length. Dd2 is quite short for her age so I could usually do with adjusting them. That said it does reduce the need to be really fussy with the ironing.

If you could manufacture your ideal school uniform range would you make it available to parents online or not? Do you think that this makes parents' life easier or not?
Yes, absolutely. I'd make it available online. However, it would have to be easy (and free!) to send stuff back and delivery would have to be in a reasonable time frame. IMO it would be necessary to ensure consistent sizing between items across the range (e.g. a 5yrs in a skirt has the same waist as a 5yrs in trousers) so that if I could be confident in ordering more uniform at a later date.

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