Please note: This topic is for discussions paid for by Mumsnet clients. If you'd like to have your own paid for discussion thread, please feel free to mail us at insight@mumsnet.com. If you are a start-up or student and you want to request feedback from MNers, please post in Media Requests topic.

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

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.

Firstly, it has to fit. Dd1 is very skinny and this year dd2 starts in the nursery so will also be getting uniform, she's also skinny and short. I generally look for skirts/trousers with adjustable waists and pinafore dresses that aren't too long. For items like t-shirts and sweatshirts I like them to wash well and keep their shape after washing. I think my basic philosophy is value for money with the exception of skirts/trousers/dresses where the options that fit are very limited.

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?

Exclusively in store, though I would possibly buy online if my local store was out of stock of the sizes I needed. I like to feel the quality before I buy. Also dd's uniform is blue and the shades vary a lot between different shops so I like to see it before 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?

We buy most from Sainsburys as we buy a lot of childrenswear from there and it seems to wash well and fit nicely. We've had a few bits from M&S and they've lasted well too. Dd1 has a cardigan from M&S that she loves because it's softer than the school logo'd ones from the uniform shop. I've not seen that particular one around this year though sad - I'd definitely have bought more of them. I'm a bit disappointed with the pinafores from M&S this year - we have one for dd2 and it's a little tight (despite her not yet being 3 and skinny) but also v long.

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 fit. More items with adjustable waists. Clothing that feels softer. I wouold like a small catalogue that I could bring home with me to look through.

1.Value for money is very important but this isn't just down to purchase price alone. The cheapest isn't always the best value, the quality needs to be there too. Fit is also important to me. Ds is 6 and currently in year 1. He is tall and skinny and some of his current age 8 trousers are looking short. This is going to mean putting a skinny 6 year old in age 9 trousers. I need them to be adjustable and not too wide to start with or he ends up with a baggy bottom!

2. I'm happy to buy online but only if I have had a chance to examine the shape and quality first hand in store prior to ordering. I also will only order if can get free delivery.

3. Most of the uniform I have bought with the exception of jumpers has been from M and S. I have bought polo shirts from Tesco but wasn't happy with the quality. I found they wenr out of shape. I would like to see sweatshirts available as there has never been suitable royal blue ones to match the uniform I need.
4. Sweatshirts as mentioned above. I am happy with trousers at M and S but this year I am going to have to look elsewhere for polo shirts. Despite buying sizes above ds's age I find that if the width fitting is right then the length is one the short side for my tall thin ds. I wish something could be done to address the fact that tall children aren't always bigger everywhere. You seem to be tackling in with trousers in longer lengths so could you not have longer tops too? Ds has a long body as well as long legs and if the length is right he can end up looking like he is wearing a tent!

I'm afraid I shall probably defect to next for polo's this year.

iseenodust Wed 20-Jun-12 10:52:59

I tend to be loyal to M&S polo shirts. They last longer and are better quality than the supermarket ones. They are also reasonably priced.

I recently bought the 2 pair of shorts pack which fit DS fine (he's nearly 8 so I bought age 9) and I thought they were a good price. However having washed them I realised when hanging them out that the material is so thin I could see through it. I'm now thinking they're unlikely to have a long life.

Generally I buy school trousers from M&S or Sainsburys. I'm looking for price, fit and quality.

I appreciate there may not be much money to be made on it but I really want someone to make plimsolls in more than one width. DS has a broad foot and his toes are squished even in the ones with a velcro band fastening.

I have bought online in the past and that works well if I'm in. I saw recently the uniforms booklet in our M&S Simply foodstore and that you can order into there for collection. This is a great idea and I shall probably use it.

PropositionJoe Wed 20-Jun-12 11:02:39

I have always bought from M and S. The more expensive Teflon coated trousers last very well and I need the longer length ones as my kids are skinny and clothes sizes these days seem to allow for chunkier children than in the past. I buy the all cotton white long sleeved shirts, few other places seem to do all cotton. I use the little catalogue to see what I need and order online for store collection (which is free), returning anything that doesn't fit. I always get the 20% off offer in June, in fact I collected two pairs of trousers yesterday. I think the polo shirts are good too, and good value.

mistlethrush Wed 20-Jun-12 11:03:07

1. Quality (wear) and practicality are both important - don't want to buy something and have it wear out quickly.

2. Only in-store (although have looked on-line).

3. I like M&S non-iron shirts (although have to buy several years ahead). I like Sainsbury's trousers and shorts - and they have the 'regulation' charcoal colour that is required. Biggest problem with shirts is availability of the appropriate size - have found that following year's uniform is not necessarily available in July or August in-store or on-line or to order (only talking non-iron shirts, so don't think its too much to expect?)

4. Charcoal trousers - and have a decent range of shirts in when its peak school uniform buying times please! Plimsols are also problematic - as iseenodust says, with a dc with wide feet getting an approximate fit that doesn't squeeze the toes or flap at the front is difficult.

Mintyy Wed 20-Jun-12 11:03:49

I buy most of my children's school uniform at M & S.

It is because I think the quality is good and the price is fair.

I tend to ignore the extremely low priced options though (outstanding value range?).

I like the polo shirts but find that BHS ones tend to shrink less.

My 11 year old daughter likes the treggings.

I would like to see M & S do some trendier boys trousers, perhaps made out of cotton rather than the ubiquitous teflon-coated stuff.

My biggest bugbear is the stock and display. So many times I will go and find M&S have, say, ten x a particular skirt in age 4-5 and 10-11 but none in any other sizes!

I also wish they could be displayed in smaller age groupings. So one area for all 3 to 7s (for example). Another for 8 to 11s. And another for 12+. It is SO tedious to have to search through racks and racks (which are always crammed full) to find the right size.

nickiminja Wed 20-Jun-12 11:09:14

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?
quality of fabric, price and fit - sdjustable waists, longer length polos as they always shrink up

~2 In store now - after buying dreadful quality M&S stuff online I will only buyin store now

~ 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?
Sainsbury & Asda. Last year I bought 2 pairs of M&S school trousers. The fabric was appalling, like sacking. The weave was so loose the seams came apart in days and ds came home with his trousers in shreds. The fabric of the polo shirts was nasty too. Sainbury's far better quality for shirts and Asda for trousers imo.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range?
See above. Shocking fabric

tumbleweedblowing Wed 20-Jun-12 11:23:26

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? The right colour first (need navy, and there isn't much choice) Quality second. Even similarly priced uniform from e.g. John Lewis is of relatively poor quality in our experience. It needs to stay smart looking, not just stay in one piece. I usually have to buy online, because our nearest M&S is too small to stock more than a very limited range, rarely in the right colours, even at the moment, so a range of styles in-store to compare with is good. A choice of styles is important for us, because three girls in the family all want to establish some point of difference, even if that is only having different buttons on their cardigan.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? A mixture, but the bulk usually online. I really do like to be able to see some items instore, for sizing, and to check quality. Then place a massive bulk order now (a couple of days ago actually) and top up through the year as necessary.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? Marks & Spencer, occasionally Sainsbury's or Next, since they often seem to have the right colours if M&S are out of stock - which happened for months on end this year. If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Great, but would have liked more choice. Not everyone has the black/white uniform option. Did the item(s) last well or not? Always, though cotton cardigans do fade.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Recognise that not all girls want to wear bottom skimming skirts - especially not 7/8/9/10 year olds angry and sad. More shirts/polo shirts in blue, available all year round (very important). Increase range online at least for those of us who live in the middle of nowhere, but are M&S loyal. Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range? Navy city shorts for girls, blue "pretty" shirts, broader range of cardigans.

Mainly, please try not to be out of stock of school shirts for months on end. I do buy in reasonable bulk, but was caught out after a series of paint/scissor/playground fall incidents, and had to buy cheap nasty stuff elsewhere in the end.

toobreathless Thu 21-Jun-12 00:45:46

I mainly buy for my niece to help my sister out who is disabled.
It has to fit correctly. DN is skinny and clothes are often to baggy around the waist & too short in the leg. The cost is important too as is quality. Colour not a huge issue as trousers tops need to be black which is stocked

Tend to buy bottoms in store as need to check fit & I find returning items an hassle. Tops almost always fit & I buy online.

Mainly buy from sainsburys & generally pleased with their items. Also convenient as I'm in there doing weekly shop. No items from M&S.

Had a quick look at school wear catalogue for M&S and think it looks good. Woukd appreciate a catalogue to take home and browse. Woukd be nice to see more styles of cardigan.

SkipTheLightFanjango Thu 21-Jun-12 01:02:07

~ 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 always look for price when it comes to the polo shirts/shirts. They get through these so quickly it makes no sense to spend on expensive items. A nice fit for trousers, skirts and dresses is more important, though. Trousers are the worst, adjustable waistbands are a must! It is nice to have some shape to the pinafore dresses, shapeless ones look cheap even when they are not.
~ 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 buy a mixture of online and shop bought. Trousers tend to have to be bought instore as the fit is so varied style by style.
~ 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 M&S, BHS and cheaper stores, eg Matalan. The polo shirts from M&S lasted better, less "bobbling" and the colour stayed truer, but it can be hard to find colours instore as my local store seems to be stocking mainly white these days sad. Ordering instore tryed once but took ages to arrive and the store forgot to, as promised, call when they had arrived!
~ 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?
It would be really good to have a better range instore. As I said white polo's seem to be the only ones realiably available and it puts me off ordering as it's a faff I don't need, tend to go elsewhere. Larger sizes of school shorts would be nice, my eldest was big and no-where stocked boys school shorts above age 11, I know that there is not a great call for the bigger ones but it would have been nice to be able to somewhere, and we were not the only ones who struggled with this.

AnnaMosity Thu 21-Jun-12 01:05:56

I never buy your boys trousers as they don't fit skinny boys.
I got to next.
I can't believe the vast range in sizes of polo shirts. I have some from a couple of years ago that are two inches wider abd longer as the Dane age now. Are you getting skimpy?

Also. Why so hard to get school boys sweaters in spring ?! Had to prefer online were our of stock ..wait Etc

chrisrobin Thu 21-Jun-12 12:19:05

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Price is important but so is quality. I like to buy heavier weight trousers and shirts that will last the boys tearing round the playground. Non iron is also important, when they come home after PE and I get their uniform out of their bags I don't want to have to spend the evening ironing the trousers. Being able to try on the uniform is a bit plus when shopping, lots of places seem to sell shirts in packets but I want to be able to check they fit my boys properly before I buy them.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? As I like the boys to try the clothes on I buy them instore only. There is a huge variation in sizes between shops and sometimes whithin different ranges in shops. The boys wear their uniform every day of the week so it is important that if fits correctly, collars don't rub, there is enough shirt to tuck into trousers 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? The school insists we buy a lot of the uniform from them but shirts, trouser, shorts, socks I buy from M&S mostly. The shirts have lasted really well and I find them fairly easy to get stains out of. I love the cuff button being on elastic, that makes things much easier for the boys when they get changed. The trousers are good, although they do need more ironing than I expected. There is a decent amount of adjustability in the waist but slightly too much material in the seat. The shorts are poor, the material is very thin and the hem came down after only a few wears. The socks are great, they have not shrunk despite being washed and tumble dried weekly for a year nor have they developed holes. I love the space for a name in the yolk and the fact that they are size labelled so I don't have to try and measure each sock to find a partner and get them in the correct child's drawer.

~ 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? Have some shirts out to try on, we went to a huge M&S last August for the boys clothes and had to ask an assistant to take shirts out of packets so we could try them on. Packs of plain white cotton ankle socks for boys (not sports socks), when we tried to get some last year all the ankle socks had bows or frills on them. I don't think schoolwear catalogues are necessary for us as we have to buy jumpers/ sports kit from the school, but I can see that given the range available they would be useful for people who have options.

Frontpaw Thu 21-Jun-12 12:35:02

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?
* Fit - small children do not have waists! Adjustable elastic waists are a god-send and stop poor DS having to hold his shorts up or tuck his jumper into his shorts. Belt loops are good.
* Style - we need to fit in with the school uniform (are supposed to get the baiscs from a named store which is twice the price). The style is plain.
* Packs of shirts are excellent value - I can get a pack of 3 for the price of one from our school 'named' shop.
* Nice to have the regular 10-20% off schoolwear (and thermal/underwear) sales. This is good to stock up/
* You never have the shirt sizes I need when I go instore. Often it is rows of tiny shirts and ones for 15 year olds only, and nothing in the stock rooms. This is why I order online and pick up from my nearest store (this works perfectly)

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two?
* I tend to buy the bulk online before term starts (and pick up instore), and pick up bits and pieces instore. This is because my closest store no longer stocks kids clothes and I have trouble getting what I need instore (Marble Arch and Ken High St).
* I wouldn't buy (kids) shoes online, but don't buy kids school shoes from M&S.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why?
* M&S, John Lewis. Both pretty good. I buy the bulk before the start of term and stock up, depending where I happen to be shopping. Have bought last batch from M&S at beginning of this term. All shirts now trashed (stained with paint) and supposedly non-iron (ha, no they are not). Shorts still in good nick.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range?
* Not happy to get the shirts home to find that the top button is a fake and the shirt closes with velcro (loathesome stuff). He is 7 not 3, so able to button a shirt. This wasn't stated on the website or even on the package.
* There is a catalogue already? I dont use it because I just need to match the unifrom with what the school prescribes, so not much leaway.
* Stainproof? The non-iron ones do need ironing (London water!) but the supposedly 'washable' paint from school just doesn't wash out.

ScorpionQueen Thu 21-Jun-12 12:44:31

~ 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 am tied (illegally or not) to a small independent shop for the majority of my DD's uniforms, although they attend a state school. The bits I can get elsewhere such as skirts, trousers, PE shorts etc. I shop around for, looking for a combination of factors- style, price and quality.

~ 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?
As above, although I begrudge paying for delivery but live so far from shops collect in store is a faff, and there is nothing worse than driving miles to find no stock.

~ 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 summer dresses from M&S as they were the nicest cotton I could find. The older they get, the fussier they get so the girls often get cheaper stuff from Matalan as it is trendier.

~ 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 school wear catalogue would be great. Navy shorts are always hard to find.

ripsishere Thu 21-Jun-12 12:53:49

~ 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.
For me, the most important factor is size. My DD is average height but under average girth. The skirts that fit her in length could often double as hulahoops.
Quality is important. She will be wearing whatever I buy her for the next five months before the summer uniform takes over.

~ 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 seldom buy online. We are lucky to have one of the biggest M+Ss in our town so I don't need to. Also, she is really fussy about the feel of clothes so instore is our only real 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 buy from wherever fits her best. Last winter it was Asda and Debenham. Her summer uniform is a mixture of yours, Debenham and Sainsbury.

~ 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 a catalogue that I could pick up in store. I am not sure what her uniform for next year will be so can't start buying or even looking at what is available.

ksld Thu 21-Jun-12 13:03:42

~ 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 quality come first - I tend to buy more expensive uniform for the beginning of the school year and then if something gets trashed in school I will buy cheaper to replace. Have a skinny DS so need adjustable waists. Style is not a consideration - it's school uniform - it looks how it looks.

~ 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?

Always buy on line from M&S as my nearest store is 30 minutes drive away. Would prefer to buy in store if there was a store in one of the 2 towns nearest to me. On line shopping is fine though. The free delivery and offers in June are the main factor in when I buy my school uniform, I would probably buy elsewhere if there was not free delivery.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why?

Usually begin with a set of uniform from M&S and then resort to Sainsburys to top up when things get trashed/lost/grown out of. As before don't get in store to M&S often so easier to buy in Sainsburys when I'm shopping there already.

If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not?

Polo shirts shrink so need to size up - I am happy to do this and actually the most irritating thing would be if this changed and I bought lots of polo shirts on line in the wrong size.

Trousers - this year DS managed to go through the knee on 3 pairs of trousers - no idea if this was him changing behaviour or the quality of the material. A few years ago trousers came with spare material to patch them - this doesn't seem to happen now?

~ 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 - no not really interested as can see what there is available when I look online.
Like M&S schoolwear as it is - don't keep chopping and changing as I like to know what I am ordering because I've had it before. 3 shirt packs were better than 2 as better value, I know prices have to rise but you could just make the 3 shirts more expensive not remove 1.
Could do with something to patch knee holes.

monkeymoma Thu 21-Jun-12 13:09:18

the only thing I would add is I would like if there were discrete reflective stripes on school trousers for walking home from school on dark winter days

homebythesea Thu 21-Jun-12 13:09:24

Please do not stock school uniform in June- we want it there in August after summer growth spurts. I always buy online as it is next to impossible to get the sizes you want in store thus a wasted journey especially for teen sizes. But even then stock availability often bad - especially mid year (again teen growth spurts!)

Please do more slim leg styles in boys trousers which appeal more to the teen audience than the "flappy" legged trousers. And do more waist/ length combinations please.

SuePBlovesaDiamondJubilee Thu 21-Jun-12 13:10:52

~ 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 is a factor but I go with style - I don't like the naffo zips and heart shaped diamond appliques and all. I think about fabric, washability etc. I often buy from supermarkets for convenience.

~ 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 from M&S in store, not online. I like their collect in store service but live rurally - I tend to make a special trip in.

~ 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?
Sainsburys, M&S, Asda, Tesco. I bought summer dresses from M&S and they are far better than the supermarket ones - since outgrown and passed down as new. An offer would help me choose M&S or something to persuade me online as I'm so far from an M&S 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?

Maybe offer more bundles or linked saving offers? I'd like a catalogue.

Stinkyfeet Thu 21-Jun-12 13:17:04

I have always bought uniform from BHS - fits well and lasts well.

Last summer I bought it all from M & S for the first time - shirts and socks were fine, but very disappointed by the trousers - hems all came undone.

So it's back to BHS from now on for me

IsabelleRinging Thu 21-Jun-12 13:17:41

100% cotton shirts/blouses please!!!!!! I have never been able to buy one yet for my dd!

I have to go to Next to get trousers for my boys as M&S are too wide - why oh why can't anyone make clothes for skinnier kids. Plus fit for kids but no skinny kid fit! smile

I would like to still buy uniform in the middle of August!

I usually look for quality, fit and longevity when buying school uniform. M&S pretty much serves this purpose. However, we are the 'fortunate' few who buy their named/embroidered school jumpers through the shops. All I can say is that they are really of a piss poor quality (my limited understanding of material is that if tops are going to last they need a fair deal of polyester to keep tneir shape, form and be tumbledrier proof). Coming up with the measly mouthed excuse that there are few returns and so consensus must be that they are of an adequate quality, detracts from the fact that being a SOLE supplier, means that parents face the prospect of either not meeting uniform requirements or having to make do with bad quality. Charging the parents an additional £3.50/ delivery with no option to collect from school or store, makes me angry (why charge parents for your decision to store your school wear abroad?)

There is never the sizing I need in store, so most shopping requires internet access and a trip to store (with a long queue) to pick up. I do usually use the supermarkets (Sainsburys) as the quality is similar and it is convenient.

Dolallytats Thu 21-Jun-12 13:33:44

~ 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.
Quality and fit are important as my son likes to play 'rough and tumble' and i don't want to have tot buy replacements every 5mins. Fit is also important because he is a skinny little thing and we have a hard time finding trousers with a small enough waistband, while also being long enough in the leg.

~ 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 exclusively online so good value delivery charges are important. It can be frustrating when the item you need/want is out of stock.

~ 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 son is starting Reception in Sept so this is the first time I will be buying uniform for him. We have looked at M&S and the supermarket clothing ranges to get an idea of what is available. We were looking at M&S because I buy clothes there regularly and, although they are a little more expensive than the supermarket ranges, they seem to be good quality.

~ 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 schoolwear catalogue would be a great idea!

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

putthehamsterbackinitscage Thu 21-Jun-12 13:52:07

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?

putthehamsterbackinitscage Thu 21-Jun-12 13:58:41

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.

Hanleyhigh Thu 21-Jun-12 17:10:30

1. Fit (ds is skinny and needs an adjustable waist), dd looks at the style (she has the M&S trousers with the flowers/butterfly on each year though!) and quality - I know the M&S ones will last all year. I don't mind paying a bit more for something that will last.

2. end to do it online and try on at home, return the stuff that doesn't fit. Delivery is important and M&S are bad for that - last week I wanted something, amazon could deliver next day and it would be six days for M&S to deliver and that was to a store!

3. I have always bought M&S with the odd item from John Lewis or Next (purely due to Next being able to offer far better delivery terms). DD has had M&S uniform for six years, ds for four, I buy trousers, polo shirts and PE kit. I have only had one problem, ds's trouser seams undoing at the bottom but this tends to happen as he grows so I usually just leave it blush grin. Apart from that it lasts brilliantly all year.

4. More shorts for girls, skinny trousers in grey for junior girls please! Apart from that it's fine. I don't need a catalogue. Better stock (M&S terrible for being out of stock on the website) and BETTER DELIVERY please!!!

Princesslovelyboo Thu 21-Jun-12 17:20:31

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.

Making sure it is within the School uniform policy, then the fit and growing room too. The price should be reasonable for the quality of goods (really cheap needs replacing often) we tend to go for mid priced items.

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 have done it only in store as I can get DS to try it on and I do not have the hassel of sending things back if they are wrong, we can go home at the end of the shopping trip knowing it is done and dusted!

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 get the junpers from M&S, they are the V neck knitted as DSs school stipulate V neck and the M&S ones are the best value ones we have found, and they do last him nearly a whole school year. Shirts I will get from Tesco as they do good value multipack ones. Triusers I get from either M&S or BHS as both stores have good fitting ones it really depends who has his size on the day we are shopping, same with his PE kit

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 catalogue would be lovely so I could order what we needed and collect in store, he could try it on before we leave! I have not found a schoolwear retailer who does a good range in PE kits, DSs school say plain black jogging botoms and shorts, white t shirt, most retailers have branded/striped pe kit no use to us sad I think trousers in geneal are an issue at a certain age, DS is a standard (not fat/thin) age 14 but has short legs, we really struggle to get trousers to fit properly and plain black school shoes that are comfortable, within the uniform code and still trendy enough for DS to want to wear them are practically impossible to track down. The M&S jumpers should NEVER change they are fab!

In general, a shopping trip for school uniform can be a nightmare as ther are always 1000 stressed mums all digging for the same stuff, I have actually been elbowed and stood on by mothers trying to get to the rails before me to have a look even though we were looking for different sizes.

BornToFolk Thu 21-Jun-12 17:28:10

My DS is starting Reception in Sept so this is my first time buying uniform!

~ 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, style, fit in that order. By style, I mean things like do trouser have adjustable waists or that shirts have stain repelling qualities!

~ 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, only in store as I wanted to have a good look at the quality and size of things before buying. If I like what I've bought I may well buy the next size up online to take advantage of special offers or using Quidco.

I'll have to go instore to buy shoes and trainers as DS has wide feet which can be hard 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?

So far, I've only bought from M&S! I was tempted by the 20% off offer and bought polo shirts, trousers, socks, PE t-shirts and PE shorts. I think the quality seems fine and they are a good fit on DS. I plan to buy more polo shirts and trousers from supermarkets (ie. cheaper ones!) and see how they stand up. Cheap and plentiful is my plan of action...

~ 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'd like to see royal blue PE shorts! They seem impossible to buy anywear (so DS has navy ones instead...blush) Also, if you did a wide fit plimsoll for the price of the standard ones, I would love you forever! I'm probably going to end up spending a small fortune on trainers for DS that he'll wear for half an hour a week for a term.....

JustFabulous Thu 21-Jun-12 17:29:06

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.

When my children were at their last school I started off by buying everything except shoes from M & S as I see M & S as a really good quality store. Unfortunately I got a bad batch of jumpers so went elsewhere for those and then for trousers too, and shirts...

~ 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?

Now my children are at an independant school and we have to use the only supplier so don't have any choice of where we buy any of it other than socks. When shopping at M & S I mostly bought in store but did order a few bits on line when the shop didn't have them in stock. I much prefer to go to stores though.

~ 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 still mostly buy their socks from M & S as I like that they have the sizes inside which is useful as I have 2 boys in same colour socks but different sizes. On the whole everything lasted fine except the jumpers as mentioned before.

~ 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?

Not relevant for me but previously it would bug me that uniform wasn't available for more than July- October in a larger range. Wouldn't have been interested in a catalogue.

NeatFreak Thu 21-Jun-12 17:29:35

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.
Mainly price but also quality and likelihood of it lasting well

~ 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?
for one child I shop online as she is 'average' sized for everything. For the other, we do a combination of instore and online. delivery is important- it should be reliable, be able to de delivered to addresses other than that registered to the debit/ creidt card used and low delivery price

~ 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?
Mainly M and S, some from the school shop and odd bits from Sainsburys

~ 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?
Consideration of unusual sizes, i.e. adjustable waists on everything

yousankmybattleship Thu 21-Jun-12 17:31:23

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 depends on the item. With something like trousers, knitware or dresses definitely fit and quality of fabric. With things like polo shirts I tend to go for value as I have to buy so many 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 always order online at M&S and collect from my local store as I find stock is always very limited in store. I wouldn't ever pay the delivery charge as I think they are too high.

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 a mix of M&S and Tesco. I love the M&S school dresses.

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'd love to see a bit more choice with things like cardigans where there is potential for something slightly more interesting. I'd pay quite a bit of money for a really pretty, soft cardigan in school colours. I'd also like to see more choice in things like soft shorts and jogging bottoms for PE. I'd like to see a good range of summer hats. All children have to have them in school now, but there is often little choice. I don't really want bright pink for my daughter - something a bit more tasteful would be great!

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, but good quality for the price - I don't always but the cheapest. Fit is important but stylenot so much as for boys trousers tend to be much of a muchness!

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 go online for logoed stuff, inline or store for other stuff. Online if I know what size DS will need.

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 never bought M&S schoolwear before until last year because they has 20% off. Ordered online.

Sorry to say M&S the school trousers were totally unacceptable - one pair fell apart at the seams in a week and another pair after 3 weeks. I exchanged - which btw if you'd like to know the CS I received at the Fareham store was worse than the trousers, and the new pairs which I waited a week for also fell apart. They were the value packs of 2 - and not at all good value or even fit for purpose.

The school polos have been fine.

I have bought supermarket own before - do not like they're polos as they shrink, go out of shape and don't wash well. Trousers are fine.

Sorry to say I will not be buying M&S again. I think I'll try Next this year on recommendation.

* 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, better quality uniform and an easier more willing exchange service - eg delivery of new goods instead of customer having to travel into town 3 times when they ordered online. Online range is easy to use and see, I was very impressed with it.

OhNoMyFanjo Thu 21-Jun-12 17:45:37

I'm going to be watching this closly, dd starts school in aept and everywhere does uniforms now so it's hard to know where to buy what.

Funds are tight but dd is quite tall so fit is going to be so important as well. I just hope I don't get it wrong. I'm going to be going for a name I trust but will be taking stuff back if it doesn't live up to expectations.

eatyourveg Thu 21-Jun-12 18:02:22

~ 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 - adjustable waists are paramount as on ds is very skinny, the other very chunky and I want to be able to pass the uniform down, quality obviously and the non iron option is brill

~ 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? all 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? M&S or supermarket if its during term time and it doesn't have to last all 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 to go a long way to get the green jumpers in secondary sizes, I wish the shops kept at least some stock of colours of local schools, don;t buy jumpers online as I like to be able to feel the thickness and see how elasticky the cuffs and waist are

FartBlossom Thu 21-Jun-12 18:08:11

When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?
Price first then quality. I wouldn't buy anything that was of poor quality no matter how cheap it was, but at the same time I dont care how good it is, Im not paying over the odds for them. They either grow out of or ruin them so quick they are often bought throughout the school year.

Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two?
Always in store, I never buy clothes online school uniform or otherwise.

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?
Mainly Asda or Tesco. That is because I go to both these for my weekly shop so when new uniform is needed I have a quick look along with buying food. I have bought M&S uniform in the past, but that was at a time when it wasn't the right time of year to be buying uniform (ie not August) and I had difficulities getting the right size and colour for DS. I would buy again from M&S I just dont often think about it.

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 a wide range all year round, not just in August, maybe it already happens online I haven't looked. Also both my school age DC's have long legs so I would like more adjustable waists in higher age children (thats not just for uniform, but in general). Would be nice to see gym kit too like shorts/tracky bottoms (with proper ties that work and not just for show) and sports tops.

smokinaces Thu 21-Jun-12 18:20:44

~ 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, fit, quality. They need to be long leg with adjustable waist trousers with reinforced knees and I buy to last. They need to be tumble dryable and easy to get stains out but cheap!!

~ 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 mostly, as I take advantage of any offers and then don't pay postage. I can also measure against son without having to return items. I can also check the little details andquality of material 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?
*marks and spencers mostly. I am disappointed in the trousers this year as he knees don't seem as strong and I have had to patch items. Polos have held up well though. I have tried Asda and been disappointed. I borrowed a pair of next trousers though and really liked them so might look into their school range this year. Marks and spencers fit is good, but I admit this year the quality hasn't been as good as last academic year and so I will be looking around.

~ 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?
*reinforced knees for little boys!!!!

pamplemousse Thu 21-Jun-12 18:21:38

~ 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 price is important as you seem to need so many things all at once. I prefer that things are made of cotton that go next to the skin, like poplo tops and dresses, so thats something I look for. The fit also needs to be adjustable (eg waists) as my dd is tall and skinny for her age.

~ 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 mix of the two, I do the September big shop online and then pick up extra things throughout the year. I shop online if there's a good offer or free delivery or some such offer.

~ 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 M&S, Tesco, Matalan and Asda. I chose M&S for my big uniform shop as they had everything I wanted and do a label free range for my sensitive skinned child. There was also 25% off and free p&p. The polo shirts lasted brilliantly, stain free and non twisted for the whole year. The trousers were not bad, the fit wasn't that good despite having an adjustable waist and they have bobbled a bit. A cotton cardigan also did fairly well, the colour has faded very slightly, its still soft and thick and comfy though. I buy from supermarkets as its cheaper and I go there anyway. I also didn't want to pay postage or go and collect just one item. I went to Matalan as they had the right colour dresses (purple hmm)

~ 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 purple checked cotton dress please! An online catalogue would be good, I don't think I'd bother collecting a paper one when you can look online anyway.

JulesJules Thu 21-Jun-12 18:38:31

~ 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.

Depends. Price is important, but I also want good quality. Style has become more important as my 10yo has started at Middle School where they are fussy about the style - no straight leg trousers (so the lovely straight leg trousers I had bought from M&S were not acceptable) no tube skirts (so the lovely tube skirt from M&S... etc) Sizewise I just get the right age and they are usually fine. I loathe ironing so non iron clothes would be a bonus for me. I recently got the sports skirt which she loves, and the school have also banned cycle shorts for sport...

~ 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 mix of the two. I would only ever buy shoes in person, but I'm quite happy to buy other items of clothing online. I do think delivery charges are high, but about the same as busfares, so I would buy instore if I was going into town for other things as well.

~ 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?

Usually M&S when there is an offer on. I'm very happy with it, except for the restrictions in style which is the school being unreasonably fussy in my view. Love the new sports skirt as I mentioned above, also like the soft tights, but I always go up a size for those. I also buy from a supermarket which is in walking distance for convenience. Have to get branded polos and sports stuff from the school. Sometimes John Lewis.

~ 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 like the summer dresses, but they are a bit see through. I'd like more plain plimsolls/trainers for sport. Hate all the girly trainers with pink shiny bits on - and in any case the school won't allow them... Sunhats in plain school type colours would be great. My kids love these from Seasalt but they only do them in black and red. Good quality sturdy backpacks. I would appreciate online/instore catalogues.

narniasnarnia Thu 21-Jun-12 18:47:48

Firstly I have bought a lot of M and S school uniform over the past 4 years. I still buy polo shirts and girls blouses, summer dresses and cotton cardigans - I'm pleased with the quality, styles and happy to pay more than supermarket prices becaseu of this.

However, I have stopped buying M and S school trousers I'm afraid. Having bought them 2 years ago, they were such bad quality (and this was not the economy range ones), the fabric went sort of fluffy and white esp around the knees. Was v disappointed. I've also found that the fabric of the grey school dresses is not the quality I would expect for the price. I've therefore started to buy Sainsburys trousers and dresses as the price is better and the quality better!

Piffpaffpoff Thu 21-Jun-12 18:47:50

Factors - price, quality, style in that order. DS has just finished P1 so this may change as he gets a bit older and wants a bit more input into what he's wearing.

I buy in store - I like to see what I'm buying, feel the quality, check the length etc. The only thing I might consider buying online would be if I was looking for a particular color of jumper that was not available in store.

I buy from M&S, tesco and Asda. The M&S trousers have lasted well all year, but with some fading at the knee.

I'm happy with the M&S range at the moment, it's got everything we need.

narniasnarnia Thu 21-Jun-12 18:53:19

One more thing...... (that would make me shop more often at M and S)....it drives me up the wall when there is not enough stock in the shop and so when I find the item I want it is not availble in my child's size, and whilst I can understand that just before schools go back you may sell out of things but this seems to be a continual problem with school uniform and also particulalry with girls socks and tights. (This is at a very large store I might add).

Quip Thu 21-Jun-12 18:53:50

~ 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.

Quality, Fit, Style, Price in that order. I don't really care if I'm paying a few pounds more if I know it will last for several years (being handed down between children). I do avoid certain styles though - however high quality the cargo-style shorts are, I wouldn't opt for them as I prefer the traditional cut.

~ 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'm not bothered about instore or online - I've done a mix in the past. Free delivery is a big factor though - if I have to pay for delivery it's a factor that would have me looking at a different website.

~ 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?
Trousers , jogging bottoms, socks, PE shoes M&S
Polo Shirts - trutex (not M&S as I looked at the reviews on the website and looked on mn for advice, and M&S polo shirts came out very badly. The Trutex ones we've got have lasted two years so far and still look excellent, so the higher price was well worth it)
Shorts - John Lewis (not M&S as I didn't like any of the styles, and they seemed to be designed for fatter children.)
other stuff from school.
PE shorts - John Lewis (as M&S don't stock our colour)

~ 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 quality polo shirts. I wouldn't be bothered if there was a schoolwear catalogue.

Mspontipine Thu 21-Jun-12 18:54:11

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.

I want a quality product that will wash well and not fade or lose its shape, oh and feels soft.

~ 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 mix the two but tend to buy in store unless they're out of stock in the shop. I want free delivery or the option to pick up free from store. Our town's M and S closed over a year ago sad

~ 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 my son's uniform from Asda with the odd item jumper etc from Sainsbury. They are excellent qualitiy, price and last longer than my son grows out of them.

When ds 1st started school I bought it all from M and S but it was such poor quality I returned it to the store. Badly finished off hems, quality of fabric - thin etc. I thought because it was M and S it would be the best quality but it wasn't. Asda MUCH better and cheaper - though I won't say M and S were too expensive either.

~ 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?

Online catalogue a good idea. Compare their range to other supermarket ranges and at least match or better it at same prices.

Pinot Thu 21-Jun-12 18:56:50

~ 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.

Not so much price as quality - that it lasts!!

~ 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?

Always online - shopping with three kids in tow is hideous

~ 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?

Sainsburys Tu or M&S. Tried tesco but poorer quality

~ 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?

Why not just put in an age and it lists everything you may need - you can then uncheck if you don't need certain items

RaahhfaNadalsmyToyboy Thu 21-Jun-12 18:58:56

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 wear white polo shirts, general grey trousers or pinafore/skirt, and a school logoed sweatshirt/cardy from the school. I usually go for cheap polo shirts, as i find no matter what i do, they discolour easily so it is often easier to replace them than try to rescue themblush Trousers I struggle with as Ds is not very tall, and very, very skinny- so elasticated/adjustable waists are essential. They must be easy care, wash well, and resist going holey at the knees!

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 pick up schoolwear as and when i need it- and use Asda,Tesco, Jl and m and s as they are all local. I like sainsburys schoolwear, but my local store doesn't always stock it. I find M and S or Asda are more likely to have things available all year, not just at seasonal 'back to school time'. I will buy things online- polo shirts if i know the sizing is accurate. i will always but shoes instore. Sometimes delivery costs of ordering online make otherwise cheap items expensive.

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 use Asda, tesco, JL, and M and S. Occasionally Sainsburys. The last items i bought from M & S were polo shirts as the Tesco next door didn't have the size. They have washed well, but i thought they were a bit short in the body, and wide. I also bought a school coat from M & S, which lasted really well and i have passed on. It was definitely worth spending a bit extra on. (A good coat protects their sweatshirts too).

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 in my local store is very comprehensive, and i can't think of anything they haven't got. I did find swimwear difficult to get- this does seem to be more 'seasonal' though they swim with school all year. More trousers with adjustable waists, and more duraable tights (the last ones i got were a bit thin, and didn't last long). I'm pretty sure i have had a catalogue from M & S featuring schoolwear? But it may have been jl. I definitely find it easier to order items when they are all grouped together.

Thank you!
Raahh

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 21-Jun-12 19:01:21

We buy a lot of schoolwear from Sainsbury's as we're in there anyway, and they sell it (!).

Most stuff comes from M&S though as they stock the colour (navy trousers) and they wear well. This year ds is moving up to secondary, where the tops and some sports kit are all regulation. I'll get his trousers and the generic sports kit from M&S though I should think.

Uniform gets bought as and when, with a peak before September.

I like that I can order online and collect in store with M&S. That's very useful.

I'd pay extra for the kit to come ready name-labelled (although tbh a Biro/marker pen does the trick).

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 21-Jun-12 19:21:09

The number one criteria is the colour. DS has to wear navy trousers or shorts, and there's a very limited range. This summer I tried to buy DS some plain, non cargo, working fly navy shorts from M&S, but none exist.

Value for money is important: I'm prepared to pay a bit more for decent quality that will last. Though DS grows so fast, things are usually too small before they're really worn out!

I like to buy things online as long as the return options are easy and free. Taking small people uniform shopping is only exciting the first time...

Adjustable waists on everything please!

Working flies on more trousers and shorts please! DS likes to use the standing up toilets (urinals!) but got teased for showing his bottom by pulling down his trousers and pants. At six he's capable of negotiating a fly. Same goes for pants - only a couple of Autograph trunks have a working fly in age 6-8.

Slubberdegullion Thu 21-Jun-12 19:29:15

Important factors. reasonable good quality fabric that keeps it's shape, and doesn't go all horrid and bobbly. Classic styles. easy to iron, or non iron. Gawd I rue the day I bought those JL pleat dresses. Damn you stupid pleats. dunno if those stain repellant technologies really work but I'm a sucker for technical clothing. ADJUSTABLE WAIST BANDS (skinny kids)

Shop in store. A quick once round M&S twice a year and we're done.

M&S although summer dresses wise the supermarket ones aren't bad. Love the M&S skirts. Won't buy anything else now, polo tops good and have stayed decent thickness despite a gazillion washes second child round.

Tights, Lordy tights are hard. Please look at your tights, they just go weirdy after a while, thin and baggy.

~ 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 very important - I currently buy Next trousers for my sons who are both so slim that a slim fit is still loose on them. So a slim fit from M&S would probably have me shopping there. I go for quality as school items get hammered and the cheaper ones end up more expensive in the long run.

~ 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 yo

Just depends where I am shopping at the time they need new uniform. The only time I make a special trip is in August. I would only ever consider buying shoes in store as they need to be tried on. I prefer to buy instore as I can see the actual items and measure them against the kids. If the online items gave the actual items that the garment measures, I'd be more likely to buy online. Currently online shops only give 'age' or a height of a child. I'd like to see inside leg of trousers 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?

Next. Simply because of the slim fit trousers, and also because anything not in store, I can order and its delivered to the house the next day. We have plenty of M&S polo shirts and pe shoes, I can buy those when I'm passing through a 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?

More variety for boys stuff. girls seem to have endless styles of skirts, pinafores, cardis, frilled blouses, etc etc etc. For boys its just one or two styles of trouser and its very boring!!

daisydoodoo Thu 21-Jun-12 19:51:03

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?

Quality and design. I like to choose 100% cotton or natural fibres where possible. I don't like the way polyester trousers age, they tend to go shiney and bobbley. If pinafores are lined thats a plus too.

~ 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 buy in store and take the children with me to try it on, especially as sizes differ so much from brand to brand. I do sometimes top up uniform online throughout the 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?

John Lewis is our standard uniform shop, as I can buy everything in one hit at the start of the school year. Including fitted shoes and sports shoes. I do buy from M&S as well, this year we have brought the boys short sleeve white shirts and the girls 2 pack of 100% cotton summer dresses. Both have lasted well. They wash well and the shirts didnt need ironing after tumble drying but did need ironing after line drying despite being labelled as no need to iron. the dresses again have lasted well, my only complaint about those would be that the dresses seem to come up short, but wide. So my tall but slim daughter needed an age 8 for length but really no more than the 7 for width.

~ 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?

It would be nice if a fuller range was avaliable all year round. Its frustrating to go into a store half way through a term to find very limited range of uniform and very limited range of sizes in store so have to order online or order in store for collection. Parents want to walk into store and buy there and then. Its often in an emergency as well, such as ripped last pair of trousers or polo shirts so to have to get at a later date either by mail order or collection is frustrating.

I buy my girls school cardigans as M&S seem to be one of the only places that supply burgundy cardigans. However, this time, they only offered one choice in the Fairtrade section in burgundy but it didn't last as long as the cotton ones so had to replace within a few months. Have bought blue polo shirts and socks from there which are fine.

tubsywubsy Thu 21-Jun-12 20:36:31

I very rarely buy school wear from m&s. In store, stock levels for my (older) boys are always hopeless, you just can't guarantee that any one store will have all, or indeed any, of the sizes you want. Online is not much better. I generally don't order online for home delivery for anything from m&s, as their delivery times are so long, and often unreliable. Ordering to pick up from a store is better, but not terribly convenient. The quality of trousers, when I have bought them is ok, although like other posters, I've found it difficult to find trousers to fit my tall, skinny son. Polo shirts shrink horribly. I usually buy uniform from Next as they have better stock, better quality and offer next day delivery at no extra cost.

narnianarnia Yes!! My friend and I switched from M&S to Sainbos for trousers and dresses due to quality issues. I'm sure they were £1 cheaper as well.

M&S School tights are awful - sizing is weird (5-6 and 7-8 => nothing to fill the gulf between the sizes) and don't wash and wear well. They also have to be bought before December/really cold weather as there is never enough stock.

MegBusset Thu 21-Jun-12 20:52:55

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 is really important - DS1 has a long body, short legs and skinny hips so finding trousers to fit can be a nightmare, when he started reception at age 4.7 he was in age 3 trousers and they still had to be taken up. M&S's various length fittings for trousers are very useful for this reason. Quality is also important - I started with Tesco trousers as they were so cheap but they frayed within two weeks. But the most important thing is that they are 100% cotton as anything manmade aggravates his eczema. Have just discovered M&S's Skinkind range which has been a godsend.

~ 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 online as I find shops never seem to have the right size in stock. Ideally i would buy instore so I could look at the fit but I don't mind buying online as long as delivery is quick and cheap, and returning is easy.

~ 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?

DS1's tops and jumpers have to come from a specific shop as they are logoed and an unusual colour, which is very annoying as I would much rather buy cheaper options on the high street. I have bought PE kit from Tesco as it was the cheapest. Trousers/shorts come from M&S Skinkind range, have only had them a few weeks but they seem to be good quality, although without the protective chemical coating they do get dirty/faded much more quickly!

~ 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 the options in the Skinkind range expanded. At the moment they are limited in colour (black or grey - DS1's uniform calls for navy trousers although thankfully they have been reasonable about him not adhering to that!). And they do not have the extra length options that M&S's normal trousers do. A schoolwear catalogue would be great.

MegBusset Thu 21-Jun-12 20:53:37

Oh yes and more stock of the Skinkind range please, all year round.

Oblomov Thu 21-Jun-12 21:04:47

Being buying uniform for last 4 years. Quality has gone downhill very badly in last couple of years. Although the shorts I bought , aged 8, recently were extremely good. I have to buy Next skinny trousers for him now. The trousers last year were so poor, material vile that I returned them for a full refund.
whereas I will soon be buying trousers and shirts for ds2 soon, who is short and chunky, so we will see what quality and fit you have available then.

~ 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.

Quality and ability to last - I love the m&s stormwear / stain and crease resistant stuff, it hints that it might survive my DD's escapades!!

~ 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 bit of both, I get the socks / polos / PE stuff etc online, Tend to get skirts / pinafores in store as I don't like the length being too short and find I often need to hold them to DD to check

~ 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 get all schoolwear from m&s or the school direct for logo'd bits. Almost everything I have bought from m&s has lasted fab, except the cardigans I got which looked faded very quickly.

~ 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 prefer better quality cardigans, and more stock instore away from this time of year... DD tends to have a growth spurt around Jan / Feb and it was almost impossible to get anything in store then, I had to order online.

greenandcabbagelooking Thu 21-Jun-12 21:14:01

~ 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.

It has to fit, DC have to like it, it has to conform to rules, it must be value for money. Rules is the mot important, there's no point buying it if DC cant wear it.

~ 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?

Always buy in-store. So much easier for returns and trying things on. Also, less choice so young DC can make a choice, if that make sense! Too big a range means DC dither over which skirt/jumper 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?

Buy from M&S. Usually find items are good value and quality. Also very generous sizes, my 16 year old fits into age 13 so money saved because she can wear children's sizes. Sometimes buy polo shirts for messy small DC from Asda, because they are cheaper if ruined by pain/glue/food.

~ 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?

Learn what colours local schools wear. My daughter has to have a blue skirt and and can be hard to find one that she likes and fits. Yet there are blue skirts in the next town, where no school wears blue.

Brandnewbrighttomorrow Thu 21-Jun-12 21:16:14

I buy a great deal of my children's uniform from M&S, all of the children's polo shirts, trousers for boy and girl, socks, summer dresses (really impressed with your selection this year, planning to stock up on those for the next couple of years) and tights. I like the adjustable waist on the trousers and the girls bootcut is the perfect shape for my eldest daughter.

I don't buy the skirts as I think the quality is not as good, often they are too short and have 'fashion' detailing that I'm not keen on. I go to a local school wear supplier for these. Occasionally I buy flat fronted trousers for my (skinny) son from sainsburys, the shape is good but the feel of the cloth is a bit harsh.

I really like the polo shirts - the shape and quality of both the girls and boys are good and I like the scalloped edge on the girls ones, it makes sorting out whose uniform is whose much easier.

I prefer the girls socks that don't need to be paired right to left ie the ones with ribbon bows on the outside, the butterfly patterned ones are lovely and are not foot-specific.

keepmoving Thu 21-Jun-12 21:38:20

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 base my decision on a combination of these. I look for value for money so price is important but i would rather speand a little more to ensure good quality that meant clothes washed and wore well.

~ 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 both on line and in store. I tend to do the main shop (for the new year and around Easter) on line and then top up in store as required. I have found the choice limited in store and think M&S would rather customers shop on line! I also find the school wear area in store very cramped and not suited to families - heaven help you if you have a pushchair with you when trying to shop the area. I only shop on line if I can get free 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?

I usually buy school uniforms from M&S and occasionally John Lewis. I tend to buy during the uniform promotion which incorporates free delivery. I found skirts, pinafores and polo shirts have worn very well and would recommend them. The cardigans have not worn well. I tried to buy my daughter (age 7)some trousers and found the selection really poor in store - either ok fabiric with a nasty embroidered butterfly or a cheap pack of 2 plain trousers that feel awful against the skin. I ended up buying some from John Lewis instead.

I also find M&S uniform sizing on the small side for younger children. I have just recently bought new dresses for my daughter, I ordered age 8 and 9 and when they arrived there was very little difference in length (my reason for ordering) but a noticable difference in width.

~ 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?

Consistent sizing please; don't try and compete with the supermarkets on price - not everyone makes their decision on price! Offer some natural fabrics especially dresses in the summer; better stock availability at key times on line and in store. I've liked the in store brochure from the last couple of years but will review the on line offer when doing my main shop.

I also think M&S should consider offering free postage for on line purchases over a specific spending threshold. It does annoy me that products are limited in store (trying to buy shorts for my son - over 10 units of age 9 on the rail, a couple of 4 and 5, no age 6 or 7 at all), and then you are expected to order on line before going back into store to join a queue to collect your on line order. Otherwise you have to pay p&p outside of specific promotional periods.
The poor choice of sizing in store is not an isolated case in my experence.

I could go on and on.....

starfishmummy Thu 21-Jun-12 21:42:48

I look for fit first and then ease of use and comfort for ds, who is disabled. I have always bought his uniform items in store, so that I can have a good look at them and make sure they meet his needs. I have bought some items from M&S, and they tend to last well.

Popcornia Thu 21-Jun-12 21:46:36

~ 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.

For me, it's style, quality, fit, and then price. My children are fairly standard sizes (all tall for their age, all typical skinny growing children) so fit isn't generally a problem. I am fortunate in that I don't need to look for the cheapest uniforms around, so I tend to look for nicely cut, nicely styled uniforms that look like they'll last past the point that my children have grown 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 shop exclusively online. I am a very busy working mother, so once I know how my children measure in a brand's sizing I tend to just top up their wardrobes online and save my "on site" shopping for children's shoes.

~ 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 uniform from M&S for basics, and from our local uniform shop for school branded schoolwear. So far the items have been lasting very well. My first born has been passing his trousers to my second born, and I'm looking forward to seeing if they'll last for my third born.

~ 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 more stock in colours other than white for polo shirts and grey for trousers - there are a lot of colour combos in the state schools, and although my school's colours are stocked they tend to be out of my children's sizes for most of the year. I would also like to see smarter, less trainer-like younger boy's shoes. I appreciate that boys shoes need to stand up to lots of running around, but I don't like my sons looking like they're kitted out for the football pitch in class.

tigger32 Thu 21-Jun-12 21:49:20

The 2 most important factors for me when buying school wear are fit and price, ds1 is fairly slim and quite talk so needs adjustable waists on trousers, ds2 is very skinny and quite tall so needs a slim fitting trouser otherwise he looks like a clown! The quality of the clothes must be good and able to withstand rough boys and be able to be passed on to my younger boys!
I bought all of ds1's school uniform from m&s for his 1st 3 years of school, I have been able to pack it all away for his younger brothers to use. However this last year as ds2 was starting school and he was too small for ds1's old clothes I needed to buy cheap as I had 2 lots to buy. Except for jumpers which I got from m&s as I love the wool ones. I struggled with trousers with ds2 but got some from debenhams in the end, I will never do this again, both boys hems came unstitched, the catches fell off 2 of the 6 pairs and they look worn! I would like to add that I did try m&s cheaper range trousers but they are too wide.
Mid year I got some trousers from sainsburys, they seem to have lasted well.
I tend to buy most of the uniform in store as I need to see the fit and quality, however if I've seen the products previously then I may buy online if there was free delivery and maybe some sort of discount! ( I have bought m&s online with 25% off and 3for 2)
The only item I would never again buy from m&s is school shoes, ds1 had 1 pair and they fell apart before October half term!
I would like to echo a previous poster and say that wider fitting plimsoles would be a huge help here too, I really struggle with ds1.

mumnosbest Thu 21-Jun-12 21:50:05

I bought ds his first school trousers from m&s because there was a bogof sale on. This meant quite pricey but good quality trousers for half price.
I usually buy ds and dds school uniforms from supermarkets. Theyre generally very cheap and fair quality ffor the amoumt of time they are worn. I refuse to pay a lot for clothes which will get grass stains, paint, glue etc on them and need replacing. Kids love messy play so a uniform doesnt last and the price should reflect that.
In a uniform i look ffor easy fastenings, adjustable waists and stain/crease resistant. I hate scrubbing and ironing.

CheeryCherry Thu 21-Jun-12 21:51:50

I have different sized and shaped DCs so sadly have to shop around. Best for older teen boys trousers are from schooluniform.co.uk, expensive but have lots of sizes and lengths. Boys shirts are hard to find for older teens, have got him the short sleeved long length m&s ones this term, they're great. But the long sleeve versions are annoyingly too tight - he has v broad shoulders. For girls trousers again I have to shop around to find a decent fit. We try matalan, Asda, m&s, Tesco, next. It's always hard. They are either too tight or too long. I try to go for value/offers but end up usually just grateful we've got some and pay whatever. My teen DD is really fussy, has to have certain style trousers and shirts, hence the general nightmare. Wish shops had more variety of length of trousers and waistband. And more stylish blouses too please!

tigger32 Thu 21-Jun-12 21:54:31

Forgot to say, I would find a mini uniform catalogue very useful.

watfordmummy Thu 21-Jun-12 22:00:34

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.

like classic fit, (without cargo pockets etc), quality, and adjustable waists, as I swear they are made for children with larger waists than my dss

~ 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 online as I hate shopping instore, would like cheaper home delivery costs

~ 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?

usually M&S or John Lewis

~ 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?

would like better shoes, smaller waisted PE shorts, have to take them in if they fit length wise, grey shirts,

~ 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 like M&S schoolwear, and always buy from there because of the quality, and it is very hardwearing, but I do try to buy when the schoolwear is on 3 for 2, or more recently, 20% off.

~ 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 take the DCs to try the clothes on, and buy what I can in store that day. Our school uniform is green, and there never seems to be enough of it in the right sizes, so I usually end up ordering extra cardis and jumpers online and get them delivered to my local M&S Food 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?

Always M&S. Our school has a landscaped play area with climbing frames, monkey bars, etc, so my DCs come home from school with grass stains and scuffs on their trousers, but they wash out really well.

~ 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?

1) Consistent sizing. Last year, DS started in P1 (Reception), I bought 2 x 3 packs of white, short sleeve, non-iron shirts and although the packaging was identical, the shirts within each pack were totally different sizes.

2) Colour fastness, and quality. This year's green knitwear has been very disappointing. The colour has faded dramatically over the 10 months of the school year. I had a couple of cardigans in the wardrobe from 2010 that still fitted my DD, and despite being worn for the whole of the 2010/11 school year, they are still bright, emerald green. It would be helpful if you could pick a colour of green and stick with it, rather than different shades each year. I found the 2010 green knitwear to be of better quality than the 2011. I have also found that the stitching that attaches the band around the neck of the cardigans came loose on all three that I bought last year. I took one back in January, but have had to repair the other two that I bought, because you did not have them available to order at that time.

3) Tank tops - why only black, grey and navy? Please, please make these in green!!

Having said all that, I'll still buy from M&S this year.

I have 2 children , both in secondary school , but I can buy shirts/blouses and trousers/skirts from M&S .

My points are ... Yes , good quality , could do with different lengths in boys trousers , he likes the big pockets , tp put the obligatory blackberry in !

DD won't even look at the skirts , they need to be shorter , and tighter and sluttier

Wash well , don't need ironing , bung in the tumble drier , all good , well done .
However , could you not find out the uniform requirement of the local secondary schools and stock accordingly ? The 2 secondary schools here have blue or mauve shirts until 6 th form , so please don't fill the shelves with White shirts that no one wants ( until 6th form )

Have stock through the year , if there's a uniform emergency , I don't have time to order !

scotgirl Thu 21-Jun-12 22:23:38

~ 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, Quality then price. My DS is tall and slim. It is very difficult to buy trousers for him. I bought 4 or 5 pairs last year - all of which had to go back. Adjustable waists are fine, but not where there is acres of material and a big baggy bottom! Finally discover the "modern fit" M&S trousers and they are perfect. There are lots of skinny boys out there - I don't understand why retailer to plus fit but not more slim fit trousers.

Would like the Modern fit trousers to do a dark grey as well as a light grey.

~ 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?

Last year I had to buy online as I couldn't get the trousers I wanted in store (Modern fit and Extra long). I would prefer to buy instore as then you can try them on. Only buy online if I get free delivery otherwise I collect from store. Our school has a uniform for tops so I only need to buy bottoms.

~ 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 4 pairs of M&S school trousers last year - 2 pairs black modern fit and 2 pairs grey extra long fit. My son is 6. The grey ones have worn knees and are still wearable. The black one have gone through the knees but it was only last month. I am impressed and will buy again.

~ 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 am not however, a fan of the chemicals. I actually do not want Teflon coated trousers. I would like ones with a higher cotton content (at least 50%). I had to buy them last year as they were the only ones to fit my son.

Seamfree, or at least comfy seam socks!

workshy Thu 21-Jun-12 22:42:12

~ 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.

the most important factors to me are a combination of quality and price, DDs it's style & fit! I don't like to have drawers full of uniform so I tend to buy fewer items that last longer rather than buying 6 cheap shirts from the supermarket that don't wash well anyway. Past experience of previous purchases plus recomendations from other parents will influence where I buy

~ 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 don't buy uniform online as I work full time and find delivery a complete faff -much better to get it all done in one trip, plus they can try everything on. Sizing is an issue, especially my preteen who can be one size in a skirt and a completely different size in trousers
the store experience is important -I have walked out of stores before now that looked like jumble sales because I wasn't interested in digging through rails with 2 dcs shouting me in different directions
lighting is also important as trying to distinguish between navy and black trousers/socks etc in a poorly lit area of the store is a nightmare

~ 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?
shirts BHS, trousers/skirts ASDA
I have bought M&S before -I found the polo shirts were small sized and shrank -DCs now in proper shirts so I may consider M&S for this year
skirts & pinafores I used to always buy from M&S as I found the quality very reliable and worth the extra cost however for the last 2 years I have found availability of sizes very poor in my 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?
tall and thin children are not catered for enough -waitbands pulled into their tightest fit to get a long enough skirts is not comfortable

MoaningMinnieWhingesAgain Thu 21-Jun-12 22:42:22

My child started reception this time, I bought the vast majority of her uniform from M&S. I got it from there because I like M and S mostly! I bought some in store and some online. I have had issues with a broken zip on a pinafore dress and noticed online reviews mentioning the same problem. It was replaced in store no quibble though.

I bought pinafore dresses, a skirt, trousers, summer dresses, polo shirts and cotton cardigans plus socks and tights. Cardigans have bobbled a little but not faded much. Tights have been rather rubbish as the elastic in the waists failed very quickly despite only 30/40 degree washing and no tumble drier in the house - I replaced them from a different shop.

I also partly chose it because IME childrens clothes at M and S come up on the small side and this suits us because DD is a tiny petite child.

I think the prices are very reasonable and quality mostly good and some items in particular look less cheap than supermarket versions (in particular the pinafores and summer dresses - supermarket ones are cheaper but look cheap)

I have also had 2 summer dresses from Tesco but they are very ?polyester feeling in comparison and don't look as nice but DD was very impressed that they came with a matching hair scrunchie grin

I am a bit disappointed with the stain resistant qualities of the Stainaway items - white polo shirts very quickly accumulated an assortment of stubborn stains. Generally, I like to be able to get things with adjustable waists for my skinny children.

oldgreyknickertest Thu 21-Jun-12 23:06:49

Fit, price and quality.

Ds has, like many children, gone through chubby phases just before he shoots up and the m and s trousers don't fit him at such times, too slim fitting. And the quality of the material is poor. So we go for other makes now, where the adjustable waistband means he can wear them whatever and the quality lasts. Also need more charcoal varieties.

Shirts are better, although supplies of standard white shirts suddenly seem to give out just before term. I never but uniform in June because the summer hols are when Ds grows. So it is infuriating when predictable demand is not dealt with.

Now Ds is bigger we sometimes shop for school shoes at m and s. But the insoles have a habit of crinkling up and causing hard skin. When he was smaller I wanted a professional fitter and that wasn't possible.

Pickthatupplease Thu 21-Jun-12 23:23:33

~ 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 9yo DD tells me exactly what she wants and I buy it for her while she's at school. I get asked for a particular colour of skirt or tights, for example, and long or short socks with or without shiny bits etc. I choose on the basis of value for money, since although m&s is handy for me, it's not the cheapest.

~ 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 buy online at the beginning of each year and get it delivered because I have 3 school age DC and don't want to carry it all back from the shops! I thing the delivery charge is quite high, from memory. I do sometimes use the free deliver to store option if I'm just topping up with a few items, maybe something that was not available 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?

What I would truly love ( and I'm possibly a minority here) is school uniform without the Teflon coating on it. Teflon is carcinogenic and so WHY do retailers insist that our children wear it every school, day? That said, due to lack of options, I do regularly buy m&s school uniform. Sometimes buy polo shirts from Asda etc because they tend to get stained before they wear out anyway.

~ 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?

Don't need a catalogue instore. I like the 'two packs' of girls skirts, they are good value. And the adjustable waistbands are invaluable. I love the pure cotton summer dresses.

The boys trousers are a rubbish fit though. My 5yo son and most of his friends spend the whole day with their trousers slipping down their bums. pLEASE make them fit!

aristocat Thu 21-Jun-12 23:32:42

~ 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 priorities are price, fit and quality. I do not buy 5 pairs of trousers for DS usually only 2 or 3 pairs and prefer ones that will wash and stay good. DD prefers pinafores in the winter/autumn and summer dresses ATM. I usually take DD (8yo) with me to choose her uniform but we get standard grey trousers for DS (10yo) and he always has the polo shirts with the school logo.

~ 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 schoolwear both instore and online. I must say that my children had M&S school shoes last September and they were perfect smile I ordered them online and was a little dubious that they would fit but no problems at all with them. Sadly DS outgrew his but DD still has them and one school years wear is good isnt it? We purchase in july or august (instore) for the start in Sept so we can always return/exchange any clothes that dont fit. 10% off days or free delivery will always get me to purchase ..... so special offers are a winner for me!

~ 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 from M&S, Asda and Sainsburys usually. My M&S items were boys trousers, boys shoes, girls shoes, grey tights and grey socks. No problems with any of our uniform this year and the shoes were especially good - hoping to buy more this year - all have lasted very well.

~ 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 socks definitely need to have better seams or seamfree please smile your tights are seamfree so why not socks? there is never enough stock in girls tights either and the sizes are strange, DD age 8 needs age 10 tights confused
No need for a catalogue for me. Also DCs need a tracksuit for their games lessons so a better choice in these would be good.

One last thing is that uniform should be available all-year-round please.

zipzap Thu 21-Jun-12 23:52:04

~ 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.
Combination of price, quality, durability, and fit. Style not so important - probably because I have young boys - but only in so far as I expect 'classic' schoolboy trousers, I don't want to pay extra for naff detailing that I don't want!

~ 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?
Mixture of online and in store. Have to get logo-ed items from John Lewis and they now only do online ordering for them. I usually pick stuff up when I am passing and have spotted your 'Back to School' promotion on (although I was pleased to see that this year it wasn't tagged with back to school given that it started before even the summer half term had started, let alone the summer holidays. Mind you I'm an old gimmer that fondly remembers the days when the back to school promotions didn't start until half way through August and they really were the start of the impending doom start of term.

Anyhow, I'm usually in a big M&S two or three times a month so will pick up as and when I spot the offer - and if they don't have the right size I'll then know to go home and order on collect from store.

I have been buying uniform by default from M&S but have had problems with the white polo shirts (for ds1 since he was 4, he's now 7) as the shirt that is the right size for his body has a neck opening that is too small for him to get over his head. I originally bought the next size up but that wasn't so good as a it meant his shirt was too big and looked messy sticking out from under his logo jumper (where the right size jumper had a neck that was big enough for ds's head). It meant that I got fed with the m&s shirts and started looking around at others - out of everyone's I've found that matalan were the best (thanks to a product test on MN when I was lucky enough to get vouchers to buy matalan school uniform and then report back on it) - having tried John lewis, Next and all the main supermarket ones too.

One of the issues is that if you buy school uniform in the crazy early back to school promotions you are then stuck if your dc then has a growth spurt just before going back to school. Would be nice if you would for uniform allow people to exchange it for different size/colour of the same thing even if you don't allow people to return it up until the middle of september (a bit like having an extended period for exchanges in the run up to christmas) just to give you a bit of peace of mind that you are not going to be stuck with uniform that is too small.

~ 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?
usually use M&S for uniform basics, have to use JL for logo-ed items.
Now going to use matalan for their white polo shirts as mentioned above - as their necks are big enough for ds to pull over his head (although he does seem to have a particularly large head for his size, he is by no means the only one - lots of mums have said they also have the same problem). Even though the quality isn't as good, the m&s ones just don't fit ds so there is no point in buying them..
I do like the way you have the white patch for labelling socks on their cuff - very handy and always used.
Most items seem to be of reasonable quality - but hems of trousers often need to be restitched up as they come down pretty quickly.
Still tend to use clarks or startrite for school shoes although have used supermarket trainers, just more likely to be in the supermarket with ds to try them on rather than in m&s.

~ 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?
- bigger neckline on white polo shirts, currently very restrictive
- labels - seem to be getting noticeably more scratchy in the m&s clothes and need more cutting out. And other than the socks - very little space for writing names on
- teflon coated trousers are a genius idea - but last year they seemed a lot stiffer and nastier fabric than they wre the year previously. Even ds noted they weren't as comfortable as his previous trousers.
- thought there was a schoolwear catalogue - I usually pick it up when I see it and send it to my sister who lives in the back end of nowhere, so she can see stuff and order it online. Would be nice to be able to register on the website to be sent the schoolwear catalogue when it comes out (either/or/both online and by post) so you don't have to keep worrying about when the new stuff comes out. You could even sign up to say that you want it until your child(ren) turns 16/18 or at least until the end of their current school, would be a nice reminder.
- More boys clothes in general - I find I'm buying less and less m&s stuff for ds as there is so little choice - most of the space is given over to girls clothes sad. vicious circle - means I am not bothering to even look as I know there is not likely to be much there (and it's quite a big store so no excuse). I tried to buy a summer cagoule/waterproof jacket for ds today - found one boring navy one (and a beige non-waterproof thing). For girls of the same age - wide choice. Same rain still falls on boys as well as girls - they need to be able to buy macs too! And in winter there are only anoraks for the boys - whereas there are much longer line coats for the girls to keep them warmer, would be nice to see some longer boys coats too.

CHUMMUM Fri 22-Jun-12 00:03:00

~ 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, comfort and then price. Not bothered about style yet but will change probably as daughter goes to secondary!

~ 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?

On-line at the moment (again may change as daughter is more bothered about appearance!) Would order more if offered free delivery and then happy to return to store what doesn't 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?

Recently bought ready for September boys shirts & trousers and girls blouses & trousers My son loved the shirts with velcro as top button, we found them really difficult before!
I have also purchased from Next.
Sometimes the Non-iron from M&S still seem to need ironing!

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 you should continue the vlecro for the top button for all ages, our son is really happy and will be upset if at age 9 he has to struggle again!
I would like to see the pinafores and skirts longer.
We have to go to the school retailer for blue check infant blouses/shirts, they charge £10 for one item! Next stock them for girls, can M&S do them for both?
I bought two summer blue check school dresses last september age 11, both of them have needed stitching after the pocket has come away leaving a hole! They must have only been worn 10 times max!! Presume it was manufacturing fault since both dresses had same problem.
I prefer schoolwear catalogue on-line.

nailak Fri 22-Jun-12 01:09:08

1 price
Fit, stain repellant, hard wearing, style so looks nice and smart, and a bit girly for my dds, like the embroidered pockets and scalloped necks on shirts/polos. Iron free and right colour. Although I have also bought plain black for my dd to wear with normal tops at nursery with no uniform.
2 in-store exclusively

3 m&s, Asda or Tesco.
I do main shop at m and s as I like their stuff. I buy the sets of 2 trousers and skirts and packets of 3 shirts they are very cheap, wash well, stand up to wear and tear. I choose and s because of reputation.

4 I buy jumpers when need replacing from where ever I happen to go first. M and s in store doesn't have large range of sizes and colours all year and it is a pita to order when I can just pick up new jumper from supermarket without waiting.
I like clothing with adjustable waists. Always buy those if I have the choice.
There are no girls pe shorts or jogging bottoms in girls section in store. It would be better if these items were labelled as unisex rather then boys.
It is always hard to find right combination of sizes and colours during school uniform events.

Also vests like the thermal ones should come in packs of only white to wear under school shirts, haven't seen this in my store, and could be nearer uniforms, rather then on other end of the store floor. Same with leggings in uniform colours to wear under skirts and pinafores.

The summer dresses I saw in store were expensive compared to supermarkets. And in summer when you want to but them there is not a big range.

”~ 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 the most important factor for me. DS has always been tall for his age, and has varied from slim to chunky. So a flat “Age X” for sizing is useless to me. Quality and price are equally important. I rarely buy the cheapest as they are usually poor quality and therefore poor value. But it doesn’t have to be of the highest quality/durability either as he will grow out of it long before a reasonable quality item will wear out. Style is pretty irrelevant for school uniform, surely? Certainly for a boy, school trousers are school trousers are school trousers. As long as they have pockets and aren’t seventies flares or drainpipes, they’ll pretty much do.

”~ 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? “
Some of his uniform I have to get from a particular supplier (Price & Buckland) who supply all the logo’ed uniform – sweatshirts, polo shirts, PE kit. I buy this online as there is no in store option. When he started the school there was an open day for parents of new pupils, so that we could see these items and their sizing. I don’t mind buying them online, as I tend to buy sweatshirts and polos a little on the large side so that he doesn’t grow out of them too fast (plus he likes them a little loose too). Delivery is £3.95 and always within the week, or you can ask them to deliver to the school for free but that is only once a month. I’ve always had them delivered to my home. His trousers are always bought in store, with him trying them on before we buy to ensure that they fit him well – I was buying Age 15 for him when he was 12 so I don’t see any alternative to this. School shoes have to be bought in store from a shop which carries width fittings as he is a G or H fitting usually, and I believe standard fittings are about a C or a D. Socks I usually buy online from M&S as my local store never seems to have his size in stock. Jackets have usually been bought in store, usually from a camping-type shop to get something suitably waterproof, warm and lightweight; but have also bought online too.

”~ 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?”
The majority of his uniform is bought from Price & Buckland because I have no choice in the matter. They are the sole supplier of the logo’ed uniform. I didn’t use to mind this as I thought the items were fairly good quality and reasonably priced, e.g. £8 for a polo and £10 for a sweatshirt (as at Aug-2011). But I’ve just been on their site and these items are now £10.60 and £14.20 respectively – quite a hike, and with no possibility of taking my custom elsewhere! Trousers have usually been bought from Sainsbury’s. They have a changing room he could use, they had all sizes in stock so that he could find the best fit, the trousers were fairly cheap (I think £14 for two pairs, not sure) and reasonable quality. I did have a look at M&S trousers but there was no changing room for him to try them on (childrenswear is in a separate building from men and ladieswear, so he couldn’t use them). If he had been able to try them on at M&S we may well have bought them there, but I cannot be bothered to buy, take home, try, take back, buy another size, take home etc. M&S socks have always been outgrown not outworn, which is why I continue to buy them at M&S. School shoes are bought from a local independent , who can measure and fit his feet. If they do not have his size in stock (used to happen a lot when he was younger) then there is also a Clarks shop in town and we go there. There’s no “usual” for his jacket – they’ve been bought in local camping shops, in store at Next , online from a cycling retailer etc. I haven’t bought any jackets from M&S because when I looked online I didn’t like the styles available.

”~ 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?”
If M&S could supply logo’ed items to our school that would be great! The range of trousers looks absolutely fine as they are, but I really need him to try them on before I buy them so a changing room please! Do the coats all have to be padded? DS currently wears a two-part jacket; a fleece inner jacket and a waterproof outer jacket. The inner jacket can be removed for warm-but-wet days. And since he cycles to school quite a bit, his jacket needs to be long enough at the back to cover him properly – neither of the jackets currently on the website would be adequate. Wide-fitting shoes would be great, as would sizes going beyond an 8. My son was already a 7 at age 12, as were several of his friends. Not really sure about the catalogue – don’t I effectively have that in the website? And I’m sure I’ve picked up booklets of schoolwear instore before.

gottasmile Fri 22-Jun-12 06:59:01

~ 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.

The first thing I look for is whether it's 100% cotton. That's the most important thing for me. I usually don't have much choice with regards to price, style or fit, as there's such limited choice in cotton.

~ 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 use a mix of the two. If i find what i need online, I prefer to do it online as it saves so much time. For my son, I go to the store for trousers, as he has an unusual shape and I need him to try them on. Because there are so many items to buy, it's much easier and less time consuming to shop 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?

I buy from M&S and Sainsbury's. I use M&S for trousers and shorts because they fit really well. I've just bought some pinafores and summer dresses from Sainsbury's as they were cheap and just happened to be walking past them. My daughter liked the little flower on the zip. i then didn't even look in M&S because I was sorted. School shirts i buy from M&S because I find 100% cotton.
The M&S trousers and shorts are excellent, have lasted 2 years! The shirts are good, but even though they state that they are non-iron, I find that I do have to iron 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?

They could do more 100% cotton. So many kids these days have exzema or sensitive skin.
For our school, we have to buy some items with the school logo, but the rest I can fine in M&S. I would definitely appreciate a schoolwear catalogue both online AND in store (but they have them already don't they?) It makes shopping so much easier.

Hope this helps!

bebejones Fri 22-Jun-12 07:37:40

My DD is due to start reception in September. I have been getting uniform over the last couple of months since we found out which school she was going to. (She is an August born & I didn't want to leave it all til then as it's an expensive month for us!!)

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?

I've tried to choose tems that seem like good value. This doesn't always mean cheapest, I want quality at a good price so that it stands up to the battering it's going to get from a lively 4 year old! I've also tried to pick items that I think my DD will be able to get on & off easily by herself (with the exception of the only non-zipped pinafore I could find).

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two?

I have, so far, bought online only. We live in a semi-rural location & the nearest places stocking uniform are 30-45min drive away. The p&p charges are probably less than the cost of petrol to get to the actual shop!! I will probably pick up some bits and pieces over the next month or so in stores...if I'm there! I used her existing clothes from the retailers as a guide to size & fit & read all reviews on the items on the websites to guage the quality of some pieces I hadn't previously seen in store.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why?

To date I have bought from M&S & Next. Mostly because I know the sizes & how they fit my daughter. She is small (only 92.5cm tall currently) and these retailers both offered sizes small enough to fit her. I will have to buy some items from Tesco as this is the retailer DDs school are using now for their logo embroidered items. Unfortunately the smallest size they stock is likely to be a bit big for DD, but I'm hoping that it will last a while!

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range?

Can you please do more pinafores without the central zip? I've really struggled to find nice pinafores without this. I have had to buy a couple with the zip through lack of choice, but I personally don't think they look as smart & reviewers on your website have commented on problems with the zips after a few washes. I also think sizing needs to be reviewed. My DD is small, but she's not the only child I know starting reception whose parents are struggling to find uniform small enough without having to pay over the odds!

FriedSprout Fri 22-Jun-12 08:09:59

I have used M&S a lot through the years but have, but now dd is a teen the range is very limited. Even in huge stores. She has tiny waist in comparison with her hips and this has meant going to plus sizes on-line. This year only one style! Skirts are too short as dd tall, so school would not be happy. A good range of sizes and styles for teens please with no "plus fit" label or ages (show me a standard size teen!).

moonbells Fri 22-Jun-12 09:00:44

First of all, DS starts this autumn in Reception so I'm just about to get on this bandwagon! Most stuff has to be bought from the official supplier as it's logoed, but the shirts, trousers and socks etc can be generic. So all following comments are for them only. I am looking at the M&S website for reference as I answer.

~ 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 comfort/fit. Also durability, (especially for trousers) they will need to cope with a boy who seems to cheesegrater the knees of every pair of trousers he owns! Out of school stuff I patch, but I would like them to last more than a month!

~ 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 think for the first time I would go to store, to check 'feel' and see what the colours actually look like. After that, online all the way. As long as I'm not forced to pay huge postage rates that cost more than the posted item...

~ 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 commented above, just starting out on this lark. Have already got one pair of trousers from Matalan as I needed some smart 'proper' trousers for a formal do for DS, and they were ideal. So I have a baseline. I chose teflon trousers with elasticated waistband (needed for Mr Skinny) and that were reasonably cheap as I didn't foresee him wearing them that much before he grew out of them! However I see the M&S double pack of value trousers are similarly priced so I may well be off there pronto! I'll see which ones wear out first. It's a balance between wearing out and growing out!

~ 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?

It would be nice if the under-7-year-old elasticated pull-up trousers were illustrated. All the ones in the pics are on older models and none show the back view! Surely showing one extra photo won't hurt?

Oh! And stocking basics all through the school year. There is nothing worse than them growing out of something and you finding you can't get it again till the summer holidays... online is a saviour here, but sometimes you do need to see something and don't want to run up a mortgage travelling to Marble Arch...

anchovies Fri 22-Jun-12 09:10:21

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 make the decisions on quality and fit. There is nothing worse than it all falling apart, seams coming down, collars curling etc by mid October. Also having tall and slim ds's, the fit of the trousers is particularly important, I always buy M&S modern fit trousers, the elastic waist and slim fit leg are the best fit I've found.

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 like to buy instore but there is rarely what I need. I tend to buy online for instore collection then we try on and keep what fits. Free delivery is always a big bonus, especially when you don't know if it's going 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?

I don't like any polo shirts other than trutex or sportex mainly because I hate ironing and these are more expensive but don't fade and are thick enough that they don't need ironing and the collars don't curl. I always buy M&S modern fit trousers for my ds's as they last well, keep their crease and fit really nicely. I do have to replace 2 or 3 times in a year though as the knees tend to fade. I buy the M&S jersey pinafores for my dd as they fit nicely and look "young enough" on a 3-4 year old.

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 jersey skirt would also be good as I think little ones in particular need comfy clothes that are easy to play in. I always struggle to find small tights, even age 3-4 are generally massive. I would rather pay more and know it is going to look good and last than pay less and have to replace more often (ie the polo shirts). I'm not too fussed about a catalogue to be honest, make my choices by browsing online and then looking instore.

anchovies Fri 22-Jun-12 09:12:26

Forgot to say, I find the online reviews invaluable when making my choices.

Maffy Fri 22-Jun-12 09:33:00

1. Quality of fabric is most important, particularly being natural fibres. I would pay a premium for thick wool, almost flannel, and heavy cotton, rather than thin, easy care fabrics.

2. Online for research, then we visit the shop to check quality and fit. Ability to order to store online would be brilliant, to ensure that a journey is not wasted.

3. Usually M&S and John Lewis, as tend to be better quality. Also admire independant, specialist school outfitters online, for their heavy wool/cotton, but usually do not buy as no stores local to try. M&S cotton sweater are brilliant and my son usually wears red and green ones for casual everyday.

4. As mentioned above, premium thick wool and cotton trousers, shorts, blazers etc. School caps would be ideal, but probably a limited market.

Tamoo Fri 22-Jun-12 09:35:42

I shop exclusively instore, buy most (unbadged) schoolwear from M&S because it's very handy for me to drive to. I wouldn't buy online because it actually takes less time for me to go to the store.

Quality is the most important factor to me - I have bought cheaper items in the past that have only lasted a few weeks. Price is secondary to quality but next in importance. DS is a standard fit so I know most things in his age range will be OK, wherever I shop.

I like M&S because they stock the type of trousers I like (they have a good range of styles generally) and also because trousers are the item DS wears out most and they seem to be the most durable. Also, they usually have a better stocked range of sizes than the supermarkets.

Except for what I need to order from school, I can get everything in one go at M&S, as they also stock the items required for DS's PE kit.

However I have found that at some times during the year M&S schoolwear stock is quite depleted - not when everyone's buying it, but at random times I guess when they think nobody is buying much uniform. I have asked staff about this and they referred me to the catalogue/online store so I know the option's there.

Another bonus is that there's usually a bargain rail in my local M&S - got a school coat there a while back and it lasted two winters for less than half price.

Generally speaking more multibuy savings would be very welcome, I for one would welcome the change to purchase multiple items I know aren't going to last all year or that I know DS is likely to grow out of before the end of the school year.

GraceK Fri 22-Jun-12 09:36:31

1) I favour fit & quality of fabric. I have very skinny children & a lot of the uniform ranges are too wide & therefore look untidy. I also want fairly thick, good quality fabric that washes well - some of the summer dresses available are made of very poor, thin fabric.

2) I mainly shop on online because the stock levels of M&S uniforms are very low in the shops. I have purchased from JL (& Asda) as they have stock all year round. Smallest sizes are useful to have in shops so you can work out where on sizing range your child comes when they first start school. I like order online & pick up in store as know I'll find the right stock.

3) My DD's uniform comes mainly from M&S. (She has two grey tunics from John Lewis' as M&S' designs last year didn't appeal and 2 extra sunfrocks from Asda due to a sudden growth spurt in May.) M&S uniform is slim enough for her, good quality fabric & washes well. I was recommended the 'stain tec' polo shirts by friends with older children when she started school & they have worn well though the sizing seems to have changed recently - she inherited an M&S sunfrock which is age 5 and she has a new age 3 which are the same size!

4) Black tracksuits in small sizes (tops & bottoms sold separately) for sport - finding a plain without a logo on is quite difficult. A long sleeved shirt in cotton mix (like 3312 032 sold last year but with full length sleeves) - my DD wants a long sleeve top in winter but I don't want a 'proper' school shirt that need ironing for a primary pupil as she'dnot cope withthe buttons / be able to roll up the sleeves properly. Possibly a pretty cardigan (maybe with crochet-style detailing) in white to go with all the summer frocks.

Don't think I need a catalogue but if you're making one for instore ordering then it might as well be online as well.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 22-Jun-12 09:37:47

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.

There isn't one specific factor, it is a combination of finding good quality, durable clothes that fit my child & are reasonably priced. I would rather pay a little bit more for clothes that are well made & 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 would love to buy exclusively instore, but I often find that the sizes I want are not available, so I tend to use a mix of the two. I like the fact that you can get free delivery to a store of your choice - that works well for me.

~ 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 non-logo clothing items from M&S. Most items last very well and wash well. I never buy shoes 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 would like to see a higher cotton content in all the shirts & dresses. I know that people want to not have to iron, but I would prefer to see a higher natural fibre content. Not bothered about a schoolwear catalogue, as the website is effectively that.

jubilucket Fri 22-Jun-12 09:45:33

~ 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.

Quality is fairly important, however style is now taking priority, as ddtwins are 13 and getting fashion concious. I have two pairs of your trousers virtually unused this year, as they will not put them on unless the cheaper, tattier but much better cut (in their opinion) skinny ones from New Look are still wet in the wash. New Look make clothes that fit my tall, slim dds much better than yours.

~ 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?

When I shop online I like stores which I can trust to use reliable couriers who don't tap lightly at the door, ignore clearly written notes asking for parcels to be left with a neighbour, and leave a card telling me I have to drive to a depot to collect my parcel which is actually further away than my nearest M&S. <CityLink take note>

~ 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 M&S and John Lewis about 50/50 until the fashion conciousness thing came in. DD1 has a quantity of your shirts which she loves, dd2 prefers some John Lewis ones. But the trousers are an epic fail - see 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?

Tall slim children cannot be covered by your lovely adjustable waistbands, they still leave a baggy hipline.
You had a big gap in three quarter length sleeve shirts last time I looked.
I thought you had a schoolwear online catalogue already confused

piprabbit Fri 22-Jun-12 09:56:21

~ 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 go on the quality and fit of the product. DD is tall for her age and a lot of the supermarket uniform skirts and dresses are indecently short on her. I want clothes that wear well as I only want to but uniform once a year (unless I really need to replace something). I'm also looking for stuff that doesn't need much ironing - which is important on pleated skirts 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?
I buy in a mix of ways. Logo'd items are bought in our local uniform shop. When I'm doing my big annual uniform shop, I tend to look in the shops and then come home and order online. This is because I can rarely find all the items I need in the right sizes in one shop, so it's easier to check the quality and fit in store and then come home and order all the correctly sized stuff online (taking advantage of free P&P over certain spend limits). If I'm buying the odd replacement item during the school year, then I'll buy from the local 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 buy a lot of uniform from M&S as it generally fits and lasts well. DD loves your cullottes, which are hard to find elsewhere. I have a bulk buy of yellow polo shirts from M&S as they were discounted to ridiculous cheapness (which will last the children for years to come) however I actually much prefer John Lewis polo shirts as they dry much softer (I hate crispy polo shirts) and look better for longer. I tend to buy sports kit from Matalan or Sainsbury's as it is much better value and I'm less worried about the look of items which are going to live screwed up in a PE bag for weeks on end.

~ 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'd love for M&S to make the lovely soft polo shirts that John Lewis do - it would save me an extra shopping trip. More purple would be good (summer dresses, cardigans and jumpers, trimmed accessories etc.) and nice strong purple not a wishy-washy lilac. I'm not fussed about a catalogue - I can look in your online store if I want to, but uniform catalogues tend to be wasted on us as so few of the items come in our school's colours (yellow/gold and purple).

~ 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.

All of those things plus durability which I suppose is Quality. I would say fit, style and durability are the main priorities. Adjustable waist trousers and skirts are essential. My DCs are 6 and 8 years old BTW

~ 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?

Both. When each DC started school the 3 for 2 offer was on, I took them to a large store for trying things on. I usually just buy the same things in the next size up the following summer, so tend to to online and instore pickup. I don't live near a big store, but when I go there I have often found they don't have the item I want in the size I want.

~ 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 trousers and skirts from M&S, have also bought pinafores (but prefer a Sainsbury's style, jersey with no zip), socks and polo shirts there. Buy summer dresses in Sainsburys locally as these are bought earlier in the year. I buy some M&S polos but have also used them from various other stores, don't think there's much to choose between them.

The boys adjustable waist pleated stain defence trousers have been excellent for my son, looking as good after a whole year as they did new. Same for the girls skirt with the butterfly on and the girls bootleg trousers with butterfly. The sizing on polos is weird, I have to buy them a size or two larger than I would buy tee shirt for the same child.

~ 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 had a catalogue from the store last year and it was useful. I do a stocktake and see what we need and in which sizes in the summer and try and do it all in one big order. One thing I would like to see got rid of are the butterflies and other adornments on the girls clothes, they look out of place on a uniform, there is no need for them and I don't like the idea that all girl's things need to be sparkly and pretty. Skirts and pinafores I would like to be a bit longer. My son has not liked M&S socks because the toe seams rub him.

LoonyRationalist Fri 22-Jun-12 10:16:20

Bebejones I disagree on the zip on pinafores, I think it is a great idea, makes getting dressed themselves so much easier (which must also be a godsend for their teachers) we have 3 zipped pinafores which I bought at the start of the school year, no problems with the zips at all and I'm confident that they'll last for dd2 too.

MerryMarigold Fri 22-Jun-12 10:37:19

When buying uniform for my boys, the most important thing is fit (need adjustable waist) and availability ie. are the right sizes in stock? I usually buy when I am doing the food shop at a supermarket. If something is not available in the right size/ colour I would 'graduate' to looking in clothes shops such as M & S/ BHS. Price is important too, quality less so as they tend to just get caned anyway with black marker pens, food etc (I have 3 in school under 7). As my kids grow fast, I'd rather buy some new ones half way through the year than expect them to last all year. With my daughter, it's a bit of a struggle to get her to wear uniform so this year I am going to take her with me to choose. In this case, the style will be important. I will probably take her somewhere not Asda! where there are less tarty styles (M & S/ Sainsbury's) so she can't be tempted by them even though she is only 3. I probably wouldn't use NEXT as I think it's overpriced, but I will check their styles out online and see if there's something she may like.

I tend to buy online half way through the school year as uniform is less readily available. I bought my ds1 trousers from M & S online in January as he had already outgrown his September ones. They have lasted really well. In that case, the availability was most important as it wasn't 'back to school' time and many places were sold out of things. I also bought my ds2 and dd uniforms online as they started school Nursery in November so again, supermarkets were out of stock. I got ds2's trousers from very.co.uk and they are excellent quality.

I usually buy most things from the supermarket. If I was paying that bit extra, I would go for trousers from more expensive shops and tops/ jumpers from the supermarkets. I did buy trousers from M & S and found them excellent. However, in previous years I bought jumpers and found them no different from the supermarket ones (they were pretty cheap, but not as cheap as supermarket). I would prefer to know with M & S that I was getting quality and can choose the bits where I need quality items.

A schoolwear catalogue online is good, so can check out styles for dd. I think M & S need to focus on quality and availability though, rather than 'competing' with supermarkets. By availability I mean that uniform items are readily available all year round. I would like to see socks which co-ordinate with jumpers! So with the red jumpers, maybe red striped socks or socks with red stars on etc. It looks great and just a bit more funky (especially in summer, with shorts) to have co-ordinating socks! I think the main thing though would be to focus on quality/ more expensive rather than trying to offer cheaper items which are the same price/ quality as supermarkets. If you buy from M & S, even if it only costs £2 which is the same price as the supermarket, you kind of resent the fact it doesn't last, whereas with the supermarket you don't expect it too.

Donki Fri 22-Jun-12 10:53:21

Most important considerations

Comfort/Quality/fit/value for money - cheap is no good, if it goes through to holes in a week, or the YD won't wear it because it is uncomfortable, or doesn't fit properly!

If two garments were similar otherwise, I would be willing to spend a pound or two more per garment for made in the UK/fair trade/environmental factors.

I buy in store by preference so that comfort and fit can be tried out! I buy online whent he correct size/colour are not available in store.

I usually buy trouser in M&S because so far they have been the best fit/most comfortable (we go to an average of 3 shops to try things out). I don't use supermarkets, because previous experience of schoolwear (and other clothing) from Sainsburys and Tescos has been very poor. I buy school tops in the school shop, because they are unavailable elsewhere (embroidered logo). The sweatshirts are good, if expensive. I am not so impresed with the school polo shirts, but have no choice.

Blu Fri 22-Jun-12 11:14:40

~ 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 look for natural fubres / breathable / not shiny, and with some degree of sharpness and style to the cut. Too much school uniform becomes shapeless and downbeat looking too quickly. If they must wear uniform I would like it to look nice and keep it's shape. Cost is also a factor as is ease of care. Also easy availablility of all sizes in stock. As a wohm I don't have time to faff about sourcing things.

~^ 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 things onlline once I have seen them in store and ordered them once before., and if sizing proves to be consistent. The advantages of shopping online are wiped out if you have to faff about with returns. I think it would be useful to be able to send an adbance provisional order to a store: shirts, trousers, socks etc, all in specific sizes, and then to get a confirmation e mail saying they are all in - pop in and pick it all up, having tried on any items as 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?

I have not yet bought uniform items from M&S because my local stoore ad the other I pass regularly do not stock them, also I have had little need for uniform. From now on I need to be able to get white shirts and grey trousers for secondary and I have heard that M&S school trousers are good and less shiny / teflinny than others!

~^ 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?^

Stocking it on Brixton and Covent Garden would encourage me to buy - or a catalogue available in those stores and with an in-store collection in those stores. I hate having to go into a really busy town centre on a saturday for routine items like school uniform. (or ever, really!)

lionheart Fri 22-Jun-12 11:40:25

hen 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.

Quality and fit are most important but I like clothes that will be easy to wash and I can avoid ironing!

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two?

I always buy school clothes in store rather than online.

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?

A mixture of M&S, the school uniform provider for logo stuff and BHS if M&S don't have what I need. Sometimes it depends on the timings and M&S has limited stock but I will always try there first because I like the quality and the option of elasticiated, extended waists.

If you have bought school uniform from M&S recently, how did you find it? Did the item(s) last well or not? No problems with M&S. They last longer than BHS stuff which tends to wear at the knees and look scruffier, sooner.

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? Make sure that there is a full range of sizes available at peak buying times. It shouldn't be necessary and isn't practical to buy stuff as soon as the Summer holidays start just to be sure of availability. Are there any items that they don't currently stock that you'd like to see added to the range?

The boys socks tend to be either sporty of of slightly hideous colourful designs. White ankle socks for boys that don't have a frilly edge would be terrific! Would you appreciate a schoolwear catalogue available either online or in store? Online, certainly but it requires too much guess work and trial and error to work out exactly what will suit when your children grow so fast.

beachhutbetty Fri 22-Jun-12 12:21:32

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.
*I think I go by a combination of the above, with price and quality being the most important. Fit is important too but I am so used to altering trouser lengths and/or skirt waists that I don't consider that so much.

~ 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 mix of the two, although now I have to buy from the school shop which is a purely on-line experience. I find tops easier to shop for online. My 2 are not standard waist/height measurements so skirts and trousers are easier to shop for instore. Online is useful as it cuts out the hassle of taking DCs shopping but returns can be frustrating.

~ 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?
*Schoolblazer.com is designated uniform supplier but previously used M&S and Tesco. M&S uniform might seem pricier upfront but the quality means that it lasts longer and looks better.

~ 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?
*Happy with current provision

Tobagostreet Fri 22-Jun-12 12:22:00

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.
- Quality and fit are the most important factors closely followed by cost/value for money. Waists which can be adjusted and a variety of lengths (trousers). It’s important that the shirts are good quality and thickness (to ensure the white looks opaque), with well sewed on buttons!

~ 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 first option is always in store with the kids – it’s important to get the fit right, without multiple returns/re-orders. I only order online for instore pickup when I have under purchased or the sizing wasn’t available 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?
- I buy all of my uniforms from M&S when the discount offers are on (from underwear to overcoats). The quality differs with composition – same trousers in grey fare better that in black as material is different. There are often stock problems on basic items even in large stores (short sleeved white shirts tend to be available below age 5 and above age 13 – everything else can be a ‘scrum’ to get).

~ 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?
- Boys formal shorts – why oh why are they only available in Grey? Year after year I have the ‘hunt for black shorts’ amongst retailers. The laugh is that M&S sell so many black trousers – they have them in stock all year round – but never any shorts grrrr.

Nolda Fri 22-Jun-12 12:26:22

1. When buying shirts and dresses I look for those made from 100% cotton. And that is why I buy these items from M&S as they do 100% cotton items at a good price. I also like that there is a good choice of styles of dress. I like my DD to wear a longer length dress and not something too short and clingy. I like her to be able to play without feeling restricted by her dress. I also like her to look like a child rather than a mini-grown-up.

2. I tend to buy online but delivered to store (for free) as the M&S is my town is a Simply Food one and doesn't stock school uniform.

3. John Lewis and M&S for quality. All items from M&S have lasted well except a school tunic I bought last winter. The zip broke quite quickly but DD had the same style the previous year and that was fine and has been passed on to another girl.

4. Please could you add blue girls track pants to the range. I think you only have black at the moment. I picked up a schoolwear catalogue in store recently and think this is a good idea.

margia Fri 22-Jun-12 12:39:58

We buy uniform from 3 or 4 locations, supermarket, local market, school and high street. The most important thing is quality, with value a close second. I wouldn't consider buying a product for the first time online as you can't tell the quality of the material.

We haven't bought any uniform from m and s, mainly because it's at the other end of the city from where we tend to park, so by the time we've got there we've probably got all the essentials.

Don't think there's anything you could do about that though!

bebejones Fri 22-Jun-12 12:41:37

LoonyRationalist maybe it's just me then, but they just don't sit right on my short little DD & fold in a bit where the zip meets the skirt. Perhaps she just needs to grow a bit! I am probably going to buy some of the jersey ones, but I'm sure that the woven ones could be designed in a way that is easy to get on and off for littlies if some thought was put into it!! wink

Adding to my earlier post:

Improvements: More long socks in smaller sizes. They never seem to be in stock, and seem tricky to get hold of anywhere, not just M&S! Tights can be tricky for very little girls to cope with & I don't really fancy sending my 4 year old to school in the middle of winter in ankle socks!

YohoAhoy Fri 22-Jun-12 13:03:18

I'm not going to be saying too much different I think.

Quality, durability and value for money are the key factors. I buy most schoolwear staples from M&S for my son & daughter. That includes trousers, skirts, polo shirts, long-sleeved shirts, as well as socks.

Generally I'm please with the quality, although I do notice that the girls' trousers seem to be thinner material than the boys, or alternatively a jersey material that bobbles after the first wash. It would be nice to see trousers of a thicker material - the same actually applies to skrits, as these were very thin.

I do struggle a bit with my dd, who is 10. She is quite developed and tall for her age, so I'm generally buying clothes a couple of years older than her, so am already at age 14. The fit isn't brilliant, but she's not yet fitting into the smaller adult sizes. She's slim, but has hips, and I'm finding the same problem with most children's retailers - although I'm not sure what the answer is.

R2PeePoo Fri 22-Jun-12 13:10:40

Price is important on most items, except school dresses. I would be willing to pay more for the style I like. I like the waist at the waistline, rather than dropped to the hips, no pockets, ties to tie in a bow at the back, with a collar. I don't like dresses with seams on the outside as a decorative detail. I was really disappointed with M&S this year, I ended up buying the one dress I didn't hate but it wouldn't have been my first choice. I also like dresses that end at the knee/just past it and I had to buy my 7 year old DD a size 9 M&S dress in order to get that length this year.

I'll only buy online if there is a sale because of the delivery charge, or if I can't find a particular item. Otherwise I'll buy it instore.

I buy schoolwear from Sainsburys and M&S. I don't like BHs Schoolwear at all and I can't get easily to Tesco or Asda. 50% of DD's uniform comes from each shop pretty much. I found M&S jumpers are more long lasting, but they do fade and twist after about ten washes, so they no longer look good. Trousers have bobbled a bit at the knee but are otherwise fine. Polo shirts are long lasting but pricey and as they are the ones that get the most staining (uniform is navy trousers/jumper and sky blue polo shirts) I tend to try to get them as cheap as possible from other retailers. Dresses last year were excellent but I didn't like this years and only bought them because they were desperately needed.

Longer skirts please on dresses. Cheaper polo shirts and stores being aware of school uniform demands in the area. My local M& S is less than a mile from my daughter's school but doesn't stock pale blue polo shirts. I'd like to have good offers on schoolwear regularly throughout the year rather than one big push in the summer. Offers recently haven't convinced me to spend the money, I'd rather wait. Also all sizes available please throughout the year. Highly frustrating to make a trip to the shop and you have a rack of 4-5, 8-9 and 14-16.

I don't want a schoolwear catalogue, most primary school uniform is simple and available from a lot of places. I might have picked up a copy when DD was just about to start school but never again. I'd also like clothes to be sold in batches that make sense. DD needs five polo shirts a week, three pairs of trousers, three to five dresses, five pairs of socks, five vests. Dresses especially come in a double pack which is annoying as I feel I either have to overbuy or wash more regularly. Also more 'short' style pants rather than briefs, DD unimpressed by the range you currently have (and they should be cotton and brightly coloured according to her). Adjustable trousers are fabulous but they really don't need dangly butterflies or flowers-I'd rather pay less and have no decoration.

ProdigalMNer Fri 22-Jun-12 13:11:23

Price is prime consideration, however if the uniform doesn't fit properly there is never any point in buying it IMO. Therefore, the fit is of primary importance, i.e. adjustable waists and good leg length for DS. Similar considerations re skirts for DDs when they were in primary and we didn't have to buy the school's own uniform .

Styles of skirt from classic (for old gimmers like me to buy youngest DD) to trendier for those who prefer that style.
Regarding shirts, almost always buy all DCs M&S fairtrade cotton range (although I really struggled to get hold of these last year and can only see short sleeve girls fairtrade ones online at the moment confused)

I am also heavily swayed by 3 for 2 or similar offers, so long as the fit is right!

I shop both online and instore for uniform. Will usually take DCs instore for a fitting during summer and then either buy there and then or order online; often the stock instore hasn't been sufficient for me to take advatage of 3 for 2 offers cost-effectively instore and in these cases I have ordered online. I also order online for top-up uniform shops that I already know the sizing of and appreciate free delivery in these instances.

I usually find the quality of M&S uniform good, and the trousers are the best fit I have found for tall, slim DS. Used to order from another supplier that did fairtrade cotton shirts (?School Uniform Shop maybe?) and usually check out John Lewis, supermarkets etc but have ended up back at M&S for several years now due to the trouser fit for DS.

I would definitely like to see the fairtrade long-sleeved blouses available again. Not too worried about a schoolwear catalogue as it's easy to see the range online (so long as the complete range is shown). Also, I would love to know why navy cotton tights are so rarely available in 10 years? (This seems to be a common problem across many shops that sell uniforms BTW, not just M&S but they are part of youngest DDs uniform and several other schools I know of confused)

I also get frustrated by the universal retail policy of offering the best school wear offers at this time of year, before the children have even broken up for the summer. I understand we can buy with growing room but there is no telling how much a boy/girl may or may not grow in the summer holidays (particularly the pubescent variety!), and those who wait until the two weeks before term starts again miss out. Good economic sense for retailers but bit rubbish for parents who are simply trying to get optimum longevity from the uniform.

So to summarise, if you are providing good quality, ethically sound, well-fitting uniform at a reasonable price I will most probably (continue to) buy it.

Also, one final point, so long as the difference in price is minimal between stores I will often opt to buy as much uniform in one place as possible (because I am a lazy feck) .

HTH

tugamommy Fri 22-Jun-12 13:11:48

~ 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's price but quality as well, so I suppose value. I buy some bits from the supermarket but I tend to buy most stuff from M&S or JL because they're just better quality. Also, they're less synthetic - I can't stand the summer dresses in the supermarkets, they're all polyester.

~ 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?
All in store. Have thought about online, but really want to see the things first. The quality varies too much between items!

~ 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?
Bought mostly from M&S, a few things from JL and a few from Sainsburys. I found the items from M&S very good quality, although their cheaper (Value?) range wasn't much better than Sainsburys.

~ 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?
Warmer cardigans. I tend to buy the very-expensive logo ones from school just because they're nice and thick. M&S ones (or anywhere else) are not suitable for summer.

This isn't part of the questions, but could you please do the 3 for 2 again? Please?

gilmoregirl Fri 22-Jun-12 13:23:20

1 - most important factors: quality, sizing, value for money. I look for 100% cotton in polo shirts and jumpers. Adjustable waist in trousers. Some of the m and s value clothing is great - the navy cotton jumper is nicer than the more expensive version in my opinion. m and s school socks are great as they are labelled by size which is handy.
The value padded navy anorak was a great school coat - although as I noted on my online review it woudl be improved by adding a high visibilty strip.

2 - a mixture - I browse online and may order to collect in store. I am happy to buy anything online as I know I can return it if it does not fit or is not what I was expecting.

3- M and S and sainsburys - sainsburys is easier for me to get to and I can just pick up school uniform with the food shopping. All items I have bought from sainburys are similar quality to m and s.

4 I could not find navy gym shorts so bought black. Sometimes it is hard to get sizes online.

Bunbaker Fri 22-Jun-12 13:23:47

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 the only concern as DD is tall and very slim. Most retailers are catering for the obese child, but not for the tall and slim child. For teen ranges please can you start at adult size 6 as DD is too tall for an age 12 pair of trousers and too slim so that they fall down or are so gathered in at the waist that they look like rompers. Also please make longer skirts. All the schools where we live are tightnening up their uniform policy and short skirts are a definite no-no.

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 never buy online unless it is for a repeat item of clothing that I know will 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?

Anywhere that sells something that fits. Surrently a specialist schoolwear shop in our local town because they sell trousers in adult size 6.

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?

Slimmer. linger trousers and longer skirts please.

1) My DD is just finishing reception so she's had one year of uniform, and in looking for her uniform for next year, top of my list is durability. The M&S dresses have worn and washed really well, but the tights I got from a supermarket have stretched beyond belief, but the more expensive better quality ones from M&S have lasted. I wouldn't consider buying them full price, but with the 20% discount they are currently offering on uniform, the tights are an acceptable price for something I think will last.

2) In store is preferred, other than for PE t-shirts which were out of stock and fit isn't such an issue, so happy to buy on-line for certain things but would rather try it on DD first in general.

3) See answer to question 1. I also got a great skirt for £2 from sainsburys which is going to be used for its second year so I would also look round there for uniform again. Have bought things from tesco in the past but it wouldn't be my first choice.

4) In my head M&S is expensive and supermarkets are cheap, but actually the prices are pretty comparable and the quality of some items (specifically girls tights) is much better, I'm glad I now know this!

DD could do with a slimmer fitting dress...maybe more different styles/cuts available?

Caerlaverock Fri 22-Jun-12 13:35:50

1. Fit, quality, price, like many on this tread I have a tall slim child m&s skirts and trouser do not fit. I do love m&s 3/4 sleeve polo shirts but they only appear in the shops on the 3rd blue moon after midsummer and then disappear.

2. I buy polo shirts online for the above reason, the rest I get in shops

3. I buy from any old shop if it fits. Asia for cardies , John Lewis for trousers and skirts, m&s for tops

4. I don't think the quality of the uniform is much better than the stuff you can pick up at supermarkets so I don't buy it. tunics, dresses and skirts need to be better fit as they seem to be aimed at strange barrell children. More of a range in the jersey material tops as they look nice and are comfy.

RedBlanket Fri 22-Jun-12 13:36:06

~ 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.

DS is hypersensitive to hard, stiff clothing and is consequently quite fussy about what he will and wont wear. So the first thing on my mind is whether the waist band is soft enough for him and whether there's any buttons on them (another phobia of his). After that come price and quality

~ 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 buy the same type of trousers every year so i buy them online and pick up in store. School undies and socks I usually pick up in store as and when we need them. Jumpers have to come from them official uniform shop so I have to go the shop for them.

~ 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&S for trousers and shorts, having been buying the same type for the past 4 years. Look nice and smart, dont need ironing, last really well and are long enough for my tall DTs.
Jumper - is logo'd so that comes from the rip off uniform shop
Polo shirts - tried M&S ones for the frst time this year and not impressed. Contrary to claims they aren't stain resistant and even after ironing they look awful. And they aren't long enough in the body. Wont buy them again.
Socks - M&S black cotton ones. wouldn't buy anything else
Undies/Vests - 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?

Offer embroidery service to put school logos on school jumpers.
Rethink the polo shirts (for boys)
Make sure you have enough stock in the stores in August

Quip Fri 22-Jun-12 13:41:04

One more thing for M&S: when I bought my son's trousers from M&S this year (three weeks ago) there was a 2-pack of trousers for £9 and a single pair for £9. Seemingly identical. Store assistant couldn't tell me the difference, but said why not get 4 pairs (I came in to buy 3). I didn't need 4 pairs, and hate waste, so this particular pricing strategy did irk me a bit, as I felt I was paying over the odds for the single pair of trousers.

marquesas Fri 22-Jun-12 13:42:54

I have boys and at their schools (one primary one secondary) they wear uniform logoed polos and sweatshirts so the only uniform I buy is trousers/shorst

Over the years I have bought from many different retailers, mainly Tesco, BHS and M & S.

At reception/early years ages the most important factor is fit, I was happy to buy cheaper/lower quality items as I knew they wouldn't last long on a quickly growing child to justify a higher price.

Over the years as the growth rate has slowed I've moved to more expensive that will last a whole school year if I'm lucky. As it happens all my uniform for the past couple of years has been from M & S for that reason. There is a good quality range (can't remember the name) for about £12 for a pair of trousers which I've been very pleased with.

BUT I recently bought what I thought was a similar range on line, what a disappointment. Either a poster above is right and you get poor quality online or standards have really slipped. The material is almost see through, the stitching is very poor and I have had to restitch seams myslef more than once.

I won't buy online again which means that I'm less likely to buy from M & S again as their nearest store to me which sells uniform is about 20 miles away.

RedBlanket Fri 22-Jun-12 13:49:29

Quip - I bought trousers a couple of months ago and saw the exact same thing. They were exactly the same trousers, the assistant checked. I did buy yhe double pack though as I hate missing out on a bargain and I've got DTs so they would have been used.

putthehamsterbackinitscage Fri 22-Jun-12 13:55:32

I posted yesterday and came on this thread to see what everyone else was saying....

Is there something about mumsnetter kids.... We are mainly saying same things about tall skinny dcs, and needing sizes for slim rather than plus size....

And skirt lengths etc....

Thinking back, when I was at school, skirts were always long enough, we had to roll the waist over to make them shorter grin

My DD is tall but not freakishly so.... Why is it that school skirts now are so much shorter length?

An extra request for all clothes not just uniform.... Can we have a skinny range in tips and dresses....

My 11 yo DD needs age 13/14 for height but doesn't yet have a bust to match, so tops etc are far too big for her, either that or a tight fitting top is like a crop top wink

WhyTheBigPaws Fri 22-Jun-12 13:57:45

~ 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 is a big factor - I don't want to spend a fortune but I rarely buy from the really cheap ranges eg supermarkets because I think it shows. The fabrics are not very nice and the clothes don't always wash well or look good for long. A range of styles is important to my fussy DD and as she is tiny a selection of fits is useful. I think Next (sorry!) do slim fit in their skirts and trousers without it affecting the length which is handy - my DD has no waist or hips and is not that tall but in proportion to her weight she is so standard size clothes don't always fit well and it's especially the case with uniform because the clothes are more fitted - with leggings or t-shirts for eg you can get away with it more.

~ 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 usually look at the range online before buying in store although I have also ordered to the store but trying on is so important with uniform and returning is a pain so I prefer to do it in person - for the 'big' September shop that is, for bits in between eg another skirt in the same size I'd probably order online and buy a few things for myself while I'm at it.

~ 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 get most of my DD's schoolwear from M&S <sucking up!> because the prices and the quality suit me. We have a fairly big branch near us and if I time it right (start of the holidays on a quiet day) I can usually get most of what I need in one go. I have also bought from Next (good), BHS (not great) and sports shops for things like football boots and of course certain things have to come from the school shop.

~ 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 range of sizes on the shelves in-store - I can't always find the size I need and in our store you have to go to the Customer Service desk to see if they've got them in stock which is a pain. A better selection of trainers/sports stuff/bags/coats etc would be handy - the more I can get under one roof the better!

PinkPup Fri 22-Jun-12 14:05:00

~ 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.

Definitely price and fit - I have one v tall child and most uniforms are too short. My kids lose jumpers constantly and rip/stain their other clothes, so I am replacing them all the time, therefore don't want them to be 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?

Mainly in store. I need to see what size things come up at (eg summer dresses - because they are usually too short) Free delivery would make me buy my staples online, such as shirts, tights 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?

A mixture - Tesco, Sainsburys, M&S. Bought a summer dress from M&S last year because it was the only place I could find an age 13 one, for my tall 10 year old. Sadly the dress is too short this year and I don't think they exist in larger sizes.

~ 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? Clothes for taller children. It's no good ending primary school style clothes at age 11 when children are the height of a 14 year old.

secretsquirrel1 Fri 22-Jun-12 14:06:34

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.
Quality/durability/style (most of the time!)

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?
Shop in store-as the sizing is the only thing I have a problem with. My DD was wearing age 14 blouses/winter coat when she was 7 because the clothes just do not fit. She is tall for her age and 'solid' built around the middle but even short sleeves don't fit her arms! The sizing has definetly changed in the last few years; the clothes are much smaller.

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 found the blouses and skirts excellent in quality-also the socks. Lasted for a good 6/12. Spent twice as much in the school uniform shop 'Graduates' but the stitching on the skirt came apart after a month. The stitching on the 'Graduates' socks was woeful as well - M&S all the way for knickers & socks!

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:
* they should have a range of 'standard/longer' length. Everything is far too short for my DD (she is the tallest in her class by almost a foot!)
* they should stock uniform all year, not just in the month before they go back to school in September
* schoolwear catalogue a good idea

serendipity1980 Fri 22-Jun-12 15:46:54

I have just bought M&S uniform items for the first time, my DS starts school in September. I also bought some items from Next because M&S had started running out of the size I needed for some of the items sad I was amazed because it was May when I ordered the clothes, I really wasn't expecting items to be out of stock.

When I buy uniform I look for style, quality, cost effective but I don't buy the cheapest all the time because it is sometimes better to spend more because it will be better quality. I also look for adjustable waists because my DS is very slim. I recently bought some socks, PE shorts, plimsols. They were all good value, especially the shorts and seem to be good quality. My only comment would be that they need to introduce half sizes for plimsols - my DS is an 8 1/2 but I bought a 9 hoping he'll grow before September. If he doesn't he'll have to wear two pairs of socks when he does PE.

Overall, I think M&S is good, it's just their stock issues they mainly need to sort it.

LineRunner Fri 22-Jun-12 15:53:46

My DC's schools have always gone down the 'single supplier' route (which they refuse to change, despite the government guidelines on fair trading, and parental queries) for complicated blazers and ties and embroidered crests etc.

I would love it if M&S would put pressure on Gove to make schools accept that all major retailers should be able to supply uniform, and that schools should supply tranferable school badges.

hopeful3 Fri 22-Jun-12 16:07:27

~ 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 quality because I want them to last the school year, although of course prices matters as well. DS is tall and skinny so having trousers that fit round the waist and are adjustable is important. Unfortunately, &S trosers are pretty good for length but too big around the waist, even the ones where the waist can be adjusted!

~ 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. Delivery can put me off, as does having to post items back, in which case I may as well have gone to the 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?

Mostly from the school but what isn't logoed is from various shops, including supermarkets. Knowing that there were different waist and/or length fittings would help a great deal.

~ 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?

Adjustable waists for slimmer children and maybe 2 or 3 different lengths. Different shades of grey. A catalogue would help.

Bunbaker Fri 22-Jun-12 18:44:22

I am going to shout now, having read more posts

M & S please make more clothes for skinny children.

MerryMarigold Fri 22-Jun-12 18:48:54

Definitely Bunbaker, definitely. They are so hard to get unless you go to Europe.

ripsishere Fri 22-Jun-12 18:50:38

I'll third that suggestion.

Bunbaker Fri 22-Jun-12 18:53:34

I have just been on to their website and written some reviews on their girls' trousers with the criticism that they are too wide on the waist. I know that we have an obesity epidemic in this country, but not all of us have chunky children. I am always reading on parenting forums about children who can't get school uniforms to fit because they are slim. I would have thought there was a market for them.

I will just have to take up sewing.

changeforthebetter Fri 22-Jun-12 19:01:39

~ 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.

Buttoned elastic waistbands. DD1 is vair slim and most clothes fall off her hips. M&S already do this. Washability and general durability are hugely important.

~ 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?

Have bought majority of stuff so far in "big 4" supermarket - not as durable as M&S though - especially tights.

~ 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?

Sainsbo, Tesco, Asda and M&S -M&S hands down for quality.

~ 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?

More "skorts" DD loves these. Cooler than trousers but still practical. Fewer pleats tho' (see Sainsbo's for a good style wink)

Hopezibah Fri 22-Jun-12 20:05:16

When buying my son's first school uniform, we had huge trouble finding age 3 trousers (because children tend to start school aged 4 or 5 and so not many places stocked age 3 which was his size at the time as he is very thin). Combined with finding navy (rather than the usual grey) age 3 trousers was proving difficult - until we found that M&S did stock them. We ordered online for this reason to be sure we could get the size / colour we wanted.

My preference is to order online when buying several items of uniform. Only negative of this is delivery charge. I hate paying online delivery charges.

As kids grow so fast out of uniform (or lose it so readily at school), I don't like paying too much - so it needs to be good value yet reasonably good fit / quality. Stretchy waistbands are great for those skinny waists.

Items i don't buy from M&S or other 'general' schoolwear retailers are shoes (need to be very good quality and fitted in person not online), and uniform jumpers (as usually need logo on).

Searching online for the products i need means i don't feel i need a catalogue.

Good coats that are a suitable dark colour (black, grey or navy) waterproof, durable and reasonably priced are also sometimes hard to find.

hope this helps!

Lilyloo Fri 22-Jun-12 20:14:42

I always buy my uniform online. I am loyal to m&s, I tend to buy when they have offers on.
I buy them for quality and price.
Everything from trousers to period pumps have been great.
I have found problems with hems coming down on both girls and boys trousers after a few wears.
I also find their polo shirts always shrink, have again had boys and girls polo shirts.

Lilyloo Fri 22-Jun-12 20:16:27

Sorry auto correct 'pe' not period

mercibucket Fri 22-Jun-12 20:23:23

I usually buy m and s when they have the sale and free delivery. I like the quality, and the permanent iron crease thing down the trousers

I am very annoyed they don't sell black shorts - what do they think all those who wear black trousers are going to wear in summer?

Ds1 is now too large for their trousers though. He's not fat, is in the right weight/height ratio, but the trousers are too tight round the waist. They are great for ds2 who is skinny. So I think they are quite a slim fit

theladylovescupcakes Fri 22-Jun-12 20:43:35

Fit is most important as DS is an odd shape! Always manage to get something to fit in M&S and would try there first. Usually buy I store but must admit to ordering a few styles and sizes online for home delivery and trying on in comfort at home.

Hems have been a bit dodgy this year for the first time IME. Quality usually great otherwise, and wouldn't shop for uniform anywhere else.

Cantdothisagain Fri 22-Jun-12 21:04:28

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.

I am less bothered about fit/price than about how easy it is for my 4 year old to put in on/take it off herself. One pinafore she has from M&S, that looks lovely and fits well, somehow is tricky for her to put on - she has a jersey one from Sainsbury that is much easier. In terms of polo shirts/sweatshirts, she has to wear both with school logo on so there is no choice as to where to buy them. Tights have oddly enough been the biggest problem as they seem to shrink in the tumble dryer - M&S have been way better than Sainsburys for this and now I get her tights in M&S or John Lewis.

~ 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?

Both. Online I do click and collect from my local store - it's been a really positive experience; no problems at all. But I also buy in store, as we live near a giant M&S.

~ 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 daughter's uniform is a grey skirt/trousers/pinafore plus polo shirt with school logo and sweatshirt/cardigan with school logo in winter/gingham dress plus school cardi in summer. So the only flexibility really is in the choice of skirt/trousers/pinafore. I have bought these from Sainsburys, M&S and John Lewis. I would say that the M&S pinafore is nicer than the others (the John Lewis one is an odd shape - but material is good) but harder to put on than the jersey Sainsburys one, which she can put on and off herself much more easily. So I'd like to see a jersey style winter pinafore (though I admit that this is probably an issue only for preschool/reception kids). All the pinafores have lasted well. Tights are a different issue - they all seem to shrink, and the M&S ones have been better on this front.

~ 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?

Soft jersey pinafore that would just pull over the head (so DD could dress herself). For the summer, ensure good stock of frilly ankle socks (my local mega-sized M&S seems to run out of these). I would love an online catalogue.

As an aside, I love the reviews on the website. V helpful.

BerryLellow Fri 22-Jun-12 22:02:40

~ 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.

Price and quality are important. When so many things need to be bought at once, on a regular basis, I need to not be spending a small fortune. However, I tend not to buy something if the material feels cheap, or the item seems poorly made as it's a false economy. Style is not too much of an issue for us as yet, as I'm buying primary uniform and DS is not hugely fussy. I can imagine that may not always be the case!

~ 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 buy in store, picking up things as we need them where possible. I prefer to be able to feel the fabric, and see the shape and size for myself. I find it irritating that you can't find a good stock of school uniform in store all year, just at times like now, when you don't necessarily want to be buying clothes before a two month break in the school 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?

Mostly M&S so far, but have also tried Sainsburys, as their pricing-quality ratio is very good. Most recently bought new shorts and polo shirts for DS from M&S, and they seem to be holding up well. Before that, though, I had trousers, and the hems were coming apart and dragging around within a couple of weeks which I was annoyed about.

~ 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'd like to see lightweight waterproof jackets/cagoules and fleeces in the same plain colours as the school jumpers. I also think the school shoes are a bit poor for boys. Would like a schoolwear catalogue that you could keep at home and order from throughout the year, much like Next do.

jackies4 Fri 22-Jun-12 23:35:08

I agree fit is very important and height too. My daughter is 12 but I need to buy age 14 at least in m&s so the clothes fit her height, but then its too baggy. Can they do extra tall versions as well as petite for school clothes?

SpringSunshine Sat 23-Jun-12 18:46:40

When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you?

The most important thing to me is what it is made of - I want 100% cotton and definitely no Teflon or other chemicals. After that fit is important, then style for my dd at least. Price is relatively irrelevant!

~ 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?

For staples I will shop online but have to go instore to try things on - particulary with moving to secondary this Sep. The instore experience is very important - dedicated staff available to help and knowledgeable are essential. I would love an appointment system for busy times

~ 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 used John Lewis as that is the school supplier. Also Trutex for fairtrade cotton (when they did it) and M &M direct online for cotton stuff. I have bought shirts from M & S when they did 100% cotton and socks / undies etc

~ 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?

Fairtrade cotton is the way to go - loads of people have chidren with allergies or simply do not wish their children's clothes coated with chemicals / care about the environmental impact

Tangfasticlady Sat 23-Jun-12 23:13:21

~ 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, style, price and quality

~ 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?
Instore

~ 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?
Tesco, especially for shirts as they seem to remain whiter for longer and are easier to iorn.

~ 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?
Some more fashionable school items for older children.

gilliancd Sun 24-Jun-12 17:22:46

I've just started buying for my daughter who starts school in September. We've got things from tescc, asda, m+s and matalan with the intention of comparing how they last.
I've not noticed massive differences in prices but what is important to me is that clothes look smart and not tacky. I've noticed quite a few skirts with frilly bits or dodgy belts which I would run a mile to avoid.
So far the only things I haven't been able to find are for the PE kit. a good range of shorts and tracksuit bottoms in a range of colours would be nice!

bruffin Sun 24-Jun-12 17:44:53

I bought uniform from M&s all the way through primary for dcs. Their cotton jumpers and cardigans, were brilliant and lasted forever.
Bought Ds most of his uniform from. M&S when he started secondary, shirts still really good, but blazer lining not good.
Then 3 years ago went to get dds new uniform only to find no more traditional.uniform and only fashion style.
The 14 yr old blazer didn't fit my 11 year despite the fact she was tall and thin.
No traditional short sleeved open neck blouses, and no skirts that were suitable. So my daughter had no uniform from m &s at all. Quality has gone downhill and far less choice.

LLJ4 Sun 24-Jun-12 23:02:50

Nearly all the uniform we have, except the school logo things, is from M&S. I always buy in the shop as I like to get a feel for it.

In particular we have been pleased with the polo shirts, which wash and iron well and have kept their shape despite being cheap. Wish they did navy blue; don't want to spend ££ on logo ones nor ruin my washing machine with Dylon!

I would like more variety in leg length as mine are beanpoles.

I second/third/fourth the plea for more stock in August. DS1 grew nearly 4cm in three months, so it's pointless buying him September trousers in .

MrsBadger Mon 25-Jun-12 13:46:14

Important factors:
1. School requirements (eg polo shirts have to have logo so must come from school shop)
2. Value for money - I don't mind paying a bit more if the damn stuff will last. Esp tights.
3. Price - but having said that if a cheap one will do then I will go for that.
4. Ease of purchase, so bought online and delivered or grabbed in Tesco with shopping. No special trips to Primark or JL, it's bad enough having to get shoes fitted.
4. DD will wear it without fuss - eg last winter Tesco pinafores with the flower zip tag were the coolest thing ever and skirts were nowhere; this summer she is liking choosing between gingham dress and shorts.

Online or in store?
Would try hard no to make a special trip to shop in store as the hassle is just too great. I measure dd (and clothes I know fit her at the moment) carefully at home and either order online and hope it all fits (dd is v average so it usually does, and everything has adjustable waists now) or grab it in the supermarket and similarly hope it all fits. Trying stuff on her in changing rooms with a toddler in tow is not feasible. I only wish M&S had better click-and-collect options (eg at Simply Food stores). I wouldn't buy school shoes online, but then I don't buy them from M&S.

Retailers:
I have bought most stuff from the school shop (logos, sigh) but the quality is not bad and the prices are actually pretty reasonable. Initially I bought skirts and trous from M&S but after the special request from DD to get Tesco pinafores like her friends' I have embraced supermarket greywear as the polyester seems to be indestructible and dd has not complained of itchyness.
Still go to M&S for the fab grey heart print long socks and the shorts-style knickers (excellent bottom coverage and no itchy lace at leg holes), and this year for shirts too as dd will wear a tie come Sept and I liked the look of the Ultimate ones with velcro top button and elastic cuffs.

Improving M&S's schoolwear:
I was not impressed that the packs of white shorts-style knickers were not included in the schoolwear offer, only the mad coloured ones - what's that all about?
I'd also like to see fully-fashioned ribbed tights - the best ones we ever had were a random grey pair of Boden ones that came in a pack with a pink pair but nowhere seems to do them in just school colours.
I was pleased to see this year there's an option of longer skirts and pinafores for girls - you could do with putting actual garment measurements for these on he website though.
Wouldn't use a paper catalogue and the website is pretty good already.

ronshar Mon 25-Jun-12 16:33:05

I buy all our uniform in M&S except the branded jumpers.
I love the quality of the shirts and some of my eldest summer dresses are still going 7 years later. Not on her I might add!
I get very frustrated by the lack of choice in green. Very few skirts and the tights are always out of stock.

The shirts are easy to wash and sometimes don't even need ironing, fab in my house!

I use a mix of online & shop. Mostly due to supply issues with the green.

mymonkey Mon 25-Jun-12 16:59:51

Most important factors are fit, quality, longevity ie still look decent at least one full term in. Also easy care (am a lazy cow) so things like stain resistance, no iron, and good finishing at hems, pockets etc (I know I'll end up sewing or buying again if not robust).

A zip pocket in trousers is a major plus - DS could lose limbs if not zipped on.

Tend to have a look at range in-store, perhaps buy a couple of pairs of trousers to try on and compare at home then can do the rest online (collect from store and return via store too = most convenient of both worlds).

I love that there is a range of trouser styles - sizing just doesn't cover all different shapes and being able to try a few different styles on helps to identify which fit best / look smartest. Some don't have zip pocket though - this is key (see above ;-)

Always buy from M&S - buying elsewhere has resulted in a) cursing loudly while sewing up hems after only a couple of wears or b) buying again to avoid cursing/sewing when damage has been more substantial.

Nothing else we need from M&S as school insists on own range of sweatshirts and polo shirts, so it's really trousers and PE-wear we need. Going up a school next year so may change opinion then.

NickettyNacketty Mon 25-Jun-12 17:16:09

1. I juggle price, quality and fit in my decision on where to buy schoolwear. If M&S is slightly more expensive but has the style and fit then I will buy their stuff because of the quality. If the style and fit aren't right then there is no point as the children aren't happy. Sometimes the style is dictated by the school too.
If it's too expensive then I look at Sainsburys or BHS.

2. I mix online shopping with instore. Some things I like to see in the flesh or try against my children others I can just buy age sized online. When the specific item I need isn't in the store, like summer dresses for instance, I look online. The different ways of delivery are handy.

3. My last purchase of school uniform was some blouses for my 13 year old daughter and I have ended up buying online from BHS simply because she prefers the style. I would have preferred M&S because the quality is better. Before that I bought summer dresses for the two younger girls and they are great. The quality is good the style is lovely and traditional, not trashy or gimmicky and the prices were fine.

4. Mostly I would say that the service provided by M&S is good. The Internet has allowed most uniform items to be available all year which is a vast improvement.

ByTheWay1 Mon 25-Jun-12 18:37:05

There are only a few things I can say about the M&S schoolwear -
1. STOCK the stores with all sizes - can hardly ever find the size we want.
2. love the tall/skinny trousers for girls - my daughter actually got a pair that fits.
3. the quality of the school socks is rubbish
4. actually have some stock in the stores AFTER the school holidays too, when kids need to go up a size it is not always in the holidays!
5. most of the stuff is great quality - but if I need something urgently it is usually bought at BHS as they stock uniform in all sizes, all year round.

TheSecondComing Mon 25-Jun-12 18:53:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MeDented Mon 25-Jun-12 19:26:37

We usually buy most of the main items like skirts, trousers , cardigans and jumpers from M&S as I have found the quality the most reliable over the years. Also, with 2 skinny children, I find M&S have more variety with adjustable waist. Debenhams are good too. Polo shirts and blouses I replace more often during the year and tend to pick up as I see / need them so usually Tesco.
Fit and stain-proof are the most important factors for me. So many uniforms are very wide for my children, I actually don't know any children that wide!
I will buy online if I have used the store before and feel confident which size I need, sometimes it can be easier to get the size you need than in store. Our schools wear bottle green and royal blue so more choice in these colours would be helpful.

goingdownhill Mon 25-Jun-12 19:28:03

The important factors for me when buying uniform is definitely value for money. I would rather pay a little extra for good quality hard wearing fabric. I want to be able to go in store and buy all things in one go and to be able to get extra through the year, as things get lost, become outgrown etc. I like uniform that looks traditional and smart. I hate excess zips, combat style pockets on school wear, I love that m&s keeps uniform smart.

I would personally always buy uniform in store. I like to see the quality of the material and the exact style of clothes (I am very fussy!). It is frustrating at times though when random sizes are stocked lots of tiny or huge items and nothing in the middle.

I buy all of the children's uniform from m&s or sainsbury. I have no brand loyalty and will buy what I feel is the best product at the time. I bought white polo shirts and knee high white socks for DD in Jan from m&s which are brilliant. I also bought a two pack of grey skirts, even though they are her size and she is a very average sized child they are huge, an adjustable waist band in all skirts and trousers would be very appreciated.

My DS is not yet in school. When I look for uniform I will be looking for stuff that is well made and good quality, that fits him. I will be trying to avoid the teflon coatings and chemical treatments, though that is getting harder.

i expect I will buy online to ensure the maximum range of sizes.

TheMonster Mon 25-Jun-12 19:37:55

~ When you're buying school uniform in general for your DC, what are the most important factors to you? Price and fit. I know that uniform doesn't last the whole year, so I don't want to spend double the amount on something that I know I can get for £3 in the supermarket. Also fit is important as DS has a slim waist so I like to get him elasticated wastes, preferably without flies as he struggles with them.

~ Do you tend to shop for schoolwear exclusively in store, exclusively online, or a mix of the two? Only in store. I considered buying school shorts online once when the supermarkets had run out.

~ Which retailer(s) do you usually buy schoolwear from and why? I tend to get uniform in Asda or Sainsbury's as it's handy to buy when you are doing a food shop. I don't often visit M&S as then don't stock plus sizes for ladies wear in store so I don't go in for me and I am unlikely to make a special trip for uniform.

~ Is there anything that you think M&S could do to improve their schoolwear range? Never, ever sell school trousers or shorts with combat style pockets.

bruffin Mon 25-Jun-12 19:40:38

What I don't understand is why m&s doesn't to This very basic style of blouse

Bunbaker Mon 25-Jun-12 19:43:49

Perhaps it is because more schools are tightening up their uniform policy and blouses like that aren't allowed? DD has to wear a tie so she has to wear a shirt that buttons right up to the top.

bruffin Mon 25-Jun-12 20:00:30

DD school the girls don't wear a tie its not unusual in schools with strict uniform, M&S only seem to do fashion blouses with open colours ie capped sleeve or 3/4 sleeve and no proper revere collar so I cant see any that are really suitable for a strict uniform.

- 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 being able to get hold of it, tried to get sports wear on line last summer and some items were sold out (on M&S online) but this info was not available when I ordered it, not sure why, other retailers seem to manage this. Really annoying as I then had to go out and find it somewhere else.

~ 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? Mixture of the two, I would need to travel to get to a store that sold it, depends if I'm in there for another reason. Mainly 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? Bought M&S polo shirts and shorts recently, too soon to know if it last well, price was good though. Rest a mixture of local uniform shops & Tesco. |Its a mixture of keeping local shops going, price and conveinience.

~ 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? More colours for polo shirts, how about some Royal Blue ones

The3Bears Mon 25-Jun-12 20:13:19

~ 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 and quality is most important to me, I would pay more for some school pants that didnt drag on the floor and felt like a better quality material.

~ 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 abit of both, I would rather buy trousers instore as ds is slightly shorter than average for his age and I like to try them against him to make sure they're okay. Things like pe kits and socks I usually get online, the free delivery with school uniform is a great idea as it's sometimes easier to order online but paying for delivery is annoying when buying alot of school uniform anyway.

~ 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 was the first time I bought school uniform as ds was starting reception, I purchased some from M&S and some from John Lewis. One pair of trousers I bought from M&S didnt last long as ds had tripped in the playground and the knees became all worn after a couple of weeks. I have since purchased more trousers and shorts from M&S and they have been better quality and a good fit but the hem did come undone after a couple of weeks which I was dissapointed with but fixed myself. I love M&S socks and vests as they are great quality and value and wash really well.

~ 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 catalouge would be great as you could browse it and then order quicker online or instore, I agree with others who have said about making sure all sizes are in stock as a few times I have gone into my local store and have been unable to find the right size.

Gethsemane Mon 25-Jun-12 20:22:25

1. Style first, then fit, then quality. But don't get me wrong all three factors ar important - I just wouldn't make my child wear something that looked silly or didn't really fit just because I knew it would wash well.

2. A mix of both. Online if I am organised enough. I would only buy online from a retailer that I have previously bought from in store (so that I know the products fit well and don't fall apart.

3. M&S. Cheap, looks good and lasts quite well (not quite as well as others - but is so cheap that makes it okay).

4. No - they have a good range. A catalogue would be pointless.

MrsS3 Mon 25-Jun-12 20:27:56

~ 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.
priorities differ with each of my children. For ds1 (AS) it's the fit and the fabric. We buy him all M&S because the fit is right for him and the adjustable waist on school trousers is good so he can get it just how he wants it. The long sleeved cotton shirts I've just bought (moving to high school this time) seem good and he always liked the polo shirts, the quality is good and they wash well.
For ds2 we need decent quality and bargain multi-deals as he is the [stereo-]typical boy, crawling on the floor, rolling round playing football and climbing trees. He's in juniors but you'd never believe it from the knee holes in his trousers. Some emphasis on quality but mainly quantity for him (have not yet figured out how he can get through six pairs of trousers in a five day week). He needs a complete set of clean uniform every day as he gets covered in all sorts - paint, mud, sand, name it.
DD has sensitive allergic skin conditions and needs 100% cotton on her skin. Can't wear polo shirts so we get cotton blouses. Utter nightmare. Tend to buy M&S pinafores as they wear well, and don't touch her skin, also get the cotton summer dresses. Socks and tights are a pain as we have to hunt all over the place for stuff that doesn't make her itch when not in summer whites.

~ 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?
mix the two, but mainly in store so I can check out fabrics and stuff, esp for ds1. For dd I tend to get it online, and for ds2 I often buy as/when needed in supermarkets alongside the food shopping as he gets through so much of the stuff. Once bought M%S shoes for him which was a huuuuge mistake, they lasted less than three weeks and had no toes, the leather was a thin coating, absolute rubbish. wouldn't buy shoes there again, false economy.

~ 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? We buy about 75% of our uniform from M&S. the trousers and polo shirts wear well. The long sleeved white shirts I got for ds1 today have come up quite small fitting (which happens to be ok in this case). Girls cardigans were a big disappointment last year; we were over the moon to find mostly-cotton ones but they drooped and went baggy very quickly. School summer dresses for dd age 6 have attracted compliments from other parents that the style is nice. We chose them mainly for the fabric, which is also lovely! wink The remainder of our uniform comes from Debenhams (dd's blouses) and lots of top-ups ASDA, for ds2. DS2 is a long skinny thing and the M&S stuff on the whole seems to be made for fatter kids ones who aren't so skinny. This year we have also bought high school uniform for ds1 from the local retailer - blazer, ties, PE kit etc.

~ 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 to schoolwear catalogue - a printed one - available all year round!! Our local stores don't have uniform after mid August hmm and staff look at you aghast should you ask for school trousers at any other time (i.e. during term time, obv). The only stockist is an out-of-town retail park around 15 miles away. Even there, they only stock decent quantities at this time of year, not all year round. Great if you want to buy a whole years worth of uniform for all three children at once. (clue: I don't.) A range for skinny middles would be good, trousers tend not to fit ds2 as by the time we have the right leg length we've taken the adjustable waist in to ridiculous amounts. Beanpole fit would be great wink

3duracellbunnies Mon 25-Jun-12 21:13:03

My girls like pinafore dresses/ summer dresses, and for me the main problem getting dresses is that there seems to always be a short zip. They have to squeeze into them, nightmare on PE day, when the dress itself is then baggy on them. Dd2 is tiny, but she sruggles to get into dressees which otherwise fit well. I tend to buy a size or two too big for my 7 year old as the lengths are quite short, she is quite active and doesn't want to be showing her knickers, also as she has to sit crosslegged in school she likes to be able to cover her knickers rather than her dress around her waist. Elasticated waists are great for skirts / trousers as it saves having to find the style which fits your dc.

We just buy in shops. This is a mixture of generally M+S or Sainsbuy's, sometimes Asda. We also get stuff froom school secondhand shop as much of it is logoed, and they sell non logo stuff too. I like M+S velcro plimsoles like the socks with size embroidered,, great for matching up after the wash. I buy tights, at M+S but recently they have been more prone to holes in crotch and knees.

I don't mind whether it is online or in catalogue.

vixo Mon 25-Jun-12 21:23:20

My daughter is starting school in September and another mum said that m&s is the place she buys her boys uniform as it lasts best and is the best quality (having tried lots of others) so we bought some when the latest 20% off offer was on.

In my limited experience I want to know that the fabrics are good quality and will be comfortable to wear - I don't wear polyester clothes myself so don't want my children to have to. I want them to fit well - my daughter is tall and slim. I want them to be relatively plain in design - no fancy sequins, buttons, frills etc which I hate - incidentally if boys can have nice plain, functional trousers, why can't girls?!

I would prefer to see the clothes in real life to feel the fabric and check the quality before I buy.

blooblies Mon 25-Jun-12 21:28:56

I am relatively new to uniform buying since my eldest has just finished P1. To me, the most important factors to me for uniform were how had-wearing it was (asked other mums for their experiences) and how easy it is to care for. Of course the price had to be good too or else I would have had to compromise on some things. On recommendation, we ended up with M&S pinnies, summer dress, skirt, tights and plimsoles (they were a great bargain, and velcro too for P1). I liked the permanent pleats which could avoid ironing if dried well. As another poster said, the zips are a wee bit short and so getting in and out can be a struggle. They have all lasted well - no tears, holes worn in them or permanent stains. The greys are looking a bit washed out but will probably do another dc for a while at least, if not a full year.

I am not a fan of online uniform purchase as, unless you know the range well, lengths and growing room cannot be assessed without added expense and hassle of delivery and returns. I was annoyed that some colour options were only available online so bought from another store which had a branch close to me.

Rainydayagain Mon 25-Jun-12 21:31:35

I was really dissapointed with quality. I was looking for a wool mix ( what i wore in school) it was all shiny ( cheap) we bought one pinafore from you to test quality ( still pre school) And to keep desperate child happy.

I'll pay more make it nicer!

Blatherskite Mon 25-Jun-12 21:48:51

~ 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.

DS is just finishing his first year at school so buying uniform is all fairly new to us but last year, when buying my first lot, I would have said that for me, the most important factors were price, fit and feel. DS is very skinny and I often struggle to find bottoms that don't just fall straight off him so adjustable waists are very important. On top of this, I look for a slim fit as sometimes trousers can look very silly when the waists have been pulled in enough to fit DS. I think I probably avoided M&S last year as trousers for bigger children were being advertised and this was the opposite of what I was looking for. Ds also has quite sensitive skin so I looked for good quality, smooth fabrics that wouldn't irritate him. Cost is always important so I was also looking to get things as cheaply as possible without compromising on quality.

~ 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 shopped in store exclusively as there are such variations in sizes, I wanted to be able to see in RL whether things might fit DS without having to be sending things backwards and forwards. I also like to feel materials to make sure of the quality. Having bought 1 set of things in person, I'd be happy to order extras online though.

~ 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 last years uniform from Tesco for a few reasons. a) I shop in there regularly anyway so it was convenient. b) Because I shop in there, we have bought clothes from there before and I was confident about the fit on DS. and c) It was cheap. I've been happy enough with the fit and the way it has washed and worn so I would be tempted to go back for next years uniform too.
I haven't tried M&S uniform as when I visited the store last year, I could find nothing in my DS's size. There seemed to be absolutely nothing for 4-5 year olds and as it was my first time shopping for uniform, I really didn't have the confidence to order online when I wasn't sure what I'd be ordering. Another of the Mum's at school has been raving about M&S stainguard polo shirts though and saying that her son's have stayed white all year so I'd be tempted to give them a go for next 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'd like a school wear catalogue. I also thing it is very important to make sure those R year sizes are in stock so that first time Mum's can be sure of what they're buying. Trained staff to help would be useful too along with lots of changing rooms. A skinny range to go with the bigger kids range would also help.

culturemulcher Mon 25-Jun-12 22:38:55

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.

I tend to look first for a brand that I think will have decent quality - M&S / John Lewis. Then I faint at the prices (John Lewis Vs. Sainsbury) and end up at M&S when I'm doing the 'big' school uniform shop in the summer holidays. So - quality then price. Then I buy a few versions of dresses and trousers in a couple of sizes and bring the whole lot home for a massive try-on. The best fit wins the day.

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 If I can get to our local city on my own or if not, I order online. Delivery options very important and M&S is pretty good. Like the stores to 'feel the quality' but often online shopping has a better range of sizes and colours. It's very frustrating when you finally get a few hours to do the uniform shop in store and alone... only to find the size you're looking for has sold out in everything.

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?

Mostly M&S. Love the Modern Fit boys trousers - they look good, and the Pinafore style dress. Like the M&S prices.... BUT don't like how THIN the polo shirts are. Tescos polo shirts are better quality - although I worry a lot about how it's possible to produce them for so little money and have images of children in sweatshops. The dresses have lasted very well... the trousers go through at the knee quickly. I tend to do the 'big' uniform shop at M&S and top up at supermarkets - Sainsbury/Tesco as needed during term time.

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 improve the quality of the polo shirts. They're so thin they're see through. Catalogue would be good - although I think M&S did a little one last year? Tracksuits / winter gym kit would be good.

I claim my £100 voucher grin

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

~ 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?)

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.!!

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!!!

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.

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

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now